Sacred 2:Book 7 - Hunting
Interesting Facts about Ancaria
Hunting is one of the noblest jobs in Ancaria. You'll face nature alone, you'll fight against the wildest creatures and you'll carry their carcasses to the village to eat their flesh. It has always been this way, and it will always be the same.
A little help is always welcome though, because there are few things more embarrassing than coming home to your village after a long hunt with only a squirrel or - even worse - nothing at all.
The most important things for a successful hunt are the right clothing and the suitable equipment. The hunter who dares to enter the forest clad in colorful clothing better suited for a clown and armed only with a kitchen knife should expect to be attacked by a baffled bear, not to return to their village with prey for dinner. In the forest it's a best to wear clothes of colors that match and blend with the trees, which means green and brown tints. If you're not sure if your clothing is suitable you should ask a woman, they're usually more experienced with these things.
It's also important not to wash yourself with soap and not to use fragrances as a perfume. All deer know that other deer don't smell like rosewater. It's best to wash yourself with only plain water.
As soon as you are clad accordingly you have to choose the right weapons. You should concentrate on ranged weapons, there are very few hunters skilled enough to stealthily get close enough to a wild animal to be able to use a blade against it. When hunting animals like bears or wolves it's generally best not to attack them at close-range, unless you're forced to because the bear/wolf got aggressive after smelling your rosewater.
In addition to your primary ranged weapon, you should also always carry a knife, and in a way that you can't fall onto it. In the dense forest arrows and a bow are good ranged weapons, but crossbows aren't bad either because they can pack quite a punch. For a slingshot you need a lot of space in front of and behind you, therefore you should only use them in the light forest, on teh grassland and in the mountains. For the latter they are especially useful as you can find your ammunition there and don't have to take it with you. A bag full of stones can get very heavy in the long run. Spears are good for clear ares too, but they're somewhat unmanageable. Throwing knives are a good choice when hunting small prey even though it's not easy to hit them, but bigger animals aren't wounded much by these weapons. It can get quite expensive to replace knives if the wounded bear or deer runs away with your knife stuck in its body. Many hunters wonder if it's useful to poison the blade of their knife or the tips of their arrows so that even small wounds can be fatal. These hunters should keep in mind that the cemeteries are full of hunters who touched their blades with their own fingers, and that there are a lot of stories in the taverns about what happened to families who thought it would be a good idea to eat the flesh of a poisoned animal.
If you enter a forest armed with a bow and arrows, it's best to look for a watering place with lots of tracks around it. If you don't know which animal leaves which tracks, you should bear in mind the following: If it has hooves you can hunt it, if it has paws it will hunt you. If you manage to find a watering place with tracks of desirable prey, you can make yourself comfortable here. Consider the wind direction when you choose the place you will wait. It's best to stand where the wind will not blow your scent, with or without rosewater, in the direction you expect your prey to come from. It can take hours for an animal to appear at the watering place. When it comes into view it's important to stay calm and to take shallow breaths. The bow can be handled almost silently, but all animals that have escaped from an arrow once know the sound of a bowstring. If everything goes as planned the deer or stag will go down then the first arrow hits, but if it doesn't you should show mercy by tracking and killing it fast. When you have successfully taken your prey, be sure to cover its wounds with mud or bandages. You'll have to convey it back through the forest, and the smell of the blood could attract bears and wolves. If bears or wolves are your prey, you can disregard this caution but it's always advisable to take some companions with you on these hunts.
If you heed all these tips you'll be able to come back to your village burdened with prey and more importantly, alive to entertain (or bore) the farmers in the tavern with tales of your hunting trips.
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