The Town of Hullum (Excerpt from Doguhn)

(Excerpt from the Book II, Chapter 2 of Doguhn)

As they approached the town of Hullum the sun had started to descend, calling forth the moon and stars. The constellations here were not as they were in the Terrafirmoux and this was perhaps one the hardest concepts for Guy to grasp. He wondered how he could possibly be under an alternate sky. The land changes all the time but the stars always remained constant, at least until now. The moon was much brighter here and like the sun, much larger in scale. Comets occasionally cut their way through the darkened skies, leaving a trail of crimson in their path.

Turning his eyes back toward to the town before them, Guy could see it was much less modern than any towns of his world. From this distance he could see huts made of mud and clay lining the streets, illuminated by torches. Tents, some as large as two story homes, were woven of a cloth Guy had never seen and adorn with beautiful and intricate designs. The attention to detail was astounding, mixing colors and images that could never be put into words. The buildings and tents appeared to be weather beaten and in desperate need of repairs. Guy estimated the entire town covered only a few square miles.

As they walked, Rufus continued to explain the workings of the Eanigmus to his liberator. “This world is not as sophisticated as your own. There’s no electricity, no cars or planes. The people of this world embraced magic, where as the Terrafirmoux went the way of science.”

As the deamus spoke, Guy scanned the town looking for its occupants, but they were still too distant to attain a sufficient view. There was a vast iron archway leading into the town, its surface skillfully carved, though the designs had long since been worn away by neglect. This was a town built by artists and dreamers, now seemingly occupied by the depraved.

“Remember…” the deamus began.

“Not a peep,” Guy finished.

“Peep?”

“Sound.”

Rufus nodded.

Approaching the entrance, Guy could see the tents were much larger in size than they appeared from a distance. The inhabitants of the town seemed to be going about their normal lives, though there was something inhuman about their appearance. Guy tried to keep his eyes at his feet as they stepped beneath the archway.

They drew very little attention to themselves upon entering the threshold of Hullum. However, Guy found it difficult to extend the same indifference to the occupants of the town. Here was a collection of beings that belonged in a work of fiction, not walking, talking and playing before his very eyes.

Everywhere he looked there were wonders.

A man, who appeared to be a merchant of some kind, was selling goods on the side of a dirt path that claimed to be a street. The merchant wore a navy blue trench coat with his high collar turned upward. What was so different about the man was that protruding from his collar was a head shaped like a crescent moon. He had only the left half of his mouth and a single, gleaming red eye, which sparkled in the light given off by the torches. A woman with jet black skin, white hair and white eyes, was purchasing some sort of bread from the merchant. Every inch of her body contained raised, intricate designs that looked to be burned or branded into her black flesh.

Dioh, Rufus and the twins, from Doguhn

Guy realized that his initial fears of appearing out of place were unfounded. There was such a vast variety of species milling about that he was merely another design in a mysterious tapestry.

He did gain his share of stares however, namely by a pair of twins; two young boys that looked human other than the fact that their skin had a rubbery texture to it and that they were so thin they appeared to be made up of nothing more than flesh on bones. They both had dirt smeared on their faces and were wearing tattered clothes, though their lack of good fortune didn’t seem to dampen the mood of their games. After gazing at the newcomers momentarily, they went back to playing a game that resembled hide and seek. The game was much more interesting however, when one of the boys could actually fit inside a thin tube no more than twelve inches in diameter.

The most disturbing stare Guy attracted was by an individual toward the back of an alleyway, between one of the massive tents and a shop made of clay…

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