From the memories of Yamboya Mosswalker
The Year of Discovery
“Disobedience is a demand for change.”
We had come to the village of the Simbara when the call had gone out. A new Golden Child had been born. The heir to power, wisdom, and appearance of the Ancients who ruled Malatra many generations past was the first one in more than one-hundred cycles. One was born every five generations, and when they came of age they were the herald of great peace and prosperity in the land. The Golden Child was meant to unite the people of Malatra like never before.
And so the call had gone out. Warriors and heroes from all over Malatra, as well as representatives from all tribes that could be notified had descended on the main village of the Simbara to get a glance of the Golden Child.
The Simbara had been busy preparing as hosts, huge trays of foods were set out for those who arrived. Mowgli had come to the event, as had some heroes I knew only by reputation: some of the heroes of Fire Mountain called The Crocoshaman, and Alyssa of the Huroola; as well as one hero who was well known to have violated taboo by braving a structure of the ancients called Pure Chaos.
We arrived early enough that we were able to eat and rest before the traditional viewing of the child which was scheduled for morning. That night there was some revelry and a lot of discussion from the various guests. The renowned hero Ook, who had recently become chief of his own tribe was there, and several of my companions spoke with him. The warriors of the tribe of Big Chief Rasta Nifari and his younger brother Reesta were both three. The Kuamu warrior Banteau Shesketch, whom everyone called Fatman due to his impressive bulk and skills at wrestling had come; As had the diminutive shu shaman Daplane of the Jengi.
Noticeably absent, were any Huroola, other than Alyssa who had been traveling with The Crocoshaman by all accounts. When I spoke to the korobokuru warrior The Mighty Duba, I learned why. Apparently, the entire delegation of the Huroola had left with their gifts after discovering that the child was a male. This was an interesting enough tidbit that the other heroes in my area all wished to follow up on it. We spoke with Prince Umbaak, the son of Spirit of Lion, the chief of the Simbara. He told us that the Golden Child was indeed male, and that he was born to his sister Tani’i and his best friend Joaarn. He also suspected that his father may end up going to war with the Huroola for their insult.
We then spoke to Bengoukee, as the wise old korobukuru had made the trip here as well. He seemed distressed, and when we pressed him on it, he admitted that he was troubled by the birth of the Golden Child. This child will be the first to give guidance to the jungle in over three-hundred cycles, but in that time the people of the jungle had learned to stand on their own without help. Already people were proclaiming this child the ‘Future King of Malatra’, a title that not all would respect…certainly not the misandristic Huroola. But when the last Golden Child, Noh of the Huroola, had vanished at a young age one-hundred cycles ago, the entire jungle nearly went to war with the Huroola. He worried about a similar circumstance for this child.
The next morning, we were permitted to see the Golden Child—after first presenting our gifts. We were not disappointed in its appearance, it truly resembled the Ancients. As we finished, Spirit of Lion stepped forward and proclaimed that the child needed to rest for a bit. As we were waiting, a scream of alarm. The village was on fire! Mowgli, Pure Chaos, and I went to help, while The Crocoshaman and Alyssa went to check on the child. They were politely refused entrance by Syanya the tribal shaman, and Fenzzica U’Bandalli the tribal witch doctor. It was only on their way to help us that the cry of alarm came from inside the child’s hut.
We all came to investigate, and discovered that the child was missing, along with part of the back wall of the hut. Fenzzica mistook Alyssa and the Crocoshaman for having taken part in a conspiracy to steal the child, but the arrival of Bengoukee cleared that up.
Soon we found the dead bodies of the Huroola behind the hut, though it looked like they had been killed by some giant cat. It was clear that the Golden Child had been abducted by someone or something. Spirit of Lion soon had gathered all the onlookers, and with Bengoukee’s urging, he chose us to go retrieve the Golden Child from the taboo lands. Prince Umbaak would got, to assist us.
Soon, preparations had been made and we set out. We had not traveled far though when a female leopard katanga intercepted us. Her name was Jyhinn, and although cold and aloof, she said she was there to help us track the assailants. After a very short debate, we accepted her offered aid.
Over the next day we tracked the abductor clear across the savannah. Eventually we were attacked by a large force of hyena katanga. Pure chaos used a fire spell on them causing Prince Umbaak to overreact a bit. We would have been overwhelmed if Mowgli hadn’t used a spell to entangle the creatures in the weeds.
After dealing with the creatures we continued on our way. We had only traveled a few hours when we came to a massive chasm blocking our path, the trail we had been following seemed to cross over it directly. Pure Chaos got us across the canyon with a spell, but no sooner had we reached the other side then we were confronted with a large number of tontor.
I spoke with one of the creatures and it told us that the sacred one was brought through this land by the Simba. With the help of the tontor, we found the nearest watering hole, and were pointed to the Simba lands beyond.
As we entered the Simba lands, we discovered what appeared to be a massive pride of lions. As we approached, two of the great cats stood and moved away, revealing the Golden Child still sleeping in his basket. A voice from nearby asked us why we had come. Turning, we saw what appeared to be an Ancient. He introduced himself as Noh, the last Golden Child, and revealed that he had left the Huroola because the people of the jungle were venerating him and treating him like a god. He had stolen the child, to protect him from the Huroola assassins and to save him from a similar life as the one he had lived.
Noh concluded that he didn’t want to choose the fate of the child, as that was the duty of the people of Malatra. So he gave us a challenge. If any of us could wrestle a lion to the ground, then we could choose the fate of the child. If we couldn’t the lion would kill us. Alyssa volunteered, and soon she was engaged in wrestling a lion. She had some luck at first, but that quickly turned, and the lion outlasted her. It was a bloody death.
Noh then asked if anyone else wished to try. No one was willing, so Prince Umbaak stepped forward. His death was quick and equally bloody.
With no other volunteers. Noh said that the child would be safe with him for the time being, but that one day he may return. With that both Noh and the entire pride of lions left. As the rest of us turned to leave, we saw that both Alyssa and Prince Umbaak were alive and with us. Their deaths had merely been an elaborate illusion created by Noh.
Jythinn left us at that point, to reveal to her tribe what had occurred with the Golden Child. The rest of us returned to the Simbara where we had a lot of explaining to do.
The Golden Child
The Year of Discovery #13
From the memories of Yamboya Mosswalker