The bloody things were everywhere, Kyri put her foot on the back of a locust and pulled her axe out of it.
Slaughtering her way through the forests to get back to the Inn mainly because she couldn`t remember if she had left her window open and didn`t want to lose the herbs she had gathered these last few months.
She burst into a clearing someone was there having just stomped on a locust they looked up at her, staring in horror at the luminous green ichor and foliage covered creature before them before screaming and running off into the trees.
"Silly bugger it`ll wash out!", she shouted after them and ran off to kill more.
The forest around her was clear of lokusts so hse ran up the well trodden path to plataux above, in time to kill yet another lokust, tired and weary Kyri decided some refreshments were in order and being close to the inn it would be rude not to call in for a pint or two.
Scraping off the worst of the slime from the lokusts she then washed in the stream that ran near the Inn, feeling cleaner she made her way to her home carefully cleaning and oiling weapons and armour then washing again, looking in a mirror she noticed her hair had been bleached by the ichor and a slightly green tint, she cut it short, threw on a cotton tunic and left for the bar.
Cypher was sitting at at the bar a pint of ale in front of him, he appeared to be studying it intently, she hopped up on her usual stool, looking at her the barkeep picked up a pint glass, she nodded and held up three fingers he moved the third barrel and gently drew a dark brew and set it down, she watched it settle before taking a sip, Cypher gave a little cough, she took the que and asked "how`s the hunting?"
"Good, blighters are everywhere!, whats the deal with these things?", he glowered at his pint.
"Every year the lokusts mature, we have to reduce the numbers or they eat everything and starving is no fun, plus they seem to like barley and I`ll be damned if I`m going without beer!,the powers that be give us incentives to such work but the fact it is fun helps!" she took another sip.
"Any advice?", he asked.
"Yes kill as many as you can!, but think about how best to get to the next lokust, you will do well on mountains last year people left them till last, less crops to protect, you can get a good head start on them, but basicly aim to kill as many in the smallest area you can"
"So should I stay on the mountains?"
"Not at all, just use the terrain to your advantage, plan yourself so you dont have to walk miles to get the next one, avoiding harder terain but if you have a path of locusts that get you to a better area then kill them , getting a kill every step is best"
"Don`t sound so hard", indicating to the barkeep for a refill.
Kyri thought for a moment, "It realy isnt, all you have to do is kill as many as you can, in a few days they will be harder to find, everyone and their Gran, and Grans dog most likely,will be out there killing them, just keep plodding on".
"Ok I will", Cypher finished his pint and dropped a few coins on the counter and left with a wave.
There were no more lokusts to be found, Kyri was scrapping ichor off her armour, now dyed a rich deep green colour, seeing there was no way it was going to come out she rubbed a wax onto the armour, working it deep into the leather and leaving it on thick, she looked at the pile of green scum then scooped it up and put it in a pot for later use, the work done with a quick clean she was ready to quench a mighty thirst at the bar.
A single knock on the outer door made her turn, she hopped over and opened it, an Accolyte of the Ancients stood outside.
"The Massterss sent thiss with Thankss, Many were the cropss ssaved" he offered a bag containing coins, treasures from a long forgotten time and an artifact of war, she accepted the gifts.
"My thanks, can I offer you some refreshment?" she glanced over her shoulder to the kettle on the cold stove when she turned back the Accolyte had gone, "..I hate when they do that".
Carefully storing the treasures away she left for bar, it was crowded with farmers, foresters and trappers celebrating this years saving of the crops, she smiled at the revellers, the barkeep had halved the price of ales for the next few nights to the great joy of the crowd, the fact that the barrels set out were nearing the end of their shelf life and were needed for the next brews helped too.
She pushed her way through to the bar area she normaly perched at, one of the local farmers was sat on her stool talking to the eldest of his three sons, "Yer she es Da!", the farmer grinned down at her as he slipped off her stool.
"Keep! git tha Lokust Slayer a drink! Ta think she aint half tha size o` my own sons!", she climbed up on the stool.
"To be fair that gives me an advantage, they cant see me coming at them!", an ale was set before her the barkeep couldn`t help smile as the drinks she would normaly have had for free were bought by greatful farmers, in this lull just before the harvest was to begin with the saving of the crops to celebrate, a time for music and dancing, before this nights end there would be more than one betrothal a few feuds would settled, grudges were seldom held for long in these wild parts, soon the festivities couldn`t be contained in the Inn and spilled out into the courtyard some guards were posted to ensure safety from wandering beasts, finaly near dawn the music stopped and the snoring started.