A Silent Protagonist

 

 

None of the huts except maybe the temple are really big enough for much of an echo.

Also whats a sail?

As for builders, kind of? Not exactly our specialty, though getting there with all this practice on the temple construction. Also I’m not quite sure what you want with this under water basket weaving thing, I can just put a basket in the water if that’s what you want?

Greetings Chief Chants. With Sawiri, Alihana, and Hamona all away, I shall take over the solemn task of keeping you up to date with the affairs of the clan. The skeleton has finished removing what it can, so some of the larger masses of unnecessary decay have been extracted. Though the smaller rot within the water still lurks deep within the ground beneath the waters. Placed within by the disturbance of the soil amidst the digging claws of the beast.

Alihana and Sawiri have taken to the deeper woods along the north to pursue the many legged witch that haunts the waterfall. After a brief encounter her attacks seemed to have ceased. It is not yet clear if she has fled the area of or if she lurks for new opportunities. Though she seems apprehensive of another engagement with the siblings. She has no weapons that can hurt Sawiri within his shadowed shell and no way to protect herself from Alihana. Not to mention for raw power she has been struggling to contend with Alauna’i and her many heads. Nihaul has returned to the area though Alihana displayed a particular disinterest in him, almost to the point of mildly insulting him though he has taken the opportunity to recover while the hunt goes on for the spider. Kuari was found, or more accurately he found us, he has returned to Auwana in need of guidance to find his way back. Apparently he flew off after being captured but got lost among the thick jungle and decided to just come back here to the island since that was an easy landmark to see. The bone collector sent with them has been found torn apart by the local wild life. Tupai lost a thrall, and Necatztlai is suffering the effects of either poison or venom. Whether this is the work of the spider or just the jungle is unknown. The missing drider of Huanacan was found during the vanguard’s expedition. She has been sent back to Auwana for the monsters to deal with.

Master Rohaka has been managing the apprentices. Two more of which have fallen. The meat and bones collected have been valuable though. Even if some if it were once theirs.

 

Coszacatl and her daughters have gone southward to begin establishing a landing area for the gryphons. Though given their makeup, they had the gryphons just drop them off onto the canopy from the air. So at least they didn’t take too long to get there. The natural repulsion the oozes create for the native monsters has left them with little issue while they work on clearing away a space. We have indeed confirmed that nothing hunts the oozes for food. While there were two attacks from creatures that might be able to eat oozes, or perhaps just territorial beasts, Coszacatl is still one of the greater monsters we’ve encountered. So she won those exchanges.

 

Uyitzan made it northward and found a river. Also a lot more trees, similar to our home woods instead of this absurd jungle. Also the trees get a bit pointier, like the one forming a ring around the island. Also a lot of snow.

Mairana has made it back thanks to the help of the vanguard. She is…reasonably traumatized I would say. Apparently she spent her time away from us crawling around the canopy hiding from everything and one of her legs was bitten off while another snapped off from a different attack. She’s currently curled up in her hut sulking.

Kennae managed to find the Great Stalker finally, and it was surprisingly talkative…and unsurprisingly obnoxiously stealthy. It learned of our clan from Kennae but would then disappear mid-conversation to who-knows-where. It appears to be fairly intelligent and old. Despite its known territory, apparently it knows the entire jungle and has traveled across the entire place. Which might make it hard to track down again. Though it was considered a diplomatic success since no fighting took place if you don’t count Kennae jumping onto its back after luring it out with bait. It was the size of Uyitzan if he didn’t have that humanoid torso. So…sufficiently large for an ambush predator.

As for myself, I am not doing anything. I just help the vanguard or other warriors train here around the village until told otherwise.

Not sure about that one, that is more the line of thinking I would expect of Alihana. For the shamans, its best to work with the way things work rather than try to manipulate them too much.

 

I’m not sure what makes people think I’m so old. Though I suppose I have been around longer than most. As for this Oldest Man story, I still don’t know what to make of that. It seems obvious that they are in some way related to the King of Crows, though the only source of information about their existence comes from Kaya. Who may not be the most reliable source of information.

I ceased to be a warrior when my father passed and the role of Chieftain fell to me. To be fair I never really was a warrior, not like Ka’oana or Wehilani who constantly focus on it. I just happened to be very large, and in most fights that is enough to make the difference. I’ve always been more focused on my role as a shaman. Though that has had its advantages too. Though I have never trained beyond the basics of the spear.

As for the lightning, a learned trick. Koamalu can also do it, though no one else in the clan has learned such ways. It stems from a deeper level of understanding of shamanism.

Mediums are those who allow themselves to become possessed by spirits. It is a dangerous territory, as it cannot always be undone by the medium if the spirit decides to stay. Alauna’i is a prime example of what can go wrong if the path is pursued. Though she is lucky enough to retain any semblance of who she is.

As for the tribe, I consider it to be going fairly well. At least for our foundation, we have six clans and the tribe as a whole can contend with any single clan we have encountered thus far for it. Only the Akoa and Xiomac could pose much threat to us here in the jungle. The Akoa only by nature of their control over the jungle, and Xiomac is another kind of threat. We do not know the full extent of his influence or capabilities. Though I wonder how the Travelers are doing with the elves they took with them to the north, as Auwana still has much room to host more if we find any willing and interested in following with us. The queen of the Chanai is still loose, and the northern tribe awaits us as well. Not to mention we have learned the extent a creature like Xiomac or the King of Crows can spread their work. While my goal isn’t necessarily to create the biggest tribe, the benefits of being larger are still clear. Mostly in the acquisition of new and unique skills each clan can bring.

Also it appears we are here.

 So it really is you, I am mildly surprised to see you leave the plains. You never seemed one for traveling.

 

 

When the ground moves beneath your feet, you tend to follow. You seem familiar…

 

When I was young, my teacher and I came to a battlefield where you had fought the orc clan. I am a healer.

 

That does sound familiar. Though it is still a fuzzy memory for me. I heard you requested my presence.

 

A mixture of curiosity and a fact that you’re the least likely to try to kill me upon meeting me.

Anyways…Mor…as for your questions. The demon druids are a creation of Xiomac’s for the purpose of getting to the Archdruid. Who we don’t know if they even exist. The first one was to create a kindred spirit, another demon druid who the Lifeweaver might take an interest in meeting and revealing herself to. After that failed, it then became a matter of force. You will notice they are generally left to dwell in different corners of the jungle, expanding their range of perception to see if they can find the arch-druid while also trying to bait her out. I have no idea where Xiomac keeps getting demons from though. So the demon druids work for Xiomac, the biggest demon druid does not.

As for myself, I am merely on a quest for revenge that happens to line up with a mission for the King.

Whether or not your magic is like mine, I have no idea. I have never met anyone else with anything close to my own abilities, so I don’t have much to compare against. Though our abilities seem quite different to me. You interact with something more ethereal, an essence of magic and life. I interact with something you can touch and taste.

As for Xiomac’s abilities, if he sees magic in use enough times then he can replicate it. It is more accurate to say he has a deep understanding of magic itself and knows what to look for when studying someone else’s. Simply by learning what is possible, he finds ways to make it happen again. I have no idea how he can learn magic that is often hereditary though.

I am about ninety seasons since my birth.

As for the other crows, there are nine in the jungle including myself. Ten if you count the King, though he comes and goes. He’s here now though but is likely just visiting one of the others or perhaps finding a new initiate. I’m not entirely sure what he’s doing.

I have a feeling had we decided to attack you, “here” would be a lot less broad.

 

He doesn’t like to interfere, or more so its not worth his time. If I complete my mission, then maybe I’ll move up the totem pole. Though there are only three individuals he would actively aid.

You seem to know more about the crow folk than even other crow folk.

 

I negotiated my terms for the ritual very carefully, unlike the rest who grab madly for power. After Xiomac is dead, I am released from all but the final oath.

Which is?

 

Not for an outsider to know.

 

It wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with the empire to the east and a massive army of crow-folk would it?

 

I have no idea whats to the east beyond the plains. As for people I want killed, no. With the exception of Xiomac all my enemies lay dead. His followers are someone else’s problem. As for killing Mikaere, good luck with that.

As for my contract with the king, I am like you I supposed. Bound to a single objective. No he does not control us directly, though if he orders we are inclined to obey. The power he grants can be taken back. Though it usually requires the death of whoever holds it. I’ll let you figure that one out. This is also why different factions of crow folk hunt each other in some parts of the world, more valuable fodder for the rituals.

As for the cannibals, the ritual they perform is obviously a crow thing if slightly augmented. The cannibalism is not. The real ritual is only known to a few, others are just making wild guesses at what its about and the King does nothing to correct them as long as the ritual’s overall needs are met. The cannibals just tended to kill a lot in the process of beating people down for the ritual to be conducted. Can’t have your sacrifice running away. Also they are just weird. Though in general, the ritual is very simple, people just keep adding flavor to it. There is a reason people keep figuring out how to do it on accident.

I am still curious about the Archdruid, or the so called Lifeweaver.  Do you know if they are actually crow-folk like yourself? Or if they made the jungle into a massive ritual circle?

That right there is the only evidence they even exist. The jungle is definitely a colossal ritual circle but no one knows who made it or what its supposed to do. Everyone who tries to study it by finding all of its key edges to discern the spell goes mysteriously missing. Perhaps not so mysteriously given how hostile this jungle is, but there is still a pattern that no one ever finishes figuring it out. I have found two of the key edges, and made a point of not looking at them too closely. Xiomac is the only one who knows where all of the key points are and what it does. Each of Xiomac’s demon druids are living near the key edges, I think the only reason he gets to live to tell the tale is he’s hunting the hunter. Which tells me the archdruid might be just a tale growing in the telling if they can’t deal with the floating eyeball. Still not my business to mess with though. I’m killing Xiomac and getting the fuck out of this green hell. Don’t need to get wrapped up in this whole other mystery.

 

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