Djinja and the Hand of Gand. book 2

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Djinja and the Hand of Gand. book 2

Post  Djinja on Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:38 pm

Djinja
and the
Hand of Gand



The rickety old tavern was called " The Pig and Tater ", and lay in moonlight along a track to the west of the Great Marsh Road in the eastern swamps. Djinja and the landlord's daughter lay amongst other sleeping forms, snoring on the floor together under a tattered cloak.
The black kingsnake lying at Djinja's feet uncoiled itself and slithered up to and around Djinja's neck , and Zaneeta's voice whispered in his ear,
" Brother, come to Yojamba, I have need of you here".
Startled awake, Djinja exclaimed " Zan ?" and made to sit up, but the snake immediately tightened itself around his neck and hissed at him ,
" Be quiet you drunken oaf ! Get up.....leave this hovel... come to me at the Temple...and do it now !"
The circle of diminishing light that was Djinja's vision began to increase again as the snake relaxed it's grip and he was able to draw a rattled breath and make a second attempt at sitting up. He did so carefully so as not to disturb his bedmate and got his clothing from the bench. He dressed himself in his peasant's homespun , belted on his dagger and hefted his shield and spear . Feeling in his pouch for coins he left ten silver on the bench, hesitated before placing two more coins and then crept from the tavern.
Zaneeta regarded the sleeping girl through the eyes of the snake and considered murder. How dare this slattern take advantage of her simpleton brother, she thought. As the girl was a Troll colleen , and not of some other and therefore enemy race, Zaneeta contented herself with pushing the blunt nose of the snake into the girl's ear and allowing two clear drops of venom to fall from it's fangs . Murder was perhaps a little extreme, but a blinding headache for a day or two would teach a lesson.
Djinja strode along the track , making for the Great Marsh Road and the beginning of a journey of many miles. Sliding by in the moonlight, the black kingsnake followed along.


Some days later Djinja arrived at Grom'gol and set off along the shore on the last stage of the journey. Skirting past a ruined building he was almost surprised by a Bloodscalp patrol and only just managed to avoid capture by hiding in the belly cavity of a dead raptor. By the time he was able to swim across the bay to Yojamba Isle the sun was falling and the chill of the night was coming on.
Zaneeta was standing just inside the trees and bowed to him and beckoned for him to come . He followed her slender figure to a hut set apart for guests where she handed him a wooden bowl of stewed meat and vegetables. Although it had been some time since their last meeting she remained impassive and undemonstrative.
" What is your need of me sister ? " he asked as he ate and she replied "Vinchaxa will see you soon."
"Vinchaxa ? Who is that ? "
" The Servitor of the God Zanza , he has a task for us. If we perform it well we shall advance ourselves. Be respectful , only speak when you are spoken to "


" So ! " said Vinchaxa, " you are the twin brother of our priestess Zaneeta. I am told that you can kill, and that is good because an enemy of Zanza must die. He is named Gand , also called ' The beguiler ' , a very dangerous Troll who plots against us. Kill him and bring me his hand as proof. He travels with the Kodo caravans from Desolace to Tanaris spreading his corruption and poison. You and Zaneeta will join the caravan as low class tinkers selling jewellery, and when your sister has identified him you will kill him. His death must remain unknown however as we have other assets in the area who would be compromised in the event of alarm. Kill Gand , hide the body, and bring me his hand."


Two weeks later Djinja and Zaneeta were squatting by the road in Desolace watching the approach of the Kodo caravan. Zaneeta , like Djinja , was dressed in homespun peasant brown. Her fighting stick lay beside her , it had been carved from driftmire wood by her father when she was growing up in the swamps, her possessions were inside her sleeping cloak and bundled over one end .
As the captain of the caravan drew level they rose and bowed and begged humble permission to travel under his protection to Tanaris .
" You will give me two silver , " he said haughtily , " and gather me an armful of firewood every evening . March at the back ." He waved them away and continued conversing with a green skinned Troll who was riding a wolf beside him. This Troll's yellow eyes slid over them before they bowed and shuffled to the rear.


At the end of that day's march , and after gathering wood and pitching a sheet of canvas to sleep under , they lit their fire and cooked food . As they ate their stew Zaneeta said " That was him , that was Gand the Beguiler , with his green skin and his yellow eyes."
Djinja was sceptical , " can you be so sure so soon ?" Zaneeta blew between pursed lips in irritation , " I have the sight remember , that is my part here , to spot him for you to kill ! " Djinja tilted his head in agreement and allowed his eyes to wander the encampment . A plump Troll with a long nose nodded in a friendly way from beside his tent a few yards away . He was working leather across his lap while his jolly wife brewed herbs for tea. Lifting his chin in greeting , Djinja got up and went over to gossip.


The next day was long and hot and as they marched the twins schemed how to come close enough to Gand to kill him without discovery. There was also the problem to be considered of where to hide the body . That evening as they sat by their fire the leatherworker came over to their tent and showed to them a bloodstone pendant .
" It was dropped by yonder Troll " he said , indicating Gand who was sitting with the rich merchants around the captain's fire.
" But I have not the courage to approach so grand a person as he , even though he will surely pay a reward . If you will give it him I will share the reward , what say you to that ? "
Djinja grinned and held out his open hand.


At the next days camping ground Djinja and Zaneeta pitched their canvas a little further away from the other travellers and kept to themselves as the evening wore on. They kept a discreet watch on Gand , and when he got up from amongst the merchants around the captain's fire to go out of the camp to relieve himself , Zaneeta ambled in the same direction. As he came back towards the camp she approached him and said , " Sir , my brother saw your bloodstone pendant fall today and picked it up, but is too fearful of your honour's presence to bring it to you .Will you come to our tent and take it back ? " She smiled shyly and indicated the way . Gand reached to his neck , and realising that the pendant had indeed gone , smiled in pleasure and followed after her in the darkening evening.


Djinja remained seated , but bowed respectfully from the hips as they came to the faltering fire , Zaneeta sat and gestured to Gand to sit between them.
" So young tinker , you have my blood stone ? "
" I do , your honour " said Djinja, and held out the stone. Gand nodded his gratitude and took it.
" I have a leather thong here sir ", said Zaneeta , " allow me to repair it for you ."
" If you allow me to give you a reward when you have done so." said Gand graciously as he handed her the stone.
At that moment Djinja's left hand slipped around Gand's head ,clamped over his mouth , and jerked the head backwards onto the point of a dagger thrust into the angle between his ear and jaw. Gand's body convulsed in one great spasm and was still , there was no sound and no blood .


Djinja allowed Gand's body to relax down to the earth in a prone position and dragged him by the shoulders through the open front of the tent and into the grave they had dug in there earlier that evening. Grasping Gand's right hand as if in greeting with his own right hand, he used the dagger in his left to saw at the wrist joint backwards and forwards three times until the hand was off . As he did so he noticed a bloodstone ring on the middle finger , a companion piece to the pendant.
" The beguiler beguiled ! " whispered Zaneeta triumphantly , and Djinja grinned his agreement . Together he and Zaneeta pushed the sandy soil back into the grave and smoothed the surface down . Laying their cloaks on top of their buried victim , they prepared to sleep for the night .


Early in the morning the merchants came searching through the camp for Gand . When the leather worker looked up from his herb tea at the twins , Djinja stared impassively at him until he dropped his glance and looked away. After much hallooing and discussion the captain persuaded the merchants that the mystery would have to wait and the caravan got under way for the last leg of the journey to Tanaris .


" Back so soon ? " growled Vinchaxa, " Is the task accomplished then ? "
" It is , Honoured Servitor " said Zaneeta with a bow, and Djinja offered a small bundle wrapped in leaf.
The Servitor, watched by the Headshrinkers of the Temple Guard, opened the packet on a waist high smoothed off tree stump and frowned at the hand .
" This Troll that you killed , had he a pendant twinned to this ring ? "
" He did , Honoured Servitor "
" Were his eyes yellow ? "
" They were , Hono....." Zaneeta staggered back as Vinchaxa struck her back handed in the mouth with the severed hand. She fell to her knees , a hand to her mouth , and looked up at him in horror.
" You fools ! This is the hand of our courier in the south , one of our best and most loyal devotees . Idiots ! " he screamed , and struck her again .
" But your Honour , we were sure he was Gand . " said Djinja , " and after the leatherworker gave us the pendant....."
" Tell me of this leatherworker ! "
" He was plump and friendly ....."
" And drank herbal tea made by his woman " said the Servitor .
" HE was Gand , and he beguiled you into killing one of the best agents we have ! "


Djinja dropped to his knees beside Zaneeta and stared at the sand as the awful implications of their deed unwound in his head . Not only was the Temple courier destroyed , but Gand lived and knew the identity of Djinja and Zaneeta . They would never be safe whilst Gand had breath in his body .


Vinchaxa pointed with his lifted chin to Zaneeta : " Take her to the altar and strangle her ! " The Zandalar Enforcer ,commander of the Temple Guard , immediately gestured to his Headshrinkers to grab Zaneeta's arms.
" And you , " said the Servitor to Djinja , " get thee hence ! ", and he gestured out to the bay .
The Headshrinkers lifted Zaneeta to her feet and prepared to follow the Enforcer to the Temple , when Djinja stood up and raised both arms in the air.
" Name the task ! " he shouted , " Name any task that I may do for the life of my sister . "


Vinchaxa fixed Djinja with a penetrating stare and held up a hand to stay the Enforcer . Placing both hands on the tree stump he looked at the severed hand there and then flicked his gaze back to Djinja . At one moment his hands were empty and in the next he held a wicked wavey bladed Troll dagger .
" NO !!! " screamed Zaneeta , but the Enforcer cuffed her to silence .



Vinchaxa lifted the severed hand and with three skilful cuts and some tugging at the fingers de-gloved the hand and threw the empty skin to one side . Taking the three fingers in his left hand he bent them back and snapped the bones in half . He thrust the three splintered bones under Djinja's chin :
" Take them ." he said. Djinja did as he was ordered and Vinchaxa spoke again .
" In time one will come who has a bone to match these , and you will be given the first of three tasks . "
Djinja bowed his head to the ground and thumped the bones to his chest .
" So mote it be " he said .
" And here , " said Vinchaxa , withdrawing something from his robe and throwing it to Djinja , " wear this as a sign of your disgrace . "
Picking it up Djinja saw that it was a bloodied wolf mask , the mark of the outlaw . Setting his jaw in determination to endure , he put it on.
" Now go " , said the Servitor of Zanza .
" And my sister ? "
" She can live, but she is degraded in rank . " said Vinchaxa. "Take her to the altar and flog her! " The Headshrinkers gave her a push and she followed the Enforcer to the Temple.
With a last look at Zaneeta , Djinja turned and walked into the sea .
The black kingsnake slithered along in his wake .

o0o


Last edited by Djinja on Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Djinja and the Hand of Gand. book 2

Post  Snicka on Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:48 pm

((Great story, I enjoyed reading it. Will you continue it? Oh, and is any character of the story except for Djinja an actual player?))

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Re: Djinja and the Hand of Gand. book 2

Post  Djinja on Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:56 pm

Thanks for the kind comments Snicka. The three tasks allow me to continue the stories, all I need now is a plot. I get ideas as Djinja aquires items ( such as the wolf mask or his driftmire shield ) and then wonder how he may have come by them.
No character other than Djinja is a player; but Vinchaxa, The Enforcer and the Headshrinkers are NPCs on Yojamba Isle. If anyone wants to make Zaneeta (great for some screen shots) please remember she is a red haired (zin'abar) blue skinned priestess and she fights with a staff.
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Djinja's story

Post  Zanick on Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:20 pm

Great story, Djinja. By far the best that I have read for a long time. I look forward to reading more as the story continues.
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Re: Djinja and the Hand of Gand. book 2

Post  Djinja on Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:01 pm

Thanks for your feedback Zanick, I really appreciate it.
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Re: Djinja and the Hand of Gand. book 2

Post  Stargaazer on Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:34 am

Yeah great story. Really interesting twist there with the wrong target.
Looking forward to reading the 3 tasks.

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Re: Djinja and the Hand of Gand. book 2

Post  Djinja on Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:34 pm

Hi Star,

I don't really have a story in my head at the moment but when i do I shall write it down, thanks for your input.

Djinja Very Happy
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