With her heart in her throat and her tail between her legs, Kirin walked to the spectral wolf. With a shy and shaky voice she asked "W-why a-are y-you s-sad? C-can w-we h-help?" After passing level 50, not only did Kirin's size increase by a fair amount, her intelligence increased, now having the mental capacity of a teenager. After the sudden increase in intelligence she had not dared to speak to Zaran yet as she was not too sure how he would react to her changed voice and manner of speaking.
"None of your business!" The spectral wolf mentally sent as he growled. It had no intention of spilling its problems to a little mutt like Kirin. How could she help? How could she understand his endless torment? She could not! The spectral wolf was sure that with Kirin's posture and shaky voice, a simple growl would suffice to make her back of.
However, unlike what the spectral wolf expected Kirin did not back of, instead she straightened her back and growled back. "It is our business! My master is the new owner of this mansion and wants to help you after seeing how sad you are, yet what do you do? Reject the kindness shown to you! You might think that there is no way I or my master can help you but I assure you he can! He is a hellbeast master, there is no way he is going to just sit back and watch a hellbeast like yourself suffer! Neither are we going to leave just 'cause you are howling! Moreover, do you think not talking about it and instead howling here is going to help you? If you do, well then, think again!"
The spectral wolf's voice boomed in her mind. "Sigh... Fine! I shall tell you my story... A long time ago my master build this place and started to grew grapes for the production of wine. His business grew increasingly more successful over the years and he found himself in need of a faithful companion and guard, so he bought me along with a few of my brothers and sisters. A few years passed, giving me, my brothers and sisters ample time to grow ever stronger. The winery kept flourishing all this time, profits rising each year. With every year that passed me and the others continued to get increasingly busy as people were trying to harm our master or his property. With the success of the winery there was no shortage of humans who wanted to take over the business. Assassins, thieves, beggars... more kept on coming each year, eventually forcing our master to garrison a small army worth of guards to protect himself, his family and his business."
The spectral wolf's voice grew increasingly solemn as his story progressed.. "With the army of guards a time of peace came once again and tranquillity returned to the mansion. However that did not last too long. In time the thieves, beggars and assassins returned, this time more aggressive than they ever were before, yet me and my brethren killed them all! More time passed and the first of my brethren passed away in a valiant battle against bandits that had come to raid the mansion. With every passing year thereafter more of them perished until finally... I was the last one. A few months after my last sister died, a group of assassins came and made quick work of the guards, of me, my master's family... and of my master. Although I was heavily injured by the assassins, the wounds were not deep enough to cause me to lose my life. Dragging my weak and bleeding body to my master's side... I heard my master speak his last wish... for me to protect the estate forever, no matter what happened or who the next owner would be."
"I did just so until I felt the end of my mortal life nearing. However I was unwilling to let death come between me and my mission! This desire gave birth to an unexpected transformation, causing me to become a spectral being! With that transformation came a whole new realm of power that I had previously been unaware of! With the newfound power I kept protecting the estate throughout the years and nothing happened to the new master or the estate for decades! But one mere moment of negligence caused a disaster to happen! I showed myself once to one of the new owners, who was scared witless upon seeing me. A day later a priest came over to the mansion... I did not think much of it at first... Until he cast a cleansing spell and I momentarily lost the ability to manifest myself! Next they dug up the skulls of both my master and me and made off with them! The large majority of power left along with my skull, causing me to get into my current state... Moreover it made me unable to leave the estate's perimeter, something I was previously able to do. With no more power to continue my mission, regret and anguish filled my heart. Every night thereafter I started to howl at master's grave out of pure misery. If you can track down my master's skull and my skull... I should be able to recover my strength and continue my mission."
Kirin returned to Zaran and told him what the spectral wolf had told her. While he was initially surprised that Kirin's voice had suddenly changed along with her intelligence, he decided to heed it no mind. Zaran patted Kirin and gave her a slice of meat as a reward for her bravery. "Could you go over again and say that we agree to help as long as he stops howling at night and asks if he knows more information about the priest, any information at all would be a huge help."
Kirin firmly said. "Leave it to me!" She walked over to the spectral wolf. "We agree to help you on the sole condition that you stop howling at night."
"Fine..." The spectral wolf sent, not like it had much choice anyway.
"We would also like to know if you know anything at all about the priest? It would be a very big help to us!"
"I do not know much, but I shall tell you what I know. It was a priest from Virul and I heard them call him 'father Abham', he wore the sigil of Lisenne, the goddess of the afterlife and that is really all I know. If I could move beyond the estate I would help but alas I cannot."
Kirin ran back to Zaran and told him what she had learned. "Right, let us go back to our beds and then we will pay a visit to this father Abham at the break of dawn."
|Quest: The missing skulls.|
|The spectral wolf and its master's skulls were stolen by father Abham. You have offered your help in retrieving the skulls.|
|Reward||The spectral wolf will resume its duty and guard the mansion and the surrounding vineyards, reducing the amount of pests that occur.|
The next morning the party moved out at the break of dawn and headed towards Lisenne's church which was located right next to the cemetery. Zaran went over to one of the priests and asked. "Father, I am looking for Father Abham, could you be so kind to tell me where he is?"
The priest looked up at Zaran and politely said. "You shall find him inside at the altar."
"Thank you very much. Lisenne be praised."
Going inside the party easily found father Abham, who was giving a lecture at the altar for the few worshippers that had arrived this early in the morning for the 6 am Mass. They loitered for a moment, waiting for the Mass to end and went up to father Abham.
"Father, I was wondering if we could have a moment of your time?" Zaran politely asked with a business smile plastered on his face.
Father Abham noticed the guild tag and muttered. "What can I do for you mercenaries?"
Zaran started. "A few years ago you had been asked to perform an exorcism in the winery just outside of Virul. Recently I have acquired this mansion and at night me and my two partners here were rudely awoken by howling. We investigated the cause of said howling and found that it was due to a Spectral wolf. As a beast master I instantly noticed that the spectral wolf was in agony and thus I could not just stand by and watch it suffer. When it told me what had caused it to suffer like this, it told me that its and its master's skulls were stolen by a priest named Abham a few years ago."
The father's face filled with regret upon learning what had happened due to his actions and said with a tone filled with shame. "I have this hobby of collecting bones you see and after performing the exorcism I assumed everything was all well, and thus I... took the chance to the acquire some new objects for my collection. If I had know what would happen I would've never taken them. Give me a minute and I will bring them to you!"
Abham quickly left and returned exactly a minute later with the two skulls in hand. Zaran took them and said his goodbyes to the father.
A little later the party stood in the cemetery and placed the skulls in their corresponding graves. When Zaran and Nuvahn finished filling the graves again, black mist seeped from the wolf's grave and formed the spectral wolf's body. "Thank you! By returning my skull I am no longer bound to the night and have regained the power needed to protect the estate, I shall full fill the pledge to my master once again!
|Quest complete! The spectral wolf will now once again protect the estate!|
With the quest complete, Zaran had gained a good guard for the mansion.
After a short conversation with the spectral wolf, Zaran spoke up. "Let us have some breakfast before taking on the rest of the day! I am starving!"
Nuvahn and Florance chuckled and followed Zaran to the dining room.