Name: He has many. Age: Uncertain In many lands there are tales of a man, a spirit or a creature in the hills. Seldom seen, even more seldom encountered but almost never sought out. All the legends agree on one point, he, or it, has some connection or power over the animals of the range. Most people fear the 'One on the Range' and he is used to frighten children to behave, in some places more often than the Dragon or the Forsaken. Strangely, the few who do not fear him are among those who have seen him, or one of his creatures. Indeed, the creatures are seen more often than he, many a time a child lost in the hills has been led back to the village, and thier frantic parents, by a large black hound who disappears as soon as another human is encountered. There are darker tales too, of campsites found deserted, black stains on the soil and drag marks leading into the trees. Travellers have reported uneasy feelings of being watched. Perhaps unsuprisingly brigandage is very uncommon in these regions and the local people are very law-abiding. More than one person has disappeared from their home in the dark of night, leaving no trace except occasionally, evidence of a hurried flight. Even more unsettling, the loved ones of those who have disappeared have sometimes been seen leaving a gift for the Woodsman, as they call him. They almost always appear to live happier lives afterward. Only one person has willingly spoken of him, a young boy who afterward was severely reprimanded (unusual in that they tried to make it secret) by some senior members of the Women's Circle. Even more strange, he had recanted almost everything before they got hold of him. He had been lured into the forest by his uncle, who appeared to have an unwholesome interest in the boy. The boy finally understood his intentions and bolted. The man appears to have flown into a rage and pursued the boy with a knife. The lad hid behind the roots of a large tree and thought he was safe. Until he sneezed. His uncle rounded the tree and siezed him by the hair, raising the dagger in his other hand. The boy is uncerain about what followed. He recalls hearing the voices of the village men, who had set out to search when he had been found missing. He remembers the look of pure hatred on his uncle's face. He recalls the warm liquid that sprayed on his face as his uncle fell backward. He had an impression of a large shaggy ...thing... that moved past him and tugged something from his uncle's face. He remembers warm breath on both sides of his face from something, no, two things behind his shoulders. He lay motionless as the ...thing... moved back behind him, dragging the corpse behind him. Still he lay frozen until he heard from behind him, "Go to them, say nothing but what you must". The soft, deep voice scared him more than anything that had happened so far. He forced himself to his feet and darted toward the voices. He told them his tale and led them to the spot but by the time they returned to the village he had changed his story, saying that a bear had taken his uncle. *************** Recently a book by an anonymous author has surfaced. It is written as a diary and may indeed be one. One entry includes a description of a strange man who rescued her from a pack of wolves. ".... he was huge. Not especially tall but very broad and muscular. On first sight he resembled nothing more than a bear. Once I saw him in reasoable light I realised this was caused by the huge bearskin he wore, covering the pack on his back, and by the gauntlets on his hands that resembled claws. He was accompanied by a real bear, whom he called Seiera, and two large, dark hounds, called Los and Baijan. They seemed to act independantly, although he occasionally gave commands or signals to them. He carried many weapons but used one against the wolves. They appeared from behind me and walked past, forming a line between me and them. They just stared them down until they turned and left. He seemed to let out a breath and tuck two things away after they left though...."