Here's a sneak peek of White Stag Trials Chapter 6: Tales of Knotwood. You can read the rest of the chapter over on Channillo here. Curious about what Channillo.com is? I wrote about it on my Things I Use page. That's all for now, please enjoy and leave me a comment to let me know what you thought!
“You know we don’t have to hunt the boar right?” Edmin said with half a mouthful of bread.
“I know.” But Fin couldn’t shake the urge to start tracking one down. Signs of the massive Dire Boars surrounded them, uprooted trees, ditches in the ground, heavy hoof tracks and even piles of dung. It took more self control than Fin could admit to stop himself from picking a trail and hunting down one of the beasts. “We’ll probably run into one sooner or later though.” He said, more to reassure himself than Edmin.
They kept moving, heading deeper into the woods towards the mountain range that ran parallel to the long grassed plains on the other side of town. Fin figured that the Dire Wolves would build their dens in the mountainside where caves would have naturally formed.
Fin didn’t know the area, but he knew beasts. Every creature needs a place to rest, a food source and running water. He didn’t want to go after the den straight away, instead he hoped to find one of the wolves that was out hunting, preferably not in a pack. For that, they would need to find some Dire Boars, but it wouldn’t be of any use to do so this far away form the mountain range. They would need to spend almost an entire day traveling on foot to be close enough to start looking for the prey of their prey.
The hunting partners walked in at a steady pace. Fin was taking in his surroundings and resisting the urge to run towards the direction of every sound that might be Dire Boar. Edmin was also taking in his surroundings but in a different way to Fin. His eyes were wide and his mouth failed to close the full way, a smile pulling at its corners.
Edmin’s cheeks flushed a dull red, “Besides going into town for the market or tracking the White Stag when I saw it from the edge of my Pa’s farm, I haven’t seen much besides empty fields and muddy pigsties. The woodland may be normal to you, but to me it’s like a whole new world.”
Fin nodded, “I understand, but besides the forest surrounding Knotwood village I haven’t seen much of Anveil either.”
Edmin seemed taken by surprise at this, “I’ve just realized that I know so little about you.”
“Don’t let it bother you, there’s not much to know.”
“You might be right, but indulge me anyhow. It’s a long walk to those mountains so we best speed the journey with stories of Knotwood forest and the hunter Fin Wulfkin!” Edmin clapped his palms together, startling the nearby birds which ceased to sing for a moment.
Fin smiled and begun his tale, that he was the son of a blacksmith but pursued the profession of the males from his mothers side. His father had taken his mothers family name as she had no brothers to carry on the name, it seemed that that decision had altered how Fin was wired, he had no desire to craft tools from steel, instead he wanted the rush of blood he felt while hunting. His brother Terrin didn’t seem inclined either way, instead having an interest in the arcane. The varying interests under one roof meant a lot of interesting conversations, sometimes ending with raised voices.
“You speak of your family a lot,” Edmin commented after some time, “which - don’t misunderstand - is interesting, but I asked about you.”
Fin paused, “I suppose even this far from home I am concerned about what they would think of my choices.”
Something shot through the air, missing Fin’s ear by a hairbreadth, landing in the trunk of a tree up ahead of them. An arrow fletched with the feathers of a dull brown bird - maybe a quail - protruded from the bark.