« on: August 09, 2010, 12:16:40 am »
This is written how I imagine the dream hunt, uniltaron, would be like. I have read both what the script has to say about it and the ASG, so I have a pretty good idea.....but some of what happens here is just from my brain.
The events here take place in hometree before the sky people came.
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Ekirä stood nervously by her brother while his two friends painted his skin with lines and swirls. The air was heavy with the scent of strange, smoking plants, making the atmosphere thick. She moved away from the fire that was making the smoke, it made her feel lightheaded and giddy. She felt a wave of nausea in her stomach and remembered her mother’s words about not coming to watch her brother’s dream hunt. “It will be too intense for you,” she had said. “You aren’t ready to watch what your brother will have to endure to find his spirit animal.” Ekirä had protested this, saying that if she too would one day do the dream hunt, then she would like to watch her brother. But her mother was adamant about it; it wasn’t until she pleaded with her father that she finally got permission.
Now, in the smoky well underneath hometree, she was both scared for her brother and for herself, what she would watch. The stories her friends had told…..but no, they had never actually seen a dream hunt. Their stories were all passed down from their elders, how could she be sure they were true? It had been years since anyone had died from the sting of an arachnoid. Her brother was strong, he would no doubt survive. But there was still always the chance…..
“Roatay!” from the down below came the deep voice of the tsahik, stopping Ekirä’s wandering thoughts. Her brother Roatay turned to her with a wan smile. “It’s now or never. Wish me luck, ma Ekirä.” Ekirä squeezed the end of her queue, an addicting habit that seemed to keep her voice from trembling. She looked deep into Roatay’s eyes. “I see you, brother. Good luck.” He nodded, and silently led his sister and his friends down to the place of dream hunts.
Ekirä took her place in the half-circle of hunters, the tsahik sat on a stool in the front with the olo’eyktan behind her. She saw in a dreamlike state Roatay do what he had practiced for many days. He kneeled in front of the tsahik and she took a bowl of smoking herbs and let the smoke wash over Roatay’s face while murmuring so softly Ekirä doubted even Roatay could hear what she was saying. The tsahik then turned over the bowl and the herbs fell still smoldering to the floor. She gave the bowl to the olo’eyktan, who in turn set a glowing worm inside and handed it back to her. Roatay still kneeled in front of her, his face handsome and impassive. Silently, the tsahik put the writhing worm into his mouth and he chewed, the light from the worm shining faintly through his cheeks.
The olo’eyktan then came forward with a closed box. He stood behind Roatay and carefully took out a black arachnoid from inside the box, holding the large insect with his two fingers tightly on its neck, disabling the stinger until it was ready. Ekirä could see Roatay trembling faintly from the anticipation of the pain he knew was coming. The olo’eyktan then bent down and pressed the insect down hard on the back of Roatay’s neck and it dug its stinger deep inside his skin.
He jolted like an electric current had run through his entire being, and grew rigid, unable to control his body. The olo’eyktan put the arachnoid back inside its box and walked back over to his place behind the tsahik. Everyone in the circle was watching Roatay closely; he was trembling uncontrollably and suddenly fell down in the dirt. Ekirä watched in expectant horror as the dream hunt’s normal effects took place. Roatay moaned softly then screamed, his body wracked with pain from the arachnoid’s sting. He grabbed at his neck in agony, his fingernails leaving marks from where he scratched without knowing how hard he was pressing. He clutched his stomach and stopped moving at all, even stopped breathing. He lay still, quiet on the floor. A minute passed before Ekirä saw him faintly breathing, she had known better than to ask the other hunters if he had died. The thought had jumped into her mind first thing when she saw him lying there, but the others had still watched him expressionless so she had kept silent.
Roatay quickly sat upright, his eyes wild, his mouth foaming. He was staring, but he could see nothing but the events playing through his head. He retched and brought up bile. It was terrible and burned his tongue, the taste so much like the worm he had eaten but also mixed with a strong acid he had never tasted before. Again, he gave a haunting scream then fell down to the floor.
Ekirä, too numbed with what she was watching to move, stared at Roatay again lying silent on the floor. But this time she felt concern from the hunters, and turned her eyes to woman beside her. The woman reassured her with a quick glance, and Ekirä could read in her eyes that Roakay was still there, but his spirit was in the world that he saw in his eyes. Ekirä felt a sudden urge of strong love for her brother, and felt she could wait days beside him while he came out of his world. The longest time anyone had ever stayed in a dream hunt had been thirteen hours, but it was most common to only stay in the hunt for one or two.
Ekirä blearily opened her eyes and realized with a sharp knife of embarrassment that she had been leaning her head on the hunter beside her. The woman stopped stroking her hair when she saw that Ekirä had awoken, and so as to not cause her more humiliation the woman did not make eye contact nor acknowledge the incident. Ekirä wondered how long she had slept, Roakay was still lying in a contorted position, but he seemed wakeful and his limbs kept jerking. It must have been the smoke that made me drowsy. Perhaps mother was right, maybe I am too young for this. She watched, wakeful again, as Roakay slowly rose from the ground, opened his eyes and blinked. The circle looked the same again, gone were the painful colors and the disproportionate people. He vaguely saw his sister’s relieved smile before brushing the sticky dirt off his face and standing.
The tsahik beckoned him over to her, and he talked quietly of what he had seen. The other hunters took this as a sign to leave and did so, respectfully keeping their voices silent. Ekirä wanted badly to stay and talk to Roakay about what came to him, but that would be later. She felt a hand on her back telling her to keep moving, and she did so with one last glance at Roakay’s beng form talking, with the tsahik and olo’eyktan listening intently.