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 One Jaguar in Shadowdale

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Razgril

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Join date : 2010-12-22
Age : 34
Location : Guadalajara, Mexico

PostSubject: One Jaguar in Shadowdale   Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:53 pm

Following the crisis in leadership in Shadowdale a ferocious and foreign looking hunter known to most locals as Hun-Balam, known to make trade with the local merchants, seems to take more permanent residence in the western part of the town by the riverside.

There, the warrior sets up camp, and begins to scout the town and surrounding areas. The hunter had been previously known to have based himself near the area of the Two Forts to the east, so this change of location would seem unusual. There is rumor that the hunter was seen at dusk a certain distance west past the river with a large, predatory black feline. The beast departed to the west and has not been seen since.

If asked or detained, Hun-Balam will answer that he is making preparations for when the undead come, as Shadowdale will become his hunting grounds then and any hunter must know the terrain if success is to be obtained.

He still makes trade with the locals and leaves daily to patroll the forests to the east, but always returns by night and submits to search proccedures when requested, to return to the camp by the riverside.
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ADM Lightforge

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PostSubject: Re: One Jaguar in Shadowdale   Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:28 pm

The Guards... watch him.... giving him odd glances, but as he does not brake any rules or laws.. they leave him alone.
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Razgril

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Location : Guadalajara, Mexico

PostSubject: Re: One Jaguar in Shadowdale   Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:52 pm

Winter may be almost finishing, but that does not stop the hunter to pledge the protection of the Beastlord in these dark and troubled times to the people of Shadowdale. A notice is placed on the public board by the Inn and the Merchant's building:

Hun-Balam wrote:
"The undead come, and the hunter Hun-Balam will see to their extermination. But the people of Shadowdale must prepare  in the meantime and the farmers and their families need sustenace. Winter is almost at an end, the Feast of Stags is traditionally celebrated through winter. But the families of Shadowdale must not go hungry when their resources are diminished by outsiders and besieged by the undead enemy, and abandoned by their former leaders. A special hunt is thus proclaimed in honor of the Beastlord.

This hunter will provide fresh meat daily at dusk in the western part of town by the river. Those that need nourishment most, specialy widows, aged folk, infirm individuals, and orphan children, will be provided for. First come first serve. The Sanctity of the Table will be enacted, so all are welcome regardless of their faith and allegiance.

This will continue for as long as needed."

Thus, the hunter will continue with his daily routine of patrolling the outskirts of the town, heading to the eastern forests and returning at dusk, but now carrying a variety of bushmeat obtained in a daily hunt of the local fauna. He will also from time to time chase larger prey such as deer, wolves or bears and perform the killing within view of Shadowdale's eastern gate, in order to obtain a larger quantity of food and ensure the freshnes, while displaying the prowess of a true hunter. A performance of the droning Bloodsong when accomplishing such a hunt will always follow the death of the quarry.

True to his word, the hunter welcomes all to partake in the nightly feast. He will cook the meat on the spot or give it to those that prefer to take it home uncooked. For those staying, he will perform specific ritual prayers and chants in honor of the Beastlord, as they should accompany feasting on any beast slain during a hunt.

The hunter makes sure to educate those curious and willing about the tenets of Malarite faith, such as survival of the fittest and winnowing of the weak, the fact that a brutal, bloody death has great meaning; that the hunt is the fulcrum of life and death, and the focus point of life is the challenge between the hunter and the prey: the judgment of who may live or die. Slay not pregnant wild creatures, young wild creatures, or deepspawns so that dire beasts to hunt may always be plentiful. He makes particular emphasis on the fact that the farmers should be mindful of not infringing and cutting back excessively into the woods in the greedy pursuit of land, for that will lead to ruin.  The hunter assures those present that they should not fear and slay beasts just because they are dangerous, and that those that praise the Beastlord will be spared and delivered from such troubles.

Malarites are expected to view every important task as a hunt and to remain ever alert and alive. They must walk the wilderness without trepidation, as Malar does, and must show no fear in the hunt. By being bold, they expect to win the day.  He publicly criticizes those that do not believe in survival of the strong, but in a weak-minded balance that allows the inferior to survive and often to rule, such as it appears to be happening in Shadowdale to the detriment of the people. The hunter talks of his admiration to the hardy farmers of Shadowdale, and hopes that they will cultivate their own might in order to persevere through the difficult times ahead, of course with the blessing of the Beastlord.
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Razgril

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PostSubject: Re: One Jaguar in Shadowdale   Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:32 pm

~@~@~@~@




Hun-Balam arrived to the farmlands of Shadowdale when the sun was at its zenith. He had been hunting for the past two tendays in the eastern forests, tending to the herds as he had been doing for the past years by culling the old and infirm, and ensuring the young and pregnant females had an easier time avoiding predators. With the change of seasons approaching, the hunter had to keep a watchful eye on the populations of both prey and predators to ensure the coming winter would not negatively affect the availability of quality game for the coming year.  

The Cormanthor was very large, and since the harsh winter of a couple years back the wolf populations had recovered at a very favorable pace. This was in part because the hunter had ensured the herds of various species of deer, antelope, boar, rabbits and other wild species of cows, sheep and pigs had all remained strong throughout the past few years. It was hard work, but Hun-Balam was diligent in his duty, for the Hunt needed strong prey to truly honor the Beastlord.

He had been considering what to do to encourage a more varied and rich ecosystem in the forest. He still felt there was space for stronger prey, and stronger predators.  Owlbears sprung to his mind constantly. They were one of his favorite predators, even if their origin was shrouded in an unnatural light. Humanoids would also be interesting to hunt. When was the last time he had stalked Hobgoblins? Ogres?



Then, there was still his small personal project of introducing worgs into the Cormanthor's areas he cared for. The herds were abundant enough, and a number of worgs would find adequate living grounds at a remotely enough location. Wolves and other smaller predators would probably benefit in the end, as worgs were intelligent creatures and their presence and hunting habits would make the hunter's task easier. Worgs were clever to usually go for the young, sick and weak. In a sense this was much like what Hun-Balam was usually doing, so he'd be delegating some workload to the animals themselves... as it should be. Nature is a do or die place, after all.



That would give him free time to do precisely what he was doing now.  He greeted the patrolling guard on the road in his usual manner by using the Nexalan phrase "Ma'ixpantzinco!", which meant roughly "Cheers! Good Health!" in the common tongue. His perpetual scowl was met with a curt nod and a lukewarm greeting.  People of the Dales were notoriously guarded regarding foreigners, and he was as foreign as they came. His presence through the years and his actions and deeds had gradually opened him a few doors just as he had intended, but he understood the way of thinking of the people of Shadowdale, and sympathized with it. He was an outsider. He knew in his heart of hearts that a jaguar would always make even the pack of wolves he chose to live among amicably, helping and providing for them in times of hardships, uneasy.

He had stopped at a few of the houses along the way to deliver some choice pieces of his hunt. He still provided regularly for those too old, too young, and too feeble to do so on their own. The lazy, duplicitous ones could go die on a ditch, but fortunately those were few, and rare. A quail here, some venison there. The softer, tender bits for the elderly, a handful of sweet berries and nuts for the children at the Orphanage. The honest gratefulness of the Dalelanders was refreshing. In a way they reminded him of his own people, the Nexalan, though they also greatly differed in many ways.

At long last, he arrived to the Devonsmith farm. Taeron had promised to do some repairs here and there as the building had received some damage when it was raided. True to his word, Hun-Balam thought as he examined the state of the building. He wondered if the warrior was about, or if he had already set off to peruse his own affairs. He liked the man, they had worked well together and had been rather effective. It was rare to find someone like Taeron, someone that understood the ways of the True World, the untamed, wild, fierce and savage world. He had earned the hunter's respect, that was true, but Hun-Balam also wanted some time alone with Livia for he had many things to educate her in that Taeron might disapprove of.

After all, the ways of a Malarite tend to gravitate towards what many consider wanton slaughter and savagery, but the more delicate and subtle aspects of the Hunt were not for the uninitiated. A horrid reputation was a thing Hun-Balam did not mind. A jaguar does not heed the opinion of sheep. The Nexalan intended for the young girl to slowly learn, understand and willingly embrace these aspects. He would need to be measured and diligent in his approach. Livia would ultimately make her own decisions, but that only meant that when a parent taught their cub how to hunt, the mannerisms and nuances of the progenitors slowly seeped into the pup's own way of hunting. Experience shaped the youth, and that required patience and time.

~@~@~@~@

Hun-Balam knocked on the door and hollered in a loud tone.  "Ma'ixpantzinco! Cualli teotlac!"   The man waited a few moments as he listened intently. He liked the sense of anticipation and giddiness that slowly swelled inside him as he heard sounds of movement inside, and someone's light steps approaching the door. He had not realized such small joy could be found after these many years. In a way he liked to think of Livia as a surrogate daughter. She was important to him in a personal way. She was more than a pupil, someone to pass the torch and learn the ways of the Hunt. She was her own person, but she was also a kindred soul. Tragedy had struck her at an early age, but the hunter was familiar with that pain. He had only been four years older when the Night of Wailing had robbed him of not only his own brother, sister, and parents, but it had also consumed his homeland, his way of living and thinking. The Nexalan people had been scattered to the winds, broken, confused, afraid. But they had all pushed onwards, in the best way each could. Yes, the hunter could see the pain in her eyes, but he also saw the determination, the spirit of a true warrior. She smelled of predator, not prey.

The lock clicked open (a small precaution to complicate easy access through the main door), and the hunter was greeted by the girl with a bright smile. The man smiled back, an unusual thing if one was to know him. Geetings were exchanged in a cordial, familiar manner.

"This hunter finished his work earlier than he thought. And many gifts have been brought to you." He stated as he passed a cleaned and plucked pheasant onto Livia's helpful hands, along with a small sack containing some more assorted meats. The hunter stepped into the house, and closed the door behind him to help the girl prepare dinner and catch up with the comings and goings of her life and Shadowdale in general.

~@~@~@~@
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Razgril

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PostSubject: Re: One Jaguar in Shadowdale   Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:24 pm

~@~@~@~@

How do you trust the very thing you are supposed to hunt? Do the promises of power and ruin to your enemies out weight siding with another enemy? Is the risk of being betrayed worth the chance to drive your tecpatl right into the heart of the very being you are supposed to hunt from the start?

Those questions weighed heavily in the mind of Hun-Balam as he whittled away flakes of wood from the piece of hardwood he was patiently carving as he sat by the fireplace near the Old Skull Inn. He was not the only one that would at least consider the words of Zsalat, but it certainly caused him plenty of doubts on how to proceed on his own.

Shadowdale would definitely be once again under threat. Would he be able to lessen the blow if he were to side with the sorcerer? Perhaps he could serve two masters, so as to aid the defense of Shadowdale but also give Zsalat something that could be used for his own ends, as he had done years before then the Zhentarim loomed over the farming community as lords and masters. Perhaps Shadowdale would be razed and he'd simply be able to tell the few worthy people to get out before that doom came to pass.  There were many things to be gained, and so far little to be lost from such an alliance.

It bothered him that the Ancient One had been so openly looking for allies. Power is something rarely shared evenly, after all. The strong take what they want, why bother offering outsiders an alliance? Perhaps Zsalat was not as close to striking the elves as he made apparent, or perhaps his preparations were insufficient. Nevertheless, the offer was still attractive enough to ponder.

~@~@~@~@

The jaguar head was now neatly polished, it's maw open in a fierce growl. The hunter gave it the finishing touches and then stood to head to the Devonshire farm. He still had time to decide, if only a small amount of it. Time. The nexalan remembered how adamant the Ancient One had been regarding that particular word. The hunter decided that before he departed deep into the Cormanthor, he'd at least employ his remaining time in teaching Livia to read the markings beast and men left when they walked the lands, and to read the incoming weather. They would be useful skills in the times to come.



~@~@~@~@
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