Tonight I have seen evil incarnate itself in the form of men.
The KoraKora are far worse than I had allowed myself to believe. They are cannibals.
Bantish warned us to avoid the KoraKora for their “unsavory” practices. I never imagined he would offer such an obscene understatement in assessing said practices. With every step the Nantese prove more backwards than the last.
Dionus detected their activity shortly before we would have otherwise come upon them. Starlark snuck closer and found them assailing a small village much like Bantish’s. He came back and named them KoraKora, as identified by the yellow paint that lined their features and formed designs across their bare chests. We gathered at the fringes to see what would happen.
I don’t recall ever feeling the urge to retch at the sight of blood. Today may have been a first.
The majority of those the KoraKora had captured were bound and then tied to each other until they formed a long, interconnected queue. Once they were secured, the leader of the KoraKora dragged a young man out of a nearby hut.
No one fought back as far as I could tell. If they had, none of the KoraKora showed any wounds to prove it. This young man was already bleeding from the crown of his head where he had been struck, ostensibly to keep him down while the rest were gathered.
The KoraKora howled when they saw the stumbling captive. They beat their chests like drums in chaotic fury until all fell into the same rhythm. They chanted in time with their fists and a shiver went along my spine as my stomach churned.
The leader held a knife high as he shouted. He threw his hands wide and laughed at the canopy above as the chanting grew louder. He made a pronouncement I could not understand, and then rammed the knife into the captive’s stomach. He slid it sideways in a rough motion and took a step back.
The rest of the KoraKora rushed forward, reaching for the wound and ripping at it. They tore the man apart before our very eyes, eating him as they went. Hooting with delight. I felt as sick as I was stunned.
When they were done there was nothing left save bloody bones and torn garments. Many of the victim’s former companions could not contain their horror, but there was nothing left for them to do. With a sticky orange hue now covering the KoraKora, they led their catch off into the jungle.
I have never seen such brutality before. I don’t know what to make of it.
We can defend ourselves against these creatures, but we should do everything we can to avoid them. There is no telling how many belong to this tribe, nor what tricks they may have in store for trespassers.
I am not afraid of dying, not truly, but I never thought I would be eaten alive. Now that I find myself in just such a position I will do whatever I must to avoid that fate.
Tomorrow we strike out to the east, for that is the direction we must ultimately go in any case. We will circumvent these savages, and then make north once we feel confident we are safely away from them.
I will have nightmares of what I have seen for years to come.