Eight For The Impossible
August 3, 2015
Jack was back in the new camp the followers of Yig had created after Vile Darken’s attack on them. It was hidden deeper within the woods and with their alignment with nature even the devourer of worlds would be hard pressed to discover them there, but currently Vile Darken wasn’t the most pressing thing on his mind.
Jack had just agreed to attempt a quest that apparently no one had been able to complete for over a thousand years. He and a small group would be journeying to the far north to try to summon the aid of the Lava Dragons who tended to just eat everyone who approached them.
Since Yig’s mystic number was eight. Mythcul had decided that eight warriors should go. Jack would be one of these, of course, and Tynilia had agreed to go. Shadowknife had also volunteered, which left five open spots. Huth quickly filled one of them, leaving them halfway there, but after that the others had left him alone with his thoughts as well as out of the loop as they each left on unknown missions.
Huth had walked off with Mythcul, while both Shadowknife and Tynilia had teleported away, leaving Jack to brood by himself. Yes, he was within a group of almost eighty warriors who all worshiped the same god he did, but the language barrier still kept him apart.
His nervous pacing continued.
He kept expecting at least Mythcul or Huth to check in with him, but neither appeared to be in a hurry to do so. The away teams concerned him. He hadn’t even been sure where they teleported off to and he also worried over who they might bring back. When one headed toward near certain doom, it was a good thing to at least have people at your back that you could trust.
As the sun began to set to the west, Jack moved under the shadowed trees. Moss hung in emerald strings, which slowly dripped moisture onto the living carpet below. The calls of the wild animals echoed through the canyons as they greeted the night. In the distance a jaguar roared, but its hunting call only reminded him of his lover, Tynilia, who followed the great jaguar deity Tezcatlipoca.
Shadowknife was the first to return. With him a black warrior stood both tall and lean. He carried little to cover his body, which like Shadowknife, had been tattooed completely black. For weapons he carried a single jet spear and a brace of obsidian daggers. Besides a small bag thrown over his shoulder and a loin cloth, this was the extent of his possessions. Jack didn’t need his Detect Darken spell to tell that this was another of the Splinter Darcarre who had rebelled against Vile’s attempt to bring all Xemmoni under his vast cloak of evil.
Shadowknife addressed him. “This man is known as Strike and is one of the few Splinter Darcarre to have survived The Darken’s counter attack on my people. He is a strong warrior and one of the most powerful men we have left. He, however, does not posses the Bestow that allows me to communicate with you, but I will be teaching it to him this night.”
“So unless there had been any new information you need to communicate to me, I will be off to do just that.”
“No, you’re the first back. Besides you two, the only other person to join our team was Huth.”
“Very well then,” Shadowknife said with a nod and then proceeded to walk away.
Strike regarded Jack for a moment with could best be termed a snarl, but then followed his fellow Xemmoni off into the darkness.
Night had completed its goal to claim the land, but Jack was unable to find rest. It startled him when Tynilia suddenly appeared next to the fire just as he was throwing another huge log onto its glowing embers.
She had a strong warrior with her whose body was covered in tiger strips of both light and dark. The man was ignored for a moment as her slim form threw herself into Jack’s arms. “Oh Jack, my return to my village was worse than I might have imagined.” Her weary body pressed against him. “I was lucky to leave with my life. Many, including my former lover, sought my blood, but cooler minds prevailed.” She managed a smile, “Mostly because I challenged their courage. Once I threw down that spear, a few men couldn’t refuse my offer.”
She turned toward the man behind her. His corded muscles flexed as he eyed Jack, with, if anything, more distaste than Strike. For weapons the man carried two spears, a spiked mace, as well as an obsidian sword. Raven feathers covered his shoulders and he had a vest of black scales that ran down to a tight set of ebony breeches.
“Jack, this is Stalker. He couldn’t resist a chance at being included in our mythic quest. Please set him up with a place to call his own, for I have one more task to complete.”
“No wait…” But she was already gone.
Again the language barrier slowed the process, but the warrior of Tezcatlipoca was as happy to remove himself from the others and Jack was to be rid of his glare.
A few hours before dawn, a very weary looking Mythcul arrived with a young woman of stunning beauty, but a very reserved and dignified manner. He introduced the female warrior of Yig as Vel-Arsra-Linuh. Jack was able to understand just enough of his words to conclude that she was a Shaman. He had secretly hoped that Mythcul would be accompanying them, but perhaps the long journey was not something the older man felt he could mange.
The woman was barely more than a girl, and Jack couldn’t help but find her a strange choice for the mission. Her body had been tattooed in several places with green triangle scales and the rest of her was covered in furs and feathers that did little to hide her nibble body. For weapons she carried only a single spear. After more awkward attempts at conversation the pair removed themselves for further preparations.
Just as Jack began to nod off, Tynilia returned with the final member of their team. From the looks of him, he was another warrior of Yig, but from a different tribe. Unlike Mythcul’s warriors who looked more like what Jack associated with the plains Indians of North America on his own world. This man, like so many of both his allies and enemies had more of a Mayan look to him. His darker skin was covered with green feathers and faded cloth designed to camouflage him into the forest. He carried maces, daggers, spears, javelins, and a large iron sword, a rare commodity in this world.
Tynilia appeared exhausted and her red rimmed eyes indicated that she might have been weeping not long before her arrival. With a tired wave of her hand, she said, “This is Quez-Zul-Aul a warrior of Yig. He is your… your other Incarnation’s right hand man and has been slowly learning your language.”
Despite his short stature, Jack sensed he was a powerful warrior. He nodded his head toward Jack. “You look much alike. I have great respect for the mighty hero that leads us. We will see if you match his virtue.”
That being said, the man walked off toward where the leaders of the northern Yig tribe still conferred.
“Gods, I’m glad that’s over,” she said. He moved in to comfort her, but she continued. “I’m a little confused right now, Jack.” Her dark eyes met him. “I think I need some time to think.”
He watched her small form walk into the forest as the first rays of the sun graced the eastern sky and was once again alone.
To be continued next Monday