Protectors of the Silver Marches

It wasn’t my fault.

I had finally found some work in town. Not an easy job for a Tiefling around here, let alone one spawned from Beshaba’s vile uterus. Find the missing children and bring them back alive. Easy work for a ranger. Hell, a first level villager could have completed this, easily. I needed the coin though. Ale doesn’t buy itself.

I suppose I should have noticed something was up I found the tracks. They were fresher than Prince Smith’s phat beats. Not that I have any idea what that means. Must have been a phrase I picked up somewhere. Anyways, the tracks seemed too easy to follow and they led straight into the forest.

Now allow me to step away from the story for a moment: No one other than amateurs ever drags a kidnapping victim into a forest. There are enough PCs running around that they are almost guaranteed to get caught and turned in. Anyone who really wants to get away with a kidnapping/rape/murder will use their dwelling. After all, who’d expect the criminal to hide the evidence in plain sight? As for disposal, well, I’d never eat a pie a neighbor made for me unless I knew them for years, and even then I’d take a quick look to make sure I don’t bite down into a finger. I’ve explained this plenty of times to numerous angry mobs, but they never seem to listen. But I digress.

The broken branches and muddy footprints led me straight into the middle of the forest, upon which I discovered two of the local youngsters by a small cave… ah, how shall I put this: In flagrante delicto, if you catch my drift. Kids will be kids. Unfortunately, the male’s squeaking must have disturbed the one of the occupants of said cave, as I witnessed a bear emerge from his cave

Now I can understand the youngsters not knowing that cave bears live in caves (we can’t all be versed in nature lore), but the paw prints and deer carcasses should have sent some sort of warning bells off in their soon to be eaten heads.

“Run! You woke up a bear!” I yelled out to the kids as I drew my bow.

“Wha- AHHHHHHHH A DEMON! AND HE SUMMONED A BEA- oh shit sorry baby.” The male screamed and then whimpered sadly. I’d have had more sympathy for him at this point, but getting called a demon really hurts my feelings. Other than the pointed teeth, red eyes, and tail, I don’t look anything like a demon. Hell, I have fucking antlers instead of horns. How embarrassing do you think that is?

The kids attempted to untangle themselves and run for it while I attempted to provide cover for them. “RAAAAAWWWWWWWRRRRRR” I rawred in an attempt to intimidate the bear. I fired an arrow at it and caught it in the knee. That only managed to piss it off as it dropped to all fours and charged at me, trampling the children in its ursine rage. That’s part of the reason I’m eating a boiled shoe as I write this.

Now here’s something I bet you didn’t know. Hell, I didn’t know it until that day: Bears like to share caves. This must have been some sort of Clown Bear, because there must have been like six bears in that tiny cave and I have no idea how they all fit in there. Being of sound mind and possessing a decent sense of self preservation, I ran for it. Here’s another little known bear fact: Bears are fucking fast. These must have been Cheetah Bears or something because I was not able to shake them off.

I followed my trail backwards in panic, attempting to escape bearmageddon. I thought that there would be some sort of town watch to protect the villagers from all these nearby predators. Technically, I was right. There was a guard tower with a latern lit on the edge of town. I attempted to climb the ladder, but six tons of fury came crashing into it following me. Local wooden guard towers aren’t made to withstand that, so of course it came crashing down. And of course it had to land on the mayor’s house and catch fire, because hey, my great great granny must get off on that sort of misfortune. It must not have been enough for her because the fire started to spread.

I ran, leaving naught but fire and bears in my wake. The town proved to be a good distraction for the bears, as there was precooked food running around, so I managed to make my escape. That was yesterday, as I sit here recording this into a book I found on the side of the road. I don’t know what a Necromonikon is, but I do know that it had my name on it, so it’s my journal know. I hear that there’s a group of adventurers looking for someone well versed in Nature, so I think I’ll go see what that’s about. I’ll keep you updated in the meantime.

Until later,
Belial Lucksbane

PS: Fuck bears.

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