Hunter's Glade Recap - 25th Frostfall

Patience is a state of mind that I’m very familiar with, but something about being trapped in the den with so many disgusting men was wearing it down faster than I had anticipated. I was finally provided some relief when Tarkuuth elected to take the group out hunting.

I worried briefly about how well I could maintain my ruse. My alter-ego “Ganduin” may be a huntress, but I haven’t hunted game since I was a child. Tarkuuth’s bizarre fatherly attitude just completed the illusion.

We first came upon an injured fawn. Tarkuuth and his “daughter” Valtani, soothed and examined it, discovering that it had been injured by what appeared to be barbed vines. Before we could even theorize the cause, we had our answer: a mass of wood and vines resembling a bear.

I’m used to hunting nobles, businessmen, politicians, and sometimes other assassins, so I can’t claim to have encountered a beast such as this before. Nonetheless, my first thought was how flammable something made of vegetation would be. I readied a flaming arrow, thinking only briefly of how I’d explain why a huntress from Valenwood would be carrying oily rags.

Valtani, ever the rash one, immediately took on her werewolf form and made a fool of herself by attempting to climb a tree. I tried my best to ignore her as I readied my shot. I secretly wished she’d step into the crossfire and I’d have my first deniable kill. My opportunity would not present itself, and instead I loosed my arrow and struck my target with precision. For a moment I felt regret that I hadn’t packed any magical incendiary arrowheads, but I thought I’d be killing werewolves, not tree bears. Nonetheless, I was rewarded for my skill as smoke began to billow from whatever passed as the beast’s skull.

The Reachman Durrin followed Valtani’s example and transformed into a wereboar. I’ll admit, I was curious, as I had yet to see one in person. They’re more intimidating than I’d imagined. I suppose I was envisioning something closer to a bipedal domesticated pig.

The boar charged headfirst into the bear, finding himself locked by the tusks to the progressively more inflamed beast. Barret, the other Reachman, stepped in and fired a series of shots. On a regular bear, it would have been an impressive display of targeting, but with this unnatural abomination, it merely served a distraction. It at least allowed Durrin to escape his deadlock with the bear, if nothing else.

Tarkuuth then fired an impressive shot that mirrored my own, but once again proved that regular arrows wouldn’t phase it. By this time, the fire was spreading fast, but the Altmer, Ingathol, sped things up by engulfing it in a wall of fire. I appreciate his elemental preference.

It was all over for the beast as it flailed pitifully against the flames. It barely managed to reach the tree that Valtani was hiding in before collapsing to the ground. The girl once again made a fool of herself by falling on the beast, claiming the kill. I’m sure Hircine would be pleased by such finesse, and yes, that’s sarcasm.

Tarkuuth congratulated the group on the kill. I’d like to take this moment to point out that the fight was over the moment I planted my flaming arrow in its face, but sure, family bonding and all that. I’m also not sure Hircine would be pleased that six hunters piled up on one creature, but let’s pretend the hunt father wanted this. Men are such idiots.

My only regret is that I wasn’t given the opportunity to kill one of my companions in a “hunting accident.” After all, Ganduin is just a poor, innocent Bosmer out of her depth. When fear of the unknown grips you, accidents happen.

~Zifri Mossvale