Exalted - The Venemous Monk

Episode 3: Hunting Season [10/4/13]

Ruko stands outside of the Moonsilver Manse with Maribell Walters. They travel on foot back toward Pine Acre. The entire way Maribell is not very responsive or gracious toward Ruko’s “help.”

On the third day of travel, Ruko and Maribell find themselves amidst the forests that lead to and surround Pine Acre. During their travels, Ruko hears some noise overhead in the canopy of vegetation. He attempts to sneak away, and as he does a single arrow comes whirring through the air and narrowly misses impaling his skull. Tossing the girl over his shoulder, Ruko rushes through the forest, evading a flurry of arrows with some smooth moves. He turns and catches the last of the arrows, snapping it and tossing it behind him. This action brings an end to the onslaught, but Ruko remains on his guard.

As they approach Pine Acre, Maribell starts to soften a little bit but still refuses to talk. Pine Acre is in the same shape as when they left. Ruko takes Maribell to Mayor Bruce Walters’s mansion. Maribell is unhappy to see her father and runs past him as he offers her an embrace. Ruko explains the situation with Marin at Larjyn and why Maribell is acting this way.

Mayor Walters thanks Ruko and mentions another problem. Local farms have had their livestock slaughtered by some unknown beast. Ruko says that he will be glad to investigate, which leads him to the Summers farm to the southeast of Pine Acre proper.

Ruko arrives at the Summers family farm and is greeted by Erik Summers’s two children, Pearl and Timmy. After a short and awkward altercation between Ruko and the young boy, who went off to cut his hair to be more like Ruko and closer to spiritual enlightenment, he talks with Mr. Summers. They investigate the dead livestock. While investigating, Ruko discovers a strange, large paw print and white animal hairs. Ruko decides to head to another neighboring farm that also suffered from attacks.

On his way through the forest between the farms, Ruko hears a voice behind him. He turns and finds the red-haired woman from Lake Carda standing behind him. She is exasperated at finding that it is Ruko wandering the forests. They find another print in the ground similar to the one before. Ruko continues on his way while the red-haired woman heads off to explore the wilderness.

Ruko finds a similar scene at the Jones family farm. They decide to set up a trap for the creature; they take the Jones family’s eldest goat Bessie to draw in as bait.

On his way back to the Summers farm with Bessie, Ruko hears a scream off in the forest. He ties Bessie up and goes to investigate. He comes across a clearing with the red-haired woman backing up from a massive white cat with black stripes. A fight ensues between them, and after getting injured, both Ruko and his companion defeat the beast, ending with a final blow from the woman’s red sword that knocks the beast’s head clean off.

As they catch their breath, another arrow like the ones being fired before, lands in the ground between the two of them. A scroll is wrapped around it that simply reads, “You will suffer, traitor.”

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Muntjack

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