1. Please help us cover the costs of Terra-Arcanum's migration to Xenforo, Guest! More information is available here.
    Dismiss Notice

One Hundred Thousand Years Ago Or So...

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

Remove all ads!
Support Terra-Arcanum:

GOG.com

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!
  1. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,630
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    This was truly a great day. The marauding nose-stealers were pushed back by quite the gambit. It didn't work as Otro had designed it, but then again, Haethor's just a young bull mammoth who wants to belong.

    Otro used his finest pigments to paint a mural unprecedented in size underneath an overhang in the valley, so he could work and not worry about the weather washing it away. Haethor was painted as large as any adult mammoth, with the three other Thunderbolt Wielders, all with different colored auras signifying their strengths;

    Animagus had an orange aura, showing his power of leadership and his mutually beneficial animal friendships.

    Rifa had a yellow aura, showing her raw fighting skill and casual approach to everything.

    Pyot had a green aura to display his agility and resourcefulness.

    Haethor had the most powerful aura, grey. This is the raw color of the Thunderbolt, and signifies Haethor had been just as much a gift as the Thunderbolt itself was. Grey is the color of the heavens come to earth, as Otro's people thought.

    In many thousands of years, the only way to find this enormous, life-sized mural would be through ultra-violet photography - but then, why would anyone look at the underside of an unassumingly precarious cliff?
     
  2. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Now, the lay of the land was like this.

    Five large rivers joined to form a wetland river delta which fed into the narrow bay. On the eastern shore, high cliffs rose into a rocky terrain of mountains. These were close relatives of the foothills of the himalayas, but destined to be eroded by glaciers over the next sixty thousand years.

    The western banks were quite flat and sandy and the five river valleys were a steady gradation between the two, with a spectrum of deep gullies among jagged hills in the east, to wide, meandering rivers among broad, grassy flood plains in the west.

    The tribe had walked for a half-moon up the eastern most river valley from the forge upon the bay before they found an appropriate site for their trap: a steep-walled dry creek bed which had funnelled the mammoths and invaders together, with hilarious results.

    When a band of lost boys tracked the group, some weeks later, they were led to the enormous mural, which spawned among them legends of giant devils protecting the land.

    But Homo sapiens was especially good at running and telling stories. Within two months, word had arrived from the empire that each of the four giants were worth another hundred wives.

    If this were not enough incentive to overcome their superstitious fear, the message was carried by a powerful witchdoctor, specialising in extravagent curses, who was sent to co-ordinate the hunt and keep the troops fearing the right sort of gods.
     
  3. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    To the north, where the foothills met the great forest, the tribe had reached a crossroads, and there were roads in those days. When a billion tonnes of boemoth migrated through a forest, it left a mark.

    These paths are remembered even today, as ley lines or dragon paths, partly because of the significance of the herds for peoples' livelihood, but mostly because the dung spawned a spiderweb of hallucinagenic mushrooms over the earth for millennia.

    In any case, a decision had to be made about where to go.

    Otro's tribe lived to the north west, in the forests by the Rhine, but his people, the language group, spread far and wide to the north east as well. Among all of the clans, there were two sacred sites: A deep lake to the north and a lone mountain to the north east.

    In the stories, the mountain was the penis of a giant and the lake was the vagina of a giantess, and the consensus was that the bountiful game in between was an expression of the sexual tension.

    In any case, the mountain was the gathering place in times of war and so it was decided that the tribe should now travel north east.

    As the spring equinox progressed towards summer, the little tribe passed out of the forest paths and onto the open savanah. This meant they could see further, but also that they could be seen from further away.

    Judging by the distant smoke and the flight of birds, a lot of invaders were hot on their trail.
     
  4. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    As the invaders comes a bit closer, the little tribe ran further towards safety. Animagus and others discussed the dire situation that was at hand.

    How many are after us? Through the savannah we can see them coming, but at the same time we are vulnerable. How many time do we have to have to find way to escape or find a way to stop them?
     
  5. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    ((at least five different bands/campfires = over one hundred warriors, are within one days march of the party. Even with the elders and children all riding Haethor, they will overtake you within a few days.))
     
  6. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Nago held court in a dip in the rolling plains. He squatted on the earth but he may as well have been on a tall throne, or the centre of a spider web.

    Lost boys ran back and forward relaying messages and orders, and delivering fresh meat daily.

    Their quarry was easily tracked and their path was converging with many other fleeing groups. But these, oh these held the thunderbolt magic.

    They had found the cave where they had hidden; an old goanna had moved in, but Nago had investigated it closely when it was out basking in the sun. He was astounded by the sophistication of the forge, but fascinated by the cave painting; it told the story clearly. He recognised the dogman, or at least the fact that their were two wolves beside him.

    Then, when he was led to the huge mural, he took careful note of the deliberately depicted weapons of the four heroes. His eyes had narrowed in calculation and a plan was hatched in his mind.

    Now, they were almost upon them. He sent several score of warriors in a wide flanking maneuver, ready to surround their quarry when they were in position, and kept a sizeable force beside him as bodyguards and reserve troops.

    He didn't need to tell the lost boys anything of tactics or strategy, only to reinforce their resolve with a combination of curses and blessings. The local tribes might be literal to the point of obtuse, but these were imperials, they had been raised to believe in all the same tricks which Nago had been trained to employ.

    For instance, if Nago pointed his death-wand at a lost boy, he would actually drop dead within a few days. They hunted the heroes as though the devil was at their heels, and Nago loved it.
     
  7. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    As the little tribe moved on towards safety, plans were still being made by Otro, Animagus, Rifa and Pyot.

    Okay. If I look at the way how the 'nose-stealers are moving, it really looks like that they are wanting to outflank us, right? It also look, (but I could be wrong) that are not making the use of highly tactics or strategy. Yes? Now, what is the best choice to bring all of us into safety or defend ourself against those 'nose-stealing heathens'?
     
  8. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Grebon spoke up.

    "Begging you pardon, but their strategy is sound."

    He cleared his throat and recited:

    "Firstly, know your own people;
    Who, where and what they do.
    Secondly, know your enemies;
    How many, doing what and where?
    Thirdly, only fight when it suits you;
    Never when it suits them.
    Fourthly, if outnumbered, divide them first;
    For the bigger force usually wins.
    Fifthly, when you outnumber them by more than five to one;
    Then surrounding them is best.
    Sixthly, always be ready to change your plan;
    Just as the battle is always changing.
    Finally, most importantly, avoid the points of strength;
    Attack the points of weakness;
    Like water flows around a rock."
     
  9. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Drat. Now Animagus had to come with a better plan or strategy than what those 'nose-stealers' are having. He sure has to come with a strategy now or all is lost.

    Okay. Here is some couple of options that we could do against those murderous heathens. First, we limit their sight by smoke. That will buy some time so that we could lure them into one of the one-way road in the mountains and cut their way out by rolling two boulders at each end. Trapped and killed.

    Animagus goes silent for a minute and then spoke again.

    However, we could also (if we have the same amounts of men as they are having) first make smoke to limit their sight. After that, we run away so they are willing to go after us. Thinking that we are scared for them. As they move closer, we are standing in a half circle (Or in a better formation). Others will go and move behind them (using the smoke as cover) to form the other formation. Blocking their path, so that they cannot go out of the formation. Surrounded and beaten by the same strategy.

    [OOC] I hope that it make some sense. A sort of Hammer and anvil strategy [/OOC]

    Animagus looked at Otro and said.

    We could also try to flee into the mountains and hide there. Because I do not want to endanger the children, wives and the others who do not fight. What do you think what the better option is?

    [OOC] I do this because the others do have a say in the forementioned strategies. An Animagus do not want to make mistakes. For it will endanger them all. [/OOC]
     
  10. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    We could also try to flee into the mountains and hide there. Because I do not want to endanger the children, wives and the others who do not fight. What do you think what the better option is?
    Otro answers thoughtfully, sketching a mud-map in the dust to illustrate:
    The situation is too fluid to risk laying a trap, not with these numbers. Let us turn south-east into the foothills. As each band catches up our best warriors can turn and fight while the others keep marching. That way we will avoid being surrounded and we can seperate their forces.

    It will be a fighting retreat, but we must not let them surround us. Not even Rifa can fight a hundred men in all directions.


    Want to bet? Quipped Rifa.

    ... No. Let's just play it safe. Rifa, Pyot, Animagus, Gog, Magog, Grebon, Keelsol and Seko, bring up the rear, be ready to strike and retreat. Everyone else form up around the elders, women and children. We must march!

    ((can u post dialogue in Orange instead of yellow from now on please, Arthgon? just to avoid confusion, thanks. Co-opting your characters, again, Gross, hope that's cool.))
     
  11. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    By using the smoke as cover (who limits the view of the 'nose-stealers', indeed) the little tribe had enough time to organize a full fighting retreat.

    The plan was that Rifa, Pyot, Animagus, Gog, Magog, Grebon, Keelsol and Seko defended the rear and then strike and retreat afterwards. The others surrounded the elders, women and children and ran towards the foothills. With true skill and luck it succeeded.

    As the non-combatants reached the foothills, the first wave of the attackers reached the defenders./some of the 'nose-stealers' who clearly could not wait for the others reached the defenders.

    [OOC] Which sounds better and fit with the story? [/OOC]

    However, they were sorry that they have attacked the little tribe. The first one, a dirty and hairy man who reached them tried to stab Rifa, but she cut his throat with ease.

    Another man, a big brute began to attack Animagus with a large axe. Just as the brute dropped down the axe, Animagus dodged the attack and disemboweled his attacker with a swift slash of his Thunderbolt.

    At the same time, another ‘nose-stealer’ tried to reach the other side to get to the wives and children. He was quickly smashed to pulp by Magog (or was Gog?) The other 'nose-stealers' were quickly, but not with ease killed by the other defenders.

    Now that the (first) attack have been deflected, the defenders began to retreat towards the foothills.
     
  12. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    End of chapter.

    Now, Otro's people are known to us as the paleolithic - of the old stone - because of a certain kind of throwing axe. It was a design unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years because it worked.

    It was a large, heavy, flattened teardrop of stone. In function it was something like a discus crossed with a harpoon. It was hurled in a high arc to come crashing down on the target with all the power of gravity. Accuracy was another matter. The usual technique was for everyone to pile up their axes, agree on a target such as an ox on the edge of the herd, and all throw at once, again and again. Sometimes there were a hundred axes in the air before the first one landed, and they would all hit within a few metres of each other within a few dozen seconds, with spectacular results.
     
  13. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Haether stumbled up the rocky ravine. The women and children were walking now. Only Neerda the toadstool still road upon his back.

    She earned her nickname due to her strange cloak, or house, or zoo, or garden, or pharmacy... it was all those things: woven mat seeded and blooming with fungus, lichen, algae, grasses, herbs, seeds, seedlings as well as pockets of eggs, nymphs, larvae, workers, drones, repletes and queens. Finally, there was one fat toad, which ruled over the entire micro-ecosystem with an air of palpable smugness and sat on her grey head in the sunlight.
     
  14. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    As the little tribe followed the way along the deep and rocky ravine towards safety, the defenders, tired but content finally reach them. Now that everyone is there they can move on now.

    To garner their safety, for the way to the top of the foothill was very narrow they had to keep a little distance to each other. And even had to walk in a line. Or else they might push each other accidently into the ravine. If this accure it would lessen the chances of their survival.

    Behind the group of men, children and wives walked the defenders. Standing ready to fight if they were being followed by those 'nose-stealers'. At this moment it looked that the invaders lost track of the little tribe. But how long.
     
  15. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,630
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    The constant game of cat and much larger cat began to eat into Otro as the tribe walked the ravine. He had no trouble keeping up with the tribe's current speed, but should the need for a quick getaway occur, he would need Haethor's assistance.

    I have grown wary of the quiet. I feel as if we're being watched, though this may be either the truth or simple paranoia instilled in me from being hunted.

    Rifa shouted from the back;

    Best to be cautious, Lefty. It might be for nothing, but I'd rather be relieved than caught off guard.


    The footing wasn't great in all places, but the tribe managed a steady pace through the ravine. This was not the only path that could be taken, but the safest for the small tribe, given the sheer size of the threat and the most likely direction of an attack. Even with an attack in front, Otro was still a capable fighter given the terrain. He might not be as mobile as the other braves, but there's no possible flanking with the width of the current path. His walking stick was still a well-made spear he had knapped and shaped himself, and he knew the use of his tools about as well as he made them.

    We have our young God and the mighty totem of Thunderbolt to guide us. Be aware, but keep your wits about you.
     
  16. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Finally, after a long and tiresome journey among the long and deep ravine they reached the top of the foothills. From there you could see the whole area. As you look down there was good view of the forest. If you look very closely, you saw that while the fire was out, it was still smoldering. Even though it happened some while ago.

    When you put your attention to the other side, you saw the long savannah. Moreover, there was nothing. Nothing, but the savannah and wild animals. Nevertheless, even though the 'nose-stealers' are not in sight it was still no reason to think that they are safe now. Therefore, it was better to move on.

    Nevertheless, it was getting dark and a storm was brewing. Meaning. Now that the road is getting more dangerous, it was better to find somewhere to hide until there was daylight again. Luckily, they found a cave.

    Through some help with the others, Otro and Animagus hide the cave from enemies and wild animals.

    Just as they finished the job, the storm came.
     
  17. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,630
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    What was about to happen in this coming storm was something no one had much experience with in this part of the world, but all knew it was something to be feared.

    The march through the ravine was done while it was very, very humid. The storm clouds seen by the tribe were massive and black, and the wind had begun to pick up.

    As the camouflage for the cave of respite was finished, very cold rain began to fall. As the tribe moved into the cave, balls of ice had started falling from the sky. Hail. The hail increased in size and intensity, getting as large as a modern golf-ball, with some hail containing frogs that had been picked up by what Haethor had heard coming for so long.

    He had been getting agitated while the tribe marched to the top of the foothills, and nearly panicked as the cave was being prepared.

    No one understood anything of his anxiety other than thinking it was related to the Nose-Stealers. It was actually more terrifying than being hunted.

    A loud, low, constant roar reminiscent to a locomotive was heard moving across the landscape near to the tribe's location. To the Unified tribe, it sounded very much like an angry storm-beast. This was what Haethor had feared - a tornado.

    The Lost Boys were not from a part of Africa that would give them much direct experience with such things either, but they still knew more about it than their prey due to the far reaches of the Empire. What this basically mean to the Lost Boys was their gods wanted to find the Thunderbolt owners too, but the gods' wrath would not discriminate in its fury.

    Otro had recalled a strange story Hassa had told him as they walked to the festival earlier last year;

    Otro, have any of the other elders told you about how our world began?

    That Clundir (Heavens/sky{male}) and Grunde (earth, ground{female}) used to be parts of the same thing, but they began to fight after an eternity. Grunde ran from Clundir and became the land beneath our feet, while Clundir became the sky we see overhead.

    That's a good summary of it. But what you're missing is how Clundir feels about Grunde having left him behind. The rain and snow we see are his tears reaching Grunde. On very dark days, so few and far between, Clundir becomes angry and tries to rip pieces of Grunde away so that he can hold a part of her close - in the hope that she will go back to him, at least to make herself whole again. You will know these days by heavy air, black clouds and strong winds. Rain and ice will fall from the sky. You'll hear many cracks of mighty Thunder, and if Clundir's madness from grief is strong enough, the air will roar and a mighty arm will stretch from the heavens down to earth. When this happens, you must run and hide from the sky. None of Grunde's children are spared Clundir's agony, and unfortunately, Clundir's madness keeps Grunde away from him.

    Have you ever seen this happen?

    Never myself. I've heard tales from other tribes about this storm of insanity, and when I had first heard it, it was the final words from my grandfather - and even he had never seen such a thing. It fell out of the teachings of our shamans due to just how few people ever experienced Clundir's rage.

    The signs fit Hassa's story too well for this to be anything else. Otro advised the tribe to move to the rear of the cave so that they wouldn't be harmed by flying creatures/debris near the entrance, or ripped out into the storm. To see both Clundir's generosity and madness in such a short time was truly amazing to Otro.

    The Lost Boys had tried finding a cave large enough to save themselves from their god's wrath, as well. A suitable cave was found, and strangely enough some trees were thrown at the entrance by the funnel, blocking it and keeping the Nose Stealers safe for the time being. However, these trees would need to be moved later when the storm was over, and this alone would hold the Lost Boys in the cave overnight as well as for a few hours in daylight, due to the strain of moving the trees, the need to eat after such exertion, as well as to make a ritual sacrifice and pray to their mysterious and vengeful gods.

    The storm ended about an hour and a half from when it started, and the air was much cooler due to being so light of water. The Unified Tribe continued on their journey at daybreak after scattering the cave entrance camouflage, unknowingly with a 3 hour head start. a rocky path from the cave was chosen, to lessen the appearance of footprints in the wet ground. Otro would remember this incredible experience and paint a mural of it to tell the tale.

    Coincidentally, if the path of the mighty tornado was seen from the sky, it would vaguely look like a four legged animal with a long nose and tusks, with its head pointed in the direction of the Unified Tribe's future safety.
     
  18. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    After traveling the rocky path for long and toiling hours, the little tribe finally came where they wanted to be. Moreover, it was certain that many were relieved that they were out of the rocky foothills and back on safe ground now. That means no fear of falling down from heights anymore.

    The road that lead them out of the foothill, brought them into a forest with gigantic trees and a slow speeding river.
     
  19. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,630
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    When The Lost Boys finally broke from the cave, they were able to follow the Unified Tribe's path to the cave they had slept in - but had a harder time figuring out where they went from there. However, it was well known that the Obtuse Northerners lived in the north (Northerners made it pretty obvious).

    They uncannily guessed the tribe moved in a given direction, and somehow had very nearly followed the path of the Unified tribe without actually knowing for certain if they had the trail. The wet ground hid the smells well; all the Lost Boys could detect was the fresh scent of a storm (and the unmistakable scent of Ozone from lightning) in the much lighter air. Previously they had depended on the scent of Haethor from droppings and the heavy odor of his hair as his body grazed trees nearby - but Haethor completely evacuated himself outside of the cave due to the fear of the mighty Funnel Cloud, and this path was relatively free of tall standing trees.

    The Boys reached a forest with enormous trees bordered by a slow river, about 50 yards upstream of where the Unified Tribe had emerged, though the titular tribe was miles from their starting location here.

    The forest bed was littered with dropped pine needles and the forest itself was full of life in the form of fungus, plants, and animals - many were edible, but at this point the Lost Boys didn't know which plants and fungi were safe in the area.

    Despite this, the terrain lent itself to tracking the fleeing Tribe due to the soft ground and closeness of trees, as well as the obviousness of picked berries from bushes along the path.

    However, thanks to the foliage - specific knowledge of certain members of the Unified Tribe, certain poisonous plants were removed of their berries in the hopes that the aggressors would eat some on the way, as well as poisonous mushrooms growing in groups broken and removed at the stalk with a few left in the group to make future identification obvious. It worked, and 20 of the Lost Boys began having violent bouts of diarrhea on the trail - which made all of the Lost Boys apprehensive of all found plants, severely cutting into energy they needed to trail the fleeing tribe.

    Now, as far as wildlife, the Lost boys knew of bears - but none the size of the bears in this forest, or in any part of Europe, for that matter. Their only ursine neighbor was the Atlas Bear, about the size of a modern American black bear. What they had no knowledge of, and what the Neanderthals they hunted both feared and worshiped - was the mighty Cave Bear, which is comparable in size to the largest extant bears. The bears would travel and live in groups, and the paths of both human groups were overlapped within the territory of several bear herds.

    Bears, being relatively intelligent and rather curious, hone in to new smells as well as the smell of available food. Both human parties were being watched from all sides, and while the unified tribe stayed close together, the Lost boys fanned out into to cover more ground. All of the sick warriors were lumped into the same group - only so the well ones wouldn't be slowed down by constant "breaks."

    Some bear groups began to close in on the obviously ailing Lost Boys - opportunity is not lost on such creatures. It's rather hard to fight a bear while in a dehydrated delirium and shitting yourself, let alone four veritable "packs" of them.

    The number of lost boys was cut to 88, but the ones remaining believed they had been spared due to being chosen to claim the giants from the cliff-side mural, increasing their fervor.
     
  20. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,630
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    A dull echo of anguished screams and attacking bears whipped through the forest surrounding the Unified Tribe. Shortly after, a sharp war cry was heard pealing in the air. It wouldn't be long before the majority of Lost Boys closed in on the carriers of the Thunderbolt.

    Otro held his iron amulet close, and clutched his satchel containing the Mammoth totem, asking for wisdom to help keep this small tribe alive.

    Haethor was growing agitated. He could hear the synchronized footsteps of the coming Lost Boys, and knew that should they overtake his new family, they'd all die.

    Amanitas* had been gathered in preparation of the anticipated battle, to allow for greater strength, as well as fluid movement and decreased pain sensitivity. Along the route of the fleeing Unified people, fairy circles of muscaria caps were found, as it was well within fruiting season. Neerda also had live fungal cultures of the mushrooms living within her cloak. It was common practice to dry these mushrooms before eating them, as the consumers noted greater resilience and higher consciousness than if they were eaten raw. This is because when drying, the ibotenic acid of these mushrooms becomes the much more potent muscimol, but neither psychoactive ingredient would have a name until thousands of years later. It had been decided Haethor would partake of the mighty fungus as well, within a paste of bananas and berries. However, it was still some time away.

    The tribe following Animagus had less than two days before the lost boys would catch up with them. Otro knew this territory; every place to hide, the paths of prey, and the domain of the bears. Animagus knew this type of territory, and what to expect from the life within it, but not necessarily his way around. It was safer to move through bear country for this small tribe due to the neanderthal's familiarity and reverence of the beasts. Pyot had been using his Monkey paw to get around in the trees, giving him a good vantage point and allowing him to report down to the land-faring tribe members. They had to keep moving until the Lost Boys had been weakened to the point of a fair fight. It was the middle of summer, and the bears were fattening up for hibernation. All of the bears of Europe. The smell of an easy meal was too good to pass up, because energy spent foraging or hunting was energy not stored as fat. The Lost Boys were running on adrenaline, and hadn't stopped to eat since their brothers got food poisoning. The most they had on them were bladders of water and dried meat, but they would not stop or risk losing the opportunity for status within the Empire. Now, they were chanting the whole time they marched in a proto-religious fugue, both cursing their fallen brothers and asking for strength from the gods they believed had spared their lives. They felt nothing but what they understood as divine strength pushing them through the forest after the Unified tribe, though this was due to the endorphins coursing through their bodies. They didn't know it, but they were gradually getting weaker**. The noise kept the bears from them, at least.

    The Unified Tribe came upon a well-beaten path made over generations by traveling mammoths. Haethor smelled the ground upon approach. It smelled like something he had lost before, and his agitation turned into joy. His pupils dilated, and he began moving faster in the direction of this familiar smell.

    Nearly a year ago, this young god lost his herd. He seems to smell them now... Otro clutched the Mammoth totem tightly, saying He will lead us to our salvation. Come, everyone! The Thunderbolt has spoken!

    Pyot remained parallel to the beaten trail within the tree line, watching all around the Unified Tribe.

    Hey, before I took to the trees, Gran told me she's been making something for a while that might help us here. That toad on her head - its venom makes you see things***. It brings out your heart and shows it to you. You can see things more beautiful than you can imagine, or it can turn your own fears against you. But, take too much, and it's the last thing you see. Even if it doesn't kill you, you'll never be the same as you were, for better or worse. She's milked enough venom from the toad to kill 15 men your size, or stun 24. She wanted to save it for a special occasion or two, but if we can hit the Nose-Stealers with some darts dipped in poison, it should really help us even the odds when we need to fight them. Gran taught me where the blood moves closest under the skin - any of these points will get the poison working really fast (less than a minute). She and I can hit the southerners as they close in with our blow-pipes, but we need a few more darts.

    Otro was intrigued. The confusion caused by such a distraction, hopefully with more help from the gods, may just let the Unified Tribe prevail.

    Show me one; I'll take to Haethor and make all you need as we travel. We must let our young friend return to his herd alone, so that they might accept him; but we will stay close while the gods graze.

    *For the purpose of the game, amanitas increase strength by 1, body by 1 and dex by 1 - but they lower intelligence by 2 and charisma shits the bed at -4, both with a minimum of 1; however, intelligence and charisma are effectively the same when speaking with another under the influence of Amanitas.
    **At the time of their arrival, the Lost Boys will have lost 1 point of strength, but their will power will increase to 4.
    ***Bufotoxin at the stunning dose will reduce will by 3 and dexterity by 2, both with a minimum of 1. The character can still act/fight/whatever, but they're not seeing standard reality by any stretch of the word - they're effectively in a psychotic break. At the lethal dose, it kills a character after 30 minutes of paralyzing hallucinations.
     
Our Host!