Tales Of The Chosen "Heroes"
With the sun reaching its peak Reason and his party move toward the village, he couldn’t help but feel that something was off about this quest. Something about commissioning an entire party of adventures to deal with a few wolves seemed off, regardless of level. Reason in his entire life had never recalled wolves being a major problem in his town. On occasions they might be a danger to a shepherd or a farmer’s livestock, but often they could deal with it themselves, or at most hire a single individual.
Reason’s party members however didn’t share the same concern, in fact they were rather excited for this quest. It seemed rather easy, deal with a couple of scary wolves and get paid. Maybe I’m thinking to much about this. Reason tried to assure himself. Still, it is nice to explore another area.
The village itself wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, rather like his own hometown. In fact, this village was much smaller than the town he grew up in, but everything was just different enough that it felt alien to him. It seemed that he wasn’t the only one who found a strange sense of familiarity here, both Markus and William seemed rather nostalgic arriving in the village. Only Mary who had lived her entire life in cities seemed to have no feeling of familiarity.
“By the way, as a bard you can cast spells, right?” Reason asked Billy.
“Yup, as long as a have my trusty ukulele I can caste spells.”
“How does that work?”
“Well, you see Mary there?” Gesturing at their wizard who was busy taking notes.
“Well, I’m a bit like that.”
“Not exactly.” A murmur came from the head behind the book.
“Well, yeah not exactly, but I learned a few things about magic, and with the help of music I manipulate it to caste spells.”
Reason scratched his head, “I don’t know much about magic, but can any musician use magic?”
“Well, as long as they now how magic works and trick to using it, they could.”
“There’s a trick?”
“Yeah, but I don’t know how to explain it.” William said with a wave.
“But you know it and can use magic spells?”
“Only two real ones right now. I’ll learn more as a keep practicing of course.”
Markus turned his head back, “What do you by real ones?”
“Well, I know three spells. But one of them just amplifies sound a bit, I can do that one pretty easily anytime, doesn’t take to much effort. Though not very useful for a quest. And I can only caste about two spells a day altogether for the other two.”
Mary poked her head up again curious, “What are their names?”
Cocking his head to the side Billy replied with a “Hmm?”
“You said you know a healing and an enchantment spell, what were there names exactly?”
Billy paused for a moment, “Ah, jeez I’ve never been good at remembering names… it’s called like healing harmony, it heals someone’s small wounds.”
“Healing Harmony heals minor wounds for multiple targets, I think you mean Healing Hymn.” Mary stated.
“Ah, right that one then.” Seemingly use to Mary’s blunt assertions, he continued, “And Miracle Migraine, it gives headaches to the target.”
“Why did you learn that spell?” Mary asked.
“Cause it sounded funny.”
Markus and Reason smiled at that; Mary rolled her eyes. William continued on, “Still, I have nothing on you Mary. Your magic is a lot cooler than mine.”
Reason turning to Mary asked, “What spells do you know?’
“Well, I’ve successfully learned seven different spells, but only have enough mana to cast three proper spells in a single day. Though I can cast a basic fire bolt several times a day, even after casting my three spells. But my fire bolt isn’t nearly as effective as my other spells.”
Markus spoke as they began to reach the village, “Two fighters and a far range attacker and a healer, this seems like a pretty solid adventuring party ready to do some questing.”
“So… how do we start?” Asked Reason.
“Simple. We find the village chief and tell him that we’re here for the quest and then we go to deal with it.” Markus replied brimming with excitement. Much like Reason this was going to be his very first quest, while the other two members didn’t feel that this moment was so monumental, Markus thought of this as the beginning a of a new story.
Four adventurers walking through a small village did attract a bit of attention. A few eager children approached near them watching with curiosity as strangers were not common, let alone adventurers. But children weren’t the only ones that had their attention drawn towards the newcomers. Even the adults were naturally curious upon seeing their arrival as well as hope that they would solve their issue.
There seemed to be a layer unease within the more common looking village. It seemed that this wolf problem had taken a toll on the people, the village was surrounded with a haphazard fence. Set up in a rush to stop the wolves from making their way into the village. Markus for his part gave a confident smile, a wave and a wink. This did help ease some of the villager’s tension.
A few murmurs could be overheard, “There’s four of them this time.” With a reply of “That’s good.” Reason wondered what they meant by this time.
Eventually from one of the larger homes came out man around fifty along with a couple others roughly the same age behind him, they approached the party. Presumably this man was the village chief, he approached group with a weary look on his face.
“Are you folks from the Adventures Guild?”
Markus taking charge spoke up, “Indeed we are! So, I heard you had a wolf problem, right?”
A look of relief washed over his face. “Yes, thank you for arriving. Please follow me into the meeting hall, we’ll talk more there.”
The chief guided the party back into the building that he had originally come out of. The interior of the room was rather sparce, an old rug lay on the dusty clay floor, a few lamps hung on the walls, and a few simple notices nailed onto an empty wall. They headed over to a simple wooden table with chairs lined around it and took their seats. The chief then began to speak. “Recently we have had wolf sightings near the village and the corpses of livestock found within the woods.”
“Have any of the farmers seen the wolves?” Asked Mary.
“Yes, quite a number and that’s why we decided to ask the guild for help.”
Reason tilted his head curiously, “Why didn’t the farmers deal with the wolves?”
The village chief shuffled a little before replying, “Well, everyone who had seen the wolves were scared beyond belief. Many came to me asking for help.”
“They couldn’t deal with the wolf problem?”
“No, people now refused to even venture out into the woods alone.”
“Has anyone been attacked yet?”
“No, thankfully, the moment these wolves were found the entire village has been extremely carful. But it feels like we’re trapped here, it’s become difficult to farm and raise livestock with these wolves here.” A twinge of desperation could be seen in his eyes.
Markus interjected, “Hey, don’t worry, we’re here now. We’ll stop these wolves from doing anymore harm.” Giving the village chief a confident smile.
The village chief nodded his head, “Yes, yes. Thank you. It’s just for the past couple of weeks it’s been a stressful time for us all.”
“Well, now we’re here to change that.”
“Right. I’ll send someone to help guide you to the location of in forest. But they won’t follow you any further.”
Markus gave a little stretch, “No worries, it’s our job to take care of the wolves. Wouldn’t be fair if we involved some stranger into this mess. Right guys?”
William shrugged, “Wouldn’t be fair to force someone to join us.” Mary gave a quick shake of the head, and Reason agreed.
Markus turning back to the village chief, “Well you heard them, don’t worry! Let’s fix this issue already.” Quickly standing up and rearing to go.
The party did a quick once over their gear before heading out of the building and towards the forest.
“So, this is it. We found that their trail lead here. The wolves are somewhere beyond this area.” The party’s guide, one of the farmers, who had led them a few minutes into the forest now stopped before a small clearing. “Well, they shouldn’t be to active right now. But I’m not going any further then here.”
“No worries we have it now.” Markus replied rather nonchalantly.
“Uh, wait have you seen the wolves yourself?” Reason asked.
“No, but… I have seen some of the disappearances.”
“You mean the livestock?”
“Yes, and…” The villager trailed of a bit.
William was now curious, “And?”
“And… well, there was another adventurer that arrived.”
Markus turned towards him, “There was?”
“Uh, yeah. Some sort of tracker. He said he had taken the commission and then he went into the woods.”
Reason prodded, “What happened to him?”
“Not sure, we didn’t see him. Either he just left… or well the wolves got him.”
Markus paused for a moment. Before shaking it off, “Well, there’s four of us, we’ll be able to watch our backs.”
The villager nodded, “Well then, good luck.” Before turning and walking back down the path to the village. The adventuring party was now alone.
“Well then, onwards to adventure!” Markus proclaimed raising his sword towards the forest before marching in.
William turned to the other two, “Well, you heard the man.”
The group proceeded deeper into the forest, traversing through branches and uneven terrain. All the while Reason was spacing out in thought. Wolves should be a normal occurrence for a village like this. So why hire adventurers now? A tracker even went in to deal with it before them, and presumably he didn’t make it out. How did the wolves get him?
“Hey, uh care to move forward?”
“Huh?” Snapping back to reality Reason found William tapping him on the shoulder. Realizing that he had stopped in place he proceeded to continue walking.
“Hey, no worries, but why did you stop? Don’t tell me what the villager said has you scared.”
“What? No, no, I-I’m not scared.”
“Oh, sure sound confident.”
“Hey… look it’s just I think this is a bit of a weird quest.”
Turning back his head Markus asked, “How so?”
“Well, have you dealt with wolves before?” Reason directed to Markus.
“Yeah, plenty of times back in my hometown. Helped out the shepherds during the summer months the moment I was old enough.”
“So, they shouldn’t need us to deal with them.”
“They’re jus scared of losing stuff to the wolves.” Markus said simply.
“But it shouldn’t be that big of a problem.”
Mary spoke up, “It could be just that there are a lot more wolves then usual. They migrated over here due to the shift.”
All three of them looked over to her. “The what?” They said in unison.
“In the past quarter century or so a strange shift in the arcane fields was noticed throughout the world. This caused changes towards geography, creatures and various other things. This resulted with more evil beings appearing, and in turn was what caused the adventuring boom.”
All three looked at her in silent confusion.
“How do you know this?” asked Reason.
“It was taught in the academy.”
“So, all this stuff twenty-five years ago caused there to be wolves here?” Asked Markus.
“Well, I guess that makes sense. So, there’s a few more wolves that we have to deal with. Nothing we can’t handle right?”
“I suppose.” Reason still had a strange nagging feeling within him. Perhaps he was being just being paranoid, he wasn’t sure.
“Besides, this was labeled as a novice quest for a reason. Do you really think a major issue like this would only have 8 crowns as an award?”
“You’re right, you’re right. I guess I’m just a bit nervous.”
“Don’t worry, there are four of us, you and me in the front, with Will and Mary supporting us from the back with magic. We have a solid team, and we’re not idiots.” Markus assured. The other two nodded in agreement.
Reason in turn smiled, confidence growing as they entered deeper into the heart of the forest.