- Job Description:
- Job Title: To catch a predator
Job Location: Sakuramori
Solo Word Count: 1500
Group Word Count: 3000
Additional Requirements: Legal
Job Description: Though it may be related to improper control over animal population or simply be because the animal in question decided to venture out of its territory, something has been on a bit of a killing spree on the road heading through Sakuramori that connects the Beanstalk village and Hosenka. As it is a road often used by people moving from the beanstalk and hunting villages in order to sell their goods and wares either in Hosenka or Cedar, the beast likely saw it as a bit of a two for one situation as all of the edible goods have gone missing along with many of the traveling traders and merchants. While the scenes of these attacks can be gnarly, C ranked mages and above have been requested for this task as the families from the villages did not save up the money for a reward just to lure young mages into an early death.
Enemies: The predator involved in the attacks can be anything from a roaming wolf or bear to some kind of solitary monster that has taken to attacking along the forest roads. Whatever it is, it is violent, though it isn't entirely certain what it might be. However, you will undoubtedly figure out what it is and deal with it, if you want to claim the reward that is.
Reward: 20k Jewels and Rank exp
~Credit to Vetis.
Needless to say, Ezekiel was startled by the news of a creature slaughtering travelers on the road to Hosenka, especially due to its proximity to his hometown of Cedar. He recognized the road as a highly trafficked trade route, but travels had come to an abrupt halt in recent news. He began his job in Beanstalk Village and faced the daunting Sakuramori forest. For all he knew, the creature responsible for such a killing spree could be any number of different creatures, even the forest itself. For now, though, he would have to gather information from the people of Beanstalk Village to truly be able to identify the creature and how to put an end to the killings. He arrived in the small village with an eerie feeling in his stomach. Not quite butterflies, more like wasps buzzing around every corner and cranny inside him. The village was dark and somewhat desolate, as if the people were afraid to even leave their homes. The lamps were all dim, some gray, and the wind pushed shop signs and grasses in a gentle pendulum. Save for the flora, the place was mostly lifeless. Nonetheless, Ezekiel pressed on and knocked on the nearest shop’s doors. He made sure to wear his mark proudly, as well as wear some DIes Irae paraphernalia to get the message across that he was a mage.
But the door opened when his knuckles tapped on the wood. Light poured into the dusty room, casting grey beams across the hall. The windows were draped with sheer curtains, and the place smelled musty and felt like a sauna. Ezekiel hesitantly pressed further, following the beam of light as it lead to a larger room at the end of the hall. Several people, travelers he assumed, were sprawled out on cots, barely breathing. A young man in white, who Ezekiel assumed to be the attendee, was passed out on a sofa. The travelers had blood stained gauze wrapped around their waists and cold compresses on their foreheads. Ezekiel could practically feel their fevers from where he stood. “Hello?” he called, but to barely a stir. Rather than wait for a response, Ezekiel set down his bow and quiver and approached the attending nurse. He placed his fingertips on the nurse’s chest and began to hum a sea shanty. The lyrics played in his head, but only a hum escaped his lips. His hands began to glow, and he felt the man’s internal workings calmly sway and steady. Their eyes and hair glowed in the dim room, causing the injured to raise their hands to shield their eyes. After a few minutes, Ezekiel retracted his hands and the nurse slowly returned to life. His eyes shifted and gradually opened, then the man jolted upright and returned to his work.
“What happened here?” Ezekiel asked. “What were they attacked by?”
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” the nurse repeated, proceeding to replace the wounded’s bandages. The gashes were all pretty fresh, still oozing blood and a darker fluid. Ezekiel placed his hands directly on the bleeding wounds, applying pressure in order to slow the bleeding. But, the longer he held onto the wounds, the more blood came out, and he realized the wounds weren’t clotting. Upon closer examination, the injured person was bleeding a poison or venom of some sort as well as blood. “They haven’t stopped bleeding since they got here. I was able to slow it down with medicine, but I think we need some magical intervention,” the nurse explained. “But you...you’re a mage aren’t you? You can help us!”
The nurse was clearly delirious, most likely from working nonstop, but Ezekiel chose not to comment. He figured that the Tidal Touch would take too long to heal them effectively, and aimed for a more ’effective’ method. He crouched down by the puddle of blood and asked, “there’s water in blood, isn’t there?”
Ezekiel nodded his head, that was all he needed. He touched the surface of the blood puddle with his finger, causing it to ripple and glow slightly. “Nathair” he conjured, and dipped his hand into the puddle. It deepened for him, allowing him to retrieve a vial of glowing purple from deep inside. He produced a vial of the Sea Krait’s Venom, and stood back at the man’s side to use it. “This is gonna hurt,” he commented, then swiftly opened the vial and dripped venom directly into the gash. The man grunted, and the nurse looked about ready to lunge at Ezekiel. The wound glowed purple and began to close. “I need you to tell me what did this to you,” Ezekiel requested. The injured man shot up and tested the skin with his finger, finding no more pain and injury left.
“I...what did you do?” the man asked. Ezekiel tossed the vial to the nurse and gestured to the other injured men, and did little to explain to the recently healed man what happened.
“I”m searching for the creature that did this to ya. Do you remember what punished you and your men?”
The man had fear in his eyes, but uttered one word and Ezekiel was on his way. This time, he borrowed a horse and strolled to a long, foggy bridge across a river in the heart of Sakuramori. He covered himself with a red, Dies Irae issued cloak to protect himself from the rain, and nocked an arrow in the Atrophie Bow. The horse actively listened, and Ezekiel could feel its heartbeat growing faster as danger approached. Ezekiel heard the rustle and growl of a creature in the distance, followed by the shrill shriek of a woman. The horse immediately took off in that direction, searching for the source. A lone woman at the edge of the forest was backing away from a winged lion with a snake tail. At first, Ezekiel thought it was a manticore, but when the creature turned its attention to him, he realized it was something much more terrifying; a chimaera. The creature had a head of a lion and that of a goat, and tail that he realized was not a snake’s tail, but the head of the snake itself. Three creatures, meshed together into one like a demented science project
The creature turned its attention towards him and his horse, and the woman took the chance to escape. Unfortunately, so did Ezekiel’s horse. It bucked him off and ran into the distance, leaving Ezekiel alone to tangle with the beast. He loosed his arrow, though it barely grazed the snake’s side and impaled a bird in the distance. Ezekiel’s heart panicked, but he composed himself. The snakehead lurched for him nearly denting his chestplate; a disastrous move had he not dodged. He didn’t have time to notch another arrow before he was knocked into a tree.
He felt the wind knocked out of him, and he struggled to breathe, let alone sing to calm the beast. The sea shanty left his lips, but was intermittent and breathy. Glowing water flooded the forest, fading every now and then as he caught his breath. With each time he dodged the chimaera’s blows, the spell reset, and he realized he would need to buy himself time in order to cast the Song of the Selkie. He quickly notched an arrow and loosed it at the creature’s general facial area, staking both of the snake’s eyes. It cried and flailed, but at least now Ezekiel had enough time to complete his spell.
The old language rolled off his tongue like honey, calling to him water and strength. The beast’s movement’s slowed and became less erratic, sleepy even. A torrent of water collected underfoot, and he circled the chimaera, effectively evading its attacks and constant strikes. He invoked the Pull of Gealach as well, inundating the clearing with enchanted water. As he raised his hands, the water followed and whipped at the chimaera. Ezekiel deftly produced chains from the water, shackling the chimaera to the forest floor and hit it with a powerful stream of water. Though, the creature was quite strong and continued to lash and free itself. Ezekiel slowly backed away, preparing another, hopefully final arrow as he continued his song. As his song came to a close, he loosed the arrow, and it pierced the lion’s head with ease. The goat, however, continued to breathe unhappily, then commanded its body to rise again and charge him altogether.
It reared up and kicked him in the chest with its hind legs, throwing Ezekiel a distance, away. But, he got up, feeling the eyes of several people on him from the distance. “Get back!” he shouted to them and knocking another arrow. He laughed at himself in his head, wondering if he had ever expected to be in such a situation. The creature charged at him again, and this time he evaded, diving around a tree to get out of the way. The goat head crashed into the trunk and stuck itself there, leaving it open for the final blow. Ezekiel loosed the final arrow, which pierced the creature’s throat and stuck into a tree in the distance.