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#1 [en] 

for Aleeskandaro

The ShadoWalkers sat around a campfire in the marauder camp, chatting and celebrating. After a long while, the sounds of conversation slowly died down.

“Lumi! You could tell a story!” said Sad.Luminatrix smiled. It had been a long time since someone had wanted to listen to her stories. “Very well. I’ll tell you an old bedtime story. I remember my mother telling it to me before bed. When I was little, it scared more than it made me want to sleep, but I wanted to hear it again every night!”

“Once upon a time, when homins were still quite new to the New Lands, there was a big celebration in Knoll of Dissent. Once it dissipated, all the revelers started getting up and going home. One of them, a young Matis, was too drunk. In the darkness, he thought he was going home but he had, in fact, lost his way.

As he walked through the dark forest, fear came upon him. He heard torbaks howling all around. After some time of what felt like going in circles, he saw a light. He thought maybe the fires of the celebration hadn’t burned out yet and he could return there. He couldn’t be more wrong.

He headed towards the fire. Suddenly, bandits fell upon him. ‘Your dappers or your life!’. He didn’t have any dappers, having spent all of them at the celebration on food and drinks for himself and his companions. ‘Your life then!’ said the bandit boss. The young Matis weighed his options, decided to take the chance and started running. The bandits followed suit. The chase was relentless and he was getting tired. Then he saw a vortex in front of him. He jumped right through.

He found himself in a strange land he had never seen before. It was dark with bioluminescence providing just enough light to see. It was eerily beautiful. He would have liked to spend more time exploring but he heard the bandits behind him and had to go on running.

Exhaustion was taking over him. His lungs were burning, his legs felt like they were made of wood. He knew then that he couldn’t keep running forever. He was quite sure at that moment that he would die. Then, he heard a familiar noise from behind him. Surely, it couldn’t be! He turned around slowly. It was white instead of the usual sandy brown but there was no doubt, it was a gubani! And it had friends...lots of them. There was one bigger gubani in the middle of the herd, colored differently. It was black and looked quite threatening. As he stared at the interesting creature, the herbivores surrounded him, chirping softly.

‘Where did he go?’ he heard. ‘I’m sure he went this way!’, said another voice. They sounded like they were approaching. ‘Boss, what’s this? Are they sick or something? Why are they white?’ - ‘Shut up, he must be here somewhe- I see him! Get him!’ The bandits drew their weapons and closed in on our poor hero. He was, once again, sure that he would die. But wait! What kind of a bedtime story would this be if it ended badly? The strange black gubani stood up on its hind legs and let out a roar that nobody had ever heard from such a peaceful creature before.
‘Umm boss...I don’t think this is a good idea’, said one of the bandits, lowering his spear. The others lowered their weapons as well. ‘Yeah, this here thing could kill us. Some stupid boy who has no dappers anyway is not worth our lives. Let’s get out!’ With that, they started walking away. The bandit boss stayed for a moment, then ran after them, yelling something about useless cowards.

The young Matis man didn’t know what to think. He had always thought gubani cute harmless creatures and now one of them had saved his life. He knew two things for sure, however. Firstly, he would not underestimate gubani anymore. And secondly, he would never walk home on his own while drunk ever again”

Luminatrix finished the story but all she got in response was silence. She looked around her. All her guildmates were fast asleep.

“Well,” she murmured to herself softly. “Maybe it’s a good bedtime story afterall.”

---

Luminatrix

Explorer, storyteller, universalist, fighter for freedom and equality.

"Without contraries, there is no progression" - William Blake
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