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Truffle hound

Bretonnian truffles grow underground, on or near tree-roots, and leave no obvious sign at the surface. Finding them would be impossible, were it not for the uncanny senses of the male Bretonnian Truffle Hound. These dogs can smell a buried truffle from over a hundred feet away, and, if possible, they immediately rush to the spot, dig the fungus up, and devour it.[1a]

This is bad for two reasons. First, the dog has eaten the truffle. Second, a Truffle Hound who has eaten a truffle becomes extremely paranoid about possible male rivals for the affection of Truffle Hound females, disregarding species entirely, and takes direct action to deal with the most immediate threat. A number of truffle hunters can explain, in fine soprano voices, exactly what happens, though most other men would rather not listen.[1a]

To avoid such accidents, wealthy and experienced truffle hunters have two dogs, each on a sturdy chain with a barbed spike on the end. When the dogs scent a truffle, the hunter rams one spike into the ground to hold one dog in place, and then drags the other off to one side, before fixing it in place. Both dogs strain to reach the truffle, so the hunter knows to dig at the point where their lines of sight cross.[1a]

Poor or beginning truffle hunters have a single dog and wait until he has begun to dig. They then drag him back from the spot, spike the chain to the ground, and dig the truffle up. This puts the dog very close to the truffle, and accidents do happen. Such truffle hunters rely on strength, speed, prayers to the Lady, and a solid steel codpiece, preferably with spikes.[1a]

The truffle must be stored in alcohol, normally cheap brandy, so that the dogs can no longer smell it, and all the tools that touched it must be washed in the same liquid. If something smells of truffles, Truffle Hounds become extremely affectionate towards it and are very insistent in pressing their attentions. They don’t become dangerously violent unless they actually eat the fungus, however.[1a]

Some lords like to smear criminals in truffle and throw them to the Truffle Hounds. There are two ways to do this. One involves simply rubbing the truffle lightly on the skin; the results of this are painful and deeply embarrassing but rarely fatal. The other involves actually crushing truffle onto the skin and is much more serious.[1a]

Truffle Hounds are notoriously ugly dogs with faces that look as though they have been dropped and put back together by a clumsy five-year-old. Only peasants with a license from a noble are allowed to own them, and they must be kept under close control at all times to stop them running into the forest and eating all the truffles.[1a]

Source Edit

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Knights of the Grail
    • 1a: pg. 13

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