Shaiya was doubled over on the ground breathing heavily from the painful experience that had just happened moments before. It was then that she attempted to stand up again, trying to find the strength, she failed. Desperate, she used a tree for support. Her brown hands grabbed into the rough, gritty bark and she attempted to stand a second time. But, to her dismay, found it to be utterly useless. Thankfully, someone else had heard her scream and was walking roughly through the thick brush; she could hear the crackling of grass under their feet.
"Shaiya," calls a familiar voice, "what has happened?"
Shaiya swivels her head around to see a familiar face framed by gray hair, Ashkrahm Korum, the elder of the village. Exhausted by the day’s events, and relieved at the sight of Ashkrahm Korum, Shaiya falls unconscious and her limp body falls to the jungle floor. Ashkrahm Korum then grabs her and lifts her up, supporting her with both arms. Carrying Shaiya closely, he runs back to the village. After successfully making it out of the jungle and into the village clearing Ashkrahm Korum brings Shaiya to his hut, which was near to the eastern village fire.
Inside his hut, he lays Shaiya down onto his bed. With his wife out, it was pretty roomy and fairly quiet. Then, with Shaiya unconscious on the bed, Ashkrahm Korum sat cross-legged on the floor and patiently waited for her to wake up.
It was night and Ashkrahm Korum was focusing on the sounds of the night. The songs of the nightingale, the sounds of the crickets, wind rustling through the leaves of trees. All was quiet, yet everything was alive. With a loud noise, Shaiya rustled the bed and sat up, awake.
"Where am I?" She questioned while furrowing her brows. And then she noticed Ashkrahm Korum sitting on the dirt floor of the thatched hut. "How'd I get here then?"
"I found you in the jungle after you screamed like something was killing you. I was a bit curious as to what happened so I brought you here 'till you felt better."
She exhaled sharply, "Well, I was just walking around the jungle like it was any normal day when a Black Panther jumped down from its perch. I listened to your advice and didn't move I just stared at its eyes. But, amazingly the panther started talking to me! It said I had a powerful aura and that I should put my hand on its head and say 'tasphat'. I did and pain shot through my arm. When I opened my eyes the panther was gone."
All the while that she was talking; Ashkrahm Korum was nodding his head in understanding. He paused to think and then he spoke.
"Well, it’s rare but I think I know what's happening. You are a summoner."
"A summoner? What's that?" Her eyes widened in shock.
"A person who can assimilate souls and call them out to act as servants. I believe that you assimilated the panther when you said 'tasphat'."
"So, how do I call it out?"
"I don't know. I've only heard stories; I've never once met a summoner. But, I do know that there is a school in Damascus. A place where you can learn the skills of a summoner."
"How would I get to Damascus?"
"It's far. Basically, you'll just want to travel north until you see the roadways. Then, go east and Damascus should be around there. But, I think you should remain in the village a couple days before you go. Just to say goodbye and think about what you're doing."
Shaiya nodded, and arose to stand. "Goodnight, I should go to my house now. Thank you for your hospitality and for letting me stay here, but I really should leave."
"Then goodnight, I will see you in the morning."
Leaving Ashkrahm Korum's house by the front door she walked the small path between their houses. When she finally stepped through the beads she undressed and slid underneath the homemade quilt on her bed. Groggy and tired, she put her head down on the pillow that was given to her by Vanadias and then went to sleep dreaming about the exciting journey to Damascus.