With no food and no septims, self-sufficiency would be the only answer that made any sense. No, he did not have a bow. No, he did not have arrows. There were always alternatives, however, and he knew one of his favorites to be good for these such circumstances. It took him about a half hour to clean up his camp, pack his bag, fully clothe, stamp out the fire, and pray. In that particular order. The only sign that he had ever been there was a smear of clouded funnel cap paste, drawn in a circle on a stone. The sun was not yet risen.
Then, he busied himself. He needed food, and this region was sure to be plentiful and rich with food. One way or another. The goal was meat, though he'd settle for something else if he needed to. Preparation was simple: a paralysis paste on the tip of the iron short sword he carried. Not the edge. He needed the edge to open a wound on his target, and the paste to keep the thing still after forcing it to turn its neck up. Keep the bleed out quick and efficient, and keep the hunt quick. The goal was to avoid exhaustion while also managing one's stores. He didn't need much paste, which was to his benefit as he hadn't been collecting much while he was coming down South. His goal had been to escape
the chaos up North, so slowing himself down made little sense.
The next step for the hunt was the right disguise, followed soon after by the right knowledge. He took some time to coat himself in snow, especially on his shoulders and head. That would enable him to hide in a snow mound and wait, while not fussing so much over details. The information that he gathered next was a trail. He found fresh tracks, which took about a half hour
, and then a mound along those tracks. He burrowed into the mound with startling efficiency, then used his hands to dig a little pit out for his eyes. Now, he was obscured and could see the trail. Touch it, if he really wanted to. Then, it was waiting.
When a large male Elk came into view, he could still feel his finger tips. The creature pressed its head into the ground, and pushed away snow. It came up with grass. When it went down again, the Reachman moved. He jerked forward in a practiced manner, he had frequently taken down bandits and Forsworn with this such method
, and tackled at the thing. He aimed not for where its antlers were, but for where they would be.
His calloused, fur-clad hands found grip at the bases of the antlers. The animal immediately moved Southwest, while Bruoch pulled himself up onto its back. Twice he nearly lost purchase when the thing stopped and bucked. He, perhaps through luck or his own deep reserves of energy, had managed to maintain a grip while making progress all the same.
It carried him downhill, slamming its side into the occasional passing tree in an attempt to dismount the Reachman. He maintained grip, however, and finally managed to draw out his sword. With his left hand and his thighs he tightened his grip on the creature. Leaning forward, being wary of the antlers, he pulled the blade against the animal's throat. It coughed out a howl of pain. The sun was up, now, and casting light down onto the display. Downhill through the trees rode Bruoch, on the bleeding elk. He transferred his blade to his teeth, and scooted forward on the thing's back. While it jerked its neck around he found his right hand grip once again. Once obtained, he grabbed the Elk by the lower neck with his left leg. His right leg was raised up, pressing down on the Elk's right flank for support.
With his position secured by the odd but practiced lock, he took his blade in his right hand once again. Rather than stabbing down onto the Elk, he readied to stab downwards onto its back legs. In one movement he adjusted, jerking the Deer's head back and tripping it. As the pair fell, both now thoroughly bloodied, he plunged the iron sword's tip into the creature's ass. The rigidity was nearly immediate. It spread quickly, and the Creature lost control as its muscles went tight. Bruoch pulled himself in, hugging tight to the Elk's back, as it cartwheeled about thirty feet down the snowy hill and breached the treeline.
After bouncing once, the creature toppled a headstone. Bruoch, covered in blood and fur and snow, pushed away from the paralyzed deer and scrambled for the nearest stone. He settled on one from a Nord cairn, and moved on the Elk. With three swift strikes, he bashed its head in.
Its limbs began to slowly go limp, as the paralysis wore off of the dead body.
The Reachman looked around, assessing his new environment. When his eyes rested on an Imperial man, an elf
, and the Breton girl, he laughed. The energy and flowing enthusiasm left him otherwise speechless. He kicked the deer onto its side, and pulled back his headdress. The ugly Breton-looking man was smiling, and his face had managed to smear itself a bit in the blood of the animal. From his fur belt he pulled a long, thin-looking dirk, and began to cut effortlessly through the deer. His goal at the moment, regardless of the strangers, was to ensure that the meat he wanted was covered with snow and in his bag. These folk looked like they were from one of the settlements in the area, or from settlements in general, but he could never truly
tell when Hircine was going to send challengers following a particularly efficient hunt.
After he had made some of the major cuts and rubbed the blood on his face, as he did so often, he pulled his headdress back up. Perhaps rubbing the blood on his face wasn't the smartest idea. His face began to lose a bit of feeling, but he worked through it. The smear was going to wear out here soon anyhow, so he wasn't worried. He'd make due if these folks insisted on conversation. Worst case scenario he was forced to defend himself and hid their bodies out in the woods and claimed no connection to the deaths. Head and fingers would have to be removed. Heart for safety purposes.
No. That was planning ahead. Certainly they'd be more startled than anything. He hadn't been aggressive towards them. Unless, perhaps, they were game-keepers
. With that thought, he looked up and scowled, before continuing to open up the deer. If they were game-keepers he'd definitely have to kill them. Hircine's blessing was always upon him, as he was a man of the Reach. There would be absolutely no reason to risk rubbing up against the law and losing supplies and time.@SoulChrysamere@Mixcoatl