Elaine Cunningham’s “The Great Hunt” appeared in the April 1998 issue of Dragon, which ran one fantasy story in each issue of widely varying quality. The best of them were original tales, but many of them were clearly fictionalizations of the author’s role playing game. “The Great Hunt” falls between these two extremes, but it is clearly a story based on Dungeons and Dragons with its cast of Orcs, Half-Orcs, Elves, and humans. Set in Ed Greenwood’s Forgotten Realms, the tight connection to source material is to be expected.
The story focuses on Drom, Grimlish, and Badger, an Half-Orc, Orc, and human, respectively. They have been part of a raiding party known as the Talons of Malar. In addition to their devotion to the god, Drom and Grimlish maintained an affinity for wolves, an older form of their worship. The story begins the day after the Talons attacked an Elven camp. The party has now split into smaller groups to track the few survivors through the woods.