Prologue - LY1 (Previous entries). The survivors pressed on with hatred in their hearts and Mindy leading the way. Armed with the directions provided by the scout, they quickly arrived at the scene of the massacred hunting party. Although the monster had moved on, fresh territorial markings were evident seemingly everywhere and little skill was needed to follow.
Along the way, Mindy spotted a dark man-shaped figure in the distance and approached without caution. She pulled its crossed arms away from its chest and without warning, it detonated. Her outstretched limb was shredded though she gave no cry of alarm. As if divorced from the realization that it was her own hand, she gingerly wrapped the mangled stump in cloth and secreted several scraps of flesh away.
As they continued on, the survivors passed caves of such unfathomable darkness that none dare enter. As they rounded the borrow, they spotted their quarry.
The lion, having recently gorged on a hefty meal, lay lazily near a mound of tall grass. Eyes wide and without hesitation, the survivors descended upon it with axe and sword. The initial blow severed the beast from its manhood. It bellowed with fury; its depthless eyes never leaving Zira and the prize she held aloft.
It remained on the defensive, lashing out with blunted claw at any who would press the advantage. Mindy was backhanded again and again, spitting teeth through her ravaged grin as her attacks were countered. Distracted and unfocused, the monster slowed before a dart sank deep between its eyes. The survivors were victorious.
The survivors returned home to welcoming arms, painted in the blood of their prey. The settlement gathered around a collection of lanterns as Mindy regaled them with an account of the battle and a flask of juice distilled from the lion was passed around.
Afterward, Morsey walked quietly toward Markus. Still recovering from the mental trauma suffered during his awakening, he grimly looked up. Their eyes met and an unspoken truth was shared. They grasped hands and walked silently into the darkness with Mindy following in the shadows. Mindy returned alone shortly thereafter, secluding herself at the far end of the settlement, a laden sack at her waist. No one dared approach.
A new hunting party was formed and a bow, charms and various tinctures prized from the lion were handed out.