The Case of the Mysterious Beast:Wistful Beast and Peregrine

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Wistful Beast, Jul 17, 2015.

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  1. Neora woke up with a start when she felt a light hand on her shoulder. In an instant, her eyes had snapped open and she had the foreign wrist in a vice grip. "Hey, hey, hey. Easy there, tiger."came a familiar masculine voice.

    Neora looked up to see that the man attached to the wrist was one of the guard captains, Kaju. Kaju currently donned his simple metal plate chest and held a spear in his other hand. He looked down at Neora with a slightly amused, yet surprised expression on his weathered looking face. Kaju was one of the older members, having been alive for about 80 human years. He had long grey hair fashioned into a neat braid and scruffy, salt and pepper colored whiskers adorned his jawline.

    Neora sheepishly released her hold on his wrist, clearing her throat awkwardly. Looking around, she realized she had fallen asleep on one of the soft chairs located in the guard's base instead of her home. She had faintly remembered having finished her rounds, saying good night to Abarat, and then sitting down for a moment. It seemed that Neora had accidentally fallen asleep. She wiped the side of her cheek absently, pushing a few loose strands of hair out of her face. Looking up to the guard captain, Neora offered an uncomfortable smile. "Sorry about that."she apologized, tired voice managing some sweetness. Sweetness wasn't usually her thing, but it seemed pretty necessary at the moment.

    "No problem. I'm glad to see my guards are always on their toes."Kaju chuckled before walking off to allow the young Moon Elf some time to get herself ready for the day.

    Neora allowed herself to release a sigh when he had left the room and closed the door, leaning back into the seat. The room around her offered little light emitted from torches, a comfortably dark area for someone of her race. This room was barren, save for a few old couches and some cabinets where the guards kept their gear. This place was usually Neora's go to when it came for relaxing after work, so her mistakenly snoozing was not entirely uncommon.

    She stood up and stretched her arms out with a yawn. Then her arms found their place at her side again. Looking down at her torso, Neora realized she had at least had the sense to remove her armor, leaving just a light green shirt underneath. Black pants covered her legs, reaching down to the floor where the would have been tucked into boots but weren't, leaving her feet just in plain socks. Heading over towards her respective cabinet, Neora retrieved her brown, leather boots out first and pulled them on, hastily lacing them up. Next came her leather chest plate. It was decorated with green trim and a purple gem of sorts occupied the middle of her chest. Her species called it a Moonstone due to the light glow it emitted in darkness. Two more adorned each shoulder plate. Small purple flowers and thin vines also decorated the shoulder plates.

    Neora fastened the chest piece onto her chest before reaching in the cabinet again and pulling out two leather wrist gauntlets and gloves that she soon slid on. For the final touch, she reached in one last time and her hand closed around a smooth wooden surface. Out came a five and a half foot long staff. At the top of the wooden staff was a heavy wooden block that had been carved into a wolf's head to ensure that a hit would leave some pain. The wolf was the animal of choice for the Moon Elves, as the creatures shared their love of the Moon. At the bottom of the staff was a sharpened steel blade that was about a half of a foot long. This end balanced out the top, but also provided an opportunity for stabbing.

    Now fully prepared, Neora exited the room with her weapon in hand. The room connected to the one she had formerly occupied was much brighter and larger. This room was wide and round, the walls decorated with various murals and flags from different Elven nations. There were also tall windows placed at even intervals around the room, allowing sunlight to pour through whenever it was daytime. Now there was just a pleasant darkness. The room was lit by a series of torches that were fastened to the wall. This was the main room and it was occupied by various tables littered with different papers. A few guards and other workers sat at these tables.

    Neora also eyed a few regular city folk that had entered and were talking to guards about different cases or problems that they have been having. There were less people than there would have been in the day time, considering not many were nocturnal or at least mobile during the later hours. She found the captain again and approached him now that she was in a more prepared state. "Any sight of Abarat? He's not one to ever be late."she asked, resting a hand upon her hips.

    "Should be around any minute now."Kaju replied, looking up from some papers he had been observing. Then he added, "I have an important task for you two today. It seems that quite a lot of livestock is being murdered with evidence of some beast instead of the usual bandit. Also, the corpses aren't being eaten, which makes this case a tad bit more peculiar. No reported citizen deaths yet, but there have been 10 killed sheep, a dozen cows, and about 30 chickens within the span of just a week. There has also been sever damage to fences and a barn too. I suggest you get to the bottom of this case to prevent further livestock causalities and a potential loss of elven lives. The location of the scene is the little town of Matara at the edge of the city. I trust you and Abarat to take care of things. Am I clear?"

    Neora listened carefully to her task, nodding politely on occasion to show that she was fixated on the details the captain was revealing. She was eager to go on a beats hunt, as it may prove to be interesting. This was different from the usual case of theft of intruders. "Yes. I understand. I'll find Abarat and brief him now."She replied respectfully.

    Then, with smooth strides, Neora was heading towards the main oaken double doors to find her partner. A particular excited energy was currently fueling her system, diminishing any previous grogginess.
    #1 Wistful Beast, Jul 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  2. It had taken Abarat more than a bit of time to get used to being paired with a Moon elf. He didn't have anything against the species, not in the least, but for most of his life he had lived and worked under the sun. Getting his eyes adjusted to the darkness, and his mind to adjust to the new sleep schedule, had taken a bit of time. Now he could safely say that he felt as comfortable in the night as he ever had during the day. Or at least so he wanted to believe, until his foot slipped off the side of the branch at an unknown disturbance. The only thing that saved him from a long and potentially dangerous fall was a tree branch that snagged him around the middle, setting him back down. He let out a faint "thanks", although it was his own magic that had caused the branch to move, and massaged his sore ribs. Maybe he was more reliant on his sight than he wanted to admit. He would have thought he'd be able to sense... whatever it was he had slipped on. Letting out a sigh Abarat set off again. The only way he would get better was with practice.

    Not knowing that Neora had come looking for him, Abarat made his way to the large room, taking the "upstairs" route through the branches of the nearby trees, and then dropping in from the ceiling. It wasn't an uncommon route for the Wood elves to take, they were usually just as at home in the branches of trees as they were on the ground, although Abarat usually took the more commonly used entrances. This was because, in his entire time with the guards, he had never been paired with another wood elf. That was quite a surprise, considering wood elves were the most heavily represented species in this particular city, but perhaps the captain, a rare Arcane elf who had great trouble gaining acceptance from the wood elf population in his youth, had done it for exactly that reason. He wanted the guards to accept all other species, regardless of what they were.

    The long, polished tree branch strapped to his waist bounced lightly against his thigh, in time with each step as he walked up to Captain Kaju. He snapped his fist to his chest in a quick salute, before preparing to settle down with the man and wait for Neora to arrive. Assuming, of course, that she hadn't slept here again. Neora did that with alarming frequency, or so it seemed to Abarat, and sometimes he wondered what was so awful about going home that she'd rather sleep here. Maybe he should ask her the next time he saw her.

    Kaju glanced up in surprise, and halted his attempt to sit down with a raised hand. "Neora just went to look for you," he said, a faint smile of amusement crossing his thin lips. "Normally I'd be just fine with letting you two chase each other around the barracks until you finally figure out it is better to just stay put and wait for someone else, but today I've got an important mission, and I need you two to get on it immediately. Go to the front door, and stay there until she finds you."

    Abarat tried to do what Kaju told him, he really did. He went to the front door, leaning against the post, but after five minutes he got bored, certain that Neora had already come and gone, and was now looking for him elsewhere. He set off. Much to his personal pride he found her only about ten minutes later, walking down the hall away from him. "Neora!" he shouted, giving himself a mental pat on the back for finding her. "There you are."

    It was easy to tell from her rumpled hair and slightly stiff posture that she had definitely spent the night (or should he say day) in the armchair again. "Why do you always insist on sleeping here?"
  3. Neora was growing increasingly frustrated when she couldn't find her partner. She couldn't spot the wood elf anywhere, checking the hall ways and other rooms that were mostly empty. She was determined to find him though,a she couldn't start their task without him. Finally she heard a familiar masculine voice call out her name. Turning on her heel, she realized that she had accidentally walked right passed him. Neora turned on her heel to approach him, quietly scolding herself for her blunder. She was supposed to be a talented tracker, not someone who couldn't even locate someone who had just been a mere few feet away.

    Once Neora reached Abarat, she had to look up at him to properly see her face. For an elf, Neora was pretty short and only stood at around 5'5". While this would be average for a human female, it wasn't usually common for a female elf. "Here I am."she replied, holding out her arms briefly in a gesture that displayed her presence.

    She ran a hand through her hair to fix it, trying to look less disheveled. Her efforts did little to hide the fact that she had slept her, as Abarat was quick to realize this as made obvious by his question. "I didn't feel like going back home. The sun was too bright and I was too tired."Neora answered. Sure she could have added details like that she had a sore ankle from the previous night and didn't have the will to walk on it or that there was usually too much noise at her house thanks to nearby dogs, but she was never the one to speak at length. Now her ankle was feeling a bit better and she didn't feel the need to reveal that information since it had little weight or importance in a conversation now.

    Neora was pretty eager to get out into the night and start their important task, so she was quick to leap right into business. Shifting her hold on her wooden staff, Neora asked, "Did the Captain tell you about our task?"

    Without waiting for so much as an affirmative or negative answer, the Moon Elf proceeded to explain their task anyways. "Apparently livestock is being killed off by a suspected beast, though the said creature refuses to consume its prey. It's our job to find the beast and potentially eliminate it before elven lives are lost."

    It wasn't uncommon for Neora to introduce missions to Abarat, being that she was quick to ask the Captain or another higher ranking guard for a job. She was persistent enough that she preferred to seek out tasks inside of idly waiting for them to be assigned to her. The other guards had grown to know this trait and admired the willingness of the particular Moon Elf. Therefore, they oftentimes save some of the more choice assignments for her and her partner. Abarat was also a respected guard, being set on his duty and unwilling to yield. His skill, instincts, and knowledge had aided the guardsmen many times. Although both Neora and Abarat were newer members of the guard's guild, they had already proved their worth and potential and have gained the respect of others.
  4. It was always fascinating to watch the transition that took place in Neora when they were on a case. She was the only person Abarat had ever met who was happier while working than while on break. Now, Abarat loved his job, and there wasn't anything else he'd rather be doing, but he loved downtime just as much as the next elf. Neora, on the other hand, just seemed to get restless. They made an interesting pair that way. Abarat was never really one for holding still either. The Captain hadn't been exaggerating when he said that the two of them spent more time chasing circles about each other than they did actually locating each other.

    "Where were the animals killed?"

    The two of them set off in tandem, Abarat firing off questions in rapid succession, barely giving Neora enough time to answer before moving onto the next one. This was always the way he began a case, although many of the questions simply got the answer "I don't know yet," because a lot of them were only questions that could be answered on scene. Abarat didn't mind. It wasn't often he forgot a question he had asked that hadn't gotten a satisfactory answer. As much as some people gathered information about a case, Abarat gathered questions. Questions, he had always found, painted an image of what was missing from a case, while facts only showed what was there. Any case that could be solved by just looking at what was there rarely made it all the way to the guards. It was only through looking at the things that were missing that it was possible to solve a case that would otherwise remain unsolved.

    "How far apart, physically were the different animals? What was killed, and what type? How far apart in terms of time? How long has this been happening? How many animals died each night? How were they killed? Does the animal seem to have created a path with its killings? Did it leave behind any evidence?"

    The headquarters of the guard was located right near the center of the city, and while that made it a longer journey to the edges of the city should the more rural population need their help, it also ensured that no portion, often divided by race, was shown any favoritism because it was closer. The outpost was suspended between four massive trees, allowing a river to pass underneath the building. Most of the city was built among the trees, and just as many paths were bridges between the upper levels as they were actually on the ground. For that reason, most buildings had public staircases that would allow people to rise or descend through the various levels. Abarat was one of the few who really enjoyed general patrol. Most people here were quite friendly, especially those who lived near the staircases. For a few words they would share a bit of gossip, or a freshly baked treat. Most of the people who lived on the stairs knew Abarat as well, as he was more than willing to lend an ear to their problems, even when he was off-duty.

    As soon as the two reached the road Abarat jogged lightly in place, before spinning around and quick-stepping backwards to stay in front of Neora while still looking at her. The eager smile on his face made it quite clear what he wanted. Abarat wanted to run to the crime scene. Running was one of the few things he was actually better at than Neora, and while he wouldn't say he flaunted that to the purple-skinned Moon elf, that didn't mean he ever missed an occasion to get her to run with him. Sometimes it was nice to be reminded that he was better than her at something.
  5. As expected, Neora had little answers to provide. She knew Abarat was pretty obsessed about always asking questions, claiming that they could aid in his thinking process. Neora didn't know how much she could believe that, but she would comply if it meant her partner would be more efficient in solving cases. Luckily for Neora, she was a rather quick thinker and was able to process Abarat's rapid succession of questions regarding the assigned case. She still chuckled lightly though when he went off, one hand toying with the end of her staff to allow herself to think.

    Neora waited until Abarat had just about exhausted the possible questions to answer. "Well, as usual I do not have the proper information to answer many of those questions. I know the answer to a few though. As for which animals were killed and how many, there were 10 sheep, a dozen cows, and about 30 chickens. They can be linked by their classification as farm or livestock animals. The kills all happened within this last week. I am going to go out on a limb and say there is evidence since the Captain mentioned there were some sort of wounds that marked the killing as a beast related one. That is all I have to offer for now."She explained.

    With that said, she would probably be done talking unless addressed again or if she had vital information to reveal. Since she was not near the scene yet, she could not provide any useful information to share. Neora began to follow Abarat out of the door and to the road. When they reached the road, Abarat proceeded to jog before looking back at Neora with a desire she could easily identify as the will to run. The Moon Elf nearly groaned, knowing perfectly that she would have to run now and that he would be faster than her. As much as she had tried to best him with speed, he was just too light on his feet and his legs were long enough to out stride the smaller Neora any day. Neora's skill was certainly not fast paced running. She could jog for long periods of time, but sprinting around wasn't exactly her forte. Sure she could be agile with a weapon in hand and a foe before her, but that surely didn't mean that she was a very great runner. As she was still an elf, she was more agile and quicker than a human, but when compared to Wood elves she wasn't much.

    However much Neora didn't want to run had no weight in her decision, she was positive that Abarat couldn't be convinced to walk since he was not one to back down from a decision. After Neora offered him a small sigh, she stretched one leg and then the other casually. Then, without so much as a warning, she took off towards the scene. She always enjoyed starting, as she had a few seconds before Abarat would pass her up.

    She ran forth in the direction of the town they were to be investigating in. She ran across the cobblestone road, foot falls quiet upon the stone. Neora anticipated that her partner would soon rush ahead, but right now she was only focused on arriving at the proper destination. Eventually her run became a steady jog until finally they had reached the proper town. Slowing down to a walk as if to not startle any sleeping townsfolk. She stalked down the road, which had now transitioned from cobble to hard packed dirt. Wagon wheels had left soft indentations into the dust, giving evidence that this little farming town was bustling during the daytime.

    Wooden houses of various styles and sizes were lined up on either side of the road, the occasional shop or evidence of a merchant stand breaking up the line. It seemed peaceful as of now, everyone having retreated to their homes to rest. As Neora walked on, the residential area gave way to a small square, the cobblestone returning. A few wells were situated in the square and a few benches dotted the area. In a few areas there were patches of lush grass with tiny purple flowers protruding from the soft soil. Still Neora continued onwards towards the direction of the farming area. Passed the towns square were a few more homes, these ones belonging to the farm owners.

    From where Neora stood she could easily see the tall trees about a mile ahead, their branches reaching up to scrape at the night sky. Tiny yellow pin points stood out among the gloom of the sky. The silver crescent of the moon hung high above in the sky, a few lazy grey clouds passing under it. The quiet chirp of crickets interrupted the silence every so often, competing with the occasional cool breeze that swept the area.

    Neora took a moment to stop and survey the scene, sensing no danger as of now. She looked to her partner before starting off again,wooden fencing in sight. Ahead was the area with livestock, crudely painted red barns arranged in a random pattern. There were no livestock animals in sight, as they were hidden away in their barns. Well, at least she had assumed all was clear until she spotted a black and white figure laying in the tall grass. Neora's eyes narrowed and her body tensed with concentration. Upon closer examination, the figure revealed itself to be the corpse of a cow. The animal's flank appeared to be torn open even from this distance, red gashes running across the creature's flank. Looking to Abarat she whispered, "You see that?"

    Of course Neora knew her partner was observant enough to spot the cow, but she had asked that question merely as a way to hear his thoughts of the sight before them.
    #5 Wistful Beast, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  6. Running had always been cathartic for Abarat. There had been many days where he had run past the point of exhaustion and collapsed somewhere in the woods, sleeping it off in the high branches. His family had never minded; his mom had done the same thing when she was young. Eventually the distances Abarat could go had continued to grow, until he could run for hours on end without having to stop, darting from tree to tree or hurtling over small obstacles in his path. It always took a little bit for him to get in ear, but eventually his feet, his heart, and his mind would synchronize, leaving nothing but the sound of his breathing and the feel of his branch bumping gently against his thigh. It was like an empty space within himself. Sometimes he used that empty space to solve cases, putting everything into it, and then letting it sort itself out into a giant picture to the drumming of his feet. He did that now, sticking in the minimal information Neora had given him, and all his questions.

    This had all occurred in the same place, which meant that whatever this animal was it didn't feel the need to roam far afield. The fact that it hadn't eaten any of the animals meant it had another food source. Anything that killed without eating what it killed was either completely out of its mind or it had a bloodlust. What could it be? There were some elves who could take on beastform. It could also have been an enchanted animal from the woods, either a human that had stumbled upon something they shouldn't, or an animal that had done the same. Wizards occasionally caused such messes. Abarat had no problem with speculating, especially to himself. He would always find evidence to back up his speculations before he proposed them, but thinking of possibilities would give him a hint about what to look for when he reached the scene.

    It hadn't taken him long to catch up with Neora, and he reluctantly slowed as she did, setting into a slower jog that still had the same rhythm of footfalls. The transition between forest and clearing was gradual and sweet, with the trees slowly growing further apart, more shrubs appearing, and tall grasses where the shrubs weren't. The path between the center of the city and this outskirt village was commonly used to bring in the goods that were grown out there, although the path was unoccupied at this time of night. Despite the fact that the path was now easy and clear, Abarat preferred running in the dirt and forest matter. His feet landed softer, and it made him feel more connected with the rest of the world. The carts, however, didn't agree with him, and in this situation they got priority.

    That was part of the reason Abarat didn't mind as Neora slowed down at the edge of the little village. The other reason was that he was finding himself slightly unsettled by the flatlands. Abarat had been in places like this many times, but he was forest bred, and without the comfort of a canopy over his head the sky simply seemed too large. He could feel Neora's subtle enjoyment of it, though. Or, at least, of the unrestrained view of the night sky, which he did have to admit was glorious.

    He sensed the dead animal before he saw it, and turned around almost exactly at the same time as Neora began to speak. "Yeah, I see it." Without further word the two walked over, casually vaulting the wooden fence and delicately walking through the cropped grass, not wanting to step on anything important. Or any of the scattered cow patties, for that matter. Abarat had no desire to have to wash his shoes again, although part of him wondered if he shouldn't just give up and accept that they were going to be a mess.

    That quickly proved true as he stepped in muddy ground, quickly realizing it wasn't soaked with rainwater but with blood. Despite the gruesome wounds on its hindquarters and chest the cow had died quickly, several massive veins in the legs and throat torn open in quick succession. It wouldn't have even had time to cry out in pain. Abarat knelt down next to the animal, careful not to dirty his pants, and gently laid a hand on a clean spot of hide in quiet sympathy. When he stood back up again, however, he was all business.

    "Have the villagers not heard anything? Surely a beast among them would have caused the other animals to cry out in panic, and would have roused someone."
  7. Neora followed her partner over the fence, vaulting almost effortlessly. She landed softly, boots sinking down a bit into the sticky mud. Neora took a moment to look down and see the mud had already managed to stain small parts of her leather boots. Her face contorted into disgust for a moment before she lifted her gaze back towards Abarat. The Wood Elf had been quick to kneel down by the creature's slowly decaying cadaver. Neora carefully stalked towards her partner, mindful of avoiding any cow pies that would further ruin the quality of her shoes. It wasn't that Neora was a neat freak, but she the common sense not to possess the desire to cover her shoes in the feces of an animal. That would be unsavory and it would allow potentially dangerous animals to track her easily considering the pungent odor.

    Neora finally reached the deceased cow and knelt down beside her partner. She noted that the dirt all around the corpse was soaked with blood. Neora's stomach lurched when she realized the mud she had stepped in earlier had been created by the spilled life blood of the innocent creature sprawled out before her. She looked at the cow's wound closer, seeing the full damage. It had seemed as sharp claws had left a brutal rake mark across the creature's hide, leaving four distinct cuts.

    Neora closed her eyes in concentration as she began to think of what beast may have caused this damage. The size of the claw marks on the flank suggested a creature of great size since the marks took up the entire flank. Neora opened her eyes and began to examine the cow's throat, jaw clamped shut as she made her observations. Concentrating had caused her eyes to narrow, muscles to tense, and teeth to be pressed together. She found that she could focus better without talking or moving much, placing all of her focus on what she was trying to figure out. Her tensing up could be compared to Abarat's ability to focus better when running, except they achieved focus in the opposite ways.

    Upon looking at the cow's throat, Neora spotted various teeth marks as opposed to claws. Neora's mouth began to move ever so slightly as she silently counted out how many teeth this creature possessed. She counted about 42, which gave her another clue that she would reveal after she double checked. After counting a second time, she leaned closer to see how deep each tooth went. Four particular teeth seemed to have left deeper holes, indicating that they were canine teeth. "It had to have been a canine or canine related creature. Most all canines have 42 teeth and this one even shows evidence of four longer canine teeth."Neora said, not even looking up at Abarat.

    Neora soon stood up after having heard Abarat's question as he had gotten to his feet. After taking a quick moment to brush herself off, the Moon Elf replied with, "The Captain only mentioned that these creatures were being discovered to be murdered. He mentioned nothing of people holding anymore evidence as I am sure he would have mentioned if any cries were heard."

    Neora found this realization to be peculiar. Why hadn't the other livestock animals panicked whenever a beast came close? They had decent senses and could most likely detect such danger, but somehow they hadn't caused a tumult of distress. Her first assumption was that this beast must have been very stealthy. "Well, that means that whatever this beast is, it's pretty sly."she commented, looking around as if half expecting it to creep up on them now.
  8. "Sly?" Abarat repeated, more to himself than to Neora. "I suppose that is possible."

    He glanced around, studying the empty fields, the high fence that was strong enough to keep bulls from plowing through it and high enough to prevent a horse from easily jumping out, the dead cow, the animal houses, trying to figure out what was missing. Something didn't make sense. No, that wasn't exactly true. Nothing made sense. Abarat had been working in the guard for years, and he was by no means a novice member. He had solved tricky cases of all varieties, but when he thought back on them it always seemed as though there had been a place to begin. There was always one clue that gave this first step, and from there it was simply a matter of following through until the answers finally filled themselves in to all the questions. Now though, Abarat didn't even know where to begin. The silence was starting to stretch on.

    "None of this makes sense, Neora. Why wouldn't an animal eat what it kills? Even werewolves and beast elves eat at least a bite of what they kill if they've gone mad. It's animal instinct. Yet there's not a single piece of flesh missing from this corpse. Why hasn't this animal left any sign of itself other than the wounds on the animals? And, perhaps most importantly, why are none of the other animals freaking out at the smell of blood?"

    Abarat didn't really expect an answer from Neora for any of these questions. If she had even one of them, she would already have offered it up, and they would be pursuing the lead. Trying to calm himself down, Abarat went back to some of the questions that he had asked Neora before, and for which he had yet to receive an answer.

    The beast had killed all the animals from the same farm, which meant it wasn't migratory, and it wasn't going anywhere. Whatever was taking place was going on exclusively in this village.

    He glanced down at the muddy ground, rubbing his face in frustration and tucking a strand of long, brown hair back behind his ear. There had to be a clue here somewhere. The shadow of his footprints in the muddy ground were barely visible in the moonlight, and, not for the first time, he wished he had Neora's eyes.

    "Maybe if we circle around the enclosure we'll find some tracks?" It was more a question than it was a suggestion, and he turned to the former hunter, waiting to see if she agreed with his assessment.
  9. Neora took to being quiet for now. It aided in her thought process. She didn't mind short interruptions caused by Abarat's questions, as they didn't bother her and often times she couldn't even answer them and didn't have to. Abarat seemed to collect information through strands of questions, which was logical enough and brought different ideas into question. Sometimes they even kept Neora's own musings in line since she had a sort of guideline to follow. She would reveal anything that she knew and he'd point out everything they didn't, so things often times worked out well for the partners. Neora kept the blade of her staff out of the mud, preferring to keep in clean and to avoid making a mark that could be later confused as a piece of evidence.

    Neora stared up at the night sky, feeling comforted by the moon light. The company of the stars made her feel safer, their light being there to guide her. They also allowed her to remember things since sometimes she assigned a certain thought to one and she'd remember it when she looked up. She spotted one and suddenly remembered that she had an over due book out from the library. Neora continued on more relevant thoughts, closing her eyes and listening to Abarat's questions.

    Neora was unsure of why any creature would abandon it's kills. That led her to believe that the beast they were after wasn't mentally stable. Either that or it meant they were sentient and had a twisted sense of amusement. She was leaning more towards the mentally unstable observation. The animal hadn't been eaten at all, nor had the others that had been reported to be murdered. As to why the animals hadn't been startled by the scent of death, that answer still alluded her. Usually animals had the sense to be uneasy around a dead kin, yet there had been no reports of any copious amounts of distressed animal sounds. The only reasons she could come up with were that either the beast was somehow sly, or the animals somehow didn't fear it.

    Neora allowed herself some more time to mull over her ideas before Abarat led her to open her eyes once again and escape her thoughts. "I think that's a decent idea. Even a stealthy beast can't easily avoid leaving tracks in the dirt."she replied.

    Tracking was a skill Neora prided herself in, so she would willingly hunt around if it meant obtaining more information. This case, like many they were assigned to, offered a challenge. Neora never backed down from a challenge though. The more out of reach and confusing, the better. She averted her eyes from the sky and instead focused upon the ground. The darkness posed little trouble for her, as her race could see in the dark with relative ease. Neora first saw their own tracks and started heading forwards, deeper into the enclosure. Continuing onwards with her gaze on the ground, she was on the look out for any tracks, especially ones befitting of a canine. She found plenty of hoof tracks, which may prove to hinder her results. Looking around with narrowed eyes, Neora was surprised that she couldn't find any peculiar tracks. there were cows and elf tracks, which made sense since the farmers were often out in the fields to check up on their animals. "I see no beast tracks. Just cows and elves."she spoke up, breaking the silence as she looked back at Abarat. She looked puzzled, but soon continued to try to find any tracks.
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