|The Fandi Isle|
Designed by Miatrylle
Lifespan: 60 minutes
Type: LPK, NPK, CPK
Medium Groups: 28-30
Large Groups: 25-27
The first hints of the sun rising in the east began to play across the
horizon; brilliant ruby and orange rays shot across the sky, while the warm
yellow hues seeped into the ocean, lighting it from within and changing its
surface from the deep midnight of the night to the warm teals and blues of
With the coming of the day, enormous stretches of white sand beaches became
visible, along with the slender, waving palm trees that marked the boundary
between sand and forest. The warm wind pushed and pulled smooth clouds
through the air, misting the entire island in passing and giving the plants
and streams more water to feed on.
All across the land, thousands of fragrant flowers began to open their
bright faces to the world, sending the sweet aroma of nectar into the air.
Bright and beautiful birds parted their curved beaks to sing the day into
being, and dozens of brilliantly colored frogs leapt from leaf to leaf.
The sheer beauty of the place was dazzling to see, thought the woman who
observed it from inside her narrow canoe.
Syriaen gazed at the island with mingled feelings of awe and wariness.
Though its appearance was calm, beautiful, and innocent, the very fact
that such a place was seemingly deserted, at least of all human or human-like
civilization, alerted her sense of caution. Trained by the Imperial Guardsmen
of the City of E'nat'dae, she was usually quite a match for any opponent
that might cross her path. Still, anything that could keep so wonderful a
place so deserted might seriously daunt her, she considered, as she eyed the
smooth white beach before her. With a slightly rueful smile, she picked up
her paddle and began to work her way toward the island. She'd always been a
sucker for a good challenge.
Deep within the rainforests of the island, its human inhabitants were fleeing
the coming dawn, ignoring all of its beauty and thinking only of their lives.
While the soft rays of light spilled across the sky, they were slipping into
the deep tunnels that led to their underground homes. As the last of the women
and children disappeared into the darkness, the remaining men and warriors
pulled the heavy boulders into the openings, barricading themselves in.
A single small boy waited just inside the entrance to the tunnel system,
his large brown eyes wide and curious. His eager gaze passed over the faces
of the warriors and guardians of the tribe, searching for someone. When
his eyes fell upon the face of one seemingly ordinary man, they lit up with
happiness. He waited for the man he was watching to reach him before
flinging his lean little body into the waiting arms of his father.
Scendi looked at his young son with scarred, tired, yet fond eyes. The boy,
Rimo, was all that was left of his family. Though he loved the child, every
glance into those trusting, innocent eyes brought back painful memories
that he often fought to forget. Bitterly he looked around the dark tunnels,
noting the ever-present dampness, the musty smell of the mold and slime
that coated the walls and floor, and the dark, ominous shadows cast about
by the sparsely placed torches that lit the way to the main caverns.
Though Rimo was far too young to remember a time when the Sivilfandi tribe
lived above ground, rejoicing in the splendor of days and nights on the
Fandi Isle, his father did remember. Scendi would never forget those days
of joy, light, and love. There had been a time when the Sivilfandi had slept
through the night, waking with the sun each morning. But that was before.
Scendi's worn face hardened above his young son's tousled hair as he
recalled the events of the last two decades. Recalled how the foreign people
had come, bringing their animals with them, then left after plundering the
island's resources, leaving behind enough of their animals--dogs, they'd
called them--to populate the island. The animals had grown feral over the
years and had begun to hunt in packs, raiding the villages at night, stealing
food and hunting the youngest and weakest members of the tribe.
It had become so horrible that the tribe had sent to the mainlands for a
strong magic-man, who had claimed that he could solve the village's problems.
He had brought with him a small tan animal, called a mongoose. The man, Jidux,
had told the tribe that this animal, the mongoose, was a ferocious hunter,
often killing and eating snakes up to ten times its size. Jidux had promised
to rid the island of the feral dogs by enlarging two mongooses, making them
large enough to prey upon the dogs. The animals appeared to be tame and
almost affectionate with the villagers, and Jidux was given permission to
continue with his plan.
Unfortunately, things went terribly wrong from there. No sooner had the mage
enlarged the animals, making them each twice as large as a grown man, than
the pair turned and killed him, the male mongoose swallowing Jidux whole.
The villagers had been so stunned that they were taken by surprise, the
giant animals turning on them and killing many of them before the others had
escaped. In the fifteen years that followed, the mongooses had fed on humans,
animals, and dogs alike, killing and devouring all they could catch. The
humans that remained had created underground burrows, emerging from these
safe areas only during the night, when the feared mongooses were asleep.
Over the years, the wild dogs and the humans, each fleeing a much more
horrifying enemy, had become tentative allies, and then friends.
Though he had been only seven winters old when the first foreigners
had come to the island, Scendi remembered them very clearly--and everything
that had followed. He had lost his younger sister, Sivli, to a feral dog
raid during the first years following the foreigners' departure, and then
later, had lost his father to the mongoose attacks. And just two years ago,
he had lost his beloved wife, Imisandi, to yet another mongoose attack. For
though the mongoose seldom hunted during the night hours, an occasional
stray would still be awake when the humans ventured out of their burrows, and the ensuing battles were both violent and devastating.
A resilient people, the Sivilfandi had created new lives for themselves
under the ground, managing to cultivate small gardens and still promote
cultural and artistic advancement. Still, those like Scendi, who had lost so
much, would never forget the old days. He and many others in the village
still cherished hope that one day they would clear the island of the
mongooses, either by killing them off or by finding someone to cast the
counterspell of growth, reducing the animals to their natural size.
Scendi carried Rimo through the winding tunnels, nearing the underground
village. He gently stroked his sleepy son's hair, silently vowing that he
would never rest until Rimo could play in the light of the sun without fear.
The islanders only needed a little bit of outside help to turn the tide. All
that remained was to wait and prepare, biding their time until the right help
As Scendi and Rimo settled into their bedrolls, Syriaen stepped onto the
island beach. For just a moment, a slow, sleepy wave of energy rolled across
the sand, surprising both Scendi and Syriaen before subsiding gently.
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