Travel Log: Calika

Note: this article is a work in progress.

Dancing for joy

Calika, day 7 to 10 - We met a small troupe travelling through Calika and entertaining people. They had many interesting stories to tell about their land and their people, their wars and their gods. At some point they asked us if we could help them out, their dancer wasn't well and people were excited and waiting to see the dance. They showed us how to do it, it wasn't too complicated at all.   We already wondered about the excitement for the dance. What they didn't tell us: the outfit was skimpy, even barely there. It also included a big snake we had to carry around our arms! The snake was not well-behaving, so we had to fight permanently to stay inside the dress, which was not really possible with the snake slithering in and out and all around.   -- G. Smallbottom, When North Is South - Finding Your Way Through A Desert   Backlink: Fananu Alfajr
 

This mark will sting forever

unnamed village, Calika, day 25 to 32 - After a week in the capital named Charakur, we progressed deeper into Calika, which is alternately covered by sparse woods and dry steppes, with small villages sitting here and there, where water is available. When we arrived in a tiny settlement about six hours away from Charakur, excited people first pointed at us and then towards a bunch of big rocks, just a stone's throw away. An elderly man led us there to show us some crude carvings, apparently a gnome in different poses. The old man touched the carvings, then our face, comparing the measurements of both.   Finally, he began to chant loudly, and everyone around us joined in. He handed us a gnarled staff and led us back to the settlement, inviting us to have a rest in one of their small huts.   When we woke up the next morning, he was waiting for us already, surrounded by a group of men holding several items. He made us sit on a big slab of stone splashed with colours and gesturing to free our back. Dear lord, the unexpected pain!
by unknown, heavy mod by Tillerz
Two of the men started poking us with needles, pushing colours into the skin. And it was not just a small image! The procedure lasted until sunset when finally everything from the neck to the small of the back was covered in colour.   We tried to sneak away on day two, but they caught us, and it lasted five more days until the front of the body and the legs were also covered with images. After a full week, we managed to escape in horror, leaving behind the heaviest objects from our backpack and our pride.   This was also the first time we had a hiccup for a whole week.   -- G. Smallbottom, Pigments of Faith   Backlink: Geertruud Smallbottom
 

Gate of the Ancestors

Calika, day 34 - Leaving the village in a rush, we fled into the dry hills of Calika. Everything there is covered with thorny brushwood carrying small yellow berries. In the next clearing, we stitched our blouse, cleaned it a bit and hang it up to dry. But a horde of apes had nothing better to do than stealing it and jumping from tree to tree with it and making lots of clamours. We ran after them and almost got the blouse back, when we suddenly tripped over a loopy root and rolled down the hillside, only to end up waist-deep in a puddle of mud. Strangely the apes were keeping distance. Then we discovered this strange object: a large black arc sticking out from the dirt.   -- G. Smallbottom, Running In Circles   Backlink: Gate of the Ancestors

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