The pack jogged silently in a single file, they had been at a steady pace for the past few hours, yet they had not come in contact with any of the dark army as of yet. The cold had claimed the night bringing moisture to knee high grass blades that the pack ran through making their legs wet. Fog pushed from their mouths as they pressed on, a chilly breeze floated about, it was colder than usual. The moon was large resting in it’s place high above Lions Ground, the stars peppered the night sky with audience. Elu slowed just enough to pace beside Ongaro. 

“The southern part of the Trinity River, follow it and it will take you to the Chanu Canyons.” Elu told Ongaro. Ongaro was about to ask a question when he saw a shadow moving along the field, they all stopped to look upward seeing a black robed figure with large wings easily wider than a man is tall. The demon circled once as the pack watched before it flew past them landing a few hundred feet in the direction they were headed. The large wings folded blending into the blackness of the robe. 


It was Thorn, one of the generals of the dark army, he had finally found the pack. There was nothing but blackness that came from the large dark hood, no face could be seen until briefly the slight dim reddish glow of one eye that did not even seem remotely human stared at them before being engulfed again by the darkness under the hood. 

“Remember, lead the pack to the Canyons!” Elu said before disappearing. The pack summoned their weapons. Lemangra summoned his bow and pointed his arrow at Thorn.

“Shall I shoot it Be’loi?” Lemangra asked. For Lemangra to ask him what he should do made Be’loi feel in charge again, it felt good.

“Maybe we should wait.” Ongaro said.

“Wait for what? Elu has disappeared, besides, he is no Kulu warrior we are! The Kulu were trained to hunt such vermin!” Zutsi replied. Eyah shook his head in disagreement. Be’loi looked around and did not see Elu, then he felt stupid for even looking; he was the leader not Elu. Ta’Ru put him in charge of the pack. He stared at the silent robed demon before speaking, Lemangra’s arrow trained on it ready to shoot. 

“Shoot it.” Be’loi said his face frowning for the frustration he felt for questioning his own thoughts.  Eyah tapped Be’loi on the shoulder looking back behind him. Be’loi turned as did the others, what they saw was a horde of Dipur’ah running toward them in the distance. 

“So many of them, their numbers fill the grasslands!” Ongaro said in awe. Be’loi brought his power staff out in front of him.

“Then let us diminish their numbers!” Be’loi said with a grin.

“Remember what Elu told us!” Ongaro protested. Ongaro turned seeing Elu appear a few feet behind Thorn. White lightening sprung forth from his hands shooting at the demon general who raised his arms up creating a barrier in front of him that absorbed Elu’s attack. 

“Go!” Elu cried out, the look on his face was serious. Ongaro did not hesitate. He took off running past Thorn and Elu who were now locked in battle. To the surprise of the pack Eyah also took off running after Ongaro. Lemangra and Zutsi looked at Be’loi for his command, he seemed to struggle briefly.

“We follow them, we can not hope to win without the pack together!” He ran with the two brothers following behind him going off into the direction that Ongaro and Eyah took off running. Ongaro was in full stride now not holding back his speed, he could hear the howls of the Dipur’ah as they took up pursuit but he did not slow or look back, Eyah was close behind him. 

Elu pulled a leather string from out of his pouch, a small red rock was at the end of the string tied firmly to it. Thorn stretched out his arm in a swiping motion, and when he did this a black smoke arced and flew from him quickly moving toward Elu who disappeared then reappeared letting the smoke flow past him. Looking briefly over his shoulder Elu saw the pack already making distance from him. “Good, maybe there is a chance for them.” He told himself before facing the demon general again. He raised his arm above him and started swinging the stone, it began to glow brightly. The horde of Dipur’ah reached him being eager to tear him apart and feast on his magic and flesh but they were stopped by an invisible barrier that ripped into them as they touched it decimating the countless numbers as Thorn watched on. The demon general focused his attention on the spinning stone, he recognized it instantly as the stone of Eyahvah. It was given long ago to the prophet Nimbu who was sent by Eyahvah himself to protect a small village of faithful servants who lived off the northern coast of Gham’ballah. 

Thorn knew that the stone was more powerful than any magic he possessed, he was the weakest of the generals, he was no fool he did not attempt to break past the barrier, he would wait and plan. He lowered his head closing his hand. He was calling forth a summoning spell. Thorn dropped to one knee placing his palm on the earth, red energy briefly shot from it into the ground. Elu saw it and watched the reddish energy go deep ino the ground. He continued spinning the stone but looked over his shoulder again briefly, another form of trouble would be making it’s way to the pack. He sent them a brief prayer then focused on pacing himself with the stone, sweat dripped from his face; he took a deep breath to relax his muscles, he had to hold the barrier for as long as he could to give the pack time. Elu knew that soon the stone would need to recharge. Thorn patiently would wait until then. 

****************************
The pack ran in a single file gliding across the Lions Ground grass lands. Ongaro was in the lead Lemangra covered the back being last. Ongaro was amazed at how fast he ran, it was amazing indeed. The wind blew through his hair and onto his face, he knew that surely and easily they all could outrun a lion; the power of his slain brothers truly ran through him and the others. He thanked Eyahvah for blessing him with this power because it was their speed that helped them make distance between them and the horde of Dipur’ah. He reflected back on recalling that Elu also stepped between the pack and Dipurah to slow them down, and he was certain Elu was also the cause of the pack not seeing any Dipur’ah. He prayed that Elu was safe. 

“Wait slow down a moment!” Beloi yelled out. Ongaro looked back seeing everyone slowing so he did as well. He was sweating but felt no fatigue as of yet, but they were still early in their run for the Chanu. Lemangra jogged up behind Be’loi. 

“What is it brother?” Lemangra asked. Be’loi looked back across the grasslands making sure their pursuers were not close by.  

“I am no fool, I know that Elu is at war with the Dipur’ah hordes and that demon general. But at some point the horde will get past him while he battles with the demon general, after all I don’t think Elu holds power like Master Hu’Ru.” He looked at Ongaro. “How do you know where to go? You could be leading us to someplace that will be our deaths!” Be’loi said pointing his finger at Ongaro. 

“We are to keep going south until we reach the Chanu Canyons.” Ongaro replied, his face was a bit unnerved by Be’loi. Be’loi walked up challenging to Ongaro. 

“Let me guess, Elu told you where to go?” Be’loi said.

“This is not the time Be’loi! We all know you are the leader! You do not need to push this matter!” Ongaro said stepping closer to Be’loi letting him know that he would not be intimidated. The two stared at one another faces close. Eyah dropped to the ground his eyes darting about as he placed his hand to the ground. Lemangra kneeled understanding what Eyah was doing and placed an ear to the earths surface. Be’loi stopped his debate with Onrago looking at Lemangra.

“What is it?” Be’loi asked.

“Something is coming towards us from below, something big.” Lemangra said. Eyah stood up there was a look of concern. Lemangra stood up stepping away from where he just kneeled down. “Back away!” He yelled, but it was too late. The earth rumbled and shook, the pack fought for footing and balance as the ground shook violently before exploding beneath them erupting upward sending them all flying back with great force. Ongaro was thrown into the air before landing on the ground which at that point he rolled to his feet, his attention was on the large hole that was just created from the explosion. A deep guttural growl that stayed in extremely low tones vibrated against his body came from the hole. A hand that was easily half the size of Ongaro’s body reached out of the hole slamming heavily to the ground ripping into the earth followed by another large hand that rose up. Both giant hands pulled a massive, muscular mass from out of the ground. It rose standing twelve feet high. It’s body was pitch black, only the moonlight made it’s frame distinguishable from the blackness of night. Clouds began rolling in unnaturally fast, there was clearly magic at work. A red glow emitted from the center of the creatures head showing that there was no facial features only a smooth surface where eyes and a nose should be. 


It was Orgah the sentinel. Thorn knew that it would take time to reach the pack, so he summoned Orgah. The Nameless One wanted the pack dead, for once they were, it was one less hope that humanity had of survival. Orgah was more than sufficient for the pack which they would soon learn. The pack had been thrown in different directions, Be’loi was behind Orgah and he was the closest. He felt that Eyahvah smiled upon him giving him the advantage. He summoned his power staff and gave the battle cry of the Kulu running at full stride at Orgah. Once Be’loi reached the giant mass Orgah quickly turned with great speed swinging his enormous arm at him, Be’loi swung his power staff striking Orgah’s arm. The impact caused Be’loi to slide back many feet he dug his heels into the ground to stop his backward momentum, he kept his gaze on the giant demon. Be’loi was unharmed, but so was Orgah. 

“The demon is beguiling in it’s speed for one so large!” Zutsi said yelling out to his brother Lemangra who stood a few feet away. Lemangra summoned his bow. An arrow materialized in his hand as he pulled the bow string back. Lemangra focused on the red energy that was at the center of Orgah’s face. He released the arrow, it flew with great speed glowing blue showing it’s magical properties but once it was close to it’s target Orgah smacked it away with ease. Be’loi raised his power staff above him with excitement. 

“Our first prey brothers! Let us bring it down!” Be’loi cried out. The pack joined in with him with the battle cry of the Kulu rushing in to confront Orgah. Ongaro was not so optimistic, Elu said that they should continue to run not stop and fight. A strong wind picked up blowing around the Lions Ground, thunder roared above from the clouds that blocked out the moon and its light. Heavy rainfall began to pour down upon the grasslands, this was not a good thing Ongaro felt. 

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