Only The Amarok May Hunt Alone

Many years ago, I went on an expedition far to the north in search of new and wondrous creatures. Only three days after finding a small, isolated settlement to take me in and help me explore, I saw a dark silhouette in the distance. It looked a bit like a wolf, but I could barely see any details despite the fact it was only snowing lightly.

It took me a long moment to figure out why I couldn’t see much other than the silhouette. That’s when I realized it was because it was too far away.

Despite the frigid climate, my blood somehow ran colder.

This… thing was huge.

I turned to my guide. “What is that?” I asked.

She shuddered and hurried me inside. For I had seen the only hunter worthy of stalking the frozen plains alone.

Once we were inside, with a good fire going, I asked again, and the villagers were much more forthcoming with answers. I’ve translated my conversations with them to add to mankind’s recorded knowledge.

“You saw an amarok,” said the chief. He leaned forward as he spoke, and his eyes sparkled with the reflected light of our fire.

“A what?” I asked as I eagerly began writing notes.

“The lone hunter,” said the chief, “only amaroks hunt alone here. They devour anyone or anything else who tries…”

I scratched at the bristle on my chin. I’d been wondering why they were so insistent that nobody ever go anywhere outside the village alone.

“So,” I said, “what else can you tell me about it? It looked pretty big.”

The villagers laughed.

“Big indeed. A single amarok could devour our whole village in a night,” said the chief.

I paled. “Shouldn’t we post more guards then?” I asked.

The chief shrugged. “What for? We’d still die. Amaroks are too big to fight. They’re strong too. And fast… faster than the wind. But, they leave us alone. As long as we do not hunt alone,” he said.

“Why don’t they like you hunting alone?” I asked.

The chief took a long drink of the herbal tea they traded to outsiders for a small fortune. “Never asked,” said the chief, “but, it was easy enough to figure out they don’t like it. Though… sometimes they help those who go out alone. But, those were not hunters. Not before meeting an amarok anyway.”

“So they aren’t evil?” I asked.

The chief laughed. “Nah! Amarok aren’t evil. Sometimes they give boons, but they are always painful to receive,” he said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

That’s when the chief told me about a young boy born into a warrior tribe whose body was badly deformed. So much so that he could scarcely walk. The village ridiculed him for being weak and small until one day they sent him out into the frozen tundra to die alone.

As he stumbled through the snow, he called out to the gods and begged them for help. He cursed his own weakness and wished for strength.

They sent him an amarok. It knocked him to the ground with a single swipe of his tail and shattered his bones. He lay on the snow, gasping short breaths, and in so much pain he couldn’t even cry out.

The amarok dragged him away to a cave where it fed him its mighty kills.

Months passed as the boy healed, eating the meat of monsters no human would be insane enough to hunt. All brought to him by the amarok.

One day, the amarok spoke and told the boy to get up off the floor. For while his bones hadn’t healed fully, they were strong enough for him to begin strengthening them along with his muscles.

The boy obeyed. He stumbled and fell time and time again, but after another month he found that he could walk. He could walk like he’d always dreamed. Soon, he was able to run. His bones and every fibre of his body had healed, ridding him of his disability.

The boy was elated, but still, the amarok was not done. It watched over the boy and taught him how to hunt. How to grow strong.

In another month, the boy fought three bears at once and won. His body was covered in scars, and hard muscle and his bones were like iron.

The boy grew into a man and saved exiles from other tribes and formed a tribe of his own.

He remained a friend of the amarok. And, he often ventured into the frozen wasteland alone to meet with his dear friend who had helped him so greatly. And, unlike so many others who walk the tundra alone, he returned alive.

In fact, the boy founded the very tribe that had taken me in.

Over my time in the village, I learned a great deal about amaroks. It seems to me that amaroks are harsh, brutal creatures but definitely not evil ones. They have their own moral codes of a sort, and I’d even dare say they’re kind… but in their own savage way. Their boons always seem to be rather harsh things.

And, woe betide those who truly anger an amarok. I was told many tales of foolish hunters that captured or killed amarok pups. Apparently, the parents always find them. No matter where they may hide or how far they may run, or how well they cover their scent and tracks.

The villagers insisted that amarok are the ultimate hunters and that nothing can hide from an amarok.

I also heard mention of some mystical abilities, but that was significantly harder to pin down. Nobody has devoted much study to amaroks, so I suppose I should be happy with how much I came back with, but I still feel a bit disappointed about not learning more.

Still, it seems to me that there is no doubt something mystical about them. The tales of them finding anyone, even when they use magic to mask themselves, and the tales of amaroks making people stronger and healing them… I think there has to be some magic to them.

Whatever their mystical abilities may be, it is certain that amarok are lone hunters and few can dare to contend with such a beast.

- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University

Many years ago, I went on an expedition far to the north in search of new and wondrous creatures. Only three days after finding a small, isolated settlement to take me in and help me explore, I saw a dark silhouette in the distance. It looked a bit like a wolf, but I could barely see any details despite the fact it was only snowing lightly.

It took me a long moment to figure out why I couldn’t see much other than the silhouette. That’s when I realized it was because it was too far away.

Despite the frigid climate, my blood somehow ran colder.

This… thing was huge.

I turned to my guide. “What is that?” I asked.

She shuddered and hurried me inside. For I had seen the only hunter worthy of stalking the frozen plains alone.

Once we were inside, with a good fire going, I asked again, and the villagers were much more forthcoming with answers. I’ve translated my conversations with them to add to mankind’s recorded knowledge.

“You saw an amarok,” said the chief. He leaned forward as he spoke, and his eyes sparkled with the reflected light of our fire.

“A what?” I asked as I eagerly began writing notes.

“The lone hunter,” said the chief, “only amaroks hunt alone here. They devour anyone or anything else who tries…”

I scratched at the bristle on my chin. I’d been wondering why they were so insistent that nobody ever go anywhere outside the village alone.

“So,” I said, “what else can you tell me about it? It looked pretty big.”

The villagers laughed.

“Big indeed. A single amarok could devour our whole village in a night,” said the chief.

I paled. “Shouldn’t we post more guards then?” I asked.

The chief shrugged. “What for? We’d still die. Amaroks are too big to fight. They’re strong too. And fast… faster than the wind. But, they leave us alone. As long as we do not hunt alone,” he said.

“Why don’t they like you hunting alone?” I asked.

The chief took a long drink of the herbal tea they traded to outsiders for a small fortune. “Never asked,” said the chief, “but, it was easy enough to figure out they don’t like it. Though… sometimes they help those who go out alone. But, those were not hunters. Not before meeting an amarok anyway.”

“So they aren’t evil?” I asked.

The chief laughed. “Nah! Amarok aren’t evil. Sometimes they give boons, but they are always painful to receive,” he said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

That’s when the chief told me about a young boy born into a warrior tribe whose body was badly deformed. So much so that he could scarcely walk. The village ridiculed him for being weak and small until one day they sent him out into the frozen tundra to die alone.

As he stumbled through the snow, he called out to the gods and begged them for help. He cursed his own weakness and wished for strength.

They sent him an amarok. It knocked him to the ground with a single swipe of his tail and shattered his bones. He lay on the snow, gasping short breaths, and in so much pain he couldn’t even cry out.

The amarok dragged him away to a cave where it fed him its mighty kills.

Months passed as the boy healed, eating the meat of monsters no human would be insane enough to hunt. All brought to him by the amarok.

One day, the amarok spoke and told the boy to get up off the floor. For while his bones hadn’t healed fully, they were strong enough for him to begin strengthening them along with his muscles.

The boy obeyed. He stumbled and fell time and time again, but after another month he found that he could walk. He could walk like he’d always dreamed. Soon, he was able to run. His bones and every fibre of his body had healed, ridding him of his disability.

The boy was elated, but still, the amarok was not done. It watched over the boy and taught him how to hunt. How to grow strong.

In another month, the boy fought three bears at once and won. His body was covered in scars, and hard muscle and his bones were like iron.

The boy grew into a man and saved exiles from other tribes and formed a tribe of his own.

He remained a friend of the amarok. And, he often ventured into the frozen wasteland alone to meet with his dear friend who had helped him so greatly. And, unlike so many others who walk the tundra alone, he returned alive.

In fact, the boy founded the very tribe that had taken me in.

Over my time in the village, I learned a great deal about amaroks. It seems to me that amaroks are harsh, brutal creatures but definitely not evil ones. They have their own moral codes of a sort, and I’d even dare say they’re kind… but in their own savage way. Their boons always seem to be rather harsh things.

And, woe betide those who truly anger an amarok. I was told many tales of foolish hunters that captured or killed amarok pups. Apparently, the parents always find them. No matter where they may hide or how far they may run, or how well they cover their scent and tracks.

The villagers insisted that amarok are the ultimate hunters and that nothing can hide from an amarok.

I also heard mention of some mystical abilities, but that was significantly harder to pin down. Nobody has devoted much study to amaroks, so I suppose I should be happy with how much I came back with, but I still feel a bit disappointed about not learning more.

Still, it seems to me that there is no doubt something mystical about them. The tales of them finding anyone, even when they use magic to mask themselves, and the tales of amaroks making people stronger and healing them… I think there has to be some magic to them.

Whatever their mystical abilities may be, it is certain that amarok are lone hunters and few can dare to contend with such a beast.

- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University


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