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How Elkozi and Humakt won a Secret from the Hell Hag
By Guy Jobbins
One night Humakt found Elkozi and said “I hear the Hurt King has done bad things to your kin. Let’s go and raid him, for he has something of mine I want back.” Elkozi had seen Humakt fight Zorak Zoran, and thought that this was a fine idea. If Humakt could drive off the Hurt King, then everything in Wonderhome would be wonderful again!

Elkozi did not know where the Hurt King was hidden, for he had made everything in Wonderhome wrong and Elkozi did not know his way around anymore, but the brave warrior knew someone who would. The Dark Hell Hag knew all secrets, and although she was very scary Elkozi thought she would be the best person to ask.

But Humakt looked doubtful. “The Dark Hell Hag is no friend of mine, and I don’t think she will help me.” Still, there was nothing for it but to ask, so the two companions set off.

As they got close to the Dark Hell Hag’s lair, Humakt could not go on, for the puny God was blind in the Dark. Elkozi played some tricks on him that were very amusing, such as creeping up and shouting loudly, and making rude gestures he couldn’t see. After a few days of this Elkozi got bored though, and then led Humakt towards the Dark Hell Hag’s place.

It was difficult to find, and the way was long and arduous for the Hurt King twisted Wonderhome so that it didn’t feel right anymore. Many things that had been darso or engoso had become orso, klo’oso or even neso - the way was wrong, and difficult to sense, and frightening enemies harried them on their way.

Finally, clever Elkozi found the Dark Hell Hag’s place in the nameless depths. It was dark, forbidding and cold in the dark cavern of the Hell Hag, swirling spirits screamed voicelessly and shouted at them from the pits of oblivion, soft shapes moved through them chilling even their hearts to ice. Every muscle in the companions’ bodies screamed at them to flee, yet they pressed on into the Dark until they came upon the innermost lair of the Dark Hell Hag.

She said, “You are foolish to come here Humakt for I have a grudge with you, Stealer of Secrets.” As she spoke, Elkozi and Humakt could sense the malignant spirits of Fear and Darkness that flowed out to surround them, and they shuddered.

Elkozi explained that Humakt and he needed to know where the Hurt King had hidden, so they could drive him out of Wonderhome and make it wonderful again.

The Dark Hell Hag said, "I have a quarrel with you, Humakt, yet you come into my cave seeking gifts where you once stole. Why should I help you now, why should I not keep you here as my toy?"

Humakt said, “Your grudge against me is over an old thing. I am here to fight the Hurt King and drive him far from your realm.”

She thought for a while and then said, “Play the Sticks and Stones game with me, and if you lose then you must return the Stolen Power. If I lose I will tell you where the Hurt King is and you may leave here unmolested.”

This was done and Humakt won, and although the Dark Hell Hag gnashed her teeth in frustration she gave them a Theli to guide them to the Hurt King. How the two companions raided the Hurt King is another story that is not for outsiders.
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