The night was calm, the warriors sat around the bond fire. It was a small band of true Kulu warriors, there was a difference. True Kulu warriors used magic and had enchanted weapons, they had unnatural speed, strength, and agility thanks to the magic that flowed through their bodies, and they only vowed to serve Eyahvah. The Kulu warriors that followed after had no such power and were ordinary men. And although they were skilled warriors, they served only the kings of men with no true devotion to Eyahvah. Five true Kulu sat around the fire hailing from the four kingdoms of their birth. 

Be’loi was a warrior from Zhannu; he was the oldest among them. 

Two were from Gham’ballah, they were Zutsi and Lemangra.

 Eyah was the silent one, he never spoke unless truly necessary he was from Boahm.

 Ongaro the youngest of the group was from T’oku. 

They had stayed away from the four kingdoms as instructed by Ta’Ru. They had not set foot in their native lands for over 1,600 years since being given enchanted weapons and being trained in the minor use of magic. None of them ever questioned why they had been instructed to leave, they knew that theirs was a higher purpose and one day they would be called upon to fight the demons that hid far across the sea in the forbidden lands. None of them aged due to being touched by magic, they appeared as they did the day magic touched them. Ongaro looked the same way he did when magic touched him at age 19, but he was wise in his years that far excelled his youthful looks, but to the pack, they still saw him as the baby of the group even still. Most of them were in their 30’s or older when they were touched by magic. Nicknames like pretty boy or baby face seemed to stick to Ongaro but after a time those names got old. One hundred separate groups, or packs as the Kulu called it had four to eight warriors to a group. Ta’Ru had ordered this pack to go to the central areas of the wild lands in the Jingo Forest and wait until called upon; they assumed the other packs had been ordered to go to other remote areas of Eyahvah Shi until called upon as well. For over 1,600 years the Jingo Forest had been their home, they had all become accustomed to the forest and all of its danger. The Jingo forest was home to various animals that were man eaters such as the boril monkeys, or shadow panthers that hid in the trees as good as the boril waiting for prey, the shril boar that could shoot poisonous spikes with the accuracy of a skilled archer from the quills on it’s body that could kill a man within hours was a feared beast being considered the king of it’s domain. There were countless insects that could kill a man from various poisons that each bug carried. Many dared not travel through the Jingo although the Trinity River was a direct and fastest route through the forest across the Wild Lands heading east. Water and food from the river was plentiful and could be traveled until one reached the Jingo, then it was best and safer to travel around the forest to head to either T’oku, Zhannu. The pack only saw men on rare occasions but did not greet them. Instead they stayed hidden letting the travelers pass through.

Finally Be’loi spoke, he kept his stare on the dancing flames. “Something has changed in the world have you felt it brothers?”

“As expected brother Be’loi, remember the great burst of magical energy we felt some time ago coming far from the direction of the Ki Citadel? It was a battle of great magic between good and evil. We know that it had to do with the mages who trained us and the evil far in the north. But we never got the call to arms so it was not our time.” Lemangra replied. Be’loi looked over at Lemangra.

“But evil is spreading across Eyahvah Shi, this can not be good, all of us can feel it yet no one has said anything!” Be’loi responded.

“And there is nothing we can do until we are summoned to do so by Ta’Ru, maybe that is why none of us have spoken of the evil that we all have sensed.” Ongaro said. The others laughed save for Eyah who remained silent.

“You state the obvious baby faced brother!” Zutsi jested. Ongaro did not find humor in Zutsi’s comment, or in the humor that the others found in the comment, but before Ongaro could protest the flames from the bond fire began swirling around catching everyones attention, the laughter stopped abruptly. The flames started to rise the pack stood up stepping away from the encampment. The magical energy was not dark in nature so the pack knew that it was not an adversary. The flames took the form of a hooded robed man in white before dropping down back into the kindle. All of their eyes opened wide.

“Hu’Ru!” Be’loi said surprised. All five Kulu dropped to one knee lowering their heads. Hu’Ru nodded his head in dissatisfaction at the warriors display as he pulled the scowl from his head with both hands.

“Rise up! Do not lower yourselves in my presence as if I am Eayahvah for I am not, and I do not deserve such praise or worship fools, and surely no man even a king of any of the four kingdoms deserves such praise! Do not forget your oath!” Hu’Ru said stepping out of the bond fire scolding the warriors. The five rose setting eyes on Hu’Ru whose gaze was very serious.

“Forgive us Master Hu’Ru, for it has been some time since we have spoken with anyone other than ourselves.” Be’loi responded. It was then Hu’Ru’s face softened. He looked around at the pack making sure to make eye contact with them all.

“Apology accepted.” Hu’Ru responded, he looked down at the ground near the fire stretching out his hand downward to the earth which rose in the form of a sitting stool. Hu’Ru then placed one hand upon it as he sat down. Zutsi stepped closer to the seated Hu’Ru he was excited and could not contain it.

“You have come to set us free back into the world? To allow us to join the other packs in war against the darkness from across the sea that we have all felt infiltrate our lands?” Zutsi said. Hu’Ru lowered his head briefly before speaking.

“Ta’Ru and I greatly underestimated our enemy. The world of men weaken The Nameless One’s prison with their lack of faith, debauchery and their love of idol worship. Man only seeks out Eyahvah during extreme hardship, it is time for atonement.” Hu’Ru said. Ongaro was surprised to hear such talk.

“But surely Eyahvah would not allow the Nameless One to walk free among the earth? With the dark ones distaste for mankind his wrath would be let loose upon us all!” Ongaro replied. Hu’Ru kept his head lowered as if sulking and saddened.

“Who are we to question what Eyahvah does? The time of testing has begun. All must prove to the Most High that they are true to Him.” Hu’Ru said. Lemangra rose his arm pounding his chest with one fist proudly.

“Set us loose on the world! Let us join the other packs as brother Zutsi asked! We will prove to the Most High that we serve Him!” Lemangra said defiantly, the others joined in agreement.

“The others?” Hu’Ru said with a raised voice that silenced the pack, he stood up his eyes enraged. “The Dark One has wiped all the other packs out! All of them were hunted down and killed over the past few years! Only this pack remains! You are all that is left of the Kulu warriors!” He collected himself before sitting down again. “You five are all that is left of the great Kulu Warriors…” his voice trailed off.

The pack stood stunned by Hu’Ru’s words. They stared at one another in disbelief speechless by the sting of reality.