The Hunt part two

Part 2: The Jump

If they roll a successful test they rush further up the brook, which now meets a river which is only gaining strength. Throughout the trip, they can see strange tracks in the moist dirt beneath their feet. It’s not from a wolverine. The tracks are much bigger. A bear? In terms of size, perhaps. But the track is more elongated and with bigger claws.

Rumbling. A deep rumble is increasing in strength, while you walk along the riverbank. You have reached the Esk waterfall. You all stand and look down at the foaming, frothy water mass. An easy 60 foot drop. In the past it was a popular place for boys to take a test of manhood. One leap and you are a hero. Back down and you are forever labeled a cowardly-custard, a chicken, a sissy or worse. But the jump in itself is far from harmless. You remember all too well the story of Hans Ärmster, who did not jump far enough, and ended up on the treacherous granite boulders instead of the deep water. Since then not many children have dared to take the plunge.

There! Below the waterfall a little further up along the river you see a large hairy figure jog in a half sweeping pace along the riverbank, and if the players aren’t fast it will disappear into the woods. It is possible, if the players are quick, to fire one or two rounds at The Beast and they can see it if they hit. And hear. The Beast will roar and disappears into the thick vegetation.

The idea is of course that the four brothers need to jump over the edge, but in order to avoid the players just saying okay and diving in, you need to work on the characters fears. It’s a long way down and there is plenty of things that can go wrong. Heinrich is afraid of water (very much so) and Fritz is a coward, when all is said and done. Franz is not much better, but will do anything to make his twin brother look bad. It shouldn’t be an impossible task to get down, but it needs to present the brothers with significant problems. For instance – how do they get Heinrich down? Throw him over the edge or do they persuade him and then he jumps with his eyes closed? He may deny even the concept of him setting foot near the waterfall and crawl all the way around, which will give them all a considerable time loss. Or does he respond unexpectedly to the external pressure?

Regardless, they roll an agility test when they jump. The jump is fairly straightforward but much can go wrong. If you don’t jump far enough, you can land on the big nasty rocks at the cliff’s edge, or perhaps if you manage to land in the water you are pulled down by the heavy clothes and the large water masses. During a dramatic rescue operation would be an appropriate time to say the cut.

Cut.

Flashback: The Return

This is the day when Papa returns. It is a great day and a day you have looked forward to with longing.

The sun is shining. Heinrich is happy.

On horseback Papa returns home to the little village by the river shore. Alone. None of the others who went out came back alive.

At first glance he looks like himself. Proud, erect, stern. On closer inspection it becomes clear that this is a different man than the man who left what now seems so immensely long ago. His eyes are different, older, deeper. There are scars on the soul that will never heal. You truly sees the extent of this when gets off his horse. Not only is he limping severely on his right leg, but he is also missing the upper left arm. And the face has several small but deep scars, as if someone has taken a knife and scratched deep dry rivers into the very skin.

Despite the meagre times, there is a feast. There has rarely been anything to celebrate over the past several years, so now all sails are set when the village, indeed the whole area’s hero has returned in ‘good’ health. Tables filled with fried pork, chicken soup, potatoes, and what not and the village square, and there is no shortage of praising of the hero from the village elders.

Now it is time to cross-cut between two events: Mädchen’s flirtation with the twins and Papas escalating drunkenness.

At the dinner you present Mädchen to the players. She is serving at the dinner and can turn the heads of most present. She is beautiful, lush, and something of a drama queen. Furthermore she is Fritz's girlfriend (at least when he is there), but also interested in Franz. And he is very interested in her. Under the pretext that she 'thinks' she is talking to Fritz, she will take Franz behind one of the buildings and take care of her ‘true’ love. If Franz goes along with it, it obviously needs to be discovered by Fritz who 1) either starts a big quarrel and/or fight, while Mädchen asserts her innocence: "to think that a brother (Franz) can deceive two people that the way", or 2) Fritz does absolutely nothing but lets anger build up inside. The last possibility is quite fine, since it might then be expressed later …

As the evening runs it course Papa becomes more and more piss drunk and the more he drinks, the more evil, disgusting and downright mean he becomes. Loud, rude, know-it-all. He is better than all the others. They do not know how it really is! Have they perhaps ever tried to stare death straight in the eye? Or get their arm torn off by a heinous monster? If it was up to him, anyone who suspected of Chaos should die a painful death.

The feast continues. Papa is very drunk and very embarrassing, and it will only get worse. If one of the brothers doesn't try to stop him, he tries to feel up Mädchen or urinate on the table or throw wine on other guests and tell them how they look just like his best friend when he died bathed in blood. If that is not enough he will at any opportunity try to start a fight. With anyone. Even the brothers.

The more embarrassing Papa becomes the more shameful is Heinrich is and the sun will not continue to shine.

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