• Solo • [Hang Woods]Hunter's Mark

(Job Thread) Aster has taken a bounty for an animal that's been terrorizing the road to Krom

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Aster
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:01 am
Race: Human
Profession: Huntsman
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[Hang Woods]Hunter's Mark

Ashan 60

The sun was high in the sky when Aster finally made it to the last location a merchant caravan was attacked by some wild beast after a few breaks of horse riding. The wind was blowing north and that meant the weather wasn't in his favor today.

According to the reports this beast struck fast and made off with one of the merchant's guards, and dragged him into the forest. Usually the knights would do something about this animal, but a bunch of armor clad men waltzing down the forest path would alert everything within a few miles.

Aster hopped down from his horse and looked at the horse's reins. He decided not to tie his horse up in case whatever he was hunting decided to come down here and attack his horse.

The accounts he had received had varied, some said that it was a large cat with jet black fur, while others would say it was a small Jacedon looking for a quick meal. The only thing that all the reports had in common was the fact that whatever this thing was it was fast. Aster had already ruled out the most common culprits; bears, mountain lions, moose and such, this was either something he didn't know, or some animal that has been driven to attack caravans.

Of course there was also the possibility of arcane magics being involved but that was extremely unlikely and Aster didn't even consider that to be the reason for these attacks.

Aster looked deep into the treeline, seeing if there was something waiting for him, after that surprise arrow when he was hunting a bear near Andaris, Aster had become more careful since then. Whatever had attacked him back then was no animal, nor was it a bandit, the fact that he wasn't dead and had all his money was still with him meant that whoever that was failed to kill him and didn't want his money or equipment.

Aster whistled loudly, letting the wind carry the tune across the lands. After a few bits Heath came flying down and land on Aster's arm. "What do you think?" Aster asked the owl and gently rubbed his head and scratched his chin. "Tracks on the dirt point east, but it's been a while since the last attack, the blood on the dirt has dried already. Where do you think we should start?"

Heath just ruffled his feathers and started preening himself.

"Right, we should just follow the tracks for now and if we see a good place to set a trap or find some sort of den and set a trap there and smoke it out." Aster said and let Heath climb up to his shoulder and rest there. With Heath perched on his shoulder and being an extra pair of eyes, the hunter headed out, slowly creeping through the bushes and into the trees.
word count: 511
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Aster
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Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:01 am
Race: Human
Profession: Huntsman
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[Hang Woods]Hunter's Mark

Soft chirping overheard masked the little noise Aster made as he slowly crept through the forest. The smell of the forest was something Aster was accustomed to, the smell of dried leaves on the ground, the bark, the grass.

This was Aster's element. He grew up in the forest, he grew up as a hunter, and Heath made hunting easier. Heath was Aster's eyes in the sky and his eyes behind his head. Nothing could sneak up on Aster if Heath was on his shoulder, they made a perfect team.

Aster walked slowly through the woods, keeping an eye out his surroundings, looking for any tracks, broken branches, trampled grass, prints on the ground, the usual. Of course Aster also kept his eyes up in a tree, whatever he was hunting could fly or use trees to move.

"Heath, there aren't any tracks here. Check overhead for any signs of any animals that walk through here." Aster said softly to Heath and the owl simply stared at him. "Keep close though. Alright go." Heath flew up and circled overhead for a few trills.

Aster waited by a tree watching the foliage around him for any movement. He was a few kilometers away from the road and it was strange, almost no sign of any other animal in the forest, except for birds.

After a few more trills, Heath came flying down and landed on Aster's shoulder and hooted twice, then flew up and raced off towards the south.

Aster followed as quick as he could, trying to keep quiet as he rushed through the forest, keeping his head low and his steps light. Heath flew through the trees, setting the pace for Aster to follow.

The owl stopped and turned back towards Aster, the hunter slowed down and stopped, letting the owl land on his shoulder. Aster rubbed Heath's head. He went down low and peered through a bush overlooking a clearing of sorts.

The clearing had a small stream going through it, and by that stream was a figured slumped over. It looked like human from afar, but it was unmoving.

Aster crept slowly towards the form, his bow was ready and an arrow nocked, aimed at the form. As the hunter made his way to the unmoving form, he could see that this wasn't what he was hunting.

Aster rushed forward and turned the body over. This man was dead, his throat had been ripped open, and his armor was ripped apart and most of his chest cavity had been removed.

Oddly enough, the body wasn't completely eaten, instead the chest was methodically ripped open and the organs removed. Though the ripped throat was a work of an animal, the removal of the chest was made by a person, for what reason, Aster didn't know.

Heath cried out a warning and as quickly as Heath called out, Aster had bolted to cover into the treeline. A few trills later a large white tiger had strolled through the clearing. The tiger in question looked at the dead body and slowly transformed into a woman with long black hair and glowing green eyes.

"I got it to go as far as 51 feet. That's good." She said joyously and poked the body with her foot. "Maybe I shouldn't have put the well in the loose sternum I ripped out..." The girl said then starting putting mana into the body.

Aster was right, arcane was involved, though he was just kidding himself before. These murders weren't the actions of a beast, but a necromancer, he should tell the knights, that would be the sensible thing to do.

Then again... If Aster went to the knights, he wouldn't get his pay. Though, would he really kill a girl he barely knows? Probably not, though if he could stop the attacks, maybe he could get some compensation for it.
word count: 676
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Aster
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Race: Human
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[Hang Woods]Hunter's Mark

Aster had observed the girl quietly, so far she doesn't seem... bad or malicious. She seemed to be making the corpse of that caravan guard dance, or at least make a horrible parody of something dancing. She had taken the corpse by the hand started waltzing hastily, like a flurry of erratic gestures from a madman.

Aster looked at Heath and Heath simply stared back. Aster couldn't bring himself to attack. So he decided to provoke her and give him a reason to attack. The hunter motion for Heath to fly up and attack the girl.

The white and brown owl swooped down and aimed himself at the girl. Instead of hitting the girl, the girl suddenly turned, making the undead corpse stand in front of her and the attacking bird.

Heath raked the back of the undead man’s head, ripping a bit of the rotting flesh off the skull. The girl let go of the walking corpse, letting him simply stand upright and stare blankly into space.

Heath circled around, going in for another attack, this time he didn’t plan on missing. The girl rummaged around her bag and took out a piece of meat, roughly the length of her fingers. She held it up to Heath and the owl swooped down and snatched the piece of meat from her hand and landed a few feet away from her.

Aster rubbed his face with his hand, showing a very exasperated expression. Despite his best training sometimes Heath just gets distracted by the simplest of things. Aster sighed, and drew back the bowstring and took a deep breath.

This wouldn’t be the first time he had to take a life, but this will be the first time he had to take one unprovoked, she was a murderer after all.

As Aster aimed at the target, he felt a crossbow bolt at the back of his head. “That’s quite enough now, youngster.” Aster slowly lowered his bow and gently let up on the bowstring. “Ey! Ashly! Did you know you were about to skewered by an arrow from this chap over here?”

Aster stayed silent, mentally adding another failure to his list. The girl looked over to Aster and the corpse stumbled forward with a sword drawn.

Aster and whoever was behind him stepped out into the clearing. The girl frowned softly at Aster and looked at Heath who was now circling above, waiting for the signal to strike.

“Is that your owl?” She asked timidly and looked at the man behind Aster. “Don’t worry, master. I’ll take of it.” She looked at the undead and back to Aster. “I know this looks bad, but I don’t want any trouble.”

Aster just stared at them with cold eyes. "There's a bounty for a wild animal that had been attacking honest merchants on the roads. I'm here to collect." Aster said and his fingers twitched, waiting for the perfect moment to pull out his kukri and attack. The girl simply stared at Aster, confusion was clear on her face.

"Honest Merchants? They were slavers and smugglers, we made sure of that. If we were attacking merchants and honest folk, wouldn't there have been more attacks? Farm folk missing?" She said and looked over to the corpse with a soft frown. "What else can we do? Let people be enslaved to vices or chains?"

Aster stared passively at the girl by the name of Ashly. He had never met a shapeshifter before, but he did know about them from his travels, rumors of assassins, spies and thieves. He didn't trust her, but what she was saying did make some sense. "Why only kill one guard? Why let the rest go?"

"Because if we destroy caravans, they would send hunters and bounty hunters such as yourself. The slavers and smugglers would try to avoid asking for help from the knights in the city, so they would ask freelance bounty hunters to stop us. So far they think beasts have been attacking."

"That's all nice and good, I don't exactly believe you, and if what you're saying is true, I'll leave you alone, but I still need to pay the bills. So I propose we work together." Heath flew back towards Aster and landed on his shoulder. "I could find some wild animal pelts and collect the bounty, from there I would ask you to stop attacking caravans out on the roads like brigands and take them down in the city, where if they did send other hunters after you, there would help from the guards." Aster offered and started walking to where he dropped his bow.

The old man had his crossbow pointed at Aster the whole time while they talked. "Thank ye for the offer sonny, but we can handle our own." The old man croaked boastfully.

"I have no doubt of that, but I doubt you two are actually doing any damage to whatever operation is happening, you two are just minor annoyances, just wasting time, if you two could get the help of the knights, I would think you would be rewarded and have stopped most smugglers in the city at least." Aster said with a small smile. "Of course if you're telling the truth, I would be more than happy to help you in any way I can."

The two of them looked at each other with concerned glances. "If they find out who we are... People don't exactly trust us."

"Simple, don't get caught. If that doesn't suit your needs, I usually camp outside the city, or near the forest." Aster looked over to the girl. "Your name's Ashly, correct? I'm Aster, a pleasure to meet you." He said with a small nod of the head. "I must leave now and acquire some pelts of some large animal and claim the bounty. If I can't claim the bounty, I could always sell the pelts, it doesn't really matter to me." With that Aster walked off into the forest.
word count: 1042
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Aster
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Race: Human
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[Hang Woods]Hunter's Mark

Stalking through the woods for some type of large prey was going to be difficult, but it wouldn't be impossible for someone like him.

After a few bits of wandering, Aster had found a trail of some large animal. Aster knelt down and examined the tracks, the trail was going due north, deeper into the Hang Woods. Aster gave looked at Heath and sent him up to look ahead of him. Trying to see if something was nearby or not, Heath flew forward into the trees and landed a bit farther away from the trail.

The hunter followed the track this large animal had made. Aster pulled out his bow and looked up, trying to see where Heath was. The owl had been staring at Aster for a few trills and swooped back down to him. Heath hooted softly and flew back up.

Aster followed Heath, while keeping an eye out on the trail he was following. The sounds of the woods had all but dimmed now, like everything was watching the strange pair of hunters. Tracking through the underbrush was easier compared to the city or some well traveled path, the marks people and animals leave are much easier to spot.

Heath suddenly stopped and swooped down to Aster. The hunter looked at Heath carefully, Heath was silent but his ruffled feathers were all the indication Aster needed.

Whatever they were hunting was close by. Aster pulled out an arrow from his quiver and crept down low, and started crawling forward. Silently he got behind a tree and peeked to the side.

A large bear, the largest Aster has ever seen was standing on his hind legs and was sniffing the air, the bear might have gotten his scent. Aster nocked the arrow into his bow and released the string.

The arrow flew true and struck the beast right in the chest. Aster nocked another arrow and pulled back. The bear roared at the hunter with rage and anger in it's eyes. Heath swooped down and raked his claws on the bear's neck, trying to distract it from Aster. The bear swung his giant paws wide , hoping to hit the elusive owl.

Aster fired another arrow and the steel tipped projectile sunk deep into the bear's back. The bear roared in pain and tried to run off. Aster nocked and fired another arrow, striking true and hitting the bear again. With that last arrow, the bear slumped down to the ground.

Aster gave a small nod to Heath, and he took out his skinning dagger and started working on removing the pelt, and the meat. Bear meat fetch quite a price to those who knew how to prepare it, but otherwise no one really wanted to buy bear meat. In any case, Aster was hungry as well, and he quite like bear meat.

It was getting late, and even if he found his horse, there was no way he could skin the bear, and make it to home. "Heath, go get the horse. And don't peck his ears this time." The owl hooted in defiance but flew off.

Heath took out his machete and started hacking away some branches from trees. He took the firewood and formed a small fire pit, and took one piece of wood and started making kindling for the fire, eventually the horse and Heath had returned and waited patiently for their master. Aster gently brushed and pet the horse, which replied with a satisfied whinny.

Heath landed on the horse and simply watched Aster.

The hunter took out a flint and some steel and started striking them together to create sparks and a flame. Soon enough a fire had started and Aster was ready to roast some bear meat, and to camp out the night.
word count: 654
Malcolm
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[Hang Woods]Hunter's Mark

Image
Skills

Animal Training: 2
Deception: 1
Detection: 3
Fieldcraft: 1
Hunting: 2
Persuasion: 1
Stealth: 2
Tanning: 1
Tracking: 2

Fame

+1 point (positive)

Knowledge

Basic
Location: Hang Woods
Animal Training: Owls
Arcane: Wells
Arcane: Necromancy
Specific
Tracking: Broken branches
Tracking: Ground prints
Tracking: Trampled grass

Comment

A good thread, and for the most part very enjoyable, though I do question the ability of an owl going to fetch a horse, those are some well trained animals... I am also surprised that the bandits let him walk away so easily, and that one of them was a shapeshifter? On a minor note, it's not enough to give just the date and season, we need a year too because things will get confusing in a couple of years time, so trial, season, arc next time. In future with things like skinning, especially to earn more specific knowledge, try and explain what the character is doing in a little more detail. Keep up the good work and enjoy the rewards!
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