Mara had set out that afternoon with Jubal and Tubal in an uneasy mood. The last
twenty years with them had been rocky, as Mara kept getting in between his hungry
brothers and Naamah. She was thirty-nine now, and had become a fine woman, and Mara,
now forty-five, was now a full-fledged man. It irked his brothers to no end that they could
no longer call him 'boy', but they made up for it with plenty of other creative names.
Mara could still see the white scar on Jubal's shoulder from where he had once shot him.
A strap of leather for Jubal's quiver partially covered the scar. Jubal had been the first to
want to learn how to shoot Mara's weapon, and Jubal had given him five scars from
shots during his first moon of practice. Mara's brothers tended to be petty in that way.
Today, however, they had accosted Mara with an offer of peace. A small hunting trip, just
the three of them, to re-form the bonds of brotherhood or some such ilk. Mara refused at
first, suspecting his brothers of trickery, but had relented when Naamah urged him to go. Naamah wanted to believe that the family could live in peace again, after Mara had
nearly killed both of his elder brothers a few suns ago. They had been harassing Naamah
for the ten thousandth time, and had managed to corner her and pin her down when
Mara found them. His wrath was terrifying, and Mara was certain that his brothers
would want revenge for that incident.
Nevertheless, Mara was walking in between Jubal and Tubal through the forest,
straight in a direction that they hadn't taken in years. Jubal and Tubal seemed to be in
a good mood, laughing and joking with each other, and playfully pushing Mara between
them. Mara bore it, trying to force a smile on his face, wishing that he had refused and
stayed at home with Naamah. After a long march, the three of them stopped at the
top entrance to a small valley. Looking down, they could see a grown Gatakox rooting
around some plants in the far end of the vale. It was probably looking for some small
prey to appease its fearsome appetite. A Gatakox was huge, always hungry, never picky,
and very dangerous. Mara had never been stupid enough to try to hunt one, and spent a
good bit of time in the wild trying to avoid getting near one. He felt that all reptilians bigger than himself should be avoided.