by Charissa de La Sirra
The Young Vicious Horde had brought no herds with them, so they were dependent on hunting to provide food. In Mongolia, they would hunt small furry animals called marmots. The closest animal to a marmot, in Northshield. was a squirrel. Great luck was with them when they discovered that Prince Gaius Niklos Luctator hated squirrels. The prince gladly granted them hunting rights to all squirrels in Northshield.
The first hunt was held at Investiture. The squirrels had hidden in the hallways surrounding the main hall. The court was amused at the sight of disciplined youth archers, sneaking up and surrounding the target squirrel. Then the hunt leader would point at a single archer, who would then slay the squirrel with a single shot to the head (of course). One single treacherous remaining squirrel was now hiding in the main hall. The squirrel had befriended Baroness Elashava bas Riva and was hiding in her skirts. The Young Vicious Horde could climb great mountains, but they could not get to Shava, who was now watching the final coronet tournament round that would make her the Stellar Heir. That squirrel must have been very lucky indeed. Finally, after a long wait, the last infamous squirrel was procured, fulfilling the Prince's instructions to clear the grounds of all squirrels.
The reputation of the Young Vicious Horde grew the longer that they were in Northshield. A great house had bred a line of very smart blue squirrels that, of course, that had gotten away from them, causing great havoc and mischief. They feared the Prince would soon become aware of those tricky blue squirrels, so they asked if the Young Vicious Horde could capture these blue squirrels so they could safely be taken to new lands. Fortunately, the house knew the exact number of blue squirrels and general hiding grounds. So at Boars Head, in Caer Anterth Mawr, all day was spent finding squirrels who hid on ceilings, under chairs, behind wall hangings and in very difficult places to find. Fortunately, the populace had heard of the mission of the Young Vicious Horde and were acting as lookouts. At dusk, the last squirrel was found. At court, the great house was able to gain the Prince's permission to send the blue squirrels to new lands.
All seemed to be well, until the Baronial College of Nordleigh begged the Prince's mercy, for squirrels were the symbol of their college and they were being hunted down. The Prince was at a loss, for the squirrels had always caused great trouble. Being one of the great Princes who sympathized with his people, he allowed that if the Nordleigh college could keep the squirrels out of his sight and out of trouble, then those squirrels that behaved could be safe from hunting. One Nordleigh lady had shown such great passion for squirrels, that her home was granted as a total sanctuary for squirrels. I imagine to this day, hundreds of squirrels live in this tiny home. One grumpy tiger has to sweep squirrels off a chair, just to sit down. The Young Vicious Horde and the populace responded to the Nordleigh plea for help, there were counts of more than 30 hidden squirrels at any given event that did not bother the Prince. Now the Young Vicious Horde were squirrel herders.
Unfortunately, this meant no hunting and therefore no food from hunting. Fortunately, at this same time, the Young Vicious Horde found the wonders of Candy and Cake that were easily earned through doing favors. Soon rumors and whispers came to the Horde of great giant squirrels that haunted the lands of Northshield. Everyone agreed with the Prince that the these creatures were major trouble and fair game for the hunt. Throughout the fall, the Horde traveled from place to place, seeking the giant squirrel.
In the dead of winter, the young hunters tracked the giant to Camp Courage. The giant squirrel was tough and led a merry chase through every cabin, taking many arrow shots. Finally, at the end of camp, at the Prince's feet, the giant squirrel died. The Horde took away the carcass and skinned it.
The Young Vicious Horde was an inclusive group, gathering many new young people into their group, including One Young Roman. Citing past good deeds, the One Young Roman pled for the opportunity to present the squirrel skin in court. His wish was granted. So that Winter Court will ever be remembered. for the image of the tiny One Young Roman dragging the huge squirrel skin, up the aisle, to his Highness Gaius Niklos Luctator. The Prince was so moved that he asked for elevation of his One Young Roman to nobility. The great and Dreaded Highness Aramanthra recognized all of the Vicious Horde for excelling in arts, in sciences, in combat, in hunting and also in mastering the ways of the European Court. In a Mongolian tradition, the young women were given riding crops and the young men with given foxtails.
The Young Vicious Horde then tracked down the final remaining giant squirrel in the lands of Jararvellir. This giant squirrel was even larger and more tough than previous squirrel. By this time, the Young Vicious Horde was so skilled and experienced that they finished this squirrel with great efficiency and panache.
From these tales that have now traveled through many lands, Mongols everywhere know that the hunting is good in Northshield.