A Shadow in the Light: Knowledge and Remembrance - Part Five
Frauns sighed as Sovan concluded in telling him of their
short tale and paraphrasing Chanook's own story of the Seven Black Lamps. "But
why haven't we ever heard of this bunch of rubbish? How do we know this isn't
all some sick joke planned by those two Kougras?"
"That would be something, eh? Nah, I don't think
anyone could take out a joke like that. There must be some truth in it," Sovan
shrugged, gently taking his paw away from his formation of firewood.
"Don't lay on the ground Sovan, there might
be Petpetpets down there," Dizzconnie scolded the Lupe, who was lying on his
stomach to bask in the glory of his creation.
"No Petpetpet would go near my firewood," Sovan
smirked, tapping one of the sticks. They were placed in a tepee shape, and each
of the limbs was roughly around the same width and length. He was truly in awe
at what he had done.
"You do know that we will burn that, don't you?"
Frauns asked, fiddling with a small vine and stick.
Sovan gasped. "No! This is my stick pile! You
can't burn it!" He protectively put his arms around the small pile.
"Alright, suit yourself."
The Lupe nodded and released his pile, but as
his arms drew away, the formation crumbled into a heap. "NOOO!"
Dizzconnie sighed and shook her head, turning
her head toward a rustling in the brush. She waved as Jinni and Xiakil emerged,
but was rather disappointed that they were empty handed. "Anything eventful
"No, what about here?" Jinni curiously glanced
to Sovan, straining to see what he was covering with his arms. "Umm, do I want
to know?" Then, from in Jinni's small bag, a tiny Angelpuss poked its crania
out. It snickered slightly and disappeared into her bag once more.
Frauns and Dizzconnie both shook their heads.
"Hey, let me see that!" Jinni then shouted,
catching eye of Frauns's stick and vine. He handed it to her and the others
watched as she began measuring, tying, and ripping the vine. "Does anyone have
any wire or anything?"
"I have wire earrings," Dizzconnie offered,
handing one to Jinni who then molded it to the shape of a hook and wrapped the
vine around it several times before tying it.
"It's a phishing pole!" the Bori declared, beaming.
Frauns smiled. "Hey, we can phish in the stream!"
Jinni slumped her shoulders. "Umm, yes, that's
kind of what I was aiming for you to figure out. Anyway, who can phish?" She
looked around, no one moved, except for Sovan, who was struggling to rebuild
his wood pyramid. She laughed. "I guess we're doomed then," she joked.
The blacksmith stood and took the phishing pole.
"If any of us can learn to phish, it's me," he stated, trudging to the stream.
"Umm, don't we need bait though?"
Sovan finally snapped to attention and raised
his paw. "Will a potato wedge do?" He sat up and rummaged in his bag before
throwing a potato wedge to Frauns, who then sat and concentrated on getting
"Now, can we get back to what we were trying
to sort out, Sovan?" Dizzconnie asked flatly before looking to Xiakil and Jinni
as they sat as well. "Xiakil, why haven't we learned about the Seven Black Lamps
before? I've never heard about a war in these parts since- well never. The recent
tension between Meridell and the Darigans is as close to anything like a battle
we have had, but that had nothing to do with anything this uncanny." She brushed
a few blades of grass from her blue cloak as the Lenny collected his thoughts.
"After the empire failed, many of the lands
wanted to forget about it. Records and statues, tapestries and any other artifact
that the royals could find that told the story of the war was destroyed. The
only thing left after that would be a rare item missed from destruction and
the people who knew about it. No one spoke of it for a long time so they could
focus on getting their lives back on track, and soon that generation passed
and only then a select few knew about the war. Those select few were mainly
descendents from important pets from that time who wished to be known about
and those who actually believed the stories of the Seven that they were told
while growing up.
I knew because the population of Direwood saw
the rising of the Safe or whatever Chanook calls it. It was about three years
ago that he came here and started spreading word of a better world and Direwood's
roots to the forest folk. Many of them believed him, but there are still a few
left and I am one of them. It's quite awkward... not seeing this place alive
with the rest of my people." He looked out into the forest, the late morning
sun lighting it to a brilliant dance of verdant and gold hues.
Sovan felt his tongue go dry, for it hung out
of his mouth in his concentration. As he settled the last stick into place he
leapt to his feet and gave a cry of success.
"Were you even listening, Sovan?" the Gelert
scolded, then standing and kicking his wood back into a muddled mound.
"Whoa, stop for a moment," Jinni said, feeling
the tension grow again. "The doggie duo need to calm down, got it?" she asked,
stepping between them. Her Angelpuss then leapt from her bag and picked up one
of the sticks. Strategically, it started placing them in formation once more,
but this time leaving some of the limbs out so that the cone like formation
had an opening. It grinned and stepped through the opening, curling up inside
the tepee like structure. "Ok, now it's settled. No one disturbs the wood,"
Jinni concluded, backing away while trying not to laugh at the awed faces of
Sovan and Dizzconnie.
Soon, Frauns trotted back, his catch in hoof.
That evening, they all enjoyed Catamara with fruit, bread, and potato wedges
before bedding down for the night.
"How big is this cursed
forest!" Dizzconnie wailed at last, unable to contain her frustration any longer.
It had been nearly a week since their first night in the forest as a group,
and still she could see no end to the trees ahead. Her wings ached too much
for her to fly, and now even Jinni's ever-cheerful attitude was not helping
"Oh, we won't reach the edge for days, but I
have a friend not far from here who has several Unis. I bet they would help
us," Xiakil comforted, craning his neck to see around a large a large tree.
"In fact, he lives up ahead."
Sovan sped up to a fast run until he saw a rather
large Neohome set in the woods. In the back were large corrals, with many different
hued Unis gathered around. "Xiakil... who is this friend of yours?" he asked
The Mutant Lenny grinned. "You shall see my
friend, you shall see."
As they drew near to the Neohome, a Pink Lupe
strayed from the corrals, certainly surprised to see them. Her gaze landed on
only one of them, however, and a shriek nearly leapt from her maw. "Sovan!"
The Fire Lupe grinned and ran to meet the other
canine, suddenly halting about a yard from her. "Shanmei, what are you doing
here? You- you were ill not very long ago, I thought you were in Coursett to
see a doctor."
Shanmei shrugged at her brother. "Once I got
there I felt better so I decided to come back. I got lost in the forest not
very long ago, and this Draik found me. He was going to Ovalon soon, so he said
that he would take me there when he went. Heh, a lousy tracker I am you know.
I should have sent for help before leaving Coursett I guess."
The others gathered around and Shanmei darted
inside to fetch the Draik, who was said to be Xiakil's friend. When the Lupress
returned, with her was a Mutant Draik, who walked feebly and looked quite fragile.
"Glad to see you, Xiakil," the Draik said warmly,
claw resting on Shanmei's shoulder for support.
"And to you, Sioxet." He told him of their needs,
and the Draik nodded slowly.
"Sure, you may take several if you wish, just
be careful when getting them out of the corral." Sioxet watched as they slowly
made their way to the back, Shanmei leading them. With a sigh of determination,
he set a foot forward and started on his way back to the house without aid.
The pink Lupress started listing off the Unis'
names and ages, giving pieces of other random information every once and a while.
When they finally reached the gate, she slipped in and whistled to get to the
attention of the Unis. "Any Uni not going on this year's drive come over here!"
she shouted, making the others flinch from her surprisingly loud voice. Eight
Unis approached, and she choose two, a Shadow Uni and a White Uni. Once they
had the Unis outside the gate, Shanmei introduced them formally. "This is Tiger
Moon or Ti." The Shadow Uni gave a short dip of the maw. "And the White one
is my best friend, Swia."
Several minutes later, Shanmei and Sovan were
riding double back on Swia, and Jinni and Dizzconnie on Tiger Moon. Frauns was
able to run on four pillars beside the Unis, and Xiakil flew since he was slightly
larger then the Unis.
"Where are you guys going exactly anyway? I mean,
I can bring you further then the forest boundaries if you like," Shanmei shouted
to her brother over the roaring wind.
"Coursett. We have to get to Coursett."
To be continued...