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ebb & flow of the red tide [d-rank nq]

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ebb & flow of the red tide [d-rank nq] Empty Mon Apr 29, 2024 8:58 pm

Karstaag for all intents and purposes was a soldier of fortune. A vagabond with preferred hunting grounds at best, with taverns that have an atmosphere that can mesh with the old dwarf. The morality of his jobs are varied and he always does exactly what's asked of him. A simple exchange through contract. Nothing more, nothing less.

A quick comb through his beard, brushing the thick mess as his brow furrows to squint at the tavern notice board. The board is littered with annoying requests that seem to be more trouble than they're worth and doesn't have a lot of time to prep, nor money to do so. Karstaag is in a bit of a bind, you see. The wanderer's life isn't exactly cheap, especially if he decides he wants a warm bed to cozy up in instead of sleeping on the outskirts of town in a busted up tent.

One request does manage to catch his eye, however. One that was simple in nature and would require his sailing experience. Karstaag tears off the request and tucks it away in his pack before setting out to work.



ebb & flow of the red tide [d-rank nq] Empty Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:21 pm

A simple monster slaying job. Karstaag was no stranger to clashing with beasties (for what is he if not one?) and took refuge in the simple mantra of kill or be killed - survival of the fittest. Unfortunately for the ecosystem at large; it was losing this battle and as a result the people that relied upon it are now taking action.

The local fisherman were struggling to make ends meet and were under the staunch belief that the culprit of their declining haul was the result of a monster. Karstaag was simply to play the role of arbiter in this tug of war game called natural selection. Either the monster would win this battle and continue its reign of terror over the local population or it would be slain by a bigger fish.

Karstaag makes his way to the docks to sail to the little cove that the creature was thought to lurk. His long years at sea had made him very familiar with tempestuous mistress known as the sea. The calm and fury of her waves at a sudden moment. He loads his supplies into the skiff the fishermen lent him and departs with the coming tide.



ebb & flow of the red tide [d-rank nq] Empty Tue May 14, 2024 5:38 pm

A narrow cove in the jagged cliffside too close for comfort for the villagers. It was no surprise that they've opted for such drastic measures in the face of uncertainty. Lucky for them, Karstaag was here to alleviate all their worries. Slay the beast, collect the coin and waste it all away on a night of cheap liquor.

He enters, the stench of death permeating the air, assaulting his nostrils with rotting fumes. He was used to the smell and the way it gets caught in your throat. Drowning as if you were plunged into the sea. The way the salt water entwines with corpses, a concoction of vilest proportions. Aye, Karstaag knew the scent well from his time sailing the seas, hoisting the black sails that spread like a plague.

He rows, rebelling against the arduous waves with a heave and ho of his arms, trying his best to not breath in. The splash of dew echoes, dripping from the jagged stalagmites layering the cavernous opening. There's another sound in the undertow of the cacophony, bones crunching under the slithery hiss of whatever creature lurked in this den. Karstaag docks the skiff, a heavy anchor quietly tossed into the depth as he grips his axe and takes his first step into the lair of the beast. He had the element of surprise on his side.



ebb & flow of the red tide [d-rank nq] Empty Tue May 14, 2024 5:55 pm

A necessary discrepancy would have surely been secured if the creature inhabiting this cove was at the mercy of somebody besides Karstaag. The natural cycle of things. Life and death. Finding beauty in that which appears so hideous. All of that was meaningless drivel to the swarf. This "monster" or whatever others may deign to call it was nothing but a means to an end - Karstaag's survival. Or, at the very least his comfort.

He sneaks as quietly as a dwarf could, lugging his rotund, burly body in steady steps, avoiding the graveyard littered with bones and guts of the local sea life. The cave was small, but embroidered in many large outcrops of stone to take cover behind. He paces forward, ever so slowly as to not alert the creature.

And what a disgusting abomination it was, reeking of the carcasses surrounding it and smeared blood that colored every edge. This thing was a betrayal of the natural order, no surprise that the villagers would fear it and call for its head. With axe secured tight in his tensing grip, he makes a mad dash towards the monster, heaving his weapon with curled arms that stretch behind his back.

He'd allot it a small mercy in the form of a swift death.


ebb & flow of the red tide [d-rank nq] Empty Tue May 14, 2024 6:19 pm

It shrieks in terror, bulging eyes branded in the knowledge that its tragic life was coming to an abrupt end. It had no understanding of why it must have its life taken and even worse, the perpetrator didn't give a damn why either. The blade of his axe cleaves his head clean off its shoulders. The silence of a lamb and its blood marring the sea one last time. The creature's limp corpse crumples atop its throne of bones, all this trouble ended in a whimper.

Karstaag felt nothing as he gazed down, axe ready to strike again should it rise from the clutches of death. The beast was kindred in its anomalous existence. Never properly belonging to whatever place it was born, shackled instead to this cove to feed on scraps like a filthy animal. The uniqueness was the only quality that dwarf shared. It was a reminder if anything to keep pushing on, carve a real place for himself even if he, too, would stand on a mountain of corpses. His throne would be more opulent, luxurious, adored by all and free to live however he wished.

That's the wind that carries his sails. The willingness to do whatever is necessary without a moment's hesitation. It's not personal; it never is. There might come a day where a hunter makes an attempt on his life and he knows this full well. But, he refuses to ever go out with a whimper like this pathetic creature. He collects the creatures head, storing it in a burlap sack that he strings to his belt and depart back to the village for his reward.

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