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Basic Information

A hawker can be one of two things. Most notably, a hawker is a person who hunts, employing trained hawks or other birds of prey to catch small game. They can also be called a falconer, if primarily using falcons, or austringer if using a hawk or eagle.

According to the etymology of the word on Dictionary.com, reference to hawkers dates to before 1000, and evidence, according to Wikipedia, suggests that this profession began in Mesopotamia around 2000 BC.

The term "hawker" can also be used to refer to person who sells goods or wares, in a market or going door to door. Sometimes referred to as a peddler.


Game and Story Use

  • A hawker can quite easily be the profession of forest dwelling folk and forest rangers, adding some flavour to the character.
  • Acquiring the services of a professional hawker could be one part in a quest to gain some kind of item, like the ingredient to a potion (such as a rare bird that nests of high cliffs). If the hawker has a magical bond with the hawk, as is the case with most familiar and animal companions, a hawker's service may be required for navigation purposes, or communicating information from other hawks.
  • Of particular note is the Book of St. Albans, extolled on the Wikipedia article cited above, which details a list of birds associated with different peerage levels and positions. This could be used to add flavour to a campaign setting, or a particular region within a campaign setting, or to add flavour to a culture or government system.
  • Between the different meanings, you can have plenty of room for confusion. "No, I can't train birds, but I can sell anything to anyone."
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