this is a draft of my entry for the 2011 writing contest. Feel free to leave any feedback, suggestions, or opinions. I am open to any comments as it will only help make my story better.
This is basically a take on the story of the WD of D3 before the actual events of the game. Seeing as how we really do not know how or why he has joined the fight, I took the opportunity to give him a past.
Synopsis: Sight Unseen is a story about a Witch Doctor who has a vision about the destruction of Sanctuary. As he attempts to persuade others of his visions, most discredit him only to realize his visions were correct too late.
And yes, it is pretty long, 6,600 words so I understand if you do not read all of it.
The pungent aroma of fresh blood and burning flesh filled the council circle; a dense smoke sat on the stale air. Bowl, mortar and pestles, and flasks littered the rocky ground. Residuals of various crushed herbs, plants, and fungi remained at the bottoms of the emptied vessels. Five people, their skin the color of ash, sit in a circle around the smoldering ashes of a once burning flame, human skulls and bones lay on top, cracking from the heat. The five members sat on the dirt beneath them, their legs crossed under them. Their eyes sealed shut as their heads hang low. The thick trunks and lush tops of the kapok trees excelled at keeping out any external influences from entering the ceremony, although it worked better at keeping anything from exiting. In this trance-like state, no disturbance from the outside could awaken them from their journey into the Mbwiru Eikura, the unformed land.
Four of the members remained absolutely motionless while in this ghost trance. They used their minds to look into another world, a truer world for answers and knowledge. Able to cross vast distances across Sanctuary and beyond in seconds, seeing the world all around them while they remained hidden deep in the Torajan Jungles; the four witch doctors had taken this journey countless times. It was a ritual they took after the spoils of war, using the slain warriors of the Clan of the Seven Stones and other human threats to achieve this state. With the mixture of flora found in the jungle habitat and the blood and flesh of the sacrificed warriors, the witch doctors were able to enter this alternate land that went beyond the physical world.
While the other four witch doctors remained motionless in their trance, the fifth witch doctor, younger than most around him, began to unexpectedly move. First, his eyelids twitched as his eyes beneath them moved rapidly. Soon, his fingers began to tremble and then his whole hands began to shake. As if crawling through him, his entire body began trembling. Violently shaking, the witch doctor fell to the earth beneath him. While convulsing on the jungle floor, the other witch doctors simultaneously slowly opened their eyes, each emerging from their trance to find the last man writhing on the ground.
The only woman in the group, an elderly stout woman, scurried over to his side. “Kifu… Kifu…” she yelled out, her hands grabbing his shoulders attempting to stabilize the man. No matter what efforts were made, nobody could awaken him from his trance. But, just as quickly as the attack came, it left Kifu. His body regained stability as he lay on the ground. Two other witch doctors stood over him, looking puzzled at what had just happened. Kifu’s eyes shot open as the witch doctors took a step back in surprise. “Are you well?” the woman asked Kifu looking back at him with concern.
Kifu attempted to sit up, his arms stumbling, unable to support his already frail body. “I…I am fine,” he replied slowly shaking his head back and forth. With the help of the woman, he was able to get back onto his feet and stood still for a moment trying to recollect himself. The others remained silent, waiting for him to speak. He whispered under his breath “I saw it. I saw everything.” Barely audible, only two of the witch doctors could even hear him. He stood there with his hands supporting his head as a flood of images came back to him. His body shaking now, not from his trance but from the ordeal he had just suffered.
“Saw what?” the aged woman asked softly as she struggled to help keep Kifu on his feet. Usually the witch doctors all shared in their visions while in the ghost trance. No physical communication was needed for them to understand what the others had seen. However, all four witch doctors stared at Kifu, confused by his seemingly different experience.
“The end of Sanctuary as we know it,” was all Kifu could reply as his body continued to show signs of weakness. The chief took Kifu’s arm over his shoulder and helped him on their trip back to their village; the others following, none of them furthering discussion over the event. The trek back to their village was a full-night’s walk. The Kapok trees stood at least thirty feet tall, their canopies blanketing the sky blocking out any light from the stars above. In the pitch black jungle, the five witch doctors made their way through the dangerous terrain. They overstepped thick vines, avoided jagged points of broken branches, and side stepped pitfalls. While any other man would surely have struggled to get through, if even possible, the five witch doctors walked through effortlessly. They had walked this path hundreds of times from their village to their sacred grounds and back.
Just as the sun was breaking through the dense jungle, the witch doctors had made it back to their village. The bamboo fortified village blended so well into the landscape you could barely make it out from the rest of the jungle. Inside, housed the villagers of the Tribe of the Five Hills. Their grass-roofed huts and stone laid walkways adorned the village. The inhabitants went about their business, some venturing out collecting plants from the jungle; others weaved baskets from bamboo for the fisherman to collect their bounty. The witch doctors walked in as many of the villagers gathered around, eager to hear about the visions they had seen while in the Mbwiru Eikura.
“We will convene in the town hall tomorrow. We all need some rest right now,” the chief announced to the eager villagers as he looked over at Kifu, now able to hold his own weight but still weak. The crowd dispersed as the witch doctors went their own way back to their huts.
Only Nala, the female witch doctor, stayed with Kifu and helped him to his own house. He pushed open the wooden door to his house and stumbled inside. He looked around as the familiarity of his own home comforted him after his ordeal. His tomes lined the book shelves against the wall. His apothecary table sat in the corner. Newt’s tongues, dried mushrooms, and shrunken skulls were atop the desk. He left Nala’s side and made his way to his straw-filled bed. Yearning for rest, Kifu’s eyes shut as soon as his body hit the bed.
“Rest now Kifu. I will see you tomorrow,” Nala whispered as she left Kifu’s hut. Nala had always felt like a mother to Kifu. Despite Kifu being fifty-five years in age, she still mothered him. Being seventy-two herself, she had spent most of Kifu’s life training and mentoring him. As a child, Kifu expressed skills necessary to become a witch doctor and Nala helped nurture those natural abilities. Being one of the oldest members of the tribe and the council, her ashy skin, wrinkled face, and short stout appearance reflected her age. However, with this age came respect and wisdom. Many villagers often sought advice from her, her words often soothing and comforting their concerns. Nala walked back to her own hut to rest. Going into this ghost world took a physical toll on anyone’s body, often aging them beyond their physical age.
A new day approached as many of the witch doctors awoke with renewed vigor. Many of the villagers were eager as they headed the council hall, waiting for the news the witch doctors had to share. Kifu awoke after sleeping for over twenty-four hours. He rubbed his eyes as his world came back into focus. His arms slumped over on either side of his bed as he laid there; thinking about what had transpired the day before. Flashes shot through his mind, separate images that painted a whole. Kifu forced himself up and left his house. He made his way to Nala’s hut; he needed to talk to her about what had happened.
“Come in Kifu,” Nala announced from within her hut before Kifu cold even knock on her door.
“How did you know it was me?” Kifu asked as he entered her hut. Red and purple drapes hung from the windows changing the hue of the sunlight. Melted wax dripped from the candles that lit her home. Kifu walked in and sat on the floor by Nala, looking up at her for guidance.
“I knew you would be coming before the council meeting,” Nala replied to Kifu as she rested a hand onto his shoulder. “Please, tell me what you saw.”
Kifu lowered his head and closed his eyes. His right hand moved to his forehead. “It was horrible,” Kifu got out. He paused for a moment trying to remember all of the images he saw. He began cracking his knuckles as he had always done when nervous.
“It is okay Kifu,” Nala said as she reached out and held Kifu’s hands still.
“Sanctuary is in trouble. Foes from both the High Heavens and the Burning Hell were colliding in our world; their battles destroying all life around them. A wake of death was all that was left once they left.” Kifu raised his head and looked to Nala. His eyes began to water as a tear fell down his face. “It was the worse vision I have ever seen.”
“Kifu, you must tell the others,” Nala suggested to Kifu knowing his hesitance to do so.
“But…What if…” Kifu stammered.
“Do not worry about the past Kifu. If you cannot look passed what happened, how do you expect others to?”
“I do not know Nala. If I am wrong… if these visions are inaccurate.” Kifu’s voice reflected the concern he had about his own visions.
“They were the visions you saw Kifu. You cannot keep them to yourself. You must have confidence in yourself.” Nala got down onto her knees on the floor next to Kifu and embraced him in a hug. “You must do this,” she whispered into his ear. The two stood up and looked at each other for a moment. The two did not have to speak to know what each other was thinking. Nala had always had a way to make Kifu feel better. The two left her home and headed for the council meeting.
Kifu and Nala entered the center. The stadium was filled with every villager; a loud murmur could be heard as they talked amongst themselves, rumors flying rampant about what the witch doctors had seen. Kifu looked ahead to the council members’ seating. A tall marble wall separated them from the rest of the citizens. Five golden chairs lined the top of the wall. On the far left sat Kifu and Nala’s chairs awaiting them. To the right were Ewuri and Karif. Ewuri was the eldest of all of the witch doctors. While the rightful heir to be the chief, a mutual decision was made to bypass his right. Standing a mere four feet and nine inches tall, the curve of his back only shortened him more. A wispy beard fell from his chin down to his concave belly. Only a strand of white hair around the back of his head remained on the otherwise bald man. Years of experimental usage of herbs and plants had left Ewuri in a state of eccentricity. Many claimed him to be mad but there was no doubting his abilities to traverse the ghost world. In the center sat Jkari, the village’s chief. Well respected, Jkari was sixty-years old. He had spent his life preparing for his role both as a witch doctor and the chief. His abilities as a witch doctor were only matched by his wisdom. Completely bald, the man’s body showed signs of weakening strength in his age. Despite this, he was still a fierce warrior, needed in the turbulent Torajan Jungles. To his left sat Karif, Kifu’s long-time rival. Younger than most witch doctors, Karif’s made sure his body did not succumb to the withering state of most witch doctors. Tall, muscular, and warring man at heart, Karif often lead the expeditions to the neighboring tribes for sacrifices. He often saw himself as the next chief for their village and eagerly waited for his chance. He always stood while many sat, large golden snakes hung from his lobes and two bones pierced through his bottom lip. An ebony mohawk matched his darkened eyes.
Kifu and Nala both walked to the side of the marble wall and made their way up the staircase behind it. Kifu looked upon the audience, weary of what he was about to say. As the two sat in their chairs, the chief quieted the crowd. He stood up and rose out his wand; the crowd fell silent instantly.
“People of the Five Hills,” Jkari spoke in a confident tone, “we have seen what is to come. We head into a prosperous time for our Tribe.” His voice carried over the entire audience as everyone listened closely.
“I have seen the warriors of the Clan of the Seven Stones fall beneath our feet” Karif interrupted. He pounded his chest as his loyal warriors shouted out, “Hraahh”. The simultaneous pounding echoed throughout the stadium. “The heathens dare to enter our grounds and try to make sacrifices out of us?” Kiraf turned his head and spit down onto the floor. “We will have a bounty of their heads by the end.”
Just as Kiraf was calming back down, Nala looked over at Kifu, “Now Kifu. Tell them what you saw.”
“I will wait until Kiraf is done,” Kifu muttered out as he looked out at the hundreds of people gathered around them.
“No, now is the time Kifu.” Nala stood up and spoke, “Excuse me Kiraf, Kifu has something to say.”
“Pshh, having your mom standing up for you again Kifu,” Kiraf replied looking past Nala at Kifu.
“Silence Kiraf,” Jkari interrupted, “let Kifu talk.” The Chief was just as eager to hear what he had to say as anyone. Karif dared not disobey Jkari’s orders. He turned his back to Nala and Kifu and held his tongue.
“Go ahead,” Nala encouraged Kifu. She took his arm and raised him from his seat. She sat back down in her chair waiting for Kifu to tell of his visions. Kifu stood for a minute not saying a word. The eyes of the entire village now rested upon him. He imagined in his head the reactions to what he was about to say.
“Com’on” Kiraf yelled out angered by his interruption.
“I…I…” was all Kifu could get out. He began fidgeting with his hands cracking his knuckles one-by-one.
“Kifu. Just speak of what you saw. They were your visions and yours only. You must tell everyone of what you saw.” Her words strengthened Kifu’s resolve.
After looking back at Nala, Kifu turned to the crowd with his head held high. “I have seen a horrible thing,” Kifu started with. “Our lives are in danger. Not just our lives but the lives of every last being on Sanctuary.” The crowd listened on as Kifu explained his visions. “I saw both the Heavens and Hell open up in Sanctuary. Savage beasts roamed our lands killing every human they came across. Acts of inhumanity unlike any I could even describe. Blood and carnage sweep through Sanctuary. But these foul beasts are not alone. Ethereal angels from above have come down to strikeout these beasts. But they are not here to protect us. They show little mercy towards humans. They will kill anyone who stands between them and their goal to vanquish the demonic presence. Neither side cares about their victims, be they woman or child. Their war will ravish our world. Entire cities will collapse from the carnage of both sides. Lightning will strike down to the earth as fires burn towards the skies. Every last being on Sanctuary will be destroyed by the demons of Hell and the angels of the Heavens.”
The crowd stood motionless taking in what Kifu had just said until Kiraf jumped back in. “Ha, demons and angels. Sounds like another one of your damned fairy tales Kifu. Are we really supposed to believe this drivel?” Kiraf shouted out to the crowd.
“Hehehe” Ewuri chuckled out. He fell out of his chair as he rolled on the floor holding his side. “Haha. Angles and demons? Coming to Sanctuary? What is next? Killer halberd-wielding bovine. Haha. I have seen no such visions in all my journeys in the Mbwiru Eikura. Yet you, hehehe, see the destruction of the entire world.” Ewuri continued as he tried to regain himself in front of the chief.
“Hah” Kiraf added spurred on by the crazy elder, insulting Kifu’s credibility.
“I am telling you what I saw,” Kifu said trying to regain control of the crowd. The laughter had infected much of the crowd as disbelief in his story grew. Kifu wanted desperately for his people to believe him but his efforts were proving to be useless. The Chief sat silently; taking in both what Kifu had to say as well as the villagers’ reactions.
“Silence,” Nala yelled in her raspy voice. She stood staring at the crowd saying nothing else. “Continue Kifu.”
“I speak only of what I saw,” Kifu continued attempting to talk over the crowd. “We must take action. If we do not, all life as we know it will cease to exist. We must take action,” Kifu repeated.
“And what do you propose we do Kifu?” the Chief asked questioning Kifu’s convictions in his visions.
“We must leave these jungle walls. We have remained hidden from the rest of the world but now is our time to emerge. Now, when Sanctuary needs us,” Kifu shouted out to the people around him. He knew this would not be an easy sell to the villagers who have lived in the Torajan Jungles their whole life. Their parents and their parents, for centuries these people have lived hidden within the jungle’s embrace.
“Uh, this again,” Kiraf snarled. “Are we going to fall for another one of Kifu’s stories?”
Before Kiraf could continue his rant, Jkari spoke up. “And just how many warriors would you need?” he asked Kifu showing no sign of agreement or disapproval of the idea. Jkari was a great leader because of his abilities to be level-headed and fully think out every situation before reacting.
“At least thirty of our strongest warriors and witch doctors. I have seen the carnage of these beasts and the battle will not be won easily,” Kifu replied.
“No!” Kiraf shouted as he jumped to the ground from their pedestal; his feet pounding into the dirt beneath him.
“Whoo hoo hoo. Thirty warriors out into Sanctuary. Killing demons and angels. Hahaha.”
“Shut your mouth Ewuri,” Kiraf shouted as he looked back up at the crazed man. Now fueled by his anger, Kiraf addressed both the crowd and the Chief from the stadium floor. He walked over to his warriors, pacing back and forth in front of them. “Do you not remember the last time we fell for one of Kifu’s visions? He had foreseen the attack of the Tribe of the Clouded Valley. He claimed they would be attacking from the water’s front. We sent our strongest warriors to the river only to find nothing.” He continued his speech as he inspected his soldiers. He knocked against their wooden shields; he rose up their stoned daggers. He then looked back up to Kifu. “Then they attacked from the North, they killed dozens of our clan. Before we had time to react, they had already taken out two of our outposts and gained five warriors for their sacrifices. All because of him!” he finished as he pointed directly at Kifu above with a dagger from one of his soldiers.
Nala sat beside Kifu as she watched him being blamed for causing the deaths of many warriors and witch doctors because of his last vision he shared. She wanted so much to come to his defense but she knew that this was something Kifu had to handle on his own if he were to ever get past this. She sat there silently, only offering Kifu a smile and her presence by his side.
“I know… I know what happened before,” Kifu let out under his breath. His head hung low as he closed his eyes. He could hear the crowd’s disapproval. First whispers, than booing, the crowd was reminded of Kifu’s fatal mistake and their lack of renewed trust flowed through the stadium. As he stood their taking in the crowd’s criticisms, he felt Nala grab his hand. He opened his eyes and looked at her. Her kind face was all Kifu needed to be reinvigorated.
“It is true; my hands are stained with the deaths of all of those who died that day. It is something that I must live with every day and night. Their souls weigh heavily on me and I carry them with me everywhere I go. I see the faces of those who died every time I step into the Mbwiru Eikura. But this is no reason to turn our backs now. These visions, the ones that only I have seen have foretold of the end of Sanctuary. This is bigger than me, bigger than us, bigger than all of the tribes and clans that reside in these Torajan Jungles. The fate of all humanity now rest with us. Can we really deny this calling because of my mistake? I cannot let that happen again. I will not let innocent people die because of my negligence. I plead you; think of what is at stake here. We must sacrifice our own needs for the good of Sanctuary.”
“Enough of this tripe, we have heard your woes long enough Kifu,” Kiraf shouted up from the stadium floor. “What say you?” he asked to the audience, enticing them once more.
Now fueled by his own convictions, Kifu looks down upon Kiraf addressing him. “Kiraf, please, do not let your hatred for me damn all of Sanctuary.”
“Sanctuary’s blood will not rest upon my hands. Only the blood of the Tribe of the Seven Stones,” Kiraf snarled back.
“Damn it Kiraf. Your ignorance had blinded you. You and your legion are all you care for.” Kifu’s voice rose as he tried to get his message through to Kiraf. “These battles do not matter. Your army does not matter. Sanctuary and all life as we know it, that is the only thing that matters now. You must look past yourself and realize--”
“You know nothing old man. Your brain is as gone as Ewuri’s,” Kiraf retorted.
“Kifu. Kiraf. Silence,” the Chief commanded from above. “We have heard Kifu. We know your opinion Kiraf. Nala,” he spoke as he turned to his right, “what is your stance?”
“I trust in Kifu and I trust in what he saw. I think we should allow him to lead a group of warriors and witch doctors outside of the jungle walls and investigate what is going on in the rest of Sanctuary.”
“And you Ewuri, what is your take?” he asked the crazed witch doctor.
Before saying a word, Ewuri reached into his loin cloth. After searching for a bit, he pulled out a handful of purple-hued dust. In a sweeping motion, he released the dust into the air and watched as it fell through the wind. Lurching over the edge of the wall to follow the dust’s movement, he lost his balance and fell; his head breaking the fall. “Hehe. No way,” he replied abruptly looking at the chief upside-down.
The four council members and the entire audience froze as they waited to hear Jkari’s final decision. He sat in his chair; he looked up as if staring into the stars. For minutes nobody spoke. “I am sorry Kifu,” he started as he looked at him, “I cannot chance another mistake. We must focus on the battle at hand. We have seen the Tribe of the Seven Stones approaching. In order to ensure our victory, we must have all of our warriors and witch doctors. We cannot afford another defeat.” Jkari finished as he stood up and held his arms up in the air. However, before he could conclude the meeting, the distant sounds of war drums began beating; the entire stadium listened intently.
“Nice call Kifu. Just imagine if we had sent you off with our strongest warriors right now,” Kiraf replied smugly. Before waiting for the Chief’s command, Karif summoned his warriors as they marched behind him, leaving the stadium.
“Everyone, prepare yourselves. The Tribe of the Seven Stones are here,” Jkari announced as he looked at Kifu with a sign of disappointment. He vacated his seat and jumped down the stairs.
“Now is not the time to worry Kifu. We must get ready,” Nala acknowledge before heading down the stairs herself.
Kifu remained atop the wall; he looked at the emptying stadium. Everyone had left; his efforts worthless. Slowly, he made his way off of the wall and headed for his hut.
Upon entering his hut, Kifu stared at the wall in front of him. On the bamboo surface hung a wooden mask. Purple and green feathers adorned the top of the ornate mask while an alabaster tongue spilled out from the gapping mouth. Ivory horns jutted from both sides, twisted to a razors point. He raised the voodoo mask from its hooks and turned it around. He stared through the two holes as he slowly placed it upon his face. While much of the witch doctor’s powers were traced through their ability to enter the unformed land, in the physical world their masks struck fear in their adversaries. Kifu finished gathering his armory for battle. His ivory boned claws that protected his arms and legs were tied on with durable grass roots and bounded together with wooden planks. A string of shrunken heads was held in his left hand while an azure-glowing dagger was wielded in his right.
Kifu left his hut to see many of the other village’s witch doctors and warriors run towards the north side of town. They disappeared into the dense wall of kapok trees. The remaining villagers gathered their families and secured their doors and windows shut. Kifu looked around and all he could think was how this was all trivial compared to the destruction he foresaw. No matter, Kifu had to join the fight. As one of the council members, his presence was just as required as Kiraf’s was during battle. He had to forget his own convictions for the time being. He knew the attack was coming to Sanctuary but he did not know when. Right now, his village was under attack, he could not let his own worries stop him from protecting his tribe. He charged into the lush jungle shouting out an ear-screeching war cry.
Through the thick stalks of the tree trunks, Kifu could see a few members of the Seven Stones. Much darker in appearance than most of the Five Hills members, their ebony skin contrasted the shiny bronze armor they wore around their arms and legs. A brutal tribe, they were out for blood just as much as the Five Hills were. Both sides were eager for sacrifices from this battleground.
“Shouldn’t you be off killing demons,” Kifu heard from his right. He surveyed the area and saw Kiraf shouting at him as he bashed a member of the Seven Stones in the face with his wooden shield. The man fell to his feet and Kiraf made quick work of digging his poison-laced deep into the man’s chest.
“Kiraf, the protection of our tribe is all I care for. What do you not understand about that? Anything that poses a threat to our tribe will die by my efforts.”
“Prove it,” was all Kiraf replied as he continued his march against the enemy. His army right behind him as they pushed their way through the first invaders.
Kifu stood for a moment reflecting on the battle at hand. He knew a greater threat lay on the horizon but he could not think about that now. His people needed him now and that was where his focus was needed. However, before Kifu could even focus on the battle he felt a strong force pushing him to the ground. A hound, covered in flesh with no skin attached had Kifu pinned to the ground. His snarling jaws snapped as it attempted to bite and lacerate the witch doctor. Kifu did his best to hold off the beast with his hands and arms. The zombie dog sunk his teeth deep into Kifu’s arm breaking through the bone-laced armor and into his skin.
“Aghh!” Kifu let out as he felt the beast’s teeth tearing into him. Kifu braced his right leg against the dog’s gut and pushed out as hard as he could. The zombie dog flew back ten feet but landed on his feet as his body slid across the jungle floor. Kifu hopped up to his feet as fast as he could to regain some control. He held his arm, inspecting it to make sure there was no serious damage done.
Kifu looked at the dog through his voodoo mask and made direct eye contact with the beast. As he remained focused on the dog, an apparition appeared behind him. Perhaps the soul of a once great witch doctor, the figure adorned a terrifying mask as he flailed left and right screaming. The dog, turned and ran away whimpering like a lost puppy.
After disbursing of the zombie dog, Kifu turned his attention to its master. A gaunt man stood on the edge of a protruding rock. His arms were raised in the air as he attempted to call upon another one of the undead to do his bidding. Before he had the chance, Kifu opened his mouth. From the mask’s mouth, a swarm of locust spewed forth. A faint drab green glow followed their path. Headed right for their victim, the man became consumed by the locusts. Their humming masked any sounds the man may have been screaming. As they flew away, only the man’s bones remained on the ground.
Kifu looked for his next target when he saw Nala in the midst of a struggle against three other men. Before Kifu could even react, Nala had reached into a satchel and retrieved a vial. She threw it to the floor, the glass shattering. Within seconds, the men began sniffing the air as the toxic aroma spread through the area. Their focus soon turned to each other as their swords and shields clanged against one another. One stabbed his fellow tribesman in the neck ending his life. The other two continued their assault against one another as Nala fled the area.
Nala gathered with Kifu as the two witnessed the slaughter going on around them. In the distance, horrific cries could be heard but the foliage was obstructing any path of vision. The sound of trees cracking added to the disturbance as the forest began falling down. All of the warriors and witch doctors stopped in their battle as they watched in the forest walls caving in.
As the forest parted, a burning glow could be seen at a distance from a crack on the earth. A vile putrid smell replaced the freshness in the jungle air. Creatures began emerging from the pit, crawling up the edges of the wall and onto Sanctuary. The first to release themselves upon the world were creatures with crimson skin. Short in stature, their snouts rounded like a mouse but they walked on their hind legs like a human. Wielding clubs with twisted bits of metal protruding out, the demons began the first wave of attacks on the jungle inhabitants.
“Kifu,” was all Nala could get out. They looked at each other knowing the inevitable. Then Kifu’s glance turned towards Kiraf.
“This…This must be some new form of magic from the Seven Stones. Yes…They must have found a way to call beings from beyond the dead” Kiraf shouted at Kifu, still un-giving in his stance on the matter.
“Then why do they attack them,” Kifu shouted back. He pointed to the first victim of the rancid monsters. They attacked with no mercy breaking bone from limb and biting flesh from bone. They watched as a man from the Seven Stones clans was ravished by the demon.
“I do not know but now is not the time for discussion. Now is the time for action.” Kiraf pulled off a skull hanging from his belt. As he held it in his hand, a flame erupted from within the head. He hurled it towards the red-skinned demons. When the skull met the ground, an eruption of fire lifted upwards burning all those near it. “Come on Kifu. Make yourself useful. This is the fight you wanted was it not.”
With those words, Kifu knew Kiraf had acknowledged the seriousness of this battle. Kifu turned his mask towards a group of the foul denizens of hell. They clamored and screeched, their patterns showing a sign of weak intelligence and skittishness. Kifu released a group of toads that hopped towards the small creatures. Slightly curious, one of the monsters bashed a toad with his club. While thinking he had defeated the small animal, a putrid green ichor erupted from its corpse and spilled onto the impish demon. His skin began to boil as the acid eroded away at his body. Soon, nothing, not even bone, remained of the creature.
After a wave of these demons came a much grander demon. Monsters that were part man and part goat emerged from the crevasse. Their hooves beat against the ground as they charged the witch doctors. Their hardened auburn horns jutted from their heads; they lowered them in their stampede. One of the goatmen’s head collided with Kifu’s mask knocking it off his head. The beast then changed his target to Nala. He charged at her, his hooves digging deep into the dirt with each step. Right as his horns were about to pierce Nala’s abdomen, she disappeared from the physical world. A ghostly shape of Nala could be seen as the demon ran right through where she once stood. His head crashed into a tree in the jungle dazing him for a second. While dazed, Nala re-emerged into the physical world and launched a barrage of ghostly apparitions toward her assailants. The spirits passed through his body over and over again until the very life drained out of him, his body collapsing to the ground.
“We must work together,” the chief commanded as everyone continued to fight for their survival. “Tribe of the Five Hills. Clan of the Seven Stones. We now must fight together to brave these creatures. I know not where they came from but we must send them back.” Jkari looked at Kifu with shame in his eyes. “I am sorry Kifu,” he spoke.
“It does not matter who was right or wrong now,” he exclaimed looking at not only the chief and Kiraf but everyone who doubted him. “We now know the enemy that faces us and all of Sanctuary. We must sacrifice everything to make sure this scourge does not leave these jungle walls.”
Right when the witch doctors and warriors from both tribes were about to retaliate, the sky cracked open. A bolt of light shot down towards the earth. The ground shattered upon its impact taking dozens of the demons with it.
“Enough vermin” an angelic figure bellowed out. He drifted down from the skies, wings of glowing amber wrapped around the figure. Without any hesitation, the being struck down, one after another with the bolts of lightning. They struck the ground leaving small craters where they impacted. Any being, demon or human was instantly torn from the world.
“Hehehe. Looks like Kifu was right,” Ewuri chuckled out as he danced around the attacks of the angelic being.
“Not now,” Kiraf yelled at the fool. “We must retreat. We have no chance of defeating this foe.” Kiraf looked around as his army was falling. Both demon and angel were ravaging through them like leaves on a tree.
“Agreed,” the chief admitted. “We must abandon this battle.” The chief struggled to collect his tribe for escape. Their numbers were falling fast and the complete chaos made it impossible to communicate beyond arm’s reach.
“And where do you think you are going,” the angel let out in a menacing tone. “You think I came here just for these vile creatures. I would much rather see your blood then theirs.” The angel set his sight on the group of humans. He dove into the group, his sword slashing back and forth. Disbursing, Kifu found himself separated from the rest of the group. The sky tore open again as cracks of lightning shot down upon the rest of the group. Kifu watched in agony as everyone he knew was killed. The chief, Ewuri, Kiraf, and Nala were now a part of the unformed land. His only solace was he knew would still be able to feel their presence given the chance to enter the Mbwiru Eikura once again. The same way that he had talked to many of the people in his life that were no longer in the physical realm.
The angel was busy eliminating the rest of the beasts that emerged from the ground and lost track of Kifu. Lost in the thralls of battle, Kifu was able to escape and run into the dense jungle, free from the angel’s sight from above. He ran as far as his heart would allow him. His chest burned with each breath of air he attempted to get. Without looking back once, Kifu had made it to the jungle’s edge. A clearing of lush grass replaced the tree-laden ground.
Kifu felt he was no longer in immediate danger from the monstrosities and paused for a moment. He now looked back at the jungle. His friends, his tribe, his home, they were all behind him now. Never had he been so far away from all that he held dear. He thought about Nala again. He knew that he would never feel her comfort again. He would have to brave this new journey without her. He then looked back forward at the expanding horizon. He knew what his future now held for him. A future he foresaw many days ago and was now becoming his reality.
Kifu sat on the edge of the dock cracking his knuckles waiting for the next boat to ship him across the river. He sat reflecting about the past few days and how his life had changed. He was now out in the world, away from the comfort of his jungle walls. Now, the fate of Sanctuary rested upon him. The desert winds beat against his dry skin until a shadow released him from the sun’s grasp. Kifu looked up at a statuesque man standing in front of him. His muscles looked as if they were about to tear through the man’s skin. Blue war paint wrapped around the man’s face and arms as two enormous axes sat against his back. A long white mane flowed from both the top of his head and his jaw.
“Where ya headed,” the man grunted.
“New Tristram,” Kifu answered.
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Having bad grammar should increase the readability of a story. Yours does the opposite and makes it harder to read.
That's illogical. Grammar was essentially created in the mid fifteenth century to make language easier for readers (this came with the invention of the printing press). The only major problem I read in the first paragraph was one tense confusion (sit vs. sat).
(“Shouldn’t you be off killing demons,” Kifu heard from his right. He surveyed the area and saw Kiraf shouting at him as bashed a member of the Seven Stones in the face with his wooden shield. The man fell to his feet and Kiraf made quick work of digging his poison-laced dagger deep into the man’s chest.) *** I think your missing "he" in between 'as' and 'bashed' ***
("His people needed him now and that was where is focus was needed".)
*** I think 'is' was suppose to be 'his' ***
A 'crevasse' is usually associated with ice but since this is fantasy I'll let that one slide
Other than that this is a great story.
At first I thought "Too long; not gonna read it". But then I thought "F*@# it". And I'm glad I changed my mind
I just completed reading through the whole story and I like it.
There was one or two parts that gave me a slight indication of "chills" while reading, which is obviously a good thing. I really like that you highlighted the fact that angels in Sanctury isn't necessarily the "good guys".
"“Sancturay’s blood will not rest upon my hands. Only the blood of the Tribe of the Seven Stones,” Kiraf snarled back."