From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim
With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library
Chroday, Twenty-first Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn
Sixty-Sixth Day in the Trees
We travel alone once again. Our erstwhile companion left us this afternoon.
Torne and I had finally taken the courage to ask him if he was the hunter Torne had heard of.
He smiled at us. He told us that he was not. He said that our confusion was not unexpected, however. He is the father of that hunter. And then he told his story.
Once, he and his family were under the watch of a god. The god was a jealous god, and wanted them to prove their love for it. One part in ten of their food went to the god. In that time, Benadam was a farmer, and he gave grains to the god. His brother was a shepherd, and gave mutton to the god.
The god decided it liked the blood of the lamb, and was pleased with Benadam's brother. The god was not pleased with Benadam. This caused strife between the brothers.
Benadam's brother was vain, and began to mock him for his failure. Finally, Benadam attacked his brother in anger. They had never fought before. Benadam, the stronger, won the fight. He had won too well. His brother was dead. Benadam said that his family had never seen death before. It had been an accident, but the god did not believe him. He was exiled.
He was also marked. The horns on his head are the mark of that god's anger1. All animals know the mark, and all of his family knew it as well. It marked that any who harmed him would be harmed in turn, and several times greater. The god did not want the family to kill him. Not for kindness, but because the god wished to see Benadam's wandering.
Benadam wandered for a long time, and finally found a wife among another people. He had many children, but he did not grow old. Nor did he die. Neither old age nor death wished to risk his curse. He has wandered since. The Earth will not give up any sustenance to him, and so he can never farm again. He can only hunt. And so he became the first huntsman.
The leader of the Wild Hunt, as it is called, is his son, by a goddess. He sees his son at times, and sometimes joins in the hunt. But what he truly hunts, he told us, is his own death.
I pray that he will succeed, one day.