((This is the story that Sagewood told at the April 29 FTIL))
I had been doing various odd jobs for Frederic at Ost Guruth at the time and the people there were beginning to know me as a good hunter. I’d been able to get them enough lynx hides and boar meat to get through the winter. One day, Frederic approached me with a more specific request – he wanted me to go after a special boar. Ironhide, he called him. Told me he had seen him years ago, out by Weathertop. He said if he was still out there, he’d be even bigger than when he saw him. He described a boar almost the size of a pony – big and grey. When he offered to pay me, well… I couldn’t refuse!
I set out at dawn on Greasewood. I made my way carefully past the spider dens and Naerost, where the half-orcs have taken camp. Under the shadow of the old hill I circled north. Always seraching for hoofprints in the dirt. When I finally got to the north end of the hill, I started seeing what I was looking for. Deep hoofmarks in the muddy soil. I intently followed them down a sloping hill to a nearby stream. On the other bank I saw him, foraging in a bush.
He was big – almost twice the size of a normal boar. His hide was silvery and grey and flecked with black. The tusks that shot from his mouth were twisted and dirty. I silently got off of Greasewood and crouched under a low-hanging tree. I positioned myself with my bow and knocked an arrow. Pulling the string tight, I looked across the stream at my target. His head was turned in just the way that I could hit the back of his head.
I released the arrow and watched it fly across the water.
The arrow hit below my mark and sank into the boar’s neck. Ironhide gave a terrible squealing scream. I should be lucky he didn’t alert any orcs! He frantically stumbled through the shrubbery and I gave chase. I hoped he would quickly tire out and luckily I was right. After a time of tracking his bloody hoofprints through the dirt, I found him under a tree, still breathing feebly. I gave him my regards and sent one last arrow through the back of his skull. I quickly tugged his body back to the stream and skinned him right there. Frederic had given me special pouches to carry the meat in. I loaded the meat and hide into the bags on Greasewood and strapped away my bow.
I set off at a gallup as I wanted to get back to the fortress before dark and before the meat spoiled. Once out of the shadow of Weathertop I heard something I did not want to hear. The smell of the meat must have attracted a warg as I heard him begin to snarl behind me. I thundered down the road, choosing to flee instead of fight. I heard the warg howl and Greasewood whinnied in fear. The sun was beginning to set and the long shadows stretched out in front of us. Finally I arrived at the fortress. I pounded up the steps, still on Greasewood.
I quickly dismounted and told Frederic of the warg that was following me. Much to our luck the guards were already out for the night and would take care of any threat that came. Frederic was pleased that I had found Ironhide. I presented him with the hide and gave the meat to Hanna to cook. I was eager as he gave me my payment – afinely carved greywood bow with special string and new arrows to go with it. In fact, it is the bow I carry with me now, and it has served me well.