Page 043: Interlude: The Hunting Party
Interlude: The Hunting Party
Summary: Caytiv, Stragen and Liliana set out on the hunt.
Date: 24/08/11
Related Logs: More killing required: Accusations.
Caytiv Liliana Stragen 
Forest - Terrick's Roost
It's foresty, and woodsy and filled with things that need killing.
24 Aug, 288 AL

Caytiv holds to Ryande with hide-clad knees, riding pants bloused into knee-high boots. The mottled light from between the leaves glides over the contours of the hide and horseflesh as the mountain lad moves after the hounds, a hunting knife sheathed at his thigh, two light spears clutched in his hand, waving and bowing with the stride of the horse.

The hunting party has set out, as it was said that they would, to collect the last of the required meats for the feast to be prepared for the wedding. Other parties have been ranging to collect what was needed for the tournament. So many horses, men, spears and hawks, it seemed there were more of the people of the Roost within the forest than without. But this party is smaller, and perhaps, in its way, more varied. The Camden Lady has come out once again, for this second outing. But she looks little the Lady of castle and keep. Hunting leathers, the heavy gloves of the falconer, hair drawn up into a series of tight braids. Tanis has been saddled with the more modified saddle used in her forest home, allowing her to guide the horse without the need for her hands. And across her back, her bow, accompanied by a set of double quivers on the right side, in lieu of a saddlebag. On the other side, a spear, smaller and shorter than those of the men, built for her smaller size.

And bringing up the rear is the Lady Camden's sword, Stragen Stone. Riding on a borrowed Terrick horse, the large man is having a limited difficulty getting the horse to so much as keep up, never mind go in the right direction. But he's gradually easing the beast towards better handling. Looking very much like he normally does, unlike his Lady, Stragen is geared up in leathers and sword. He's also borrowed a bow from the armory, although it remains unstrung. "The look on Lord Jerold's face if he could see you in leathers like that," he calls out upon catching up somewhat to Liliana.

Ryande is treading bare, today, with neither saddle nor bit nor bridle, but only the lad on his back, half-guiding him with his knees, half trusting in the horse to follow the hounds and know his business while he remains sharp-eyed from above for motion out far between the trees. When Stragen calls out, he squints back over his shoulder, but says nothing.

"Lord Jerold might wish that I had more ladylike skills, to be sure, but he is not a man given to letting an asset languish when it might be put to good use." A beat, before Liliana continues, her mare falling back to settle in with Stragen's larger gelding, "Besides, I made sure to leave by the rear door." A hawk's hunting cry breaks the relative stillness of the forest, Parand, so recently brought from Tall Oaks, flying high and free above the trees.

Fertile indeed, are the forests that make up the boundary between the lands of Camden and Terrick, the hawk's cry following soon after by the call of one of the men, as he goes off to retrieve the quarry of the diving peregrine.

"I hope you know what you're doing, my lady," Stragen comments, glancing upward when the hawk cries out. Eyes narrow, and he shakes his head, looking disappointed. "I hear a hawk and I think a bounty hunter's after me," he mutters. He glances towards Liliana. "Hawking is common in your lands, isn't it?"

Caytiv cranes his neck back at the hawk's cry, and then lowers it again to level and watches the sworn go after the quarry. Gripping the paired spears the more firmly in hand, elbow bent to carry then higher and not hook them on any passing foliage as he urges Ryande forward with the hounds as one at the head of the pack seems to have caught onto a trail.

"I have been doing this nearly every day of my life, Master Stone. I am hardly the one who needs looking after." She tightens the grip of her knees, as she reaches back to unsling her bow, Parand still doing her duty, and likely on the wing again. For the nonce, it's Liliana and Tanis who join the hunt, following in Caytiv's wake. "Yes, quite common."

"Aye, well, then, I'll trust in you to do the hunting. I'll just keep an eye," Stragen says, glancing around through the trees. He's out of his element, here; he's done some light trapping when times have gotten thin but he's no Camden, nor is he any Tall Oaks hunter. Unless ravening hordes come charging out from between the trees, he's just along for the ride.

It's not long and the rest of the hounds are on the trail, first intrigued, then breaking out into a baying run even as those on horseback behind can make out the first signs of motion in the brush. Ryande is well accustomed to uneven terrain and light-hooved as you please even over the gnarled tree roots, and keeps at the tail of the pack, turning flank as the dogs spread out and the great boar turns, all bristle and foam, and makes to defend its den, grunting and charging at a hound while Cayt pulls one spear away from the other, brandishing the second overhead as he chucks the first at the boar.

<FS3> Caytiv rolls Hunting: Good Success.

"Of course you will," is Liliana's last comment, before she quickens the pace, urging Tanis on to follow after Ryande and his rider, a hand reaching down to tighten one of the straps that holds her steady in the saddle, as she comes up behind, the hounds and their quarry coming into view. Clearly, hunting is a task best left to two or more, rather than a single hunter, and spear and arrow make, one would hope, a good pairing, as Liliana nocks an arrow, sending it in answer to Caytiv's spear throw.

<FS3> Liliana rolls Marksmanship: Success.

"Oh for Seven's sake, a fucking mama boar," grunts Stragen rather uncouthly, as he swings his leg over and makes a short hop off of his moving horse, skidding on leaves and stones. His sword is drawn and brandished at the ready, and he gives a wary glance towards Liliana. "If it charges, to hell with the hunt, I'm going to cut it in half," he declares.

Caytiv gives a yelp of victory when the spear hits home, thrusting the other spear into the air and kicking his leg up and over Ryande, landing on the ground without using either hand to steady him, but landing into a crouch as the boar twists this way and that, the long wooden shaft scuttling against the rocks and the shorter one flopping about when the boar runs viciously for a dog, making it fall back. Cayt tosses the second spear from one hand to the other, keeping low and the best length of the spear before him, bringing his off-hand around to grasp it in both, rushing forward to meet the boar's charge and thrust with the spear for a deeper wound.

<FS3> Caytiv rolls Spears: Success.

Of course, the dogs are there to do what they've been trained to do, but the loss of a good hunting dog is more than Liliana's willing to live with. Her first arrow lands not far from Caytiv's, close and almost to the boar's neck, sinking in deep, blood pouring out of the wound. But the animal is not blooded yet, and seems still to have enough energy to press an enraged attack. And so, a second is nocked, Liliana setting her aim to track the boar, and evade the man. If the gods see fit. Tanis, beneath her, is a rock, well trained to her mistress' commands, and the sounds of the bow and the beasts.

<FS3> Liliana rolls Marksmanship: Great Success.

Stragen's sword lowers, as he gets an increasingly shocked and dumb look on his face. He's never witnessed hunters of this skill before.

Caytiv gets to the underside of the boar's neck with the spear, but not the through-the-throat, to-the-brain shot he was looking for. Still, he gets it in there, and then flips his right hand around to grab the spear from underneath and twist it down and in with a harsh shove, like a man planting a flag, easy and confident.

So close, that Caytiv might well feel the graze of it on his sleeve, but the shaft of the arrow sinks deep into the boar's neck, the creature's underside left wide and open for the Camden Lady's shot. Truly, it is a gratifying thing, to hunt with a companion who seems to anticipate your movements. But that second spear, and the arrow that follows finally find home and the boar sow falls heavy to the ground, leaving Liliana to snap open the quick straps on her saddle and slide down from her mount, bow held lightly in her left hand. "Cay, you are well?"

"Ay, lassie," Cayt pulls the spear from the boar's neck with a quick precision, not tearing out a chunk of meat as he does so, but leaving as small an incision site as possible. His smile grows crooked as he turns to look to Liliana, "I reckon it's my luck you were hunting boar an' not man, or I'd have had an arrow in me, right-as," he jokes with her, though the joking is flavored with an appreciation and approval of the woman's skills. He lays the bloodied spear aside and gets down to a knee, bloodying his riding trousers but hardly seeming to mind it as he works to extract the other spear. "You keen on getting ye the arrows back or shall I snap 'em?"

"Easier to refletch than to fashion from new." Liliana only reslings her bow once she's certain the boar is actually dead, coming up to join Caytiv, seeming neither bothered by nor repulsed by the blood. Indeed, she kneels deep into it, shucking off her gloves, and after tucking them into her belt, begins to work the arrows out of the boar's flesh, though, barbed as they are, it's easier to push them through, preserving the head and shaft, but ruining the fletching, than pulling them out. It's rough, bloody work, "If I had been hunting man, Cay, you would not be speaking to me now." But there's humour in her reply as well, "Your throws were true. We should send the men to find her piglets. If they are old enough, we can add them to the feast."

Stragen's jaw remains open, especially at Liliana's quite unladylike work above the boar. In fact, she's practically in to her elbows. "And they're worried about you taking swimming lessons?!"

Liliana continues along, pulling free both arrows, wiping them clean on a scrap of cloth, before she rises, to allow the retainers to handle the preparation of the boar for the trip back to the tower, while the dogs are directed off to find the next beast, be it boar or deer, "And why should they not be?" Her tone drips with sarcasm, "I am…after all…a delicate Lady."