The Jewels of Heka
Long before the world was forged, there was a divine deity, he knew the secrets of beyond, the words needed to create life, and the actions
to take to seize the world by her throat. Consumed by power, blinded by brutality, Heka was a god, but his tyrany would not be long lived, the ancient
priests of Karth bound his soul and powers to beautiful gleaming jewels, and destroyed his earthly body. The land of Khamen- Rey knew peace for years
and years until the god Heka was ultimately forgotten, and only the jewels had meaning and value. Meaning and value that had been lost or stowed away
for years, no one quite knew their exact place in the world, save some vague piece of information handed down from father to son, possibly in the
lower halls of some ancient pyramid, or mortared behind the wall of a temple, many assumptions, yet no one dared to seek out the jewels themselves, no
one that is except for Thornin.
The land was strange to him, being from the cold icy north, the sun in this place seemed hotter than all the
fires of Hel, the great drifts of snow and ice were replaced by burning hot dunes of sand where a drop of water would'nt even soak in before being
completely evaporated into nothingness. Yes even the rains in this place were a trick, by the earth itself or some mischievous elder god, not a lick
would fall on any man there only feeding the sun's unquenchable thirst. Thornin's blade gleamed in the rays, the smallest flash was seen along the
razor thin blade as it hung from his back, ready to spring out and kill like a booby trap that littered the halls under the great pyramids of this
place. He was a traveler of many lands, and this was by far the most desolate and miserable, he was on his way to Kushain, the capital of this
apocalypse, seeking information on the jewels of Heka, his supreme prize and reason for being here at all, so much he missed the cooler climates, even
the jungle land of lakes Aztlandia were more welcoming than here, he thought.
He broke his camp he had made the night before, baked in the sun by day, frozen to the bone at night, fighting off
scorpions and serpents as he lay. He bound up his bundle and laid it across his camels back, wrenching it down tightly. He had camped strategically
the night before, a little ways out of Kushain so he wouldn’t have to lay in a strange town in a strange land, and who knew how the locals took to
outsiders. He stuck out like a sore thumb. Better he thought to come at day, get the information he needed and be back in the wilderness the same day,
no questions, no prying eyes, and most important, no opposition. His first though was the tavern, people's lips get very loose after the wines of the
country pass through them, he would learn some crumb of information from some drunkard there, he knew it. So off he went, he was a great and imposing
man, but yet easy to look at, big bulky corded muscle ordained his large frame, all he wore were sandals native to the land, a pair of leather
leggings that went to his knees and had thin straps wrapping around his husky shoulders. His long golden mane flapped wildly in the arid desert wind,
showing slivers here and there of his ice blue eyes, and the mid length beard he had, brown and much darker than the rest of his hair.
He walked his camel into town and tied it off at a post outside of the tavern, and walked in. He went to
the bar and got a mug of ale, no mead to be had in this land, and went to a corner seat in the darkness among one or two candles the shadowed most of
his face. There he sat and sipped on his drink and listened, and watched. Hours went by, no word of any jewels that he heard, and he had keen hearing,
like a tiger in the darkness, with the eye sight to match. He had ordered his sixth mug of ale when some new faces had come in without his knowing,
curious thought he, and interesting, the way they were dressed. The “leader” of the group, at least he who headed them when waiting for wine was
dressed in a jade green toga, similar in style to those of Acropoli, but he was no Acropolian. He wore a large white turban with a great ruby in the
middle and a hawk feather sticking up straight, gold rings lavished his fingers and he wore a jewel encrusted curved dagger at his belt. Thornin
listened intently to their conversation, not making himself known, he heard fragments of prophecy, sacrifice and jewels, the jewels of Heka, it must
“ The ritual will happen at the crescent moon”, the turbaned man hissed to a cloaked figure.
Our master, lord Heka will return, and punish those who oppose in great white fire. The faithful will be rewarded beyond belief, so do not let your
faith flicker for an instant.” he said.
“Yes, but how can the ritual be performed without the jewels”? Said the cloaked figure.
“patience, we will get them, even if we go through every thick headed mercenary in this town.” Said the turbaned man. At this Thornin knew he
needed to either try to follow these men, who seemed very cautious, or make his move and play them like fools, take them head on in a sense. He got up
and calmly walked to them, he made his decision, and sat down in front of them.
“You are in need of a mercenary.” he stated bluntly.
The turbaned man look bewildered, and the hooded man concealed his face further.
“Yes.. we are”, the turbaned man said cautiously.
“I am the best, and will lend my services.. for a price.” Thornin said, obviously he had no intention of getting the jewels and handing over a
fortune to someone else, but it had to be believable. They pondered briefly, sizing up the man, and gave a look of combined satisfaction.
“Yes of course, we'll give you 1500 gold for the return of our family heirloom,” the turbaned man lied through his teeth, the viking knew that
“ Tell me where they are and what dangers lie there and I will get them, pain or death will not stop me.” Thornin said. "Very ambitious,” the
men said grinning, “ they lie in the kings vault of the Seraneti pyramid, the vault has been opened by another mercenary, but I’m afraid he
didn’t last long after removing the jewels from their pedestal, tragic”, they tisked.
”Very well”, the viking said,” and when I have the jewels?
” We will meet at this tavern in two days time.” the turbaned man said.
“my name is Zargo, and if you try to play us, the seven layers of hell will not be able to hide you”, he half snickered with a menacing look on
his face. At that they stood up, bowed mockingly and hurriedly left, glancing back at the warrior and whispering, No doubt setting a trap.
He stayed that night in a small room rented from the tavern, and lied in wait, resting here and there, he needed
little sleep to be fully charged for the coming day and was more concerned about catching a dagger in the dark, he could not get the jewels if he was
dead. The night was event less thankfully and he woke early, heading for the pyramid early in the morning. Once he arrived to the plateau of the
pyramids, he pulled out the map he bought of a tradesmen in town and read over it, lining areas with his finger. From what he saw the sareneti pyramid
was about 3 miles south east from his location, a good three to four hour ride, and off he went, back into the burning sands. The land was mystical,
but with an air of treachery to it, giant rising pyramids all around him, pillared temples with giant forms carved into the rocks and cliff faces,
keeping ever vigilant for outsiders like Thornin to their lands. He could feel the unnerving stone stares at him the whole way to his destination. Off
to his left a pack of jackals were mauling the remains of a great vulture, their hysterical laughs ringing and echoing through the valley. Palm trees
swayed in the arid wind, sand storms made it blindingly impossible to see at some points, like some deity blowing the sand to unsettle it.
Finally he came to the Sareneti pyramid, rising up in the horizon just as the sun was setting behind it, the scene
was awe inspiring and cruel at the same time, he had not begun the perilous journey navigating the maze like setting of the inner pyramid proper, and
unknown still the creatures that awaited him inside. He drank from his canteen as he unloaded his bundle from his camel and made camp just outside of
the pyramid. He got a small fire going from the dead brush and limbs from the shrubbery strewn around him, and pulled a leg of pork out and made a
roasting pike and cooked his meal, the last of his food. After his belly was full he pulled out his last half a bottle of mead and began drinking it,
savoring every flavor and memory of his homeland, and drifted off to a deep sleep. There in his mind he encountered night terrors the like he had
never seen, images of titanic beasts in the darkness circling him, being consumed by the darkness, a glowing female presence floating above him, and
when he awoke, it was daylight.
The entrance to the pyramid was about his size, and opened like a mouth of darkness, and in he went, into the
unknown. Down a smooth stone corridor he went, no doors on either side of him were there, forward he went, straight as an arrow until another doorway
came upon him in the torchlight, and when he walked through, he was in a great chamber, the doorway led down a great set of stone stairs into the
room. The ceilings were vaulted and went higher than the light would show, four great pillars stood in the corners of platform in the middle of the
room, the pillars with carved cobras facing the inside of the platform and the outside, with jewel encrusted eyes and hoods. The sight was eerie,
single beams of sunlight came through the room, lighting up the dust that danced inside their light. Cautiously, the warrior came down the steps, not
making anymore sound than the wind on wheat fields, silent and deadly he was. At the other end of the room was a great doorway, with the outside of it
carved like a great elephant head, the tusks coming out like great ivory handrails leading to the door, Two giant emeralds encrusted the eyes. As he
made his way down the steps he was startled by a noise, a great rattling and hissing, like a pot on the stove boiling over, and he stood halfway down
the steps and crouched blending into the darkness. Out from the shadows a form appeared, A great ancient cobra, with jewels crusting the back of his
hood and his eyes red like burning rubies, from the platform a man appeared, rising up through the stone, dressed like zargo, jeweled turban and all,
only different colors.
As he jutted up, his arms were raised above his head, which was lulling back and forth like a man
possessed, and the great cobra slithered in front of him and the platform, almost bowing to him it seemed, as the man muttered and chanted words
unknown to the warrior. The gems on the cobras hood began to glow and the cobras head lulled as the mans did, making a noise like water being thrown
into fire. At this Thornin saw enough, he could not pass this obstacle just watching and being passive, whatever was happening, it was not helpful,
the warrior knew that, and he took his great yew bow from his side and slid a great tipped iron arrow into the string and tensed back, taking aim at
the man lulling his head and speaking the incantations, he drew back as far as he could and released, the arrow whizzed silently through the air and
hit its mark, right to the mans face and open mouth, he fell silently dead. Before he could string another arrow, the cobra turned on him and stared
menacingly through slitted eyes right at the warrior, his tongue whipping in and out, and for once Thornin could see the great fangs in his mouth, big
as his sword with oozing venom rolling down them and dripping to the floor. The warrior caught his look and holstered his bow and drew his blade,
standing menacingly like a stone statue that was ready to attack at any second, and the cobra charged him, moving lightning fast towards his intruding
prey, as it reached the bottom of the staircase and began writhing up it towards the warrior, Thornin leapt from where he was to meet the beast in
combat and brought his mighty blade down on the whipping tongue as it leaped out at him, the beast lurched back and made a terrible sound, and came
again for the warrior, striking out with his fangs, missing narrowly each time as the warrior deflected the strike. Thornin sliced at the creatures
exposed belly, sending blood flying in his rage until the cobra moved back and tried to deliver one fatal strike to the warrior's body, but as he came
in, Thornin held his sword out and the point buried deep into the top of the serpents mouth, he hung on tightly as the cobra lurched back and brought
the warrior into the air with him, the cobra unhinged its jaws in an attempt to swallow the warrior whole, but it only served as making Thornin ground
in his lower jaw, and at this the warrior pushed up with all of his might, pushing the blade up into the creatures brain, he twisted and writhed and
made terrible noises, before spinning around and falling dead, the warrior tumbling out and landing on his feet as he came down too. As soon as he was
on his feet, Thornin was at the ready again, but none came, not even a sound in the darkness. He used the dagger tucked in the front of his pants to
pop out a few of the jewels that were on the cobras hood, and he saw, after death, the cobras eyes were solid, cut rubies, he popped those out and
into his satchel as well. He moved from the platform to the elephant door and silently made his way inside.
Down the torchlit corridor he went, not making a sound, these walls had pictures carved into them, colored and
decorated, ancient eyes and words littered the walls, some making elaborate scenes of battle, with a golden man riding in a chariot with what looked
like rays of sun beaming out, the next one was the same, but the men on the ground the rays fell on were dying and writhing and looking up almost
begging. On he kept going, until another doorway came in front of him, this one led out to a long narrow stone bridge, as he went across it, he looked
down and saw a dense humid jungle in the room below, with a waterfall coming out from the wall and made a flowing river throughout the room, clouds of
humidity rising from it and wisping up into the air below and over the bridge. As Thornin came to the doorway at the end, he went through the door,
another great elephant one, and went through it. A staircase wound down, with two cobra handrails on either side of the passage, the head was at the
top of the stair, and when he got down to the end of it, the bottom had a head as well. He shuttered thinking of a two headed beast like the last he
fought, but he would dice through anything that stood in his way, he would not die without a fight, was the only solace he offered himself. He went
through the doorway at the end of the stair and came out into the large jungle room, there was a path cut through the foliage, a very defined path,
and the only one he could see. He walked cautiously into the jungle, alert and at the ready, through it he went, the humidty was intense and made it
hard to breathe, sweat gleamed on the muscles of his body, giving him an unearthly glow. His blade was struck out in front of him ready to sting
anything coming his way, but he heard nothing until,-BOOM! The sound was intense and shook his whole being, the ground vibrated under him, sensing
doom, he left the path and climbed a mighty tree overlooking the path and waited, for what he did not know, but it was big. Moments later, he saw the
cause of the sound, it was a great elephant, with an armored headdress, and jewels encrusted on his tusks, which were large, but smaller than most.
Vigilantly, it searched the path, smelling the ground with its great trunk, and stopped when it came to where Thornin had been, moments ago and
tensed, it knew there was an intruder, it made a wailing sound, lifting his trunk towards the roof and reared up, turning to the tree Thornin was in.
The great Warrior lifted his bow and strung an arrow, pulled back and released, but the arrow glanced the beasts head and ricocheted off and into the
trees. He charged the tree with great might and Thornin leapt out before he and the tree were gored by the tusks. As he landed, he strung another
arrow and aimed, this time for the beasts eye, and released, hitting the mark in the soft tissue, again the elephant reared and made a horrible sound,
lashing out with his trunk at the warrior.
After regaining some lost composure, the elephant searched for the warrior again with his trunk and one good eye,
but Thornin had climbed another great vine covered tree, and strung an arrow again, and waited, until the elephant wandered up the path, this time
not seeing the viking warrior. Thornin waited for him to search with his good eye and when the spot was open, sent another arrow into the beasts other
eye, blinding him completely. At this the elephant churned and writhed and made awesome and terrible noises, cursing he who blinded him in its own
foul tongue. Cautiously the elephant smelled and made its way to where the warrior was, this time he had his sword out and waited midway on the
branch, waiting for the perfect point to strike, and strike he did, he leapt out of the tree, his blade pointed down, the tip aiming for the top of
the elephants skull, impact he made, and the blade slid deeply into the mammoths skull, writhing and turning and rearing up it made its death rattle
as the warrior twisted and churned his blade into the skull. All was silent as Thornin made up the path to the next passage, and as he strode next to
the waterfall, he stopped and filled his water bag, and found some fruits in the trees, he ate only the ones he recognized and rested a little by the
main pool of water the falls spilled into.
Some time had passed when he gathered himself up and made his way to the corridor leading to the next chamber,
and as he went through the dark tunnel, images painted on the walls sprung to life in the dancing torchlight, moving side to side and up and down,
shadowing themselves to and fro, he kept moving, always vigilant looking ahead, looking behind, keeping everything in view, on he went, down deeper
into the earth, and around and around until he came to a large closed door, the door was gold and carved in strange symbols, there was a lever next to
it which he flipped back, and the door opened with a rumble, sending dust in all directions, he cautiously moved forward into a another large room,
the floor was empty in some places, making a large crosswalk in the middle of a black void, there was a large circular platform in the middle,
connected to the pathways, pillars encircled the platform and he could see beyond it was a grove of sorts carved into one of the walls the farthest
path led to, there was grass and it was stepped like the pyramids in Aztlandia and at the top part was a pedestal and one it, were the jewels of
Heka, in a bag, it was tipped over and some had fallen out on the pedestal, seeing the gems made Thornin lick his lips in anticipation, but he knew he
couldn’t rush into this last chamber expecting no opposition, so he took his time and carefully went across the path directly in front of him, as he
neared the center platform suddenly, the bridge he was on crumbled and fell away into blackness, not coincidence he knew, and drew his sword and
continued across, thinking all the while he was to get back above to the ground with the way he came in destroyed. He walked over the center platform
and on the bridge path dead ahead of him, right towards the jewels, as he got closer he could feel the sweat in his palms and walked up the steppe
sides of the grass area, reached out and brushed the fallen jewels into the bag with the others, picked it up, tightened the strings and tied it to
his belt. Accomplishment and relief fell on him, but only for an instant, as he turned to search for a way out through one of the adjacent paths
across the cross bridge a gong boomed loudly in the darkness and the cavern rumbled, he was instantly at the ready at the sound of this, his heart
thumping loudly in his ears, his adrenaline pulsing to the corded muscles in his body.
Suddenly a disembodied voice rang throughout the cavern it said “ Fool thief, you have come to the home of Heka,
killed his beasts and guardians, and now you want to stroll out with the jewels, alive none the less, prepare for swift death out lander.” And the
gong rang again, suddenly a beam of red light shot down through the center platform in the middle of the pathways, and down it floated a horrible
creature, Thornin had only heard of them, Djinn, evil malevolent spirits with awesome power, most men had died just gazing upon them, civilized places
had come to call them genies, but they were not so, these were demons. Down it floated, grotesque and humanoid, but lacking of human emotions, these
were killing machines, no repent or remorse, only death dealt swiftly. It finally landed in the center platform and sprung to life, leering at the
warrior whose blade was at the ready, it snarled and hissed and pulled two jewel crusted daggers from their sheaths at his side, closed its eyes,
nodded its head and was gone, Thornin swiftly looked through the darkness for any sign, movement, light, sound, nothing, it was deathly silent, but he
stood at the ready, the hair on his neck pricked up and he knew, something was behind him, and turned swiftly, but seconds to late, as he turned the
djinn cut him in his mid section with the daggers, a flesh wound only, but a painful lesson, and just as the djinn went to thrust for the killing
blow, thornin parried his strike away and caught one of the creatures arms under his and head butted him hard, sending him back down the steppe hill,
dropping a dagger. It reeled and roared at him, advancing again for a second attack, this time Thornin was ready and could track his every move, on he
came towards the warrior, slicing at him, but only hitting air as the warrior moved back with each advance, the djinn then sprinted at him, hoping to
catch him between himself and the carved pedestal in the out cove the jewels had laid and stab him repeatedly, but Thornin spun out of the way behind
the djinn as its back opened to him, in one swift motion Thornin spun behind the creature and swiped his sword out, decapitating the creature
instantly, sending the head rolling down the steppes, and off the cliff into Blackness. A roar sounded out through the cavern and it rumbled
violently, Thornin ran across the center platform and looked at his two only options of escape, left or right, the left passage had no torches, no
light, the right one had torches, he ran right, making his choice instantly for the path with light, hoping the whole time he chose correctly.
On he went now, he was dedicated to this choice now as he heard the tunnel crumble shut behind him, as he
ran the floor was at a slight upward slope, he was going uphill! Uphill towards the earth and fresh air, he charged now like a steed, on and on it
seemed to go, until finally he rounded a curve in the tunnel and was bathed in moonlight, he emerged into darkness, the horrible land he was in, never
seemed so inviting, until he noticed, he was surrounded, by men at least, but surrounded none the less, his sword was drawn already and thirsty for
blood, then he heard a voice beyond the circle,
“Forgive our deception, but we knew you would take the jewels and leave,” sounded Zargos voice, “hand over the gems, and you may leave with no
The warrior smiled evilly at the direction the voice came from and looked at each and every man who encircled him. Any other man would have not only
handed the gems over, but would have groveled for his life, “ to every man blocking my path, make way now and you all will keep your heads!”
“Hahahaha, I knew you would say something to that extent, kill him, I tire of this game, kill him and bring the jewels to me.” Zargos voice rang
The first man got no more than arms reach from the warrior when his head flew off into the darkness, then the next came and felt steel plow through
his belly and let out a deafening painful shriek before he died. Now three more came at him, one hacked downward at the warrior, only being parried
off by his blade and catching it through his throat, dead, as the other two came at once one swung high, the other swung low, and the warrior leapt
out of the way just in time as they missed him and cleaved each other in half from shoulder to hip, and as the last came running swinging his scimitar
above his head wildly he caught the tip of Thornin's blade and ran all the way until he stopped at the cross guard of it. Now Thornin saw Zargo and
walked toward him, Zargo pulling out his jeweled dagger ready to strike, but the portly man was no match for the warriors strength as his hand leaped
out and pulled Zargo close in by the dagger he was pointing. “Why are the jewels so important to you swine?” Thornin boomed, face to face with the
man who stood a good foot shorter than himself, holding him tightly.
”The prophecy, the prophecy..” he stammered. “The jewels can be used to bring the titan god king Heka back from the afterlife, to rule again as
he should, to punish those who oppose him, he will reign supreme again, as long as the jewels can be found you will fall and kneel to him before he
decimates you and your soul!” Zargo shouted.
“Tell your god, Thornin kneels to no man!” and with a quick swipe sent Zargos head rolling from his shoulders and into the mouth of the cave,
rolling and rolling all the way down it to the collapsed tunnel entrance. At last the jewels belonged to Thornin, and he was sure to sell them
individually in different parts of the world so no man could put them together with dark magic and resurrect the cast out god Heka.
7-12-2012 by fettman89 because: Wanted to make it easier to read, hopefully this helps?