With a muffled grunt, the third captive was tossed onto a dusty stone floor. The room was nearly empty, rough-hewn stone and earth forming most of it, but gaps in the planked floor of the shack above allowed shafts of light to shine into the makeshift basement. A wooden basin sat in the corner of the room, crusted over with something that could certainly only be blood.
The captive man inched away caterpillar style, his arms and legs tightly roped, and a disgusting cloth balled into his mouth preventing him from speaking. Having wiggled to the center of the room, he managed to turn around and sit up slightly to get a look at his captors.
There were two that he could see, olgogs with horribly painful looking brands on their faces, appearing to be a spread open hand from the chin to the top of their foreheads. One was a certainly a brezan, large and brutish, and he hefted a wooden club at the man, smiling as he did it. The other one shorter and slighter of build, and was harder to see as he leaned over the other two similarly bound bodies in the corner and checked their pulses.
The smaller olgog stood up with a sigh,
“Garhug you smacked this one too hard, his neck’s broken in half almost.”
The big one said nothing but continued smiling down at the man.
The smaller olgog dragged the dead one past the man and set him in the corner. The other he woke up with kick, and the man could see that it was an olgog that was in the same predicament as he. His eyes were full of anger and rage, and he struggled in vain against the ropes.
Just then a third olgog walked down, about five feet tall, but not branded, and dressed in some sort of bone armor emblazoned with crossed spears in front of what was a laughably cartoonish volcano. He took off his spiked helmet and smacked Garhug hard in the shoulder.
“I said take two, and no earthers! Someone will miss this one for sure!”
The man did not like the way he was gestured at, and furthermore his eyes were drawn to an obsidian dagger in a sheath molded onto the bone mail.
The brezan shrugged and replied,
“Sorry boss, 'e walked up on us right when we was smacking these two, but one’s dead I guess.”
If a brezan could look sheepish, this one certainly did.
The armored olgog pulled the bound olgog to the center of the room, kicking the man aside easily, and pulled the basin over next to them. The brezan stood at the back of the room, blocking the way to the stairs up, and the smaller olgog procured a rusty looking shiv from behind his back and cut a long line in his own hand with it.
He proceeded to draw a rough circle of symbols and lines using the blood from his wound around the basin and olgog in the center of the room, and finished it with a bloody hand print right in the center.
“It’s done Raka’na” he said, stepping back and looking for approval from the armored olgog.
The man could see where this was going, and sidled all the way to the far wall as he could, putting his back to the cool stone. Wide eyed, he watched as Raka’na put the olgog to the basin, and slit his throat, forcing the captive olgog down by his braided hair. After the captive olgog stopped struggling, the armored olgog drew something on the the now dead olgog’s back with the fresh blood.
To the trained eye, this was the sigil of Kalok, but the man had no way to know this.
Alarmingly, the sigil began to glow, and burn as well, streams of smoke emanating from holes being burned through the olgog’s clothing and scarring his back. the armored olgog stepped back, and looked a little uncertain.
Several moments passed, and then a deep voice came seemingly from the basin.
“You have done well, your efforts shall be rewarded.”
The bled out olgog then began to move, and stand up even!
The man could not blink for a moment such was the fear he felt. He watched as the olgog turned to face him, and fainted from what he saw.
The olgog wasn’t really alive, he was simply being puppeted. Obsidian had begun growing out of him, and red lines of something pulsed through the shards. The face was being twisted and mangled, forming a crude mask as though the rocks themselves were trying to figure out a shape to take. After several more minutes of this the growth stopped, having appeared mainly on the face and upper torso, but smaller spikes having formed on the forearms and legs as well.
The obsidian covered, and formerly deceased olgog turned to Raka’na and his minions, and said,
“I am the ash that remains when the fire has burned hottest. A sole ember that yet may start a mighty blaze when rekindled. You have breathed life back into the soul of our tribe Raka’na, and from your spark, a balefire will erupt from this place.”
“I am called Ma’rak, and I died a soldier’s death defending my home from our enemies. And now our god who reigns supreme has sent me back to help you restore our glory Raka’na, together we must rebuild our army, and reclaim what is ours!”
In a small hut hidden in the outskirts of Unen, the escaped Ka’Rhug tribal Raka’na the Ghost has been carefully recruiting olgogs seeking cause and purpose, and furthermore those who lust for power. With his small band, he has managed to create a small refuge for the cultists who will serve Kalok. By kidnapping olgogs in small numbers and from varied locales, he has managed thus far to stay under the radar.
In time, he will expand this refuge, recruit more minions, summon more malevolents from Kalok’s realm, and further Kalok’s agenda.
Those seeking to join or put a stop to these actions could investigate whispered rumors in Unen of a local earther merchant Gareth who disappeared on his way home several days ago, and who hasn’t been seen since.
However, the physical location of the hut remains unknown for the moment…