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-
An adult broke from the body of the herd at his call.
"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
"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!"
"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.
I expect it's something to do with cheap rolex watches enlarging his penis while he makes $400,000 an hour working from home.