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VotD - Chapter 7A Strange Forest
Zhaili could hear the muffled voices of the giant beasts. Nharia moaned in pain, the sound made her sick to her stomach. She thought of the men, beating the beautiful creature. She ran towards the sunlight, anything to help her keep her mind off the horrific memory.
As she neared the mouth of the cave, the light became blinding. New sounds and smells buffeted her from every angle. The air smelled crisp and fresh, and she could not identify any of the bird calls she heard. As her eye's adjusted to the sunlight, she saw that the mouth of the cave was on the side of a rocky hill, and down below was a foreign jungle. The trees were sharp looking, pointed at the top, and they looked very dry. She saw tiny birds flitting from tree to tree, and strange insects with large transparent wings hummed around her. Overwhelmed with curiosity, she began lowering herself down the face of the hill, excitedly heading towards the trees to investigate.
Everything seemed darker, the shadows
VotD - Chapter 6Wounds too Deep to Heal
In a puddle of dragon blood, in the middle of a jungle sat a warrior princess. Her many tattoos boasted of her achievements. She was a strong fighter, a good comrade, and always fought with dignity and honor. All of that was in the past now. Tears streaked down her face as she realized it would never be the same. She would be brought before her father. He would be heartbroken, her mother would be so furious. The elders would be in an uproar. Bytuu's family Would they kill her? She watched as the dragon breathed slowly, gasping for air, and across the clearing lie Bytuu. Still. Forever still. She had killed men in battle before, but always honorably. This was terrifying. How could he be dead?
Daziik's voice interrupted her thoughts. "I should kill her now."
Tenkii rushed to him, arguing on her behalf. "It is not your place to decide her punishment! Take her to the elders!"
"Her father is an elder. Do you think they will judge her fairly?"
"Jiiku is an honor
VotD - Chapter 5An Accidental Death
Mud oozed through the beast's toes, and bright grasses and plants lay bent and muddied in its path. It's eyes covered in thick fur, the horned boar kept it's nose close to the ground, sniffing constantly, searching for anything edible. It let out a squeal of delight as it's nose stumbled upon a rotted log, brimming with beetles and grubs. The boar set to work tearing apart the log, noisily rooting its horn and tusks into the wood. Distracted by the treat, it was unaware of the silent huntress perched high in the tree's above it. Plip. Plip. Plip. Droplets of rainwater dripped from the leaves above, quietly smacking into Zhaili's back. She sat, unflinching, waiting for the moment to strike. The boar had stumbled right into her trap, all she needed now was a clear shot. Time crawled onward, and Zhaili slowly pulled out her blowgun and needles. Without making a sound, she slipped one into the thin reed, and raised it to her lips. She inhaled, within seconds
VotD - Chapter 4Evil Dust
The hum of insects drummed in everyone's ears, the only thing keeping them from being eaten alive by the swarms was a thick haze of smoke. Dry and ashy, the cloud filled the clearing shifting only with the occasional breeze.
Around a large fire, Jiiku spoke with the other elders. While some believed they had no reason to believe her wild story, she had never lied to them, and others felt that there truly might be something strange going on within the walls of trees surrounding their clearing.
"Perhaps something took the carcass?"
"There was not even any blood on the ground though."
"It could have been under that dust."
"What do you make of the dust itself? It did have a strange quality to it."
"Did you touch it?"
"No, I was afraid to."
"As was I. I know not why though."
"It seemed evil "
"It was only dust! Nothing evil about it."
"True, only sand and dust from the earth, no dead kutu was there."
"Zhaili has never lied though."
"Maybe something is wrong in her mind."
VotD - Chapter 3Storms in it's Eyes
Life in the Jungle flourished, the dry intense heat of the early summer faded into a dull, humid throb as the rainy season crept upon them. The village women prepared for the torrential rains, repairing tears in the tents and covering everything in a thin layer of oil. The sun beat down, baking the grease into the leather tents, creating a musty warm smell that hung like a cloud throughout the clearing. The warriors prepared also, hanging nets across ravines to catch the large fish that would be swept into their engorged rivers from the ocean to the north. There was an air of expectation and excitement, seeming to charge everything with static. Rain seemed to wash away the heat and dirt from everything, the people, the land, even the animals seemed refreshed and new after the great sky floods.
It had been only a few moon phases ago that Zhaili had won against Bytuu in a challenge, and had become the first female warrior. Since then, she had been marked many times, e
VotD - Chapter 2A Victory
Silence hung heavy in the mid-day heat. Zhaili and Bytuu stood face to face in the clearing, waiting anxiously for the signal. Zhaili focused on her muscles, tightening and loosening them slowly, lowering herself into a half crouch, ready for the clumsy frontal attack she knew Bytuu would attempt. She shifted her foot, feeling the dust crunch against the hard dry ground beneath her. Bytuu clenched his hands several times, inpatient and angry.
As soon as Jiiku stomped his foot, Bytuu lunged at her. She was ready, she knew his style from watching him wrestle with his companions in play. She dropped to all fours, crouching like a jungle cat. Unprepared for such a move, the less than graceful man tripped over her, stumbling haphazardly to the side. Before he had a chance to regain his balance, she had twisted her body around, pivoting on her hands, and kicking upwards, caught him square in the chest. Bytuu fell backwards, crying out in anger. Rolling, he sprung to his feet and pu
VotD - Chapter 1A Challenge
Deep within the Kaittik Jungle, shouting could be heard coming from a clearing. The midday sun beat down on large tents of various animal's hide. The smoldering remains of the morning's fire could still be seen giving off tiny breaths of smoke, trailing lazily towards the sky. A group of men had gathered on one side of the fire pit. Their shoulders and chests were adorned with varying amounts of increasingly intricate tattoos, each one representing notable achievements, kills and victories against their rivals. Looks of anger and resentment were etched into their faces, making them seem like bronze statues of some mythological god of rage. The object of their anger stood across from them, her figure wavering slightly through the thin wall of heat the ashes produced.
The young woman, despite lacking the decorations the men possessed, was an impressive sight. Her tall muscular body seemed to glow in the heat, her warm tan skin shimmering with sweat. Deep auburn hai
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