Asafo Kuo: A team of highly skilled asafo fight the deadly kakai clans lurking in the Tadi forest.
Price: 4 Ghana Cedis.
It was a dark and stormy Monday night in the city of Takoradi. A lightning bolt struck a signboard next to a large building. Inscribed on the half charred board were the words,” Asafoakyere Kwakyewaa’s School for Girls’.
Inside it’s darkened hallways, a tall, dark, uniformed girl dashed past a fire extinguisher, paused, rushed back and flung it at a taller figure behind her. Its red fingernails clawed through the canister, ripping it in half. The metal claws on its feet clacked against the tiled floor as it pursued her.
Blood red eyes followed the girl as she reached a stairway and slid down the banister to the lowest step. The girl kept running until she reached a metal door. Above it, a sign read, “Cafeteria”. She tugged at the door, but it did not budge.
The creature stood right behind her, it’s lips drawn back, revealing rows of sharp teeth. Suddenly, an akofena blade tore through her chest and sliced upwards, splitting her chest and head in half. The creature fell to the ground and behind it, stood a short, fair girl, clad in the red battledress of the asafo, wielding a akofena.
The uniformed girl dusted herself off. ‘You were late, Fazia’, she addressed the akofena wielder. ‘It almost got me’.
‘Sorry, Dufie’ Fazia apologised . ‘Now we just have to bury the damned thing’.
Thirty minutes later, the creature was buried in the school garden. There was a loud rustle of bushes behind them and three girls, also clad in asafo attire approached them.
‘Did you get the abducted children back home, Besiwa?’ Dufie asked the tallest, darkest one among them.
‘Yes, shortly after you lured it away from its cave. They were a bit traumatised and I think one of them wet himself, but other than that they were fine.’
On Tuesday morning, the students filed into the school and classes were held as usual. At noon, when the students were on break, Dufie, Fazia, Besiwa and two other girls gathered in a small room. A notice on the door of the room read, ‘Asafo Kuo nhyiamu (Asafo club meeting).
‘’Awo, Nyamekye” what did you find?” said Dufie.
‘’There’s a kotere kakai (lizard monster) nest a few kilometers north of the school’ said a lithe, short girl known to her friends as Awo.
‘Their numbers aren’t that large. If we hit them hard and fast, we can wipe them out before the end of the day’’ said the tall, muscular girl known to them as Nyamekye.
2. Asafo Safo: A young man is trained by the mighty Amoawa in hand to hand combat and by Asafoakyere Takyiwaa in bladed combat. But he soon learns that all of that is not enough to bring order and justice to his village.
Price: 10 Ghana Cedis.
Annankrom, was the most miserable of the seven villages hidden by the three great mountains. It’s ruler, Annan was a tyrant and a very different man from the bright eyed idealist who protected his people and led them away from a land engulfed in civil war. However, no sooner had he become chief than he became the type of ruler his people had fled from.
He seized most of the land from his people, forcing them to survive in harsh conditions and to work on land that was hardly any good for farming. Most of them were forced to work in the mines, both young and old. There were also rumours, that he hunted those he perceived to be a threat to his rule in his private forest reserve.
Despite this, a young man named Safo decided to join the ranks of the asafo to better protect his community. The asafo company of Asafoakyere Takyiwaa, one of the few good asafo captains in the village, was the company for him. But first, he had to learn how to fight.
So one sunny morning, he climbed up the steep hill on which Amoawa’s hut was built. At the age of thirteen, Amoawa was known as the toughest person in the village. She had defeated thieves, bandits and even sadistic asafo singlehandedly. Some people viewed her as a threat to the role of Annan. She was the one that Safo had come to see.
‘Teach me how to fight, so that I can be more than an average asafo’ he told her.
Amoawa simply stared at him. Such a request from someone three years older than her was unusual.
She sighed,’Alright, help me bring in the harvest and then I’ll teach you’.
After gathering the harvest, she led him to a clearing in her farm, sunk into an offensive stance and before Safo could react, punched him in the throat.
Safo stumbled backwards, coughing profusely. She waited for him to stand up, then darted towards him, her fist looming large in the field of her vision. He scrambled away from her, his hands raised to defend himself. She swung her fists repeatedly, and as he blocked them, struck him with a low sweep of her right foot.
He rolled away to regain his balance and made a low sweep with his own foot, which she deftly sidestepped. He panted heavily, sweat streaking down his face.
‘Are you alright’? asked Amoawa.
‘Fine, just don’t hit me in the throat again’.
She leapt at him, left leg outstretched and aimed at his chest. He dodged the attack and spun towards her, his left leg swinging towards her belly. Before she could grab it, he placed his right hand on the ground and swung his left leg away, moving his right leg to kick her belly. She barely moved an inch.
‘Good, she said.’ Anticipate your opponent’s attacks’.
He went on the offensive, throwing several punches which she sidestepped. He watched her closely, moving in rythmn to her steps. This allowed him to sidestep her own punches. Eventually he dodged her kicks and brushed her wrists aside, deflecting her punches as the day progressed before butting her head with his own.
She stumbled once, then made two headbutts of her own, sending him sprawling backwards. He shook his head and rolled away, regaining his balance as she stamped the spot on the ground where he had lain seconds earlier. She made three successive ground sweeps with her legs, forcing him to somersault backwards.
She then made several high kicks aimed at his chest, each of which he sidestepped. He swung a blow at her but she caught it, clutched his right arm and pulled, sending him flying above her shoulder and into the dirt. He pushed himself onto his feet, spun away from her kicks and struck her twice in the chest, causing her to stumble backwards, before regaining her balance.
He leapt at her, his fist aimed at her throat. She raised her hand and blocked the blow. She shoved his arm backwards and raised her hand, above her head, signaling that they should stop.
‘Haven’t you noticed, Safo? It’s nighttime.’ She said causing Safo to look up into the blackness of the night sky.
‘See you here tomorrow morning, Asafo Safo’
For two weeks, he showed up at her farm every morning and left in the evening, rubbing herbal leaves on his arms and legs to ease the pain. One rainy day, he showed up at the same time, ignoring the downpour. They both sunk into offensive stances and as lightning flashed across the sky, darted at each other.
Safo swung a right fist at her, but she brushed it aside and swung at his chest with her leg. He twisted his body away from the kick, spinning to the left of her leg and struck her at the side with an outstretched palm. She swung her fists at him repeatedly but he bobbed and weaved away from her puches. He ducked two punches and struck her repeatedly with open palms.
She skidded across the wet floor, stopping in time to see him leaping towards her, his fist aimed at her head. She caught it and tugged at it, drawing him close and hit his chest with both palms, sending him backwards. He recovered and sped towards her , rapidly shifting his position from left to right. She followed his movements closely, trying to determine the direction from which he would attack and spun towards him, her right foot aimed at his shoulder. He blocked the foot with his own foot and blocked each blow with his palm. He caught both fists in his hands and shoved her backwards.
She stumbled backwards and then regained her balance. ‘Alright, I’ve nothing else to teach you. Takyiwaa has returned to the village. If you hurry, you can meet her before the curfew.’’
‘Thank you, Wura (Master) Amoawa. ‘See you soon’ said Safo before dashing off into the bushes, taking a short cut through the forest that would lead him to the huts of Takyiwaa’s asafo company. As the rain continued to fall in torrents, Amoawa sighed ‘Don’t make me regret this, when you become an asafo, Safo’
An arrow whizzed through the air and Amoawa instinctively spun away from its path but then two more arrows struck her in the arms. Four arrows tore through her legs and eight more pierced her back. She fell on her belly in pain. She heard rustling in the bushes around her and watched as several asafo, bow and arrows drawn approached her cautiously led by two women from two special branches of the asafo. One bore the traditional attire of a priestess and the other wore the somber black of the )brafo) (state executioner).
The priestess whispered into the ear of the baby faced )brafo), causing her to glance at Amoawa briefly before bringing her sandaled foot on her head, sending Amoawa into darkness.
‘Take her to the forest with the others’ the priestess ordered. ‘Today is the day of the chief’s sacred hunt’.
3. Baaba: An expert in interdimensional physics is recruited by the Sunyani asafo to end a decade-long war between them and the )botan kakai (rock monsters) once and for all.
Price: 17 Ghana Cedis.
On a cold, rainy day, the Supi, head of all the asafo companies in the city and a tall, dark schoolgirl entered the Sunyani High School building.
In the SHS Form 2A classroom, the Supi watched quietly as the girl wrote down a complex series of equations until the entire board was filled. She stepped back and gestured proudly to the board, ”This is my theory of interdimensional travel.’
‘So it would be possible to send ten asafo companies into a different dimension?” asked Supi Kuukua.
‘Yes’ replied Baaba. ‘In theory anyway’.
‘Would it be possible to seal off dimensions as well?’
‘It would be extremely difficult but not impossiible, given the proper equipment’.
‘Supi Kuukua, all of this is mostly theoretical but may I know why the asafo of Sunyani would be interested in sending Asafo companies into other dimensions? As far as I am concerned, these empty dimensions would be perfect for storing dangerous waste materials, like nuclear waste for example.’
‘Except for the fact that they are not empty’ said Kuukua grimly.
Baaba stared at her in surprise, then chuckled, ‘You’re not implying that these dimensions harbour kakai(monsters) or something like that.’
Kuukua rose to her feet. ‘Let’s take a walk’.
As they left the school and walked down a narrow bushy path, the Supi sighed. ‘Many years ago, our predecessors were attacked by )botan kakai (rock monsters) every 8 months, forcing them to move closer to Sunyani’s present location.’
‘My ancestress, Supi Sakyiwaa led the asafo in the fight against the foreign invaders.Before the year was over, she appealed to the elders to build a village in the middle of the forest for the asafo, charging them with the sole task of banishing kakai.’
‘The word ‘kakai’ means a frightening creature that scares children’ Baaba pointed out. ‘I find it very hard to believe your story’.
The Supi stopped briefly as they reached the middle of Dinn ( Silence) Forest. The metallic clang of metal against metal rang out across the forest.
Overhead, huge red clouds had gathered. Baaba was stunned to see several asafo slashing several chiselled, sword-bearing creatures.
Each had a small white point in the middle of a pitch black eye and carried akodze with serrated blades.
One of them glanced at Baaba with two pairs of soulless eyes, and Baaba recoiled in fear as its immense killing intent flooded her senses. It flung a serrated spear at her which the Supi snatched in midair before it could puncture the child’s throat.
Two asafo stabbed the kakai on both sides with akofenas and cut it down.
The asafo were fiercer than the kakai, each one slashing through 5 kakai at a time until none were left. After checking to ensure that her heart was still in her ribcage, The red clouds above them suddenly dispersed and the rains stopped abruptly, to Baaba’s surprise. She could only guess that the sudden rainfall and the red clouds were formed by the kakai entering her dimension.
At the asafo village that afternoon, Baaba made her observations, ‘There’s a constant interdimensional barrier separating our world from the kakai, that I call the Ban (barrier). The kakai have been able to enter our world because it is in a weakened state. It will need to be fixed.’’
‘I suggest that we create sensors, sensitive to the formation of seikwan (paths of destruction) formed when a place becomes more susceptible to a kakai breach.’ Because of this, the city will have to hold regular evacuation drills and have at least fifteen escape routes.’
‘In your view, how long will it take for the barrier to be completely broken?’
‘Given the rate of spiral decay due to the kakai breaches over the years and the period of the first kakai breach, the barrier will cease to exist by next month. If that happens, all the kakai will flood our dimension, causing the extinction of the human race!’
‘To prevent this, I will need to build two transdimensional devices. One that will enable us to travel to the kakai dimension and generate an energy field preventing kakai from breaching our dimension in our abscence. The second will be in the form of an akofena, which I will fuse with the ‘take off point’ that kakai use to breach our world.’’
‘Take off point?’
‘Yes, it would have to be a hill or a mountain that kakai leap off from, into their sky. Their appearance in our sky creates the red clouds and disturbs the atmosphere, creating sudden, unexpected rainfall. Building these devices should take me a few days’.
And so for the next three days, Baaba combined slaying kakai by day with building the devices at night. Seikwan sensors were placed throughout the forest, increasing kakai attack response times by fifty percent.
One rainy Saturday, Baaba slashed through the blades of five kakai before cutting them down with five swings of her akofena. More kakai fell from the clouds and the two ladies synchronised their attacks, with Baaba slashing and stabbing from the left and Kuukua from the right. The schoolgirl cut through several steel needles shot at her from five kakai and darted towards them.
She drew out her machetes and cut down two kakai. She spun around an akofena thrust at her from the left and stabbed her attacker in the chest. She blocked a swing from a kakai in between her machetes and swung once, breaking it before cutting down the wielder.
She swung her akodze backwards, stabbing a kakai that tried to attack her from behind. Some of the kakai began to slowly step away from her but she drew five arrows from her quiver and released them, striking five kakai in the chest. Kuukua flung a spear into the chest of a kakai, banishing it.
She darted towards the kakai, slashing through them effortlessly. She blocked three akofena with her machetes and shoved against them, pushing aside the kakai. She then stabbed two of them in the chest and spun underneath the swing of a clawed hand and slashed upward, from head to toe. Baaba and Kuukua stabbed two striped akofenas into the ground right underneath where the red clouds had been, sealing off that area from future kakai breaches.
4. Efa Gue Kurow: A warrior becomes a legend when she goes on a one-woman campaign to destroy the kakai kingdoms and liberate humanity.
Price: 1 Ghana Cedi.
In the not-so good old days, kakai (monsters) roamed the land, devouring entire villages when they felt like it. Humans cowered in fear of their raids. Even those who tried to appease them with offerings of their best cattle and farm produce were eaten anyway.
Before long, they hid in the bushes and forests, dreading the day when the kakai would eventually find them. Eventually some of them decided to fight for their survival. Among these brave souls were two siblings. A brother and sister who, in one night, had slain eighteen anoma (bird) kakai.
5. Feok: When slave raiders threaten their way of life, the Builsa warriors fight back.
Price: 1 Ghana Cedi.
On a sunny day, the warriors of the Builsa gathered in the grand hut of the settlement. Their chief warrior was brief. The Samori and Babatu, infamous slave traders, had been sighted camping across the river from their settlement. Each warrior knew that failing to stop them would mean the enslavement of every able-bodied woman, man and child.
6. Gani: A fixer of space mining robots joins a band of warriors to defeat a deadly space gang.
Price: 3 Ghana Cedis.
The year was 2060. Space mining was booming with several companies springing up in months. Then to cut operating costs, human miners were quickly laid off and replaced with robots. They were teleported straight to the planet Gani, which had the most resources, and then sent back.
Eventually the only humans allowed to work on mining missions were those in charge of maintenance and repair of the automatons. The most qualified “fixer” as they were called, was a woman in her forties named Konibaa. She had seen fellow fixers come and go and her hair had begun to turn gray due to the strenuous nature of the work.
She had also heard rumours of the Rak, a band of former miners, ex-military personnel and deviants who attacked mining sites. They destroyed the robots and assaulted fixers for their own twisted amusement. They had attacked the other planets and she knew that it was only a matter of time before they reached Gani.
One rainy Monday, they arrived, just as she has finished repairs on the largest mining robot in her sector. Their red, spiked fighter craft descended slowly from the rainy skies. They disembarked from their vehicles, howling and roaring at the heavens.
Konibaa had never been so terrified in her life but she focused on her escape plan. The teleportation chamber was now surrounded by a dozen Rak members. To her left, several Rak had abandoned their craft and had begun shooting down mining robots with reckless abandon.
She focused on the closest one and made a run for it. Two Rak realised her intentions and tried to stop her. She swung her fist at one’s neck and struck the second down with a crowbar. Several Rak watched in horror through their sunglasses as she boarded the craft. It flew straight into the Forest of Lost Souls.
`Three other Rak craft shot off after her. They entered the forest at breakneck speed. Konibaa frowned as she realised she has no artillery to fight them off with. The Rak unloaded their guns at her as the stolen craft flew around and under the thick foliage of the forest.
A thick, dirty dust-like substance erupted from the flowers of the forest at the same time, blinding Konibaa and the Rak fighters. One of them smashed into a tree trunk and the others spun around and fled. Konibaa slowed down and descended, hoping that she would not hit something.
Suddenly the entire craft shook violently and Konibaa was flung out of the craft, through the dirty windshield. She hit the ground hard and could barely see through the cloud. She sunk to her knees as her lungs filled with the dust and her vision began to dim. An alien darkness embraced her and she lost consciousness.
A figure in a green mask and blue clothes walked through the dust and stopped in front of her. It looked at the craft, walked over to it, and yanked some parts from it. The stranger stuffed them into a duffel bag slung across its shoulders.
` It looked at the woman one last time and began to leave. Suddenly it stopped and held a small bluish device over Konibaa. The display screen showed an active heartbeat.
The figure placed Konibaa over her right shoulder and walked towards a glowing blue tree. It tapped it once and it slid to the right, revealing a man-made hole. The figure walked in and the tree slid back into place. Konibaa was laid on a steel table.
A syringe needle is thrust into her arm and Konibaa quickly stood up, breathing heavily. She looked wildly around and scrambled backwards at the sight of her rescuer.
The figure removed the mask, revealing a youthful face and short, cropped hair. She raised her hands to show that she meant no harm,
”It’s alright. I’m Latifa. Head of the anti-Rak force.”
7. Ihi ne Soroakuma; A young man is brought back from the brink of death to do battle with the Sakraman kakai (wolf monsters), armed only with the Soroakuma (skyaxe).
Price: 1 Ghana Cedi.
It was a dark and stormy night. In the middle of the Dark forest lay a wounded man in a sea of glass shards. A bolt of lightning fell from the sky, striking the man and bathing the forest in white light. After the light had faded away, the man’s eyelids shot open and his chest rose and fell as the night wind filled his lungs once more.
Painfully, he walked across the glass shards, his wounds cauterised by the heat of the lightning bolt. At the edge of the forest lay a village but as he entered it, it seemed all but deserted. Thirsty, he grabbed a large calabash of water from one of the huts and drank his fill.
8. Saadakrom: A farmer flees from her demented village to set up a haven further north. But soon internal forces emerge, seeking to remake it in their own image.
Price: 3 Ghana Cedis.
In the heat of the afternoon sun, Saada, a farmer was tending to her crops when three shadows fell across them. She lifted her head to see her parents and the local priestess. The priestess swung her ritual staff across her face, felling her. Before she fell unconscious, she heard the priestess instruct her parents to prepare her for sacrifice.
She awoke to the low humming of the priestess and the rattle of chains binding her to a rock slab. She addresses the village. ‘Behold the sacrifice that will ensure the continued wellbeing of the village and victory in the king’s war of expansion.’’
As the priestess raised a golden sekan (knife) across her head, she snapped the chains binding her and punched her face, knocking out two front teeth. She snatched the golden sekan from the priestess and slashed the blades of two asafo who attacked her. She struck them with the hilt of her sekan and kicked a third asafo into the rock slab.
She fled when the rest of the village’s asafo rushed at her. She sped though the bushes, turning in time to slash five arrows shot at her before continuing her run. She reached a clearing and leapt over the edge of a cliff into the fast flowing river below. Fighting the current, she swam to shore, noticing that overhead; the asafo had left her for dead.
She walked for days through a deserted plain until she can barely move. She noticed a short woman preparing a meal of fish over an open fire. The woman turned and beckoned to Saada to join her. In between gulps of water and bites of cooked fish, Saada told the woman her story.
‘Beyond the two hills behind me, is a haven that may grant you the peace you are looking for’ the old woman revealed.
Saada soon led an band of outcasts just like her. Saada’s exploits reached the king’s ears. ‘She’s amassing an army to oppose my ambitions’ he reasoned.
As Saada’s group rested for the night, they heard the clang of akodze (weapons) and the warcries of bloodthirsty asafo. She ordered them to go ahead and headed towards the asafo. She evaded the spears and arrows shot at her and lunged at their asafoakyere, knocking her out with one punch.
She punched their blades, bending them and strikes ten asafo to the ground using Hausa boxing. She attacked the others, ignoring their slashes across her chest and belly and struck them down as well, empty handed. She allowed them to leave as an act of mercy.Saada reached the haven and founded Saadakrom.