Malatra Redux

Plague

The Year of Awakening #6

From the Memories of [[:yamboya-mosswalker | Yamboya Mosswalker
Big Chief Bagoomba]]
The Year of Awakening
“Fear is a disease: hope is the only cure.”
I sat in front of the roaring fire within the village of Big Chief Bagoomba. Near me were other warriors and heroes of our tribe and various visitors. The grizzled korobokuru shaman Bengoukee danced before us. He told us that three spirits; Enala the sky, Bootara the wind, and Ligela the earth have all warned him of danger to Malatra. A plague was coming—one that would likely wipe all life from that land.
Bengoukee told me that I was chosen to stop this plague. Also chosen were the village warrior a tiger katanga called Shere Khan, and a monkey katanga witch doctor called Black Chaos. The korobokuru then told us that the spirits had also told him that we had one chance to save the jungle. We needed to head to the north and find a pool surrounded by a grove of trees. Then when the water turned pink with the morning sun, we were to find the earth woman, and embrace her. Then we would learn how to speak with the Speaker of Wisdom, the oldest tree in the grove. This would help us find a way to prevent the plague.
The three of us set out at once and soon we had found the grove. We had but a few hours to wait until morning, though unfortunately we missed the pink of the pool, and had to wait another full day. We hoped we had enough time. During the day, Shere Khan was the lucky to find the Earth Woman—an idol statue deep below the water. Black Chaos was able to reach it and embrace it, and it told him to drink the pink water. He needed rescuing, but we survived.
When the water turned pink the next day, we tried drank some of it. The world seemed to go fuzzy, and the trees in the grove looked somewhat different. We began wandering about the grove, and discovered that we could talk to the trees. Some of them were more talkative than others, and a few were downright unfriendly. A few gave us some gifts. Eventually, we found the Speaker of Wisdom was an dead Shaggybark tree.
The Speaker told us that the plague that was coming had come before, four hundred cycles ago. It had survived it, but barely. It had felt that the plague was a way to wipe clean the life of Malatra so that life could start over. It didn’t know much more so suggested that it speak to someone older. It told us to go to the River of Laughing Idols, plant our feet in the soil and eat a pit of its root. We thanked the Speaker of Wisdom and retrieved the root.
We headed to the river, though we had to avoid some lizard men along the way. When we arrived, we did as the Speaker had suggested and soon found that we could speak with stones. The nearest stone idol told us that the plague that was coming came every four-hundred cycles or so, when Fire Mountain produced a smoke in the air. It was unstoppable once it began. Some loose pebbles in the water wanted to be scattered elsewhere, in order to see the world.
A statue fountain gave us the most useful information. It told us that the plague was actually a cloud of insects, horrid winged things that ate everything they came across very quickly. They were called luroki, and swarmed every four hundred cycles or so. They were about the size of nubari’s thumb and bred in large numbers. During the last swarm, some intelligent apes attempted to stop it before it began and had gathered some sap from iticala trees. They were too late however, and were all killed.
A big gray rock told us the nest of the creatures was miles south down the river, and was somewhere in a half-submerged cave near the Itcala trees. This was enough information for us to begin our quest. So we headed downriver. We fought some winged snakes early the next day, and took their skins as trophies. On the third day we found the trees, and decided we needed some sap.
Black Chaos nearly died retrieving some, as a hidden leaf spider was ready to attack anyone who climbed the tree to get the sap which only flowed from the upper branches. But we were successful. We took the sap and returned to the river, where we eventfully found the half-submerged cave.
Traveling down the cave was difficult, as the water made keeping a torch lit nearly impossible. We fell into a hole in the ground and had a devil of a time getting out. Worse, it put out our torch.
Eventually, we made our way to the chamber that housed the nest. We made it not a moment too soon, as we could see the luroki larvae beginning to hatch. We quickly spread the sap over the nest and lit a fire. We each got stung a dozen times for our trouble, but we succeeded, and the jungle was saved from the terrible plague of the luroki! A feast was given in our honor at Big Chief Bagoomba’s tribe that night.

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