This story has a bit of blood within it thus rated T just in case.

Gin's back story before he came to the keep.

I will never forget the day I almost died. We had gone into the surrounding jungle to hunt deer. There wasn't much to say but there was plenty to do, the place we called home was dangerous even for the most experienced hunters. There's a reason why our village elder is only 40 years, she's the midwife of the village, she's also has never ventured outside of our village walls.

Armed with bows and arrows, hunting spears and our traditional knives, as our last line of defense, we had painted ourselves to blend in to our surroundings. The elder came to our group I was the youngest out of us, only 15, a new man but if I made it to 16 I could get a wife. She painted our foreheads with red powder a blessing in case one of us was to be killed while on the hunt. With that, we left our village and disappeared into the jungle making sure to move as one and to keep an eye and ear out for anything that could pose a threat. We didn't say a word but we quickly found a fresh game trail and started to follow along it. I was placed in the middle close enough to learn but to also be protected as the future of our village.

I was a bit nervous, I had never been this far from my home but the men in the group were people that I had grown up with, they made sure to give me looks of encouragement when we suddenly froze at the sounds of distant roars and sounds of agitation around us. Before long we came to the end of our trail, a clearing bigger than the village was ahead of us. I had never seen anything like this in my life. There was the giant blue sky fully visible for us to see as we hid in the shadows looking out at the large deer and other creatures that called the jungle home. Splitting into groups we waited in the bushes as the leader of our party tossed some dried fruit out and started to mimic the calls of our prey.

We remained still as originally taught and watched as the deer raised their heads looking around as our leader made the call once again. It was the sound of a female in rut, something that was key in drawing in the large male of the group. We waited watching notching our arrows and waiting for the shot.

The deer is a simple creature about four hands tall, the males have horns that look like branches from a red tree. Their horns are sharp and are perfect for making knives out of. Their fur is a simple red mud color with faint white spots scattered here and there on it. The meat though it the best part of the deer a bit tough but wonderful. If we could make the kill we could feed our families back home for a number of nights. Though if you wanted first dibs you had to make the killing shot something that I didn't have much of a chance with, with a larger creature while hunting in a group.

When the leader made the call again we smiled slowly as we spotted the large male coming closer to us and soon sniffing around in the grass for the dried fruit. I didn't look at the others but before I was to let the shot go something happened. There was a loud roar the animals and birds in the area panicked and soon their cries echoed out above and around us.

"Into the Trees!" someone shouted next to me as he grabbed me and pulled me from my spot as a large panther jumped out from the grass onto our deer as others roared and took chase after us. While there were large game animals around us to hunt the panthers saw us as easy prey as we took off. I don't remember if I was in the back or if some one had been telling me to come with them and duck. There was simply a loud roar and a heavy painful hit on my back which knocked me onto the ground as my shoulder filled with pain.

I screamed.

My bow was lost, my quiver broken, my spear snapped. My knife. I still had it on me like any sensible Razan Villager. A simple bone knife made from a rib that my father had carved for me when I was born. I had yet to receive the knife for becoming a man, but I was starting to think I wasn't going to need it. I had simply pulled out my knife and turned onto my back and started to hack away at the large shimmering black cat who tore into me, perhaps the worse thing I could do but I simply wasn't thinking. There was too much blood in the air as my sight wavered and my hearing started to fade away. My knife struck the animal but I couldn't pull it out as my face was suddenly in pain. Sight faded in my left eye, and the last thing I could see was the large enraged cat with a spear in its back and arrows digging into its hide before a bright flash of green took over area. But that bright flash of lush plant life soon faded into darkness and that was that.