The Magical Herd

The Jungle


You had no idea the meaning of dark until you find yourself lost in a jungle filled with strange sounds and trees that are invisible in the gloom. Brushing off leaves from you last encounter with an invisible bush, you enter a moonlit clearing. In it stood a two-legged Leaper Peak creature.


Obviously it had better night vision than you.
~?~ it asks.
Not quite sure what to say to that, you explain that you are lost.
You had no idea what it was trying to say, but it seemed a nice enough creature, so you followed when it indicated for you to do so.

Glad to have someone to crash through the branches in front of you, you stay close to the shadowy shape before you until you enter another silvery clearing. There stood a beautiful creature, asleep.


The one you met walks over to wake the sleeping female. It goes through a series of strange expressions to which the lilac one nodded. The she looked at you, ~Good evening traveller. I am Landarel, a Taratal. And this is Darossi, a Lakil. He asked me if I would carry you. He says you can't see in the dark.~

You thank both creatures gratefully and mount the Taratal.

Just before you leave the clearing, another creature enters. This one strode proudly over to you and Landarel. Looking you up and down, she cocked her head to one side. ~Landarel, you look strange tonight.~


Landarel laughed and explained that Adrala, the Tilirtal could not see very well in the dark either. She tells her friend to go to sleep and she'll explain everything in the morning. The sleepy Adrala agreed and soon her head drooped even though she remained standing.

~Where would you like to go, traveller?~ Landarel asked. You reply that you wish to leave the jungle, that you did not feel safe here at night. She seemed to understand and started to walk in the opposite direction you had been going (of course...). Then a creature ran past the two of you at an all out gallop.


~Run~, he cried out. And so Landarel began to gallop after the Mostratal called Meralen. At first you thought your weight would disadvantage Landarel, but she quickly caught up to the other horse-like creature. She would probably be an extremely swift creature on her own.

Finally, the two stop. It was a bit frightening travelling at that speed and not being able to see more than glimpses of objects passing by, though you trusted Landarel's night sight. Meralen explained that one of the jungle predators had been in pursuit of him, but you've all seem to have lost him. Then a pink two-legged creature appeared, startling everyone.


Everyone sighed with relief as the creature clicked in curiosity. ~ Bamaryn, will you show this traveller to the edge of the jungle?~ Bamaryn nodded. You realized that the trees were sparser here and you could see more with the moonlight trickling through the leaves. ~Bamaryn's a Chava. They are very friendly.~ He stood as tall as you did, and you walked next to him like as if he were another person. He kept up a continual one-sided conversation of clicks but didn't seem to mind that you never understood what he was saying.

Summer 1999