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Library: Agreb

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Author: gileon
Date:May 14 2010

                       Story of Agreb

Once upon a time there was a small town of Agreb. As itself there
was very little to mention about it. Perhaps few hundred citizens 
lived there in a self sustaining farming community. Most of the
citizens were farmers with the exception of perhaps a dozen of 
hunters. Not many had even heard of a such village. Most members of 
the tribe thought this was a good thing. And why wouldn't it be? 
They could practice their ways and religion with very few outsiders 
harassing them.

Not long ago their peaceful tribe encountered some serious problems.
Some people who entered the forests never came back. First they
thought it was a karma problem. The tribe of Agreb believes in
karma: all bad deeds you have done before shall be paid back - with
interest. The problem was even dismissed for a year, as it wasn't
too frequent and people shrugged over the matter. "I bet he had
done something bad", they said.

Until on one night a child had gone missing. Well, he wasn't 
actually even a child, a mere infant. People were questioning their 
previous thoughts. What is so evil an infant could do, which would 
cost him his life? And a more troublesome point was also played on 
the table. Previous disappearings had happened in the forest to 
people who had gone there alone. The infant had disappeared from 
his cradle!

Many of the villagers wondered. What could possible be bad enough
to lose your life? Especially when the baby is only few weeks old.
Some mad men thought the baby was the evil reborn and even preached
about it. Luckily, most of the villagers were only terrified when
they could have been sharpening their spears for a witch hunt. The 
villagers cried that something had to be done! There were several 
gatherings in which people demanded action! Yet, there weren't any 
heroes who would dare to take point. 

But there was one person who didn't join the gatherings at all. He
had made a decision. He would not stand by, he would do something 
or die trying. He was the father to the missing child. Stal was his 
name and he was a hunter, a well respected individual. He had 
ventured the forests for decades and there weren't too many men 
who could honestly claim they knew better than old Stal! 

During the years Stal had seen some pretty weird stuff in the forest.
Something people should let be and move to better places without
such horrors. He had warned the elders about it. Actually he
had been warning them for years, but they never listened: "We know
good things will happen if we are good to each other and to the
forest." 

Stal tried to look for his lost child. For days he searched the 
forests, checked every possible place where the baby would fit.
But there weren't any results. Instead, he found something else.
He found something most gruesome: a carcass. It was mutilated 
beyond all recognition. The only conclusion about the carcass was 
that it was a humanoid. Judging the size, the corpse probably 
once was a grown man.

The discovery was alarming. Something was lurking in the forests.
A predator! A predator big enough to kill a human relatively easily. 
Stal hoped this was just a coincidence, a such thing couldn't 
possible be interested in infants, they are so small and low in 
nutritions! But something was throbbing in the back of his head: 
the instinct of a hunter. His instincts were telling him this was 
no coincidence.

He discussed with other hunters and almost all were convinced 
something very frightening was going on. Apparently he wasn't the
only one seeing weird things in the forest, having weird sensations 
of not being alone and having an eerie feeling of someone staring 
at you. 

The hunters concieved a plan. Each night two hunters would hide 
themselves in the towers and keep an eye on the village while it 
sleeps. Also people wouldn't leave the village for any reason alone,
at least 4 people was required and one had to be a skilled hunter.

The first night came, Stal and his best friend Sim were to have
the first watch. Masked and careful they hid themselves in the
towers and began observing. The village was dead silent. Only
the sudden gust of wind passing through the forest caused a mellow 
howl.

They observed for an hour, two hours, 4 hours and until the sun 
arose bathing the village in gold. It was a very silent night and 
nothing had happened. Stal sighed, but yet he was greatful. Secrectly 
he even hoped his instincts had been mistaken. But deep down, he was 
certain. Something would happen if he waited long enough.

The next night came and Stal couldn't resist standing on guard, 
albeit it was not his turn. Nothing happened on that night either, or 
the night after. Weeks passed and nothing happened. It seemed as if 
the disapperances had come to halt. Elders were glad and danced out 
of joy. The guarding and other restrictions were called off. 

It was only 3 nights after the call off. Something was bound to 
happen. It may have been a stroke of luck, or the instinct of a 
hunter, but Stal was nervous. He was turning around in his bed and 
couldn't catch sleep. Finally he stood up and thought he'd go on a 
walk. Stal grabbed his coat, pulled it over and stood outside his 
hut.

It was a particularly warm night and the moon was illuminating the 
village with its pale light. Stal circled around the village once. 
Didn't feel much sleepier and went for another circle. It was then 
when he saw something. This huge, at least 7 foot tall hairy wolflike 
creature jumped over the wall with ease. Stal stood still, horrified. 
What the hell was that thing? It could not have been a wolf! That was 
certain, it was way too big for a wolf. 

Stal started running toward the part he saw the creature in. He 
checked every house nearby, woke every one up to warn them. Didn't 
take all too long a young woman came out crying, she had delivered 
a baby a week ago. The baby was missing.

Quickly Stal demanded the elders to take proper precautions and
start preparing the village for the future. Something had to be done! 
This monster, this beast had to be slaid before it would take all the 
newborn. And fast, as there was another baby which was born few weeks 
ago.

Every single hunter would grab his bow and surround the house the 
baby was in. They would wait until the creature would turn up again 
to meet its destiny. Even if it would take days, weeks or months. 
Hunters would not budge.

They didn't have to wait for too long. On the second night after the 
first sight the foul creature came back. It jumped over the wall and 
sniffed the air. It was a horrific sight. It seemed to be a mixture 
of a wolf and a man, a werewolf. It was at least 7 feet tall with a 
pair of nasty canine teeth bulging out from its drooling mouth. Its 
red eyes gleamed with determination.

Its steps were also very determined. Moving carefully, it came closer 
to the house hunters were guarding. Slowly and soundlessly all hunters 
drew their bow strings tight. The moment seemed to  last forever. The 
werewolf didn't seem to be in any rush. On every step it sniffed the 
air once again and thought about the next step carefully, a step which 
took an eternity every time.

Eventually the moment did come and the werewolf was close enough. 
Stal shouts out loud and let loose his arrow. All other hunters
followed his example and several arrows sank deep in to the werewolf.
The shrieking was terrible, and almost all other villagers woke up to 
it. The hunters tightened their bow string again and prepared 
themselves for another shot.

But the werewolf wasn't there anymore. All the hunters looked at the 
spot werewolf was in. A small puddle of blood had appeared to the place 
it was standing on. Some hunters even started to panic, but not Stal.
He may have been a bit anxious, but he was hiding it well. He stormed out 
and with a fiery look on his face was looking all around. 

A scream echoed through the village. A bit more humane one. Few seconds 
later another one and another one. "Damn it! Come here you flea infested 
mutt!" Stal thought up to himself. Another scream was heard. Stal 
dropped his bow and grabbed his spear, turned up to the last known 
direction and started running towards it. A scream broke up his run, it 
came from the very opposite direction. 

"Come on! Fight fair you pooch!" Stal shouted. Not long after the
werewolf droped in front of him. Its mouth and claws were covered 
with blood. Two arrows were still sticking out of its torso and there
seemed to be at least three other bleeding wounds.

Without any hesitation Stal lunged with his spear. The werewolf 
deflected the attack with its claws and quickly clawed a gaping wound 
to Stal's arm. Screaming in pain Stal withdrew a step and struck again, 
just to get deflected. The werewolf grinned with a nasty look on its 
face and kicked Stal hard in the stomach. Stal fell down on the ground 
and his spear flew few meters away from him. The werewolf stood on Stal 
and grinning with pride it lunged down canines first. 

As a last resort Stal quickly grabbed an arrow from his quiver and with 
the remaining strength tried to stab the werewolf. The werewolf didn't 
even notice the arrow and sank its teeth deep into Stal's chest. Stal's 
mouth gurgled with blood as his last breath escaped his lips. 

The werewolf stood up and tried to laugh, but noticed a nasty feeling 
below its chin. The arrow had pierced its throat and after few steps 
the werewolf fell down. The menace was dead. But the cost was terrible. 
Many good hunters, many men and children lost their lives due to this 
horrendous thing. 

Years have passed since those days. Stal is still remembered. Villagers 
believe he has moved on but his spirit will always guard the village 
and guide the people of the forest. But what happened to those children 
that, my fellow reader, is a completely different story.



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