Jorinn, Trading Village on the edge of the Eldyr Forest
"I be tellin' yer -- it were no normal fuckin' moose!"
The man's incredulous voice only brought more laughter from the townsfolk who had stopped to hear the ragged traders tales. When he had first rolled into town with his brightly painted wagon gorged and tilting alarmingly to one side as it scraped along on only three wheels, the people of Jarinn had naturally been concerned. There was no denying only something monstrous could have caused that much damaged and a threat to one trader was a threat to them all. The town relied on it to survive with the fields around it harsh and mostly barren. However, a curious thing had happened when a man in an offensive combination of brightly clashing silks had emerged from inside. The concern disappeared. People turned away and those that stayed made jibes about what peddlar's wouldn't do in order to con good people out of money. The man's story of a moose with a coat as dark as night and horns twice the size of a the biggest bulls had not done him any favours either.
"Go back were ye came from!"
"We don' wan' yer lies 'ere Peddlar - off with ye!"
The mayor of the town was a large man in both height and width but despite the grey hairs at his temple he managed to pull the man off the log he had been standing on to preech his tale of warning. There were jeers as he was rudely shown back to his shambolic wagon.
"I be tellin' the truth I do!" he turned and pointed with an accusatory finger towards the townsfolk. "Ye be sorry when it gets one of you!"
Nobody had thought anything more of it when he had climbed back into his cart and swore at his horse until the poor thing had dragged his cart back out the way he had come in. Not even when his body was found by another trader the next day.
* * *
"...After all, who would believe a Peddlar, ma'am?" the Mayor wrung his straw hat between his hands as Caliane passed down another basket of goods to Nevath who busied himself with setting up his stall. Since Thyasari had opened its doors, Nevath had wasted no time in extending his trade of ambrosia beyond its walls, though his nervousness of Groundlings had led him to ask Caliane to accompany him as a "Guide" more than once. She suspected it was also her fame amongst them which drew them to his stall which he also liked.
Being approached within the first minute of arrival had been a first though.
"But now you believe the Peddlar?" Caliane prompted, pushing a fiery lock of hair behind her pointed ear with a sigh. The Major jumped and tore his eyes from her wings.
"Y-yes ma'am, ye see... we've now 'ad five traders disappear or get attacked in the forest, ma'am. Ans I thought... what with the stories of you... you might be able tae... tae help aye?" Caliane passed another basket down.
"You have no Hunters of your own? This close to the Eldyr Tree?" Nevath hadn't quite learnt how to handle humans yet and his incredulous tone earnt a sharp look from the Mayor.
"There been no problems from tha' thing for centuries! Why would we? It be a peaceful place 'ere it be."
Caliane didn't bother to point out that Nevath's last visit to these lands had been when the fields had been bountiful and stalked by creatures the mayor would only consider myth. She put a hand on his shoulder to keep him from saying something further that would cause him problems in moving his wine.
"I can take a look," she soothed and the Mayor wiped at his sweaty brow with relief.
"Oh thank you, thank you Ma'am! There be others - volunteers - at the inn, come I'll show ye."