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Fiction Nazqua's Bestiary and Lustrian Lore

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Nazqua, May 21, 2020.

  1. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about some of my next regions to cover after I finish the Copper Desert, I feel this whole southern side of the Sotek Spine mountain range is completely devoid and starved of lore other than a handful of name's with literally nothing else, so given that there is a lot of opportunity to be worked with here :

    The Forbidden Jungle
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    The Cursed Jungle + Tlanxla (City of the Sky) And Hualotal (City of Masks)
    - Rambling’s of skink priest spirit speaker Toxtecl - He who finds's the way, assigned to guide three cohorts of skink’s and two sauri war legion’s through the Cursed Jungle”


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2021
  2. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    [Reserved]
     
  3. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    --- City Spotlight: 'Hualotal' - The City of Masks and Chisel's ---

    None escape their gaze. Much more than mere stone and crumbling statues lie chained down by vine’s, the patina of millenia hides much more than their unnatural carving’s which no being, living nor dead could match.

    Whispering. Speaking in twisted echo’s of rhyme are the cities residents. Some lie in their graves, masks unmoving. Yet there are those who remain, their face’s hidden behind minds of metal.

    ‘CRUNCH!


    The merciless sound of scraping stone ring’s out as great carved sculpture’s return to their stand’s, a fresh coating of blood begging to dry out as they bask in a darkened sun…

    - The last word's of a doomed Empire expedition upon trying to exit Hualotal, much more than their hope's of claiming riches further west being unequivocally crushed.

    upload_2021-1-3_16-4-2.png

    ---= Location =---

    upload_2021-1-3_16-4-19.png

    upload_2021-1-3_16-13-29.png


    -------------------

    Already finished:

    -- Location ---
    --- Intro ---

    More update's and information coming soon, including but not limited to:

    --- Geography ---
    --- Layout and location's ---
    --- Known inhabitants and artifacts ---
    --- History and description ---


    --- Ruination ---
    --- Post-Ruination persistence and legends ---

    Once I begin to flesh this city out more I plan to move the information seen on this post up two posts, giving the city three posts allowing it to be covered in its entirety. I will then use previous reserved posts to begin work on the 'Region spotlight' For the Cursed Jungle, moving any relevant information there.
     
  4. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    Work in Progress: --- Region Spotlight: Amyara Swamps ---

    [​IMG]
    Alright, Instead of laying out all the foundations Ive decided to jump straight into the lore elements, beginning with one of the 'Landmarks/Sites of interest' That being the Monument of the moon, I will update and reformat this all once I have finished the landmark:

    --- Monument of the Moon ---
    - Record IV of a shivering captain brian blackeyes slurred speech after having returned from the lands of Lustria.​

    The smell of evening hangs in the air, and as the coastal haze begins to clear it is revealed. Perched above frothing waters atop its clifftop island, one of many which scatter out from the mainland, is a great, forbidding monolith of stone. Rearing up from the coast obsidian black surfaces lie wet with the sheen of spray, their every flank guarded and cradled by harsh, spiking rocks - The surface of which is crammed with so many barnacles one can only guess if they are rocks at all, but not shifting mounds of shells suffocating one another into evermore twisted and jagged shapes.

    The reasons why this place requires not guardians of stone nor hexes and curses should become clear. An atmosphere of silence, of dread staturates the salt laden air. The crashing of the waves becomes muffled. The jungle orchestra falls long silent as the trees refuse to sway. The land itself is waiting, tensed in apprehension, its every feature coiled like a spring. All who find themselves under the ominous gaze of such a blank, seemingly simple pyramid feel their muscles strain and shiver, locking up with an alien chill as their legs refuse to drag them further.

    Besides, any, in what some would call bravery, others, madness, who arrive at the monuments base find its exterior unbroken. Despite the orgy of undergrowth, barnacles and seaweed which cling onto every surrounding rock its four sides remain slopped and flat. The great plates of black granite which form its surface ceaseless and prepertural, refusing to give in and allow both brush nor some entrance or elaborate archway to interrupt them.



    The looming exterior the Monument of the Moon. Silent, unmoving this obsidian black obelisk sits ominously.
    [​IMG]

    Blanketed in a morning mist that warps the terrain into looming images and shapes juts the Monument of the moon. By day its flat obsidian surfaces steam and hiss with heat, but come night they glisten and glow with a silver sheen, the water covered surfaces scattering the starlight in dazzling rays - rays that will be seen by none such is the perpetual darkness of the low hanging air, one both metaphorical and literal.

    At first the ominous pyramid seems little more than exactly that - A pyramid, one that need not have the title of ‘Monument of the Moon’, from but a simple look one could see that the moon shared nearly nothing in common with such a structure - Well all but the moons ominous stance, the way in which it hangs in a darkened sky in silence, watching, waiting.

    And yet, like all things concealed behind the twisting treetops and jagged coastlines of Lustria, there is far more below the surface than initially appears - In this case, literally: Come low tide when the waters recede, returning back to whence they came at the whims and wills of their cosmic master much more becomes clear - A fact warmbloods couldn't even begin to realize, let alone consider without the interference of their guardian angel: Coincidence, Something the Lizardmen of Lustria have ascended far above, their cold calculating logic having escaped the reliance, the shackles and bounds of luck before the other mortal races had even looked up at the night skies in awe and wonder. Besides, Given the inability of warmbloods to understand and grasp the link between the tides, the moon and the monument so allegedly named after it this pyramid shall remain as so. Silent, simple and unchanging, its secrets hidden behind ominous slabs of black granite so large one can't help but marvel and question how such a structure was built - Especially given its precarious position, cradled among the clifftops and islands which stray off the coast above lashing seas…

    However, our delve into the mysteries and depths of this structure do not end here. For when the moons, both of them, Morrsleb and Mannsleb, the cursed and the holy, come closest to the planet in what some would refer to as a ‘Supermoon’, an event occurring roughly three to four times a year do the tides recede enough to reveal the base of the island column upon which the monument sits. Frothing waters slip back allowing seaweed choked pathways, a network of chiseled arteries of stone to be free from the clutches of the many eels and fish which once snaked their way through these sunken structures.

    Now revealed lies a great riveting pathway, its huge stone blocks both stable and broad enough to withstand the tread of a charging stegadon. Flanking the paths side’s are banister’s of stone symbols and image’s which reflect the moons many cycles as the path twists its way along the now revealed sea-floor before curving into the cliff base itself. Seaweed draped arches welcome the fiery glow of torches as priests make their way inside, the sounds of their clinking charms and tassels drowned out by the haunting chant of many skinks and kroxigors, their voices carried far through the eerie coastal mist.

    It is now, basking in the silver light of a supermoon does the Monument of the moon begin to undergo its transformation, its great obsidian plates dancing with the shadows of many fiery torches.

    Whether by the labors of many a kroxigor or by some long forgotten mechanism the pyramids surface begins to dislodge - The entire structure shivering as gears twist and turn. In a shifting motion the monument begins to part open, the top quarter dividing into four wedges which withdraw to reveal the structures inner workings.

    A view into one of the temple’s many unearthed chamber’s, the great mechanical clock’s and celestial calendars now open to a star filled sky when the time is right.
    [​IMG]


    Illuminated by sizzling pans of fire labor a dozen or so priests as they busy around the temple's interior. Great carvings of silver serpents slither along columns which spiral around astronomical devices and great calendars, nearby, sitting upon seats of stone, each one fashioned to represent a cycle of moon and the hierarchical position of the priest sitting within do the priests of the Cult of the Lost hold their council. A council witnessed by their long forgotten god, her unspoken name carved into a central silver plaque upon which fresh blood flows each priest cutting open their wrist and invoking the one and only Metzlitlaco - She who helps the lost find their way, the forgotten Oldone deity of the moon.

    Despite risking resentment from their Slann, just as the followers of Sotek had before them, The Cult of the Lost chant in an attempt to bring forth their god's servants - Coatls feathered not with color and wing, but with faith and starlight. In communion, the priests begin to quietly chant, reciting an ancient hymn to the long lost deity of the moon:

    “Above cities of gold, Below ancient suns growing old”
    “Saith our undead wraith, she who is bound through undying faith.”


    Movement above. Slither. A wave of dust and rubble drift down. The air hisses with the flick of the tongue that has tasted oblivion. bathed in silence as the priests hold their breaths.

    “Herald the sacred plaque, the one that all others attack”
    “Proclaim her hallowed breaths, the one that all others overshadowed”


    Movement above. Ruffle. Suffocating ancient air whips around the temple’s interior as tendrils of thick mist fan out in search of their sacrifice, in search of their belief.

    “Her servants shall return to this mortal coil to slither once more upon corporeal soil.”
    “Her servants shall manifest into temporal flesh as anathema infest”


    Movement above. Flicker. Silver scales encrusted with the patio of eons shine above as serpentine eyes pierce into the mind’s of their followers, splitting the darkness of night like beacons, beacons those lost would use to find their way for centuries.

    ““The lost shall come to praise the moon and honor the third serpents mark”
    “The lost shall come to heed the call of Metzzzlilaco!”

    [​IMG]

    (Read more about Metzlilaco, The third god among the triplet of serpents, Tepok, Sotek and her - She who guides the lost in another post later down the line that will continue to explain more about non-canon oldone's like Yuxa and Ashax)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  5. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    These Jungle's Im covering now interchange and mix with the Aymara swamps regularly (As seen in the map) And surround the Temple of Huanchi:

    --- Jungle of the Jaguar ---
    A golden sunlight sifts through sparse trees illuminating a ground of crunchy leaf litter and strewn fallen branches. Tall trees now tower and loom over the mangroves as they begin to disperse out, These trees however are not menacing - Instead promising safety and shelter beneath their broad canopy which provides shadow and shade to all the creatures which crawl, stalk and slither below.

    As the murky water and sludges of the nearby Amyara swamp begin to harden and disperse, the mangroves therein giving way to broader trunked jungle species the Jungle of the jaguar begins. Pursued by the mist laden, salt sodden coastal air of the brackish mangrove swamps no longer one can find a relative safety amongst these jungles. South East of the city of Pahaux and west of the dense swamps lie this well mapped and traversed region of land that serves not only a band of passage from the Isthmus of Lustria to the main continent, but also acted as a bastion from which the lands surrounding Pahuax could heal - For it is this jungle which managed to halt and survive the great fires which gave the temple city its name, The city of Ash. And as the sky fumed with smoke and entire swathes of jungle burnt many of the creatures which once inhabited the jungles of Pahualaxa were forced into the Jungles of the jaguar to escape the fires - A fact combined with its freedom from the encroachment of the great reptilian predators and hulking herbivores that allows its it instead serve a much larger manner of diversity of mammals and other such creatures. Among which is the Jaguar, a creature known among the lizardmen for its elegance and hunting prowess, sacred animal of Huanchi.

    With a multitude of factors behind it, including a lack of competition, the abundance of lakes and rivers which feed into the Amyara swamps and the high density of prey which was likewise forced into this jungle by the great fires it should come as no surprise why the Jaguar is so successful - Becoming more numerous here than anywhere else, serving as the regions apex predator and giving these jungles their often spoken name.

    However, It is not only the jaguar which thrives among these sparser trees, free from teh encroachment of the great reptilian predators and hulking herbivores, for it is within these jungles that many other mammals and smaller reptilians alike make their home - Despite being often overshadowed by their more sacred neighbors, these abundant species of monkeys, snakes, Iguanas and Tapirs make use of these lands in equal fashion.

    Although, it is not the creatures within that give this jungle its well-trodden and maintained status, but rather a mixture of its location and the specifics of its trees - Clustered, but not nearly dense enough to cast the ground below into an eerie artificial night. Sparse, but not nearly open enough to allow great hulking beasts to tread and hunt easily.

    One of the Jungle of the Jaguars sacred residents prowling through the undergrowth and leaf litter in search of prey.
    [​IMG]

    Among the features of the Jungle of the Jaguar are also the numerous scouting parties and camps of Chameleon skinks which occupy this jungle - Each one branching out from the ruined temple city of Pahaux like the tendrils of some deep sea serpentine beast or the roots of the tree. Devoted to keeping these jungles as they are these chameleon skinks intensively map them all the while halting the advance of any warmblooded intruders into the mainland, a threat that is becoming increasingly common with each passing century. Whilst some work to remove the anathema others make an effort in order to allow the eventual recolonization of their ruined home city far easier.

    It is for this reason that the Jungle of the Jaguar is considered safe, tame even. The chameleon population offering their assistance to lizardmen travelling parties, ensuring the vital routes of trade and communication between the Isthmus and mainland keep open and flowing like the blood of those those humans who dare to stray too close to their sacred city in the hope of further desecrating what ruins remain.

    The golden sands and open stretches of beach lure in naive travelers and warm bloods alike, blissfully unaware of the threats and dangers the lands of Lustria have to offer, not to mention the flickering eyes of many a chameleon skink who will surely welcome their approach with a hailing of darts.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  6. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    --- Temple of Huanchi ---
    Scarce reference exists to this temple dedicated to the Jaguar god. Mentioned not in scripts nor maps, this monuments location is only given out to those seen as most worthy in Huanchi's name. Even then, one must spend days if not weeks stalking the Jungles of the Jaguar to finally find its gold laden steps which are tucked behind swathes of chameleon skink patrolled lands and hidden even further yet.

    However, once finally finding this great monument rising forth from the steaming jungles saurus and skink will be welcomed by the humming sounds of purrs and yawns, the temples grounds covered in huge stone slabs and chiseled slopes upon which the many silhouettes of lounging jaguars laze. Whilst some are invariably statues of rock serving to keep the temple occupied and guarded at all times, others are the real animals - These apex predators gathering here with keen eyes, patiently awaiting the twilight hours wherein they will receive offerings and sacrifices alike. Whilst some say its the scent of food which draws them in, others suppose that Hunachi himself calls his servants and messengers to this locus of worship and activity in a sign of his approval.

    Many a jaguar laze and lounge upon the heated stone blocks situated within the temples confines awaiting evening.
    [​IMG]


    The air is heavy with the chants of reverence and worship, masked skinks humming as they work to maintain and occupy these temple grounds - going about their daily errands and tasks slowly and cautiously, unlike others, the Lizardmen recognize and respect the boundaries of such vicious beasts for more than just their divine position but also renowned temperament and ferocity.

    Sandstone pillars and arches loop and tower between ancient trees which shade the central temples courtyards and plazas through which a redirected river gently steams and bubbles - frothing with the movement of fish or small vessels which tow chains of warmblood prisoners.

    Throughout dawn and day this monument is peaceful, quiet and content. Jaguars freely lounge, pawing through its flowing waters whilst skinks go about their duties - Whether that be cleaning the temples slopped ledges from leaf litter or training and domesticating the jungles feline denizens.

    However, as evening looms the atmosphere begins to grow intenser with each passing minute in which the light fades. The Temple of Huanchi’s odd shapes and jutting stones form the shadows which reflect the image of the god’s favored animal as the murmur of voices pick up in pitch and volume much to the delight of the many jaguars which now hungrily pad around the confines.

    One such pillar flanked entrance into the many plazas and carved courtyards of the Temple of Huanchi.
    [​IMG]

    It is now, illuminated by great bronze brazers set alight in licking flame do the sacred priests come forth. Cloaked with pelts of fur and feather these muscular skinks wear masks of gold and bone as they prepare to begin the daily ceremonies. The jungle is now fully awake with shakes and shivers, the bushes flickering with stalking eyes which follow the head priests every movement.

    He who shortly holds up hands sewn with bracers of cold metal upon which claws jut out, signalling his reverence to the audience of onlookers before nodding to a sky which leaks with many dotted stars which mark the transition between night and day, whispering “It is time.” as he does so.

    A single intoxicated warmblood is brought forth onto the high platform, the man allowed to marvel at the temples magnificence for but a moment before the head priest begins to slash into him with clawed hands, brutalizing him in a spray of blood before kicking his body down the temples steep steps. The warmbloods screams would serve better than any gong or bell, the thick scent of blood stirring the surrounding jungle into a chorus of grunts and growls. “Feast children of Huanchi. Feast servants of the Jaguar god. Feast upon their souls!”
    It is now that the otherwise silent and unmoving column of jaguar warrior sauri spark into motion, hoisting down many great ropes which - through a complex series of pulleys and hoists - unlatch the grated floor of the central cage within which a number of captives have been bound.

    Instantly they fall to the floor, sending up a puff of dust stained crimson from the night before. Some scramble, others squirm, but before even half have managed to get up chaos has already ensued. Those who trespass in hopes of skinning and slaughtering will now face their crimes, for none but the highest of priests and warriors are bestowed the honor to wear the spiritually knitted star patterned pelt of Huanchi’s most favoured beast. It is not the jaguars claws and skulls which will be collected and laid out come dawn - But instead their own!

    The night sky is parted with a beam of light as the souls of the sacrificed are devoured, spared not hell nor heaven.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  7. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    --- Salamander Cove ---
    Overlooking the threats which loom and lurk, disguised as plants like any other or hidden behind walls of darkness and rock cloaked by the seeming paradise, the Salamander Cove can appear to naive eyes as one of the more idyllic locations on Lustria.

    Frothing waves gently crash and splutter, rolling up a shoreline of golden sand before receding back into the churning, yet softly flowing coastal waters. A relaxing rhythm of continuous lapping becomes the backdrop from which the jungle orchestra continues to play in a monotony of buzzes and tweets - However, as another long day begins to come to a close, the hazy sun drifting across a cloudless sky closer towards the defined horizon, its symphony begins to become polluted and overshadowed with endless howls and hoots.

    An expedition of Warmbloods foolishly enter one of the alcoves woven into the Salamander cove - Naive, they know little of what lurks just beyond the tree line.
    [​IMG]


    Sheltering behind prevailing cliffs which guard these gentler shores from the brackish clusters of mangroves and shifting sludges of the nearby Amyara swamps the Salamander cove thrives. Great swathes of golden sand bathe in the reflection of an orange sun as a gentle breeze sways and rocks patches of palms. All is tranquil - Or so it seems. For one cannot be allowed to forget the land upon which they step is Lustria. Groups of eyes watch from the precariously balanced wooden huts and structures which cling to the cliffside. Meanwhile shrill, alien sounds click and hiss from the coves many cubbies and caves - From forth which a great amphibian beast soon slithers, its webbed feet leaving heavy prints in the sand as its vibrantly thrilled form slips into the water, its fins slitting the frothing waves before the beast glides off into the corals.


    A stretch of golden beach provides the bridge between the dense Jungles of the Jaguar and Pahualaxa, inviting many a warmblood onto the shores of a damned paradise.
    [​IMG]


    - Caves -
    The aforementioned cliffsides, tall in stature which serve to guard the cove and its inhabitants are carved out with gloomy hollows and dank grottos, within which the shadows shift and whisper - Their hisses and grunts echoed by the many water soaked passageways and vents before finally being spat out, the sounds warped to such unnatural extends they appear completely alien, unceremoniously breaking the monotonous drum of drips which otherwise permeate these sodden tunnels. If one thought they were alone on this beach, they were wrong. If not for the noises the occasional sight of flickering yellow eyes will let them know soon enough.

    Like the many salamanders which make much use of the shelter these cracks and splits in the cliff face provide so too do bats find their home in these water-logged cavities - For when night blooms they fly forth in a great flutter of wings, whipping the air into a squeaking frenzy. Having spent the long day dreaming within their cocoons of protective wing the bats launch and herl themselves. Whilst some are snapped up by squirming salamanders or coiled snakes most make it out into the coolness of a starlit night wherein their hunt for food and insects will invariably begin.

    To tread too deeply into these caverns, which splay out like the roots of a tree, the veins of some larger organism leading all those within ever deeper is to forget that light and the outside ever existed. The darkness itself acts as if it were alive, an invisible force which served to crush your body, squeezing the life, soul and hope out of you…

    Many gaping caverns are carved out into the cliff faces, their darkness concealing much more than the rock and water which coats their twisting interior.
    [​IMG]


    - Reefs -
    Far and further yet from the constant, unceasing pains and toils of humanity flow these great coral reefs which extend out across shallow seas to encompass the salamander cove and its waters. Born from the nutrient rich currents which flow from the nearby Amyara swamps these reefs have come to support such densities of life and diversity to challenge the jungles above.

    It is nothing short of tragic to consider that some would go their entire lives without being able to give but a thought towards the existence of these thriving communities, canvases of colour upon which nature has painted for millennia. There is an unmistakable liberty in the organic shapes which reach and sway without constraint, thriving here in the clean waters without the scars and pollution of tamed land.

    In the same way as the clouds roll above, hiding sparkling stars and the universes wonders so too do the waves wash concealing the visual choir that is the Salamander Coves reefs, singing not with voices but with colours - Seen by the eyes but heard by the soul.

    Eels slither and writhe between rock formations whilst stingrays send up a spray of sand in their wake - Above which blue light meets the silver skin of a shark, which cruises below the gentle waves with such grave. Ancient, the sharks eyes spark with a primordial intelligence and predatory instinct, one that could only be likened to that of the saurus legions who ceaselessly fight, struggle and endure far beyond.


    As evening descends these communities of colour which are buried beneath mounds of water and wave continue to thrive.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    I decided to write a small story to serve as an introduction to the Salamander Cove as I have decided to go in a bit more depth about it than what I have just above:

    We had arrived. Lustria. The land that had gripped the hearts and minds of so many with the wretched promises of riches n gold.

    Bullshit.

    Who needed to stumble upon riches when you can take them here for yourself, no danger required. 30 of the dogs, slaves, they can catch a good price here, and the Captin, he knew that alright. Port Reaver, the snobs and cutthroats would pay better than the shithole they called ‘Swamp town’ ever would - laughable place, wallowing in their own muck and misery!

    However, much to the captains displeasure a sudden storm had worked its way into our path, and at the threat of loosing all of our ship, and cargo too, we instead traced far off the coast unwilling to dare the shallow reefs. Eventually, with the currents help we arrived at one of the continents beautiful beaches. A cove, Nice n sheltered. I thought whilst we wait for the storm to bugger off we could always have pulled up some of the corals and sold em for a pretty penny back home. But once again, in all his overflowin confidence the captain decided we were going to see if we could make it to the good for nothin town on foot. And so, it was here we parked our rotting, rustin gallion crammed to the brim with its cargo - sweat, blood and tears, three things which would sell for a lot around here in these ‘needing’ parts.

    Feeling solid ground beneath the feet never felt so good and confidence was high - So here we were, splitting up into groups and ready to see what these sheltered shores had in store for us.

    Me and three others were off to scout along the coasts, Captain was goin to see how far Swamp Town and then Port Reaver was whilst Harold and his men were heading further up the cliffs to investigate… You see, a few hours prior we had noticed some houses, or rather shacks clinging to the clifftop as if their life depended on it. They were strange they were, but amongst ourselves we had decided they were the work of some hermit who had enough of swamp town and its shit - Ripe for the pickin in my eyes, If Harold brought back news we were certainly willin to drag the slaves up and waltz are way in no problem.

    ---

    The day was long, and the walk back longer. However, upon our return the ship, the ship was gone. THE WHOLE LOT OF IT. GONE. The beach was tattered with splinters of wood. A handful of bodies scattered beneath the fallen remains of our beloved vessels mast! Those cursed little wretches had stolen our boat! Furious, we kicked at the sand, we yelled at the waves. Tensions were high and Captain had no luck in finding anything, Harold hadn’t even bloody returned. I knew one thing was for sure, the Captain’s leadership was falling apart, Man bloody wouldn’t shut up just like the clouds of little bloodsucking buggers which now swarmed around us, buzzin and blurrin like the little devil born tormentors they were - rubbing in our loss with such glee.

    With nothing but two barrels of useless gunpowder and half a barrel of biscuit bread we set about making a camp. We would face no other choice than to wait out the night here. Fuming with heavy breaths the captain persisted we should go and take shelter in the coves caves, escape from the storm - one which was now raging almost as much as he was - but we decided differently. The shadows, they didn’t seem right.. Im not a superstitious person, sellin slaves n all, but it.. It wasn’t right, I knew that much. Captain however decided he knew better as always - and went off into the night. Ignoring his antics the tiredness of the day had caught up with the rest of us, sending our motley crew of crooks and sailors towards the sanctuary of fire light where we could rest our flaming nerves and forget the toils of the days ahead. - Fire. One mans sanctuary, Another's doom. Harold however still hasn't returned, but none of us had the right mind to go an look for him - Besides, selfish backstabbin gits probably found the shelters empty and took them for their own…

    ---

    I woke to the sound of hissing. The coals on the fire, they were still warm to the touch but had been out for some time now - The woods white embers hissing and spitting in a fruitless attempt to rekindle itself. A display of stars unrivaled by anything I had ever seen before full in session I went out about gathering some more tinder and fuel for the fire using the dim moonlight as my torch - Better this than have to suffer the bloodsuckers all night long.

    In the twisting half light the coves shadows and caves spilled out, taking up the opportunity to eat the beach in their darkness - The air ruffling with the movement of their children, bats. Ignoring the sound of my own beating heart I persuaded myself the sounds of shuffling movement were merely the lapping of the tide. I too had somehow convinced myself that those pads n prints in the sand were from our horses - Even though I was so blind as to not realize they, the horses, had been taken with the ships, perhaps it was wishful thinking in this groggy state of half sleep.

    Tired and dreary I continued looking for a patch of younger palms that would be easy to light. Scrounging noisy through the bush I had began gathering up a couple hunks of driftwood… That's when I found them: Harold, Lambert and Curt…


    Their bodies had been slumped in a pile as if they were dead slaves themselves whilst their heads had been gruesomely stabbed through with a wooden spike now planted in the sand as some twisted effigy much to my horror. Screaming I began to scramble back to the campfire only to see that the fires had in fact relit themselves... However, my screams, my yells - They were not only ones! And those were not campfires at all!

    Frozen in my horror I was forced to watch as at least seven savage four legged beasts descended on the camp, splitting the darkness in a whirlwind of blinding flame and flare. Their reptilian handlers shouting alien words in a cruel language and tongue before their shimmering eyes eventually met my own.

    Perhaps it was bad luck. Perhaps it was what fate had willed for me, what was written in those stars crammed above - Or even perhaps some form of celestial justice for my actions, for my career.. It however mattered not to them. Foaming at the mouth I begged. I screamed. I scrambled and raged. I was given not the mercy I had refused from others. Bound and tied my body was hung upon a post besides the forms of my allies. Some cried out in agony whilst some remained silent - I wanted to believe they remained so out of terror, but knew the much worse alternative was true.

    I was a person no longer - But a sign. A flaming beacon. A blaring bright message to all those that would dare to encroach upon these lands, one that sent the night fleeing in brightness and intensity.

    And as the next morning rolled around the storm clouds had begun to part letting the smell of burnt, singed flesh waft further along such golden sands. The sun awakening to the sight of gulls bickering at the melted heaps of flesh and bone which lay slumped beneath a number of charred wooden poles. The lizardmen of the Salamander Cove had done just work that night.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  9. Lizards of Renown
    OldBlood

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff Naz.

    I sincerely hope you've got something planned for the Short Story contest!
     
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  10. Nazqua
    Stegadon

    Nazqua Well-Known Member

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    Deciding to work on the Jungles of the Jaguar next, a region originally included within the Amyara swamps, I however have decided to separate it as I have done with the Salamanader cove which has already been finished and covered in detail here - https://www.lustria-online.com/thre...ove-nazquas-bestiary-and-lustrian-lore.25539/


    -----= Spotlight: Jungles of the Jaguar =-----

    ---= Location =---

    ---= Introduction =---

    ---= Geography and lands =---
    - Jungles of the Jaguar -
    - Transitions into swampland -

    ---= Flora =---

    ---= Fauna =---
    --- Jaguar ---
    --- Tapir --

    ---= Lizardmen interactions and presence =---
    - Chameleon skinks -
    - Trade and Travel -

    ---= Observances and tradition =---
    - Trials of the Jaguar god -

    ---= Notable landmarks and areas of significance =---
    - Monument of Huanchi -​


    - The words of Chieftain priest Uykar - Huanchi’s shadow and caster of Ulgu (Law of Shadows) Enacting the daily ceremonies from forth the so called Monument of Huanchi

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
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