Monday, January 28, 2013

Day Three-Eighty-One: It's only a suicide mission - no big deal

Mounting an expedition to a mountain that people don't care about at best and outright fear at worst is surprisingly difficult. Minus, you know, 'surprisingly'. Nobody wants to go with me!

Everyone who was abducted last week flat out refuses to go, claiming that I'm signing my own death sentence. Grylock solemnly told me that he'll take care of Libby when I'm gone, and Edmund is writing a dirge in my honour, as he knows I'm set on travelling. Everyone who believes the returned abductees is similarly reluctant, and the rest… the rest are too busy with other stuff.

The only person who's said they'll come thus far is Grayson. I shot that down by telling him to stay with his mother. In truth I'd sooner make the journey with my father, or perhaps a rabid wolverine, than go on any more trips with Grayson. Our days of infantile fun are far behind us. Sigh…

So, yeah, no progress on that front. I've put up a sign on the Beefiary's wall asking for help. Hopefully somebody in the community will agree to go along, 'cause I'm tired of doing things on my own all the time. Especially given what seems to keep happening on the other side of the forest…

I've mentioned, sometimes in passing and sometimes blatantly, that the animals from Barrel's rebellion are slowly trickling back into town. They were clearly bewitched by Evangelina (and she's confirmed as much), so they must have been damned confused and frightened when they suddenly got away from her influence and realized what was happening. Hence their slow return to Pubton, many of them looking shameful…

… and almost all of them beat to snot.

Some animals are worse than others. Most have slight black eyes, as if punched in the face. Others are in terrible shape, their bodies covered in dark blemishes - but never cuts, never claw marks or scrapes, the usual things you'd expect when one animal is attacked by another. Undamaged or slightly-damaged animals we take back in; those that are obviously suffering and aren't likely to survive medical treatment are slaughtered.

Today saw the biggest exodus in a while. A troupe of boars, at least a dozen strong, walked timidly into the middle of Pubton and waited for someone to lead them away. Their old farmer did the deed, restoring them to their pens. All had been smacked around, and two looked bad enough that we're having ham tonight. None of the boars protested overly much, so I guess the fighting spirit has been taken out of 'em by bad weather and the mystery assailant. 

All of these animals came from the forest that leads to the mountain. Harold, one of the abducted, made the argument that the sloth must have done this to them as a sign. I think that's hogwash, but nobody agrees with me. Man, if that guy wasn't busy setting up a wall with the labourers, I might slug him one for such a dumb idea.

On the plus side? We have food again. The winterweed is flourishing, and we can eat meat. People live in a shadow of fear at the thought of a nearby sloth, and a few have hinted that I'm an idiot for considering an expedition to bother the thing, but Pubton is back on track. Kinda.

Still. I know a damned sloth isn't responsible for animal injuries. A sloth would just rip 'em apart and be done with it. There wouldn't be animals returning if a sloth actually lived on the other side of the forest. So my question is, what IS happening over there?


Dragomir the Mayor


  1. Okay, I think Grayson might be ruled out for once. He seems too Lawfully Evil for this kinda thing. Ya'know, using his magical powers to manipulate and control people VS. just punching animals in the face.

    So taking a few wild guesses here. It could be Antonia the boxing Orc/Werewolf punching the animals. Or a mysterious figure (New character) who simply doesn't want anyone to bother him/her on their Mountain (So they use magic to frighten Pubton, and then send the animals back into town, mainly to avoid search parties for food).


    It IS Grayson, and he's really just an asshole...

    1. I'm actually gonna put money on our favorite boxing orc/kangaroo. The fact that all the animals have had the shit rather violently beaten out of them, but nothing beyond that, might indicate she's regained some small semblance of sanity. Or it could be something completely different.

      The idea of a sloth just happily punching cows and pigs in the face though? Priceless. Absolutely priceless. I almost wish it were true.

    2. I know, right?

      The fans have spoken, Matt! You must now draw a sloth punching a horse. Because punching horses is awesome.

  2. Ooh! I want to go! Also, while I'm gone, if a horde of debt collectors decent upon the village in search for me, tell them a sloth got me.

    1. Also, I'm back and waxier than EVER.