By Strength of Hounds: 2. A Note on Hunting

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2. A Note on Hunting

This story uses much of the terminology of the medieval hunt, for details of which I recommend John Cummin's delightful The Hound and the Hawk: The Art of Medieval Hunting (1988).  A hart is a red deer stag of at least ten points (tines on his antlers); a buck is a male fallow deer, and a roebuck is a male roe deer.  Raches are running-hounds, the scenthounds that make up the pack; alaunts are stronger and more reckless smooth-coated gazehounds, often brought in to finish off boar and bear; mastiffs are larger still, rough-coated, usually considered too coarse for anything but guarding herd and home.

In a classic hart-hunt, the company assembled and its leaders decided on the precise quarry and strategy; relays of running-hounds were placed at appropriate locations along the course the quarry was expected to take; the quarry was unharboured (flushed from cover) and then the chase began.  Harts were admired for their speed, endurance, and ruses for throwing the dogs off the scent; even with shrewd planning and relays of fresh hounds, a good chase often took the better part of a day.  When the hart was finally worn down, he would turn at bay, defying and threatening the pack.  In deference to his nobility, he ought to be slain by the highest-ranking hunter present, afoot, with a sword.  After the mort (or death), there was an elaborate procedure for the proper "unmaking" (butchering) of the carcass, which also ought to be done by the highest-ranking member of the company.  Finally, the hounds were rewarded with a meal of the viscera, bread soaked in the blood, and occasionally some of the meat.

This style of aristocratic hunting was considered the best possible training for war, and--aside from love and war--the only proper pursuit for a nobleman.  It may not have been the only proper pursuit for a High Elf, but The Silmarillion clearly shows that many of the Noldor had a passion for the hunt.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Adaneth

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 03/10/09

Original Post: 01/03/09

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By Strength of Hounds

Larner - 25 Dec 09 - 8:32 PM

Ch. 2: A Note on Hunting

A humorous ending, and particularly as Erestor is usually depicted as particularly proper.  Ah!  Love the hunting detail.

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