Chapter 1: The Black Stag
Elereich, he was not like that of the common man-hunters that be of permanent residents of the wood. His existence, claimed- by word of his father and his grandfather before him, it was the will of the god Cernunnos the deity that was to be known as the Horned God.
Elereich himself, he was now widely known by title of The Red. All that know of him, associating his many witnessed feats, and the color of his natural born head of fire-strewn hair; to be wise in favoring of the man’s interests.
Of all concerns, Elereich was not just a mere hunter; he was the killer with the most beasts felled by his spear of family’s honor- bound recognition.
As was traditional with the old people of the village; his strong-handed weapon, it was given a name. This requirement of boy’s testing in rise to manhood of the hunter’s fated selection, it too was deemed as being rite of demand by the village gods.
Upon turning of the age of sixteen, Elereich was handed down- his grandfather’s spear. The weapon, it was sanctified by magic ritual of shared dousing of lineage inherit blood. Like his life’s- father before him, it was now up to him- to name the one spear of his grandfather’s trust.
Of his grandfather’s true name would Elereich now identify as- being the name, in recognition of his spear. The weapon, it was now known as Gulderand- Beast Slayer.
The hunter and his wolf companion, they stalked the east moor patch alone this early of the evening’s night’s long passage.
This was how both hunter and wolf liked it.
The prey of their conjoined hunt, it was a black stag. The prize- it was sought by many hunters as being the rarest of wild game to be found within the blackest and most dangerous of patches of the wood.
The animal’s hoof-prints sunk deep into the soiled grounds, for the hunter to recognize by sight, and for his wolf companion to follow by traces of scent; they were now running by tracking of the beast’s last known whereabouts as being cold, and thinning out to be less frequented in finding.
The wolf companion to Elereich the Hunter, he too has a name a name that the wolf has owned title of since day of birth. Wolf of the hunt, one of few that has been raised of bold berth; born of a courage that exceeds that of those companions that existed before him, he became as the greatest in known hunter wolves- of the fen. Fenrir, he was now named; this noble, and fearsome rival companion of a wolf.
Fenrir was now growling. the wolf had caught on to a scent the two were not expecting to chance a crossing of the paths of this eves hunt.
“..... Noble Fenrir? Show me, what has riled you so?”
The wolf Fenrir pointed toward a cropping of thickened brush- from fallen moor spruces and tamarack trees.
Elereich now caught scent of the wolf’s concerns. The stench of a rotting carcass now reaching his nostrils. The hunter forced a hold of his breath, and the man wrinkled his nose; as he began to work cautiously on uncovering the spoiled carcass. Elereich- now fumed on sight of the black stag that had been of this eve’s hunting interests. The animal, it had been felled by a ripping at its jugular and had been left to bleed out. All that was now body in that which remains of the tagged kill was the animal’s head.
Fenrir, was now growling louder. the fur of his mane raising as sounds of something moving in the trees close behind drew fast of it’s senses. Elereich gasped on sight of the size of teeth bites- in marking of the beast that fell the stag. The beast, it may be a creature of gargantuan size.
Elereich grabbed a fast hold the wolf’s collar. From a ring hung on his belt, to his right side; the hunter uncoiled Fenrir’s leash. Clipping the other end of the leash to the ring on Fenrir’s spike studded collar, Elereich was now secured to his companion. By his right hand coiling the slack from the wolf’s leash alone, will the hunter be now capable of keeping his animal companion in the hunt protected from predator danger.
The sounds from the beast’s footsteps, they were of heavy land impact treading. Elereich, he could sense the tremoring taking place beneath his feet unseen from the creature that was now- stalking him, and his wolf companion. The grounds, they were quite literally shaken as the beast walked.
Fenrir tugged on the leash. Elereich easily reeled the snarling- wolf further back and away from the patch heralding the quick approaching unseen beast. Trees signifying the creatures’ exact location and greatness of size, they were now toppling within a patch that was about thirty meters (100 feet) from the hunter’s and the wolf’s location.
Pulling free a canvas sack, from a rigging hook of a striker that- set the flint of the sack aflame, Elereich tossed the burning sack of sealed mystery- beast sundering ingredients; out beyond the patch he and his wolf companion were now navigating, and in-to the patch beyond.
The unseen beast’s roar was now drawing even the wolf toward a shared concern with the hunter; Fenrir, fell back further from the direction of the sack’s explosion and gave in to the slightest of wolf whimpers as the bomb-pack released clouds of ranking- smoke up high into the air and surrounding trees to initiate the driving away of this one beast, and of any other predator that is of so great the size; that may be now stalking them.
The beast remained unseen, as the sounds of its heavy footfalls now drew away from the hunter and his wolf. Elereich shouted a curse aloud on the beast. Now, his duty was all too clear. The gods of the wood, they will now curse the moor patch; that had long become as his favored grounds of hunting.
The carcass, it will have to be burned by a rite of sacrifice to be performed by a purge-raiser; of influences natural and of gods' holy.
The hunter, now guided his wolf companion back to their path- of entry. Of their hunt this evening, it has been foully tainted by something that is of a demon wrought beast that has been bred of evil's seed.