Unsettling Stranger

The little being had been standing outside the Voltaic Ember tribal residencies for about five hours now. Many of the Banikans had considered approaching the being, but they all knew something about it was wrong. As if it was both there and not there. As if the being had an aura of evil to it.

The Banikan Guards, those dedicated to protecting the tribe, had gone somewhat close, but always backed away. They were uncertain, and if they were uncertain, then everyone else was uncertain. After all, this was the largest Banikan tribe on the planet, the closest thing to a capital city, and no one wanted to anger the being, for fear that it might destroy them all.

Eventually, the tribe’s elders, the Ipsila, decided that maybe it wanted to meet the leader of the Voltaic Ember Tribe. As far as the Banikans were concerned, they could always pick a new leader or two later. The tribe’s leaders, the Ita and the Ioda, the alpha male and female, agreed to head out there and inspect the being.

As the sun began to set, the Ita, a muscular male by the name of C’Ttak, approached cautiously. He was wearing basic leather armour around his neck and back, but he was otherwise unarmed. Really, he didn’t need weaponry, he had massive, two inch claws and metre long horns on his head. But normally, nothing ever dared approach the Voltaic Ember residencies, let alone stood there for hours, silently staring at them, as if daring the Banikans to come closer.

“What is.”

“No thought.”

The Ioda was more heavily armoured, and much larger than C’Ttak. Ct’Era had been the most powerful alpha female of the Voltaic Ember tribe for a decade, and this being standing here, staring at them was… troubling to her. She had never seen anything like it, a dark, black being with yellow plates of armour. Yet at the same time, it was as if she had met this being many times.

“I will go closer.”

“Be careful.”

Ct’Era stepped forward. This being was bothersome. Not harmful. It had done nothing wrong. It just stood there. As she got closer, its features became more recognisable. The bright yellow eyes. The dark, black fangs. The golden claws. That strange staff it was holding. She had met this being before. Not physically. Mentally. In her head. Up close, it reminded her of…


The creature nodded and let go of its staff, letting it rest against its side.

“You are Thantophor…”

Another nod. C’Ttak tugged at Ct’Era, then lowered himself down, resting his arms on the ground to show that he was docile and unwilling to attack. Ct’Era hesitated, then did the same.

“You don’t need to bow!” The creature finally spoke. Its voice was clear, calm and friendly. Not what the gruff Banikans expected. “Come on, stand up straight. Let me look at you.”

The Ita and Ioda did as they were asked. The Thantophor circled them, silently inspecting them. Once he was done, he stood proudly in front of them.

“Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful!” the Thantophor was smiling. “You know, I love Banikans. You’re the race I always wanted to make but was never allowed to.”

The two Banikans looked at each other in confusion.

“Death Lord, why here? You want to take us all?”

“Oh no! I’m not here to kill you. Not at all. The opposite actually, I’m here because I want you to grow and spread new… ideas.”

Again, the Banikans looked at each other. Ct’Era lowered her head, feeling unsure about speaking out.

“We do not follow. We stay together. We keep all others out. We defend and kill. As you demand.”

The Thantophor grunted, then started walking past the two alphas, towards the residential areas. As he walked, Banikans peered from their simple homes, observing with a look of awe and terror on their faces. No one had ever seen the Thantophor in person before. Not since the Banikans began their worship of the Lord of Death.

“You see…” the Thantophor started to explain. “You see, when you were new, I was scared that you’d be used and abused by other races. Clearly that hasn’t happened.”

“Your ways are good. Strong ways!” Ct’Era beamed. “We follow you well, yes?”

“You have, and I’m proud of you!” the Thantophor continued. “But now, I think it’s time you started to spread out. Speak to other races. The Banikans are powerful, you cannot be dominated. But now you need to start talking to other races, begin spreading out. There are other powerful races out there, and together, you can all be a force to be reckoned with.”

“Not understanding…” C’Ttack muttered. “No one comes here. Why now we change?”

“Because times are changing, and if you do not make allies now, you will be alone in a universe filled with enemies.”

Banikans began to leave their homes, inching closer to both the alphas and the Thantophor. The Thantophor smiled as it lifted itself effortlessly into the air, so more Banikans could see it.

“You hear me, my beloved Banikans? Your days of loneliness are coming to an end. I ask you, consider making some allies. Dark forces are coming your way, and I do not want you to suffer. I want you to be triumphant. Now is the time to prove your power, prove that you are not slaves but powerful allies.”

“But my Lord. How do we know differences? Between allies and slavers?” Ct’Era asked as the Thantophor’s feet touched the ground once more. “We must know.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that!” the Thantophor grinned. “I’ll guide you. It’s about time I actually helped you all for once, rather than just hiding in the shadows…”