Chapter #2: Shango God of Storms
Thomas Elias Khan watched their native guide curiously, as the man prepared what to be a sacrifice. The sounds from drawing storms concerning the father of three greatly.
Mandawa was silent as he opened small bags of even more interesting components of cultured curiosities.
The guide grabbed for an amulet that hung around his neck. Thomas, he had failed to notice the focus of the man’s faith before; but now he had a pretty decent look at it. It was comprised of a disc that appeared to be of silver or of platinum. Upon the surface of the disk was a depiction of what appeared to be as two crossed axes.
Above the crossed weapons was a quarter moon eclipse. To each side atop the circular disk were two stars, five pointed. Centered at the bottom of the disk was a third star, this one six pointed.
The components, they were as far as he could tell; powders and some kind of wine. At least the man was hoping it was wine. Also their seemed to be bits and pieces of an antique war drum.
Thomas’ family, they were huddled together fast asleep. Mandawa opened a small hatch from the underground den and lowered a retractable exhaust pipe with a built in battery operated fan. The man smiled on this rigging his guide was so appropriately noticed for.
“.... What for, be on your thoughts Thomas?”
“..... Just appreciating your cultural interests and your skills for engineering....”
“.....Yes.... I, by my own reason; let this not to be willfully known to most, but I studied; of the sciences; at the University of Pretoria....”
Thomas Khan shook his head and smiled as the young guide prepared the small bit with a pyre for lighting. The last thing he pulled from his pouch he carried around his waist; a flint and steel striker, and a small vial of what was probably a lighting oil and thin sheets of wick.
Mandawa was now silent, as he prepared to light the pyre.. The components in the pit doused evenly with the lighting oil, the knife at his side used to cut a strip of wick from the roll.
“..... The symbol, around your neck? This is of the storm god Shango?”
“..... Once he bore the name Shango..... Now, war hero of the people of Yoruba; his rule as king the fourth, he bears the name Orishas..... Listen well this night Thomas, for you may hear of his drums..... They will guide the storms around us; and within the den of my design; we shall be safe until morning.....”
“.... This shaman? What can you tell me of her?”
“..... She lives far beyond Devil’s Peak..... her hut is protected by the one of Slavic lore to be known as Baba Yaga.....
She will know of a way to be aid of our concerns.....”
“..... If we can get there?”
“..... Yes hunter man..... Many dangers, may we still face before reaching her wood.....”
“Can you speak of the shaman’s name.....”
Mandawa merely smiled at the man as he lit the pyre. Thomas Khan shook his head.
“..... No.... You’re putting me on.....”
“..... No hunter man..... Of the identity of the shaman we must see; her name too is Baba Yaga, the witch of the trees.....”
Mandawa whispered a silent prayer, as Thomas laid back against the den's wooden walls to sleep. The man could now imagine he was hearing drums, as the storm clouds closed. The smoke from the pit carrying up and out from the underground shelter. The billowing clouds reaching the lower atmosphere.