The Eye of The … Lynx

(10 Fashanos 5115: The Landing)

I had just sat down in Town Square to play my harp when the man asked, “Who’s taking me hunting?”

I glanced at him and thought to myself, “He seems more than capable of taking himself hunting.” He was a tall elf with piercing crystal green eyes and auburn hair that could use a comb – and an even trim. The Huntmaster wore the scars on his chest and on his leather cloak with an unspoken assuredness that came with experience, lots of it. He moved with grace and spoke in measured, to-the-point phrases. No movement, not even in his speech, looked wasted.

He caught my glance and nodded to me. All of a sudden I realized that I might have just volunteered to go hunting with him. I did not even know his name, so I introduced myself.

“Pleasure ta meet,” he told me. Swell, I still don’t know his name. He continued, still speaking to me, of all people, “What shall we kill?”

He clearly had only one thing on his mind and I was going to have to answer. “Maybe when he learns how inexperienced I am he will be dissuaded and pat me on the head and head out,” was how my thinking process went. He joined me before even finding out the destination.

Oh, Luxie, this gig is up, you are going to have to play this out,” I thought to myself. I am fairly sure that particular thought pattern in my head channels my mother from time to time. I stood up, standing straight and as tall as I could manage.

“I usually kill warcats, m’lord,” I replied. I had no desire to confess my failings at the spider temple or krolvin to him. I waited for the inevitable guffaw and quick change of plans for a guy that looked overqualified by several factors for the warcats.

To my surprise, he answered, “Sounds perfect,” and I put my harp away and pulled out my sword and shield. There is a checklist in my brain before I go hunting.

  • Shiny spells? Enough for the warcat cave
  • Armor? Singing it still.
  • Songspells? Yes, all I can manage for now.
  • Mana? Nearly full
  • Someone knows where you are going and with whom? Everyone in the Square heard and saw the conversation.
  • Burden? None

So I called up what bravado I could muster and left the Square for whatever adventure just found me. (Sometimes someone really does have to drag me into hunting…) A couple steps and I was still in the corner of Town Square when I realized the man who had just started all of this was not with me. So I went back, looking for him. He was nowhere to be seen.

“I seem to have lost my hunting partner,” I tell my friends in the area.

“Careless of you,” Miss Guenn told me with a completely straight face.

In that moment, I realized I was looking forward to the trip, and I was disappointed. “Had he ditched me because he could not make up a reason to be bored silly in warcats?” and while the thought was a hopeful option a minute ago, it was now (another) hit to my self-confidence. But there was no sign of the Huntmaster anywhere.

“It really was careless of me.” I said with a sigh. I had to agree with Miss Guennwhfar. This entertaining verbal diversion would occupy my wits enough not to wallow in my dismay at the adventure that never got started.

“Well, it’s pretty odd,” Miss Guenn observed.

“Am I going to be fined for losing a man?” I asked, feigning a bit of playful worry.

“That depends. If he turns up dead you might be a suspect,” Mister Fupius said to me. He was going to play along, too, terrific!

“I can hardly wait to be a suspect in the murder of a Lord Huntmaster,” I gulped, and then smiled. “I know, I will work on my innocent look!”

“I think you’re pretty good at that already,” Mister Fupius offered.

As I put away my hunting gear and sat down by the Old Oak Tree with my harp again, Miss Guenn was singing an impromptu little fun ditty to sing to add to this silly pretense with a smirk.

“He was my man,
But he done me wrong.
Now he’s dead
And I’m a singin’ this song.”

“I better start practicing now for my interrogation,” I told them all with a wink.

Mister Fupius proceeded to refresh my shiny magic spells, and the silly fun was behind us. My mind turned to the song that had been fresh in my dreams last night as my hands wandered aimlessly on my harp. It was elusive, hesitant, sending me conflicting messages, and I was pretty scared of committing to it without more to go on.

“Where were you headed, anyway, Luxie?” Mister Fupius wanted to know.

“Warcats.”

“Of course you are.” he replied.

“I figured for sure he would be all … ‘I hunted war cats 200 years ago,’ and beg off for more experienced company,” I confessed to everyone who was listening. There was some disappointment in my voice.

Now, dearest reader, you may be thinking the story ends here. Not at all, because the next moment, the Lord Huntmaster wandered back into the square from wherever he had been lost.

“I’m sorry, that was my fault…Are you ready?” he asked me directly. What did I say about no wasted words? So I put my harp away, and pulled out my hunting gear, nodding at him.

“I am so relieved I am not going to be interrogated about your disappearance now,” I chuckled as I told him.

“Let’s rock,” he encouraged me.

I noticed a striped lynx as we left Town Square. I saw it again at the gate, and by the time I had climbed to Old Mine Road, I was sure the lynx was following us. He pulled out a colossal silvery rolaren war axe, and showed it to me. Wow, it was such an impressive looking weapon. While the metal and crafting were clearly superb, what caught my attention were the four selanthian bloodjewels lining each side of the handle. Each gem had a word cut into it, and I read them, Strength, Honor, Valor, Defeat, Despair, Faith, Friendship, and Hope.

My mind did not really have time to delve further into those poetic inscribed words. Perhaps some day I will get the opportunity to hear that story, but now, we were at the fire cave.

I had no idea what to expect, so I sang a lullabye to the first warcat, and the hunt was on. This was a hunt I am extremely comfortable with, I have been hunting here for a number of promotions. Over the course of the next 20 or 30 minutes, I learned ever so much about ranger hunting! He was kind enough to answer all my questions as I expressed wonder over something and another.

After my first strike at the warcat, he gestured and there were vines attacking the warcat right out of the very ground! They bound the warcat as well as attacked. Before I knew it, he gestured again, this time at me, and I felt an invisible force guiding my sword arm as I struck at the warcat. That invisible force was a huge boon to my swings.

But there was also the Lynx. He had no name at all, but he would attack, too. What an incredible hunter the lithe creature was. No hesitation, he just pounced and tore into an opponent. These moments of awe-inspiring combat were just beautiful between the Huntmaster and the Lynx. Both of them outclassed me, yet they were gently helping me on my hunt. There was really nothing to even be jealous about, it was a pure hunting adventure for them.

I learned he was from Ta’Illistim, and was only visiting the Landing area. There were more spells I saw him use, and something completely overwhelming about his weapon when it hit sometimes, but in the chaos of the hunt, it all just became a backdrop for the atmosphere. I expected him to be very good at what he did, he did not disappoint. His manners, reserve, and single-mindedness became the flavors that defined him with me, though.

I was so glad I had gone hunting with him, and let him know that as I thanked him for his company and assistance.

Back in town, he started lining up his next outing to go hunt something down and kill it. I learned at this point from Miss Gingie that his name was Levi.

Miss Gingie, and Mister Zhert headed off towards the next fighting engagement with the dark elf ranger, Huntmaster Levi and his Lynx.

Quite the combination, the elf and his lynx.

 

 

 

GSBardess

Author: GSBardess

A young bardess named Luxelle is currently learning her trade and hoping to one day make a name for her songs in GemStone IV. Follow along with her adventures in life and song.

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