Halloween brings a chance meeting.
A few weeks later
There just has to be an easier way to get something to eat. Drachmir shifted his pack and waited patiently as Jarghu looked over the ridge.
"Not a thing." The larger gnoll cursed. "Come on runt, maybe we'll catch one of those curly-horns in the next valley."
Drachmir followed along after Jarghu, shouldering his heavy pack. Jarghu, naturally, wasn't about to carry the gear when Drachmir was around to do it for him, so while the older gnoll just carried his short bow and a quiver, Drachmir was carrying a few skins of water and the results of their hunting so far, a couple of large, fat rodents the size of Drachmir's fist. The real prize, the curly-horned desert gazelle, was not gracing the two hunters with its presence.
On the whole, Drachmir enjoyed hunting. It meant he only had to worry about one or two members of the tribe making his life a misery instead of whoever caught him, and he was looking forward to roasting the plump desert shrew, instead of getting whatever scraps he could scavenge.
Drachmir's belt-pouch wiggled a bit and the gnoll grinned. Of course, this time he had other plans then just food. He heard Jarghu yell something up ahead and wondered how the other gnoll ever caught anything the way his voice carried. Drachmir shrugged mentally. So long as they didn't run into a human patrol, he'd be perfectly happy with just having Jarghu to deal with.
Some hours later the broke for supper, having managed to catch another rodent and break an arrow. Drachmir uprooted some hardy old bushes to make a small fire, and then buried the desert shrew in the ashes as Jarghu dozed in the shade of a rock. The younger gnoll eyed his foe appraisingly, as Jarghu twisted a bit to get into a better position. Won't get a better chance.
Business-like, Drachmir walked towards the rock where the older gnoll lay, carefully taking his wriggling belt pouch and shaking it vigorously. As Jarghu opened an eye to figure out just what the crazy runt was doing, Drachmir took another step and opened the pouch above his rival, dropping an angry yellow centipede right on Jarghu.
"Hey! What in the hells are you doing!" Jarghu twisted to try and slap the insect away, but it bit him twice on the leg and scurried with lightning speed away, disappearing into a crack under a rock.
"Runt, I don't know what you're trick is," Jarghu fumed as he rose up and stepped towards Drachmir "But you are going to be regretting it for a long time..." Drachmir stepped back cautiously, counting the seconds. "I'm going to...going...go..."
Jarghu fell face forward into the sand.
What do you know, it worked. I ought to listen to the shaman more often. Drachmir got to work quickly. The centipede wasn't really very venomous, and the sleeping poison would wear off in a few minutes. Something told him that Jarghu would be less then thrilled when he woke up.
Drachmir took the thick rope from his pack and tied Jarghu's hands behind the larger gnoll's back, then did the same with Jarghu's feet. It was good, strong rope, meant for them to make it into a sling to carry the desert antelope back to the tribe. Drachmir grinned to himself as he worked. So far so good. Satisfied, he sat back against the rock and waited.
It was a couple of minutes before Jarghu stirred, then a few more for the large gnoll to throw off the centipede's venom enough to think clearly. He was large, healthy warrior, and his body purged the sleeping poison quickly. Once Jarghu was awake, he turned his head and tried to move his arms, but they were tied firmly behind his back. He moved his face towards the reclining Drachmir.
"Runt, you're life is going to be pain when I get through with you." Jarghu struggled against the ropes. "What the hells kind of game are you playing at?"
Drachmir's ears swiveled forward, two round, black ears that zeroed in one Jarghu's voice. "Hmmm...? I'd think you'd figure it out, Jarghu." Drachmir all but spat the name. The young gnoll's voice was cruelly mocking.