Now that the election craziness is done, let’s breath for a moment and explore some fictional adventure in which you’re trying to save a village from its menace.
Here we go…
Hunter Option A: Capture the Man
The gloating tone of the man is not that of an underling. It’s the assured sound of someone who thinks he’s got everything figured out. So whoever’s in the village, if you’re right, is acting on his orders.
“Villagers definitely left out some details,” you say.
“They always do,” the man says. His voice has moved. It’s closer and more directly in front of you.
“I’m pretty sure they knew a man was the one haunting the town,” you keep talking, waiting for him to reveal himself. “In fact, I’m pretty sure they know who you are.”
That deep, confident chuckle answers you. “You might be right.”
There. A slight movement behind a large fir finally reveals his location.
You hug your coat tighter and slip a hand into the pocket under your left arm.
“It’s annoying,” you say. “They expect me to take care of their problem and yet, they can’t give me all the details.” You take several steps down the trail and wave one hand with your frustration. “What do they expect but failure from the hunters they hire?”
Again the man chuckles.
You take two quick steps and fling your hand out to the side. The knife leaves your fingers and a moment later there’s a satisfying thud as the hilt strikes the man’s head.
The chuckle gargles and then dies. The man stumbles against the fir, holds himself for a second, and collapses to the forest floor.
He’s a giant of a man. Before he turned to mush, he stood probably six foot six. A beard sprouts from his cheeks and chin to wash over his chest. His face is not one that graces your wanted fliers. So who is he?
“Guess we’ll just have to wait and see,” you tell his silent form. Rolling him over, you tie his hands behind his back and hobble his feet together so he can walk but not run. Then you settle in to wait until he comes to.
It doesn’t actually take that long before his eyes flutter and then deep green eyes are watching you from atop that impressive beard.
“Well played, Hunter,” he grumbles and winces. The knife probably left him with one very noticeable headache.
“Time to visit the village.” You haul him to his feet and have him walk in front of you back to the village.
It’s dark by now but the village is well lit with torches and lanterns. No longer are the doors and windows shut tight. In fact, everyone seems to be gathered in the central square, all clamoring to be heard at once.
Like a wave, they fall silent as soon as they notice you and the giant man.
“Your own boys!” a woman breaks the silence. “They took your own boys.”
The giant man grins. It reveals two broken teeth and a dark spot where one tooth is missing altogether.
“Who took his boys?” you ask, tired of being kept in the dark.
No one answers.
You single out a boy maybe ten years old. “Who took the boys?”
The boy swallows, glances at his mother and then back at you and apparently decides you look the scarier because he mutters. “Wolves. Wolves took Malcolm and Ethan.”
“How many?” you press.
The boy shrugs. “Three maybe.”
“All right,” you tell the villagers in general. “Back inside. Lock up doors again.”
“It doesn’t help. They went right through my door!” A man points to the building behind him. The front door hangs in shreds like the wolf’s claws found it no harder to slice through than cloth.
“Imagine how much easier they’d find this group of people in the open,” you say.
At this, the villagers mutter a bit and back away to hide in their homes.
After a moment, you’re left with the giant man in an empty village square. You still believe the man’s the leader. You’re not sure how that’s possible, but the wolves didn’t take his boys by accident.
He’s still grinning that manic grin.
Using the man, you might be able to lure the wolves back to the village and dispatch them.
Or, you might be able to force the man to take you to their den. Between the man and your tracking abilities, you might be able to find the lair. He won’t be cooperative either way, but you don’t see any other options.
Aa. Bait them?
Ab. Track them?
Please vote in the comments for how you’d like to proceed. We’ll return on Tuesday to see what happens next
Until then, blessings,