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Livestock Deaths Puzzle Ranchers

By Dorius Del Davandi

FAIRHAVEN — Baffled ranchers in western Aundair expressed their frustration on Zol after finding dozens more dead sheep and cattle in remote grasslands.

Predation on livestock is nothing new to the ranchers, but these cattle and sheep have apparently been strangled or crushed, then bled dry. Each corpse bears a series of circular wounds the size of dinner plates.

Vaun Manakuli, a shepherd on the Eldeen border, reported that he had lost five sheep to the mysterious menace. "I'd heard the rumors, so I'd been staying awake at night to protect my flock," he said. "It was almost morning when I heard this low, groaning sound coming from over the hill. I ran as fast as I could, but by the time I reached the top of the hillock, I'd lost five sheep."

Whatever killed his sheep did so in seconds, Manakuli claimed, because he was less than 100 feet away when he heard the groaning sound.

Renowned hunter and naturalist Carsenni Rhun described the wounds as perplexing. He vowed to be the first to bring in the beast responsible — dead or alive. "I've hunted across Khorvaire, from the Shadow Marches to the jungles of Q'Barra. No one's ever bagged anything like this, so I guess I'll be first," he said.

Rhun speculated that an octopuslike tentacle could have caused the wounds. "When I was diving in Eldeen Bay shortly after the war, sometimes I'd see a whale with a circular scar. Such marks are from the incredibly powerful suckers on the tentacles of certain sea-beasts," he said. "But the scars on the whales weren't much bigger than my hand," he continued. "What behemoth could leave a tentacle mark as big as these?"

Investigator: Motive Unclear in Slaying

By Dorion Del Davandi

SHARN—The lead investigator for the Shastroon Boromar murder investigation said on Far that robbery was unlikely the sole motivation for the killers, who remain at large.

“Magically aided reconstruction of the crime scene shows us that it was set afire some time after the murder,” said Blackened Book Lieutenant Laruna Thinarr. “More to the point, we believe that the tower wasn’t ransacked before the incendiary magic was used. It looks like the arson was a failed attempt to cover up the murder.”

Shastroon Boromar, the younger brother of Lower Dura councilor Ilyra Boromar, was found in the burned-out wreckage of a Cornerstone tower two weeks ago. In response to a Council request, an arson and murder investigation was opened up last Zol.

Since then, each day has brought a new, gory detail in the case. Last week, authorities disclosed that Shastroon had been beheaded and the head taken by his assailants. The presence of extensive magical wards around the tower and mysterious cages found in the basement were also unusual for the row of brownstone towers near the Capellar Bridge, less than a dozen blocks from the Cornerstone arena.

Councilor Ilyra Boromar said the City Watch would have “any and all resources” required to bring her brother’s killer or killers to justice.

“We Boromars are a quiet, peaceable clan, and Shastroon was the gentlest of us all,” she said. “It is my fervent hope that the pain of our mourning will be assuaged by the swift justice brought upon his murderers. They’ll never get away with this.”

Shastroon Boromar was a arcanist by trade, known for his frequent travels between Sharn and the Talenta Plains, the Boromar clan’s ancestral home. He was often accompanied by a four-handed bodyguard called a hadrimoi—a rare creature native to the plains.

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