THE FORBIDDEN GROVE(issues 6-10) takes place five years after the events of JOURNEY TO SORROW’S END. Cutter and Leetah have become a very close couple, and now they have twins, the insanely adorable Suntop and Ember. The life the Wolfriders have lived for the past five years has been peaceful and idyllic, but the oasis paradise gets a handful of unwanted human visitors,which prompts the Grand Quest–Cutter’s attempt to find other tribes of elves.Again, my general agreement with the overall worldview of “The Elves Can Do No Wrong, The Humans Can Mostly Do Not Right Unless They Like Elves” started to falter after a while.
SAVAH: *is having an out of body experience.*
*Bad touch is bad.*
CUTTER and FAMILY: *Have quality time together.*
SHENSHEN: *Grumpy!* You kids get off my lawn!
CUTTER and FAMILY: *Snerk*
STRONGBOW: *On sentry duty.* THEY FOLLOWED US ARGH NO.
WOLFRIDERS: HUMANS OH NOES.*Sound the alert and gets ready with the clobbering time.*
HUMANS: *Scraggly and starved and freaked out by the scary demons.*
WOLFRIDERS: *Are somewhat stymied by what to do with these people.*
WOODLOCK: KILL ALL THE HUMANS.
WOLFRIDERS: Bzhuh whut.
WOODLOCK: KILL THEM ALL! DEATH TO THE HUMANS!
CUTTER: Why have you followed us here!?
HUMANS: *Sob story about the evil demons who came from the sky, with valid points like the ultra-fun prank invented by Chief MAN TRICKER which involved hanging human infants from trees. (They were still alive, generally but STILL. Kidnapping the bebes–if a human tried playing a prank like that on the “wolf demons” he would have been flayed alive.)* We had no idea you demons were here. It’s your faultthe forest burned down, my brother is bonkers and we’re all starving to death!
WOLFRIDERS: Cry MOAR.
CUTTER: Um, no. Your crazy shaman burnt the forest down, and we want nothing to do with you.
REDLANCE: Fine, kill them.
REDLANCE: Go ahead. We’re waiting. Kill the little kid first.
WOODLOCK: Um. *can’t do the deed.*
WOLFRIDERS: *Likewise not willing to kill them.*
CUTTER: Okay, fine. Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more.
READER: So, instead of killing them quickly, you’re going to let them die slowly of starvation and thirst. Instead of, you know, taking the “killing them with kindness” approach and feeding, delousing, and sheltering them.
You know, like the Sun Folk did for you.
WOLFRIDERS: …That’s different.
HUMANS: Run away! Runaway!
STRONGBOW: We should have killed them! Bearclaw would have killed them!
CUTTER:Yeah,I’m not Bearclaw.
CUTTER:I have decided that the Sun Village isn’t an eternally safe haven anymore. I want to find other elves!
SKYWISE: I want to go with!
TUNNELOF GOLDEN LIGHT: *Is now open for business.*
CUTTER: Well, looks like we can’t steal food from the trolls, let’s go to the surface.*
PICKNOSE: Bwah-hahahaha! *Ambush!*
CUTTER and SKYWISE: WTF?
PICKNOSE: Bwah-ahahaha I got your sword, which is really a key to a fantastic treasure! Now I’m going toput you to work to impress my not! girlfriend!
ODDBIT: Slaves (and diamonds) are a girl’s best friends!
CUTTER and SKYWISE: *Can’t exactly do anything due to being chained up, weaponless, and sans their wolves, so they go along with it.*
PICKNOSE: Let’s have a party! Pour us some cups from that jug over there.
SKYWISE:Hey,this smells like the
best weed ever dreamberries!
OLDMAGGOTY:*Poor old woman with a HORRIBLE NAME.* It’s dreamberry wine!
CUTTER: What’s wine?
PICKNOSE: The best thing ever. Here, have some!
CUTTER: *Drinks.* Wow.*Hits the floor.* That’s really good.
*Everyone getsdrunk, and PICKNOSE talks about the mysterious TWO-EDGE who taught thetrolls metal working, and demonstrates the secret of the sword, which has a key in the pommel. Everything’s find till PICKYdecides to insult CUTTER’S DAD.*
CUTTER: DIE. *drunken rage*
CUTTER and SKYWISE: *drunken brawl followed by drunken escape.*
*Meanwhile, back at the Sun Village*
EMBER: Yay, I have a wolf friend.
LEETAH: *Misses her CUTTER.*
MOONSHADE: *DEEPLY UNSYMPATHETIC.* Well, you should have gone with him, like a proper lifemate!
READER: Staaaandbyyyyyy yooooooooou’re maaaaaan.
LEETAH: *Not happy.Walks away.*
NIGHTFALL: It’s okay,cheer up.
LEETAH: No, I should have gone, but I was afraid to.
NIGHTFALL:*Givesa pep talk.*
*And back to CUTTER AND SKYWISE.*
CUTTER and SKYWISE: *Using their manacles as bolo sthey capture themselves some PONIES*
READER: Wow, you guys would be enemy number one of the Fugly Horse of the Day blog.
PONIES: HALP WOLFTHINGS WILL EAT US
*Our Heroes endup in the woods where CUTTER encounters a rabid squirrel which results in CUTTER floundering through the woods and stumbling into the care ofNONNA and ADAR. SKYWISE and CUTTER at first lose their minds with terror but these humans are nice and have been cast out of ADAR’S tribe due to NONNA’S religious practices and because of the tribe’s scary art critic, BONEWOMAN. Because these humans are nice, and NONNA has provided CUTTER with a Clue to the presence of other elves they decide to help the humans by posing as Spirits and forcing the human tribe to accept NONNA and ADAR.*
SAVAH: *is once again heading out of body*
SAVAH: *Does a good impression of a mannequin*
SUNTOP: She’s really far away and we have to warn Daddy that there’s something outthere he shouldn’t go near!
WOLFRIDERS: We have to find CUTTER and SKYWISE!
SUNVILLAGERS: Nooooo! Who will protect us from the humans?
DART: *waves hand*I’ll teach you how to defend yourselves!
SUNVILLAGERS:But you’re just a kid!
STRONGBOW: *actually talks out loud!* Shut up. My kid can teach you how to fight and hunt, he has more experience than all of you put together.
BONEWOMAN:I am yet another example of a crazy and evil human religious figure! I really do think the creators of this comic have issues!
CUTTER and SKYWISE: Whoooo, we are mighty spirits,take in NONNA and ADAR!
BONEWOMAN:YOU ARE NOT!
OLBARTHE MOUNTAIN TALL:Woman, do not be rude to spirits!
BONEWOMAN:BUT THEY AREN’T
OLBAR:SHUT.UP. We will take in NONNA and ADAR so the spirits won’t be angry.
I am totally making up for being the Worst Dad Ever.
*And so the tribe accepts NONNA and ADAR. CUTTER and SKYWISE learn a Valuable Lesson about how Humans Are People Too. This lesson does not get time to penetrate before BONE WOMAN decides to get in with THIEF, OLBAR’S former brother who is now anameless tribal outcast. BONE WOMANsics THIEF on CUTTER and SKYWISE. Thelatter chops off THIEF’S thumb, but BONE WOMAN gives him something for thepain and sends him back after the “spirits.” While SKYWISE is getting bonked byTHIEF’S sling, STRONGBOW is shooting a giant hawk with his arrow. Both events aregoing to turn out to have Wider Repercussions.*
THIEF: Bwah-ahahah!Now I have the magic stone!
THIEF:*Has last laugh because both SKYFIRE and CUTTER go over the edge of waterfall*
CUTTER: YOU HUMANS ALL SUCK! I HATE YOU ALL!
OLBAR: So I should totally not pull you up, right?
OLBAR: *Pulls the elves up.* So, you two are definitely not spirits.
CUTTER:Um.Not really, no.
OLBAR: That’s cool. I don’t suppose I’m going to get an apology for the entire “mock my religious beliefs,” thing so why don’t you explain what the heck you really are.
CUTTER: People! We’re just people!
OLBAR: Okay, that’s cool. It’s too bad you aren’t really spirits, because I am the Worst Dad Ever and my daughter ran away with a pencil necked geek. They ran into the Forbidden Grove. When I went after her, we were driven off by tiny little evil spirits.If you were really spirits, you would have been able to find out what happened to them.
CUTTER: We’ll look for her.
Because we totally owe you.
*So Our Heroes head to the Forbidden Grove and it looks like a Spiderman convention has been in town, there are webs everywhere. *
CUTTER: Wow. Spooky.
SKYWISE: So, we look around…?
CUTTER: I look around,you rest.
*So, CUTTER finds a wolf cub that has his daughter’s scent, which causes him considerable surprise. Meanwhile, the web spitters responsible for all the cocoons are busily getting ready to wrap up SKYWISE, who is still asleep. CUTTER interrupts the shenanigans and has some questions for the leader, Petalwing.*
CUTTER: Okay, bug,talk! Tell me where this wolf cub came from!
PETALWING: Goggie came with Highthings! We wrapped them awl up!
CUTTER: Oookay. *heads off to the rescue*
PETALWING: Noooooo he be stealin my wrapstuff!
CUTTER: *Gets his lifemate and kids unstuck for from the cocoon.*
*So, that gianthawk STRONGBOW killed? It turns ou tthat it had friends and family. Friends and family that were very, very unhappy with the WOLFRIDERS, so they carried them off. LEETAH, the kids and NIGHTFALL and REDLANCE managed to get away, and the PRESERVERS promptly wrapped them up once they fell asleep. CUTTER finds OLBAR’S daughter, who is apparently of the opinion that the PRESERVERS are good spirits, not evil ones. The little monsters are happy to accept her thanks and nobody bothers to take the kids aside and warn them that there has been a considerable gap oftime since they ran away. Happy reunions are followed by catching up and ominous foreboding as we close on STRONGBOW,who is in a cell designed for maximum discomfort. *
MINION: Has he screamed yet?
WINNOWILL:Not yet, but I look forward to making him!