"Bird-hunting, hunting game with a bird, is a skill I have worked hard at for many years but am still only beginning to learn. To see a birdmaster and their companion hunt is an experience like no other. The bond between the two is similar to but different than that of close friends."
A Way of Life
A birdmaster does not set out to gain the title, rather it is a result of a way of life. In the Orthlands
, hunting prey with a trained bird or with the assistance of a trained bird is a time-honored tradition. While this is a novelty for outsiders to witness - and certainly an amazing display - those who have mastered it command great respect from the Orth
There are several different birds that are used by birdmasters, some are better on the flatter plains while others are better in hillier regions. Most commonly birds are trained to hunt smaller birds, rabbits, and even foxes. Sometimes they are trained to find and circle a target to indicate to the hunter where a larger target, such as a deer is so that they can get it with their bow. Birds trained to spot in this way stay quite high above the target to avoid being in the line of fire.
Becoming a Master
The only way to gain the title of birdmaster is to have ones' skill appraised by an existing master and be judged to be of a high skill. This is a test that cannot be attempted until a master has decided a learner is ready and that their bird is ready. There is no shame in failing this and it can be attempted again. When someone is proclaimed a new master there is - as there is with many events in Orth
culture - a huge party.