Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beware of Faerunians Bearing Gifts

Takto surveyed the grisly scene, the bodies of the invaders lay sprawled around the jungle floor. Two of his fellow Jaguar warriors were playing an impromptu game of tlachtli, kicking a severed head back and forth between them. His younger cousin, Loktil, a fierce warrior in his own right, was investigating the invaders' booty. These men had crossed the great sea, coming from the east and had fared poorly here in the lush jungles of his land. It was assumed these men and women meant to conquer his people's lands, and as leader of the mighty Jaguar warriors, Takto would not allow that. They had crept upon the invaders while they camped, and then swiftly killed them all.
Loktil straightened up from ransacking the pickings, holding a crescent shaped, stringed instrument. He looked over at his older cousin, smiled and then plucked one of the strings. A painful, discordant note filled the air and immediately the two warriors who had been playing the game, swore at each other and clawed at their weapons; savage, wooden swords with chips of obsidion forming serrated teeth along the edges. The first one to get his weapon readied swung it in a viscious arc, slicing into his companion's side with a meaty thwack. The victim, seemingly ignorant of the mortal wound, retaliated. His sword smacked into his attacker's head, mostly with the flat of the heavy wooden blade. Loktil looked on in confusion as Takto raced across the small clearing, yelling to the others to stop this madness. The first warrior to strike, shaking his head dazedly, pulled his weapon from his friend's body and raised it again to strike when Takto thrust himself between the two enraged warriors.
Takto, uncertain what had just happened, spoke calmly and quietly to the two warriors. The one with the moral blow had sunk to his knees by this time, his life running out in streams of red. The first warrior dropped his sword, his eyes clearing as realization dawned upon him. Takto turned and eased the dying warrior onto the ground as the fighter breathed his last. Takto looked up and over to his cousin, still holding the harp in slack hands. He swiftly ordered Loktil to replace the harp in it's container, the priests would know what to do with it. He then called into the surrounding jungle to bring the rest of the Jaguar party, who had been busy forming a perimeter and searching for any other survivors, to come in and clean up the debris. Takto and the warrior who had struck his companion down then formed a litter to carry the body.
As the strike team readied to head back to the city, Takto surveyed once again the clearing of death. These invaders, whoever they were, carried with them strange magics. Would his people be able to survive if these white men came in force?

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