1. The Silent forest
The wood was near silent. In the early morning mist, small creatures busied themselves, making food stores for the fast approaching cold months. Though many of the forests inhabitants were already huddled down in shelter, some remained active - even in the spine chilling fog. Deer were very few in number for this time of year, usually late autumn days brought at least a few elk. But there were few animals brave enough to venture out of shelter in Skinwood with the hunter so close by.
Keara moved stealthily through the mossy trees; careful not to scare away the prey - or what was left of it anyway. The girl’s rough red-brown trousers gently brushed the long, twisted ferns as she drew back her bowstring. Keara pulled back her hood slightly for a better line of shot at the nearest deer. Grey dawn light illuminated her pale pointed face, golden green eyes glistened sharply from underneath a bald head. Keara couldn’t remember a time before she hadn’t shaved her head, but her dark purple eyebrows gave her an idea as to why.
The brothers of Skinwood abbey had feared and reviled the small, violet haired and scarred infant when brother Soris had found her, Keara had been naked and alone, lying in a drift of dry leaves in this very forest. After much arguments among the abbey folk (mainly involving the words daemon child and abomination) Brother Soris had then been tasked with raising this strange young child. Eighteen years later and little of the other brothers attitudes had changed, her unnatural appearance was still a thing of much ridicule and speculation.
Keara took a deep breath before loosing her poised arrow, it met its mark in the deer’s chest, she hurried over to the felled animal, which was still twitching feebly and used her knife to finish the job. Looking wistfully down at the dead creature Keara felt the usual pang of guilt, her practical side soon swooped in to quench it. im the abbey hunter she scolded herself mentally as she hefted her kill onto her shoulders. I cant let everyone go hungry just because I feel bad about it. Emerald green moss and ferns crunched under her boots as Keara began the difficult walk back to Skinwood abbey.
The hunter followed.