Connor slowly shifted his weight from one foot to the other with out taking his eyes off of his prey. He minutely adjusted his body to put himself in better position for the kill shot, carefully rotation on the balls of his feet. His perch high in the branches of a tree was precarious at best and he needed every ounce of his being to be in unison.
His forest drab clothing certainly made him blend in, his height in the tree a place where most Deer would not look for a predator. It limited his view but it meant all Connors targets would be in kill-shot range. Not that he doubted his aim, but the less the animals suffered the better. And this Buck was big - the meat would last a long time and he'd even be able to sell most of it, the furs he could use to start making his winter clothing, and the antlers - well, many a man would pay a good price for them.
His weight shifted to the correct position, he dropped his left knee in his crouch as he reached up to draw an arrow from his quiver. His hunting bow, clutched in right hand, rested across his thighs. He slowly raised it, drawing as little attention to himself as he possible could before notching the arrow to bow. The unwary Buck wandered closer, grazing now a dozen or two feet away from the base of the tree. Connor could already picture the arrow in flight - a near straight trajectory downwards, penetrating just above the bucks shoulder, piercing its heart a second late, instantly killing it. Connor would only have to jump down from the tree to harvest his bounty. His lips began to curl in a smile at the thought.
The Bucks antlered head suddenly bolted upright from grazing, looking away from the tree. Its body froze, muscles tensed. It was the moment Connor was waiting for, but he did not let loose the arrow. Something had startled the Buck from its grazing and Connor strained his own ears to hear it. Perhaps another woodsman on the hunt? But no arrow let loose skyward for the Buck. A few seconds later and the Buck bolted out of sight, darting into denser brush.
And then Connor could hear it. Faint at first, but growing louder. The sound of marching feet. The hairs on the back of his neck rose on end as the forest around him became deathly quiet. A command was called out in a foreign language and the marching feet became louder and louder. Chainmail and other armor, he thought, piecing together what he could with his senses.
A troop of soldiers, dressed in black with red sashes briefly appeared in view as the column of men moved down the path the Buck had been on. Connor drew in his breath, motionless in the tree as one soldier broke rank to relieve himself on the base of the tree, failing to look up and see Connor staring down at him. The column marched on and Connor was finally able to draw breath once more. But he dared not come down the tree.
Connor was not sure how long he remained frozen in place. All he knew was that his muscles were starting to cramp and darkness was beginning to creep in through the forest. His mind kept playing over the men - the soldiers - he had seen. Who were they? What were they doing here? Where were they headed? It was only as he relaxed, sheathing the arrow once more before slowly starting to climb down from the tree that he realized that the troop had been headed in the direction of his home, of his village. His heart immediately began to race at the thought of Foreign SOLDIERS descending on his village. But his instincts, long honed in these very woods, prevent him from tearing home. He was not sure what awaited him down that path but damned would he be if he was to be caught unawares!
My first post for a game. Unknown direction. Unknown partner. If interesting in joining in on this fairytale, either send me a PM or respond here.