The Guardian of the Idol (synopsis).

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The story

“The Guardian of the Idol” is a story set in the prehistoric era, focusing on the conflict between Cro-Magnon and Neolithic people.

The main character, Gorm, a Cro-Magnon man, finds himself a prisoner and branded for sacrifice by the Neolithic tribe. This tribe lives in a village of mud and wattle huts within a palisade, located on a neck of land extending into a river. The river is home to flesh-eating fish and is surrounded by a barrier of palisades. The Neolithic people, unable to swim, have descended from the south with their domesticated animals and possessions.

During a ritual, Gorm’s companion, a young hunter, is sacrificed. In the ensuing chaos, a flaming brand falls near Gorm, allowing him to burn through his bonds. In a desperate escape, he leaps into the river, braving the vicious fish, and manages to survive, although wounded.

While recovering in the forest, Gorm contemplates his own people and the Neolithic tribe. Determined to avenge his humiliation, he decides to steal and destroy the Neolithic god—a wooden idol protected in a canyon guarded by a Neandertal man, a remnant of an even older human species. The canyon, surrounded by cliffs on all sides except one, is considered sacred.

Gorm executes a plan to distract the Neandertal guardian. He reveals himself on the cliffs to attract the creature’s attention, then sets a diversionary green wood fire. Meanwhile, Gorm sneaks into the canyon from the lower end. However, the Neandertal, possessing unusual abilities, surprises Gorm in the sacred grove. After a fierce battle, Gorm defeats the Neandertal and finds the idol placed high in an oak tree, as the Neolithic people believed it contained their collective souls and was safe from the non-climbing Neandertal.

Gorm destroys the idol, burning its body and keeping its head. He then boldly returns to the Neolithic village. Presenting the head at the palisade, he kills the guard in shock and proceeds to the village. At dawn, he reveals the god’s head to the villagers, who, driven mad by the sight, destroy their own palisade and plunge into the river.


  • Gorm: The protagonist, a Cro-Magnon man captured and branded for sacrifice by the Neolithic people.
  • The Neolithic Tribe: The captors of Gorm, living in a palisaded village and practicing primitive rituals.
  • The Young Hunter: Gorm’s companion, who is sacrificed by the Neolithic tribe.
  • The Neandertal Man: The guardian of the Neolithic idol, living in a canyon and unknowingly protecting the idol for the Neolithic people.
  • The Guard: A member of the Neolithic tribe, killed by Gorm at the palisade.

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