Rise of the Runelords

The Spoils of Boar

An Authentic Freemountain Oral History Account

Image"Alone. Th’four’a us an’ Foxglove here, in search’a th’lusive boar. Fer hours we tracked and tromped—thinkin’ all was well s’was well—until. Until we realized, th’hunters’d become the prey. Two. Toed. Ungulate. Deer? No. The dungs’wer wrong, y’see. No. No, not with th’ still in the woods. Perilous still, deadly still. No, a wood s’still s’at means one kinda’ evil. Deep, souless evil. Two toed. Ungulatin’ evil. Elk.

Th’sky’d gone black’s pitch, thunder rollin’ over. Our minds turn’t t’escape, but th’woods sw’ere dark, deep, turned about with bafflin’ stillness. Hyacinth here, sh’summoned a mighty eagle! Big as a . . . With huge! And we follow’d ‘er, prayin’ Deadeye’s mercy on’s for trespassin’ in a wood confounded with Elk-sign!We though sure’t we’d make it when we come on’a clearin’ . . . but there, there like a sentinel, like th’dread guardi’in a’the wood he stood, frothin’ and ruttin’: the boar!

Greel, Greel’s says, he says: ‘we must turn back! Huntin’ is no fun! S’not a game,’ he says. An Foxglove, quicks y’please says’m: ‘No. S’th’deadliest game. Listen’t!’
And we did. And we heard’t, over the maw’n gripe’a th’pig. We heard’t. Hoove-fall. And the cry! A bellow’s like’t a horn! A bugle! Like a thousan’t untuned pipes callin’ all t’once th’dread ungulation that means sure death! Th’boar took ear. Raise’t s’beedy lil’ eyes and roar’t a charge down upon us!

Greel, though, he’s no woodsman but he knew’a right proper woodsman t’see’im. He turns t’Foxglove and wiggles’im fingers and chants’im words, unleashin’ all manner’a dark magics and Foxglove he grows, and grows, twelve feet tall he grows: big in stature as s’already is in skill y’see. But it takes time! The magics’takes time! An’ Wil, Wil the lad, the adventurer, th’excruciatin’ly single—ladies—th’excruciatin’ly single he rears back and he throws’a spear ten, fifteen, thirty feet he lobs it like’t arrows from th’bow’a Deadeye an’ it strikes’t truer’n Bolka’s bright eyes’it strikes!

The boar, stagger’t, it leers t’th’left into m’range with m’spear there I give’t a jab, plant th’old mud-stompers an’drop at’center’a gravity—physics, y’see: dwarven engineerin’ know-how—and ‘tween Wil—he stays here’t th’inn, ladies—‘tween Wil’n I we’ve scarce dented th’damn beast but we’ve slow’t’im, we’ve just scarce slow’t’im. Th’elk she’s drawnin’ closer’ the thunder-hooves bleetin’ and tearin’ down th’wood. But salvation! Greel’s wizardin’, dark and terrible, black as Torag’s fingernails’s’t’is, s’takin’ hold and there: twelve foot tall and glorious is th’man’s man Foxglove! He rears’it back, s’great damn spear, and he strikes th’fiend cross the skull with th’flat’a the blade—with th’ flat ‘a the blade and in one blow down she goes, dead’s’a stone! An in’s triumph y’see he leans back and whoops’n yawps’t beat th’band, like a proper’n. And y’know what? By th’Oldfather’s braided beard Foxgloves yawpin’ runs off that elk what’s bearin’ down upon’s: because not even th’Elk in’s lusty fury will stand against a proper hunter’in’s righteous victory!" -M.Fmt.

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