The Tuskmen glared in awe as the impossible, stone wrapped sea-beast cut smoothly through frothing waves. With effort, Hul-tampk tore her gaze from the beast’s mad rending of the temple below.
She looked instead to her people. The figures on the river-ships slumped and held their spears in limp fists. It could not be sustained.
Tuskmen were creatures of daybreak and twilight. They lived between the darkness and light; Tuskmen fought the horrors of both worlds.
The time had come to throw bones into the ground. The time had come to give blood to the thorn and so to buy the berry.
True godbeasts had not been seen, nor hunted, for many generations. There were no shadows or canyons, no old trees or tall grasses. They could not strike wisely from strong concealment. They must learn new wisdoms to give to their children.
Less would leave that place than came to it. Only those most suited would live to find love or shadow.
Then did she draw forth the sacred tooth of her ancestor’s triumph. Long-curved, true-sharp, and white-gleaming-red in the dread dawn before her, the tooth-turned-sword felt light and dangerous in her grasp.
“We HUNT!” she bellowed in the Tuskmen’s wet and hard tongue.
Long minutes later, Hul-tampk floated surreally in cold and ruddy waters. The great beast still thrashed violently nearby casting great surges all about.
Hul-tampk floundered amongst crashing waves, the burning wrecks of boats, and gnarled bits of red things which used to be warriors. She smiled even as cold darkness swept over her eyes. The tooth and her arm may have been lost, but the beast was surely slain.