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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
"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
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
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
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