Monthly Archives: July 2012
Soon they could hear the grunting tongue of faugs as the winged gibbon-faced beings glided from branch to branch and finally down to the ground near them. Despite Mirrortac’s reassurance, the roznoghs all regarded the faugs with anxious eyes. Fervik timidly poked his head out from between Mirrortac and Evarngar. There were six of the tall beings now facing them, their bead-like eyes subjecting the party to equal scrutiny while their green mouldy fur stunk like the greevuns of Yidrogh. Two of the faugs were carrying loaded bows with full quivers strapped to their backs. Their faces were grim and alert for any trouble.
One of the faugs stepped forward and grunted something towards the party of roznoghs. Mirrortac nodded, understanding the faug tongue, though taking a little extra time to decipher the older dialect. The faug repeated himself. ‘I say to you again, what be your place here at the borders of Skye?’
‘I shall be the only one to understand your tongue, faug-one,’ Mirrortac explained. ‘We come from the waste lands of Yidrogh at the bidding of the Sky master, Yidu, god to these people, the roznoghs. We shall be entering Skye.’
The faugs all looked suddenly alarmed and the one who was addressing them said, ‘You must reconsider! It be great silliness to enter into the weirdness of Skye. Turn your feet now before you be lost in foreverness!’
Mirrortac felt the press of roznogh minds querying him. ‘They do nought wish us to go into Skye. They be afraid for us,’ he translated before speaking again to the faugs. ‘We come at an invitation of the great Yidu. He will clear a path for us as this journey be of greatest import. We can nought be distracted in our path.’
The faug’s urgency was not appeased. ‘This Yidu invites only fools. He will play his game with you then destroy you, or worse, leave you to search in vain for him for the rest of time.’
Mirrortac was displeased at this news but had fully expected that his path would be thwarted. But there was no other option.
‘What you tell me may be truth but the task I am to do can nought be abandoned. There be e’en greater powers at my aid that shall see the completing of this task.’
Mirrortac prepared to move away but the armed faugs lifted their bows and pointed the weapons at the party with menace. The faug leader said, ‘We can nought allow you entry to Skye. If you do not turn back, the first arrow shall be your death, blue-fur.’
The hyfnuks tensed up and snarled back at the faugs. They had no concept of the archers’ weapons but interpreted the menacing body language as a threat to their lives. Evarngar immediately stepped in front of Ameece to shield her while Fervik stood quivering in fear behind them. To their astonishment, Mirrortac threw his head back and laughed loudly at the faugs. ‘Hah! If you knew of this erfin standing before you, you would nought be foolish. Do you believe these archers can stop Mirrortac! I have battled monster and demon many times your size and number. We shall nought be stopped!’
The faug leader flinched but remained resolute. ‘You speak impossible things blue-fur. It be nought my wish to kill you but it be far the better for you and your friends to die here then step foot into the madness of Skye.’ Then he pleaded again, ‘I beg of you to forget this foolishness and return to your Yidrogh. Even such bravery as yours will yield in Skye.’
Mirrortac dismissed the plea while the hyfnuks and elders watched on in tense silence, helpless to know the meanings of the words passing between the erfin and the faug.
‘You may see it as your duty to prevent our entry to Skye, but I warn you nought to try stopping us, as you shall regret the day you spurned the mighty Mirrortac!’
The erfin commanded his party to follow but the faugs immediately lifted their weapons to shoot. Mirrortac swung around and glared wildly at them. He lifted his hand towards them and shouted in the ancient maja tongue. ‘Manarg hib rushimba!’ Their arrows burst into spontaneous flame and melted in their hands, forcing them to abandon their weapons. The faugs were all terrified and fled. Their leader cursed the erfin over his shoulder as he negotiated a nearby tree. ‘We will let Yidu have his way with you and your pack of demons, cursed-one. Go to your madness with our curses behind you!’
In the days that followed, they made their way out of the swamp and onto a grassy plain where shrubs and small trees grew in small pockets of green. The once distant mountains now loomed larger, fingering out towards them with ridges of stone that sparkled in the sunlight. A long flat blanket of mist obscured the feet of the mountains. Mirrortac’s heart quickened as he recognised the landscape that Browagh had stumbled into at the beginning days. Before them lay a wide plain that led up to the verge of the mountain ridges. Numerous yellow flowers peeked up above waist-high grasses which were alive with the movements of scurrying small animals. They were all awed at the sight of the grasses, flowers, trees and the towering mountains. The Werdstone had become dark and lustreless yet remained warm in its protective hide covering.
After 12 days on the plain, they reached the edge of the great mist, and entered, as this was where the stream ended – in an untidy pile of boulders and stones many erfin-lengths high. Enfolded within the mist was a fir forest, which was the same as Ameece and Mirrortac had witnessed through the eyes of Browagh. The trees were twisted in exotic shapes and pine needles littered the ground where they walked. Water dripped from branches as the ever-present mist curled in drifts through the higher limbs. A pathway of rose quartz wove its straight way through the wood, again as in the vision, with the high stone ridges coming up to meet them on either side.
Daghva considered the forest with a suspicious sweep of his dark eyes. ‘There is menace afoot in this place,’ he said.
Karn kicked one of the trees hard, causing it to shudder and shower everyone near him in water and pine needles. His furry eye-brows rose as he looked up at the tree.
‘This wooded thing does nought yield with ease. I should have to kick it a few more times to bring it to ground.’
Rusk and Iyaji mocked their comrade with chortles, and Rusk said, ‘We shall have to wait here until Luma has left for the Underworld and has returned before you kick that tree down!’
Karn warmed to the dare. ‘I will have six of these wooded things kicked down before the two of you together have downed e’en one!’ he countered.
‘Huh!’ Iyaji laughed. ‘We will have 12 kicked down each while you are jumping around with a sore foot after kicking down your first!’
Karn grinned then waved his palm graciously at the tree. ‘Take your pleasure!’ he said, inviting them to start the contest.
Rusk took aim at the tree and ran up to it, throwing up his great foot as he leapt. The hyfnuk bounced off the tree and fell harmlessly to the ground. The tree shook for a few moments, sending another shower of water and pine needles down upon them. Karn laughed loudly. ‘I thought it was the tree that you were kicking down, not you!’
Mirrortac then experienced memories of three lives as females, each taking them further back into the ancestry of erfins. Strife was ever-present between the clans as they vied against one another, ruled then by powerful maja-taks who reigned through the use of strong spells. The lands were themselves rent with unrest and upheaval; mountains of fire brought terror and the Monsters-of-the-Deep-Earth rampaged and devastated the world. Finally, the moment of confirmation came as Mirrortac looked through the eyes of his second life as an Uzdree maja-tak whose name was Harka. The uzdree had settled in well wooded lands south of Yidrogh where the Great Numbness had divided the world. Harka experimented with new spells as did other maja-taks of the clan-race and there was competition between them. The rivalry, friendly at first, grew more intense as the maja-taks sought more freedom to exercise their newfound spells. The clan elders objected to the use of the new spells and arguments were heated. In a daring show of defiance, the maja-taks overthrew the clan elders and sent them and the clan-master into exile. Arguments broke out between the maja-taks on who should be leader and the Uzdree were split, forming the Urdin and the Madree. Relations between the two clan-races became frayed as the power game continued. The Madree finally gained control and formed into a powerful ruling clan-race which still ruled in Mirrortac’s third life as a female Madree called Loreel.