Seeking the Maddened Dog

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Joshua, Atriarch of the belated Mystaran forests and current ruler of the mystfolk made an unprecedented visit to the fishing village several days ago. The elusive monarch had caught word of troubles being perpetrated by one of his own. Not a mystfolk, as one might suspect, but a lycan who goes by as simply Mal. This lycan has spent the past couple weeks blustering through the village either casting wild threats at the entire populace or wreaking general havoc, assault and property damage.

This fellow arrived with the original group of settlers from The Mound. As a former Mystaran myself, I can relate that Mal was known to be problematic back in Mystara as well. Many a full moon had folk running for refuge from his pack of wolfkin as they raced across the land; killing indiscriminately of anyone luckless to cross paths with them. I was a victim of one such attack and barely survived it. Many fellow Mystarans can share similar tales. Mal, as is all lycan, is incredibly dangerous due to the nature of the blood curse. To compound the situation, Mal is a known necromancer. If the curse hasn’t entirely destroyed the man’s mind, clearly his necromancy has finished the job.

He and his pack had all but disappeared into the jungle when they first arrived at Eyr. A month or so ago, Mal made his first appearance in the fishing village since and he was oddly alone. I suspect his pack are either all dead or have cast him out. In the beginning, he spent most of his days in the tavern grimly talking to himself and being petulantly morose.

His miserable attitude is what sparked the first of what would be several episodes with the lycan’s madness. A disagreement in the tavern spurred Mal to invoke his necromantic powers to unleash a swarm of locusts – from his very mouth! I saw it with my own eyes. As far as I could tell, he did it purely for petty theatrics. Fortunately, the folk within the Salty Swallow were able to kill and squash all of the conjured insects before they were allowed to be set loose to devour the jungle’s plantlife.

The second episode, Mal decided in a fit of deranged wisdom to showcase his mastery over the elements. He channeled black lightning within himself, setting himself on fire in the process. There are still scorch marks on the floor of the tavern where he stood to perform the feat. No one else was harmed, thankfully, save for a tree he threw the bolt of energy into. You can find the blackened stump of where it once was along the riverbank. That example of magic play should have killed the lycan, but some fellow spellcasters were there on hand to attend to his immediate life-threatening injuries.

Once he was healed from lambasting himself, the lycan instigated a brawl in the tavern. A pair of tigers came within a hair’s breath of snapping his neck and I hear that one of his hands was lopped off and tossed to the sharks. This all would be well and good, but Mal was left to live – and worse – incensed when one of his attackers stole off with his staff.

This has led to the present standoff between Eyr and lycan. Mal now storms randomly through the village and makes brazen threats to raise the undead and inviting murder and mayhem around the Kuvari river. That is UNLESS he has his staff returned to him.

Mal is under Joshua’s protection, so by political necessity, the Atriarch is now spending most of his energy tracking the wolf down. Joshua was incapacitated and unable to prevent the mystfolk from descending into petty tribal warfare while he recuperated from relocating The Mound. A war, I’ll remind you all, that nearly destroyed the island in the process. So one can easily imagine that the myst king is feeling particularly compelled to settle this issue quickly with His werewolf, less the latter causes another tribal pogrom.

Now that he is actively being hunted, Mal is proving to be most elusive. Joshua asks that anyone with knowledge of the lycan’s whereabouts to bring word back to him, The Mound, or his people as fast as they possibly can.

-Rumour Mill Correspondent, Gideon


Commentary and imagery written and designed by Farah Hannu.

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