Sharn Inquisitive02/14/2005

Livestock Deaths Puzzle Ranchers
News for Sul, Olarune 8th, 998

FAIRHAVEN -- Baffled ranchers in western Aundair expressed their frustration on Zol after finding dozens more dead sheep and cattle in remote grasslands.

Predation on livestock is nothing new to the ranchers, but these cattle and sheep have apparently been strangled or crushed, then bled dry. Each corpse bears a series of circular wounds the size of dinner plates.

Vaun Manakuli, a shepherd on the Eldeen border, reported that he had lost five sheep to the mysterious menace. "I'd heard the rumors, so I'd been staying awake at night to protect my flock," he said. "It was almost morning when I heard this low, groaning sound coming from over the hill. I ran as fast as I could, but by the time I reached the top of the hillock, I'd lost five sheep."

Whatever killed his sheep did so in seconds, Manakuli claimed, because he was less than 100 feet away when he heard the groaning sound.

Renowned hunter and naturalist Carsenni Rhun described the wounds as perplexing. He vowed to be the first to bring in the beast responsible -- dead or alive. "I've hunted across Khorvaire, from the Shadow Marches to the jungles of Q'Barra. No one's ever bagged anything like this, so I guess I'll be first," he said.

Rhun speculated that an octopuslike tentacle could have caused the wounds. "When I was diving in Eldeen Bay shortly after the war, sometimes I'd see a whale with a circular scar. Such marks are from the incredibly powerful suckers on the tentacles of certain sea-beasts," he said. "But the scars on the whales weren't much bigger than my hand," he continued. "What behemoth could leave a tentacle mark as big as these?"

About the Author

David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. Before coming to Wizards, he was a daily newspaper reporter in Washington state. Apparently the city hall beat is good practice for an Eberron campaign.

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