Don’t Hurt the Monsters: Excerpt from “The Egg Thieves”

I’m currently working on episode 5 of The Voyage of the Miscreation, which was originally titled “The Feathersnake Hunt,” but now I think a more accurate name might be “The Egg Thieves.” At the beginning of the episode, Mage Ameyron is telling the crew how to collect feathersnake eggs. Since the feathersnake warrens will be guarded, particularly the nests, they need to think of a way of fighting the monsters off. But once again, there’s a conflict between the Mage and the monster hunters about whether or not they can kill any monsters during the hunt.

An excerpt:

“Ah, yes.” He went back several pages in his notes. “The warrens are guarded by fierce feathersnakes, and while their bite is not venomous, it can be painful. I recommend wearing protection. Some of you should concentrate on fending off their attacks, while the others search for nests. You’ll have to dig them up,” he added.

Rei nodded. “Leather armor should be thick enough to ward off their little bites.” She put a finger on her chin. “As for weapons, I think they’re a little small to shoot with arrows, so slings might work better.”

Ameyron held up his hands. “No, no, no, we can’t kill them! They’re not hurting anyone, and we don’t know what role they play in relationship with the rest of the area!”

“Hunting monsters is what we do,” Mynta said in a condescending tone. She turned and pointed at the cliffs, where many sea birds were flying around their nests. “I think those birds would be a lot happier without snakes stealing their eggs. If all we need to bring back alive are the eggs, what does it matter what happens to the adult monsters?”

Ameyron shook his head vehemently. “But you don’t know what kind of effect it would have if the sea birds lost their natural predators. There could be a population explosion, for example, and all of the new birds would have to catch more fish to feed themselves, and then there wouldn’t be any fish for the people living in this village.” He pounded his fist on his notebook for emphasis. “I don’t want to disrupt the local wildlife without understanding what it is we are doing. We will take some of the eggs, not too many, and we will leave the rest of the warren intact and the feathersnakes alive. Can you do that?”

Nik walked over and put his hand on a rack of long sticks. “Short staff,” he said so quietly that the mage had to strain to hear him. “We can defend with them, but won’t do too much damage.”

Mynta grabbed a short staff and twirled it in the air experimentally. “Yes, staves could work.” She brought one end down sharply in front of Ameyron’s face. “Does this satisfy your requirements, Professor?”

Episode 5 will be available on November 21.


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.