( 11,000 years before Human arrival on Gai'talar )
Teyanni from Elpa had always wondered what lay beyond his land. He had always asked, even as a little kid what the hunters saw when they ventured out from town, how far they went, how much farther was there to go. Was anyone else out there? He was never satisfied with the answers he was given. The elders were never satisfied with the questions he asked. When he grew up he became a hunter and ventured into the wild. He was merely an ok hunter, he caught enough to feed his family, his wife and 2 children with enough to pass around but he was no where near the huntsmen his people thought he should be for game was not what he was after. He wanted to explore.
After 3 years as a hunter and 3 years of him writing sketching out and telling people what he saw, the elders of his people came to him and told him he would get his wish in a way. He was to pack up and set out and not return for 5 years or he could return earlier when he found something worth bringing back. The Way they looked at him they expected him to never come back. They most likely hoped he wouldn't. His Questions had gotten other asking questions. They wanted to know as well and there was talk among the other hunters of stockpiling meat and preserving it for their families and going to see what was beyond the mountains while others talked about trying to explore what was on the sea. The Elders didn't like this and Teyanni became a symbol of this. The way they looked at him when they told he he would go told Teyanni they wanted him gone to remove his talk and to make his inevitable non return a warning to the rest of his people. He had packed and said goodbye to his wife and young children. He had cried, and many of his freinds cried with him. They knew what the elders were doing. Erannisio, the most skilled hunter their village had told Teyanni one of the elders had told him to follow Teyanni for 4 days then put a spear in his back. Eranssio said he would go out, but he had told Teyanni and his family that he had not promised to murder him. He was going to walk with Teyanni for 4 days, return and slap the elder during the evening prayer when he got back. Eranissio wanted the light that ran through the universe and through their hearts to know what he had done and why. He Promised this.
That had been 2 years ago or more. Teyanni wished Eranissio were here now because he ran for his life, panting and outnumbered. His Thin white body showed through the tears in his clothing, his hide coat was in tatters and there was something pacing him through the woods that was toying with him. He saw wolves talking and chase him but beyond he saw other forms. He guessed at what they were and had always wanted to see them but never like this. Teyanni knew that his people had non thinking cousins who ran on all fours and living in snow and burrows. His People never hunted them as they were considered sacred. He had wondered if other creatures had civilized cousins who made tools of stone and houses, who told stories and danced and loved and questioned. As he ran through the forest pursued by wolves and larger shadows he had his answer. He had heard some of their calls and howls, howls more complicated than that of the wolves. He Also heard what he thought were laughs. He Ran and ran and knew that they were wearing him down to play with. He had to come up with a different plan. All he had on him was a pouch with a prayer statue ans some medicinal herbs and a stone knife. He had lost his Atlatl and spears, he had lost the skin on which he had marked his way. He knew that standing and fighting was out. He looked left, and right, looking for another option.
He saw it, they were trying to heard him deeper into the forest. He saw another way and he knew they didn't want him to take it, one of the larger shadows flitted through the trees between him and an open patch of snow covered rocks. Beyond it was more forest but he suspected there was a reason they wanted to keep him away from the the clearing. He took a chance. Suddenly changing course he used all his speed and agility and made a sudden 90 degree turn and sprinted for the clearing. This Caught his pursuers of gaurd and he heard them snarl and growl what must be curses. His sudden change took him close to one of the large shadows and he caught a breif glimpse of it. It Looked like a wolf the same way he looked like a white fox, it was startled but made a grab at him but he ran passed it. He heard it begin to run after him. In a few feet he was out of the trees and into the clearing, running full tilt knowing he was exposed but hoped his bet about them not wanting to enter the clearing held true. He stumbled over a rock under the snow, but instead of falling flat he reached out his hands and scrambled forward a few feet before the pain in his foot caused him to collapse. Not wanting to be face down in the snow when the wolf person came on him he rolled and pulled his little stone knife and made ready to fight even thoght he was laying on the ground. He stopped and looked in puzzlement.
He had made it maybe 30 feet out of the woods and the wolf thing had been right behind him. But now it was only halfway between him and the forest. He saw it in the full light of Kurinessa the white moon. It was Dark grey of fur and it was much bigger than him, its lips pulled back in a snarl showing large sharp teeth that could easily crack through his bones. But it was trembling in fright. Its head looked left and right scaning the forests on the other side of the clearing then scanning the snow all over the clearing before locking in on him. He stared at Teyanni intently but it still seemed to quiver in fear. It lifted a foot to Advance on him a mixture of murderous intent and dread in its eyes. A howl from behind Teyanni made it stop in its tracks again. It was a warning but taunting sound. Then Came something that Teyanni would never expect. A drum.
The Drum thumped and seemed to fill the sky. There were many drums pounding in unison. Then the voices came. They sang loudly and were filled with strength. The Language was strange and harsh, he thought it was the same language he had heard the wolf things using but this time they sang in clear harmony instead of coming in cruel growls from the shadows. Strangely Teyanni wasn't made afraid by these voices. The wolf creature on the other hand looked terrified. He saw the gleaming of countless eyes from the forest behind the wolf creature. All of them seemed to shrink back and the singing. The wolf creature drew a knife and slashed at the air and yelled into the night. He had no idea what was said but even tears unfamiliar with the language it sounded frightened. Suddenly the wolf things eyes locked on something and widened. Continuing to scoot back trying not to use his injured foot Teyanni was making lots of noise with crunching snow. But he wasn't moving far. He took a risk and made a quick glance to the side to see what the wolf creature was looking at. It was another Wolf creature and it was walking casually through the snow staring at the other wolf person with a disconcerting cold smile. It Appeared to be a woman, but muscular and confident. Despite having no weapons in her hands she looked like she wanted to fight. Her smile Didn't change when the wolf man who had been perusing teyanni practically screamed in high pitched terror at her. Teyanni took his eyes of her and put them back onto the male who was positively quivering with fright. With a sudden movement the wolfman whiped out a sling and hurled a rock at Teyanni with immense speed and skill.
Teyanni jumped. The Stone never reached him. Suddenly out of nowhere there was what looked to be a teenage boy, he was one of the wolf things but he had the unmistakable look of youth to him despite being nearly Teyanni's size. His hand was gripped in a fist. He looked over at the Wolf man who had pitched the stone and opened his hand showing he had caught the stone.
The Drums and singing still filled the air as the youth who was wearing some sort of cloak or cape dropped the stone and removed the garment and in a swift motion had layed into over Teyanni. This seemed to utterly in-sense the creature that had persued him and he loaded another stone and threw, but this time at the teenager. The Teenager didn't move, didn't reach up to catch it, it just stopped. The Boy just lowered put his head forward and seemed to be glaring.
With a startling crack the stone that had stopped in mid air was streaking back the way it came. It hit Teyanni's persuer in the head and kept going as the head crumpled into bits of blood and bone and sprayed away and back from the impact site, the stone striking a tree in the forest behind, the crack and creak then fall of the tree was mirrored in the slump and collapse of the now headless body. All the eyes in the forest that Teyanni was perused from vanished into the darkness. He was left alone with the 2 figures in the clearing and the Dwindling singing. Teyanni Tried to speak but he just let out a high pitched squeak. The crunking of snow under feet made him look around. Into the clearing walked many of the wolfmen, most armed with clubs and spear throwers but none were raised, in fact many were being put away, hung loosely from strands or placed in hooks on clothing. Most were looking at Teyanni but there didn't seem to be a hint of hositility or tension in their posture just curiosity. Teyanni was unsure what to do, they were all bigger than him, even the women so he kinda just huddled under the boy's cape and looked around frantically. One of them reached out to touch Teyanni but still filled with panic and adrenaline he batted at the big hand with his tiny fist and let out frightened squeal. The moment he did it he thought it was the dumebest thing he could have done and huddled down with his ears laid against his head.
The one whos hand he slapped away withdrew the appendage and raised it open palmed before putting it behind him. The Female next to the man that tried to touch Teyanni elbowed the guy and said something in a scolding tone. He didn't understand the words but he could guess at the meaning. She was admonishing the guy for scaring Teyanni. The Wolf people were surrounding Teyanni and squating down but were not leaning or looming in. At his feet was the Teenager next to the woman who had squared off with his pursuer. The Teenager was saying something in the coarse language that he had hear his persuers use. Teyanni starting to think again was considering that he maybe had crossed into the territory of a different tribe of the same species, one who were at least for now not interested in running him to ground before slaughtering him. In fact they seemed like they simply curious. Some of them had been saying things but he didn't realize they were looking at him, he now looked and they paitently laid their hand on themselves and said something. Multiple of them were doing this but not saying the same thing.
Names he realized. They were trying to show him they all had names. He Repeated Their gesture and said his name. This seemed to please them. He doubted they would try and learn his name if they were just going to kill him. The Teenager said Teyanni's name then pointed at his own ankle then at teyanni's and made a bending hand gesture. He guessed at what this meant, he lifted his good ankle and smacked it with his tiny fist. Then he lifted his other ankle which was visibly swollen now and waved his hand at it without touching it. Two of the muscular wolf people went off to the nearby woods and there was the sound of tools on wood and another 3 started spreading out hide and woven cloth. Tyanni didn't know what for. Soon the two came back with saplings and laid them over the hide blanket and folded them. Then Teyanni saw what it was. A stretcher.
Teyanni suddenly felt his injured ankle go numb. He looked down to see the woman who had squared off against the now headless attacker was holding her hand over his ankle and the air was shimmering a little. All sensation from the appendage went away and she begin touching and binding it with polished bones and leather strips. Teyanni grinned at this, his people had healing magic but it was agony everytime it was performed, some people didn't survive the shock. Some in his tribe ignored Healers and did what the wolf woman was doing an splinted injuries. But Never had he seen a Healer deaden all pain first. Certain Bark teas could lessen pain slightly but this was amazing. While he was staring at his foot he felt large hands gently lift in and place him on the stretcher and the teenager tucked the cloak around him so he would stay warm. Soon they Picked him up and began running into the forest and between the trees. The Speed was amazing but his exhaustion was catching up to him and he fell asleep in the warm stretcher.
He Blearily came awake as he felt the rocking and swaying change. He was being borne down a cliff side toward a wide beach. He saw people milling about on that beach but no signs of dwellings. He soon found out why when his bearers stopped climbing and walked into the cliff. He had been so busy looking at the beach he hadn't seen the hole in the cliff face. Inside was a fire pit and some beds. Some of the beds were occupied some were empty. He was Gently laid in an empty bed and covered with a blanket. Many of the people in the beds sat up and sniffed the air smelling a new scent. One began to talk but was silenced by one of his stretcher bearers clamping his hand over the speaker's muzzle and giving him an admonishing look. Teyanni drfted off to sleep again he was still exhausted and so dropped out.
He woke up about after sunrise, it wasn't the sun that awoke him though, it was the distant singing. Same language as the wolf people but this time the tone was gentle and reverent. It also seemed to be coming from far off. Teyanni rolled out the bed stood and hobbled to the cave entrance and looked down on the beach. He saw a semi circle of people facing the sun and singing. Now that it was daylight he saw the beach was littered with piles of stones, arranged and stacked to be visible from the sea. He wondered if they were markers for Canoes. He scanned the beach more and then started when he saw the boats. These weren't simple canoes in which one or 2 people could paddle around and fish. They were long and had seats for multiple pairs of people and some cargo space in between. The people went out on the sea Farther than Teyanni's people. The Boats were made from wood likely gathered from the forests he had ran through but the techniques in which they were made so large were beyond him. He wondered exactly where he was on the world. He Also wondered where Elpa was. He had found something amazing but he felt hollow not being able to share it with his people. He also wanted to go down to the beach and explore. If he couldn't go home he could go on. Actually he couldn't go on, his foot was hurting again and he was up on a cliff face. He did see little trails people were using to walk up and down the rocks but with his ankle he would tumble after a step.
On of the wolf people saw him looking and asked him something then shaking her head and waving her hands pointed at him then down and the beach. He got her drift but didn't know how to tell her yes. So he pointed to himself and then at the beach. She obviously got it because she came over and effortlessly pick him up and carried him to the beach. When set down he stooped and picked up some drift wood to use as a walking stick but another wolf person came over with a shorter pied with a fork in it and motioned putting it under his arm as crutch. He accpeted the piece and used it to limp the beach wishing he know how to say thank you to people. He Stared at the rock sculptures and looked up a the simple figures carved into the cliff faces and filled with charcoal or some white pigment to stand out. They were big. Big enough to be seen from the sea. He looked out to see and indeed saw what looked like boats far out. They were marking landing spots. Teyanni's people never went far enough from shore to really warrant this. He Hobbled farther then came to a halt when he recognized something.
A Group of men and women were using a charcoal piece and sketching on a blank sheet of wall, but these weren't meaningless markings or stylized art. He Saw what looked like a coastline and some patches of trees and a spot on the coast that had the marking he had just seen on the wall. There were other spots with other markings and the map ended at some mountains. He hobbled over desperately and spoke earnestly but doudted they understood what he said. They turned to look and the biggest one present held out his charcoal stick. Elated Teyanni took it and after boosting himself up on some rocks started sketching. All sat and stared. He was drawing what was on the other side of the mountains. He even rubbed away a portion of their drawing and sketched in the trail he had used to moved through them. He got so wrapped up in sharing he didn't stop to think if this was a good idea. He finally drew a little marking of huts were Elpa was. There was a section of missing coastline between the mountains and Elpa. He was thinking what to do about this and how to show he didn't know what was there. He was startled by a finger poking the empty section and saying something. What ever he said brought a cheer. A loud one. He turned and it looked like there was a large crowd looking at the map. They noticed he stopped and ran off but all seemed to be busy, preparing boats and gathered things. They looked like they were ready to set out in force.
" What have i done teyanni thought?"
3 months later on the coastline by Elpa:
The Large predatory pinnepeds that kept the Alo from venturing far out to sea were amassing on the beaches. They were working their way Closer to the beach side dwellings that the small group of fishermen lived in. They had never came in such masses before. They moved up the beach and bellowed. The men of the fishing settlement had out their small spears and formed a barrier so their families could escape. They knew the wouldn't be making it off the beach. They were all terrified. One of the fleeing women, a new mother holding her newborn turned back to see her husband one last time. Then she saw something on the sea. Kyacks but enormous. In it were figures working paddles. At the head of the lead craft Stood a small white figure. The Figure made an unmistakable arm motion. A small AtlAtl spear flew toward the shore and hit one of the giant sealions that filled the beach. Then the air was filled with spears, big ones, ones no Alo could launch. She looked harder at the boats as the large figures threw another volley and the back bunches of the massing sea beasts were skeward and let out bellows of agony. The men on the beach saw this as well. The front had stopped bellowing and were looking in confusion. One of them in the front line still advancing mouth open suddenl sprouted a hardened wooden spear point through its open mouth and fell dead. The Boats had landed and were large figures poured off them but leading the charge a small white figure with a stone knife. He was followed by a hulking muscular horde of grey and brown furred figures that poured up the beach and began to utterly slaughter the sea lions. Bypassing the carnage the small white figure though somewhat blood stained approached the confused fishermen.
" I am Teyanni from Elpa, i have found out amazing news." The figure exclaimed.
"what?" asked one fisherman in confusion and not curiosity.
" We are not alone!" The Alo exclaims.
Over the next months the visitors that brought Teyanni home lived near the Alo. They taught them what they could and in return learned what they could. The language barrier was an issue at first but but the big beings could produce roughened versions of words and seemed to be as bright as they were big. They Taught healers how to numb pain, and learned from the alo healers how to mend wounds quickly. The Combined knowledge meant that healers could now take away pain before they healed an injury and it was simple painless and far quicker. Maps where drawn and exchanged and the Alo learned of the Various tribes of these people who called themselves Ulvaltar. They told them some were mean, some were scared and some were curious and friendly. Their tribe was called Djarl. While all this was happening Teyanni was glad to be back with his family, and to learn that the elders would no longer interfere with him or those who had wanted to explore. It turns out when Eranissio had confronted the elders at the monthly ceremony under the full moon the village had become so furious that the cast out 2 of the elders from power and had replaced them then gone on to explore farther into the woods then ever and had found sites for 4 more villages. Now They had through these big wolf people access to the seas. They also learned the world was much bigger than they thought and it was so big the wolf people had no idea how much farther it went. But the most exciting news for both of these peoples were the answer to the question they had always wondered about.
They found out they were not alone.