Harrier dogs are very rare and expensive dog breed. They have been bred since the beginning of time to hunt down and kill large animals such as deer, boar, elk or even humans. There are two types of hounds: hunting hound and police/military hounds. Hunting hounds were originally used for hunting wild game like rabbits, hares, squirrels etc. Police/Military hounds were specially trained to track down criminals and terrorists. Their job was to catch them before they could cause any harm to others.
The first known record of a hound being used for hunting dates back to the ancient Greeks. A Greek hunter named Eumolpus shot a wild boar with his hunting dog, which he caught and killed himself. Later, when the Romans invaded Greece, they brought their own hunting dogs with them. These dogs proved to be extremely effective at catching and killing various game species.
Today’s hounds are bred from these ancient breeds. Most of the hounds today are still used for hunting purposes but some of them have been modified so that they can perform other tasks as well. For example, many police/military hounds were modified to become search and rescue (SAR) dogs. These dogs may have the scent-ability of a hunting hound but they also have the loyalty and obedience of a domestic dog, so they can be trusted to follow their human companions without chasing after wildlife or other prey.
Unlike most dog breeds, harrier dogs are not dependent on humans. They were bred for thousands of years to fend for themselves and survive in the wilderness. Even today, they are still very independent and do not require any special care or maintenance. They do not thrive on human contact like most other dog breeds. They are perfectly content to live outside and only venture inside when the weather gets really bad.
Harrier dogs look like a mixture of many different dog breeds. They tend to be more athletic than most dogs and have lean but muscular bodies. Their legs are long so they can maintain their speed for long periods of time while chasing their prey. Their heads are long and thin and their ears are pointed. Their jaws have a slight downward curve that allows them to bite into their prey and hang on, even when their victim is running at full speed.
These hounds are very fast, smart and tenacious. They can run for extended periods of time and still think clearly. While they may not be the biggest dog breed, one should never be fooled by their size. When they are unleashed upon their prey, there is no creature that can outrun or outmaneuver them. Even bears and large cats are not safe from these magnificent animals.
While some may think that hunting such majestic creatures is immoral and unethical, others see it as a necessary part of animal population control.
Harrier dogs were bred to hunt large animals so they tend to be very aggressive towards other dogs and animals in general. It is extremely rare for two male harrier dogs to be in the same place at the same time. They may get along for a little while, but eventually they will start fighting with each other. Even female harrier dogs have been known to fight with each other if they are placed in the same area for too long.
These hounds are not usually utilized for their coats but their long, lean yet muscular build allows them to move quickly and with great agility. Some owners have started to breed them for these traits and a few have been successful. These owners make a lot of money by having their harrier dogs participate in high-stakes races with other well-bred racers, such as the famous Gladitorial Cart Racing (G.C.R.) competitions.
Races like these are very popular with the citizens of Antila and make for a very entertaining (and sometimes bloody) event. Some of the racers are muzzled, some are given a head start and others are put in special traps to keep them from harming (or helping) their competition. Whatever the case, these races are exciting to watch and the harrier hounds are extremely fast, which makes them exciting to bet on.
Harrier hound puppies are extremely rare, so most owners will go to great lengths to make sure their dogs do not reproduce. However, should a litter of harrier hound puppies happen to be born, they will be sold for an extremely high price. This is because the puppies’ lean and muscular bodies make them perfect candidates to be used in racing or hunting. Their long legs and lean build also make them excellent climbers. Some owners like to breed these dogs with other dog breeds in an effort to increase the amount of puppies, but most prefer to keep them pure.
Harrier hound puppies are extremely energetic and like to bite at just about anything. Owners make sure to keep anything that could possibly injure their eyes out of reach of these little dogs. One wrong step and a puppy could go blind for life.
Since the harrier dog is a hunting dog, most are not very well-trained and rely on their instincts and intelligence to survive. Owners usually make sure to train these dogs while they are puppies or the animals might become too difficult to handle. Specialized coaches are sometimes hired to train these dogs in the ways of racing or hunting. These coaches are usually (but not always) able to calm a harrier dog down and get it accustomed to following orders. Without proper training, a harrier dog may refuse to follow orders and this can lead to problems for its owner or itself.
Breeding harrier dogs is almost never done for the money because these animals do not usually live very long. Most owners hope to earn money by placing wagers on their dogs during high-stakes races or bets on how many deer their dogs can hunt down in a certain amount of time.
Harrier dogs only produce about one litter of puppies a year and these litters do not usually have more than three pups in them. If owners are lucky enough to have this happen, they will usually keep two puppies as pets and sell the rest to owners who want them for racing or hunting.
The average harrier dog will live anywhere from five to ten years, but some have been known to live up to thirteen years. Owners typically keep track of their dogs’ ages by the number of races or hunts they’ve participated in.
* Bite: A harrier hound’s bite does little damage, but their jaw strength is much higher than most humanoids and this allows them to do a small amount of puncture damage. This does not use any feats and is the equivalent of a “unarmed” attack for a typical character.
Feats: Combat Feats are allowed.
Notes: All attacks from harrier hounds are considered to be”armed,” since they are teeth and are always considered to be coated in a mild poison that causes numbness and slows the victim’s breathing. This “slow-poison” is not sufficient to cause any permanent damage unless it is brought into large quantities, but it can be deadly if enough is ingested. For every 3 “doses” of slow-poison that enters the bloodstream of a creature, that creature receives a -1 to all action rolls. This effect lasts for 1d4+1 rounds.
The numbness also causes a slight paralysis in the effected limb for 1d4 minutes. (This is negated if the proper antidotes are known and administered)
The slow-poison is not contagious and can be washed off. The oil can be harmlessly washed off with water, and the numbness can be negated with alcohol or strong alcohol-based cleaners.
The poison can be cleaned off with strong alcohol.
The paralysis can be cured by making a successfull medicine roll (difficulty depending on the situation), or waiting out the time.
Affected creatures will usually know to avoid harrier hound spit in the future.
Harrier hounds have no other special abilities or defenses other than their strong jaws and natural instincts.
HARRIER HOUND HUNTING:
The best way to hunt harrier hounds is with other harrier hounds. Most owners will keep at least two or three of these beasts at home as pets or guardians, but a few towns and villages make a living by breeding and selling harrier hounds to hunters and those seeking the thrill of the chase.
The basic price for a harrier hound is 50 gold pieces. This price does not include the cost of a hunting license, which is an extra 5 gold pieces. (Hunting without a license is illegal and subject to fines, even if you’re hunting a dog.)
Huge harrier hounds (usually 3 ft. longer and 40% more muscle) are available for 75 gold pieces and require a hunting license as mentioned above.
Due to their rarity and value, breeding contracts are usually in place on these hounds.
Harrier hounds usually hunt in packs, so it’s rare that a town or village won’t have at least 2 or 3 of these beasts for sale.
Most hunters prefer to hunt alone since having human companionship usually distracts the hounds from their true purpose. (Fighting and hunting)
For every two harrier hounds purchased, the town or village that sold them will usually throw in a free one of their own breeding for the next time a hunter comes around. These hounds will not be as big, or as battle-ready at first, but they will still do their job and they make good companions for returning home. These hounds are generally given names since they won’t be used for fighting.
Harrier hounds can usually smell prey up to half a mile away even if they’re not directly trailing it. They will give chase without the use of a scent, but the scent trail will always be followed if it is strong enough.
The best way to hunt harrier hounds is to prepare a “trail.” The best of these are made from the actual garment the prey is wearing since the hounds can pick up the scent much better.
If a garment is not available, then the next best thing is to prepare a mixture of oils, soaps, and other scented items worn by the prey.
The oil from a human’s palm is usually enough to throw off a hound for at least a few minutes if it’s strong enough. (Most hunters keep a vial of oil in case of emergencies)
Once the hounds have the scent, they only need to be led in the right direction. They’ll take it from there.
Harrier Hounds are extremely vicious beasts that will not stop hunting their prey until it is dead or the hounds themselves are killed.
The only way to get a hound to stop chasing you is to either lose it in the trees (if you’re in a forest) or run faster than it. (If you’re on open ground)
Wounded hounds are even more tenacious, so it is best to avoid wounding them at all if possible.
The best way to kill a harrier hound is with fire since they’re quite weak against it. (They tend to overheat quickly)
Killing or even seriously wounding a hound will usually cause the rest to retreat.
A pack of harrier hounds can easily rip apart a lone individual without much trouble, but they can be beaten.
It is not recommended to attack a pack of these beasts with normal weapons or fists since they will easily get out of hand.
Various types of bombs that can be bought at hunting supply stores are quite effective, but they can be expensive and hard to come by for most people.
In some old ruins, there are small magical containers that can be used to hold the scent of prey. Hitting a hound with one of these will cause them to chase after the smell indefinitely. (Until they hit a dead end or can’t track the scent anymore)
The best way to hunt beasts is to understand they are beasts. Use their instincts and habits against them.
No two beasts are the same, and each will have their own individual quirks that you can use to your advantage if you know what to look for.
Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, from humans to giants. Some are slow but powerful. Others are fast but weak. It is best not to think of them as beings with rights or emotions. They’re like animals, and should be treated as such.
Monster hunting is a job for those who want to put their lives on the line to protect the more civilized people of the city.
The easiest way of fighting most monsters is to heavily outnumber them. This gives the men more options in battle, such as being able to take down a foe from multiple sides.
Groups of heroes are often used to hold back larger monsters so that normal soldiers can take them down. Giants in particular are very easy to slay when you cut off their legs. They become little more than moving shields for the orcs riding on them.
Trolls are not very intelligent creatures, but their power and endurance often make up for this. They’re slow and can be easily outrun, though they have incredible strength that can easily tear a man in half. (or crush him if he’s lucky)
Trolls can regenerate from even the most grievous of wounds, but only if you don’t seriously damage their heads. Even a slight nick can prevent them from regenerating.
Giants are large humanoids that often live in hills and mountainous areas. They’re very unintelligent and violent by nature.
Hill giants are the smallest type of giant, but are still many times larger than a man. They often live in small tribes in hills and mountains.
Mountain Giants are solitary creatures that live high in the mountains, often above the snow line where no humans venture.
Fire giants live in volcanoes, and often have an interest in acquiring a “fire girl” which they keep locked up in their rooms. They’re not adverse to daytime strolls about the surrounding countryside though.
Ettins are violent and dimwitted creatures with two heads. They often lead bands of other monsters.
Minotaurs are half man half bull creatures that are lorded over by the bull part of their body. They often lead bands of marauding orcs and others of their kind.
Ogres are large, dimwitted, and violent. They often live in the mountains, but can also be found in caves or anywhere else that can serve as a home.
Orcs are green-skinned warriors that live for battle. They have crude culture centered around battle and war. They often launch raids on human towns.
Goblins are small green creatures that often serve the larger monsters. Many intelligent men believe they are related to elves, as they share many of the same traits.
Ghouls are the myriad of undead creatures that roam the world. They’re often slow and unintelligent, but very persistent. There are many different types of ghouls.
Wights are amongst the most dangerous of the living dead. They have the power of cold magic and can drain the life of others with their gaze.
Skeletons are amongst the most basic of the undead. They’re often under the control of more powerful creatures.
Shades are amongst the lower rung of the living dead, as they have barely any control over themselves. They often frenzy and have to be kept in check by more powerful undead.
Ghosts are often the remnants of people who have unfinished business and are trapped in a state of limbo.
Zombies are amongst the least powerful of the undead. They’re often under the command of more powerful undead.
There are many dangers beyond the kobold threat that threaten man. Many times these creatures dwell in lands that humans cannot reach, or in large numbers that could never be defeated by any normal military might. These monsters dwell in the shadows, but sometimes they come to the light to claim what they believe is theirs.
Wendigos are cannibalistic creatures that have combined monster and man. They often reside in cave systems beyond the northern most regions of the world.
Vampires are undead creatures of the night that rely on blood to survive. They’re usually very charismatic and persuasive, which makes them especially dangerous. They can walk around in the sunlight, but it weakens them substantially.
Ghosts are the remnants of people who have died with unfinished business. They’re often bound to a certain location, reliving their death repeatedly.
Wights are amongst the most dangerous of the undead. They have control over ice and frost and drain the lifeforce of others. They’re very difficult to put down.
Phantom fleets contain undead sailors that couldn’t get off their ships before they sank, becoming anchored to their spot at the bottom of the ocean.
Sources & references used in this article:
A genealogical survey of Australian registered dog breeds by D Watson – 2010 – A&C Black
Dog star rising: the canine genetic system by MR Shariflou, JW James, FW Nicholas, CM Wade – The Veterinary Journal, 2011 – Elsevier
The invention of the modern dog: breed and blood in Victorian Britain by NB Sutter, EA Ostrander – Nature Reviews Genetics, 2004 – nature.com
Wolf attacks on dogs in Finland by M Worboys, JM Strange, N Pemberton – 2018 – books.google.com
New Mexico Ornithological Society by I Kojola, J Kuittinen – Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2002 – JSTOR
A prospective study of breed differences in the thermal pain sensitivity of dogs by RNHB RECORDS, NT PLAINS – nmbirds.org