From the Memories of Alyssa of the Huroola
Year of Discovery
“Understanding is honoring the truth beneath the surface.”
I had been sent to the enigmatic and reclusive Zantira tribe by The Council of Elders. For a variety of reasons, they sent some weak male representatives of other tribes with me. With me was the renowned members of the tribe of Bagoomba: the tiger katanga warrior Shere Khan, and the obnoxious monkey katanga witchdoctor Black Chaos. Kahulae of the Windy Place, the well respected pangolin katanga shaman of the tribe of the Wise Ones, and the Katamayan korobokuru thief called Kalameet also joined us. Recently the tribe had become more willing to trade with other tribes and our trip had been a fact finding expedition if nothing else. As we approached their territory though, the jungle drums told us of a call for help, and a recent tragedy.
We arrived on the Shores of Sleepy Lake, only to discover that the small Zantira village of Karabudu had been nearly completely destroyed. The tribe’s chief, Manyuk V’Domo met us on the shoreline. He thanked us for coming and said that he had been told by the Great Water Spirit Jung’r’na that heroes would come, and in fact we were the second group to arrive. He introduced us to a group of heroes who had come only a few minutes before us. The female shu called Jakra claimed to be “The Mightiest Warrior in Malatra”, though we had never heard of her. Her silent and massive male nubari warrior companion was called Fatman. Lastly, there was a female monkey katanga who we recognized as the famed Leader of the Poo Fighters; Ochkee Goneygoogoo! They seemed pleasant enough toward me, however when Black Chaos started becoming too chummy, they seemed a bit upset and opted to ignore us and head on to some task. Chief V’domo told us that they were trying to help the village also, but wouldn’t give details.
Chief V’Domo then told us what the tribe needed. Apparently, generations ago, the water spirit Jung’r’na had told the Zantira to build their homes upon the lake and that it would protect them…such had been true until the prior night. Last night, while the village of Karabudu slept, the lake began to pitch and boil, causing the raft-homes of the village to splinter and break. Most had survived the tragedy, but three villagers had met a horrible fate when they were dragged underwater by some sort of evil creatures. There was little details given, as little was known. They wanted us to recover the bodies of the three dead villagers, so their souls could find rest.
We headed to the eastern portion of the tribe, to the small raft village of Karabudu. There we saw the destruction that had occurred in the night. We also learned that the attack had come at night, and that no one saw the creatures that caused the devastation. I was unwise and promised one villager that we would return their confederates alive and well.
We then went with V’Domo as he called upon the water spirit Jung’r’na and we sank beneath the water as the spirit embraced us. When our sight cleared, we discovered that we now had the ability to breathe and move underwater with little difficulty, but that we still could not speak with each other. Jung’r’na appeared before us, and informed us that the missing villagers were dead, but that their bodies could be recovered. It told us to go through the water forest and to seek the girl-snake who would help us. It said that if we were able to recover the bodies that we should make a circle of power around them and call its name, and we would be returned to the surface. It cautioned us not to enter the mists before placing a spell upon us which allowed us to communicate and leaving.
We were very confused as to which way to go at first, but we soon found the water forest it had spoken of. While traveling through it, we were attacked by some horrible fish. We had heard about the creatures from the survivors of the village of Karabudu, they were called s’repic fish and they were voracious predators and carnivores. We had quite a bit of difficulty dealing with the creatures and I couldn’t help but think that if I had other Huroola warriors with instead of my current companions we would have had an easier time of it.
Eventually we won our combat, but only with the timely arrival of first Fatman, who was covered in a few of the creatures himself. He did not survive the experience. I, myself, even nearly died in the exchange, and would have had not Kahulae not restored me to life. Later in the same combat, Black Chaos had the audacity to attempt to heal me by groping at my chest. I will not forget such an insult. Combat proceeded poorly, and soon a pair of lizard men showed up and were much more effective than my companions. The lizard men fled from us after the combat, seeming to not know what to make of us.
We continued on our journey, and soon came to an opening in the forest. We could either go east or west. Luckily we encountered a different pair of lizard men. These two, seemed to have been prepared to meet us, and the language barrier was something they were willing to deal with. Some bad hand gestures and pointing was enough to clue us in that there was possible danger up ahead of us, and indicated we should head to the east. We thanked them as best we could and went the direction they had indicated.
It took us another hour’s worth of travel to before we encountered the bizarre snake-girl. She was friendly enough, though rather creepy. Black Chaos made a good impression on her though, and she gave us directions to the creatures who had abducted the villagers.
We proceeded in the direction she had indicated, and soon discovered a cave she had told us about. We entered the cave and discovered the creatures which had grabbed the villagers were a pair of horrible tall and gaunt two-legged monstrosities, which somewhat resembled fish men, but which had sharp fangs and claws. The snake girl and called them ‘scrags’. They were eating the remains of the villagers. After a quick attempt to attack them, we learned that they seemed to regenerate any damage done to them. We fled the cave, and they opted not to give chase.
There was much debate on what to do next. We eventually came to the realization that these monsters could not be killed while in water, and that we needed to subdue them long enough to get to the surface. Unfortunately, we had forgotten the name of the water spirit which we had met. Thankfully, Kalameet was able to remember it for us. Combat was not fun, but towards the end we were joined by Jakra and Ochkee Goneygoogoo who had gone on the western path with Fatman, and killed the massive lake garuda they had encountered. Fatman had left in order to return to the surface after the combat, in order to get some healing magic for the pair, but had not returned. With their help, we defeated the remaining scrag and incapacitated it. We needed to hit it occasionally, or it would heal itself, but it didn’t take us long to prepare. After calling on Jung’r’na, we were transported to the surface.
After destroying the scrags with fire. We returned the bodies of the dead villagers to the Zantira, and Chief V’Domo rewarded us for our efforts. We had not rescued the villagers, but we had returned the bodies and destroyed a threat to the Zantira.