This new Native said his name to Chitto. The unusual names were common. His name was He-lush-ka. Chitto smiled at us. “That means fighter.”
He spoke some more to Chitto. From what I heard, it was clear they spoke different languages, but similar enough to get some of what each was saying. As when we were given those diapers which in Blethos were called nappies. You understood what it meant by the context of the sentence.
“He-lush-ka is taking us to his village.” Chitto explained. “We're to talk with Dyami.” He chuckled knowing we would ask. “That means eagle.”
Reese grunted. “It sure isn't Bob or Paul.” He grossed.
Seth chuckled. “I'm sure our names sound funny to them.”
The Ute of this village were nomadic. They were hunters. Elk, buffalo and deer which they followed. This village was not like the Creek Tribe that Chitto belonged to. The Creek settled in with A'Dore. They raised permanent structures that would last. The Ute did not. Here were the tee-pees. It was the present day, but I knew things hadn't changed much in thousands of years. Our presence in the Ute village was not unwelcome, but as with them when they came in ours it was observed because it wasn't usual.
Now, I was very glad Chitto came with us. I would have a hard time getting them to understand and be understood by them.
Two women came closer. One was in her twenties and the other in her forties. They resembled each other so I figured they were mother and daughter. Dismounting Chitto spoke with the elder woman. He looked at us. “This is Sani,” he indicated the eldest, “and her daughter Enapay. They both welcome all of you.”
Seth nor I were leading this group, but stepped forward with hands extended.
“Thank you.” Seth said for us and bowed slightly to each of them.
Chitto listened again and nodded at times and then turned back to us. “They are offering food and drink if we want it.”
We did spend time here with them. Pleasantries were done. They were a generous people. It wasn't too long before we were led to one tee-pee. There, sitting on the ground was a man that...he wasn't old, but his face showed the passage of time. He was sitting in front of a slowly burning fire. It was warm in his tee-pee. He had the traditional long hair and wrapped in blankets. He had a face that was a little worn, but his eyes were white. Not cloudy but totally white. He was blind? Chitto spoke to him and he didn't respond by looking at us. He couldn't see us if he did. Chitto explained to him about why we were here. Or at least where we were heading and why. Dyami nodded and waved us to sit on opposite side of the fire.
“We welcome you,” Dyami said clearly. He chuckled, “Yes, I speak your language.” I am sure it was on my face, but he couldn't see that. Could he? “I have lived quite a while and learned much.” He smiled. “I've seen many things and learned much in this world.” He shrugged. “We are in the same world. I knew I'd have the occasional visitor from your part of this world.”
Chitto smiled at me and Seth. “We seek your help. Do you know what is happening in A'Dore, Blethos and Creid?”
Dyami nodded. “I do.” He pulled up a clay jar of something. He never doubted where things were. He didn't have to look, he knew where they were. He lightly sang and chanted words not meant for us. He tilted the jar over the fire as a dark liquid was poured over the coals. The expected hiss as moisture hit the heat. A fragrant aroma could be smelled as delicate tendrils of smoke rose gently. Dyami moved his hand bringing the smoke toward his face. “I see the world this way.” He explained.
Chitto frowned, “You see by the smell?”
Dyami chuckled again. “You would be amazed what an odor will tell you.” He waved the smoke again toward his face and mostly his nose. “And more than just finding out the milk has gone bad.” He inhaled deeply and concentrated on what his sense of smell told him. “The fragrance is never the same twice. I learned to understand it.”
It wasn't a bad smell. It wasn't floral. It was composite of many smells. I had no idea what that said.
“You came to find out about someone claiming to be god.” Dyami said simply.
Max's eyes widened. “You got all that from a smell!?”
Dyami again chuckled and nodded. “I got that and more.” He inhaled again. “The longer I smell it, the more I sense.”
I smiled. “I thought you shaman kept things to yourself.”
Dyami gave a grunting dismissal of that. “I have no problems telling people. You wouldn't understand. It would take years to learn what I sense.” He did the sweeping motion again bringing the smell again. “Such as, do you get the smell of almonds with a little molasses?”
I did what he had did, inhaling slightly. “I guess.” I looked as he smiled more. “What does that mean?”
“The best way to explain it...it's a conversation you overhear in languages you don't know. You hear it, but don't know what's being said.” Dyami poured the liquid again. “You are hearing a conversation with your nose. You need to know the language first before you can understand.” He shook his head. “Senawahv speaks to every shaman differently.” He chuckled.
“Senawahv?” Seth repeated.
“Our name for the Creator.” Dyami said.
“You don't worship Tawa?” I asked him.
“That isn't the name we use,” he stated simply.
“There is a man called Wahkoowah who claims Tawa works and speaks through him.” Seth said. “He is the one having our three kingdoms attacked.”
“Cleansed.” I corrected. “His exact words were to submit or be purged.”
Dyami frowned, “Worship him or die?”
Max sat forward. “He's not giving us much to worship if we chose to worship him.”
“It's clear he wants us gone.” Val said. “The choice was made by him.”
“Really, “ I began, “I doubt it is Tawa at all.”
Dyami shook his head. “I sense no deity or spirit. Evil or good.” He smiled a little. “Many of the spirits are tricksters. Unlike your version of the deity, ours can and do make mistakes.”
“Are there more villages or settlements northwest of here?” Max asked.
“A few,” Dyami nodded.
“There are only a couple of passes to get through the mountains.” I said. “You would know if a few thousand men came this way.”
Dyami nodded again. “Our scouts would have seen them.”
“The men attacking us have access to supplies,” Seth said. “Someone with a lot of resources.”
Dyami cocked his head slightly. “There was a recent movement that swept through many tribes.” He frowned. “Ours as well. It targeted our young warriors.”
“A movement to cleanse?” Seth asked for clarification.
“Of superiority.” Dyami corrected. “The message was they were better than the rest of humanity.”
I was trying to understand. “It's not just the tribes. There are many of different races.”
Dyami nodded. “It has little to do with how you were born but who you are. The chosen by a god is based on how you think.”
“It's religious?” Max asked.
“There are religious parts to it.” Dyami nodded. “Religion, the promise of rewards is enticing.”
“This more about power,” Chitto said.
“Yes.” Dyami said. “Changing things to how someone thinks the world should be.”
“That isn't possible.” I said. “Many have tried to conquer the whole world. There was even one that cried when he thought there were no more to conquer.”
“This world will get even smaller as time goes on.” Dyami said sadly. He almost looked as if he was looking at Seth and me. “You're getting that now between A'Dore and Blethos, aren't you?”
Seth and I looked each other. There was no way he could have known about the mirror/doorway without someone or something telling him. We hadn't told him.
“Distances will become shorter.” Dyami said. “I get,” he sniffed the smoke again, “you are doing it now.”
“Yes.” I answered.
“Uniting under a single idea or philosophy is going to happen.” Dyami said. “This being thinks his is the right one.”
“Whether or not we agree with it?” Seth asked.
“If you consent to the demands, you will agree.” Dyami stated simply. “That is what needs to be cleansed. Those that disagree.”
“Well,” Max said. “We don't.”
“You do it, too.” Dyami chuckled. “I've heard the story about Cinderella and Prince Charming. I know Erik married Seth to put Seth on the throne of Blethos. Even where you got your three kingdoms to allow the joining of hearts, such as you two.” He turned his head to Seth and me. “It will take another thousand years before we can even think about a single way.”
“That single way is accepting the fact we don't know.” I said. “In our kingdoms, there are many understandings about God. I admit, I don't know.”
Dyami laughed lightly. “That's right. That's the first step to gaining real wisdom.” He poured the liquid on the coals again and sniffed lightly. He wasn't rushing what he could understand, but took it in slowly. Then he turned toward Toby. “It will start with him.” He sniffed again. “And his brother.”
“Damn,” Seth said softly. “That smell is telling you a lot.”
Now, Dyami laughed harder. “It sure is.” He shook his head. “No, this man who claims Tawa or god is speaking and working through him just wants control. It's just greed.”
Demetrius had been correct. These people did access the magic differently, but they could use it. They were Children of Eve, but still could use the magic.
“I get...” he again inhaled, “the one that gave you choices is working with you. You're doing the work, but he has been there for you. Guiding you.”
Max's eyes widened. “And no one told you this?”
“Someone is telling me now.” He waved at the smoke. “I also am getting that this Wahkoowah believes what he's saying.” He shook his head. “In many tribes, it is believed that someone who's thoughts are erratic are erratic because they have been touched by a god or gods. It gives credence to Wahkoowah's claim with his followers.” He smiled. “I also know you're on the right path. You just have a day or so before you get there.”
Meeting with Dyami had been satisfactory, if not unnerving to us. When we left the tee-pee, it seemed a lot later than it should be. What I thought may have been a couple of hours was really six or seven. The stars were out, the sun had set a while ago. Sani and her daughter came to us as we exited the tee-pee. We were escorted to another tee-pee. They waved us in. Inside they uncovered some wooden plates to show fruits and steaming meats that smelled very savory. The women spoke with Chitto. He nodded saying something back.
“We were invited to stay here for the night.” Chitto smiled.
During the meal Thomas finally spoke about the situation he caused. “Uncle Erik, Uncle Seth...I'm sorry for what Toby and I did.”
Seth smiled more tolerably. “I understand you want to prove yourself to the people but I'm still angry with you.”
I chuckled. “Which is why you need to think about what you'll tell your Dad when we get back.”
“And your mother,” Seth said with a knowing tone that said it won't be pleasant.
We ate and went to bed. God or the spirits took pity on us. No one snored!