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HuntersCabin_Body_01_01Mesdames, Messieurs – welcome. Though absent, I am your host - help yourself to the garden, and any of the livestock (if the ungrateful swine are still here), just kill them quick swiftly so they don't remember in the morning.

If you have chanced upon a rare creature, I'd ask you add a note in the log, for I have much curiosity regarding the creatures native to Aeternum – also, as a courtesy to your hostess, you leave the trophies I have gathered here out of respect, for I went to considerable effort for each, and each bears a tale.

- Renée Marie Cartier
HuntersCabin_Body_01_02It is not the animals brought with us on La Renommée that interest me – nor the deer or wolf of the isle, though of great size and fierce disposition – it is the beasts native to Aeternum. I fear it would take a lifetime, perhaps several, to see them all - yet my curiosity will not let me remain idle. Even Jacques' memory has faded, washed away as he was in the storm – but perhaps that is for the best, for had he survived, life would have been quite different.

I have been given a chance many would dream of - to explore this isle and see what flourishes here.

- Renée Marie Cartier
HuntersCabin_Body_01_03The reason for the migration of animals and beasts is now clear to me – they are fleeing south, driven from the Great Cleave to the North.

If so, they may be a warning that the Corrupted may be massing for another foray into the Brightwood. This has swept away my desire for the hunt – if I remain overlong, it will be I who will be hunted, and I fear for my soul should those devils capture me and take me to the Shattered Mountain.

- Renée Marie Cartier
HuntersCabin_Body_01_04I hunt bison in the area mostly for something to do – they roam thickly here and in Everfall, and the skins fetch a decent price in Windsward for those unwilling to do the labor. I've not had the same aversion to cold as other settlers – hunting near the mountains is peaceful to me. I had a small base camp at the mountain to the north along the trails but past this expedition I found little game as it went deeper into the snows and mountains than before.

It was there I came across the first bison corpse – killed by wolves it seemed at a glance, but upon inspection I saw that the wounds the bison bore were marks of teeth and claws much bigger than any wolf I had ever seen. Inspecting the corpse more carefully, I discovered the bison's mouth to be covered in ice, as if its breath had frozen before it was torn apart. The icy tracks of the assailant led into the northern mountains.

- Renée Marie Cartier
HuntersCabin_Body_01_05The tracks of the creature that killed the bison were that of a wolf – but not a pack of wolves, a single wolf. Yet, based on the snow, much heavier than any wolf – and embedded in the tracks were small, snapped twigs, and in one, what seemed to be part of a tree root, covered in the same frost as marked the bison's wounds.

I consider myself no coward, but this isle's mysteries frighten me, for I do not know what the snows hide that stalks in the shape of a wolf and whose tracks are blended with that of the forest – but I do not wish to find out.

- Renée Marie Cartier
HuntersCabin_Body_01_06Yet as the bison seemed to thin in the passes and I became wary of the strange wolf tracks in the mountains, I found myself avoiding the mountain snows and instead, favoring hunts deeper into the woods.

It was on the hunt today that I first caught sight of the stag – not a stag as familiar to us, but something that seemed grown from the forest and had taken the shape of a stag – I know not how to explain it. Around its horns grew moss, flowers, and its hide was the rich green grass of the forest floor. The sight struck me so I could not move, I could not breathe, until the creature seemed to spot me, then leapt away and vanished into the undergrowth.

Now every silhouette in the forest stands out starkly to me: the animals of the isle are not governed by the seasons, but shaped from them – the earth, the vegetation, even the snow and ice.

- Renée Marie Cartier
HuntersCabin_Body_01_07I head to the great crater lake at first light – the journey will be long, but I think the leagues shall pass quickly. I have heard tales of the strange forest creatures there, seemingly woven from the wood itself – a trapper in the local outpost had given the creature a name, a ‘spriggan,' a tree spirit the height of four men, with a body and limbs of branches given life – is this something born of the isle? Or perhaps something created by the azoth in the forest?

This isle is filled with wonders, and I wish to see them all. May fortune favor me on my journey – a glimpse of such a sprite is all I require, even if I must spend weeks circling the lake.

- Renée Marie Cartier
HuntersCabin_Body_01_08Chance meeting and odd meeting with someone I had nearly forgotten about – the gentleman scholar I had met the previous year, M. Grenville. The man seems struck by the same wanderlust as I, though his seems more in the way of digging up stones and picking at bricks in old ruins. I offered him and his companions shelter for the night, but though his companions seemed to want to rest, he seemed eager to be on his way and kept speaking of a Great Discovery that was within his reach, if his efforts proved true.

His manner – while not hostile, and I'm certain he meant no rudeness or insult by it – was rather unsettling, and seemed to have an urgency about him – not of one fleeing something, but chasing something.

In an attempt to calm him, I asked if he still played his piano, and he seemed confused for a moment, as if he had quite forgotten it existed, then shook his head, as if the memory was unwelcome, a distraction. I hope he finds what he seeks, though I fear what he might stir up in the Brightwood if he does not take care to slow his pace.

- Renée Marie Cartier
HuntersCabin_Body_01_09I awoke to hear the cry of the animals – I heard them making cries in the middle of the night, and blue fires on the roads from lanterns that had been dark for as long as I have been upon the isle. Behind it all, there was a roar that rose in waves, then faded - and a great frozen light from the great rock that sits in the center of the stone ring.

I fear what I shall find, but I will not wait for the tide to claim me without going to see with my own eyes what has happened. Is this the Great Discovery that Grenville spoke of? If so, I fear it has consumed him – and awoken something in the isle itself.

- Renée Marie Cartier

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