***writers notes: this is a revised version of what is one of my frequently asked stories. Some things have been changed from the original so even early fans and new readers can enjoy it.
I simply am posting the first Chapter to get feed back since the main site refused to publish my stories for some reason it been a whole week since I first hit the publish button I'm hoping the forum can send some feed back. That being said the story is long and I understand if you can't read that long of a story so I recommend you get a warm drink relax in your most comfortable position and be tranposted to a world of fantasy. Please enjoy the read.*** Chapter One The first steps.
On a lonely road leading into the busy trade village of Knotsvill was a lone tall man wearing a fine heavy river rat coat. The man had his hood up around his head to block the cold breeze that blew up to his left.
The stranger walked down the road past the mostly vacant fields where most of the crops have already been harvested. Memories of his own childhood helping his elder sister and father harvest and clean the crops weeks before the first frost came to mind as he passed the fields.
That should be around this time as being on the North Island the first snow fall regularly starts in about two weeks after the arrival of the eleventh new moon. The village of Knostvill is in the eastern part of the North Island under the rule of King Bach and his well funded knights of the fifth dragon white Godling. They are the main force that King Bach uses to hold his iron grip around the North Island that has been used to civil wars all over control of the rivers that cut through the North Island for trade that is the back bone of the economy of the North Island.
The civil wars have been long over and the North Island has prospered under the guidance of King Bach even if his rule as King of the North Island has been struck with outside influence. Walking down towards the huge wooden gate the stranger can see the hill on the other side of the village that has the oldest tree in the Knotsvill through the gate entrance. Memories of late summer picnics with his father, mother, and sister after a hard days work come to mind as he steps through the gate.
Evenings topped off with a sweet candied fruit as payment for working so hard with father out in the fields given to his elder sister and him by his mother. Most autumn days would end like that after working before Sun up till Sun down there would be a sweet as a reward a highlight of the day sometimes when the crops didn't grow as good as last year his sister would give him half of her sweet to end his hunger pains.
Once in the village he looked around it's much more different then what he remembers from his childhood. The once small but wealthy village was often left undefended, but now there is a watchman tower near the gate even if the guard lays in it snoozing it's a huge improvement. The buildings mostly new looking were not made of wood, but now are made of solid brick and stones nothing like how most of the buildings used to be back in his younger years.
These new buildings made Knotsvill much more cramp as the buildings left very little space in between each other. One of the new buildings the stranger noticed is a large pub that has it's lights on and seemed to have most of the people that live in or around Knotsvill inside the pub. Trying not to stick out as much the stranger headed towards the pub hoping to rest his feet and catch up on a late dinner.
Outside of the pub are five old men passing around a water skin filled with the smelliest ale the stranger has ever smelled in his life. As the stranger passed by these men an old man wearing decent clothing with bushy white eyebrows and a neat short beard finished his swig of the water skin and exhaled once he saw the stranger pass in front of him.
"Hey! Yeah you with the coat. I know you don't I?" the old drunk says while he swayed back and forth as he spoke. "Ya' daft son? I'm speaking to ya' I is." The stranger stopped walking and turned to face the drunk.
The drunk smelled just as bad as his dank water skin filled with ale and a hint of dried piss. "What in the nine trials do you want old timer." The stranger says to the old man trying his best to withstand the old man's odor.
"Hey watch your tongue young one. I'm a respected merchant in this village." The old man spoke as the rest of the drunks laughed at his exaggerated sense of grandeur. "Hey.
I know you don't I young one?" The stranger grew tired of this drunks failing memory. "No you drunk I don't associate myself with drunks or merchants so I really doubt you know me at all drunk." "Of course I do.
Your the old Talvers boy aren't you?" The drunk old man spoke with a bit more sense of clarity almost as if he sobered up for a split second. "Your mother owned what is now my shop your father land was the richest soil of the old Knostvill before the rebuilding, before the death and killings." Talvers there's a name the stranger hasn't heard spoken in half a life time.
"I'm not. Your memory is failing you drunk." The stranger spoke as he pushed past the old drunk and went into the pub. "Must've. The Talvers boy wasn't such a sour mannered child!" The old drunk says furling his brow and taking another swig of the ale filled water skin as the others protest him taking an extra swig.
Once in the pub the stranger saw a lively scene of men drinking and eating at tables while bar maidens move through out the pub with trays full of mugs of ale and beers. Some men played a dice game called Havoc next to a bard who tried to sing of a story of the Crimson Streak while playing his string instrument over the cries of bar maidens fighting off the occasional advance of drunken men.
The stranger saw a lone seat near the bar where he can order a beer to wash out the dust from his travels out of his throat. While walking up to the bar he noticed a few non humans sitting near the back some looked like slave elves while one stuck out as a dwarf sharing her pitcher of beer with the slaves.
Many of the humans seemed ok with the non humans sitting in the same pub drinking with them. Very progressive thinking the stranger thought to himself as most human in the North Island are in fact racist towards non humans making them live in separate often walled off ghettos. As the stranger sat on the bar stool he noticed it was wobbly and warm also taking note that the bartender is walking up to him. "You would do best to take your beer and find somewhere else to drink son." The bar tender says as he puts his hands on the bar top.
The bartender has a bald head shiny from sweat with a long handle bar mustache above his lips he is in good shape for a man of his age then again he must be to be able to toss broke drunks who can't pay their tabs out of the pub.
"That seat is reserved and trust me you don't want to piss that guy off.
He likes to start fights and make trouble. Its not worth the seat trust me there is always more seats in the back with the non humans." The bartender says to the stranger as he puts a glass of beer in front of him. "Thanks for the warning old man, but I can take care of myself besides I'm not making any plans to stay long." The stranger takes the mug of beer in his gloved hand and drinks all of it in one big gulp washing down the dust from his long walk to Knotsvill from Drowton a harbor village even further north near the coast.
"The names Gordon where you from stranger?" The bartender asked him as he refilled his mug. "You don't have the look of a traveling merchant or a tradesman from a guild." Gordon stares at the man in front of him.
He wore a fine river rat coat and what seemed to be a dark blue shirt and noticed his pants were dusty more than likely from a long walk earlier in the day when the wind was much stronger.
"I'm not a traveling merchant or a tradesman. Just a traveler looking for someone." The stranger said as he pulled his hood off revealing his scared up face.
The scar that stuck out the most was a fresh one that went from the top of his skull down past his left eye, but besides that scar the strangers face is covered in small scars some old and faded while some still have a slight redness to them revealing how fresh they are. "Bounty Hunter are you?" The bartender says as he looks around for any known criminals or wanderers with bounties on their heads. "Just do me a favor take the fighting outside I'd rather not clean up any more blood then I already have to." The stranger was about to say something when he noticed the pub gone silent.
"Who's that sitting on my seat? Ta' fuck ya' think ya' are?" A booming voice said from the pubs entrance. "Seating ya' ass in my seat." The stranger coolly turned around with his mug of beer in his hand. The man that is quite bothered by his seat being taken is six feet tall and as so wide he has to enter the pub turning sideways to fit through the doorway. He has chain mail covering half his body from his head draped down to half way down his chest with tough looking hide pants adorned with some boar skull on the front as some sort of belt buckle.
The behemoth had a wabber jack club tied around his body with a rope. Wabber jack clubs are wooden clubs drilled hollow filled with an iron core to add strength to it. "Your accent is North Island, but your no Lord." The stranger tells the behemoth in front of him. No sooner had the words left his mouth then the whole pub seemed to take a step back giving the behemoth space to walk. The stranger took no mind as the behemoth took a few steps closer to him as he drank his beer.
"Ta' devils do ya' be babbling about?" The behemoth asked as he stopped walking and tried to study the stranger. "Only a Lord or someone of Lordly title can hold reserves on anything even wobbly stools in shit covered pubs." The stranger said after he swallowed the last of his beer and turned around to order another noticing the bartender is now at the end of bar. The behemoth blinked twice before he spoke up roaring out at no one in particular in the crowd of villagers in the pub.
"He just told me to shove off 'idn't he?" Taking a second to comprehend just how mad he really is the behemoth continued. "You fucking cock felter!" The behemoth yelled out as his face got flush with anger he rushed over to the stranger getting to him with almost bewitched speed.
The behemoth grabbed the strangers shoulder tightly and with ease he flung the stranger who flies past the Pub doorway past all of drunk men loitering in front of the pub crashing into a wooden cart. The drunk men looked at the mess in front of them where they expected the stranger to be dead or at the very least mutilated.
The stranger stirs in the wreckage of broken wood as he got up and dusted off his river rat coat just as the behemoth roared out of the pub.
Soon as he did the group of men scattered out of his way. The behemoth stood there surprised that the stranger is still standing. "Ya' a tough bastard aren't ya? Good not many actually get to know my name before I pummeled them into a paste of meat that I wipe off my club. I'm Bunkosh known warrior of the hundred bandits and I-" "What did you call me?" The stranger says interrupting Bunkosh as he was about to brag about how many men he has killed.
Bunkosh blinked twice noticing the man was more angered over being called a cock felter then how he was flung like a child's doll. "Ya' fucking mad man. Ya' got balls on ya' I'd give ya' that. Someone remember to put that on his gravestone. This man here had some balls on him." "What did you call me?" The stranger said his voice filled with more anger the second time he had to repeat himself.
He cranes his neck and looks up staring at Bunkosh defiantly.
The dwarf woman who was sharing her ale with the elves yelled out from the crowd. "Cock felter! He called you a cock felter twice!" Some of elves chuckled while the rest looked scared and kept quite hoping to not start any trouble.
The whole village seems to be up now looking on at the two men sizing each other up. The stranger calmly walked up to Bunkosh and drew a line on the dirt in front of him with the tip of his boot. "You won't make it past this line while awake and on your feet." The stranger says as he stands perfectly still a few feet in front of Bunkosh. "Ya' think so little man?" Bunkosh says as he thinking that this man is a complete lunatic.
"Ya' lost your mind if ya' think ya' can best me. It's alright tho' I'll just have to beat some sense back into ya'!" Bunkosh charged at the stranger like a wild beast. The stranger stood still until Bunkosh was almost on top of him then he flipped his river rat coat to the side and jumped up driving his knee into Bunkosh nose with deadly precision. The blow caught Bunkosh by complete surprise he couldn't even block the swift knee if he even wanted to as he ran right into it.
Bunkosh fell forward his face slamming down on the line the stranger drew in the dirt he is completely unconscious while his nose is steadily oozing blood. The crowd around the pub is awe struck.
Bunkosh has been hassling the villagers for the past week. Even the knights that guard the Mayor have been hesitant to act on him and his band of bandits that take to the roads just beyond the village of Knostvill. This has encouraged Bunkosh to bully the villagers to basically do anything he desired.
While the villagers knew that Bunkosh layed fallen has elevated his hold on the village this will anger his patron and might cause the bandits to attack the village even this stranger who dealt with Bunkosh so easily might be a danger to them.
The non humans immediately spread out to give this man a wide birth to walk. The human villagers kept there eyes on him half scared, but trying their best to not show it. The stranger didn't bother to look at any of them besides he was still preoccupied with finding the man he is looking for and finishing his drink.
Soon as he came to the seat Gordon strolled over a smile on his face. "Glad you took care of him. He's been a bit of a nuisance to us here for quite some time." "He should've know better then to bother a man in middle of his drink." The stranger says as he looks at the empty glass in front of him.
Gordon takes the hint and pours the man a beer. "Yeah lots of fights start that way around here. You would think people would be more civilized up in this part of the north, but truth be told much hasn't changed since the inner wars." "You served?" the stranger asked as he drank his beer.
The rest of the pub seemed to go back to normal as if a giant of a man wasn't toppled over in front of the pub. "Aye under Good King Flanjur.
Third born son of the late king Auntur the Great, but truth be told his land had a fair sense of rule. The mayor served under him as well, but turned as soon as he could once Good King Flanjur lost Knotsvill to his brother King Bach. King Flanjur suffered such a poor death too I was there till the last of us when King Flanjur angled for our safe escape in exchange for his life.
I still honor his rule in this pub where non humans and humans can interact without danger as there are no Inquiry agents allowed in my pub." Gordon says as he stares at a portrait of Good King Flanjur the kindest king of the inner wars. The inner wars were a series of long drawn out wars for power between King Bach second born his elder brother Duntur rightful heir to the throne and youngest brother Flanjur who rejected the radical ideas of the Inquiry a religious sect that believe that humans are meant to rule all on the gift no matter the cost.
Ultimately the one who won the rule of all of the North Island was King Bach thanks to his mercenary armies along with his knights funded by the Inquiry who gained a close seat to the king as a reward for their loyalty. "A good king he was I heard of him. Stories of his heroism reached far past the North Island although not to sound insensitive, but have you a room for sale as my feet grow tried of the road." The stranger asked Gordon as he stretched out his arms to exaggerate his need for a room.
"Aye we have one. It's reserved to our hunter, but I'm sure you don't care about that." Gordon says as he refilled the strangers cup. "A hunter you say?" The stranger asked intrigued as he sips on his beer. "Aye a hunter works for the village medical pusher.
She be out on the hunt for the past two nights." Gordon says as he looks over towards the non humans. "She?" The stranger asks as he nearly chokes on his beer. "Did you say she as in a woman?" "Aye she as in a…woman.
Works for the medical pusher gathering ingredients to pop the boils and other common problems of the village." Gordon says thinking the stranger may be a bit daft in the head as he picked a fight with a man twice his size and can't wrap his head around a female hunter. "Never mind the person I'm looking for isn't here at all.
How much do I owe for the drinks?" The stranger asked as he stood up from the bar. "On the house my good friend. Save your finsta for the inn down the road." Gordon says as he takes the empty mug away from the bar top. "Good luck on your hunt." The stranger walks away from the pub pulling his hood back up to block the cold air of the night.
Then steps on top of Bunkosh unconscious body and heads back out to the forest where he set up a small camp earlier that day. As he walked down the dirt path guided by the patchy starlight peeking through the clouds in the night sky a tree caught his eye. The tree had a single iron ball shot embedded into the trunk.
The stranger placed his hand over the iron ball feeling the texture change from the smooth metallic feel of the iron ball to the rough feel of the tree bark. The memory of his last night in Knotsvill flooded back into his head.
It was a late summer night much like any other with him and his sister helping their father load up the cart to be taken to market the next morning. The last sack full of vegetables were packed away now his sister and him raced back to the house to get the sweets they earned today.
They ran straight from the barn past the well and onwards to the house they lived in. That's when they heard a horse galloping at them from the gate that leads from the village to their small farm.
They dived out of the way watching their neighbor jump of his horse and talk to their father they ran up to the two men and only heard the end bit of the conversation. "The town we must get their quickly before they come to our farms!" Their neighbor says as he jumps back on his horse and rode back to the town in a full gallop. His sister and him went to their father who shakes his head as their neighbor rides back down towards the village.
"Kids in the house go with your mother." Then the sound of a horse neighing took them all by surprise. Their neighbor horse ran down the road throwing his rider on to the ground.
As three men covered in rough hide and leather armor chopped their neighbor in pieces with large cleavers. "In the house now!" They ran to their mother who had a scatter gun in her hand quickly loading the gun as his sister passed a hand pistol to her father and loaded another pistol.
His father grabbed a pitchfork that was leaning next to the door and got ready to fight the bandits. With a quick aimed shot he took one of them down then stabbed the another with the pitchfork driving it and the man to the ground twisting it making sure to kill the bandit.
When a pistol shot smashed right into his fathers skull. The bandit charged past the doorway and got a belly full of buck shot from the scatter gun. His sister and him then left the bandit bleeding out on their floor as their mother dropped the scatter gun and took them past the farms into the woods. They stayed in the tree lines barely able to make out the rocks and tree roots that jut out of the ground as they walked around the village.
Half way past Knotsvill they saw the sky light up as a fire was now raging in the middle of the village. Their mother encouraged them to keep moving on and not to pay any attention to the horrors going on around them. The sounds of death, rape, and general mayhem surrounded the family well past the village as survivors tried to flee from the village only to be hacked down by bandits on horseback.
Now deep in the woods near the main trade route to the west the family layed low hoping to avoid the bandits. The sounds of bandit riders charging up and down the road scared him and his sister who looked at their mother wondering what to do next. Their mother was also at a lost knowing the village was done for and the nearest village was Lowton a good days walk from where they are both the young children won't be able to make the long walk through the woods and past the river.
"Listen here children stay close to each other. Mommy going to get help Charisa stay with your brother don't let him out of your sight. I'll be back before you know it." Their Mother said tucking them into a cavity under a large tree marking it with a cross of Galvalis the mother of light with her ear ring so the mother Goddess can watch over her children as she tried to make it to Lowton and back with men to drive the bandits off.
The hours ticked away and the feeling like their mother abandoned them soon washed over him and his sister. Charisa decided to peek out once she heard someone walking towards them hoping it's their mother back with help.
She still had her fathers pistol with her so she slowly cocked it and peeked her head out in case of it being bandits. Only to be grabbed by a rather tall and smelly bandit along with another bandit on horseback as he kept watch over his comrade.
"Look what we have here. Must've missed all the action hiding in this tree." A bandit said holding his older sister by her hair like a prized rabbit fresh from a hunt. "What's your name young one?" "She doesn't look that young to my eyes." Said the bandit on horseback as he ogled her body with a lustful look on his face.
"Aye. She looks just about old enough." The other bandit agreed as his eyes also wondered over his elder sister's tight young body. The young brother came charging out of the tree cavity swinging at the bandit holding his sister only to be kicked away like a common mutt by the much larger stronger bandit.
"Ah. She has a small one with her. Might be worth something to a slaver don't you think?" The bandit on horseback asked the other bandit looking at the young boy holding the spot where he was kicked.
That's when Charisa pulled out her father pistol loose from her belt and shot the bandit holding her by her hair directly in the face. Catching him by complete surprise as his head wiped back from the iron ball impact. "You little shit!" The bandit on horseback yelled out as he pulled his cleaver out and made his way to her.
"Run!" Charisa yelled out as she ducked his swing and tried to reload the pistol with iron ball. "Don't stay here he'll get us both. Run!" The bandit turned his horse and went for another swing and got Charisa just after she finished reloading the pistol. He laughed as her small body was lifted in the air and fell behind a fallen rotted tree log. The younger brother now was left completely alone with this beast of a man.
He looked for anything he could use to defend himself. He spotted a large thick tree branch and struggled to pick it up. The bandit heard him struggling to lift the branch. "Oh, I almost forgot about you. I guess one slave is better then none." He said as he began to trot his horse closer to him. "Don't struggle now or I might have to hurt you like I did to your little friend there." The younger brother managed to pick up the branch and swing it at the horse as he balanced himself on the balls of his feet using all his strength to swing the heavy branch into the horses chest.
This caused the horse to buck wildly and tip over the bandit on top of it. The bandit fell hard just on the other side of the fallen log. The young brother picked up his branch and raised it over his head letting it fall on top of the bandits skull.
Then he picked it up and kept hitting the bandits head until he heard the skull crack and the bandit stopped breathing. The young brother looked over the log at his sister's lifeless body when he saw the pistol that belonged to their father laying next to her. He picked it up and began to start walking in the same general direction he thought his mother went in the hopes to run into her.
The strangers day dream was broken up by a weird cry. He lifted his head and waited for the sound again. This time he heard it loud and clear it was a wild boar screech and heading right towards him.
Quickly he jumped up grabbing for a low hanging branch and he pulled himself up into the tree. He look down and saw the three foot tall boar looking right up at him his tusk sharp as any blade with purple eyes a clear sign that the boar was hexted. The boar screeched again and circled around the tree.
Making it clear that the boar has decided to wait for him to come down. The stranger decided that he rather not have to deal with the boar so will wait him out. Leaning back on the tree with his hands tucked behind his head he started to fall asleep. The nap was short lived as the stranger felt something amiss with the boar quietly facing away from the tree instead of rubbing it's tusk on the tree bark.
Then three quick flashes of silver came out of the bushes on the opposite side of the tree followed by the boar squealing loudly in pain. The stranger peeked down seeing the flashes of silver were in fact arrows that were shot into the boar side just in time to see two throwing blades be flung at the boar but miss hitting the tree trunk instead. The boar charged at the bushes, but was stopped when a long wooden staff poked out of the bush and smacked the ground repeatedly. Then out of the bush came an elf woman.
She had a brown cloak over herself but as she was in midair the stranger saw she wore a dark green shirt with tight brown pants and tough leather boots. The elf woman came down with the staff slamming the wild boars head making a loud thunk noise echo in the stillness of the night air. "Gotcha now!" The elf woman says in a Ortanish elf accent. "Think twice before you succumb to the wishes of the Dark Wizard!" The whole scene was quite hilarious to the stranger as he watched the elf scolded the boar for being hexted.
He kept quiet wondering just how the elf woman might subdue the wild hexted boar. The elf woman began to smile thinking she caught the boar by surprise as she circles around him her staff pointing right at the boar. "Now you will be judge by the Gods in the nine trials.
Prepare for death!" The elf woman yells out as she begins to beat the wild boar with her staff to no avail the boar just shrugged off the swats from the staff.
The boar snorted and charged at the elf woman who pounded the staff on the ground and lifted herself up into the air. Throwing another blade to the boar hitting it on the joint of the shoulder blade causing it to slow down significantly. The boar squealed in pain and went to charge again this time the charge is much more indolent thanks to the blade driving itself ever deeper with every step it takes.
The elf woman stood on top of the her staff with a much larger blade in her hand. "I will now have you to die you insolent blaspher of good boars!" With a dive towards the boar the elf woman managed to drive the blade into it's back causing it to screech in pain.
The elf woman rolled on the ground and realized her blade was now stuck into the boars back. "Ah. Crap." With her blade embeded into the boar and her wooden staff left behind the boar she was now essentially unarmed. She tried to reach for a arrow in her quiver when she saw the boar turn and charge at her. The stranger has seen enough not wanting the world to suffer having the loss of such a funny elf he pulled out his Talavinny battle axe out from his side and jumped down from the branch.
The attack was a surprise to the elf woman and the boar as he manage to kill the hexted boar by driving the axe into the boars skull. The elf woman gasped once she saw the human kill the hexted boar in one swing.
"Gah'olly!" The elf woman exclaimed her amazement for the strong human which was short lived as she now saw him struggling to free his axe from the boars skull. "Damn beast let my axe free!" The stranger mumbled as he tried to rip his axe free from the boar carcass. "Hey! That was my kill. You know he is mine by right." The elf woman says as she steps around the dead boar and picks up her staff.
"Oh…yeah? Well who killed it? By my right it should be mine." The stranger says feeling the axe start to give way. "I hunted this beast for two nights. Lost half my quiver looking for this boar besides what can you do with a hunk of dead hexted meat?" The elf woman says as she pokes the boar with her staff to make sure it's dead. "Plenty like eat it's meat, but tell you what since you hunted this beast and wounded it you can take whatever meats you desire.
Then since I did kill it saving your life mind you I'll keep the rest." The stranger says after he pulls his axe free sending specks of blood flying from the boars skull and landing on the elf woman. He noticed her fare looks for the first time.
Her face thin, but not gaunt with a small heart shaped nose blue eyes with small sprinkles of orange in them. Her height tall clearly not a elf born from slavery with bright brown hair covering her ears. The way she carried herself and looked reminded the stranger of the Southern plain elves, but they way she spoke she has an Ortanish elf accent from the Midlands.
The elf woman gave the half decent deal a thought and agreed. "Fine, but stop looking at me like that." "Uhh…right." The stranger said looking away from the elf woman beautiful face not before catching her smile.
"I'll only want the most expensive meats, but no changing your mind after. Swear on the dragon?" The elf woman asked the stranger. "Yes. I swear on the dragon." The stranger mumbled surprised that the elf woman thought him a cheat after all he did save her life.
"You swear on the dragon?" The elf woman asked again this time looking directly into the stranger eyes. "I said I would already now hurry up or I'll have nothing, but rotted meat to eat." The stranger says a bit annoyed that the elf wouldn't take his word the first time. "Great shouldn't take long." The elf woman said as she began to cut the boar carcass open and pull out the vital organs.
First the heart then the testicles along with the liver and finally the brain which was much easier to take as the human axe made a nice even split on the boars skull. "You about done there?" The stranger asked looking at the dead carcass get smaller and smaller as the elf woman took the organs she wanted. "Yeah, it's all yours." The elf woman said placing all of the organs in different bags she carried in her traveling bag.
"Finally. I'd thought you would leave me with nothing but the bones and fat." The stranger says as he bends down to the dead boar and crosses the carcass with the sign of Galvalis the mother of light then pouring purification salts over the body he whispered in Valhlic the oldest known languish on the gift.
The body shimmered a bright glow then the smell of pure white roses wafts in the air as the boar carcass shrinks down back to it's normal size before it was hexted. "Wow! You don't look like a monk of the east or a holy priest. Where did you learn magic from?" The elf woman asked as she stared at the blessed carcass. "What do you mean?
Just how do I look like in your eyes?" The stranger shoots back at the elf woman. The elf woman thought about it for a second then says quite confidently. "You have the look of a dishonored military general who used cruel and inhumane methods on the battlefield and is now a fugitive bandit king fighting every day to survive now that your men have abandoned you for a new bandit king after years of failure as a bandit King, because you still are haunted by your past wanting nothing, but the best for your men with the least amount of civilian casualties to somehow make up for what you've done in the past." "You've quite the imagination elf." The stranger says amazed that she could make up quite a story just from knowing him all of five minutes most of which she spent bent over picking over a hexted boar carcass.
"No. I'm no bandit king or disgraced General. I'm just a traveler looking for someone." "Oh I see. Well I work for Grace the Herbalist back in Knotsvill. She can make a seers drink for you to help in your search. She would be glad to help. I'm sure." The elf woman says as she watches the stranger rope up the carcass by the hooves and offers him a spare net she carried in her traveling bag.
"Thanks for the net I guess it will make it easier to carry then chopping the meat into smaller pieces or carrying the hunk of meat in hand." The stranger says as he rolls the carcass into the net.
Gordon didn't mention the hunter was an elf woman then again his free thinking manner of non humans could explain why he left such a big detail out. "I'd love to, but I don't make a habit of following woman with random hexted boar organs into the forest especially if I just met them." "Oh why not?" the elf woman asked in complete seriousness that made the stranger chuckle at her naivety. "Well at least tell me your name." He asked the elf woman. "Oh my name is Eve of the Ortanish tribe employed hunter for Knotsvill." Eve said with a friendly smile to the stranger.
"What's yours?" "My name is Buck. Buck Talvers."