The Most Dangerous Game
Quest Giver: Babylonia/Gilgamesh
Quest Length: 10k
Quest Location: Kraw
Quest Prerequisites: None
Quest Description: Gilgamesh's ambitions do not only extend to Mesa Roja, but to the entire crossroads. He has recently heard of the lush world of Kraw and desires to display some of the planet's natural riches in his great city of Uruk. He is offering a handsome reward to any person in the crossroads willing to travel to Kraw and hunt down wild game to bring back to Uruk. He's even willing to pay extra to bring it back alive.
Quest also grants entry to faction if desired.
Lilith was utterly infatuated with herself, which was unusual, because she couldn't stand being most of the time. This new outfit had reignited her pride, and she could barely contain it, much like everything else about her. With so little covered, she was practically a walking exhibitionism show, and she encouraged any and all to bear witness to it.
Her one-woman show was interrupted by a piercing pang in the pit of her stomach. A single-minded desire entered her brain: meat. She thought about snatching some off the street, but decided against it; her standards weren't that low.
I'm up for some revelry. Maybe I'll check out that bar.
After hassling several passersby for directions, she ended up in front of The Retching Rex, its bold neon green sign flashing with a cartoony depiction of a dinosaur slumped over, surrounded by bottles of booze. Looking past the glare in the windows, she could see several round tables speckled about the hall, a counter extending longways across either side of the bar, and, most important of all, a gleaming wall of every alcoholic concoction imaginable.
Rather than ogle from outside, Lilith barged straight in, sauntering up to the seats lined up at the counter. The tame atmosphere was interrupted for only a fleeting moment; a scantily clad woman hardly phased most of the regulars here. She waved over the bartender, a lithe man, who jovially welcomed, "You must be new in town! What can I get you?"
She casually glanced over the menu. I'd say just get me a steak, but they have every type of animal on this planet. Some of them are pretty expensive... I think... Fuck it, I'm treating myself. "I'll have a pterodactyl steak with the strongest wine you got."
"You seem to know what you want. How will you be paying today, ma'am?"
"Uhh... Ah, shit, I still don't have any money. How the hell am I supposed to pay for anything around here?!" As if on cue, a handful of Coin manifested on the counter. "Oh. What the fuck was that?"
"You're new to the Roads too? Folks around here hold their Coin in the Medium. Makes transactions instant and all that."
"How convenient." Sure beats carrying it around. A hassle, especially for someone like her. Wait, how do I already have Coin?... Anyways. I don't have a real need for money, but it is nice taking what I want without starting a riot. "So tell me more about the 'Roads' as you call it."
"I'd be right happy to!" After relaying Lilith's order and pouring the requested 'strongest wine', the bartender shared his knowledge of Kraw and its places of interest, as well as the rest of the worlds.
The part that was of particular intrigue to her was the quest board, but before she could put any thought to it, her plate arrived. First proper meal I'll have here. Or in a long time come to think of it. Lilith preferred her meat raw, which didn't make her too welcomed at restaurants. Or in any public space for that matter. They were courteous enough to provide a fork and knife, but she had no need for that nonsense. Her mouth watered at the sight of the slab of pterodactyl steak, its juices dribbling down its seared edges, tantalizing steam wafting off its grilled surface. She couldn't wait another second. Grabbing the entire portion with both hands, she dug in as a wolf does to a sheep, ripping through the tender flesh and ferociously swallowing every bite. In a little over a minute she had cleaned her plate.
Shortly after, she washed her meal down with a glass of red wine, spilling some of it on her lips in her ecstatic frenzy. Lilith had consumed copious amounts of alcohol before; the issue was, even though she was used to it, her body wasn't, so in practice she had very little tolerance. Combining the highly concentrated wine created the catalyst for near instantaneous intoxication. As all her inhibitions (at least what little remained) melted away, she got up and stumbled to the center of the bar.
"Alright, who wants to make a mating exhibit right here right now?" she propositioned, drawing all the attention on herself. "C'mon, all of you here can be a part of it. It'll be better than any show you can get at the Menagerie. Hey you, big guy, wanna pin me down on this table and mix our genes—"
Most of the crowd was put off by the prospect of having a public orgy, but before any brave souls could dare step up, two staffers restrained her from either side and forced her towards the outside. "Wha'the fack are yeh doin'?! You can't do this to me!" Lilith stammered in drunken protest. She writhed in their grasp, and despite being more than capable of fighting back, she put up a paltry resistance to being kicked out. "Yo- You damn cowards! I—" Her head smacked the top of the door. "Doww, fuck!!" At last she was removed from the premises, left on the floor after tumbling and tripping.
"Fine, I don't need your stupid bar anyways! Fugh..." She rubbed her temples, trying to regain her footing as the world around her spun and swirled. Parading about the street, she whined, "Won't someone take advantage of me? Anyone? Please I'm really desperate!" Unfortunately, the street-goers had even the smallest amount of self-respect. "Tch. This place fuckin' blows. Isn't there anything better to do...?"
Suddenly, Lilith had a flash of genius in her inebriated stupor. "Hunting!" she exclaimed to an audience of zero. I can't start hunting humans... yet. I need an appetizer to brush up on my skills.
Somehow, Lilith managed to find her way to the village bulletin board, after sobering up to where she could at least read. Papers and fliers dotted the wall, the incoherent collage indecipherable. So, she simply started out on the left side and scrolled across to the right.
Join the academy? Boring.
Capture a specimen for some science-y bullshit? Lame.
Join the assassin's guild? Too tedious.
Take a course for a hunting license? I never had to ask permission before so... definite no.
Huh, this looks fancy.
Standing out from the rest was a dazzlingly bright yellow poster.
'The Most Dangerous Game'? A little uninspired, but who am I to judge.
She skimmed over all the useless information. Glory to the king, wealth and riches for Uruk, loyalty to the kingdom, seriously who gives a fuck?
God, is that portrait supposed to be of him? He looks like a real uptight cunt. I already wanna kill him and not just because he's a king.
Just looking at someone so gaudy left a sour taste in Lilith's mouth. She reads a little further.
I ought to pay him a visit, hand-deliver the goods. Quest sounds simple enough.
The poster was generous enough to provide a map of Mesa Roja, specifically the route from Karim to Uruk.
Geez, I know this is a massive universe and all but it takes so much traveling to get anywhere.
Lilith groaned, heading for the nearest place she could get a lift outside the gates
Later, at the Wilderness Exploration Center...
Lilith barged past the entrance doors, striding up to a woman at the front desk, who greeted in a cheery voice, "Welcome, visitor! Are you here for a tour?"
"Perhaps." She bent over and propped her arms on the polished wood, which brought her down to a level height. Her flirtatious mood had not subsided from her earlier alcoholic outburst. "After seeing you though, I may be interested in a different sort of ride."
The short-haired brunette, who's nametag read Cheryl, anxiously gulped, fighting to keep her gaze forward and not wander off to the rest of this tall lady who was knowingly presenting their body. "Well, ma'am, there are certain procedures we adhere to before letting anyone outside the walls—"
"I don't give a damn about the rules, whether it's going outside the walls, or inside yours." Lilith produced a fistful of Coin and slid it over suggestively. "I'm sure we can work something out, just name your price."
The woman's eyes jumped between the stack of Coin and the lustful stare fixated on her. "I- I can see if we have anything on such short notice." Cheryl's hand lingered over Lilith's as the exchange was made, the intensity between them growing several orders of magnitude. No longer able to take the overwhelming pressure, she hurried off to find a driver, too feverish to consider protocol.
"I'll swing by if I'm ever in need of a private tour~"
Lilith didn't consider herself a 'car girl' but even she had to admit the jeeps they had were impressive. Durable, earthy green exterior, reinforced windows, heavy-duty tires, surrounding a sleek, comfy, insulated interior. You certainly get your money's worth. She nodded off, sinking into her seat as she rested up before getting the mission underway. Although it was short-lived, it was the nicest place she slept at thus far.
She was jolted awake by the sudden stop and the notice from the driver that this was as far as they could go from the village. Lilith instructed them to wait while she ventured off on her own. She was given a walkie-talkie as a safety precaution, though she doubted she'd need it.
Ah, the hunt. It's been far too long since I've indulged in my greatest pleasure in life.
She went back and forth in her head as she walked to nowhere in particular.
Now what sort of rare animal would a pompous king want?... He'll probably take anything.
The better question to be asking herself, what was something she could take down and bring back alive? Lilith wasn't exactly known for her non-lethal methods. No way she was outrunning anything on foot either. Whatever she decided on must have mutual bloodlust.
She imagined the scenario would play out something like this: scampering along craggy tree bark is a golden gecko (why gold? I dunno, kings like gold, right?), shimmering with its blinding glittery scales. Lilith, seizing the opportunity, crawls on all fours, slinking through the soil, narrowing in on her prize. As she draws near, she goes in for the kill, bolting up and lunging into the air, only to crash hard into the tree trunk, watching in defeat as the gecko flees, never to be seen again.
Perhaps she could try wrestling an alligator? Wouldn't be too hard given her capabilities, although what she hauled back would hardly be recognizable, dead or alive.
What about a raptor? No, too generic. Besides, she was so over dealing with 'em.
Jaguar? Doable. Heavy though.
Alright, alright. Thinking's getting me nowhere.
Lilith rolled her shoulders and cracked her neck a few times, then closed her eyes.
Her mind disassociated from the physical realm, transcending to a plane of profaned energies. Her consciousness connected to hundreds of flaring auras, her senses becoming overwhelmed by the sheer number of cursed beings in her vicinity, an explosion of color contrasting against the stark black.
I need to focus.
Lilith began to cut out the noise. First she removed the pests and insects from her awareness, then went the lesser rodents and birds, their wispy gray outlines dissipating. The congregation of plant life, with its network of gnarled, veiny roots anchored to the earth, soon faded too.
Now she narrowed her concentration, steadily turning and scanning the few entities left. There were raptors, one large and several juvenile; some beefy four legged creature; a tall thing, stalk-shaped, that stood motionless; and an immense, coiling creature, its movement a mesmerizing slither. While most of the fauna seemed fun to hunt or be hunted by, none of them really jumped out at her attention. She wanted something she could be proud to turn in for this quest.
Isn't there anything truly special around here? Although, that snake... No, not right now. I'll just find some way to get this over with.
Lilith opened her eyes, curling her lips in frustration and hurling a fist at the nearest tree. "Frgh!" she grunted, ignoring the recoil stinging her knuckles.
I'd have a better time waiting for something to fall out of the sky!
Just as Lilith thought she might boil over, her senses were alerted to a sudden spike of cursed energy, her head instinctively turning to its source. Like a blazing comet, it descended from the cosmos and landed with a booming impact.
It only took a second for her to realize that it was no meteor, for it was alive.