Solo [Job thread] In search of Prey

Hauk and Fen go on a little hunt.

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

[Job thread] In search of Prey

Postby Hauk Tarn on November 30th, 2018, 10:00 pm


Fall 32, 518


Hauk stalked through the woods, bow in hand, arrow at the ready. His loyal friend and companion, Fen following close behind him. The area around the outpost showed all the signs of life, yet unfortunately he hadn’t had much luck hunting. Today though felt different. Today he would find prey. He was sure of it.

Hauk surveyed the land around them. Tree’s, with ferns and other small plants spaced between them where all he could see. Even in the fall the climate around the lake was temperate, allowing for such green and growth, but hunting was more than using just the sense of sight. He listened; the wind rustling in the tree’s, the chirping of birds in the distance, the occasional chattering of squirrel. He smelled; the fresh due of the morning, the slight aroma of the wildflowers. And he felt, the area around him, relying on his instincts and unconscious mind to simply be aware. Or at least he tried to. It was a skill that all true hunters possessed. Wolfs, mountains lions, eagles, all of the wild predators had perfected this skill through the gift of nature, and all other hunters strove to master it. The trick was harder that it seemed. No book, no instructor, could teach you the skill. It had to be something that one learned on their own through experience. At this moment, Hauk cursed his lack of it.

Despite his efforts, Hauk did not detect signs of his quarry. Earlier in the day, near the lake shore, he had spied where a group of deer had bedded for the night before moving inland. He had lost their tracks not to long ago, yet he still travelled in the general direction that they had set off. He would glance around him, searching for signs. Hoof prints, tufts of fur left on branches, droppings, anything to set him towards his target. As of yet he has had little luck. He now was searching for some sort of game trail, any path which the local wildfire used to traverse the forest with least resistance. If he could not find his prey, perhaps he could find the path that leads to them. That was his thinking any way.

Fen picked up his pace and trotted forward ahead of the huntsman, nose to the ground, sniffing for any lead. The dog was well trained in the art. His family had gifted him Fen, when the deerstalker had just been an adolescent when he was first accepted into the Knights of Sylir as a squire. While he is no longer on that path, Fen had remained with him. “What is it boy?” Asked the hunter as he stopped to let the dog do its thing. Hauk didn’t see anything, but he knew to trust Fen. After a few moments, the large canine stopped his pacing and began to sniff the ground aggressively, a ridge of few springing up between his shoulder blades. Hauk smiled. They had caught a sent.
Last edited by Hauk Tarn on February 13th, 2019, 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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In search of Prey

Postby Hauk Tarn on December 2nd, 2018, 5:09 am

Fen looked up at him, excitement clearly shining through his black eyes. To the credit of his training, Fen did not bark, nor make any sudden movements. That would alert any prey nearby. Instead, the deerstalker looked up at the huntsman expectantly, looking for his next command. With a motion of his hand, Hauk gave the signal to follow the trail. In an instant Fen lept forward ridge of fur at full attention and his tail hig, keeping a brisk pace to, but not too fast where Hauk couldn’t follow. The man smiled. Fen was clearly enjoying himself, as dogs are wont to do at even the simplest tasks. He envied his friends ability to find joy in almost anything.

Hauk followed the dog a few paces behind, at a pace just below a jog. The deer had to be close in order for the scent to be this strong, if Fens eagerness was any indication. Through bush and branch they went. Hauk was able to see some signs of passage; bent twigs, crumpled leaves… the occasional hoofprint. Yet this was not the trail he was looking for. Not yet at least.

Before too long they finally came upon it. The trail they were following opened up to a proper game trail through the forest. Fen pranced about, clearly happy with himself for following the scent correctly, panting and tongue out. Hauk for his part nodded. He knew there was one near. “Good job Fen!” he said tenderly, scratching behind the dogs ear and patting his head. The Dog accepted the praise and attention just as happy as ever, tail wagging and a smile on his face. Hauk had to reward his companion for a job well done. Not just to reinforce the training, but also because he did enjoy spoiling Fen just a bit. Pulling out a piece of jerkey from his pouch and conceling it in his hand, Hauk signaled Fen to sit. The dog did so immediately, his eyes fixed on Hauks closed fist.

“Good boy, Fen!” With the dogs tail wagging excitedly, Hauk opened his fist, revealing the treat. Again, showing the effects of his training, Fen did not lurch forward to eat it out of his palm, although the shifiting of his paws cearly indicated that he wanted to. Instead, Hauk chose not to stretch the moment longer and held out the jerky for fen to eat. With out hesitation, the dog leaned forward and began to shew the toughened meat. With his dog momentarily preoccupied, Hauk turned his attention to the trail. Which direction did they go? How many in the small herd? And how long ago did they pass by here? These were questions that Hauk now took to answering.
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In search of Prey

Postby Hauk Tarn on February 13th, 2019, 5:06 pm

Crouching over the trail, Hauk studied the path intensely. He could see the signs of passage of animals clearly: broken twigs, bent grass, the small paw prints squirrels, and even a set of deep and wide hooves, rounder and thicker than the deer he was tracking. Wild Boar.Interesting, Hauk thought. Tracing the hoof print with his fingers, Hauk briefly entertained the idea of switching game, but then thought better of it. Hunting boar was no easy task; the animals are larger, heavier, and much more aggressive. While he was confident with his archery, that particular prey required a different method hunting. “Not today..” he said absentmindedly, to no one in particular, “not today.”

There. He spotted the tracks he was looking for. By their spacing and number, it looked like he was tracking a small herd of dear. He couldn’t guess their exact number, but it was at least a handful. East, they were headed. Deeper into the forest surrounding the lake. Hauk tried to gauge their temperament as best he could from the clues. The depth, pacing, and the state of the brush around the tracks between them could help indicate whether they were agitated, such as being pursued by predators, or maybe they were migrating away from the area. It wasn’t an exact science, more an art that he was trying to perfect. As best as he could tell, this herd had moved through here at a leisurely pace. There might be a favorited feeding grounds that they visiting. That could prove to be a double edge; while feeding, they tended to be at their most vulnerable. But for that very reason, they were also at their most alert.

It took Hauk a few chimes to study the marks and get what information he could. A more experienced tracker could probably gather more, such as how long ago they had passed by and their approximate distance, but Hauk had gotten what he could. no more could be gleaned from staring at the prints of his prey.

Fen by this point had finished his jerky treat and was waiting for Hauk, somewhat impatiently. When he did finally look up, Fen stuck his head in front of the huntsmen, sniffing and licking Hauks face, as if to tell him to get on with it. With a slight chuckle and a smile, Hauk pushed the dogs head back, “Alright!”, he said, scratching Fen behind the ear “lets get going”. Satisfied that the game they were on would continue, Fen danced happily as Hauk stood, then took off a few paces ahead of the hunter. Knowing that the hunting dog wouldn’t stray very far ahead, Hauk let him.

He surveyed his surroundings.
Deeper in, then, he thought. Just then a slight wind wound its way through the trees, coming in from the lake, causing Hauk to frown. If the wind was behind him, then it would carry his scent and alert the deer. That would be a problem. He had to move downwind of his prey if he were to successfully catch them. Whistling, he called Fen back to his side, and then moved off from the trail. He would try to get in behind the herd, and take ambush them from there.
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[Job thread] In search of Prey

Postby Hauk Tarn on February 13th, 2019, 6:15 pm

As silently as he could, Hauk moved through the bush. Fen stalked next to him, staying close. The dogs’ training meant that he knew that they had moved on to the second half of the hunt; they had found their prey, now it was time to catch up to them. He was careful to keep the game trail within sight as he moved. He had stepped off the path in an attempt to remove himself from being upwind of the deer, and while he was confident that he was moving in the right direction, he knew he was still new at tracking. As such, keeping the trail in sight insured that they moved in the right direction.

keeping his breathing light and steady, Hauk relied on his senses as he moved. He relied on his sight the most, searching the trees ahead of him for a clearing that the deer might be at, or any sign of movement that betrayed their presence. He kept himself crouched, and held his bow out infront of him, should he stumble upon them. It’s for that reason that he moved slowly, taking care where he placed his steps, making his own presence as small as possible.

It was Fen who noticed them first. The dog stopped suddenly, his ears perked up and the telltale ridge of his species rising between his shoulder blades. Hauk, suddenly on high alert, scanned the forest around him. He saw no clearing, so he focused his attention to see any movement. His eyes trained against the backdrop if the forest. While the climate around the lake was temperate, it was still winter, which still had a slight effect of the forest. While green dominated, there were shades of browns and tans, making it difficult to spot the deer through the foliage. Ticks went by, and all the hunter could hear was the slight rustle of the wind and the occasional bird that flew by. He was beginning to suspect a false alarm until he finally saw them.

Between several trees, the space had allowed sunlight to penetrate the canopy and allow for some tall grass to grow. It was not a true clearing, not really, but the space was even and the small herd was able to move freely within it. Six or seven, that was how many deer he counted, and they all seemed to be adults or nearing adulthood, grazing on the grass. The Huntsman’s first instinct was to take aim and shoot, but he actively resisted that urge. He had to be patient. Study the animals and wait for the best time to strike. Only that would increase his chance of success.

His tactic of moving away from the trail had paid off. Few seemed alert for danger, although that was more there generally cautious nature more than anything else. The deer had not noticed him, not yet, although he had missed his mark slightly. He was no longer upwind of them, but a strong enough breeze might still give away his presence. He needed to move further around, get in behind them before he struck. Ever so slowly, he moved to the side, edging his toes forward so as to not crack any twig, or make any noise as he stepped forward. Followed right behind him, crouched low, his eyes never leaving his prey. It was an arduous process, made all the more tense every time one of the deer swiveled its head around, scanning for danger. Whenever that happened, Hauk would stop, and wait for several ticks later before he felt it was safe enough to move again. It took him several chimes to get into position, not quite half bell, but close. But finally he had reached a good vantage point. Approximately 30 feet behind the deer, and taking cover behind a tree that overlooked the space. All he had to do now was pick his target and shoot.
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[Job thread] In search of Prey

Postby Hauk Tarn on February 17th, 2019, 9:08 pm

He spent the next several chimes observing the deer; how long they bowed their head to graze, how often they would scan their surroundings for danger, all these things he saw. He felt the urge to act. His query was in front of him, in range, hut he knew he could not be hasty. Hunting is an act of patience. A glance down to Fen confirmed that his companion shared Hauk’s impatience. The dog was lying down, but he was not relaxing. Fens tail was straight behind him, and the ridge of fur between his shoulder blades was standing tall. Hauk new that the second that he released his arrow, Fen would spring forward and try to pin down his target.

Hauk smiled down to his companion. The dog was a constant in the Hunter’s life, and he appreciated Fen more than the dog could comprehend. But now was not the time to reminisce. He had to focus back to the matter at hand. He had not had a successful hunt since arriving to the outskirts of Ravok, and his funds where running lower than Hauk liked. He needed to focus.


Studying the animals from his vantage point, Hauk was wondering which one he should target. Preferably one of the ones grazing closer to his location, both so his arrow would have more impact, and so that Fen would have a shorter distance to run. There were two in particular that he was paying attention to; one with a coat lacked a particular luster and with clearer whites, indicating a deer in the late stages of life, and another, likely an adolescent if its size was any indication. Both would have less energy than the others. Any chase would be easier then, for the hunting pair.

As he studied, one of the his to targets began to graze a bit further away from the main body of the herd. It was the older one, and it had wandered closer to Hauks position. Perfect. Hauk slowly readied his bow, arrow knocked and string half drawn. He had to be careful. One wrong move and the entire herd would be alerted to his presence and run. Slowly, stepped out from his cover, trying not to alert his target and moved into a shooting position; front shoulder in a straight line with the target, feet shoulder width apart, slow steady breathing. He was ready.

He waited till the deer had lowered its head to graze before raising the bow, drawing the arrow to its full length. Fen was ready, his muscles tensing, ready to leap forward. It took all of 2 ticks, but time seemed to slow to a crawl. One breadth was all it took. On the exhale, Hauk drew the bow one extra centimeter, leaned forward and….

SNAP.

A twig had snapped under his foot. The deer all looked up and within half a tick took off, sprinting deeper into the forest. In that half tick Hauk let his arrow fly, preying that it would still find its mark, hoping against hope that he was that lucky, now that his prey had been alerted to presence. Fen sprang forward chasing after the deer, faster than a blink of an eye disappearing within the bush.


Hauks arrow flew straight, a perfect shot, had his target stayed in the same place. As it was, the arrow narrowly missed the deer’s hindquarters, burying itself into the tree trunk behind. The hunt had failed. Hauk’s frustration bubbled up and threaten to spill out, but he willed it back down by taking several deep, controlled breaths. Such as was the way of the predator. He could go hunting 10 times, but only walk away successful once.

Hauk whistled loudly and sharply, the sound being carried between the trees. That was the signal for Fen to come back. The deer where faster and more agile then the dog would ever be, but he knew that Fen would chase after them as far as he could. Knowing that it was futile, and not wanting him to get lost, Hauk called. While he waited for the dog to return, the hunter went forth to retrieve his arrow.

Fen trotted back into view, tongue hanging out, having clearly enjoyed the chase. A wry smile broke upon Hauks lips as he patted his loyal companion. Together, they made their way back to their tent at the outpost.
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[Job thread] In search of Prey

Postby Kelski on February 17th, 2019, 10:45 pm

G R A D E S
Hauk:

XP Awards: Observation +5, Hunting +5, Tracking +4, Animal Handling +5, Tactics +2, Longbow +1

Lores: Tracking: Following Deer From Their Bedding Site, Hunting: Observing With All Four Senses, Tracking: The Signs Of Deer Passage, Animal Handling: Rewarding A Dog For Doing The Right Thing, Animal Handling: Reading The Signs Of A Hunting Dog On A Scent, Tracking: Signs Of A Wild Boar, Tracking: Recognizing Deer Prints, Tracking: Recognizing Boar Prints, Tracking: Judging Direction Of Travel By Prints, Hunting: Looking For Signs of Movement, Hunting: Relying On Sound/Sight/Smell/Taste, Tactics: Anticipating Deer Herd Movements, Hunting: Regulating Movement Based On Prey Reaction, Animal Handling: Knowing When To Stop Utilizing An Animal On A Hunt, Hunting: Picking The Perfect Target From A Herd, Observation: Determining Animal Age By Appearance, Animal Handling: Calling A Dog Into A Hunt Via Whistle


Notes: Nice use of the dog and all your skills within level. I appreciated that you didn't bag the deer too in the end. So many people refuse to fail when that's a huge part of learning and developing a skillset in a PC.




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