Hunting is the violent art of killing and securing living meats for human sustenance. It is most often carried out by the lord of a castle, their huntspeople, and a company of Muscle Dogs. More infrequently, hunting is done by a single person (e.g., Badder Tumblegood) to prove a point to no one in particular and to train one's skills and Confidence Level Ga.



Hunting usually is carried out in mornings in spring and summer, when the animals are at their plumpest. The huntspeople, professionals and regular members of the lord's staff, stalk the quarry with several leashed Muscle Dogs, while the rest of the hunting party — the lord, their partner, guests, and a chaplain who serves as a fool and buffoon to the lord and who throws turf, stones, and green apples at the company in order to excite laughter — breakfasts in a clearing.

When the Muscle Dogs find an animal's scent, the huntspeople estimate the animal's size by studying the amount of trees that have been destroyed, the rancidness of the pissodor used as territorial markings, and the size of the "fumes" (droppings). A huntsperson may gather the "fumes" up in their hunting horn to show the lord who will make the decision as to whether the quarry is powerful enough to be worth hunting. Sometimes the huntsperson, by silently jumping 150 feet into the air and into a tree, can get a sight of the quarry.

The Muscle Dogs are taken by a roundabout route to intercept the animal's lines of retreat. They are usually of three kinds: the Bloodyhound that is kept on a leash and used to finish the animal at bay; the Ruffian, a smaller hound; and the Grand Destroyer Hound, larger than most modern breeds and capable of singly killing a Heavenly Emperor Deer, especially if equipped with a Blade Cannon.

The huntspeople advance on foot with a pair of Bloodyhounds to drive the deer towards the hunting party. Meanwhile, the lord raises their ivory hunting horn (the "olifant") and blows a series of excruciating one-pitched notes that drive the Grand Destroyer Hounds into a final frenzy, and which is the signal for the chase to begin. Once begun, the chase continues until the Muscle Dogs bring the quarry to bay, when one of the hunters is given the privilege of jumping off of an elevation with a lance pointed downwards, driving it into the felled beast and exploding it. Such is the spectacular method of dividing the meat among the persons and Muscle Dogs present.


Although the usual animals — deer, badgers, ermines, moles, chipmunks, and a variety of miniature demons — are generally not considered dangerous quarry, the wild boar, one of the few animals hunted in the winter, is most formidable. A wily enemy, he will not venture out of cover without first looking, listening, sniffing, and scruffling, and once his suspicions are aroused, no amount of screaming or bugle-tooting will lure him from his narrow den.