For G in my A-Z Wilds Duology Challenge, I created instructions for a Games Survival Kit. For a good long while, an annual event was held in between the territories of wild and civilized houndmasters and dogs. They were called the Lo’fel Games and were focused on mending the violent hatred between the two groups.
This story is a teaser for my upcoming novel, Haunt of the Wilds, on pre-order now for only .99c.
Games Survival Kit
1 bark-made map
1 schedule of events
1 large bag of dried jerky
2 small bones
2 bottles of Runner’s Heart alcohol
2 pouches of ilarm pollen powder
3 packets of unscented oil
These kits are meant to help you navigate your way through your time at the Lo’fel Games, especially if it’s your first time. If you need further help, please look for one of the volunteers. They will be wearing thick strands of blue-painted blackflower vines around their arms.*
The front side of the map shows the main staging area for the Lo’fel Games. The pup grounds have been moved into the center to help keep the pups protected. The sands to the far west are for only those houndmasters and dogs who have qualified in preliminaries. We don’t want too many bloodbaths here and equal fights are always longer and far more fun to watch—if you’re not as good, keep to the east sands where you damn well belong.
The back of the map shows the runner paths that extend into the lower mountains. We have a handful of volunteers along the foothills, but will only be sending one late-night med-team through the paths to pick up anyone who has fallen or become too hurt from random fighting to continue during that day’s races. Race at your own risk.
The event schedule is self-explanatory. Don’t be late. For some events, like the footraces, you shall be forced to start late. For others, like the sand pit specials, you will be mocked relentlessly and likely given the reigning champion as your first battle. Seriously, don’t be late.
The bag of jerky is made by the Wa’tor Pack. Say thank you if you meet any of them or else they might band together and string you upside-down over a cliff during one of your race events. Happens every year. Don’t let it happen to you.
The bones are a game set up and played by a couple of wilds families. Most are mountain goats. If you get mountain goat bones, let your pups chew on them because you lost. If you’re one of the lucky ones who finds a hawk bone instead, head over to the vender tree flats and pick up your specially made bone strands or headpiece.
The Runner’s Heart has been donated by a group of doghouses from up north. This is our obligatory keep-the-doghouses-in-business pitch by giving them your patronage. We don’t really think they need the help, but we promise every year to give them three lines.
The ilarm powder is for the hunts. Other than the single DO NOT KILL rule that encompasses every event at the Lo’fel Games, there are no rules for the hunts, but because houndmasters whine too much about “unfairness” we have put together the powder for those who don’t live in an area where the flowers grow prevalent. Use them to overwhelm another houndmaster or dog’s sense of smell so they can’t track. Try not to be an idiot and sniff it yourself. No one will feel sorry for you.
The blindfold is for all day-four events. It’s the scent-only day. All races, hunts and fights will be done with the blindfold on, so don’t lose it.
As for the packets of oil…
See now, we’ve had situations occur in the past. Rough situations. You know the type. If the need seizes you, and we’re sure it will, now you have something to wet the way. We would order everyone to keep things consensual, but that goes against our one-rule policy. Instead, we’d like to impart a few words of warning:
ALL HOUNDMASTERS AND DOGS HERE ARE NOT ALONE.
That’s right. You fuck with someone, you’ll get their entire family or pack hunting you down and getting as close to that Do Not Kill rule as possible. Try not to be a dogshit idiot.
Good luck! Have fun! Run hard and fight harder!
*We have had problems in the past where younger houndmasters think it’s humorous to wear painted blackflower vines to mimic those of the volunteers and then give out wrong information. Please be cautious. (We think it’s funny too, but we were told we had to write this.)
Haunt of the Wilds
The Wilds Duology: Book I
On Pre-order for .99c