Kalman and the rest of the Halatok awoke in unfamiliar surroundings. They were no longer near the beach, but instead in the much warmer inland. Not only that, but there were caged in a large bone structure that rose from the ground about ten or so feet, and was covered by bone as well. Kalman quickly gathered that they were in the heart of the Varos village. Before long, Alexander emerged from a rather elaborate hut near the enclosure to greet his old nemesis.
“So it is true; the gift of immortality is not lost on you either.”
Kalman nodded. “So your men survived as well?”
Alexander nodded. “Yes; they started waking yesterday.”
Kalman folded his arms. “What becomes of us now?”
Alexander clasped his hands behind his back, allowing his boar-skin cloak to drape over them. “That depends on you. I have been given a vision: We will be invaded soon, and the victor will lead the resulting one-clan. This will only happen if you join us.”
“By ‘join’, you mean ‘be your slaves’, am I right?”
Alexander shook his head. “No. You fought honorably, and you died well. If your tribe joins with our, you’ll be treated as equals. This I swear.”
“Allow me to talk with my people.”
Alexander chuckled, and then bellowed “Your other option is to rot in a cage for eternity!”
As the roar of Varos laughter sounded, Kalman turned to the crowd of hundreds of displaced Halatok.
“Well? Do we rot, or submit? Even if we escaped, we’d face another enemy, and they’d be even tougher.”