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About Maelstrom

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    Jedi Knight


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  1. This was almost a few hours ago, but I'm stopping by to ask Brendo where he's been for the last few weeks. Oh right, kickin ass at college!
  2. We need an active US/Canadian admin to keep tabs on the site during the day of the Western hemisphere.
  3. Oops, mea culpa. Title and rating added. Spot on, Travis. Spoiler alert: it is absolutely not a vampire. I will certainly welcome any critiques or corrections of things I get incorrect.
  4. Thanks guys. I have a very loose idea of where I'm going with this and I'm just filling in the blanks. Trying to be as historically accurate as possible.
  5. Title: Tagebuch eines Höhlenmenschen Rating: PG-13 Rated for: I don't expect there to be any sex or graphic violence, but my target audience is definitely not a 12 year-old. Critique level: Critique encouraged Franchise: Science Fiction Chapter 1: Aurignacia I learned how to make the best spears from Neanderthals. To the best of my knowledge, it was the first industrial process. We collected birch and buried it in ash under a fire. The resulting pitch would collect on a rock we placed inside the top of a mammoth skull, and it was an excellent adhesive for our spearheads. I watched a documentary at the start of the 21st century about how the Neanderthals had an amazingly sophisticated method of creating spearheads, and I was impressed that the anthropologist got it mostly right. It took the anthropologist 18 months to perfect the technique; I mastered it during a long winter in a cave in Iberia. It wasn't my first attempt to reproduce it, but I suppose I was always just too busy to really give it a proper go before then. There were about a dozen of us in the cave that winter. In our party, two were Neanderthal, a man and a woman. By that time, they were becoming a much more uncommon sight as most had been absorbed into our various groups. I didn't understand at the time that these were among the last I would encounter, but it wasn't a tragic extinction or extermination as some have portrayed it in history. Our cultures melded together, which saved and doomed them. Our true strength has been our propensity to breed and we slowly pushed the Neanderthal genes into a dark corner of our genome. I still remember the true hybrids, half Neanderthal and half Cro-Magnon: what a sight! The inherent strength of the Neanderthal with the stamina of my kin, they sometimes had the best of both worlds. Slowly, the characteristics faded out of sight and memory, all that is of course but the red hair. Today, they call the cave Cueva del Boquete. They even found a recloir that could have very well been from our party, but of course there is no way for me to know that. We were hardly the first or last to use the caves, but I can still recollect that sound it made scraping against a hide. I visited again a few thousand years later just before the Bronze Age and found the equivalent of hillbillies occupying the site. Of course, pure-bred Neanderthals were all gone by then, or had been pushed to the island of Gibraltar. While I wasn't born in Iberia, I think it's the closest thing to a home I have ever had. I am thankful I wasn't in the region by the time the Phoenicians and Greeks arrived. With their arrival, the serenity of that winter in the cave was extirpated by squabbling warfare. As near as I can tell, I was born in or near modern Germany. It all looks different now of course. I was still very young when we crossed the mountains into Spain, maybe 50 years old although I appeared 30. Of course, I still appear to be in my early thirties. That was my first stint as leader, and as chief of the tribe I lead the hunts. Having the Neanderthals present for those hunts was a blessing. Their strength was incredible, the average Neanderthal could easily bench over 300 pounds without any warmup whatsoever. Jamming a spear through the tough hide of a bison or mammoth was an afterthought, and they could absorb the physical punishment of a charging animal much better than we could. Of course, they were very mediocre at moving swiftly or for prolonged periods. We initially created a system of trade where we hired them to hunt with us in exchange for goods, services, or even arranged marriages. Within a few decades, there was little political distinction between our groups and we freely intermingled and mated. I had a few half-Neanderthal children myself, considering my first few wives had died long before or shortly after crossing into Iberia. My age drew attention for better or for worse. Usually, it was just easier to move on to another group. Considering most people didn't live past the age of 30, it was easier than you might think to not draw a lot of attention. No one was old enough to notice that I was an oddity, and it's not like there were newspapers. I could just go to the next valley over and start anew. Village elders proved to be difficult, but I could always just say I was a relative if they pointed out a similarity. The act didn't really get complicated until the Bronze Age, and I learned early to avoid positions of power. It was much more difficult to start over if I had been particularly successful in leading a band and my fame would spread. Of course, the record-keeping back then was oral, so any fame I accrued quickly died out or became a fantastical myth. All of those stories died out within a thousand years of their last telling. In fact, the stories of the cannibals persisted long before and after the tales of my exploits. They were the boogey-man to our children, the eaters of the dead. Of course, no one had ever seen these demons. I later learned of a species called Homo antecessor that existed in Spain, and I was humbled that their story and myth had lasted for hundreds of thousands of years. Still, youths on their first hunts would peer nervously over their shoulder, ever fearful of a nonexistent boogey-man. I discounted the story as hogwash for tens of thousands of years until reading about the hominid, and it does pique my interest about other stories I've discounted as myths. I'll add more later...
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