Fightmaster Kox set down the scroll and calmly clasped his hands together.

"More than 80 Solanian soldiers... and only one Brute?"

"That's right." Replied the merchant. "We witnessed the massacre from afar as we were passing through the west range."

"You didn't think to stop and offer aid?"

"With a caravan of booze? Of course we bloody didn't!" The merchant grimaced. "Besides... anyone could see the squadron was a lost cause."

"Good call." Kox stroked his chin thoughtfully. "What in Rathe is a monster like that doing this far out of the Savage Lands? What does it want?"

"What drives a beast like that is beyond my understanding." The merchant sighed, pouring them both a horn of ale. "But that's why I came to see you. It was dead quiet when we picked up our cargo in Thistlefold. Folk were spooked by sightings of a terrifying creature. We didn't think much of it at the time."

Kox swilled his ale quietly, listening with intense concentration.

"We stopped for supplies and trade at Tarnish Hill, but all the livestock had been completely torn to ribbons. Villagers said it was a wild animal but I've never seen an animal do anything like that." The merchant paused to let out a shudder. "Then of course, there was the incident in the west ranges..."

Kox rested back in his chair, staring at the tapestries that adorned the fight-master's quarters.

"So by that trajectory..."

"It could be here in a matter of days." The merchant finished, nervously gulping down his drink.

Kox leaned forward as a wicked grin slowly spread across his face. The merchant knew that grin well. It meant he had just had a diabolical idea.

"I have just had a diabolical idea..." Murmured Kox.

"I implore you, do NOT try to tame this thing." Pleaded the merchant. "The sheer size, strength, and speed was unlike any Brute I've ever seen! Not to mention the bloodlust..."

"Tame? Oh my, no." Chuckled Kox. "What you're telling me is... we just need to show it where the fresh meat is."