“I’m RUINED!!!” her husband wailed. "I"m ruined and now we’ll staaaaaarve!" Vernon continued to wail in a panicked voice. He stood no less then ten feet away from the creature, hands on the sides of his head. One of her farmhands, Roger, stood nearby with a small bale of hay, half holding it in front like some sort of a shield and half ready to throw it at the creature in a weak attempt to drive it off.
All around her was chaos. Janie had scarcely noticed the hippogriff as it swooped down from the sky. It made short work of the poor sheep they’d just corralled for shearing. Peggy was screaming, and that mangy mutt of hers barked madly as the beast tore the sheep’s carcass, swallowing huge gobbets of red dripping meat.
Time seemed to slow for her as the entire scene burned into her mind with crystal clarity.
Olaf and Norbet, the layabouts, promptly stopped working, sitting down to eat their lunch, like the destruction of her herd was some travelling minstrel’s show.
Lukas Hogsman, the swine herd, stood shakily by his pigs with a hoe in his hands, unsure how he could defend them against such a creature.
Her sheep, trapped in the pen with the hippogriff cried with terror as they fruitlessly pushed between each other looking for escape.
Her children, young Timmy and Mary Lou were running down the street to see what the commotion was about.
All at once thoughts pieced themselves together in her mind, coalescing from a useless jumble.
If Peggy’s mongrel moved in and nipped at the creature….
If Roger tossed that bale of hay at it and angered it…
If Vernon took two more steps closer and threatened it…
Her children, running so fast! So fast! No no no no, its just a sheep no no no no!
And just as suddenly they were there.
The strangers from the ship. The new guildsmen, come to set things right.
Swift as a striking cougar, the half elf had lept into the pen with the hippogriff and cracked its skull with his staff. The halfling darted between the fence posts to smack it with her flail. The gnomish wizard spoke but a word and a ghostly hand tore at the beast. She even saw what she thought must have been the wizard’s golem, call down a radiant bolt of lighting into the creature.
And it was dead.
Janie was so relieved and confused, she wasn’t sure if she should cry for joy, or sob from the release of the sudden terror.
The guildsmen simply smiled and nodded, like nothing unusual had happened, instilling an instant sense of calm about them. They searched the rest of the fields, but not before the halfling swiped Norbet’s ale from his dumbfounded grip, drank it down, and handed him back his empty cup, offering nothing in return but a wink and a broad smile.
“Fightin’ must build up a powerful thirst.” said Olaf, holding his cup guardedly with both hands.
“Ayup.” said Norbet.
In the distance, Janie heard the golem speak to the others, calling them over to look at the strange tracks in the fields that had appeared overnight.
“Mommy look! Its dead!” said Timmy as he began to poke the hippogriff with a stick.
“Can I haff the feathers? They soft!” said Mary Lou, plucking a two foot long feather from the beast’s neck.
“Hush children, now is not the time. There is work to be done.” Janie eyed the hippogriff’s body. She figured if horsemeat could be eaten, why not hippogriff?
“Roger! Get to butcherin’ that thing and the rest of that sheep right away!”
“Vernon! Stop standing there gaping about and get to shearing! You too Olaf!”
Norbet get those crates over here!"
“Peggy! Get the loom set up, I figure we need to make some wool cloaks and blankets for our new protectors. We might not have any gold to thank them. But we’re good folk, and we’ll give what we can. We’ll do right by these new guildsmen, aye?”
“Aye ma’am” they answered, “Right away missus!” And they scrambled away to help.
“Baaaaa!” called the terrified sheep. “Baaaaaaaa!”
“Stop standing there Lukas! Have you gone simple?! Get to helpin!”