The Wild Hunt According to Jamie Poole
What do you know of the Wild Hunt? Are you a fan of the Witcher? Did you know that the Wild Hunt is not a creation of the Witcher? The Brothers Grimm wrote a story about the event, but it's older even than this.
According to one website, the first record of the Wild Hunt is from CE 1127:
This spectral, nocturnal horde was the “Wild Hunt,” which was recorded in folklore all throughout ancient, medieval, and even early modern Europe, but was especially concentrated in the Germanic lands of northern Europe. In Scandinavia, it was called Oskoreia, “Terrifying Ride,” or Odensjakt, “Odin’s Hunt.” In Middle High German, it was called Wuotanes Her, “Odin’s Army,” and in modern German Wütende Heer, “Furious/Inspired Army,” or Wilde Jagd, “Wild Hunt.” It swept through the forests in midwinter, the coldest, darkest part of the year, when ferocious winds and storms howled over the land...
This is one description of the Wild Hunt. The peoples of Britian have their own ideas.
The Wild Hunt is first mentioned in Jamie Poole in the third book, Tome of Tubal-Cain. Nick Fagan introduces Jamie to the idea based on lore his Irish grandparents had shared with him. The Wild Hunt will follow Jamie until the end of the series. Sorry, should I have yelled "Spoilers!"?
Based on more Celtic lore, the Wild Hunt does not present itself exactly as seen in the Witcher, but we're all pulling from old sources and adapting them to modern time, so that's OK! Jamie's Wild Hunt is just as spooky and supernatural. Or is it?? That will be for you to decide.
As we are approaching Yule (December 21 - January 1) I thought I'd share an exerpt from Tome of Tubal-Cain. And, as we are currently still a virtual vendor with Hal-Con, it is still possible to get this book or any from the Jamie Poole series. It is possible to arrange book dropoffs by arrangement. Contact info is localted our website, or Hal-Con's website. Our website provides payment options.
From Tome of Tubal-Cain. The setting is in the middle of nowhere in Montana while Jamie, Nick, and others gather around a campfire to listen to Shawn Marshall tell a story:
As the moon crested one of the buttes, Mr. Marshall shifted into his next story. “Do you know who the first people were to meet the Blackfoot?”
Ryan guessed Lewis and Clark. Jumeela thought a trader or trapper.
“Good guesses. But no. It was a gathering of horsemen. And a woman. Unfortunately historians have been unable to identify them. The woman has been the center of interest due to her role in this story. Some consider it merely a legend. You decide. It was a night much like tonight, right after a storm, when the sky was clear except for a few clouds. A full moon lit everything. Six men returned to their village, a few miles downstream from here. They approached that butte.” He pointed to a larger butte a half a mile from camp. “That's when they saw the horsemen charge out of storm clouds.”
“Riders on the storm,” Nick sang quietly to me. “You know. The Doors.”
Mr. Marshall said, “With a terrible pounding of hooves, these horsemen charged through the diminishing clouds as if descending from the heavens on a staircase of clouds.”
“Don’t you dare sing Stairway to Heaven,” I hissed.
Mr. Marshall continued, “They charged through the clouds toward the six men. As they drew closer, the sound of hounds baying filled the air loud as thunder. At first the men were terrified. They hid behind a butte but could not stop watching as the horsemen drew closer. Hounds flew in between churning hooves.”
“The Wild Hunt,” I breathed.
“What?” Nick’s head jerked towards me.
“The Wild Hunt? I don’t know why I said that.”
“It’s a myth.” He explained, “And not a First Nation myth. My grandparents were Irish. I grew up on myths. The Wild Hunt: A ghostly or supernatural group of huntsmen passing in wild pursuit. Depending on who does the telling, they could be elves, fairies, or the dead. There are many legends on who leads them. Cain. Gabriel. The Devil. Sometimes a woman accompanies them. Always dogs. It’s an omen of misfortune and death for those who see.”
“Oh great.” Normally it was me reciting myths. Bloody Hell. Bloody Hound.
“Or so my grandparents said.”
“Who did they think led the hunt?”
Dr. Hamilton shushed Nick before he could answer. The Voices answered for him. “We come.”
Again I wished they’d elaborate. The Wild Hunt was an omen of death. What did they mean, We come? They weren’t sinister. The Bloody Hound, sinister. Maybe the Voices warned me the Bloody Hound was about to pounce. No, that made no sense. I turned it around and around in my head as Mr. Marshall’s story took a sharp left.
“The huntsmen charged the men as they skimmed across the ground, but at the last minute they swerved. They wore animal skins and their red and gold hair flew free. Their faces were covered with beards. This is how the Blackfoot knew the huntsmen were not local men. The huntsmen carried shields and spears. Their eyes glittered blood red, horrifying. Surrounding them, enormous dogs kept pace with the horses. As they turned, the Blackfoot saw a lone woman rider. Unlike the men, her white garments were illuminated by the moonlight as she sat astride a pale horse. Her unbound hair rippled behind her like dark flames as she raced the wind. Her hair mingled with the horse’s mane. While her hair was black like a Blackfoot’s, her features were exotic.
“The men were mystified, enraptured by her beauty, but confused as to why she would ride with those men. They wondered if she was their queen. The huntsmen were ghosts of the dead. The Blackfoot feared ghosts. But the woman, her eyes blazed blue. She separated from the men and raced up to the Blackfoot, who huddled behind the butte. She sat proudly upon her horse, and it bared its teeth. She bared her teeth too. It looked like something crossed between a smile and a wolfish snarl. One of the men stepped forward. The woman touched his face and spoke words in her language. Her hands were warm, confirming that she was not dead. Then she tossed her hair before grabbing locks of the mane to race the back to the huntsmen. She used neither bridle nor saddle, but she could control that horse as well as any warrior. She and her huntsmen rode back over that butte there.” Mr. Marshall pointed. “There were a few sparks of lightning and then thnight fell silent.”
“And the men never discovered what she said?” Mike asked.
“They did not,” Mr. Marshall answered.