One Hundred Thousand Years Ago Or So...

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Forum' started by ytzk, Jan 11, 2012.

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  1. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Every twelve years, during midsummer, the sea-turtles, salmon, aurochs grass-seed and pine-nuts all abounded parcularly in a certain river valley leading to a narrow bay.

    It also abounded with the upright ape.

    Old friends and enemies met around common campfires with full bellies.

    Somewhere over the centuries, a tribe of traders began administering among the peoples during the truce, acting as go-betweens and brokers, and always taking their slice of the pie.

    There were pies, too. Or at least a kind of haggis, on-a-stick. They were that kind of trading species. They sold campsite permits and sausages, and they called the festival The Biggest Family Funtime Most-Magic-Food-Festival In The Universe.

    Each tribe was encouraged to participate in the traders markets where you could get anything, especially cheated...
     
  2. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    The chief industry here was gumbo. Throw in some ingredients and take a bowl of stew, or at least a pile of slop. The fearsome hunters who had just faced down fifteen tonnes of monster were humbled in the face of a really good bit of cooking and someone who looked like their grandmother, scowling at them.

    The hags who administered the boiling bags were probably the most influential people on the planet.

    Among these crones, a legion of browbeaten daughters-in-law butchered, sliced, crushed, mixed, boiled, baked, steamed, soaked, stirred and generally hubbled and bubbled in mysterious ways.
     
  3. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    While he normally shuns other people than his own tribe and 'family', curiosity and the smells of different and strange food brought Animagus and his companions to the festival. Yes. It has been awhile that he visit this sort of thing indeed. Perhaps there will be huge chance that he will see Celena again. That is the beautiful daughter of Malik. A friend of him and fellow hunter.

    As he walked among the people of different tribes (ignoring the usual suspicious glares.) he came across a stand where some old hags place some strange ingrediants (sp?) in bags.

    "Hello. Handsome. Care to try a bite?" said one of the old crones to Animagus.
     
  4. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    It was a fairly warm summer, at least by Otro's memory. He had a large skin set out before him with his various tools, and he normally had it rolled up on the remnants of the antlers the beast that gave it to him had, the infamous Tarra Bamb (Giant Deer). That alone drew customers.
    He also had a few wooden bowls with custom pigments for painting cave walls. The star calendars are almost as popular as the stone tools he had available for barter. A few people asked him about the origin of the iron amulet he wore, and if he had more items like it...and his only answer was that he waited for the heavens to give him more.

    He saw a fearsome man walk by and guessed he might be interested in the tools Otro had to offer, but when he noticed the equally fearsome animals at the man's side...he guessed he didn't really need any tools.

    The smell of the cooking from the crones was intoxicating, and seeing the feral man head over to them made Otro realized he hadn't eaten since the sun came up. He looked around and caught a pretty woman staring vacantly at the clouds.

    Hey, Rifa!
    ...What?
    Can you watch my mat? I just want to get whatever smells good over there. If people come up interested in my stuff, just take what you think is a good trade.
    Sure!

    Otro knew Rifa's idea of a good trade wasn't exactly the same as his, but even if he got short-changed, he'd only be gone long enough to get food. And if she knew she was getting played, the other party was about to get railed. He grabbed his spear that he'd since adapted to a walking stick, his bag of trades, and made his way to the cooks.

    What'll ya have, Red?
    Two bags of gumbo. Does it have plenty of Auroch meat in it?
    Auroch, beaver, deer, and tubers, among other things. She winked.
    That's good enough for me! I've got some high quality knives, bone needles, and pigments for painting. What would you like?
    We broke a few knives gathering meat from the hunt. Whoever made them wasn't too selective in the stone they used...we could definitely use more.
    Otro took out a few large chert knives, and the barter was complete.

    He'd been eating a lot more Auroch ever since his leg was broken. He hoped if he had enough of the beast that crippled him, his leg would get back to normal. It hasn't worked yet.

    Otro noticed the wild man was right next to him the entire time with his companions. He had a severe gaze, but not an unkind one.
    Do they eat much?

    *OOC ingredients
     
  5. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Nago fumed quietly in his spot beside his wife's gumbo stand.

    Ever since he'd sold a countercurse to the queen of the third plateau after selling the original curse to the empress, and he'd been exiled to the limits of the empire, business had been rough.

    It was as if these 'people' didn't understand the simple concept of invisible goods and services. The hairy northerners were just so damn literal about everything. As it was, he'd had to lower his standards and sell visible objects with invisible powers.

    He was currently offering:- baby turtles that could speak and foretell the future (possibly); self-bored stones which revealed invisible foes when you looked through them (maybe); enchanted pieces of string which made you invincible to tigers (not); and little scraps of bark with mystical runes ensuring successful hunts and victory in warfare (sometimes).

    Even so, he was only shifting the baby turtles of prophecy because they tasted so good. Most of them made it only as far as the gumbo stand next door, where his apprentice would collect them for re-sale.

    What I need, is a commodity.
     
  6. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now, the impression may have been given that the marketplace was a bustling crowd of strangers. Well, it was, from the participants' point of view.

    From a modern perspective it would look like a broad flood plane with about five hundred people milling around fifty cooking fires, each seperated by something slightly more than a spear's throw.

    It was a time of peace and plenty, but these were people who were used to owning the horizon and for whom next-door neighbours were the stuff of myth. They maintained a mistrustful distance from each other.

    The exception was the children. Firstly, they were incorrigibly curious and, secondly, they were drawn to the cooking like flies to dung.

    They mingled and faught among each other, and formed packs for various purposes of hunting, stealing and begging.
     
  7. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    While he ordered three bags of those “Gumbo” for himself (and for Fang and Scar of course) Animagus saw a man (who stood next to him) said Do they eat much?

    He saw the same man earlier. From the way he stood (preventing too much weight on his left leg), Animagus noticed that the man's left leg must likely being broken once.

    Animagus looked the man into his eyes and said “Yeah. They got their appetite from their father. But what’s got the do with?”

    Seeing the man’s smile turning into a frown, he quickly continued “Sorry, I am just nervous with all those strange people and smells.”
     
  8. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    The wild man answered quickly in a manner that matched his gaze;

    “Yeah. They got their appetite from their father. But what’s got the do with?”
    “Sorry, I am just nervous with all those strange people and smells.”


    At first, Otro was slightly disappointed, as he had never met a man with such companions before. However, upon the addendum, he said,

    No harm done. I just notice with tools, regular maintenance is required for reliable performance while hunting. For your friends, I'd guess they just need food...and probably respect. My tribe calls me Maga Otro Litha, but everybody calls me Otro. I make tools, paints, and calendars.
    What do your people call you?


    He heard a battle cry from the direction of his deer hide, and managed to catch Rifa punching somebody in the temple.

    Ah...That means it's time for me to head back to my wares. Hey, whatever you need at my mat, just come over. I'm certain the quality should speak for itself.

    Otro grabbed his bags of gumbo and got back to Rifa as quickly as possible.

    I heard you yelling from the gumbo stand! What happened?

    That ass tried to give me a kiss for one of your obsidian hand-axes! When I told him no, he said it wasn't worth it anyway.

    He's not getting up for a while, is he?

    Oh, I didn't hit him that hard.

    Ha ha...He might think differently when he wakes up. I got you some lunch.

    The man on the ground began to stir and mutter something about the rhino that knocked him out.

    That son of a bitch!
     
  9. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    “My people call me Animagus.”

    Just as he answered the question of Otro, a battle cry came from the place where Otro has his tool and other stuff. (Most likely from that beautiful girl who was standing there)

    Ah...That means it's time for me to head back to my wares. Hey, whatever you need at my mat, just come over. I'm certain the quality should speak for itself.

    “Mmm. Not a bad idea. Okay. We come later to look at your wares. Well. After we have eaten our food.“

    Otro returned then to his wares to see what has happend there.

    "Here you go, Handsome. Gumbo for you and your companions." said the old hag with a leacherous wink.

    Animagus took a bite. Wow. It seems that the "Gumbo" tasted good as it smelled. Some minutes later Animagus, Fang, and Scar finished their food, so it was time to see those wares from Otro and that beautiful girl.
     
  10. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now in those days animals were not quite bred to fear man the way they are nowadays. A good portion of the mammals and reptiles were far larger than a man, for a start, but it was also a question of attitude.

    Even the tiniest bird treated humans with a mixture of contempt and familiarity which we today could not believe. For instance, a man with a dirty beard could generally count on something or other to crawl in and groom it eventually, and indeed this was often the preferred method of grooming for bachelors.

    In daily life, this meant that any one of a thousand monsters might suddenly steal your child. In this case, it was a 'strangler' - a kind of large, carnivorous tree-rat with incredibly long fingers.

    With typical audacity and opportunism, the creature had snuck into a camp, seized an infant by the skull and sprinted off for the treeline. Screams and shouts follow the beast as it runs determinedly past the gumbo stand, the baby limp in its maw...
     
  11. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Hey! Hey!

    Nago shouted an objection to the strangler's flight on general principles but didn't even stand up to watch, let alone give chase.

    Such things happened all the time and, really, being throttled wasn't such a bad way to go. Anyway, babies were considered non-people until they were walking and talking, precisely because they often didn't last that long.

    He briefly considered the commercial and political opportunities of such a tragedy but wisely dropped the idea, having been well-trained by his young wife not to play games with the mother-child bond.
     
  12. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    Just as they about to leave the gumbo stand, a man’s voice was heard.

    HEY! HEY!

    Curiously, Animagus turned around to see what has happened. What he saw was small creature with a baby in its mouth. Trying to get away with its prey. If the situation was not that dire, it would have been very comical-looking. Because the creature was running, and Fang likes running prey she went after it.

    The creature dropped the baby to defend itself against its attacker. But it was the last thing that the creature could do. Fang already bit off the head of the creature.
     
  13. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Nago's wife swooped in and scooped up the baby, giving all the idle men around her a withering glare.

    It let out a healthy wail and she laughed, holding it above her head and running back to the weeping mother shouting a lom na! a lom na! She's well! She's well!

    After much talking and crying and laughing and hugging, the stout woman marched back to her cooking, giving Nago a meaningful glare as she passed. Clearly, later there will be Words.
     
  14. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now, there was no currency among the Peoples, exactly, but you could measure your wealth by your influence. Call it respect, call it mana, call it face. Whatever you call it, it means that men look down and women look up.

    It didn't even need to be said. Everyone could sense it: Animagus was suddenly the hero of the hour. He was thereafter greeted with smiles and gifts in all the camps, not to mention the ladies. It was midsummer after all, and the perfect time to sow oats.

    Sooner or later, everyone came over to see the wolves and the spot where the strangler died. Plenty of them stayed to trade as well, so everyone was happy. Nago was particularly smug, having sold three promises to perform an unspecified and secret ritual with unverifiable efficiacy sometime in the future with all payments in advance.

    [OOC - Everyone gains excess food and any treasures or equipment you care to name.]
     
  15. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    The event seemed to happen in slow motion...the Strangler tried to abscond with an infant, and one of Animagus' wolves saved the day. The reclusive wild man was now a hero of the festival. Otro was thoroughly impressed.

    Trading had increased in intensity, and it seemed Otro had run out of blades to sell, with just a few bowls of pigments and some calendars. However, some of the people who traded with him gave chunks of raw, workable stone, some for blades and others which could be ground into paints. He also ended up with pieces of bark and some large scapulas, good for making calendars.

    He also got some edible plants as a trade, as well as some pieces of dried meat.
    The blades were his biggest sellers, and it would take some time to make more. Before he got to work, he decided to wrap up his deer hide and put it next to where he had been bedding down in the valley. After that he walked over to the local hero.

    Can't do that with a spear.
     
  16. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now apart from tons of food and ladies, the Biggest Family Funtime Most-Magic-Food-Festival In The Universe was host to a large number of important events and ceremonies.

    For the average man-on-the-steppes the most important place to be was the Great Drunken Bonfire Dance or the Fighting Over Women and/or Grudges Tournaments.

    For the more discriminating sage or artisan, the really important business took place at the Carnival Of Strange Ideas. This is where people from all over the world gathered when they had reached a pinnacle in their art in their own little communities and now wished to learn or teach.

    This amounted to dozens of old men arguing at the top of their voices, and this alone was enough to discourage the general public. If that were not enough, the Avant-Gard fringe of musicians also argued with each other in song.

    But for those who valued a really good idea, the hubbub of grey beards was the very foundation of humanity. It should be noted, however, that every one of them was served breakfast by a woman and that, of course, was the real foundation.

    However, for most of the time these thinkers and tinkers had their feet well and truly on the ground, and this was their once or twice in a lifetime oportunity to really build castles in the sky.
     
  17. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    From a reclusive wild man to a local hero was a truly surprise for Animagus. It gave him a good feeling. Yes. However, it felt a bit weird as well. Usually, he had to do with suspicions and respected glares, but now...people reacted very favorite towards him.

    All these people gave him gifts like some pieces of dried meat, edible plants, a flint to make fire, a full waterskin and further equipment that he may need. Not forgetting the wolves, Fang and Scar got food (but most of them were in possession of Animagus to prevent that they will eat all of it.)

    Some girls of the different tribes acted very frivolous and gave him kisses and stuff. He obviously likes that.

    After that, a man came towards him. It was Otro.

    Can't do that with a spear.

    Yeah. Sometimes you do not need a weapon to solve dire situations.

    [OOC] Sorry, but I was not sure what you meant with the spear. Maybe I am need in coffee now. [/OOC]
     
  18. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Sometimes you do not need a weapon to solve dire situations.

    In this situation, it looks like something more than a weapon was needed; your wolf companions think for themselves, but a spear must be thrown.

    Time and time again, Otro had seen calamity befall people who only had tools with which to halt the theft of a child. No matter how good the tool, leading a moving target without hurting the baby is supremely difficult.

    If someone had thrown a spear, they may have killed the strangler or put the child out of its misery...or they'd have completely missed. How did you come to gain such valuable friends?
     
  19. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    How did you come to gain such valuable friends?

    Well. To make a long story short. You should know that my parents* thought that Fang and I would make a good couple. Make sense, because we do have much in common and character, indeed.

    Animagus began to smile and continued.

    However, you know that it gave some weird glares when I began to life my live in the tribe having her as a wife. Therefore, one day someone told me that it was not right to have a dire wolf or any animal as a wife. (It was not right in this tribe). That meant that we became just good friends now. Nevertheless, I really do not care that much what others think.

    After a sigh, he spoke again.

    Scar is actually my nephew, but when an enemy tribe killed his parents and siblings, I raised him up like a son. I found him crawled under the mutilated bodies of his parents. He was just a cub

    Suddenly Fang gave a whimpering cry, as if something is about to happen.

    What is wrong Fang? Danger is aproaching?

    *His wolf parents to be precisly.
     
  20. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now Fang and Scar had been carrying themselves around the festival as only dire wolves among monkeys could: completely fearlessly.

    Now, however, they cringed and grovelled and covered their noses with their paws. This seemed very funny to those who, firstly, did not consider the wolves as a warning system and, secondly, had been quietly shitting their loinclothes around the monsters for the previous week and a half, like Nago for one. He laughed nastily at the wolves' antics.

    For all the other people in the valley and the surrounds, the first thing that they noticed was the way that every single mammoth - tens of thousands - stopped and looked at the sky.
     
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