The Long Hunt is a rite of passage for young members of the Snowind tribe to prove their maturity. Within a period of one month the youths must go on a long hunt that includes the exploration of new terrain, gathering information on wildlife, and other inhabitants, a spiritual awakening, and the hunting of a beast that must be ritually prepared for the Feast of Return.
The Feast of Return lasts another month and during this time the newly gathered information is wrought into song lyrics, inscribed on maps, painted on walls and hides, and so forth.
The function of this tradition clearly is exploration, and gathering knowledge.
There is, however, a mystical Long Hunt, too, which is sometimes used to find a new leader for the tribe, or to select and prepare a warrior who then becomes champion of the tribe in order to protect them against evil forces.
One of the tribe is selected and receives the Bow of the Long Hunt, a weapon made by a master bowyer, enchanted by a wizard, and blessed by a priest of the Snowind tribe.
Those who receive the bow will have a quest bestowed upon them. It is alway accompanied by visions (daydreams, and nightmares) of a mythical beast, that must be tracked, hunted, and slayed.
Again, the purpose of the Long Hunt is to gather information, and explore new terrain, and ways. As for the mystical long hunt, it means self-exploration as well, the longer the journey, the more the character can learn. The Beast at the end of the quest is not necessarily the worst enemy the character will encounter.
Powers granted to the character on quest
+2 tracking, survival, perception, endurance, astronomy/navigation
Receive 50 XP per day of quest duration.
Upon command (given only to Snowind people)
Add 2d6+3 to hit point total. This is only for the duration of the quest.
Combat modifiers against Quest Beast only!
+5 to hit Quest Beast; on hit it must save vs. death or die. On successful save it suffers 3d6 damage.
Against other enemies this is a normal bow.
The duration of a Mystical Long Hunt differs from character to character.
Table A (d6)
1-5 One month
6 One year (Upon completion the character automatically becomes a loremaster, and rolls twice on table c.)
The Bow features a magical ornament that grows with each night that has passed since the beginning of the quest. It will stretch over the whole weapon when the time is up.
If the quest is aborted, or the hunt failed in the required amount of time, the character will face the Quest Beast a final time in a vivid daydream encounter and put a mark of failure on the character along with the following effect:
Table B (d6)
- Lose all class abilities, and become a 0-level character. You can keep your hit points, and attack rolls, though, but will want to start a new career as a farmer, fisherman, or tailor and become very proficient at it.
- You failed, but learned a lesson. WIS +1, but reduce hp total by 1d6+3 (to a minimum of 1).
- Lifelong nightmares of the Quest beast, unless another life quest is fulfilled.
- Urge to settle down, and never go adventuring again.
- You are cursed, and must take on a new quest next year. Until then you are at -3 on all rolls.
- You are cursed, though everyone will think you're a hero. Get used to -3, and being sent on quest after quest, and getting challenged by evil warriors, and dragons.
On quest completion the character receives the mark of Completion by the Quest Beast along with a gift of power and maturity. Roll d12 two times (No gift may be taken twice, so reroll.)
- +1d3 WIS
- +1d3 CHA
- +1d3 STR
- +1d3 DEX
- +1d3 CON
- +1d3 INT
- +1d12+5 hp (permanently)
- Receive spirit companion
- Receive blessing: all saving throws +4
- Protection from evil 120'
- Gain healing touch: twice per day cure disease, poison, heal serious wounds
- Character becomes loremaster and gains all the knowledge gathered by the tribe: +4 on survival, nature, astronomy, tribe lore etc.
8HD, AC 0, # Attacks 1 Damage 2d6 , Move 14, Save 7 CL/XP:* See Table C.
Size and shape vary. To one character it may be a dragon, to another a giant bear. It cannot be harmed by any weapon other than the Bow of the Long Hunt.
A PC who is member of the Snowind Tribe may receive a mystical Long Hunt quest, and thus is strongly tied to the history of the tribe. If you (DM) want the PCs to be part of the game world, let 'em have it.
The PCs are hired to find the Bow for another warrior who wants the artifact to help him slay a dragon. The PC who gets hold of the bow first will receive a Long Hunt quest, and will probably be hunted by the warrior himself.
The PCs encounter a member of the Snowind Tribe on a Long Hunt, or someone who stole the bow, and has difficulties in coping with the visions. The NPC needs help to fulfill the quest, and is willing to part with the bow once the quest is completed.
The PCs find the bow in a random location (d6):
- On the bed of a brook.
- At a merchant's store.
- Gathering dust on display over a fire place at the local inn.
- As part of a dragon hoard.
- In any one dungeon room.
- Resting in the hands of a skeleton archer who found his death on a cozy bed of green moss in the forest.