Beads of sweat gathered on the huntress’ neck as she crept silently through the woodland. A year on the hunt and the humidity of the forest was still as intolerable as the day she first arrived. Tuktu cut an imposing figure, gone were the traditional furs of her people, replaced with garments more functional for the tight and winding forests of Ashwood. Her once porcelain skin now toughened by the countless battles she had fought. This hunt more than any other had been a gruelling one; the sun had risen fifteen times since they last felt the comforts of the oakthorn village they had come to call home, but today their dedication would pay off. This trail was fresh.
Raising a fisted hand towards the sky the rest of her pack instantly halted their slow, vigilant progression. Tuktu knew she could trust these women with her life. They were amongst the most skilled hunters of the Frostrunner Tribe, each having proven her worth a dozen times over.
With her hand still raised, the other skimmed the dirt at her feet; her fingers running through the coarse, dry soil. Shutting her eyes she was instantly at one with the earth. Magic flowed all around her, surging through the ground and deep into the forest revealing her prey.
If her separation from the tribe had taught Tuktu anything it was to spend less time gazing at the stars, hoping for guidance that would not come; she was a warrior and her future was her own. She recalled her years as an Oracle, one of Nuitok’s chosen few. In that time her faith had been unyielding, but that felt like a lifetime ago, before the hunt, before one night had changed her life forever. Dropping her fisted hand, she rubbed tears from her burning eyes; it wouldn’t be long till they were upon her enemy.
Her father’s murder would be avenged.