One Hundred Thousand Years Ago Or So...

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

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  1. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    As Pyot was working with Otro to prepare a special brew that will cause a distraction among the ‘Nose-Stealers’, Animagus shown the others what to expect or how to survive in a forest.

    One of the many things that he points out is where you can find water and what editable food is and what will give you the shits or worse…death.

    Every part that grows or lives in a forest is highly re-usable and helps for survival.

    To show everyone how to use the forest in their advancement, Animagus build some traps to make sure that it will slow down or kill the ‘Nose-Stealers’.

    The traps were very simple, but still very deadly. The products that were used came forth from the forest. Covered holes with sharp bamboo sticks (he smeared the tips with dirt and/or using poison from several mushrooms and plants) at the bottom.

    By using lianas and moveable limbs from a tree he made traps that could split you apart or let you hang upside down until a predator will find you.

    That will slow them down, indeed.

    Now this work was done, he let the others learn to find water (only at the area where they are now) while he comforted Fang. She was sad that she had to let Haethor go. Everyone knew that Fang was very fond of him and saw him as a son.

    Do not worry, he is going to be okay.
     
  2. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    A large clearing bordered by massive trees stood in front of the Unified Tribe. This was where Haethor had to make his own way - the Mammoth herd he had been separated from months ago was grazing in a field of tall grass. It was rather idyllic - mountains to the north, rolling terrain, a couple large ponds (nearly lakes)...if there had been any time to do so, or even space to do it on, Otro would've preserved the event in a mural right then. Traps made by Animagus and the rest of the tribe were scattered through the forest , Otro had finished the darts both Pyot and Neerda needed for the toad-venom distraction. Haethor froze just inside the clearing, a few meters from the tree line.

    He walked slowly toward the smell of his lost mother, pupils dilated and trunk elevated. He seemed unsure of himself and kept his pace, but still, he began to trumpet-

    "Mama! Mama!"

    An adult broke from the body of the herd at his call.

    "Little Four-Tusk...?"

    "The sky fell, Mama, but the nice monkey herd took care of me until I found you! And, they gave me bananas."

    "I can't forget that day, I thought the sky took you from me...I didn't know you at first, because you're much bigger than last summer, and you do smell like the monkeys - but what's on your tusks? They look very shiny."

    "The Red One made them after my friend, Hare Face, died...and Wolf Monkey has a wolf that looked after me. We're running from mean monkeys, but I smelled you, and here you are!"

    "...'Mean monkeys'?"

    "Yeah. My monkey herd found the piece of sky that fell and The Red One made shiny stuff out of it, like my tusk-thingies. The mean monkeys want the shiny stuff, I think."

    "Hmmm...we should go, Little Four-Tusk. Monkey problems are best solved by monkeys."

    "Mama, if we go, the mean monkeys will kill my friends..." :-(

    "...There's not another field of good grass for miles. We'll stay, but we'll only help if the 'mean monkeys' come out of the forest - to protect the young ones. What do your friends look like?"

    Haethor (or Little Four-Tusk) beamed, and described every member of his monkey herd to his Mama. Monkeys that didn't look like his herd would be regarded as a threat to the pre-adolescent mammoths, such as Haethor.

    The entire herd began to trumpet at the reintroduction of Haethor to his mother.

    Otro watched, he himself moved by the rejoicing of the gods.

    So much to show people...I must remember this day as well.

    Since the Unified Tribe stopped moving, it would be about 20 hours before the Lost Boys found them. The Lost Boys had stopped to rest and eat after running for the past 7 hours, but they only ate what they themselves carried into the forest. The river nearby allowed them the water they all needed, as well - but as soon as they were rested (a.k.a. woke up from passing out for 11 hours), they'd start running all over again...right into Animagus' traps.

    The traps laid out for the Lost Boys were fairly spread out, enough so that only one trap would go off at a time, but reliably enough that 24 of the warriors were either snared or bisected. This only increased their intensity more, however. They knew how their gods tested the worthy; if you weren't, you died young. The strain on their bodies from receiving so little nutrition weakened them, but what they had eaten kept their endurance level - at least so long as they had adrenaline pumping through their veins.

    All of the braves had eaten dried toadstools before the Lost Boys arrived, and they had started taking effect about a half hour before they could be seen in the forest. The plan to feed Haethor the mushrooms in a fruit paste dissolved when he found his herd.

    Pyot and Neerda began firing the darts into the necks of the advancing Lost Boys, and had decided on a stunning dose rather than one to kill - in this way, if all darts struck the opportunity to kill more dazed opponents than fewer killed outright would be there, and missed darts meant less lost toxin. Even so, 18 lost boys were hit, and within a minute each of them slowed down to a crawl, eventually falling to their knees in a stupor. If one could see what they saw, it would resemble a humongous toad comprised entirely of prismatic light. What it demanded of them differed according to their hearts, and the affected Lost Boys would either scream in terror or laugh uncontrollably. Some began to vomit - it's poison, after all.

    There were now 46 lost boys capable of fighting at the moment, each one so sure of his destiny that even the pangs of hunger he felt were nothing compared to the reward possible upon killing one of the...giants? That was actually the response the surviving Lost Boys gave. The only giant among these people wasn't pictured on the cliff-side mural at all - but he was most assuredly a giant. In fact, the "giants" they sought were shorter than they were, and were only recognizable by the weapons each one carried. The consensus at the time was Thunderbolt Magic also allowed a person to change their size.

    Each Unified Brave had a blank expression on their face. Totally emotionless, and their eyes seemed glazed over - all from the mushrooms. They were outnumbered 5 - 1, but at this point it didn't matter as much. The trees in the forest enforced close-quarters fighting, meaning the Lost Boy's spear-launchers were effectively useless. In fact, most any throwable weapon they carried was useless, considering how likely it would be to hit a tree. And, unknown to the Unified Tribe, Haethor had actually convinced his shaggy brethren to help, albeit under specific conditions. Once Haethor himself was spotted, some Lost Boys would doubtless attempt subduing him to get his Thunderbolt.

    The two forces regarded each other for two minutes, but it seemed to be hours. The skirmish was about to begin.
     
  3. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    After regarding each other for two minutes, the bloody battle started. While Pyot used his blow-pipe to kill ‘nose-eaters’ from a distance, Animagus and his companions used guerilla tactics to weaken down the defenses of the attackers.

    Taken them by surprise Animagus killed a lot of them, using his deadly sword 'Thunderbolt'. Those who tried to escape were turn to shreds by Scar and Fang.

    One of the attackers tried to stab Scar, but because of the trees in the forest, he totally missed the mark. Scar turned the favor by biting his head off. Fang, who used the bushes as cover, attacked the ’Nose-stealers’ by the flanks. Causing confusion by the attackers.

    Magog used his brute force in close-quarters to smash his attackers to bits. Rifa and Gog covered his back.

    Suddenly the gods came in movement. Seeing that the young ones are in danger they began to attack the ‘Nose-stealers’. Haethor, technically placed in the middle (That means that nobody can try to subdue him) could help the others.
     
  4. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    The battle continued at a fevered pace. There was a cacophony of raucous laughter, and terrified screams. The Thunderbolt Braves did remarkably well against the Lost Boys, in spite of being so outnumbered. There were no losses on the side of the Unified Tribe at the moment, though injuries were present.

    In the fury of battle, Animagus had been slashed in the stomach; a blow he turned to dodge that spared him being disemboweled. Had he not eaten any mushrooms, it would sting a bit, but all it really does is stain his loincloth. Fang and Scar both took very minor cuts, due to being that much more agile than their human pack leader. Together, Animagus, Fang, and Scar had killed 9 lost boys.

    Magog himself had some shallow punctures in his torso and slashes on his arms - his style of combat was brutal, but allowed opportunities for the Lost Boys to strike due to the amount of time it took to swing what was essentially a Paleolithic Godentang-style morning star. You know, a huge-ass club (essentially a tree with broken roots still attached). Most of his injuries came at the start of the fight, before the Lost Boys knew better. 3 crushed skulls and dozens of broken ribs are a good way to change an aggressor's mind. He killed 3, and punctured the lungs of 3 more.

    Rifa, being cocky even in her trance-like state, allowed a lost boy to slash her face just below the left cheek, as well as having taken a gash to her right oblique; all of this to learn their style of fighting. Due to how little regard women are given as warriors in the Lost Boy's parent empire, at first only one warrior went for her. After gaining those fresh cuts, Rifa retaliated by cutting the point off of the aggressor's spear, and quickly stabbing into his left armpit. After knocking him out to bleed to death, she let out a battle cry and rushed another that had just gotten 13 ribs broken by Magog. She cut off a hand so easily she was surprised, even in her berserker rage. The hallucinating Lost Boys registered her battle cry and vaguely processed what she was and was doing. Depending on who you'd ask, she was either a blurry avatar of righteousness, or a savage battle harpy. 5 men fell either by blade or sharp punch to the temple.

    Gog used a combination of crushing body blows and slashes to keep Lost Boys at bay. He didn't kill any, but he did one hell of a job protecting his brother's backside. He was cut across his forehead, on the back of his right hand, and a part of his beard was cut off - he'd need to even it up later.

    Pyot and Neerda shot knowing glances at each other, and Pyot used his new Grappling hook to swing down and use the same tactics he employed in the Tournament. He began hitting lost boys with a neurotoxin as he passed them, causing them to stumble about like Magog and Senku had at the tournament. He shot a ripple of rope out to his grappling hook to retrieve it, and once it was in his hand he became quite terrifying in its use. It's best to not mention how it was used, but instead let it be known 5 Lost Boys died.

    None of the lost boys willingly faced Korduk. He had eaten the mushrooms like the rest of the braves, and suddenly took to the trees once they took effect; sometimes going 25 feet above the forest floor. With the obsidian hand-ax Otro made for him, he would arrange himself much like an Olypmic diver in the air - and very nearly cut Lost Boys in half. It took a few seconds for him to get out of the homo-sapiens he had just split apart (and he only survived because the Lost Boys broke his fall), but the sight was so ghastly, not even adrenaline would allow the enemy warriors near him. He managed 4 kills this way. It would've been more, but the Lost Boys began watching him in the trees and looking out for where he'd drop next, cursing the ferocity of this "Screaming Devil Ape," as they called him. He was injured, but by his many long falls.

    Keelsol ran veritable circles around the lost boys, favoring crippling them over killing them. He killed two, but 4 could no longer bear weight on one of their two legs. He gathered a stab into his left gluteus that slightly decreased his running speed.

    Senku was as skilled fishing with a spear as he was fighting with it - spend all day holding a tool in your hands, and you'll figure out a way to make it deadly. Due to similar weapons being used by both himself and the Lost Boys, he killed one by stabbing him in the neck, and spent most of his time parrying enemy spears. He was stabbed in the side by the same Lost Boy he killed, and gained a cut on his shoulder from another.

    Grebon, the man responsible for teaching the entire tribe how to use swords, and by extension responsible for Animagus now holding one of the most advanced weapons on the planet, was quite a formidable opponent despite his size. His striking range was limited, but he was completely untouched by the Lost Boys. On an occasion where they made mistakes in their forms while attacking, he would savagely retaliate, his flat, saw-toothed "sword" turning muscle into burger. 5 enemy warriors would ultimately regret not picking on someone their size. Not dead, but close to it - and feeling really, really foolish.

    The entire time the two tribal forces fought, the Lost Boys were retreating out into the clearing, so they could try using their spear launchers. This would've worked to their favor if Haethor hadn't been a mammoth, and one with pull, at that. Once they were out, the Mammoth Herd let out a trumpet blast, and the earth began to shake under so many angry pachyderms rushing to protect their young. A few of the Lost Boys were able to dodge the stampede, and one rolled within the center of the Herd to find young Haethor and his "God-Pikes," being instantly recognizable from the cliff-side mural.

    There was a fire in the young god's eyes. He knew the mean monkeys wanted what was on his tusks, and if this particular monkey tried anything funny - Haethor could just call on Mama. They stared at each other for nearly a minute, Haethor looking more and more irritated. He was only 5, but he outweighed the tiny human by about 2400 pounds, and was nearly a foot taller. A trumpet blast shot from the "little" god as he charged the hapless Lost Boy. As the Lost Boy turned to run, he was grabbed by the angry young mammoth at the ankle and thrown to the ground. Haethor stepped on the warrior's spear; he knew how they loved stabbing things. An adult mammoth stepped in and grabbed the human by the neck, admonishing Haethor -

    "Little Four-Tusk, you know your Mama would be angry if I let you get hurt."

    "Awww...ok."

    The human was thrown nearly 20 feet from Haethor, but was dead before he hit the ground. He was given a severe case of whiplash when the adult yanked him from the ground, which severed his spinal cord.

    Things ended here much as they had during the last retaliation of the gods, except for the 18 gibbering Lost Boys in the woods. Their bodies would finish processing the toxin in about 15 minutes, but what Pyot had said before about the toad venom meant not all of them were there willingly. The ones with good in their hearts would recover and might be reasoned with - the ones with evil would end up in a catatonic state due to experiencing their own dark hearts. There was still a chance that they'd all have to die. However, some had fallen on their backs and began to vomit - 6 of the Lost Boys drowned.

    All of the braves would be hopped up on amanitas for the next 3-4 hours.
    The entire Unified Tribe gathered around the hallucinating warriors from the south.

    Pyot, how have you dealt with other foes affected by this poison?

    What Pyot thought he said, and what the other Braves heard was, "We wait for them to wake up, then, we ask what they see and deal with it from there." What Otro and the non-mushroomed tribesmen heard was Waitfortowakeup...thenwe...ask.

    Seeing the affected braves nod and study the Lost Boys after this drew one response from Otro; ...Alright.
    He remembered how hard it was for others to understand him after he had eaten those mushrooms, and guessed the answer was more complicated than he or the others had heard.

    They just had to wait and see.
     
  5. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    As the braves and others let their worn bodies to rest, a healer began to treat their wounds as good as possible. Luckily, the wounds were not bad and infected.

    Now that they were waiting for something to happen, the beautiful girl, who is one of Animagus wives took to her chance to speak to him.

    "Listen to me. Animagus...I am pregnant. You are going to be a father. Yes. It is your child." She said to him in firm words.

    First it had to sink in, but then Animagus began to embrace her full in happiness. Afterwards, he began to sing in the language of his kin. It was a happy day, indeed.
     
  6. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    The Lost Boys' bodies had processed the remainder of bufotoxin coursing through their veins.

    Ten Lost Boys retained a blank expression on their faces. Two of them began to cautiously regard the Unified Tribesmen standing around them.

    Otro guessed at what Pyot had mentioned nearly 15 minutes earlier. He addressed all of the Lost Boys at once;

    Warriors - What have you seen?

    After talking with each other, one Lost Boy piped in apprehensively -

    We saw a huge toad, of so many colors...it wanted us to take in the sights and sounds of this place, to free ourselves from the pointless hatred our people dole out. When it left us to gather what we could sense, we saw fantastic forms fighting petty, cruel creatures. We now see those cruel creatures were our Brothers, and those fantastic forms were your people.
    We've seen similar things from the Iboga, but we were told we used it wrong.


    What are your names, now that you can see?

    I am Usha Migo (lit; Giddy Meerkat).

    I am Kashimbe Dagga (lit; Honey Badger).

    Your brothers beside you do not speak. Their hearts were too dark to take what was given to them. If we leave them be, they may not wake in time to protect themselves from the bears. Should they wake before then, what will your people do upon their return?

    If they regain themselves before the bears find them, they may either be exiled or bring more of our Brothers against your kind.

    It would be more likely for them to bring more warriors to kill us. The bears are hungry this time of year, and they enjoy easy meals. The sounds of battle keep them at bay - though these men are silent, and soon we will leave.

    We can't go back to our people. How we see you doesn't match what they know - we'll be killed.

    Well, I don't care.

    ...Should you betray us, we'll kill you. The majority of you southerners don't seem to be people of reason. It's odd what it can take to change someone's mind, though. Your brothers beside you - as much as I can't stomach it, we must do something to prevent them from returning home and damning us to a life on the run. Otro regarded his left leg briefly, then steeled his gaze, We must damn them to a life without walking.

    The Braves began the gruesome work of breaking the catatonic Lost Boy's legs - all of them. The affected Lost Boys didn't respond in the least. The Unified Tribe, now plus 2 Lost Boys, continued north within the forest, parallel to the Mammoth Road.

    Five days later, Nago arrived with his bodyguards - he had followed the band of Lost Boys to their current location, due to their inability to return in victory within his wishes. The mammoth herd was long gone, as was the Unified Tribe.

    There was a single Lost Boy left alive, and picked corpses all around him. He was hoarse from screaming, as well as dehydration. He came to his senses after his brothers had been killed, and fought off a bear that was attempting to eat him by using his spear. Once the excitement from scaring a bear wore off, he realized his legs were very swollen and incredibly painful. He spent hours screaming in both psychological and physical agony - when he wasn't having a flash back, he was screaming about his broken legs, and occasionally sobbing about how he'd die screaming in the woods.

    Nago found him as he was sobbing.

    What happened here?!

    N-Nago! The Giants cursed us with Thunderbolt Magic! All of us! I saw a massive toad of fantastic colors...it told me to draw in the despair of my life, and suffer what this forest would deliver me. Such a horrible battle...I couldn't move, I saw my brothers being ripped apart by unbelievable beasts, and trampled by humongous shaggy monsters. Then, the beasts gathered around what was left of us and began talking in a hideous language...it kept happening for what seemed like forever, and when it stopped I had to fight off a bear - only to find out my legs are useless!


    Nago spotted one of the darts used to inflict the jarring hallucinations on the Lost Boys, and tasted it. His eyes widened...he knew this was a very powerful magic the Northerners had used, and he'd need to prepare his troops accordingly.

    There are two warriors missing. What happened to them?

    Between winces, the Lost Boy said, I don't know. I don't even know why my legs are broken...and he began screaming in pain again.

    I'm sorry, but you won't become a man like this. I'm actually doing you a favor...!

    As his bodyguards watched, Nago used his ceremonial dagger made from a Thunderegg with Bloodstone-variety chalcedony inside - the Lost Boy had become a live sacrifice, and quite a particular one. The extreme pain he was in, along with the circumstances leading to it, sent a message straight to Matata; the god of retribution, anguish, magical things, and music (made for children).

    The Lost boy was right - he died screaming in the woods.

    Nago returned and told his reserves at the river to track down the hairy northerners, assuring their success on the grounds of his gracious sacrifice. However, they held camp there for about three weeks while Nago figured out exactly what it was on that dart. If he couldn't find it exactly, he'd do the next best thing - make a paleolithic analogue.

    Within that time, the Unified Tribe found a temporary home for them to gather themselves before they left to find a real home, due to its location adjacent to several migratory paths, its distance to fresh water, and the sheer scope of natural resources around them. They mirrored the migratory path of Haethor's herd, and chose to hunt everything but the gods themselves. They were safe, for now - but the search for the Thunderbolt was still active.

    End of Chapter.
     
  7. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    There was a large overhang above the entrance to the cave the Unified Tribe was living in, with plenty of wall space on either side.

    Six weeks passed from the victory at the clearing, and while this location was intended to be temporary, the Unified Tribe wanted very much for it to be a home. This is mainly why they had been there for so long.

    Otro painted the fantastic storm that allowed the tribe time to defeat the Lost Boys in the battle depicted on the wall, along with the Prismatic Toad seen by both Dagga and Migo. Haethor's reunion with his herd was depicted in great detail, and his path to the herd was shown not on grass, but clouds.

    The two Lost Boys were a tenuous agreement at first, but the tribe quickly accepted them when their talents were displayed.

    Migo, much like Pyot, enjoyed to laugh and joke around. He especially liked entertaining the children. He was also quite perceptive, being invaluable as a watchman.

    Dagga, on the other hand, was rather apathetic. He also happened to be a bit of a bad ass (if not foolhardy), and became an important part of the hunting parties. For this reason, Rifa struck up a sort of friendship with him, as her obliviousness paired well with his indifference.

    Otro spent his days happily knapping new stone blades and instructing in the maintenance of tools he had made. He even ended up taking on a young apprentice in Choon. The boy didn't have a concrete method yet, but he showed great talent.

    The air was uneasy, despite the comfort everyone felt. Eventually, this place would be found - Dagga and Migo confirmed that a powerful figure called Nago would still look for the tribe, though the crippled Lost Boys were unable to return to him. As hard as it was to leave this place, it had to be done.
     
  8. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now writing per se was generally unheard of outside the carnival of strange ideas, but there were many kinds of signposts in the wilderness.

    Among the savannah tribes, a pile of stones, or cairn, for example, was the perennial "I was here" or more like a graffiti gang-sign, ie, "We were here, mofos, and we'll be back." It meant, Someone Else's Territory.

    So, when the little tribe had healed their wounds, left their cave and came across such a sign, there was some disconcertation among the braves.

    Should we sneak? Should we announce ourselves with smoke? Should we leave gifts as a toll?

    These questions became suddenly moot when a large warband of plainsmen surrounded the tribe in a perfect ambush. There were dozens of sturdy neanderthal hunters, not only well-rested and -fed, but also -aquainted with the terrain. Reassuringly, however, their leader stepped forward to parley.

    He wore a topknot and a taxonomy textbook worth of bones in his beard, and little else bar an expression of determination. He was dignified and courteous, but nonetheless cautious and unwelcoming.

    With a concise guesture - a hand flicking forward from his mouth - he says as clearly as if he'd spoken: Well? What do you have to say for yourselves?
     
  9. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    With the translation help from Otro (Or anyone else?) Animagus could answer the leader of the plainsmen.

    My name is Animagus, leader of the Unified Tribe. We have not come here to fight, but to come in peace. We are only passing through. For many days we have been hunted by the 'Nose-stealers'. It would not be long that they will come here as well. Perhaps it would be wise and safe for our tribes to join up until the danger that we could be in, passes over.

    While the tribes leader was thinking about the answer, Animagus silently spoke to Otro.

    You speak their language better than me, perhaps you could tell them what for kind of situation we are in.
     
  10. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    You speak their language better than me, perhaps you could tell them what for kind of situation we are in.

    Of course, my friend.

    Otro spoke up to the apparent leader of the plainsmen in the base dialect of proto-Europe;

    I am Garn Otro Litha, of the Schwarzwald Kinder. I am a tool-maker and painter for my people. Last spring, I, my late Master, and my childhood friend Rifa journeyed from our home to the north by a great fores, down to the valley by the sea, for a festival where many tribes would gather, trade, and be merry.

    A few days in, the Thunderbolt Iron fell from the heavens. disrupting the festival and killing many people. Some survivors of this strike found a cave, and formed a tribe of many cultures. You see these people before you now. There are two members of our tibe missing;
    Haethor, the young god who befriended my Master, and who was taken in by Animagus' wolf friend, Fang.
    My master, Garn Hassa, who died shortly after I completed the weapon Animagus carries.

    Rifa went out in search of the Thunderbolt under direction of my Master, Hassa. When she brought it back, Hassa taught me how to make things with the heavenly gift. I've made 4 unique weapons from the Thunderbolt;

    The long blade that bears it's name, held by our tribe's leader.
    The twin daggers my friend Rifa now carries.
    The "grappling-hook" held by the resourceful Pyot.
    And four of what I call God-Pikes, worn on the tusks of young Haethor.

    I've also made a precious totem in the design of my people, to guide us through these trying times -


    Otro revealed the Mammoth Totem to the leader of the plainsmen. He was quite amazed at the totem and the weapons Otro made, as well.

    The Thunderbolt's carrier was determined by a tournament. I had decided, however, that the tribe would benefit with our greatest warriors each carrying a piece of the heavens with them, to aid our leader in defense from what would come.

    For a year we lived in that cave. Then, the people of the south, whom we call Nose-Stealers, began killing our kind in search of what we now possess. None were spared, and we too would have fallen if not for our gift.

    For weeks we've been running - We bested the Lost Boys at first, then began moving. A huge storm protected us, allowing the time we needed to defeat the Lost Boys again in the clearing where Haethor found his lost herd. That battle is where we gained Dagga and Migo - former Lost Boys who see us as we are, and not what they were told we are.

    What Animagus says is true, we do not wish you harm. We are a travel-weary people, much relieved to have any moment of peace. We've only stayed here as long as we have to rest ourselves, though that we also seek a home hasn't helped us leave.

    However, our leader is very right in that we'd benefit by joining our people together. The Lost Boys fight by misdirection and superior numbers. We only succeeded by convincing the gods to help us, and now our god has returned home. The Lost Boys, directed by a man called Nago, will come here. And they will try to kill all of us. If we do not join forces, we're sure to die. But together - we stand a much greater chance of surviving.


    A moment of silence occurred while the cautious leader gathered his thoughts. He opened a satchel on his back and pulled out one of Otro's star calendars, made on an Auroch scapula. He smiled knowingly, holding the calendar up for the warband to see.

    I am Lashun Opaha (lit; Lake Drinker), leader of Ga Gilard mak Thelhimna (lit; The Light of the Plains). I was at that festival, Otro. I remember your fiery beard, and I remember Animagus' wolf saving the child. One of my people was killed that day - he was close to where the Thunderbolt came down.

    You make fine tools - I wouldn't know what to do without this calendar. And, the only problem with your knives is I don't have you to fix them when they get dull.
    He laughed.

    Word reached the plains of a ravenous band of warriors tearing through the valley. It was said that the gods themselves made them stop, but it would seem their fury was redirected on you, for what your people carry. We've been roaming the plains to strike back at these "Lost Boys" for what they've already done.

    Now, we too see the Thunderbolt as a gift, but none of the plainsman alive today know how to work with it. Your master must have been very wise, and you yourself quite the pupil, to make such objects from it. If it has come into your hands from the heavens, then your people are its owners.

    You trust your tribesmen with these powerful tools, and you hold the knowledge to work with the Thunderbolt Iron - the lot of you must possess great skill and courage. There is no doubt;
    To succeed against the forces we've heard had been killing our kind, your people have been chosen.

    Our people will become one, and stronger for it. There is a place for the lot of you in our clan, though our people are known to roam. We settle for as long as game is around us, then we leave. You all shall learn how to make collapsible dwellings.


    The meeting went much better than expected. Lashun brought the Unified Tribe to his people's current home, and showed them just how he gained his name - by downing four bladders of what's known in modern times as mead to kick off his people's "New Blood" festival.

    With the Unified Tribe now a part of The Light of the Plains, the number of bodies was just over 150. That, in combination with this tribe's regular trade, it would be possible to spread the message of war to other neanderthal tribes.

    Edit; Grammar. :-x
     
  11. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    It has been awhile that the two tribes met up, but the friendship between Unified Tribe and The Light of the Plains are still going strong.

    A month (Less or more?) has passed and the news of united war against ‘Nose-Stealers’ have been finally spread among the other Neanderthal tribes. Most of those tribes were willing to join the battle. Good news, because united they have a better chance to win this war for survival.

    Meanwhile, Animagus and his wife Cecilia talked about the name of their baby. "Yes, my love. Perhaps if it is a girl we could call her Destiny."
     
  12. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    During that month, Sul had worked his way into the tribe with the help of Dagga and Migo, and was now trusted if not yet befriended with a few of the other members. These people were still strange to him, but he liked that strangeness somehow, or wanted to like it. He couldn't return to the empire. Didn't want to. Nothing but a life as a boy awaited him there, and that he could do without.

    During his stay with the tribe he had taken an interest in some of the more upstanding members, sizing them up. First things first, they were not giants, or demons, or gods. One of them, a fierce woman, was the greatest warrior. Another man was some kind of wise schaman. The leader, Animagus... Sul was not sure what to think of him. He couldn't see why that one was the leader, when he was neither the strongest nor the wisest of the tribe. He had the Thunderbolt, aye, but only because someone else had made it for him. And yet following him seemed, to most tribe members, as easy and natural as breathing. Sul didn't like this and suspected some sort of trickery at play, perhaps involving the magic weapon. Their ways were strange indeed.

    The former-lost-boy also took the opportunity to study his mothers people, these neanderthals. They were also strange to him, at least in some ways, but also had something about them which spoke to him in a way he liked. He had not yet spoken to any of them; for now he was content with observing them, working out in his mind who they were and how they worked.

    All in all, he suspected that interesting times were to come.
     
  13. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Otro had busied himself over the past month by repairing many tools of Lashun's tribe - tools he himself had made (as well as those made by tribesmen here), as well as repurposing broken fragments into smaller practical items (axes into knives and spearheads, ect.). Choon was with him the whole way, and he had begun a method of work that was respectable for his young age - at this point, he was just over half as productive as Otro, though Otro had an inkling this was merely due to the strength in the boy's hands rather than a question of efficiency. For a while, a stranger had been working his way into the tribe. He wasn't quite neanderthal, though also not quite 'sapiens. He too had been a Lost Boy, from what Migo had said of him (as Dagga remained rather indifferent). Migo had also said his name was Sul - a short, powerful name.

    He wasn't so much unwanted as he was unfamiliar, and he was intent on studying all that was around him - his life must have been very difficult before coming here. If not difficult, then disappointing. He hadn't chosen to speak with any of the 'thals present, though it was possibly due to a culture shock inherent to such a change in company.

    It was strange for the Unified Tribe to now live in what were essentially hide-tents supported with mammoth tusks, as previously caves were what many knew. It was a far cry from "portable" as one would speak of it today, but if your dwelling weighed between 150-200 pounds and could contain up to 6, it was far more practical than an immovable cave of any size. Also, no bears.

    All of the Unified Tribesmen missed their young god, Haethor - he wasn't simply their friend, he was a veritable beacon that lead them to safety. While they may have lost their pachydermous friend, they had gained over 100 immediate allies, not to mention the vital connections they formed through trade.

    Otro's presence within this nomadic group, The Light of the Plains, had increased either the amount of, or value of, the trades coming into the tribe. He had an eye for stone as well as detail, making his blades nearly invaluable to any family group trading with Lashun's people. Rifa herself had decided to train the fighting force of these people both for future conflicts as well as to keep from getting bored/rusty. She had been hoping for quite some time to find an adequate sparring partner, but so far she was content to be a teacher. Dagga was indeed a badass, but less due to combat skill and more due to his unflappable apathy, which is a weapon to itself.

    The mix of combat styles present in the Unified Tribe itself greatly benefited Lashun's people, as it taught them what would otherwise have been unexpected and lethal maneuvers possibly encountered by such a clever and devious race as Homo sapiens sapiens.

    For the first time in a long time, Otro decided to take a break. He encouraged Choon to do the same, and told the boy

    Keep your mind strong - but make sure to stretch every once in a while.

    Otro chose this day to relax and reflect on the peculiar events none on this planet could entirely anticipate, except, as Otro thought, Haethor (though this wasn't true so much as it was convenient to think). He walked among the sturdy hide-tents, and essentially for the first time learned of this plain-dwelling tribe. So much work had to be done, given the tool-makers of this tribe weren't competent so much as they were passable. Otro didn't mind though, he enjoyed being busy.

    There seemed to be a healthy mix of folk here as well, though not such a drastic mix as the Unified Tribe itself. This lead to languages being used that were even more unfamiliar than even the developed language of this tribe. There were some who traveled from the east after having lost their way - more folk like Gog and Magog, though their faces were slightly more gracile.

    Otro felt liberated on this day, feeling he was free. The thought of actually surviving another encounter with the Lost Boys was quite welcome, as well.

    He spotted Sul conversing with Migo (and Dagga just happened to be there), so he allowed his curiosity to get the better of him and approached, saying

    You're a quiet young man. What brings you to this place?
     
  14. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Sul took a while to look at this schaman before he answered him.

    I have nowhere else to go. I can't go back to where I was. I can't go away on my own. There is strength here, so here is where I'll stay. For now.

    He figured it was his time to question, and so continued;

    You are the maker of this tribe, no? Or the teller? Was it you that made the Thunderbolt?
     
  15. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    For someone with so few choices, you seem to have been given a good opportunity. Migo trusts you very well, and then there's Dagga -

    Whatever.

    I had a hand in bringing both my adoptive tribe together, as well as my tribe and Lashun's. In my home tribe, the tribe of Rifa as well, I was a simple toolmaker and tracker for my people. I would suppose I am the "teller," and I am indeed the one who made the Thunderbolt thanks to instruction by my late master, Hassa.
     
  16. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Your tribe must have been a great one, to house such a warrior as she and such a mind as your master. Tell me, why do people from such great a tribe follow a man such as your chief? This warrior Rifa could challenge him for leadership and win if she wanted to. This one, he said and pointed at himself, could probably do it as well. Why follow him?
     
  17. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    While talking with Rifa about the right tactics against their common enemy they overheard this conversation. Now, being concerned with the unity and safety of his tribe and all the other ones, he spoke with Rifa about this.

    Rifa. You heard the conversation, just like me. Am I wrong not to trust Sul? Or am I too quick to judge this time? Will his further actions endanger us all?
     
  18. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now gossip has been the glue of society for as long as stories have been told, and it has always spread like wildfire.

    Therefore Sul's question was bounced off everyone within a day or two: Why follow the dogman?

    Although most of the people knew the answer in their hearts, only Lendorn made an objective case of it.

    "It's like this," he said. "Everyone here has prejudices, everyone here would sooner brain a stranger as speak with him. We all had families and brothers and sisters who look and think and speak as we do. All of us, except the dogman.

    "When we were each of us alone, he adopted every orphan, every refugee - all of us strangers - as his family, and chose to welcome and protect any who asked. Even wolves and mammoths.

    "But the reason we trust him now is because he has not wavered from that position once, not for a minute, every day since then.

    "The dogman is our chieftain because he has earned the heart of the tribe, something no amount of cunning nor might of arms could achieve."
     
  19. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now among the sprawling empire everyone knew a certain trick, they could shapechange. Not actually, but apparently, and that was the trick. The costume was an important feature, but ultimately it was the co-ordinated mimicry, requiring a large proportion of their large brains, which made the illusion. It needed practise and a lot of people to work, but it could convince a giant predator that thirty little apes were ten lions, or four elephants, or one giant serpant. It was not like nowadays when upright apes are the most feared animal on earth, but they were working on it.

    Among the lost boys, this camouflage was improvised from local fauna and practised as a kind of ritual dance. The Lion Dance was the oldest form and survives even today largely unchanged. The most convincing shapechangers/dancers were awarded higher status in the corps and served as scouts and decoys. When an entire corps formed a dragon form, complete with fire, the usually informal order of ranking was neatly spelled out, head to tail, alpha to omega. In this way the lost boys had been terrorising game and scattered homonid tribes across the whole of eurasia. With one part stage production and two parts veteran tactics, thousands and thousands of noses were collected. Lendorn had calculated defeat on the basis of one thousand noses equals one wife each. He did not count on the logic of the truly evolved human: If one thousand noses equals one wife then many thousand equals many wives!

    Those who had reached their trophy quota usually stayed on with their corps and traded favours and loyalties with those who had not, raising a support base for their return to the empire. Nose bankers and bookies appeared and a thriving economy of nose-banking, nose-counterfeiting, nose-gambling and nose-theft ensued. There was even nose-banditry, raids on the caravans of returning gangs of lost boys, each with a large sack of noses, anticipating the glory of his own household and 2.361 wives and perhaps not being vigilant enough. And, of course, nose-taxes. Nago didn't need to earn a place in the empire with noses, he already had status and a wife. But he used them in the army to bribe and reward loyalty, and he obtained them as tribute for magical protection or perhaps putting in a good word with the council of matriarchs. Thus he was rich in noses but fumed at his lack of thunderbolt iron.

    So, many hundreds of thousands of neanderthal had died thus far, and millions more were sure to follow.
     
  20. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Some time had passed since Suls and Otros conversation, and most of the tribe had accepted Lendorns answer and moved on. Sul had not, but he had felt the vibe and would let it be. For now.

    In stead, he took interest in other things. Like the warrior woman, Rifa. He never went so far as to initiate contact with her, no, but he tried to communicate with her in his own way; when they sparred, or when they ate, he would shoot her glances and perhaps manouver himself closer to her. Thus far he had gotten no discernable response from her and was frustrated, just like any upright ape gets frustrated when other apes refuse to read their oh-so-obvious signs.

    He also took his time to study the Thunderbolt weapons. Never before had he seen such a material. He decided there and then that he too would own such a weapon one day.

    Sul remained for all this time in the outskirts of the tribe, usually in the company of Migo and Dagga. He sometimes spoke briefly to Otro but never said much. He still hadn't said a word to Animagus since he'd entered the tribe, and suspected it would be so for some time to come; he felt rivalry between them, and would not be the one to initiate the first contact.
     
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