Air RuneBalance/Moon RuneChaos RuneDarkness RuneDeath RuneFire RuneLaw RuneFertility RunePlant RuneSpirit RuneWater Rune

Oliver D. Bernuetz's Stories

Back to my home page - back to stories

The Story of the Garhounds

The scene, a dusty Praxian encampment.   An old man dozes fitfully in the
meager shade of a tent.  A pack of children stealthily approach him.  The
biggest one pokes him with her finger.

"Grandpa, grandpa, wake up, wake up."
"Uh, what?  Who, huh.  Oh it's you lot what do you want."
"We want to ask you a question."
"You woke me up for that?  Hummph.  Alright, it was a lousy dream anyway.
What do you want to know?"
"What's so special about a garhound?"
"Why do you want to know that?"
"Screaming Eagles took a garhound pup on his last raid and no one can tell
us what's so special about them."
"So Screaming Eagle has a garhound does he?  (Hawks and spits).  Little good that'll do him.  He never was no good with dogs and them garhounds don't like us Praxians none."
"Well that's a long story.  Are you ready for that?"

As one the children drop to attentive listening positions.

"Okay.  Well back in Genert's Garden he had a follower who loved dogs, like
we do today.  No, not to eat, to hunt with.  He raised sight hounds, the most beautiful hounds you've ever seen.  They were long and lean and could run like the wind.  Nothing, but nothing could out run 'em.  They were giants of course like everything in the Garden. The whole of Genert's followers loved them hounds and took joy in racing them agin each other or to bring down small prey.  Well, not to eat of course but just for the joy of it.  They always let the prey go. 

Well, then the waters invaded and thoughts of pleasure were far away.  Now huntin' became more serious and instead of just the Garden there was water
everywhere too.  So Genert's follower took the best of his breed, the most
beautiful and fastest bitches and he bred them with a captured water spirit.
This water spirit was known as the garpike because it had been bred for war
by the waters.  And no I don't know why gar means war.  Maybe it's a water
folk word. The garpike was long and lean and fast like the hounds and was
meant for pursuing and catching prey like 'em.  So using magic we no longer
know Genert's follower bred his hounds with the garpike.  He got long lean
blue grey hounds with sharp needle-like teeth that wouldn't let go once they
were dug in.  These hounds could now chase prey over both land and into the
water and they proved very useful.  And they called 'em garhounds after
their mothers and father.

Well troubles got worse and worse and finally the worse came and Genert and his army travelled north to battle the Chaos army.  (Pauses to spit and
clear his throat).  You know what happened there so no need to repeat those
terrible events.  What you didin' hear was that the last pack of garhounds left went with the army.  Just before the army met their end though the pack saw a rabbit, a bloody jackrabbit, and instead of stayin' with their master they run off after that jack.  Well that saved 'em from destruction because nothin' in the Chaos army could catch 'em.  But their master saw 'em runnin' off and though he was glad they wouldin die he cursed 'em, with tears in his eyes, saying that they would never leave the Garden.  Ever.

Well after they caught that jack they came back and found that their master and everyone else was gone.  They wuz heartbroken but they couldn't find any
trace of their master and they wandered throughout the wreck of the Garden
looking for him.  Finally they found a small bit of him at the place we now called Garhound.  You remember Counting Bison's dog that wouldin leave his
graveside after his death?  Same thing.  Once they found a bit of their master you couldin drag 'em away.  And there they stuck through all the hard times that followed.  They dwindled away to near nothin' over the years until now they's no bigger than regular dogs.  And their shame and their water heritage, that's a fancy word that means ancestors, made 'em hate Praxians. Shames a powerful emotion.  Try never to shame no one, easiest way to make enemies.

Anyway they protected that place from Praxians.  Then some outsider called Swen decided to build a settlement at the place where their master's last bit lay.  Well the hounds sensed he wasn't no Praxian and he liked dogs so they didin kill him.  They even saved him when he wuz attacked by trolls and he started a special relationship with them.  He named his camp after 'em and was glad to accept their guardianship. They wuz happy to have a master again and passed their loyalties on to the Garhounders.   It's said the garhounds bred with the dogs Swen had so they changed.  They sort of look
like the old garhounds, being bluey gray and lovin' water.  Occassionally they say a true garhound is born who can chase down prey on land and water and who's teeth don't let go once they're locked in.  Those garhound, even the mortal kind, ain't happy anywhere aways from their old master so Screaming Eagle ain't gonna have no luck with that pup.  It'd be a kindness to kill it now before it pines away.  Not that he gives a crap what I think anyway."

The old man pauses and looks off into the distance at something no one else
could see.  He turns back to the children and says.

"And that's what's so special about Garhounds.  Now bugger off and let me
get some sleep."

Last updated September 26, 2016

Glorantha is a trademark of Chaosium, Inc. Gloranthan material on this page is copyright ©1997-2016 by Oliver D. Bernuetz or by the author specifically mentioned on an individual page. Glorantha is the creation of Greg Stafford, and is used with his permission.

Email me at

Powered by Neocities