Blade Maidens: The Hunt – 23

Thank you all for reading The Hunt! We hope you dug it! We’ve got a few shorts on the way before our next story, but here’s a little preview of Mel ahead of Strays. Enjoy! – Zoe

“The culprit entered The Wyvern’s Roost in the early afternoon, claiming to be a traveling musician seeking room and board in exchange for a few songs. Ms. Sulfras, the proprietress, agreed on the grounds that the songs weren’t, quote, “filth.” The next few hours proceeded without incident as the musician played off-and-on, chatting with patrons and staff alike. As the evening wore on, Ms. Sulfras noticed one of her serving girls wasn’t present. Unable to find her, she sent a kitchen boy to her home in case she had left early without notice. The server’s husband, Mr. Bandholm, returned with the serving boy, having not seen his wife since she left for their shift. Taking note that the musician was also conspicuously absent, a search party was formed.

At this point, I must note that none of the parties involved contacted my office. Upon questioning, Mr. Bandholm insisted that he wanted to “take care of his own affairs,” as best as I could understand through his limited speech at the time.

The search party, made up of 7 armed individuals, including Ms. Sulfras, Mr. Bandholm, and other patrons acting on promises of free drinks, combed through the town before an assumed scream from Mrs. Bandholm alerted the group to her location in the town stables. Fearing that she was screaming for her life, the search party rushed in, discovering that Mrs. Bandholm was, indeed, with the bard, but her screams were…not due to any pressing danger to her person.

At this point, accounts differ. Mr. Bandholm and most of the search party claim that the bard turned into a feral beast, attacking them unprovoked and causing grievous damage to both their persons, the barn, and nearby buildings. Mrs. Bandholm, however, claims that the bard attempted to talk to the group after extricating herself from Mrs. Bandholm. Mrs. Bandholm has declined to share whatever was said but said it, quote, “only made things worse.” Rather than a monstrous beast, Mrs. Bandholm claims the bard’s condition amounted to fangs, claws, and, quote, “fucking impressive endurance.” The marks left on Mrs. Bandholm and the moons’ phases back up her story.

Regardless of which tale is true, the result is the same. Five injured citizens, ranging from bruises and cuts to broken bones and infection, the complete destruction of the stables, their feed storage, and the nearby privy. The bard has not been seen since leaving town after the demolition, and there is little chance of finding her trail.

I am placing a warning in the town square and asking that word be passed along to any nearby caravans. We may not find her, but I can at least make sure Mel Havensbrook doesn’t spend another night in my town. Or pays for the damages. Either works.”

– Incident Report dated 23 Loriana, 867, Sheriff Kanth of Gyvenia’s Glade