From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim
With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library
Erevday, Twenty-first Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn
Sixty-Fourth Day in the Trees
Torne told me a strange story last night. He told of a wandering huntsman, with the horns of a "stag" on his head. The huntsman sometimes leads great hunts through forests1. The story is told far and wide, and the name and character of the huntsman changes from place to place. Sometimes, the huntsman is a god. Sometimes he is a vengeful ghost. Whatever his nature, he is a dangerous man to come across. He either inveigles people into his hunt, or else they become his prey. Torne is worried Benadam is this hunter, and believes that we are in danger.
I agree that it might be dangerous, but it might be more dangerous to try to run. If he is as great a huntsman as Torne believes, then he will track us. Better that we know where he is.
At least Benadam is proving useful enough for the moment. He provided us with a wild pig for our dinner. We spent most of our time looking for vegetables and fruits for him. He accepted these gladly. I wonder why he became a hunter, when he clearly prefers the fruits of the earth to the beasts of the woods.
He talked a great deal about various animals in this forest. He is a formidable hunter, if his stories are to be believed. He has hunted dragons, griffons, elephants, and stranger creatures. He tells of a creature with a hard shell and terrible pincers2. It had threatened a small village, and so he had hunted it down. He did not tell of the kill, but he told us much of how he had hunted it, tracking it to its lair. He talked about how he watched its habits to know the best time to strike. He told us of the valley he used for his battle, but very little on the battle itself. "And then I killed it." Nothing more.
It is like that in all of the hunts he recounts. The chase, the tracking, but nothing on the kill. Torne did not press him. Nor did I. Neither of us wanted to bring the subject to killing.