1220.3 Hungry Like the Wolf

Fieltarn wanders the forested area outside of Autun, aimlessly. It is the middle of October, several days after his change.
Signs of the boar rut are all in evidence within the forest as he moves and explores the area. He comes upon the edge of a sheep farm within sight of the Temple of Janus and discovers a dead ram, with obvious signs of being gored.

(OOC: these events happen before Fieltarn joins Mons Electi.)

Relieved to finally stumble upon this human settlement, Fieltarn drops his belongings at his feet, and the heavy saddle which he had to carry over his shoulder to cross a last patch of wood, too dense and thorny for any horse.

At first he's interested by the Temple of Janus (if he can discern its ruins), but when he notices the blood, his instincts have him unnecessarily put a hand over his parens' knife, at his belt, while he calmly remove the wool mitten from the other with his teeth. Once both hands are free, he flexes his fingers, numb from the early frost of fall, in case he'd have to cast a spell... still bemused by the gored ram.
Too far, and well past our last change to be your doing. Right, my savage friend?

Fieltarn stands there for a moment, still close to the edge of the forest, listening for any sound of animals. Not expecting any answer from his now dormant passenger.
Hmm... still, we wouldn't want some angered shepherd to think we actually had anything to do with this, and track us thereafter.
((Fieltarn casts Trackless Steps ReTe10 before getting too far from the trees and approaching the ram))
CT : 10 Rego +1 Terram +1 Stamina +Aura 0 (assuming "neutral"?) + 1d10, roll 2 = 14

Then he tries and takes his bearings while slowly walking to dead ram. He's more interested to evaluate how much daylight hours remains and what weather he should expect, than of actual directions since he had simply chosen to trust Dana's whims to guide his steps, so far.
Seems like you actually had something in mind, oh Mother.
((Per 1 + Wilderness Sense 3 + 1d10, roll 3, assuming simple roll. Total = 7 )).
(Survival 4, if it helps, too)

Closer to the gory scene, Fieltarn watches for tracks or other telltale signs that would explain what happened here. Then he inspects the ram's wound(s) too, naturally.
((Per 1 + Hunt 3 + 1(specialty tracking) + 1d10, roll 2 = 7 ))

That roll isn't quite good enough to get an exact read on the weather. The mornings are cool and frosty, but gets seasonably warm and is sunny.

It is entirely obvious that the ram (large one) was gored, and it was gored by a boar. A very large boar.

Well, it's that season for them... but such an attack is still unusual. As is the size.
He ceases concentrating on maintaining the Trackless Steps spell, and after a quick check to see if nobody approaches or may see him from a far(*), he decides it's worth casting a spontaneous spell, with fatigue. Assuming the wounds are few hours old, they should provides an temporary Arcane Connection, and Fieltarn puts his hands in them, unfazed by the blood.
"- Let's see how you're faring right now, sir Boar... "
Then, he concentrate his Intellego Animal capacities.... for a sense of the boar's current state of consciousness, as his magic reaches past the wounds... hopefully up to the rampaging beast...

((Fieltarn improvises Intellego magic, to sense the current state of consciousness of the Boar -InAn guidelines gives a base of 3 for such purpose, with +4 required for the Arc.Connection range, D:Mom, he aims for a effective level 15. 8 Intellego + 16 Animal +1 Sta. +1d10 roll 7 : 32 divided by 2 = 16 ))

(( (*) : oh, if necessary : +1 Per +3 Awareness, + 1d10, roll of 2 = 6.

You receive no information, you sense that your spontaneous spell was powerful enough to work, but something prevented the spell from accessing the mind of the beast. Also, you receive no information about the body of the beast.

" - Interesting... so maybe She did have a reason to lead me here." whispers Fieltarn, as he snaps out his concentration, and makes the best of grass and dewdrops to wash his hands from the blood.

After what he looks again at the ground, this time a few paces away to try and find where "Sir Boar" came from, and if he went back the same way or not.
(( +1Per + 3Hunting +1specialty 'tracking' +1d10, roll 3, = 8 ))

Tracking such a large beast is pretty easy for a while. However deeper into the forest the brush becomes too thick to pass easily. At one point the brush is so thick, and brambles so rough Fieltarn will take a wound if he passes through without protection. It's obvious the boar passed this way.

Being familiar enough with forests, boars, and their respective ways, Fieltarn isn't surprised. He drops his heavy belongings again, a sigh passing through his lips, drawn into a half-smile.He did not even tried to push his way when the undergrowth started to get too dense and thorny - better keep a clear escape way, if necessary... one I could still ride on, if need be.

He then sits on the magical saddle, calmly foraging in his travelling pack for bread and ham. Fieltarn takes the opportunity to rest for a few minutes, planning his next move, staring at the boar tracks thoughtfully all the while. Bjornaer, or some other shapechanger? I'd bet my vis on the former... but why the attack? Was the farm simply too close to your lair, for your tastes, Sir Boar? Or was it something more personal?

Keeping a good chunk of fresh ham on the side, he then launches an audible call to the forest, summoning the elusive Ferret Clan... October... they shouldn't be too lazy yet, and still looking for easy food.
((Fieltarn uses his Summoning ability to try and call about 10 weasels, as per his score/ability description, ease factor of 9 presumably : +2Com +4Summoning +1d10 roll of 3, = 9 ))

And while he waits to see if the weasels answers his summon ((he should have to wait for an hour, having only just met the ease factor, presumably))...

...Fieltarn gets to the brambles closer to the boar trail, looking for Boar's tuft possibly caught by the thorns as he entered them earlier. I may as well use the delay, and with any luck...
((+1Per +4 Hunting(with tracking) + 1d10, roll of 3 (again... :unamused: ) = 8 ))

He does get some of the boar's hair from the brambles.

A weasel does come by within the hour. "Yeah, waddaya want?" Every once in a while this happens when you summon an animal. The animal summoned isn't as friendly as usual, and it comes with an extra helping of attitude."My journey here was long and arduous, this had better be good."

Good,Fieltarn pick them up carefully, with his mittens, so as not to put too much of his own human smell on the hair.

Dang. Only one ?! Thinks fieltarn a bit dismayed. I must be rusty, let's hope he's in a good m--

And this had been a fine day so far. Well... Fieltarn brightens as best he can as he crouches politely to address the weasel, trying to convey understanding, in respectful but not submissive tones :

" - My apologies for the long journey. I have no doubt it was arduous, but it doesn't surprise me that you undertook it so valiantly, as the weasel clan is well known for its determination. Still, as a token of my appreciation for your trouble, I owe you at least a share of my ham, before we talk." He gives some of ham to the weasel, perfectly aware that such little animal should be cunning enough to notice that Fieltarn's has more, much more... (for its size, relatively).
((Thus, here's Fieltarn's attempt to mollify the weasel first, with flattery, ham, and implied promise for more of the later : +1Pre +1(first impression) +2 Animal Handling +1d10, roll of 3 = 7 , Let's hope the ham helps too.))

Hoping that the weasel may be a bit more favorably inclined, a moment later, Fieltarn addresses him again :
" There is a boar that I'm looking for. The one whose smell has surely not escaped your fine hunter's senses." Fieltarn shows the tuft of hair as further evidence of his own interest. "We're sitting on its very own trail, but he went through theses brambles, and unlike you I'm naturally ill-equipped for such thorny terrain. And obviously not as discreet. I'd be even more appreciative, if you troubled yourself by undertaking such glorious investigation, at least for little while... "What say you, Sir weasel?"
(( opening negotiations... +2Com + 2Animal Handling +1d10 roll of 1 , = 5 if it's a simple die...
if it's a stress die (fingers crossed), I did a subsequent roll of 2 , for a final total of : 2+2+(2x2) = 8 ))

"Yeah, yeah, I'm here, you don't have to try and butter me up." He does take and nibble on the ham and sample it. "Not bad. Those guys are going to regret sending me instead of coming themselves." he says absently.

"Yeah, that guys is bad news. He's new to this part of the forest. Killed my friend, Lenny. He was a bit too slow. What do you want to know about him?"

I take it Lenny was another weasel? My Condolences for you friend... did the boar had any reason to kill him?

Fieltarn changes his attitude, slightly. He puts down the rest of his ham between them, with an informal gesture that's suggesting "Go ahead if you want, we're almost "pals" now"((yep, Fieltarn is an optimist)).
Me, I'm just curious about him, where he likes to roam, or in which part of the forest his lair would be, and since you're saying he's new... how long has he been here, now?

Oh, and sure, he's savage, even for a... boar; I just crossed his last victim : a large ram, from the nearest farm, but does he kill that often? Also, I wonder if there's anything... unordinary about him.

"No, Lenny was the ram!

"See here, it's like this. We're here in the forest minding our own business, yeah, it's kill or be killed sometimes, but this guy comes in and starts tearing up the place. The boar is trying to protect his access to the ladies, if you know what I mean. I think there were a couple of other boars around here that took off when he came around. Didn't even fight him. He's bad news. I don't know where he's at right now. The sounder changes their location all the time. He's with them at nights. My advice is to find the nearest stream and follow it. You might get lucky."

I see... Good thing I'm only betting with myself nowadays, as it might "simply" be about a magical beast rather than some wizard, after all.
Well, you've been quite helpful.. err, sorry, I didn't catch your name... me, I'm Filtarn by the way, in case we meet again. Still, how about we horseback riding to your home, or closer to it at least? Even if I am to try my luck with the boar I'd better wait for the sunder to take their early afternoon nap... so we may as well cut short your own trip back, while looking for a stream.

Then, Fieltarn draws the sign of Epona over the celtic engravings of the enchanted saddle, and pronounces the triggering verse : " - A saddle to serve a mount, a mount to serve the rider".

As a horse appears between and below Ogmios' saddle, Fieltarn smiles, patting the magical if ephemeral creature. You were a funny poet, pater. But you sure were practical.

He adjusts and checks the straps of the saddle, and the rest of his heavy belongings over it. Then he rides his mount for the day at a careful pace through the less denser part of the forest...

((My intent : whether the weasel accept his offer or not (might as well foster future relationships, who know?), he intents to use a mount to look for a stream in the less denser part of the forest. As he's just said, he'd rather wait for noon at least, to try and get any advantage he can; so speed isn't really the issue here, but being as unfatigued as possible is, before a possibly tough encounter.))

"I'd rather stay close to home, you're moving further away. You could probably use a spear, you know. I've seen your kind use them before. I get the distinct impression that he's not as friendly as I am."

If you accept his good-bye he says, "Good luck and nice talking to you."

"Thank you, good day to you and your friends".

So, looking for the nearest stream/, rider and mount stop when they found it, and establish a small camp. no fire. / => ((+1Per +4Survival +1 forest specialty +1d10, roll of 9, = 15))

"A spear"... He had good intentions, saying that. But I might as well use a big cucumber, considering my martial abilities. yet, Fieltarn stays, waiting until noon as he muses over his options, reviewing his past encounters with savage animals, and how his repertoire of spell helped him at the time.

He's still bent on tracking the boar despite his doubts.
Even if the prospect of a face-to-face with the beast unnerves him, another part of him is exited, anticipating the hunt. And if it actually is a shapechanger, the encounter might be even more fascinating... and dangerous.
In either case, there was some magical resistance. Should I had visited the farm, and called for help? But involving mundanes in a hunt is always tricky... besides I would have been the bearer of bad news, a stranger even, with a Gift of the top. No, such matters are best handled alone, until I make some hermetic allies at least - provided I stay alive until then

A noon, refreshed, he resumes his tracking, seeing his own grinning reflection in the water where he washes his hands and face...
((Fieltarn follow the stream, until he finds track of the sunder. When/if the bushes and terrain become too tricky, he attaches his horse to a tree, asking for his patience and living his heavier equipment there
+1Per +4 Hunting/tracking + roll of 2 = 7))

Fieltarn does find the sounder, unfortunately, they are suprised by some indelicate footwork and flee. There wasn't a sign of the large boar, though...

Oups...dang. Fieltarn evaluates his options quickly : is the sounder still at least in voice range?

Yes, he can react in time.

Let's try the gentle way first...Thinks Fieltarn, as he urgently calls the sounder in their language :
" - Don't be afraid, I'm no hunter!!". sure... I just want to help... ... myself, and it's probably a stupid gamble.

Fieltarn stays were he is while he utters those words, removing quickly these darn mittens again, to show he has no "spear" and so as to be unhindered should they wouldn't listen... leaving him with the un-gentle option to fast-cast (??... hopefully).

((ooc : Since it's not that often that Fieltarn unabashedly lies to animals, I think he has neither time nor heart to put his Communication to good use, so I'll presume Presence 1 + Animal Handling 2 + roll of 3 (it's a curse) = 6 ))