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Hunter in the Shadows


Stratics Veteran
Stratics Legend

Devon looked down suddenly, seeing his boot ankle deep in a pile of leaves. He swiftly looked up, seeing in the distance the contour of his prey, up and alert and looking in his direction. Before he could even react, the deer sprang to their feet and sprinted away. A smile played across his lips - he was in too good a mood to let his misstep bother him. Immediately, he gave chase.

What a beautiful night! He always wondered why he was so drawn to the nocturnal wilderness. Perhaps it was the one part of the day when he could truly be freed from the deception of the light - from enslavement under the sun where a man is led by the leash of the twin false kings of his eyes. In the shadows, the other senses were truly liberated from the tyranny of his sight, and were free to experience the forest, and everything else, in its most natural and perfect state. There was a lesson to be gathered from that, he thought.

Heavy steps thumped swiftly along, smashing twigs and crashing through leaves. He could neither hear nor see his prey now, yet he continued his pursuit. He could smell them. His animal hunger could practically taste them. He could feel their panic in the vague indications around him of their hurried flight, even in the dark. Following their path required so little effort, his thoughts wandered to earlier events...

He could barely contain his glee to watch Cardont strike down the Governor of Yew. A truly glorious sight! All of their talk of uniting and moving past their differences was irrevocably smashed to pieces with that single act. He had been, some days earlier, given pause at even the slightest prospect of cooperation under that ridiculous woman Dramora, but seeing this confrontation assured him now: Yew was all alone. His work had practically been done for him.

After some time he caught up with his prey, now too exhausted to get away from him. It was striking, he considered, how often his prey would immediately expend all of its energy in a panicked rush driven by fear and the basest of instincts. But this, he thought, was the difference between predator and prey. A good hunter is always patient, always biding his time until the right moment to strike, hiding in the shadows that prey are too blinded by the light to see.

Devon Hawkins executed the deer and slung it over his shoulder, carrying it back. Just to put a blue bug on top of all of these pleasing developments, The Woman that was at the outpost earlier said she would cook any meat he brought to her. He reveled at the thought. The last woman that cooked for him tried to murder him, decades ago. He decided that maybe he would be nicer to this one.

The burning of Yew, and a glorious feast to boot.

The Gods will be pleased.
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