Narrator – OOG K’ain 01

(The dream state has been a place of clouds – visions dulled and valleys of shadow. Then suddenly, something lifts the veil of haze, and K’ain knows for certain that this place is real. The air is dry Amendaran night and the scent is of incense and freshly scrubbed walls of stone and stucco. A breeze carries the familiar signature of desert flowers and brush. But something is in the room with him…)

“K’iir d’aal?!”

(He does not sense danger. But nonetheless, never has welcomed the unexpected…especially guests)

“Who is there?!”

(He leaps to his feet, bringing his blade up to the side of his head, ready to strike. Sitting in the window…cóng! A dragon! The hue of deep red blood, its tail curled around its thick legs. Its wings, at rest – visible in the dim light in all their magnificence.)

“But how?”

(Surely a mature dragon would not fit this open window, let alone this temple structure. It must surely be cóng jhet – the miniature dragons so common in the households of the Cóng Manii nobility. In the wild, these beautiful creatures fill the skies of the rocky peaks of Ka Faziir. K’ain rises from his bedding slowly, as not to startle the beast.)

“Cóng Jhet. You are welcome here. Do not fear. I will not harm you.”

(The dragon unfurls its tail in a gesture of lessened alarm. It blinks it’s eyes, the gentle snap of the scaled lids, clicking open then shut again. The cóng jhet lowers its head, then raises it high, stretching its neck…before lowering its gaze. The black eyes are so captivating. K’ain can not look away.)

“V’aliir.”

(The name is spoken, as if inches from his ear. Strong yet gentle. A feeling of warmth moves across K’ain’s face. He feels the presence of Fiir’Ti and tears bleed from his eyes.)

“Why have you come to me? I am unworthy and of no import. Why me, Cóng Fiir’Ti, father god?”

(The cóng jhet cocks its head to the side as if to say it understands. It then bows its head and waves of dizziness invade K’ain’s thoughts. He stables himself against the stonework. Then the cóng jhet – V’aliir speaks in a voice of a different kind. The unmistakable voice of the deceased – Taris Cohaavian.)

“I owe you a debt of gratitude. You released me from a place of unbearable pain and torment. I would never have harmed my dear, beloved sister. The unspeakable deeds I committed were forced upon me by powerful souls beyond redemption. My spirit is consigned and I shall be at peace. But one message for you before I depart: My father was a man lost at an early age. As a near adult he gave his soul to the Lord of Despair and was locked into a life of servitude. His most devoted act – at great cost, the construction of a desert temple to the Dark Lord of Pain. The map is in my library in the spine of a book detailing Nyverian Chromomancy. Find this place they called the Hive. Stop the ones they called the Counted.”

(The spirit is gone. The cóng jhet once again lowers its head and blinks. A rolling purr rumbles in its throat. The cóng jhet leaps and at once is at K’ain’s side, rubbing its head against his leg. The scales scratch the skin under the fabric of his leggings.)

congjhet