I would love to tell you the morning of my first hunt dawned bright and clear. That is how all supposed epic events started in books. Nothing could have been further from the truth in my case. I awoke to clouds and light rain as I made my way to Ephraim’s house on the far side of the village. He was ready to go with horses hitched to a cart. I climbed aboard and off through the village we went.
Arcana is on a coast line and just across the bay from a large steppe region. We rode down through the village to the small canal that allows ships to travel south. Just seeing the vast lonely expanse across the water was intimidating. I may have also let my imagination increase my fear of what was to come. We stopped at the water’s edge and Ephraim unhooked the horses. For some reason even the best horses on this planet can not drag a cart across deep water. We swam the horses across and then pushed the cart. Ephraim explained as I became more skilled I could just ride a horse. For now using a cart was the most efficient option.
Once across we rode east out into the steppes proper. I could see animals moving among the grass and one appeared to be on fire. Ephraim called them Daemon horses and told me to ask Mickie for more information if I was curious. I was instructed to ignore them as they never attack unless provoked. Much in the same way as cattle, pigs and wild horses do here. My prey is to be the large rat and wild cats. I started slowly walking away from the cart keeping an eye on my surrounding. I finally spied a large rat and was stunned. I was thinking something like a cat or perhaps a small dog. This beast was huge, almost the size of a pony. With encouragement from Ephraim I inched forward. Closing in on the rat I took a swing I had practiced so many times. The rat simply dodged it and lunged at me.
I was knocked down and the rat was biting my elbow. It hurt, but the armor I worked so hard for was doing its job. I knocked the creature off me and began to run around the cart. The creature hot on my heels. Around and around the cart we ran. I would occasionally take a wild swing and the rat would dodge like it had done before. About the third lap I could hear laughter coming from the cart. Ephraim was in hysterics at our antics and it as kind of making me mad. Finally on lap number five he shot the rat dead with one arrow. Hopping off the cart he began to skin and gut the animal. I was starting to become a little ill and it dawned on me I had never seen anything killed before. Ephraim never looked up until he finished his task. The rat was now a pile of meat wrapped in a pelt. He place it in the cart and I climbed on board.
That wasn’t two bad for your first try, he said with a laugh. You got tqo swings in and only one small bite. After a short time we came to a small cabin over looking the bay. This is my hunting lodge Ephraim explained. Feel free to use it anytime. I am going to do some repair work around here. Why don’t you find another rat to test your skills on. Just be careful of any wolves in the area. They are still a bit to tough for you to handle. So I set off to try my luck again. This time I will succeed, I kept telling myself over and over as I left the hunting cabin.