Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #031: The Way Out of Lost Valley

Monday, May 11, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #031: The Way Out of Lost Valley

Turok: Son of Stone #19

The giants return — and they’re miffed!

After a close shave with a deadly honker, Andar’s just about had it with the Lost Valley. He’s so sick of contending with ravenous reptiles every day, and wishes for the comparative tranquil of the plains back home. Turok hates to see his little buddy so worked up, and they set out on another search for a potential exit.
Norg, one of the local cave dwellers, overhears this and intends to follow after, alerting his tribe if they’re successful. His pal Bal is less conscientious; he’ll demand Turok guide them out by force!

Norg tries tact first, but the skittish Andar slips away from Turok unseen and grabs the caveman, eager to know what he’s up to. Andar’s knife draws no answer from him, and he escapes back to his tribe before anything more can come of it. He rejoins Turok, lying about what just occurred, but there’s good news–

— they’ve found a way out! At least, that’s what it looks like — they’d need to scale the sheer cliff first, then clamber over the hill of rocks at its base, but beyond that looks like the valleys of home! There’s no way of climbing that cliff wall, but with a little elbow grease and a pint of woodwork, they’ve made themselves a ladder that’ll get them up in no time!

Unfortunately, Bal has already set his plan into motion — lay siege to the ladder by any means necessary! Turok is struck by a club before he can push it down, and they’re forced to repel boarders by shoving them off the cliff. There better be something down there to break their fall…!

It’s a losing battle, and Turok comes to the unfortunate conclusion that even if they do make it out, they run the risk of these cavemen overrunning their native lands back home. He slings a rope around the lynchpin in the mound of boulders and pulls, causing a rockslide that chases away Bal and his army… and destroys any chance of getting home.

There’s not enough patience in the world to make a ladder that’ll scale that, but Andar’s courage is renewed. So long as they stick together, they can take on whatever surprises the Lost Valley throws at them!

Speaking of surprises, remember the giants from three issues ago? They’ve been grave-robbed! Just as Turok presumed, they were only scouts for the big boys back home, and now they’re on their doorstep. He and Andar elect to speak to them, though Nark and his tribe would rather this weren’t happening at all. “Giants remember we kill two of them!” Turok was totally responsible for killing the second one, but thanks for taking the fall, lads.

The giants explain their predicament — their land has been flooded, and their scouts (the late Rurl and Garr) chose this place as their new settlement. Turok helpfully mentions there’s plenty of good land in these parts, and this particular patch is taken… but if the giants have lost two of their own already, they figure it ought to be fought for. Our heroes narrowly avoid a pummelling and rush back to tell the tribe diplomacy has failed.

Given the option of hauling ass or kicking ass, the tribe choose the latter… and it’s a losing battle. When the enemy wield clubs as big as you are, piddly boulders aren’t going to do much. Nark leads the retreat to a nearby cave to regroup and lick their wounds.

Caveman Porg wants to give peace another shot, as the only thing Turok’s tactic scored was casualties. Our heroes got nowhere with that, and instead concoct a new plan of rustling up honkers to do the heavy work for them. As the tribe rally behind it, Porg slips away to be a Judas.

The tribe use torches to drive a herd of tyrannosauruses towards the giants, a foolproof plan that looks to have the giants scared stiff — but they’re actually standing firm behind their defences, a wall of stakes that pierces any honker who gets close. Royally miffed, the honkers turn on their tiny tormentors, forcing Turok to put one down before they lose even more men.
Porg revels in the giants’ quick thinking, and boasts how Nark’s tribe will absolutely, positively never attack again, no sirree. And if they do, he’s got his huge new friends to protect him, right?

… right?

Driven further afield than before, our heroes go back to basics and just bust out some flaming arrows — the wind blows it towards the giants, sending them packing and finally reclaiming the land for Nark and his tribe. They’ve already taken their dead, so they have no reason to return… hopefully!

It’s notable that this issue and those before it rely heavily on humans (or human-likes) as the villains, favouring tribe-on-tribe action over monster attacks. The second story even addresses the bodycount, with Porg and three others killed by the giants. You’d assume unleashing rockslides and chucking dudes off cliffs might snap a neck or two in The Way Out Of Lost Valley, as well. Our heroes’ part-time devotion to protecting human life still shines through, but this is the slow start of an evolution in Son of Stone, where relations between fellow man turns subtly more hostile.

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