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"These priests of Taal, these horned hunters, these worshippers of the forest, they may live upon the forest as we do; hunt its creatures as we do; even revere her beauty as we do. But they will never understand as we do."

—Asterion, Wood elf scout.[2a]

Horned Hunter

The rites of Taal demand great physical, emotional, and mental fortitude for its practitioners. Some see the trappings of civilisation—cities, courts, and the like—as a failing in the interpretation of Taal's will. The Horned Hunters are deeply zealous and shun the city. Unlike Taal's Chosen, the Horned Hunters give up much in the way of a material life. They shun normal clothing and armour and wear animal skins, loincloths, or less. Part of their initiation into this group is to undergo extensive tattooing, covering their chest and face. Horned Hunters prowl the woods both within the Taalbaston and throughout Talabecland and claim allegiance only to Taal. While they lack the fiery rhetoric of most zealots, they are still fervent in their beliefs and believe that conversion comes from actions, rather than words.[1a]

Forest Mentors

A devotee of Taal who decides to follow the path of the horned hunter is most often guided by a mentor, an experienced horned hunter who suddenly appears in his life to teach him the ways of the forest, and help ease the transition from the civilised world to an existence completely dependent on nature.[3a]

The new horned hunter is taught how to survive alone in the woods, and even those who pride themselves on their survival skills and wilderness savvy are surprised at how little they actually know.[3a]

When his ward is ready, the forest mentor will leave him to embark on the path of the horned hunter alone, returning to the shrine of Taal and Rhya to report on the progress of his charge, or returning to his duties elsewhere in the forest.[3a]

Those that survive the ordeal and make their back to the shrine are officially accepted into the fraternity of Horned Hunters. Those that do not survive also provide a valuable service – as cautionary tales to fledgling horned hunters, and noble sacrifices to Taal.[3a]

The Ghost

Greatest of all the horned hunters within the Taalbaston is the one known only as The Ghost. Even among other hunters and devotees of Taal, he is more legend than fact, and the only evidence of his passing are the remains of his enemies, peppered with arrows.[3a]

The only thing that can be said with certainty is that the Ghost is a hunter without peer, one truly blessed by Taal to be one with the woods. His deeds include the slaying of Orcs, Goblins and Beastmen as well as other, darker creatures that wander the forests of Talabecland.[3a]

He kills from the shadows of the trees with his bow, as elusive as his namesake; his foes never see their attacker. The Ghost has an uncanny knack of mysteriously appearing in the right place at the right time to challenge those that threaten the Cult of Taal or desecrate the Taalbaston.[3a]

Most people say that this is proof that he is guided by Taal's hand, but there are some who claim that the Ghost does not actually exist, or that if he does, he is not actually a follower of Taal at all, but a rogue Wood Elf. However, most Talabeclanders prefer to believe that their forest is under the protection of this enigmatic champion of Taal.[3a]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Terror in Talabheim
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- Signs of Faith
    • 2a: pg. 14
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Career Compendium
    • 3a: pg. 105
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