From the Memories of Shere Kahn
Big Chief Bagoomba
The Year of Awakening
“Time is the best teacher”
I was relaxing in the cool air one night within the village of Big Chief Bagoomba. Suddenly, I encountered a pleasant looking woman who introduced herself as Kitari, the cousin of Bagoomba. She said she had a task for me, and had me follow her. When we arrived at her hut, I discovered that we were not alone. Kitari had also asked other warriors to join us, including Moyash; a mystic form the Simbara who seemed to be hiding something, Kahulae of the Windy Place; a shaman from the Wise Ones, and Pure Chaos, a savage wizard form Bagoomba’s tribe like me.
Kitari then told us that father, Shirak, uncle of Bagoomba was dying and she wanted to prevent it. She said she had learned from a vision that there was a wondrous crystal of great power that used to belong to the Ancients of Malatra which could save her father from death. Her vision had given her the location of the crystal, however, she was not the type to be able to retrieve it herself. Thankfully, she was able to find us.
She asked us to retrieve it. She then told us that the crystal was located about two days travel within one of the ancient structures on the far side of Fire Mountain that was mostly buried, but which had become accessible again following the catastrophe on Fire Mountain earlier in the year. She provided us with a guide to help us locate the structure, a strong and fearless warrior named Pana. We set out immediately. In retrospect we should have asked her more questions.
A few hours down the trail, we discovered an angry carnivorous ape trying to eat a baby tiger. We rescued the tiger and scared away the beast. I was able to communicate with the creature, but only on a limited level. It was obviously very young. We debated what to do with it, but eventually Pure Chaos decided to keep it and take it with us.
We soon found the cave which allowed access to the structure of the ancients. Not far inside, we found a deep hole in the ground, which we assumed was where we needed to venture. Our climbing skills were not great. When we made it to the bottom, we discovered we were in some sort of building that once long ago must have been above the surface. The room was also lopsided. I was attacked by a large spider, but we were able to scare it to the far corner of the room and headed down the stairs we found. At the bottom the floor became level again, and we saw that there were several rooms we could explore.
In one area we found a small green gem. In the next were several stacks of parched leaves tied together with hide covers. We tried to look at these, but they fell apart when we touched them. The last room we investigated had some sort of apparition within it. It appeared to be a spirit of one of the Ancients. It was creepy, but unresponsive until we started asking it questions. It said it was “of the Ancients” and that its name was unimportant but he once used to live in the structure we were in. It had remained to warn trespassers to the danger within. When asked what the place was, it responded: “This is the Tower of Order, a place of meditation and study. We were mages who studied the influence of time on the world.”
When we asked what the dangers were, it told us that within there was a shard that could cause agonizing death or heal the infirm, but it was not meant for this world. We asked more about the shard and it told us it was “a stitch in time to mend past errors…or so we thought. Regardless of what it is, the wisdom to do what is right remains with you.” It pointed to something in the corner of the chamber and indicated we take it. “Use this device with the shard, with it you can move it or make time safe once more. Once you have seen the effects of the shard, your path shall be clear.” With that it vanished. The device it had indicated was some sort of ceramic tongs.
We descended to next flight of stairs, and found a room where a disembodied voice told us that our task was simply to reach the other side of the room. This wasn’t too difficult, except if we stepped on the wrong tile, we were magically returned to our end of the room. It took some trial and error to find the correct path, but once we did it was easy.
Using another staircase to descend, we arrived in a room protected by a fire spirit and a massive fire barrier. It told us that only those of Ancient blood may pass. Pure Chaos and I passed the fire barrier, and I had to save Pure Chaos from death. Kahluhae and Moyash were not sure they could survive the fire and remained on their side.
In the level below, we found what we had come for: a mysterious glowing shard of light that resembled a gem. Pure Chaos was able to use the tongs to grab it, but suddenly three strange spirits appeared in front of us. One of them hit Pure Chaos, who seemed to become much younger. He took off, running up the stairs with me following.
At the fire room, Pure Chaos nearly died in the fire again, but passed the tongs to Moyash who began running up the stairs as well. Kahluhae saved Pure Chaos while I tried to slow down the advancing spirits. It didn’t go well for me, and I had to retreat past the firewall as well. The spirits got into a fight with the fire spirit, and although the fire spirit destroyed one, the others took care of it and followed Moyash. Kahluhae was able to use a spell to trap one of them within his bag, but the other was too far out of range and still following Moyash. We were surprised to see that Moyash was attempting to use the shard himself for some reason! On my way after him, I was jumped by the spider on the top floor again.
When next I saw any of the others. we were on the surface and Moyash had used the tongs to destroy the shard, which caused the remaining spirit to vanish. Pure Chaos had somehow been de-aged to childhood, though he seemed to be recovering quickly. We had to return inside to look for Kahluhae, who had been behind everyone else and had been attacked by the spider before falling into the hole again. We saved him, and we began back for the village of Big Chief Bagoomba.
Moyash later confided in us that he believed himself to be a reincarnation of one of the spirits of the domes that surrounds Malatra. He had hoped to somehow use the shard to restore himself. We figured that he might have jungle madness, and resolved to watch him closer.
When we arrived at Bagoomba’s village we had to tell Kitari that we had failed to recover the item she wanted, her father was able to speak long enough before he died to get her to let him go. She thanked us for our efforts and told us that she owed each of us a favor. When we left her hut we had the misfortune of meeting Bengoukee, the wisest shaman of the jungle. He knew what we had done, and gave us a stern warning against breaking taboo. He told us he would be keeping an eye on us more in the future.
A Stitch in Time
The Year of Awakening #7
From the Memories of Shere Kahn