Hu’Ru remained quiet for many minutes letting what he just said sink in. The crackling of the fire blended in with insects of the night that chirped in the distance. Hu’Ru kept his gaze on the flames in front of him. Finally he spoke. “Please, all of you sit down and listen to what I must tell you.”

The five warriors did not question, they all gathered around the encampment staring intently at Hu’Ru, he knew he had their full attention. “The demon lord brought his stench to Ki, and if not for my brother I would not be here talking before you.” Hu’Ru said.

“He gave his life to save yours, didn’t he?” Lemangra asked, but they all knew the answer. Hu’Ru fought down his emotions before speaking.

“To save me he conjured a teleportation spell sending me away from the endless hordes of demons that thirsted for our blood. With his remaining magic he released a cleansing spell that not only took out the demons that tainted Ki but it also took his own life. I was still on Vorh’Du when Ta’Ru died, and I was forced to cast a spell that could successfully hide me until the eyes of the Nameless One was no longer upon me. I was too drained to fight, and if discovered it would have surely been my demise!”

“If Eyahvah is allowing the Nameless One to grow in power and you could not stop him, what are we to do against him? We are all that is left of our brethren. If the magic of Eyahvah Shi’s most powerful mages was not enough…” Zutsi’s voice trailed off.

“Do not forget your oath!” Hu’Ru said firmly. “You have been given the power that you have due to your oath to see this through no matter the odds. If you lack faith then you no longer need the magic you were gifted, or the enchanted sword at your side!” Hu’Ru raised his hand toward Zutsi who seemed to cower momentarily; something a Kulu never did. Maybe the thought of being ordinary again frightened him.

“Do not be so quick to judge my words Master Hu’Ru! I was merely speaking what everyone was thinking!” Zutsi quickly replied. Hu’Ru glanced around at the others.

“Does anyone share his views?” Everyone remained silent. “You were given a power to help protect those who can not protect themselves! All of you swore an oath to Eyahvah that you would fight to the last, and to the death! Much hinges on if you succeed in your task! All four kingdoms will fall if you fail!” Hu’Ru’s hand began glowing brightly. “Get out any negative thoughts you may have!” He yelled. The wind picked up blowing tree tops about. Animals scurried and birds that were perched near bye quickly took flight. Small bright spheres of light bolted from Hu’Ru’s finger tips shooting and striking all of the Kulu warriors who shuddered violently as the magical spheres struck. Sphere after sphere struck them all absorbing into their bodies, they all cried out being overwhelmed but there was no pain. When Hu’Ru’s hand stropped glowing no more spheres left him. One by one the Kulu warriors dropped to their knees gasping heavily. Hu’Ru looked at all of them as they started to realize what had just happened. “All of you have been given the power of each Kulu warrior that has fallen to the demon lord. Your power is now increased one hundred fold! Did you think Eyahvah would send you off unprepared!”

Be’loi’s face was full of sweat as he caught his breath. “All doubts are removed from our minds!” He struggled to stand but he was able, the others followed suit. Be’loi raised his arm with a closed fist. It was the sign of combat readiness of the Kulu. Hu’Ru was weakened by what he had just done. Wiping the sweat from his brow he slowly sat back down. From out of the bushes behind Hu’Ru came a man that momentarily surprised everyone save for Eyah who stood merely staring and waiting. Be’loi summoned his power staff staring at the intruder.

“Relax your weapon weapon Be’loi, he is with me.” Hu’Ru said waving his hand in a gesture letting Be’loi know there was no threat. The man was wearing only a loin cloth with a pouch attached to it, his face was calm, his eyes kind yet showing great wisdom. 

“This is Elu, his nomadic people live far to the south in the Na’Chiri dessert. The dessert is named after his people for they have mastered it.” Hu’Ru said.

“Why is it that we did not detect him until he came out of hiding?” Lemangra asked staring curiously at Elu as did all of the pack.

“Like me, there is a spell that conceals him from others and from magic. Only until he reveals himself will one see him.” Hu’Ru responded.

“So he is a mage?” Ongaro asked.

“Yes. But just as the fate that befell the Kulu, the Nameless One sent his own mages to seek out and kill disciples that Ta’Ru and I trained. Elu is the last of our disciples. And like you all he has absorbed the power of his fallen brethren. He will serve as your guide on all missions, and also as your protector.” Hu’Ru answered.

The pack began to laugh and look at one another. “We are Kulu, we need no protectors!” Be’loi said, the others agreed. Hu’Ru shook his head in disappointment.

“Even with your newly given enhancements there are forces from the forbidden lands that are even more powerful than all of you! Take note that none of you will survive without Elu, and you are all fools to think otherwise!” Hu’Ru said angered. Ongaro approached Hu’Ru trying to speak in a manner that was not challenging.

“I understand what you are saying Master Hu’Ru. We Kulu may be of magical origins, but the ones that the Nameless One sends against us will be carriers of powerful magic above our own! Kulu are not mages, we are warriors! We do not understand nor grasp higher level magic! And surely we could not go against such powerful evil and be successful in victory if we do not have the protection of Eyahvah.” Ongaro pointed to Elu. “Eyahvah has decided Elu will be that protection, for the Most High has sent him!”

Zutsi snickered. “Hush baby face, no one has asked for your words!” He said rudely. The look of extreme annoyance was visible on Hu’Ru’s face.

“Listen to the youngest of your pack all of you! His words are wiser than his years! May all of you be prepared, for in the morning you leave for Na’Chiri!”

Before anyone from the pack could ask another question the flames reached out engulfing Hu’Ru before flowing back into the bond fire. Hu’Ru was gone. The pack stared at Elu who smiled at them kindly before he turned around walking back into the brush disappearing. The pack was left staring at one another silently.