That night, after the celebration, the PCs are gathered around their band’s fire at the Black-Brow camp. New PCs include Thunder Gut (an immensely strong leader type), Soft-Touch (a caregiver), and Green-Leaf (a shaman, with a rapport for the Willow tree spirit). Thunder-Gut and Soft-Touch are bonded helpmates.
Little-Mountain, widow (?) of the missing hunter Long-Run and a shaman/healer, brings news that chief Deep-Drum has called for a Gathering at sunrise to discuss the symbol found on the mastodon tusk. Then she throws herself at Big-Hand, in an effort to manipulate him into using his influence to get Thunder Gut to take her as his help-mate. Strong-Bone wants her, but she doesn’t want him – so she has set her sights on Thunder-Gut.
Long-Run disappeared some weeks ago. He led the band from which NPCs Dark-Meat and Rock-Head came. Because their leader is missing and presumed dead, and their band is dwindling, they ask the PCs if they may join them. The PCs accepted. Dark-Meat reveals that he found a cord around the Mastodon’s neck, as well.
Next morning, at the gathering, Strong-Bone asks that his war-party be allowed to seek out the Mastodon symbol-makers. Because Strong-Bone’s hunting party took down an adult mammoth, and the PCs assisted him, Strong-Bone also asks Chief Deep-Drum to place him in command of the PCs. This seemed to be working, until Thunder Gut intimidated him into submission. Instead, the PCs’ band will seek the symbol-makers – leaving Strong-Bone and his band behind. The chief tells Thunder-Gut that the tribe will not wait, but must continue south following the herds. So don’t get lost!
Green-Leaf and Thick-Brow return to the carcass and collect the cord. It is taken to shaman Sleep-Weed, who makes reassuring noises. They speculate as to its significance and purpose, without reaching any definite conclusion.
The band decides to bring more women along, in case they do get lost and need to start a tribe of their own. Big-Hand gets Thunder Gut‘s permission for Little-Mountain to join the band, but doesn’t broach the subject of bonding. Little-Mountain considers this a failure to live up to his promise, and is angry with him. Big-Hand also makes an open invitation to a bunch of female caregivers, but they decline. The band prepares for departure…