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One Hundred Thousand Years Ago Or So...

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

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  1. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Otro and Choon spent many hours of the day making and repairing stone weapons. It was about six weeks after the Unified Tribe and The Light of the Plains combined - and it was, as Choon said, the week of his Life Celebration.

    He was a child of summer, and this would be his 13th summer alive. Otro knew what to do, but not of the customs of Choon's people (Choon himself was rather unfamiliar with them). Because of this, Otro began a ritual of passage ceremony (based on the subject's talents {but always involving a hunt}) and had decided on a name regarding Choon's capability, should he succeed. On what we know as a Tuesday, it was time.

    The boy awoke like any other day, for his actual Life Celebration was four days from now. Otro's people tended to surprise new adults on the day of their proposed challenge, and he made the other tribesmen aware of this so no one would spoil it. Choon encountered Otro eating breakfast just outside of his tent.

    You have your own spear, yes? And your own knife?

    Yes, Master. And my own star calendar. I made them like you taught me!

    Rifa's trained you in combat, Animagus has shown you what you can eat of the plants, and from what I've taught you, you know how to track prey. Why not test what you've learned by joining the braves on a hunt?

    Are you sure I should?

    Of course. They're getting ready to leave - there are boars on these plains this time of year. Mind its face.

    Yes, Master!

    Choon left with the braves, and he used his tracking skills to help locate what turned out to be a large male boar. The braves circled around the boar, and the more experienced hunters signaled to Choon it was his kill.

    He got as close as he could, as quietly as possible, and rushed at the boar - as he was taught. He knew the boar would turn to face him, so he rolled around it and thrust his spear into its heart. Together with the braves, he cleaned the meat and the hide from the boar's bones, and they brought the dismantled boar back to the tribal settlement. Quite a catch for a first-timer. He'd managed to kill a boar weighing 220 pounds.

    Choon knew he had helped the tribe, and did have an inkling he'd gain some recognition. As he walked back with the braves, he asked point blank,

    Why did Master tell me to hunt with you today?

    Rifa looked back at him and said,

    Because you were ready.

    Six hours later, they all returned to the tribe. Otro was there to meet the braves. He smiled, saying,

    Amazing! My first kill was a boar, too - but it was a little more than half as big. I see you've already taken the fat and hair from the skin. That boar hide can be used to show what has happened today, once it's dry. You can set up a frame of bones, and stretch it so it keeps its shape while drying. Why don't you paint your first hunt when it's ready?

    The hide was stretched and left over smoking coals to help it dry more quickly, as well as prevent it from being eaten by insects or larger animals. This would also allow the hide to keep its shape should it get wet, otherwise it would shrink upon drying again.

    Choon began mixing his own pigments for painting on the hide, and his selection took nearly three days. He painted well into the night, and on the fourth day, what we call Saturday, he awoke and brought his painting to Otro. His master had asked to see the finished product. By this time, Choon had forgotten what day it was, as he had invested all of his mental energy in the mural.

    Choon's boar hide showed himself in the center of the braves having accompanied him, as he performed the lethal strike on the boar. It also detailed the tracking process - he hadn't left anything out.

    Otro complimented him on his use of color, as well as his attention to detail.

    The painting of my first hunt remains in the home of my people. You've done very well in showing yours to me. I was your age when I showed my master, Garn Hassa, how I fared against my first boar. I had just turned 13, quite like you have on this day.

    Choon suddenly realized it had all been a test.

    What...?

    You're a man now, Choon. You have learned my ways, and you have learned to fight and forage. You've got the rest of your life to gather experiences, to improve on yourself. But today, you've shown yourself wise, Choon. Don't let your wisdom get to your head like I did. I've come to realize my leg won't heal as I wish, and I would hope you learn from my mistakes - as well as your own.

    Otro brought Choon out of his tent and shouted to the entire settlement.

    Today, we welcome a new man to our tribe. His name is Maga Choon!
     
  2. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now, it has been noted that in times of danger the plains tribes met beneath the sacred mountain in the east, but the scope of the threat was not immediately apparent to those not actually being slaughtered at the time. Over ten million homonids roamed the continent, but generally in groups less than forty and several days if not weeks march from any others. Therefore it was over a year before news spread and the migration east became pronounced.

    More and more foreign tribes appeared, heading for the sacred mountain. They foraged and hunted as they travelled, of course, and there were many territorial fights and battles among hotheaded braves. To make matters worse, the aurochs had not dropped so many calves this spring due to the interruption of the thunderbolt to their reproductive cycle, and so the predator population was nastier and bolder than usual.

    Amid the celebration and waxing of the new unified tribe, and the wealth of their synergistic skills - cooking halfling curries for example - the looming threat to their decendents was easy to ignore.
     
  3. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    The preparations for the counterattack ran very smoothly. Fortunately, because the survival of them all hang out here much from it. Anyone who is not sick or weak, were involved. Because, Animagus found that no one should feel excluded. They are finally are HIS family. Yes. Unity is strength.

    What should he do with the newcomer Sul? Yes. Of course, he was just like everyone welcome in their midst. But there was really no room for rivalry. Now there is too much at stake. Maybe he should talk things over with Otro. Or anyway with Sul?
     
  4. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Rites of passage. He had experianced some during his life as a Lost Boy, but never his own. He would never have been allowed to become a man in the empire; mixed blood was apparently bad for breeding. So he had grown up anyway, siezing whatever pieces of whatever that meant along the way.

    He remembered his first kill. It had not been an animal but a man, or at least what was left of him. Suls pack of warriors had a few days earlier defeated and dispersed another, lesser tribe and had been hunting for survivors (and noses) when he'd found the wretched thing. His prey had not eaten in days and had been badly wounded in the initial attack. Still, Sul had feared him. Or, rather, feared what he would have to do to him.

    The actual killing had been over in moments; feint, ensnare, thrust. It was always over fast. But the few seconds before the action, when they had stood face to face and looked into eachothers eyes, had seemed to last for minutes, hours even. Perhaps that had been his rite of passage. Sul wouldn't know, though, and neither did he care much.

    An insight struck him suddenly as he was pondering this. He got up from where he was sitting and went to see Otro. He found him with his aprentice, crafting and repairing tools.

    Otro, he said as he was aproaching, we must speak. There is something I must teach you.
     
  5. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Of course!

    Otro set down the hand ax he was knapping and advised Choon to continue, as both Otro and Sul left to converse while walking through the settlement.

    As they spoke so infrequently, Otro knew very little about Sul - though he had guessed the mixed Lost Boy would've gained some insight or perhaps a skill not present in either Migo or Dagga. However, this seemed rather important to Sul.

    I am ready to hear you, Sul. What would you like to teach me?
     
  6. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    You must learn how w-... I mean, how the Lost Boys fight. You know some of this already, but you know only what you see. You must learn how these ones think when they fight, and why. You must learn, as they have been taught to learn, how to know what the other one will do next. This one will try to teach you this, but you must tell the others. You are a good teacher, and this one is not.

    Sul waited to see if Otro was following him. He was not yet very good at the tribes own language, and feared that such a barrier could prevent him from conveying his message.
     
  7. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Considering how little Sul spoke with tribesmen other than Migo and Dagga, it was somewhat difficult for Otro to follow what he said, though the tool-maker caught on well enough to say in return,

    ...I hear what you say - to stand a chance, we must think like the Lost Boys, correct? Migo and Dagga, while capable, aren't so willing to speak of such things. This is certainly knowledge to spread to the others, for we cannot rely on the gods to help us. My, or as now, our people, remain quite obvious and are quite direct, as you must know. To survive, we must become like our foe.

    Otro listened intently as Sul attempted telling him of the Lost Boys' ways.
     
  8. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    In his tent, Animagus nervously waited for the arrival of the baby. Why took it so long? It was a while ago that Cecilia and the midwives went to somewhere quiet. As he paced around the place, he thought of life and death.

    Moreover, whether he is a good father. He was accustomed to a young wolf, but a human baby? He did not know. However, most important is that the baby be healthy and alive.

    Fortunately, for Animagus she finally came back. With a healthy baby. "Look. It is a girl. Shall we call her Destiny, as we have imagined?" said Cecilia.

    Yes. Of course. Destiny is the right name. She will do great things.

    Tired but satisfied, Cecilia went to bed (or to rest) to recover from the heavy labor. Fang came closer and sniffed curiously at the baby. After a minute, she was reassured and licked the baby's face. Scar did not know what he had with the baby but soon he was also very happy.

    Fat momma heard the good news and went there with her small child. Now she was there anyway they could also choose a name for her child. “What name is best for him?” asked Fat Momma. After a lengthy discussion, it was Uther. (Yes or no?)

    Yes. Now, let us celebrate the name giving and the birth of the newborn baby Destiny.
     
  9. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    [OOC]I like the name Uther.[/OOC]

    As Otro and Sul spoke of the Lost Boys' ways, Animagus and Cecilia welcomed their first child together.

    Fat Mama knew it was time to name her baby, who had officially become a person due to being able to walk on his own. Uther was the name given to this toddling boy. Choon became a man, Uther was now a person, and Destiny had been born. The Light of the Plains would celebrate all three events in a single modest feast (due to available game), complete with a great deal of fermented beverages consumed. Tomorrow, all of the tribesmen would pack up their tents and begin the march to the sacred mountain, as a famine had spread - no doubt due to the army of southerners impinging on the livelihood of the neanderthals.
     
  10. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    END OF CHAPTER.

    ((well done everyone; I think this is now one of the longest rpgs on the forum. We shall all receive medals.))
     
  11. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now as the Light of the Plains Tribe neared the sacred mountain, they met up with more and more groups all travelling in the same direction.

    It was nearing midsummer again, and again a large gathering of tribes was taking place, this time in a spirit of war rather than peace.

    Animagus and the unified tribe received much mana - respect - among the peoples they encountered, but the most towering figure of legend around the campfires was the Lord of Ten Thousand Spears.

    This was an office - if offices had been invented - rather than an individual, but the consensus among the tribes was that ancestors are reborn as their descendents so the Lord of Ten Thousand Spears, if and when he appeared, would be counted as the same person as long-past legend told. It was something like our modern myth of Arthur or Jesus: the once and future king.

    Therefore as the numbers around the mountain grew, so too did the pretenders to the throne - if thrones had been invented.

    Holding the peoples together as a kind of regent, or John the Baptist, was a shaman of the gobi desert named Broken Feather. He was considered the Lord of Ten Thousand Spears by default, although he was very old and largely preoccupied with keeping heads cool rather than leading hotheaded warriors.
     
  12. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    After a long journey with much hardship, they finally saw the sacred mountain in the distance. Everyone began to cheer, because this sure was a good omen. Nevertheless, because the danger was not over and it was midsummer, there was a camp built for the many groups that were gathered.

    While everyone was busy making the camp, Animagus oversaw everything with a sense of pride. Many groups that were there came to join the fight against the ‘Nose-Stealers’. Many more than there were before, and that made him and many others very happy.

    Now that the camp was finished, they could now make plans. Who had a lot of authority was a shaman of the Gobi desert named Broken Feather. He was the Lord of Ten Thousand Spears.

    While he was an old man, he had much influence. Animagus had great respect for him and liked him.

    [OOC] Sorry that it took so long. [/OOC]
     
  13. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Thousands of neanderthals gathered around the sacred mountain. Drums were being played in a unified rhythm to symbolize the hearts of the people present beating for one cause. Broken Feather stood atop a small hill, and though he was an old and soft-spoken man, his voice contained a power few could explain, which allowed him to address the entire crowd;

    I know why you've all come to this place. Word has even reached the home of my people of these "Nose-Stealers," and you all know as well as I do there's no sense to what they're doing. Even so, we mustn't lose ourselves to mindless violence and risk everything we've done, all we are - just to get revenge. I know a select few among you, now within the ranks of The Light of the Plains, has direct experience with these "Nose-Stealers," and I'd like to know what you've learned of their ways, so that we together may come up with an idea to best address the situation. Those of you who know, come up to meet me now.

    The Unified Tribe broke from The Light of the Plains, and met with Broken Feather atop the foothill.

    I am Otro, originally of the Schwartzwald Kinder, but now the master toolmaker of the Unified Tribe. We're what came together after the Thunderbolt fell from the heavens. The piece of sky that fell is with us now, in the tools I've made for the greatest warriors of those you see before you, as well as tools for the young mammoth we took in until earlier in the season when he rejoined his herd.

    Broken Feather, these "Nose-Stealers" are known to each other as Lost Boys, but what they definitely do is steal noses, among other things. They're using parts of our bodies as currency, to gain status, wives, and manhood. Three of the tribesmen you see before you are former Lost Boys, each tired of the lives they had lead within their former people. Sul, the one who most resembles our people, has told me the ways of the Lost Boys.

    They don't match up with our physical strength, but they've got an ability to "predict" what their prey does by studying them and compensating for every move. Their most dangerous weapon is not a spear - it's their mind. They're taught to be quite deceptive, unlike we who lay all we are in the open.

    They seek the power of the Thunderbolt, and will continue to steal until they have it, as directed by a man called Nago. Unfortunately, even if we were to give it to them, they would continue killing our kind.

    I fear that this problem that has reached all of our peoples is not one that can be dealt with by using anything but a strategy of war, though I admit it is from my experience with the Lost Boys over these many moons that my opinion is colored.
     
  14. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Over the next several days, Broken Feather called everyone to speak with him alone, beginning with Sul and the other defectors. He questioned everyone intently. Nothing was overlooked and he seemed to possess limitless patience.

    There was an eagle in his tent, for among his people it was an art to raise eaglets for the hunt, - he had earned his name by inventing a process by which a flight-feather might be mended if broken - and his intense, focussed mind seemed to be that of a bird of prey.

    Finally after many days and nights of questioning, and many more of deep thought, he called all of the chieftains and shamans together to hold conference on what should be done. First, he let everyone else voice their opinions.

    Most of the chieftains favoured bloody vengeange with more bravado than strategy, while most shamans favoured retreating to the more defensible, if less fertile, mountainous areas. Lendorn described these options as a choice between fast and slow death but offered no alternatives.
     
  15. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    After hours of meetings Animagus came to the same conclusion. They all still could not agree with the right strategy against the nose-stealers. Even though the time runs out. The most of the older chieftains wanted to face the battle with ferocity and bloodlust, but without any strategy. (a more old traditional approach. Really old.)

    But many thought it too dangerous and wanted rather to defend themselves in inhospitable areas. "Another great plan.” thought Animagus sarcastically.

    Animagus gave a sigh and told them all what the negative aspects of their plans were against the "nose-stealers."

    I am Animagus. Leader of the Unified Tribe. Please. Hearken to my words. We have survive THAT long. Do you want to give up everything that we lived for? Think of your children and family. Everything will be lost if we think that we only survive with blood lust and bravado. The enemy can anticipate and use our faults against us. The reason that we cannot defend ourselves in an inhospitable areas is for famine and being trapped will reduce our chances of survival. Because, there is no chance that we can send food to the defenders.

    Animagus looked around and continued

    A better option? We should use their own strategy against them. And come up with good working strategy. For they shall not expect this from us.
     
  16. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    I can teach our people to think like the Lost Boys, as Sul has conveyed to me. Rifa has taught the warriors of The Light of the Plains to fight as she does. We can train all here to fight similarly. The lost boys are also unfamiliar with what plants and fungi are edible in this part of the world, and we can use that to our advantage by creating the illusion that all plants are safe.

    We must also force the Lost Boys to fight on our terms, as the man who taught Animagus to wield the Thunderbolt, Grebon, has told us. Many of their weapons are only effective at mid to long range, due to their lack of strength compared to us. Should we force them to fight in close-quarters, we can gain an advantage. Considering they seem to prefer grapples as opposed to unarmed strikes, our resident Lost Boys can demonstrate combat in this manner to prevent casualties on our side.

    We are outnumbered - these people reproduce more quickly than us. They are able to reproduce in times of famine, while our people are barren in lean times. I notice there are few infants among us here, due to the lack of game as of late. This mustn't become a war of attrition - we will surely lose on solely those terms.

    Lost Boys are quite adept at tracking people, for all they seem to know is war. We too must learn to track man, as well as to properly disguise our tracks, so that we may flank them unnoticed as they travel.

    They normally roam in groups, but tend to split into smaller bands of warriors when they're close to their prey - which is now us. We can use this to our advantage by defeating the divided groups. We may not be able to overwhelm an entire army at once, but we can certainly defeat a smaller group with ease. In this way, we may slowly erode their ability to fight back.
     
  17. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Sul stepped forward.

    You will not beat them if you fight them. You cannot beat them. This is what they do. What they are good at. You think you are good at this, but you are not. What you have seen this far is skirmish. You have yet to witness war. You might think you've seen what they can and will do. For them, this was warm-up. You are too blunt and they are too sharp. You will see, if you fight them.

    He paused a moment to let the obvious sink in. He got more than a few angry stares from braves all around him.

    But there are other things you can do than fight, he said and turned to Animagus, you can surrender this thunderbolt to them and then flee or hide. Maybe sacrifice some so that others can live. The ones who are coming, my fathers people, they do not wish to wipe you out. They want power. So give it to them. They will stop.

    He took another short break and then finished by saying, in a very as-a-matter-of-factly tone, or all of you will die.

    Someone cursed at him in a language he didn't understand and spat at the ground. More than a few braves did the same and threw insults at him both with their mouths and their hands. These braves were clearly trying to convey a message: you're a filthy homo sapiens, an enemy!, and you will not tell us what to do.
     
  18. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Gran and I can train young braves to sneak and plant poison bait and traps. The ol' poison piglet trick works every time. And, well, if we all starving then we should eat them! I know you have a sense of honour about it but, well the invaders do not... and they taste really good!

    This was dismissed out of hand by the council of elders, but in the following weeks many of the children and young people of the plains studied under the halflings.

    Sul also attracted a following of students, both antagonists and admirers, who wished to learn all they could about the Lost Boy warriors. A routine of lectures, drills and war-games soon developed, and Sul felt almost happy.

    Rifa trained no-one, but was responsible for the Game: a monthly competition to kill the most enemies.

    Otro knapped stones. Apart from arming the warriors and cooks of the plains, as well as demonstrating his smithing techniques, he just enjoyed the act of chipping away at the stone. While he worked, many elders and braves came and spoke with him, and they listened to his answers. Choon became a worthy student and in fact served as a teacher, showing off every new technique he learned.

    Animagus was living in feral orphan paradise. His new extended family only got bigger and bigger. Apart from the three wives, newborn daughter and many stepchildren, he gained countless blood-brothers: fellow hunters and warriors who faught beside him.

    Fang had puppies. Scar was suspected but magic was the official explanation. They were wolves, but inbred from two wolves who were about as domesticated as wolves could ever be. There were five healthy dire pups and one runt. As they grew they learned to live and interact with humans even more than their parents. The runt bonded with Destiny, and it became the first true Dog.

    The strategy of Otro bore fruit. The sacred mountain became a sanctuary for the families of the warriors who skirmished on the plains, and the hunting grounds were expanded again. It seemed as though they were winning.

    Time passed...

    ((Long term rpg choice:- EXAMPLE - Lendorn gets 100 apprentices and trains them to work abacuses in sequence, constructing a kind of computer system made of trained human parts. With the right equations and observations, he can drastically improve logistics, such as supply chains and battle tactics.))
     
  19. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    Now, Nago was about two hundred miles from the sacred mountain but he had heard everything. Spies of all kinds were whispering their secrets to him daily.

    The art of war, like sorcery, was all about what people thought was happening. The enemy was fortified and rationing its supplies. The Lost Boys were free to hunt and move at will. The enemy had elders and women to protect, Nago had only an expendable army. In fact, expending the army was part of his goal here. No-one wanted too many triumphant warriors returning to the empire.

    So, he let them think they were winning. He retreated his forces further from the mountain and consolidated their position in the fertile river valleys of mesopotamia. Only skirmishers and spies remained on the steppes surrounding the sacred mountain.

    When they had overextended themselves, and let their guard down, the lost boys would strike en masse.

    ((Nago orders the warbands to fade away from attacks, spreading out the enemies, and encamps the main force in the river valley of the thunderbolt.))
     
  20. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Sul spent his days training and insulting the other tribe members. Without knowing it, or perhaps even wanting it, he had started to build his own gang of Lost Boys. Old habits were after all hard to break. Some of these new Boys became almost loyal to him, something he had never known before. He learned that he could lead, even teach.

    This was not only a good thing.

    You see, while this new experience strengthened his self esteem, it also fueled something he had buried deep inside of him for a long time; his hunger for power. This hunger was in all probability a misled urge for respect and love from those he considered his equals (something he had never been granted in the Empire, and was yet to recieve here as well), but with Sul this urge embodied itself as a need.

    The need to challenge Animagus.

    The more his influence grew with his new Boys, the more he felt like he needed to prove his worth to them. Really prove it. Sure, he had taught them much and more about the Lost Boys ways. And sure, he was a good hunter and warrior. But it didn't seem to be enough, at least not for Sul. And hadn't one of his new Boys given him an odd stare the other day, when Sul had ordered him to do something in a training session? That stare had meant the world and more, and said as much.

    Action would have to be taken.

    So, Sul brooded on this while his Boys grew stronger. Soon, the time would come when it would all be decided. Soon, but not now.

    ((Sul becomes the boss of his new Boys, and grows power-hungry and paranoid from all the new responsibility and respect))
     
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