Old February 7, 2019, 02:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Argon was eager to get hunting but something inside his head urged caution. The creature could blink in and out of form and that meant they didn't readily have the means to attack the creature unless it vould be coaxed or convinced to take material form.

It seemed evident that a good defense would be ideal in order to save them from being inadvertently another meal for the shadowstray

"If we wait for the additional shields we will be better prepared." Argon said stating the obvious to his companion "and we can practice and spar against one another to get a feel for one another's movements. That knowledge may be critical when we go against this shadowstray. We could also use the time to buy a sturdy bag in which we can haul the body. I know we need only the head but it seems to be a creature like that would be valuable from head to toe."

Argon of course had weighed up the other option as well

"But if we wait our quarry may move on or otherwise be captured by another party" Argon said as he moved a little away from the blacksmith who had indicated to them about the shields and availability "I am still in favour in waiting. Making haste against a lethal enemy is to rush to the grave"

He would reconsider his stance, however, given any expertise from his companion that suggested a better course of action.
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Old February 12, 2019, 06:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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With Argon's description, Mei'lin thought Cabbits were interesting creatures. Smart, shapeshifting and killers. If they were real, they would be one of the monster she would have to hunt down. "Fantasy or not, they will make interesting monsters to hunt down, maybe even breed to aid in our search for hunting." She mused.

Their shopping trip were easy enough, and the lack of a second spiked shield wasn't too disappointing for her. She wield a scythe and that required two hands. If she have a shield, it just meant her back would be safer to attacks. "A shield will be nice, but I don't want myself to be burdened by it. I guess I'm more of an offensive sort of huntress."

"If it is the woods we are going, I doubt we need muck to cover our scent, but we will never know. It might be a good idea to cover ourselves with some mud and leaves when we hunt around. Might be able to surprise it." The elfess had to suppress a chuckle when she suddenly had this image of themselves becoming a clump of bush, walking around the forest. It might attract the wrong attention though.

She would also try to get a covered wagon. Lucius had a good idea which she could expand on. Allow only one point of entry and the pointed front of her scythe could also be a spear. The shadowstray would not be able to enter by any directions, but the one her weapon was pointing towards.

Baring Argon's objection to wait around to get a second shield, she would head over to the abandoned campsite immediately after making all the purchases. There she would spend a candlemark looking around for tracks, useful items and any possible chance of making this a little more defensive. It never hurt to setup someplace where she could retreat to.
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Old February 12, 2019, 09:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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"Very well" Argon said, "Then we shall head straight away"

There were advantages to getting there more quickly, as well. A shadowstray was more likely to be in the same area and they only really needed the one shield. If it proved effective he would get another shield after this event as well.

"Lets see exactly how the terrain looks. Lauryl has become ever unpredictable since the fog."

Argon, likewise, looked for tracks, but also kept an eye out for anything else of interest as well, such as broken branches, leaves etc. He also kept an eye out for dead animals along the path nearby and considered where they could set up the trap using the live rabbit bait to best effect. It needed to look trapped; so a location that would look like it would trap a rabbit was best. Some uncovered roots overgrown with vines and mosses, for example, would be an ideal place for a rabbit to have become trapped whilst having nooks for Mei'lin and Argon to view and prepare their own ambush from

He also considered the terrain, as Mei'lin did, to check areas that would limit the vectors of attack by the creature that they could retreat to. There was a high chance this would not go without a hitch so preparedness for the counter-strike would be paramount
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Old February 13, 2019, 04:55 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Mei'lin was unable to locate any wagons of her specifications. A covered wagon was expensive. She could find some large crates though, but her understanding allowed her to know crates would never stand against a Shadowstray if it took on the likeness of a strong creature.

They arrived at the abandoned camp with much time to spare. There was a half collapsed tent in front of a dug out pit. Either of them could easily set the tent back up for shelter and use the pit for fire when darkness fell. In the tent was a small pile of firewood that should last the darkening.

Moving on, the two hunters found themselves in a forest of many petrified trees. Keeping their eyes open. they could easily spot signs of life everywhere. There were bugs scuttling about. There were broken branches which were obviously broken by creatures to mark their territory. There were tracks heading in all directions, tracks both fresh and old.

Argon found a trail of a pawed creature heading north deeper into the forest and from the prints. The footprints were quite far apart enough for anyone to tell it was a large creature making it. He also discover another trail of a large pawed creature heading east. The only problem he might have was, which set of prints were newer?

Mei'lin had a problem here. If the shadowstray had shapeshifted to an ordinary animal, her knowledge was not useful or was it? She did notice a few booted footprints around, most heading in the direction of the campsite.
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Old February 13, 2019, 06:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Mei'lin was glad that they were on the move, although disappointed not to find a wagon. She knew her training told her to read up as much as possible about the creature, but as a young elf, she rather be on the move, to take actions."Let us get rid of the monster of the town!"

At the campsite of the hunters, she was glad to find a pile of firewood ready for use. She set the tent back up and cleared the firepit. "I don't think we want to hunt deep into the night. Let's say we make our way back here two candlemarks after sunset? If the hunters setup a camp here, it must be quite safe, don't you think?"

In the forest, she found herself quite useless. She found shoeprints and maybe even the bear prints Argon had spotted, but nothing told her which tracks belonged to the Shadowstray. "I don't know how could we tell which way a Shadowstray had gone to. It is likely it have transformed itself to something local."

ooc: Can I activate my once per thread skill to locate the creature here?
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Old February 13, 2019, 09:59 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Argon took some time to consider the new tracks. Two sets, possibly the same creature. If it were a bear then the paw prints would be large, rounded and there would be evidence of clause. Of course this wouldn't let them tell the difference between a bear and a shadowstray bear but a mundane bear could still kill both of them if they weren't prepared for that as well. He checked another detail: whether or not he could see any tracks that lead toward this location. After that he did his best to obscure their own tracks into the wood and check for landmarks to find their way back there again.

"You are right" Argon said weighing the options "and even if it hasn't a hostile bear will kill us just the same"

As to the two tracks and their directions; it was time to consult with his companion about which to follow

"Two tracks; One North into the forest, another East and none I have found showing the beast coming toward this location" Argon said "Could it be that the shadowstray encountered an animal, took its form and headed in another direction? If so, I think a bear would ordinarily head into the Forest back to its home and a shadowstray would hunt. What is East of here beside the rest of the empire?"

It could also simply be the same beast having travelled twice in different directions but he noted that he only saw the pawprints heading away from the location and none heading toward. The fact that there were none coming toward this location bothered Argon.

"Oh, in your expert opinion would a shadowstray leave tracks while immaterial?" Argon asked "because these tracks, if both prove to be of a similar age, may prove we are up against 2 shadowstrays rather than 1."
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Old February 14, 2019, 03:44 AM   #22 (permalink)
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OoC: As Argon reward, Mei'lin can keep her ability usage for another part of the thread, unless you want to.

Mei'lin was looking at the tracks, which she was unable to tell which track was the newer one, calling upon her inner eyes to find out more when Argon spotted something odd about the tracks.

The tracks, if either of them were to carefully measure, came from the same creature and the odd part, both were heading away. It was like it suddenly appeared in the area. Argon's line of thoughts allowed him to spot the imprint of starting points of either tracks were much deeper, as if it had flew in and landed hard.

When and if Argon voiced his thoughts, Mei'lin would remember tales that shadowstrays took on the shape of larged winged creatures too. She would then notice high above the starting point of the eastward trail, something have broken branches high above those trees. It was as if something had flown in from the north, breaking branches as it clumsily flew down and landed. Common sense would also tell her ethereal creatures did not leave footsteps.
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Old February 14, 2019, 04:18 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Argon was quick to relay his findings to Mei'lin. They may have just met but once you partner in an endeavour there was not room for intrigue.

"Hang on" Argon said "those paw prints are deeper; maybe something landed here?"

The new ramifications spun in Argon's mind. If the shadowstrays had take on the form of a winged creature then they would need to stop thinking about ground attacks but also the air as well.

He had may other questions but he waited on the expertise of the monster huntress he travelled with while scanning around for any imminent or strange events. He continued to study the prints as well. They were eerily similar as if from the same creature. He was sure to also point that out to Mei'lin if she didn't already notice of her own accord.
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Old Yesterday, 02:41 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Argon spotted things she never really thought was important. Her training made her look at claw marks, slime pile, odd feathers and other monstrous features. There was little need for her to spot depth, age and other factors, but she guess she should keep an open eyes for those clues as well.

"Flying shadowstray and rumors it is a flurry creature. An angel-bear? I always thought it was a fantasical story." Mei'lin spoke her thoughts aloud as she squatted down next to the tracks.

"There are stories where a shadowstray staying around an area where large birds and bears were, and the monster took on traits of those two creatures. A flying bear. Its sounds cuddly, but I think it is pretty dangerous." She stood up and held her scythe out. If it was flying, it could be back at any moment. "And from what I see here, I am guessing it is patrolling the area. Heading north, coming back, then heading east. My guess, it will come back again."

"No, I doubt it will have any footprint if it is not materialized." She told Argon as an afterthought as she began to follow the tracks heading eastwards.
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Argon decided against investigating the northern set of prints separately. Singularly against a foe that may or may not be able to fly or be in a form they expected it to be in meant that taking chances and risk would only make their encounter needlessly dangerous.

Instead he held his shield at the ready, and gripped his axe firmly ready to strike out at anything that might attack his comrade. In this instance he kept his eyes to the trees and the ground ahead. He also kept his ears pripped and keen for noises or, more worringly, the lack thereof. A forest should not be quiet so if it were then that would be a disturbing sign.
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