The Hunt part three

Scene 3: The hole

The four brothers have in one way or another come down to the bank of the river, most likely wet and perhaps even cranky (that would be perfectly fine).

If they hit the Beast from the top of the waterfall, it will not take them long to find a blood trail. First clear and open. Later more and more sparingly. But it is clear that the Beast is hit.

If they did not shot at the Beast or shot and missed, then it is a little harder, but still not impossible. They are from Hochland, and they should benefit from this. Let them look around a bit along the shore and find some broken branches after a while.

Before they take off again, or perhaps while they are in the process of hunting, you should tell them that they are all wet, tired and very hungry. This is information Zigmund undoubtedly will try to ignore as long as possible, but it may be that the other brothers offer a different opinion. However, they may reasoned with if need be, but it is up to the players themselves.

They decide to have a break, or not, but things can still happen when you travel in the forest, especially when you travel at breakneck speed. It may well be that in their haste they do not notice a big beehive, sitting on one of the more low-hanging branches. It can go horribly wrong. A nearby bog or lake might be the remedy, but it is up to you as a game master, how or if that should develop. It could also be that they make a narrow escape, and then put beehive into use later.

They follow the tracks ahead and come to a small glade in the otherwise dense forest. In the midst of this glade there is a hole. A large and apparently deep hole with a diameter of well over six feet. Apparently a trap dug by some Hochlandic hunters, but in this case it is not covered by branches. It is already 'used'. Someone has walked straight into the trap and now there is a lot of guttural snarling from the bottom of the hole. Someone or something is down there.

Heinrich's shirt has been ripped, and one sleeve now has a great hole in it. In the subdued sunlight Zigmund can see a strange scar through the hole. It is almost like a pattern. Like letters, just more … artistic.

Cut.

Flashback: The beginning

Papa takes Zigmund aside. He smells of cherry brandy and poor personal hygiene. His balance is somewhat unstable, but it may also be due to the one leg not working as intended.

Papa has become suspicious of the younger brother, Heinrich, and wants Zigmund to tell how Heinrich have been behaving while Papa was away. He wants to know whether there has been anything out of the ordinary. Has Heinrich behaved 'strangely'? Are there perhaps any strange marks on the body? 'It' often physically manifests.

What Papa is hinting at is obviously that his youngest son is marked by chaos. If he has become one of the obscene and heinous gods’ disciples, those gods Papa has fought and survived. Those who are responsible for the kind of man he is today. Those who must be fought wherever they are. Whoever they are. Even the immediate family.

Whether or not Zigmund actually says something is not so important. It is great if he does, but no matter what, Papa tells Zigmund that he has always suspected the boy. Ever since … their blessed mother died given birth, for which Papa had never really forgiven Heinrich. And then, he has always been so annoyingly fragile. It is not normal that a kid of Papa's flesh and blood would be so fragile.

The twins sit on a fence at a field and are about to see who can spit furthest (you can let the players decide this dispute in real life, but for your own sake make them take it outside). They are interrupted by Mädchen who walks over and gives Franz a large kiss right on the mouth. Yes, she knows well that Fritz is her boyfriend and she does know one from the other, but the twins do not know that she is able to. So once again she wants to start a little drama, since she really likes the attention, especially if it's about two people fighting over her. The more drama the better. Fritz will probably shout out, and Franz too, but as usual, she will assert his innocence ("you are as like as two peas") and immediately blame Franz for kissing with way to much feeling or not stopping her or …

Heinrich is in the field a bit from there and can see the whole thing. Suddenly he finds a dead cow. Gutted. Intestines scattered. Maimed. Obviously killed by something big. But the blood and the fierceness by which it is done fascinates more than it repels Heinrich. At some level, Heinrich understands all too well. Everything.

If Heinrich doesn’t sound the alarm (it may be that he is a little too fascinated), then someone else will. Let another peasant discover the dead cow and shout the alarm.

After that it doesn’t take long before half the village is crowded around the poor dead animal. And in a village where the only man not too old to go hunting is a cripple, the four brothers are the best they can offer, something Papa is quick to point out. He volunteers his four sons to go and kill the Beast. And he does not take no for an answer. Mädchen will also be on the back of the twins, if they decide to withdraw from the hunt.

Papa pulls Zigmund to aside; "Keep an eye on Heinrich. If you find out that he is marked … you know what to do. I trust you ".

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