Malatra Redux

Trembling Village

The Year of Gathering Darkness #29

From the Memories of Kahluhae of the Windy Place
The Koshiva
The Year of Gathering Darkness
“We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.”
I was visiting the village of the Koshiva, and meeting some of the newer heroes of the jungle. A pair of lacerials—a bladeback called Jadescale, and a finhead called Snarl; as well as some other heroes such as Fierce Chaos a warrior from the distant aarakocra, and Ziss the lizardman. It is fortunate that we were there as tragedy soon struck the village. The earth itself moved beneath our feet. Many structures and even trees were toppled by the shaking, and we spent some time helping save some people and put out some fires. When everything had calmed down a bit, we received a summons to see Taronee.
Chief Rakil and Taronee told us that far to the south and west there was a village of the Kaltran people. The earth-shakes had been much worse there, and now their village was in ruins. They asked us to head there and help escort the refugees to the Koshiva. We accepted this mission and soon had set out to find the Kaltra.
The trip took several days, and almost every day of the trip there was another earth-shake. These got progressively worse as we traveled south of the River of Laughing Idols. Fierce Chaos did a good job of scouting ahead for us when he could, but we still had quite a few challenges to overcome on our trip.
Four days out, we met a saru named Yne who had broken her leg in the last tremor. I was able to patch the leg and we convinced her to come with us. On the fifth day, we encountered a spiketail garuda trapped under a toppled tree. We freed it and the beast fled from us without incident.
The sixth day proved the most interesting encounter. We met a group of shu, refugees from the Simbuki tribe who were relocating their entire tribe to the Rayanna Savannah in order to flee the earth-shakes. Fierce Chaos almost got us all killed when he took a joke a bit too far. It seems our aarakocra friend hasn’t quite figured out that not all races are appreciative of trickery as the korobokuru. At least we learned a quicker way to get to the Kaltra from them before they left, but I am not sure we made friends with them.
The next day we had to avoid a stampede of sailback garuda. This proved a small challenge for some of us, due to minor injuries we had sustained during some of the tremors. Jadescale proved very effective at climbing a tree, and was able to save a small korobokuru girl from being trampled in the process. The girl, called Waluki, was grateful enough to show us the path directly to her village.
Once we arrived at the Kaltran village, we were shocked to see how bad things looked. We spent most of the day repairing structures, tending to the wounded, and preparing provisions for the long trip back to the Koshiva. Of the sixty souls in the village, only seventeen had survived the recent tremors a scarcity of food.
On our journey to the village, we had discovered that one or more powerful sprits in Malatra were angered for some reason. We were not sure if this was due to the earth-shakes, or the cause of them; but all animals in the area had become skittish and more apprehensive than normal. Appeals to the spirits themselves proved unhelpful.
When we finally were prepared to start our trek, we passed out some basic weapons to the refugees in order for them to be able to defend themselves. They were worse using them than a drunken Saru. Along the trip back, we encountered garuda dogs, a constrictor snake, an angry sailback, and a group of raptors. Thankfully, we only lost one villager during all of these dangers, though a few others had minor injuries.
We at last made it back to the village of the Koshiva, where we were greeted as heroes. The remaining Kaltran’s joined with the Koshiva, and things began to calm down. But the earth-shakes did not stop.
That night Taronee told me what he had learned about the angry sprits. Apparently, the great spirit of the beast was so angered by the earth-shakes that it stopped acting as a patron to many in the jungle who called themselves beastmasters. It was a very dark day indeed.

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