Background: Wild Huntsmen

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  • Wild Huntsmen

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    Of all those elves encountered in my captivity none were so
    strange or so fierce as the sworn huntsmen of the forest king.
    They seem to suffer no female membership within their ranks: an
    odd arrangement for the Sylvan Elves, though not dissimilar to our
    chivalric orders. This appears to be the only similarity, for in temperament
    they are mercurial and belligerent even by the standards of other
    elves, and in appearance they are wild to the point of barbarism.
    They go about their day bare-chested and carry bone and horn fetishes
    that they scrimshaw themselves. When called to ride forth,
    I was told they wear terrifying masks and communicate only in the
    growls and bellows of beasts. Their skill with the lance is such that it
    is said that no prey, once spotted, escapes the Wild Hunt. Certainly
    the common elves, even those of the aristocracy, treated them with
    a level of wariness that spoke of caution around these wild warriors;
    only those strange Blade Dancers and the heralds of the Forest Queen
    would long hold the gaze of one of the King’s Hunters.
    They seemed to possess no inherent nobility as a man would judge
    such things, save for that which one might expect in a good hound,
    and they seem ill-suited to any work not involving battle or prey. Firsthand
    I saw their frequent feasting and the great bonfires on which
    they lazily roasted meat. Around such flames they would sit and drink
    of copper-red mead while recounting crude tales with great animation
    to the hoots and jeers of their fellows.
    It was to these Trewi I turned my thoughts of escape, believing they
    possessed some of the avarice which makes men malleable. I spun a
    tale of lost Equitan riches awaiting in the haunted ruins of Doum-
    Corin. They seemed to care little for my presence, but listened to my
    story with every appearance of interest. I answered their questions,
    stretching my Elvish vocabulary until I realised they were jesting with
    me, flashing wolfish grins at this game. They even dubbed me ‘Delyn’
    in their own tongue, clearly thinking me a jolly fellow. It was only
    later that one of my captors explained the term to mean boar.

    Groups of male elves would sit around
    their cooking fires, lethargic to the point of
    sullenness. Then, as one, they would stand.

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