From the memories of Mowgli
The Year of Discovery
“The popular belief isn’t always the correct one.”
I had been minding my own business; traveling through the jungle from the Simbara to Big Chief Bagoomba’s. Then suddenly I wasn’t. I was trapped in a net and being carried through the jungle on a stick by some nubari. I was not alone, there were several others also being carried. I must have been caught unaware and imprisoned somehow. It was almost a day later before I got a look at my fellow prisoners. One of them was Kalameet, whom I had traveled with to fight the last headshrinker. The others were known to me, but only by reputation. They were some of the Heroes of Fire Mountain; River,The Crocoshaman, and Ook. We all were unceremoniously tossed into a deep pit, and left there for two days.
There we got to know each other a bit, and I found that their stories were all similar to mine. We waited for an explanation as to why we had all been kidnapped. When we were removed from the pit one by one, and again bound in nets, a nubari who spoke our language did tell us that his cousin, the chief of a tribe would tell us why we had been captured.
We passed through a small village, of a tribe I couldn’t recognize. All the villagers came out and soon we were at the head of a procession. At the top of a hill, my heart fell and some idea of why I had been captured came to me when I saw Rakid, the Koshiva traitor who. Apparently, he was looking to get revenge upon me for getting him temporarily exiled.
The chief of the strange tribe, along with a shaman came and pronounced sentence on us and Rakid even made a point of gloating to me. We were then individually pushed into a hole in the ground. When we hit bottom, it was squishy and smelled like rotten fruit. We were in total darkness. Before we could even move, horrible smelling creatures which made strange guttural sounds grabbed us and dragged us to deeper into the darkness. We were left in a different dark room, where we heard the sound of stone sliding upon stone.
Kalameet and I could see somewhat, but after some protestations from River, we were forced to light a torch to help the others see. The room we were in had one exit; a massive stone slab was blocking the way. Ook alone couldn’t move it, so The Crocoshaman and I both helped. When it did start to move, it moved easily, as if it were on guided tracks.
In the room beyond, six of the strange creatures attacked us. Now that we could get a look at them we were repulsed by their appearance as much as their smell. They were hunched and scaly, lizard-like in appearance with fins upon their heads and long tails. They bore spears, and were very proficient, but otherwise only seemed to have loincloths.
After a bit of combat, we killed one of them, and River who nearly had died panicked enough to grab the torch from The Crocoshaman and used a spell to make the creatures flee. We then began to explore, all the while realizing that more of those creatures could come back at any moment. Passed the original chamber where we had fallen into, we found a passageway and what appeared to be a shut door. We entered the room beyond and did our best to secure the door, as we had started to hear them behind us.
The room seemed to be a storage room of some sort, within we found several wondrous devices of the ancients including and most importantly some sort of small flat object that was tied to the wall. It had symbols upon it and when Kalameet touched one he caused the nearby wall to seemingly eat itself. There was a different chamber beyond, in which several blue lit panels covered the walls and a chair regal enough to be a throne sat in the middle of the floor. Ook unwisely decided to sit upon it, and suddenly restraining straps held his arms down and some sort of crown lowered onto his head.
Ook discovered that he had more finger sized indentations with symbols covering them on his near his fingers and began to experiment, hoping to be let loose. One of these caused the blue panels on the wall to be replaced with several pictures of the jungle outside, pressing it again caused to pictures to change, a third time changed them back to blue panels. A different symbol caused a loud blaring noise to sound everywhere nearby. This at least caused the creatures at the outer door to flee and try to find their courage again. The most useful one Ook found seemed to open a door in the hallway past the storage room to the outside. We found a hidden switch on the back of the throne which released Ook from the seat, and we all headed toward the new exit.
Once outside, we were surprised to discover that we were right in the middle of the strange village we had encountered. The people were called the Ratikiya, and they were not so bad. They immediately thought that we were returned from the dead, and that “the spirits in the darkness” had returned us. They were so convinced of our special blessing, that soon we were blessing their weapons, healing sick babies, and performing marriages.
We kept insisting on seeing the chief though, and soon Chief Karatila was before us. Soon we were convincing the chief that Rakid was not his friend, and sending 10 of his best warriors after him. The chief gave a long speech, in which he apologized to us for his tribes’ part in Rakid’s scheme and asked us—the blessed of the spirits—to share our blessing with his tribe. At the end of which, he offered the mightiest warrior amongst us…Ook, the position of tribal chief in his stead. Ook accepted.
Before we could do much more, we realized that the entrance to the underground was still wide open, and that the creatures within would likely come out at nightfall. Kalameet shot one who went so far as to look down the tunnel at us, but we figured that something more must be done to deal with the threat. We had limited time before nightfall, and decided our best bet might be to go back in via the pit we had entered originally.
We had one warrior lead us to the pit entrance, and we were eventually able to get down into the underground again. The whole excursion was a mistake. We were soon confronted with a horde of the creatures in darkness. We fled of course, but River fell underneath their relentless attacks. Making our way to the top of the pit, the four of us who remained returned with our guide to the Ratikiya and prepared for a battle.
When night came, although woefully unprepared, we made good use of my entanglement spell and the town’s warriors used bows to kill the creatures as they tried to exit the tunnel. When day came, after some debate, we decided to attempt to clear the rest of the complex. We used the warriors and took things slow. Eventually we were able to kill the last few warriors the creatures had as well as their women and hatchlings. The biggest surprise of the excursion was finding River alive somehow. She truly must be blessed by the spirits.
The warriors we sent after Rakid, returned soon afterward. He had made good his escape, along with some followers, but we had no doubt he would show up again. Ook retired from adventuring to concentrate on being a good chief to the Ratikiya.