Sacred 2:The Art of Trapping

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Interesting Facts about Ancaria
Book 9

The Art of Trapping

Hunting is said to be noble and refined, but anyone who has spent days in a rainy forest only to return to their village wet, ill and without any prey knows that it's not always accurate. Why should you endure the dangers and the boredom if you can make use of traps made of shroud-spider-silk and sharpened logs?

Of course many hunters eventually have the idea to set up traps to make the whole hunting business a little easier, but if they were all successful it wouldn't be possible to take a step into the forest without falling into a pit full of spears or getting caught in a sling and dangling from a tree by your feet. Luckily the art of trapping is complicated. The secrets of this profession are taught in the trapper's guild but it's very selective and there are difficult entrance examinations, for example you'll have to catch a Dryad monitor lizard or a similar unpleasant animal alive. If that doesn't frighten you, just ask the furriers or the people in the taverns about the members of this guild. You can find it in almost every city and near the profitable hunting areas.

If you pass the entrance examination you will begin your training. Training can last up to seven years, depending on your skill and your thirst for knowledge. Nobody knows exactly what they teach, but according to rumors you only practice binding and placing slings in the first year. Squirrels and rabbits are mostly caught this way. Afterwards you practice how to hunt with nets, which are hung in trees and activated with a mechanism on the ground. With nets and with slings you are able to catch living animals. Apprentices allegedly have to kill all animals that get hurt in those traps, and set the rest free.

After this skill is mastered, the apprentice moves on to the deadly traps. Pits full of sharpened logs are quite laborious, but with them the trapper is able to kill larger animals which they could otherwise only hunt in groups or at great danger to themselves. The most important part of this trap is the material the pit is covered with. It has to be cleverly disguised and look robust enough to fool the animal, but it can't be too solid so it will burst when the animals walks over it. A perfect cover collapses at the moment the animal reaches the middle of the pit, too soon or too late gives the animal the chance of reaching solid ground instead of falling. Good trappers build those covers with such precision that a whole herd of deer can pass by and it only collapses when the first stag steps on it.

It's obvious that these traps can't be built in most areas. In populated places it's strictly forbidden, as is the setting up of so called spear throwers - wooden gates with spears that quickly come out of the ground or a tree. When hunting predators these traps are quite common though, so most hunters stay near these traps to warn unsuspecting people who may be passing in the area. But of course there are also hunters who prefer to spend their days at the tavern and to trust the mercy of the Gods. If you should happen to meet one of these trappers, it would be advisable to not take the shorter way through the forest...

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