Hullu (HOO-lew)

Every culture of Humär has a form of trapper or hunter, skilled in their arts and willing to do what it takes to survive. None, however, stand out like the fishermen of the Carathu people. A culture living at the edge of the Sea of Wings, using their talents and skills to capture the most dangerous species of serpents.
   

The crazy, mad, lunatic in charge

To ‘fish’ for serpents in the Sea of Wings requires a steadfast team, working as one man. Without the skill and muscle, injury is certain at best, death following quickly at its heels. At the helm of any fishing team is the Hullu — or ‘lunatic’ — willing to do whatever it takes to prevent the loss of life under his charge. This includes sacrificing his own life, if required.   Hesitation is not an option. Success when capturing a serpent, especially one of considerable size, requires perfect timing and direction from one with experience.   As the dragon swoops up to snatch the bait — a tiny fowl bound by string — a giant net is launched out over the chasm. Arching the hand-woven fibers over the target, large stones attached to the edges set the net to spinning. If the shot is well-aimed and well timed, the serpent will be enfolded by the net, wrapping the beast in a type of cocoon.   If the net misses, chances are greater than not the fishermen will gain the attention, and wrath, of the serpent. Turning to the fishing platform, tooth and tallon will be seeking flesh to rend.   That's where insanity becomes a virtue.    

When The Bait Bites Back

Attached to a single cord wrapped about his waist, the Hullu runs at the attacking serpent. Using one of several strategically positioned ramps, he sprints to get equal to — or above — the serpent. Pulling a spinner from his pouch in one hand, the Hullu brings a dragon-bone horn to his lips with the other.   The shrill sound will distract any serpent enough to turn its initial attention from a Hullu’s men. The spinner, three weighted stones attached to a three-branched rope, is thrown with deadly accuracy. Head and wings are his target, but this attack is merely a distraction to allow for a second net to be launched by his men.   A hit by the spinner can bind a wing, sending the beast into a spiral. With luck, the beast will land in the fall-nets extended under the outer platform.   The Hullu aims his leap as best he can to hit that fall-net as well. Those who miss will find their speed accelerating at the end of the rope, sending them into the stone wall beneath the ridge.   That is, if the rope holds.    

Worn With Foolish Pride

Few are called fishermen. Even fewer can claim a long and prosperous life as a Hullu. Yet, the title of the one willing to risk their lives to save friends and family is a badge won with honor, respected by all.

Cover image: by Jaime Buckley

Comments

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23 Jul, 2022 14:38

Such a well-explained set of maneuvers - easy to follow and totally plausible. Just utterly crazy!

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