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Seer Manual: The Hunt


mateolog
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OOC: This info is only available to those that know the location of the Seer’s cave and know their runic dialect.

 

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[!] A seer walks into the hidden cave of the order. Damp and dark the only light coming from luminescent mushrooms, lamps scattered throughout the cavern, and crystals which allow the reflection of these light sources. On the walls of the cavern the seer sees carvings of their predecessors, written in their runic dialect hidden from those that are not prepared for its knowledge. The seer is preparing for an event and looks for a particular part of the cavern to refresh their memory of the process. They wander around until they finally find it. The Seer manual’s chapter of the hunt with the depictions that appear alongside its runes. The walls read as such:

 

Seer Manual: The Hunt

A hunt is an essential part of forest dwarf society. It integrates both the spiritual and the martial aspects of the community in such a way that it helps keep the social balance of the dwarves of Hefrumm and the balance of Anbella. The roles in the hunt are divided into two: Hunters and seers.

 

Hunters

Hunting is not a right nor a privilege, it is a sacred duty of the hefrumm. The forest dwarves must hunt and keep the balance of Anbella to be able to fulfill their more prominent role in keeping Yemekar’s balance. This means that hunters may enjoy the thrill of the hunt but are expected to keep their senses and not fall into barbarism in the process.

Hunters are chosen by a seer or various seers for their combat skills and attitude towards nature. Attitude is by far the most important trait in a hunter, as lack of skill only harms the individual in the hunt, while a lack of proper attitude risks the wellbeing of the whole village. Attitude is one of the reasons why forest dwarves at times do not hunt with non-forest dwarves, due to the danger an improper hunt could bring. A hunter is expected to understand that the hunt is a necessary action for the balance of Anbella and acting disrespectfully towards nature will harm this balance. It is of extreme importance that hunters respect the animals they hunt, their spirits, the forest, and all which lives in the realm of Anbella. Failure to do so could lead to retribution from the spirits, and even the Brathmordakin. For this reason when one wants to go for a hunt alone they ask a seer for their blessing, only those dwarves with known skill and believer in forest dwarf morals are given a blessing to hunt alone, as they are not supervised by a seer, which means that the individual is believed by the community to be skilled enough to kill the animal without bringing it suffering.

 

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[!] Depiction of a hunter during a solo hunt.

 

It is also expected that the hunters will treat their gains from the hunt with as much respect as possible as not to anger the spirits of the fallen creatures. Respect is shown when every part of the animal is given a use, be it practical, or ceremonial. Hunters can show respect for their slain opponents by wearing their pelts, using the materials they gained from the hunt, and helping with the creature's burial. It is believed that by treating an animal honorably, the slain creature’s spirit will be thankful and guide the Hefrumm.

Hunters are entitled to a portion of the hunt; another part goes to the community, another to the tribunal. The heart of the slain creature must be buried so that the spirit of the creature can return to its kin and guide them, this is to be done by a seer. By allowing their dead to return to their kin the hefrumm form a connection not just to the spirits of the dead animals, but also the ones that live. For this reason, when hunting an animal, hunters must try to go for a painless death when possible. If an animal is too injured to fight back or run away, the hunters are not allowed to touch it; instead, they need to enable a seer to sacrifice it ceremonially.

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[!] Hunters carrying the gains from a hunt.

 

Seers

Seers in hunts serve as the diplomatic force between the spirit of the fallen animals and the forest dwarves. For such reason, they are heavily discouraged from partaking in the hunt. Their participation could lead to distrust from the spirits towards the seers which would in turn leave the hunting party and the village to the wrath of angered spirits.

Seers are responsible for electing the hunting party, hunters that they know are mentally and physically mature enough to partake in the hunt successfully and respectfully. A failed hunt is as much a fault of the seers that chose the hunters, as is the fault of the hunters.

Before the hunt the seers bless the hunters, ensuring there is no interference from vengeful spirits or evil entities. This is usually done by sacrificing an animal to the tribunal, usually one whose qualities would be useful in the hunt, once sacrificed the blood of the animal is used to bless three hunters which will hold the blessings of the tribunal during the hunt. These hunters tend to be the most experienced of the party and are in command of the hunt.

 

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[!] Depiction of hunters and a seer during a hunt.

 

During the hunt, they play assisting roles such as medics, trackers, and observants. If the animal cannot fight or flee anymore due to sustaining too many injuries, it is the seer’s job to kill the creature ceremonially. This prevents the fallen’s spirit from becoming vengeful for having suffered such a slow death. Once the animal has been taken down it is the seers that skin it and remove its parts. They ceremoniously remove the heart from the animal and plant it in the earth so as to enable its spirit to return easily to its kin. After a hunt seers can also create records of hunts where something special happened, or where they faced an interesting creature or difficult adversary. These records are usually painted on the walls of the seer’s caves and are said to be a way of communicating with the spirit of that animal when there is a need for its guidance.

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[!] Seer recording a hunt.

 

Seers are also to intervene if they see that the hunt has failed. A failed hunt happens when the creature has been dishonored and disrespected by the actions of the participants of the hunt. Harming the animal without care for how it dies is enough to consider the hunt a failure. Usually, this would consist of harming the creature so that it cannot fight back or run away. If a seer sees this is the goal of a hunter in the party, they must remove the hunter from the hunt, and if it is multiple hunters, it is the responsibility of the seer to end the hunt and let the animal(s) flee. If it’s too late and the animal is already doomed to death, it is the role of the seer to end its life ceremonially. If the creature has been treated without care and honor by the hunters, then the hunt has failed. Any seer present can call the hunt a failure, which would lead the hunting party to go through a process of forgiveness for their actions.

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[!] Depiction of a seer communicating with the animal spirits.

 

Failed Hunts

Brutality in a hunt is seen as a dishonorable action and an insult towards the natural world; hence, it is on the seer(s) that elected these hunters and the hunting party itself to repent. To repent for such actions, the seer(s) must guide the hunting party to the shrines of the tribunal; this is to say: Anbella, Belka, and Dungrimm.  There they are to give away all they have gained from the hunt to the tribunal. Bones to Dungrimm, the hide(s) to Belka, and the meat to Anbella. After this, the hunting party will gather around a fire and shed their blood one by one, praying to the fallen creature and explaining why the actions of the hunting party were reprehensible. If a party member refuses to do this, they will be tainted and not allowed to join hunting parties as they might bring the anger of the spirits and the Brathmordakin upon them and the village.

 

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[!] Failed hunts, it is believed, can cause curses, and are the reason for multiple monsters that roam the mortal realm.

 

The Tribunal in the Hunt

The tribunal is the group of Brathmordakin associated with the natural balance or Anbella’s balance. They make sure life can flourish and develop. Their roles are easily discerned in the hunt.

Anbella helps the mothers and the children to grow, protects them, and does not allow harm to come to them. In such a way, hunters should never target mothers or children as they are primordial for the upkeep of the ecosystem. Belka plays her part in the process of the hunt, the passionate challenge between hunter and prey, with only one winner. Then at the end of the hunt, Dungrimm is in charge, dealing with the creature's death and dividing the soul. The physical soul is shared between Anbella and the community of the hunter; meanwhile, the metaphysical soul is divided between Dungrimm and Belka; Dungrimm takes the soul to his hall to decide its fate after death; meanwhile, Belka’s part goes to guide the kin of the fallen creature so that their fallen can guide them.

 

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[!] Depiction of the Tribunal, the duality of Belka on the far left and right, Dungrimm on the left, and Anbella on the right.

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Ey, I'd love teh go on a 'unt with ye someday. I 'ave a ways teh go in learnin' teh way o' teh Seers.

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Ajax Frostbeard, having been enclaved away among the snow peaked mountains of Urguan, would only know the occasional passing hunter, offering them refuge and warmth on the cold mountain nights. He would himself be unaware of the hunters, but as a devote follower of Anbella, his need to give hospitality outweighed any thought of danger to welcome a stranger into his home. Upon receiving a copy of the manual from his son Bojakk, this would put many things to light for the aging dwed "Ah... well.. that'd explain the interesting attire.. good on them I suppose.."

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