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You find yourself sitting under a quaint little tree, packing your long pipe with some of farmer Larchginer's secret crop. He tries to hide his pipe-weed in a new spot every year, but you find it every time. No one knows the lands around your little shire better then you do after all. You have explored its deep forests, smooth plains, and rolling hills to no end. Which makes you the odd one out from your fellows, whom prefer to stay put and tend to their little plots of land from birth until the day they die. Take Farmer Littlelily for example, from your vantage point under this little tree that is just now tasting its tenth spring, you can see him planting this years crop. He lived on this land with his father, then he inherited it, and now he is raising a family on it. One day he will die here, and you wouldn’t be surprised if he never deviates more then a hundred yards from the place he was born.

You press the pipe to your lips and take a few drags, then let out a few smoke rings before continuing with your armchair analysis of the farmer. You have plenty of time after all, no farm, no wife, and no children. Even though you are still a young man, only twenty three, your mother likes to remind you, on the rare occasion that you visit, that you are not getting any younger. The farmer is trying to make a goat pull a plow for him with the promise of some grass. But the stubborn animal refuses to move. You take a moment to piety the farmer who as to do all the seeding himself. Five daughters and no sons, a brutal hand to be dealt. Even though he is only ten years older then you, he has already taken to looking fifty. Its almost midday and you start to wonder what to do with yourself.

>what do?
- Go down and help the farmer, you know he will invite you for supper and Ms.Littlelily makes a good stew. It wouldn’t be the first time.
- Go hunting for some game, at the start of spring most larders are running empty and you know fresh meat has its value highest at this time.
- Meet up with the boys at the tavern, you know for a fact Eire will be there before his shift starts. Now that he is a working man you won't get to see him much.
- Head home, you haven’t been there for days.
>>
>>4539167
>- Go down and help the farmer, you know he will invite you for supper and Ms.Littlelily makes a good stew. It wouldn’t be the first time.
>>
meet up with THE BOYS, maybe we can team up and do something interesting
>>
>>4539167
>Meet up with the boys at the tavern, you know for a fact Eire will be there before his shift starts. Now that he is a working man you won't get to see him much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-vXLwCHONY&ab_channel=Eloise

hit up the boys and sing some hobbit songs
>>
>>4539167
>- Meet up with the boys at the tavern, you know for a fact Eire will be there before his shift starts. Now that he is a working man you won't get to see him much.
>>
>>4539167
>- Go down and help the farmer, you know he will invite you for supper and Ms.Littlelily makes a good stew. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Something we didn't have to make ourselves sounds nice, and if the neighbors like you they're more likely to lend you a hand in return.
>>
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You pass through the farmland until you get closer to what could be loosely described as the “centre” of this farming village. But really its just where the tavern is. Most people just farm and swap food with their neighbours, so not much use for a market when everyone grows their own food. The tradesmen work out of their own homes too, even the mayor holds meetings in his house. The tavern is really the only building that isn’t there to be lived in. Although you know a few patrons who would disagree with that statement too. Soon you find a cart to hitch a ride on, as the farmers finish their daywork, many eventually make their way here unless nagged out of it by their wives.

When you finally arrive at the winking dragon , the normal crowd has yet to roll in. Other then the Widdlelog flock. Who, oddly enough, all seem to be in attendance. As expected, your friends Eire and Brannon have a table and are having a drink. Bran stands up and gives you a pat on the back but Eire stays seated. You can see he is depressed in his new uniform, probably on the account of said uniform. His pa set him up as the new night watchmen, five days out of the week he will be patrolling with old men Hensley instead of enjoying drinks with the lads. You have the barmaid bring you a glass and you top yourself off from their pitcher before taking a seat.

You: “What are you doing here Brann? Don't you have to plant seeds too?”

Brann: “The old man twisted his leg 'bout five days back, can't plant and won't trust me to do it myself. We are waiting for me uncle to come and the two of us will do it together. Waste o' time waiting, like I don't know how to put seeds in the ground for cryin out loud.”

you point your thumb behind you back over at the Widdlelog flock.

You: “What about them? How come they in so early?”

Brann: “You avnt heard? The got themselves two cow from the tallmen, plowed their whole field in one day. Celebrating here since before we even' arrived.”

You:”The tallmen from over beyond Milly's point? That must have cost em' a ar...”

Eire's head slams into the table and he lets out a hollow groan, to remind you that he is still here and depressed. Brann licks his finger and places it in his ear for comedic effect. It works, you have a good laugh at your friends expense.

>what do?
- Get smashed, its early in the day and Eire will be drunk for his first day of work. But it may be what he needs.
- Wait for the festivities to start before getting starting in on that serious drink
- See if Brann wants to do something after, maybe more people you know will come today
- Walk Eire to work then head home, get a good start on your tasks tomorrow
-Write in
>>
>>4539167
>Meet up with the boys at the tavern, you know for a fact Eire will be there before his shift starts. Now that he is a working man you won't get to see him much.
>>
>>4539316
>Get smashed, its early in the day and Eire will be drunk for his first day of work. But it may be what he needs.
>>
>>4539316
>- See if Brann wants to do something after, maybe more people you know will come today
Let's get in some trouble.
>>
>>4539316
>bilbo baggins
>>
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>>4539316
>“You avnt heard? The got themselves two cow from the tallmen
LMAO! 2 COW!!1
>>
>>4539316
>Get smashed, its early in the day and Eire will be drunk for his first day of work. But it may be what he needs.
>>
ill give it 20 more minute
>>
You pick up your mug of ale and drown it in one go as your fellows watch.

Brann: “Hitting it pretty 'ard are we?”

Of course, its your mates last night of youthful freedom. You don't have much coin left from the winter, but what little you have you are happy to spend in good company. So you order another round of drinks for your mates and you all swallow it down together. Then another and another. Soon things start to get quite marry and the three of you are singing songs, throwing darts, and harassing the staff. As things continue to wind up the Widdlelog flock joins in on your marry making. At some point Eire puts his hand on your back and with a smile tells you:

Eire: "Thanks for this Strider, you are a good mate."

Strider, its not your real name, but at this point it may as well be. Its a nick name you picked up while you were still just a lad out running and out hiking even the adults. Either way, before you know it, you are blitzed and the tavern is full. You are not sure exactly when Eire left but he was replaced by your mates Oision and Maeb at some point, who are happy to spend coin to continue the marry making. Someone hands a lute to Maeb and the fun really starts as the tavern sings and dances. A night of great fun was had by all.

But your drinking catches up with you, since you started so early. You quickly find yourself passing out...

In the morning you wake up under one of the tables with a headache. The staff let you spend the night on the floor instead of going through the trouble of moving you. You look around through watery eyes and see Its the same for a few others. Oision is not too far from you, still sound asleep. The lad was never much of a drinker, yet he still tries his best.

>what do?
- Wake Oision and try to get him back to his home.
- Get yourself back to your own place, you need to sort your brain out
- Order some breakfast and have them put it on your tab. You got no food at home and you are hungry
- Do some hung over hunting
- write in
>>
>>4539541
>- Order some breakfast
>>
>>4539541
>Strider, its not your real name, but at this point it may as well be
I think I know what you're doing OP and I approve.

for those that don't kow in the first few drafts of Lord of the Rings, Strider/Aragorn was a hobbit

>Do some hung over hunting
>>
>>4539541
>- Wake Oision and try to get him back to his home.
>>
>>4539541
>Order some breakfast and have them put it on your tab. You got no food at home and you are hungry
>>
You use the table to help yourself up and wait a few moments until you regain your footing. Then you pull the table cloth off said table, and drape it over your friend. You feel a sense of satisfaction at your ingenuity. After, you make your way over to the bar and take a look around for someone to serve you breakfast. You don't see anyone, but you do hear the sound of dishes coming from the kitchen. With your throat too horse from all the singing last night, you decide to pick up a glass closest to you an give it a few loud tabs on the counter top. It works like a charm, soon the sound of dishes stops and you are greeted by The young barmaid Lilian herself. Lilian is the doughtier of the innkeeper himself. She inherited his dark hair, button nose, and rosy cheeks, but luckily, none of his overbearing personality and sausage like appearance. Even though you are the same age, you never really met her acquaintance until two years ago when you started to make the inn your second home.

Lilian: “Good morning Strider, what can I do you for.”

You: “How about breakfast?”

Lilian: “On your tab I assume? I'm sorry Strider but daddy said you are full up on your tab, and im NOT so serve you until you payed it”

You were worried this would happen, The innkeeper has always been soft on you ever since you braved the winter to find the Yernflower root needed to cure his wife's sickness a few years ago. But it has been a LONG winter this year. At least he waited for spring to cut you off.

Without losing your smile you make sure to clear any guilt Lilian may feel.

You: “I understand, Ill figure something else out, don't worry about me.”

As you turn to leave and figure what that “something else” may be, Lilian stops you.

Lilian: “WAIT Strider, maybe you can help me out in exchange for breakfast? Why don't you gather up all the empty mugs and plates for me while I fry you up some eggs?”

You: “Agreed”

Maeb always said Lilian was soft on you, but you mostly try not to think about it. A girl would be nice but you know how these things go. First a little romance, then the marriage, then the kids, then its the farmer Littlelily life. Working hard while someone watches and analyzes your life from a cozy tree while smoking pipe-weed. That life is not for you, not yet anyway. It only takes about five minutes to complete your task, you do your best not to wake anyone. Yet the smell of eggs starts to do it anyway.

As you eat your breakfast, the tavern starts to stir and Lilian talks with you about all the little things going on in her life. You just eat and listen. A part of you feels guilty, but your not sure why.

Lilian: “You know, maybe I got some other work you could do around here... It would go to reducing your tab of course”
>>
Before you can answer someone barges into the tavern behind you. Swivelling in your chair you can see its Midel, the mayor's assistant. A nervous looking man on his best days, today he looks frantic. He quickly scans around the bar and when his eyes meet yours he moves towards you as quickly as someone too proud to run can.

Midel: “Strider, the mayor wants to see you right away! Please we need to get going now”

Bluntly you reply:

You: “Why?”

He looks at Lilian and doesn’t want to answer, but he insists its important and you are to come immediately.

>What do?
- Refuse unless he tells you whats going on
- Follow the man, before he has a panic attack
- Refuse, Lilian has tasks for you (try to get out of what ever task the mayor has cooked up for you)
- Write in
>>
>>4540512
>Follow the man, before he has a panic attack
>>
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>Follow the man, before he has a panic attack
can we slap Lilian's fat hobbit ass on the way out?
>>
>>4540512
>- Follow the man, before he has a panic attack
Brushing him off will only cause us more troubles down the line; not like we can hide in a town where everyone knows our name.
>-Write in
>Thank Lilian for the food, tell her we'll pay it off eventually.
>>
>>4540599
backing slapping that ass
>>
>>4540651
suppose I'll explicitly vote to not irritate the chick that's trying to help us.
>>
writing
>>
>>4540683
ass slap has more votes tho
>>
>>4540707
Typical rule of thumb for quests is optional add-ons need more than half the total votes to be included. 2-1=1 1<(3/2). We'll see if Halfman follows that.
>>
>>4540707
>>4540714
I decided to skip the ass slapping because I don't want to fall into "first girl best girl syndrome" that I have seen many times here. I want to play out the quest for a bit then I'm fine with what ever.
>>
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>>4540722
>>
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>>4540722
>>
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Lilian: “What are you on about? Pulling Strider away with some strung together excuses? He doesn’t do the mayors bidding, and he doesn’t run when called. Now get out of my Inn before I throw you out!”

Lilian is clearly rather annoyed at the intrusion, it seems like what ever plans she had are coming undone at the seams. Yet she is unwilling to accept defeat. As she comes around the counter and starts to bring down her fury all over the paper pusher, you can't help but admire her fire. Midel, already a small man, shrinks to sizes you never though possible under her assault. Unable to stop her from ushering him out of the inn, Midel gives you pleading eyes. You never could say no to someone in desperate need of help. So, even though you enjoy watching Lilian in action, you choose to intervene.

You: “Hold on now, It may be an emergency. Someone could be sick and I may need to do a herb run for the druid”

That defeats her, hits too close to home for her to ignore. Midel breaths a sigh of quite thanks.

You: “Thank you for the breakfast Lilian, ill be sure to come back next week when I have something that will put a dent in that tab.”

Lilian turns down her bashful tone into a more embarrassed and shy one.

Lilian: “Oh, well, alright Strider. I just don’t like seeing them take advantage of your good nature is all...”

You fight the urge to slap her tight backside, she looks so cute when she is flustered. But you remind yourself that you are a strong, independent, bachelor. Ontop of which, a conversation about your intentions with her wall of a father is something you would best avoid for now. So instead you place your hand on her shoulder as you walk past her.

Lilian: “Don't be a stranger...”


Midel is quite vague about what the mayor wants to talk about. He hints at some kind of vandalism. They need your tracking expertise in an investigation. It all sounds rather odd, you cant recall the last “investigation” that the watch committed in your shire. Much less any real crime. Already you build up the idea that some mischief happened and some angry farmer is making a huge case about an open chicken coop. You decide not to push him, the man is probably at his limit already. Instead you pull out your pipe for a smoke while you get carted over to where ever you are going.
>>
After about thirty minutes or so you find yourself at the Widdlelog farm, biggest in the shire. You remember drinking with them last night. A merry bunch, if a bit slow. Maybe thats what makes then so successful at farming and having so many children. One of the oldest families here, every tenth person or so is a Widdlelog. It does make you rethink your theory about the open chicken coop though, they are not the type to get mad over that. In front of their main house you find the mayor, the entire day-watch (all three of them), and the Mr.Widdlelogs (all six of them). You make the usual greetings and unnecessary introductions, you already all know each other. After that they lead you to the barn. What you find is certainly unexpected, they have cleared out all the animals save for one. A beheaded cow, and its head nowhere in sight.

You make a small joke asking if they plan to have a party and immediately regret it. You weren’t trying to be funny, but the idea that someone would decapitate a cow and leave the body is just unfamiliar territory to you, so you were just trying to clear the air.

The Mayor: “You see why I called for you. Is there anything you can tell us? Was it wolves?”

Wolves, yes that makes sense. An animal attack makes sense. You try to convince yourself, but your instincts know better as you examine the cow. The cut is too clean, no animal could have done this. At least not one that you ever seen or heard of.

>what do?

- Investigate of course, who ever did this must be found.
- Before you do anything, tell the mayor your price. You are a working man after all, with a big tab. This will probably won't come off well in front of the Widdlelogs, but you don't always get payed doing work for the mayor.
- Apologize to the mayor, but you don’t want anything to do with this. If someone is sending a message to their family its on them not you. Thats is the kind of thing that happens when you get involved with the Tallmen.
-Write in
>>
>>4540763
ask him to pay your tab as payment
>>
>>4540763
>This... this was not an animal. This is a message. I'm willing to investigate, but not get dragged into this feud. Let's start with who might have a (pardon the pun) beef with you?

> But you remind yourself that you are a strong, independent, bachelor.
Here's hoping it stays that way; would be a nice change of pace to not have to deal with the usual waifu wars.
>>
>>4540722
>decided to skip the ass slapping because I don't want to fall into "first girl best girl syndrome" that I have seen many times here.
Had nothing to do with waifus, I just liked the idea of Strider being a womanizer
>>
>>4540779
going to back this
>>
roll me some 1d100s
>>
Rolled 64 (1d100)

>>4540871
>>
Rolled 94 (1d100)

>>4540871
>>
Rolled 87 (1d100)

>>4540871
>>
Rolled 18 (1d100)

>>4540871

Are we into pipeweeed btw?
>>
Dice: [very high]

As you examine the carcase you start to let your prejudices go and examine the corpse for what it is. The first thing that sticks out to you is just how clean the cut was, indicating that the cow was decapitated in just one swing. No one in the shire could have done that without some kind complex machinery like a pig-guillotine. The second, which is the most odd, is the lack of insects in the wound. A fresh carcase should be attracting flies, and your father used to be able to guesstimate the time of death of an animal based of the number of mill worms. But you don't find any of that here, not even a tick.

You: “Was this corpse cleaned? Or moved at all?”

Grep Widdlelog: “Not at all, we just moved the other animals out, seeing one of there own dead makes them afraid.”

The stomping of feet all over the ground by farmers and animals makes tracking hard. But maybe you can find a trail outside later.

You: “What about the head? Where is it?”

Grep Widdlelog: “Gone.”

Mayour: “dammit Strider, was it an animal attack or not?”

They all wait in silence for an answer

You: “No”

Then they all erupt in loud conversation. You can hear that the idea that it was some kind of revenge plot was already discussed. You were only really brought here to confirm what everyone seemed to already believe. Yet from out of the pack Connan Twiddleclop, the day watch captain, take a knee next to you and the departed.

Connan: “Can you track who did this Strider? We can't have people killing animals in the shire like this. On top of which, it would be real trouble if it was the tallmen.”

He seems quite worried about that last part. You feel bad to bring up compensation at a time like this, but you have a tab and empty stomach to think about.

You: “I may be able to, but if i'm about to walk into some kind of feud, I am going to need something to make it worth my while. I have a tab over at the dragon that needs fixxing...”

Connan: “I may be able to talk with the mayor about something like that... But it won't be much Strider”

Grep Widdlelog: “Boy, if you find who done this and I promise it will be worth your time”
>>
You didn’t even realize he was listening to the two of you, but its what you wanted to hear. A loose promise of payment is probably the best you are going to get. You start with a small line of questioning, but Connan stops you.

Connan: “You leave the investigating and question asking to us, you just stick to seeing what you can track down.”

You are not sure how much, if any, experience Connan actually has in investigating. Daywatch captain, much like any other trade in the village, is mostly a hereditary title. But maybe the less you know the better.

Seeing that the barn itself is useless, you decide to start looking for tracks outside of the barn. Who ever did it must have come from somewhere. Its time consuming but you start by making ever expanding circles around the barn hoping to find anything at all. In the few hours you spend doing this, you see the guards and mayor leave the farm. The Widdlelogs watch you from a distance at times, but leave you to your work.

At about the fourth hour, you finally find something. Odd prints you cant really describe in anyway other then a group of people walking around on stilts. You have seen it done at the carnival a few times. People dressed up in tallman costumes would use the stilts to make themselves seem taller. It doesn’t make much sense, but nothing about beheading a cow and stealing its head does. You follow the tracks for a while until you reach the end of the farmstead. The tracks continue on but you stop yourself for a moment.

What do?
- Go to the tavern and assemble a posy, you are sure to find a few lads there. You know Lilian won't be there, her father doesnt like her dealing with drunks.
- Go home and get your sword and bow, this is to dangerous to continue on with only your belt dagger
- Continue tracking, the longer you wait the higher the chances of the trail going cold are.
- write in

>>4540988
Yes, the quest starts with you smoking it. Its the first sentence.
>>
>>4541352
>Continue tracking, the longer you wait the higher the chances of the trail going cold are.

Fucking go strider
>>
>>4541352
>- Continue tracking, the longer you wait the higher the chances of the trail going cold are.
If it's some sort of horror hiding in the woods, a possy will make so much noise the thing will stay away, and a sword/bow won't do much good on our own. We track , we find, and then we go get backup.
But before we follow this, tell someone what we're doing. Juuust in case.
>>
>>4541352
>Continue tracking, the longer you wait the higher the chances of the trail going cold are
>>
You decide to continue tracking. Its not your plan to fight what ever it is, just to find it. Before you go off on your own, you do head over to the farmers and tell them the general direction that you are going. You’re not sure what that good will do. If you actually get into some trouble they are not goign to be able to help you, but at least this way maybe someone will find your corpse.

Following the trail gets both easier and harder as you go. The upturned soil makes for easy printing compared to the still, grassy ground you are walking over now. But the upside is that there are no other tracks to follow BUT what ever it is you’re following. Eventually the trail leads to another farm, and before you start to track your way across their land you knock on the door and ask for permission. Later you will realize how dangerous that actually was, since if you had actually found the culprit you could have just walked into your grave explaining that you are tracking them. Yet for better or worse, the farmers demeanour shows no signs of knowing anything. So you keep it that way and give him some half story that will give you access.

You: “Before I go, do you by any chance keep any animals?”

Farmer: “No, not us, just the wheat now then pumpkins later in the year.”

This holds true for the next farm as well. No animals. It gives you the idea that maybe the attack wasn’t targeted. Since what ever did the killing stopped at two other farmers first before eventually reaching the Widdlelogs.

Finally you reach the edge of the Elfwood, where the trail finally starts to run cold. The deeper you go, and the closer the trees cling together, the less of a trail you find until finally it just stops.

>what do?

- Keep looking, there are wolves and bears in this forest. Bears, wake in the spring at their hungriest and you have not done any preliminary scouting to make sure its even safe to be in the forest at this time.
- Share the information you found with the Day Watch Captain, you learned quite a bit.
- Head home and get your gear, this includes traps and maps. You are going to find this thing yourself.
- Write in
>>
>>4541425
I am confused.
You said he stopped in the two farms and the 3rd farm is the one who got its cow head cut so are we following the trail he came from and not to where he did go.
doesn't that mean that this is useless?
or
did he return from where he came from?
>>
>>4541443
>stopped at two other farmers first before eventually reaching the Widdlelogs.

stopped at two farms first before eventually reaching the Widdlelogs.*

Better? The trail tells you where it came from. You can back track and look for a trail where it went as a write in.

I guess I fucked up, I shouldn't have rushed the update out. Since in my mind i knew that it went back to where it came from, I didn't take the time to look at it from the protags perspective.
>>
>>4541446
>Since in my mind I knew that it went back to where it came from.
Should just have explained the tracks better, In this situation, we got two trails and both pointed in the same direction (one where he came from and the other when he returned) so we followed one. <- right?

>>4541425
>Share the information you found with the Day Watch Captain, you learned quite a bit.

Do we know if there are other farms that have cattle in the area?
>>
>>4541425
Do we know of anything near this area? some of the previous choices implied we hunt these woods on occasion.

>- Share the information you found with the Day Watch Captain, you learned quite a bit.
Our trail has gone cold, nothing more we can do.
>>
no time to go home to pick shit up
get your boy Eire to borrow some watchman equipment for you
>>
>>4541425
>>4541425
>Share the information you found with the Day Watch Captain, you learned quite a bit.

Elf pogrom when??!
>>
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I had a bit of a headache yesterday so I muddied some things up. I also cut the updates early because I was making weird mistakes. Decided to clear some things up today.

>the tracks
Here is a map, you found tracks but you dont know if the tracks indicate if this is where the the assailant came from or went after the attack. Its the only tracks you were able to find leading away form the Widdlelog farm. You could potentially go back and look for more tracks.

>>4542206
>elfwood
This is a typo, It should be ELKwood. It was a brain slip my bad.
>>
With the chance of finding something new rapidly diminishing and the chance of danger exponentially increasing, you decide your best bet is to call it a day. You have learned quite a bit about your prey already, maybe its time to share the information with the day watch captain. You slowly and carefully leave the Elkwood, then start that famous stride, that you are so well known for, as you cross the farmlands and rolling hills of your shire. Its about midday when you arrive at the guard house, as in, Connan's actual house that he runs the day watch from. You can even see his wife through the window baking dinner. A knock on the door is quickly answered by the future day watch captain himself, Connan's son, Brian. He is wearing his fathers dented metal cap and launches into the bureaucracy befitting of his station.

Brain: “Hello citizen. What is your name? Where are you form? What seems to be the trouble? Do you have any crimes to report?”

You humour the child until his father arrives.

Connan: “Back already Strider? What have you found?”

The captain leads you to his study where he shuts the door on his disappointed son. Then you regal the captain with your findings, the tracks, the cleanness of the cut, the lack of insects, the forest, the other farms, everything. But he seems to zero in on just one thing, and completely disregards the rest.

Connan: “SO you are saying who ever done it went to multiple farms? Then it wasn’t a targeted attack you think?”

You: “WHAT ever did it. Also, it could be just that the assailant didn’t know where the Widdlelog farmstead actually was. I couldn’t rule out that it was targeted with just that information alone.”

Connan: “Of course they would know, its the biggest farm in the shire. Also this thing about the stilts? Its sounding more and more like a prank to me”

You don't agree, but you are starting to see where this is going. The captain doesn’t want to deal with it, he is trying to dismiss the whole thing and you can't stop him. You try and lead him to the correct reasoning but he just doubles down.

Connan: “A creature in the woods? Strider I think you have been smoking too much of that pipe-weed.”

On the bright side he does have some compensation to offer you. As expected the mayor has refused to pay because of some frivolous reason. But Connan has gathered some coin for you from the day watch budget. As a bonus, he invites you to eat with his family, which you accept.

>what do?
- take matters into your own hands, gear up and head to the woods
- take the information to the night watch captain and his new apprentice Eire instead
- Go to the inn and try to find someone who will listen, raise some awareness in the community at least.
- Take the matter directly to the mayor
- write in
>>
>>4542667
>This is a typo, It should be ELKwood. It was a brain slip my bad.

Dont worry fren, we can pogrom the elv*s later.

>take matters into your own hands, gear up and head to the woods

Gear the fuck up. We the baddest meanest bean eatin halfling in the shire and beyond
>>
>>4542668
>- take matters into your own hands, gear up and head to the woods
Ah what the hell, let's do this.
>>
>>4542668
>take matters into your own hands, gear up, and head to the woods.

The Hunt Calls!!
>>
>>4542977
>Before going to the hunt Look for Lilian and warn her of the weird happenings.
>Can we Identify tracks? are they large or small?
>>
writing

>>4542990
no, they are much too alien. A group of people walking around on stilts is your best guess. The size is about one third of your own foot.
>>
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You eat dinner with Connan and his family, all the while doing your best to keep your game face on. You have already decided on taking matters into your own hands, but have no intention on letting Connan know that. The dinner is quit good too, you eat more then your share. It may be a tad greedy, but you're going to need the energy if you’re going to spend the night in the woods hunting what ever creature, or man, that can behead a cow so cleanly...

The moment you are out of their sight, you move full speed towards your house to gear up. It doesn’t take you more then a good twenty minutes. You look up at the sky and see that you are starting to lose daylight. Unfortunately, you are still on the dark side of the two solstices.

Your home is just as you left it, empty. Even the cobwebs are where you left them. Your mother used to come around and clean up the place, but even that has stopped. Too many memories for her possibly. Too many memories for you too maybe. So you head over to the room where you have stored everything of value, your fathers room. Inside, you find your hunting gear and fathers sword. None of it has seen use for about three months, yet its all very well maintained. Yet you take it all with you. A bow and quiver, several throwing knives, hiking boots, a map, two bear traps, a rope, and lastly... The sword. Two big to hold in one hand, it was mad for use by tallmen. Brought back by your father after one of his “trips”. You wonder if he didn’t leave it behind, would he still be around today? Either way, its your most precious memento. You lift it over your head and bring it down on an imaginary foe, cutting him in half.
>>
You are ready to head out, yet an odd tug pulls at you. You wonder if perhaps you have time to head back to the inn. Lilian will be getting off her shift soon and walking home, as her father doesnt let her tent the bar at night. She will be going alone. That thought alone is enough to make you turn and head to the inn. Foolish, you think, you are losing daylight doing this and there are people walking home everywhere in the village. After all, the person / creature visited three farms and only killed an animal. There is no precedent that anyone is in danger. Even still, you head to the inn.

You make it just in time too, as you reach the dragon you can see Lilian exiting out the back. So you make a beeline towards her. Before she even realizes you are there, you grab hold of her arms which gives her a small fright.

Lilian: “Strider?!”

You quickly withdraw your hands, You don't know why you did that. But for some reason you were more worried then you realized. Yet after you grabbed her, that worry was suddenly gone and you feel quit foolish. You are not sure what to say either. Luckily Lilian bridges the gap.

Lilian: “A-are you here to see them? They are still inside people have been showing up to gawk all day”

You don’t know what she is talking about

You: “What? See who?”

Lilian: “You tall man, and the elf!”

You don't know how to take what she is saying to you, an elf? What? Your mind was far too focused on the mystery that you have been embroiled in all day.

Lilian: “You don't know? Where have you been all day Strider? I would think this is the talk of the town. I have never seen an elf before, I thought they were supposed to be tall.”

You don't know what a tallman and elf are doing in your town, but you think it too big of a coincidence. This could all be connected. Still, its not why you have come.

You: “How are you getting home? Walking?”

Lilian: “Of course Strider, how else?”

You tell Lilian a little bit about what has been going on at the Widdlelogs farm, not any of the details but enough. You churn the story down to a possible animal attack, and you suggest that maybe she should wait and get a cart ride back home with someone else.

Lilian: “I can take care of myself Strider! But, if you are really worried, maybe you can walk me home? To make sure I get there safe of course.”

>what do?
- Walk her home, its the only way you will feel at ease.
- Go in the inn, you have to see this for yourself
- You don't have time for any of this nonsense. Get going to the forest!
- Write in
>>
>>4543085
>You don't have time for any of this nonsense. Get going to the forest!

Priorities.
>>
>>4543085
>Walk her home, its the only way you will feel at ease.
Just to make sure.
>>
>>4543085
>- Walk her home, its the only way you will feel at ease.
We shouldn't have bothered her in the first place, but now that we've worried her we'll need to see this through.
>>
You have never seen an elf yourself. Before today, you could have safely bet that no one you know ever would. But according to Lilian, there is a live on right now on the other side of the wooden wall to your left. Yet its the furthest thing in your mind, you simply have too much to deal with. You know you should go to the woods as soon as possible, but you can't, not until Lilian is home safe. So, with a bit of reluctance, you agree to escort her home. She seems a quite surprised.

Lilian: “Really? You don't want to see the elf?”

You: “Some things are just more important.”

Lilian seems to like this quite a bit. As the two of you get going she locks her arm around yours and hold your arm tightly. You worry about what people will think if they see you like this, and the rumours that could circulate. But you really have no choice but to let it happen. This was the road you chose after all. You quietly remind yourself, that when you are breaking your back tending to a field of potatos, not to call it a grave.

As the two of you walk, Lilian shows a lot of interests in the things you are carrying. You talk about everything, from you bear traps right down to your shoes. Everything, of course, except your sword. You surmise that she already knows the story about your father, and is smart enough not to ask. Which is good, since you don't want to talk about it. When that well of conversation drys up, you tell her about your meeting with Connan and how he is trying to brush off everything that is happening as some kind of prank. You like talking to Lilian about your problems, because other the Eire, she is the only one that sometimes can present solutions.

Lilian: “So you are going to hunt the animal on your own? And he has set it up so he doesn’t have to pay you, and if something happens its not his fault? Then why are you going?”

You answer like its the most obvious thing in the world

You: “Because its the right thing to do”

Sometimes you are too heroic for your own good, because you can feel Lilian's grip on you tighten as the words leave your mouth. You are digging yourself deeper. Just, don't, call, it, a, grave.
>>
When you get to Lilian's house, she unexpectedly invites you inside.

Lilian: “You know my ma' and pa' are not home. Maybe I can fix you something to eat before you go hunting...”

You have to refuse her, you have a tasks to accomplish and you have been side tracked too long. In truth, once you had met up with Lilian at the inn a gnawing in your mind has been growing and growing. It actually kind of irritated you that nothing happened while you were walking her home. If someone was injured while you were here indulging, you would never be able to forgive yourself.

You: “I'm sorry but there just isn't time. I have to go now before it gets too dark.”

Lilian: “Oh, alright... But wait! I have something for you. Please wait here”

Lilian dashes into her house and returns after a few minutes, then she tries to hand you a leather waterskin. You can see the flower embroidery that clearly marks the item as her personal possession. This is not just some waterskin, its HER waterskin.

Lilian: “I see you didn’t take one yourself, I filled it with some wine. Please accept it, a reward on behalf of all of us that you are silently rescuing.”

She is right, you did forget to bring one, you lend yours to Donald and forgot about it. But, on the other hand. If you take this, a simple memento from her, there is no going back. It may not be today, or tomorrow, or in the next few months, but one day. If you take this waterskin, you are signing your acceptance that this thing brewing between the two of you is going to happen.

>what do
- Take it
- Don't take it
- Write in
>>
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Tell her you love her like a sister, we can acquire an exotic waifu who's a lizard or made of water or something later
>>
>>4543395
>Take it

Sprint back to the inn and see what those non-halflings are doing in our land

>>4543398
>Tfw no muscular yet caring uruk hai gf
>>
>>4543395
>Take it, but promise you'll get it back to her in one piece.

Not a rejection, but not getting locked in yet, either.
>>
>>4543395
>Take it
>>
>Take it.
After the Hunt, we need to clear the air!
>>
>>4543395
>- Don't take it
>>4540722
So much for that, eh?
>>
Ill get to writing soon

>>4543642
Don`t worry, I figured it out.
>>
>>4543395
>Don't take it
>>
>>4543642
The moment I saw she was a redhead, we were doomed.
>>
You really have no choice but to accept it, not after she put it that way. You make a fleeting attempt to defend yourself.

You: “Thank you, ill be sure to return it to you in one piece.”

Lilian: “I fully expect you to” she place her left hand to the right side of her mouth and leans in. With a loud whisper she adds “just don't do it in front of my pa'”

You thank her again and start making your way to the Elkwood. You don't look behind you, but you know she is watching you go. For the first time in a long while, you think you start to understand your father better. Maybe that's why he went on so many “trips”, perhaps the only way for a man to escape this perpetual loop is to leave. As long as you are here, in this place, you may be doomed. You do your best to clear these thoughts from your mind, since you have dangerous work ahead of you. But you only have partial control of what stream of ideas enter your brain. Everything that happened today with Lilian is clouding your mind. This would be so much easier if her skin wasn’t so soft, and her eyes weren’t so deep.

You arrive at the elkwood with only about two hours of sunlight left. Without any time to lose, you take a swig of your new waterskin for courage, then dive right into it. You start where you had left off, in hopes that you could find something that you missed. But its not much use, so you have to simply expand your search of the area in hopes of finding something. You still don't know if you are hunting a creature or a man, but you decide to gamble on a creature. Since you have never seen anything like what you are tracking, you decide that maybe the best place is too look in some of the darker places of the wood. From the stories heard about dragons, they like to sleep for hundreds of years. Maybe its the same situation? It would explain why you have not seen it before. Or maybe it has something to do with the tallmen after all, but in a more round about way. Their settlement on the other side of the woods has been getting bigger and bigger, maybe its something they brought to the woods, or maybe something they awakened?
>>
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As you trek through the woods , you put down a few traps. Th idea is that if you DO find something that you can't fight, you have an option of retreating back towards the traps. When you finally run out, you start to consider a leap frog tactic with your traps. Luckily, before you even have to make that decision, you finally find something. An Elk corps, with its head missing. You drop down into the small ravine where the body lays. A quick examination shows the same oddness found in the cow. A perfectly severed cut, and no insects. Yet form the decay, you guesstimate time of death to about two to three days. What kind of monster could have killed such a powerful creature like the elk? These mammals are absolutely huge, you never hunted them yourself because you wouldn’t be able to take back even one fifth of the meat back home. Not to mention the danger involved, it would take a few arrows to bring it down.

Just then you hear it, an unnatural sound, one that triggers all you instincts at once. Silence, then the sudden sound of a branch snapping. The sound of ambush! You have only a second to act!

>what do?
- sprint out towards your traps, don't even look behind you
- It comes from above in the trees! Defend yourself.
- Defend your neck, that is where it will strike.
- Turn around and investigate, better to check before you swing a weapon.
- Write in
>>
>>4543895
>run for cover
>>
>>4543895
>Make as much distance between you and the creature, Roll if you need to dodge a hit. And try to find cover if you can.
>>
>>4543895
>- sprint out towards your traps, don't even look behind you
It cut through bone & flesh like butter; it will go right through us.
>>
>>4543895
>- sprint out towards your traps, don't even look behind you
We're called strider for a reason
>>
You don’t know what is behind you, and you don't care, you are out of there like a frightened deer. Darting and ducking as you go, you enter a full sprint towards your bear traps. Hearing no sound of metal clamping behind you, you're left with little option but to keep running. The next trap is the same, much to your disappointment. Because you are running out of energy fast. In fact you already notice that your speed has greatly diminished. You may be fast and swift, but no one can run this fast for this long at full speed. You are left with little option but to turn and fight.

You draw your sword and swing it behind yourself as you turn to face your pursuer. Its... nothing. No one is following you. Looking up to the tree canopies, and you see much the same. Nothing. You thank the heavens and collapse. Your feet can take you no further, if you had to fight now you would have surely been done for. Quickly you reach for your waterskin and drink the wine. Water would be better, but its all you got. You sit and rest for several minutes clutching your sword. It seems that nothing is coming for you. You think for a moment that maybe it was all in your mind, perhaps your nerves got the better of you? No, no, there was something there you are sure of it. It was above you, in the trees.

As time passes and your courage slowly returns you start to feel a little irradiated. What you should have done races around your mind. Maybe you should have fought it right there and then, maybe if you turned sooner you could have at least seen it. Maybe if you took your time and came here earlier like you planned you would have had more time for planting your traps properly. Either way, there is only one choice to make now.

>what do?
- gather your taps and set a perimeter, with you as bait in the centre. The night is falling and you need to start a fire
- return to the dead elk, but more alert and ready for a fight.
- head back home and return in the morning. The woods are a different place at night.
- write in
>>
>>4544067
>- gather your taps and set a perimeter, with you as bait in the centre. The night is falling and you need to start a fire
>>
>>4544067
>- head back home and return in the morning. The woods are a different place at night.
There's no benefit to staying out here; we're by ourselves and a fire will draw anything nasty to us like a beacon. And no way we're staying up all night.
>>
>head back to the farm closest to the forest and return in the morning. The woods are a different place at night.
This is not the most heroic action but we don't need to die yet and rather than return home we can see if we can crash in with him.
>>
>>4544067
gather your taps and set a perimeter, with you as bait in the centre. The night is falling and you need to start a fire
>>
>>4544067
>go and examine the elk for clues
>>
>>4544067
>>4544228
This is smart, support.

QM, this quest looks like a really good time so I hope you keep with it! I will try and play but my schedule is nuts right now with covid and flu season.
>>
im going to be a bit busy until wensday, so im going to only do 1 update a day until then.

todays update will be coming later tonight.
>>
>>4544919
Thanks, man!
>>4545014
Alright! I am pretty new to 4chan so I might miss updates tho.
is there a way to have 4chan send notif every time a thread is updated?
>>
>>4545058
4chanx extension
>>
>>4544067
>- gather your taps and set a perimeter, with you as bait in the centre. The night is falling and you need to start a fire
>>
>>4545014
Ok, King
>>
the quest is on hiatus until wensday, sorry everyone but I really got to study.

sorry everyone
>>
>>4546365
Damn, just as I found it. Best of luck with the study anon.
>>
>>4546365
It's qst, thread's not going anywhere. But thanks for letting us know.
>>
>>4546365

Thanks for letting us know, King
>>
>>4546365
Okay, best of luck!
>>
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>>4546365
>>
You decide that the best thing to do, for now, is to call it a day. The woods come alive at night and your not sure that making yourself bait is wise. Especially since you are starting to suspect your prey makes use of the trees. Making your traps unreliable at best. Staying awake all night or starting a fire is a no go as well. With no time to collect said traps before nightfall, you leave them where they lay. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky,

You exit the forest exhausted and paranoid. The more time passes the more you start to appreciate how close to death you may have come. If there really was something right behind you, then it is a true predator. To have come so close without you detecting it, even a wolf cant get that close to you anymore. You wonder if perhaps even the elk was bait. But if thats true, then your adversary has intelligence, and the distinction between who is hunting who has become much more blurred.

As the dark thoughts become a greater and greater burden, you decide they are simply too heavy to carry all the way home. Luckily, your friend Maeb doesn’t live more then ten minutes away.

Maeb and his family are home builders and carpenters, more then half of the homes here in the shire have been built by them. Lots of work goes into a fresh house, first you must find good land for farming, then it must have itself a good hill that can be carved out and filled with the proper wood work. Only then can be called a proper home. So its no surprise that Maeb, who follows closely in his fathers footsteps, has his own small hovel on his parents property. Although it is quite normal for children to live with their parents until they get married, Maeb was living on his own since fifteen. You credit it as the key reason for his popularity as a teenager.

You are pleased to see a light coming from out his window indicating that he has not left for the pub tonight. A knock on his door facilitates a quick reply. Maeb is surprised to see you, but happily lets you enter and spend the night if you so choose.
>>
The two of you sit around the fire he has going for a while, and the conversation moves from one topic to another until finally it arrives at something relevant.

Maeb: “So you spent all day in the woods and didn’t catch anything? Thats bad luck. Or is it maybe that you were visiting farmer Larchginer's secret crop.”

You bring your pipe to your lips and give him a wink before you take a drag and attempt to make some smoke rings. You explain that you have been hired by the Widdlelogs to hunt an animal that terrorized one of their cows. Maeb takes the pipe from you and gives it a drag, before producing a few smoke rings that put your abominations to shame.

Maeb: “Like what happened over at the Longfoot's and Briddlebees? Savage thing to do to an animal. But you may be out of luck Strider, for better or worse they caught the fellows responsible. They have em locked up over at Hensley's, I think our lad Eire is watching over em as we speak.”

That catches you off guard, you grill him for more information.

Maeb: “Well im not too sure, my mum told me about the attacks today. As for the perpetrators, turns out it was a tallman and elf, a mob went and grabbed em while they were sitting around at the dragon. A bloody elf Strider, what are one of those doing around here?”

None of this makes any sense.


>what do?

- I guess if they caught them they caught them, put the whole thing to rest
- Head over to the “jail” and question the perpetrators asap. You friend Eire could get you an audience maybe.
- You are sure there is something out in those woods, rest for the night and head back there in the morning
- write in

-bonus:
Take Maeb with you?
>>
>>4548745
>- Head over to the “jail” and question the perpetrators asap. You friend Eire could get you an audience maybe.
Immediately
>>
>>4548745
> first you must find good land for farming, then it must have itself a good hill that can be carved out and filled with the proper wood work.
I wonder what their stance would be on creating an artificial hill for a house. One, say, made from the tailings of real hill-house conversion.

>As for the perpetrators, turns out it was a tallman and elf,
That's...a strange end to things, but if the Widdlelogs are satisfied they're the ones paying you. Not everything is a conspiracy.
>- I guess if they caught them they caught them, put the whole thing to rest
>>
>>4548884
They would wander around cutting heads, before going to sit in tavern?
Lets give them a visit anyway, to check if they have anything that could cut necks and if their feet fit into tracks we have been following.
>>
>>4548745
>- Head over to the “jail” and question the perpetrators asap. You friend Eire could get you an audience maybe.
>>
>>4548745
>Head over to the “jail” and question the perpetrators asap. You friend Eire could get you an audience maybe.
>>
>>4548745
>Head over to the “jail” and question the perpetrators asap. You friend Eire could get you an audience maybe
>>
Nothing about that adds up at all. No, there is no choice but to see this thing to the end. You get up of your chair, gather your things, and make ready your departure. Your whirlwind of activity prompts a resonance from Maeb.

“Are you going home?”

Your reply is swift and to the point. “I'm going to interview the prisoners”. Maeb doesn’t get it so you expand on your thought process. “Somethings not right about all this, and I don’t just mean the odd style of killings.” You remember how swift Connan was to wave away the beheading on pranks, and you wonder if he has perhaps found a scapegoat in the two travellers.

Maeb starts to put out the fire and takes his coat form off the rack.

“And where are you going?” you ask him.

“I'm coming with you, never seen an elf before” he replies, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Honestly, you don't know why you even asked.
>>
The “jail”, or otherwise known as Hensley's house, reminds you of your own home. Neglected and run down. You can see a small mob loitering outside of it, all hoping to catch a glimpse of what is shaping up to be the most eventful thing to happen in the shire in years. Its dark enough now that most people have left, but you ca tell by the tracks that at least half the town must have been here at some point. You and Maeb push your way past the few onlookers, and give the door a knock. You expect to see Hensley's wrinkly face, but instead Eire answers. As he owns the door he points a loaded windup crossbow at you.

“I TOLD YOU NO ONE SEES THE PRI- oh hello Strider, what are you doing here?”

With a quick motion you take the bolt out of his crossbow before he hurts someone, then simply walk into the house. Maeb walks in after you and gives a confused Eire a slap on the back before greeting him and closing the door.

“Hello Eire, hows the new job?”

Politeness dictates that he must answer. “Its going good, little more action then I anticipated I guess.

While Maeb and Eire have a small back and forth you scan the house, and immediately you find some confiscated equipment. On the table is your slandered apparel for a tallman traveller, some knives, some bags, a sword, they even took their boots! But among the mundane rests a weapon you have never seen before. A sword shaped like a crescent moon, similar to a sickle used by the druid but the blade is not nearly as pronounced. Yet the instrument seems remarkably sharp, you have heard about the smiting of the elves in stories but this is a true relic. A weapon like this could definitely behead a cow. Yet from among all these things, you don't see anything that could have left the style of tracks that you have been following.

Eire sees you looking at the odd sword, “They are saying thats what they used to kill all those animals”. In the middle of the sentence his empty crossbow miss-fires, which causes Eire too look down at the safety mechanism in confusion.

“Where is Hensley? I want to see the prisoners”. Your question seems to remind Eire of his job.

“Hensley was summoned by the mayor. Actually I don't think your supposed to be in here Strider. I could get in trouble”

You put a hand on Eire's shoulder and reassure him. “I am under orders by to track down whoever was responsible for the Widdlelog cow killing, I am allowed to be here. Now show me to the prisoners.” Technically, that wasn’t a lie, at least the first part.

>Get smashed, its early in the day and Eire will be drunk for his first day of work. But it may be what he needs.

Eire seems a bit reluctant but then caves in to your request, loyalty to his mates comes before his job.
>>
Eire guides you through the kitchen into what is the Jail room. It is a pretty cramped space to keep prisoners, let alone tall ones. Looking at the bars, you can see it was a hasty job. Some one could almost certainly power his way through them if he was so inclined. On the other side of the bars, you spot the duo of travellers. The tallman is reclining on the makeshift wooden bench with his head on the elfs lap, the first thing you notice about him is how long his beard is. Its a rare thing for people to be able to grow facial hair, but Tallmen seem to sprout it in abundance. Other then that he looks like your ordinary Tallman, perhaps more muscular and well travelled but its hard to tell. They all look rather alike. His eyes are on you the moment you enter the room. On the other hand, his companion elf is an androgynous looking fellow, he doesn't seem to register your presence at all. Instead, he seems transfixed on braiding a small section of the Tallmans, other wise, upbraided hair. His skin is a light brown and he wears his white hair in a braid behind his head. Never had you seen the colours on a living being before, but its apparently common in the peoples of the desert. He wears golden bands on his wrist, ankles, and neck. Lastly, on his forehead, wrest a band carved to resemble a snake biting its own tail. On his body alone rests enough gold to buy the village.

Eire attempts to command them into standing up and face an enquiry, but they remain where you found them. The tallman looks like he wants to say something, but the Elf places his hand over the tallman's mouth to silence him. Eire takes you, and for some reason Maeb, aside “They have been like that since we brought them in, wont say anything to anyone.”

Maeb gives an opinion that is lost on Eire, “well, have you told them anything they want to hear yet?”

>what do?

- Explain to the pair why they are incarcerated and what they think of the charges.
- Don't reveal any information, but question them. In return, offer to return some of their belongings
- Ask Eire to borrow the crescent sword in order to conduct some forensic experiments
- You can see the two have been wrongly accused, the only way to help them is to find and slay the monster tomorrow.
- write in

>>4548886
I should have looked up how they make those, but I was pretty juiced to continue the quest so I dove into it.
>>
>>4549813
>- Explain to the pair why they are incarcerated and what they think of the charges.
If nothing else, they deserve to know why they're jailed.
>- Ask Eire to borrow the crescent sword in order to conduct some forensic experiments
We can ask the butcher to let us take a few swings, see if the cuts are anywhere close to the ones we found.
>>
>>4549813
>Explain to the pair why they are incarcerated and what they think of the charges.
And go on to question them about the happenings in the woods.
>>
>>4549918

This

>>4549813
O damn glad to see that your back already, hope you dominated the fuck outta your studybooks brother
>>
>>4549882
Both needs to be done, no reason not to be polite to them, even if they did the deed.

It might be quite difficult to get them free, even if they promised to help us. Lets see if they want to even talk, to start with.
>>
>>4549813
>- Explain to the pair why they are incarcerated and what they think of the charges.





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