So another weekend, one which I hope I can push far ahead of the curve. I’ve already written roughly 2000 words this morning. My hope is that I can do another 2000 or so tonight, then another 4000 tomorrow as well. I really want to finish before thanksgiving madness sets in, though honestly this would be a good excuse for why I can’t stay around for too long after thanksgiving dinner. Here is the story so far for anyone wanting to catch up. Once again remember completely raw and unedited.
- Shadowed Stone
- Little Giant Girl
- Birthday Wishes
- The Gifts
- The Incursion
- The Watch
- Rough Landing
- Dragon Bone
- People of the Storm
- The Lady
- Cambridge Beneath
- Prisoner of War
- Parting the Veil
15 – People of the Earth
Torklah watched as the strange man thing thrashed against the leafcloth covering the mat he was laying on. It had been three days since he had appeared delirious on the outskirts of the village. The dim light of fireflies flickered around the hollowed shroomstalk home and bounced off of the strangers face. He had collapsed upon reaching the village and had been in some sort of a sleeping sickness. As shaman it fell to Torklah to watch over him, and either help him recover or ease his passing to the world beyond.
It was today that the man thing began to stir finally. Torklah though this was a sign of him fighting the sleeping sickness. He moved over to the man and smeared a smelly paste on his forhead. It was a mixture his father and his father before him had taught him to prepare. It was to draw out the sickness, capturing it in the smelly mixture. “Morrow” the man thing murmured but this meant nothing to Torklah. Maybe this was his name, or his tribe.
The shaman watched over him wondering where he had come from. He looked elfen, but he did not know of any wilder that had them within their tribes. It was nearing high shadow when the man began to jitter slightly. Then came a violent series of convulsions and he was completely still again. For a few moments he took no breathes and Torklah thought he may have passed on. Then as quickly as the silence came it was broken by him sitting up on the mat and gasping for breathe.
The man looked around the room frantic, finally locking eyes on the thick grey-brown furred sasquatch shaman. “Where am I? How did I get here?” the man pleaded. Torklah thought about the questions for a moment before answering. He was in fact speaking in Elfen, and while it was not as common to him as Saskalah, he could muddle through with it as the wildfae also spoke it. Trying to speak slowly as not to distort the meaning he replied “You are in the village of the earth people, I am Torklah High Shaman. As to how you got here, you stumbled here under a great sleeping sickness.”
The man thought on the Sasquatch’s words for a moment startling as though he had suddenly remembered something “Morrow! Where is Morrow, is she here too?” he said frighteningly peering around the corners of the shroom hut. “You mentioned this Morrow in your sleeping sickness. We found you at outskirts of village alone.” The man tried to stand but ended up collapsing back onto the mat. “I have to find my wife.” The big sasquatch moved over to the mat and helped him to a nearby chair. “What you need is more rest, you just beat the sickness. Give your body time.”
The man leaned against the chair slightly resigned. He was feeling more weak than he likely ever had, but he was thankful for the kindness the shaman was showing. In his years he had very few meetings with Sasquatch, and had heard of the tribe of the earth but never actually met one. He remembered his manners and that he had never actually introduced himself. “Sorry for forgetting my manners, I am Josah one of the Scions of Spring of the Elfen Court of Avalon. Morrow is my wife, and we were split up.”
Josah began to remember how exactly he had gotten there. He remembered the white fire that tore into him. How it pushed him back into the shadowlands but set apart from the rest of the council. He wandered trying to find his beloved Morrow but had the bad luck to stumble into a Vespid nest. Stung he must have grown delirious on the poison and wandered into Sasquatch lands. The meant he was somewhere to the north and west of the way willow. How had he gotten thrown so far from where they were. If he was here, he could only imagine where the others ended up.
Josah explained to the elder sasquatch the events of the farmhouse and how the queen had sacrificed herself in an attempt to save them. “Your Queen was very brave to face death to save you. She died with great honor.” Josah flinched a bit at the words. “She is not dead but transformed into crystal.” After saying it he thought a few moments about just that. Why was Baigan so determined to capture her, instead of simply kill her. He needed her power for something. Something inside his brain clicked as though opening a door.
“Torklah, does your tribe track the course of the seasons? How many days do we have til the equinox?” The elder shaman thought about this statement for a moment. He had heard the term equinox before, and while his tribe did not have a term for that, he knew it meant the point at which the power of summer and winter are equal and with summer on the decline and winter on the rise. He thought for a moment, then walked across the room to consult some glyphs marked onto the shroomstalk wall in red paint. He gave a rather unsteady answer “There are thirteen high shadows, until the equinox” the word felt strange in his mouth.
“Thats it then, Baigan means to attack the summer wall at the point which summer begins the wane and winter rise. He needs the power of both to do it., he needs them to be equal.” He thought for moment not sure if the Sasquatch understood what the summer wall was. “Torklah, do your people know where the summer wall is? The great barrier of light that protects the north from the Trogjan.” Torklah thought for a moment, while he did not understand the name Summer Wall, he did know of a great river of sun in the north. “Yes we know of it, the river of sun is north of our village. Several days journey.”
“The man who attacked us at the Farmhouse, means to destroy the ‘river of sun’. When he does this land will be invaded by the Trogjan. They are a cruel empire of powerful warriors, with an insatiable desire for conquest. No one in these lands will be safe.” Trying to stand again Josah found it a bit easier and was able to support his own weight. “If you can take me to the ‘river of sun’ I may be able to stop them.” The great shaman could sense the weight and truth of his words. He was a man who could be trusted, but it was a long journey to the river of sun.
The old sasquatch thought for a moment before speaking. He knew as High Shaman, his word held weight and whatever decision he made was final. He wanted to protect his people from the falling of the sun, but it was the time of harvest. All of the strong warriors were needed to help bring in the large carrowmelons now bursting with fruit in the fields. Each one could be as large as a brave, and it took multiple to bring each back to the village to be preserved for the winter months. Weighing the options he finally spoke “I cannot give you any of our warriors for your journey, but I will take you myself to the river of sun.”
Josah looked a bit relieved that the shaman was willing to help him, and he knew it would not be an easy journey for either of them. “Thank you Torklah, you are a wise leader.” The old shaman nodded slightly at the words. “But now you and I must rest. We will pack for our journey in the morning and leave as soon as it is high light. I am old and need my rest, and you are not yet yourself”. Josah nodded an agreement and leaned back on the mat sinking into the leafcloth once more. Torklah moved slowly over to his own bed, reaching to the outcropping of shroomstalk beside it for a tiny whistle. Giving it a short low trill he reclined back upon his bed as the myriad of fireflies that had lit the home flew out through the windows and into the night sky.
Torklah was true to his word and Josah was woken after what felt like only a few minutes of sleep. He focused around the room trying to force himself to become cognisant. He noticed that the old sasquatch had already gathered supplies and they were bound to two pack frames near the door of his hut. “We should get started, it is a long ways to get to the river of sun.” Torklah replied as Josah was lifting up off of the mat. “We would normally take a kurz pulled wagon, but they are all needed for the harvest. I am not old enough that I cannot walk it, and you look to have recovered from the poison.” With that the elder shaman slung the larger of the two packs onto his back, and Josah followed his lead taking the other. They walked through the village to the edge and began following a path northward towards the sunwall.