Monday, October 19, 2009

Harry Poacher and the Aphrodisiac of Ground Hippogriff Hoof

Ahoy, Crypto Scouts!

The illegal stealing, smuggling, and selling of rare animals on the worldwide black market is a multi-billion dollar business. 2nd only to drugs and arms dealing. Therefore, it's no big surprise that the rarest of our world's "hidden animals" would fetch a pretty penny and attract the skeeviest of crypto-poachers...

Witches and Wizards.

They keep live cryptids as familiars once in a blue moon, but customarily strip the poor beasts of useful parts and organs like some Alchemical "chop shop". These bits then become ingredients in any number of powerful salves, balms, and potions or a key component to some dastardly spell. The most unusual species will wind up as delicacies on secret Black Mass menus. The sorcerers even have a merry tune they whistle while they go about their wicked work. Disgusting. As a Crypto-Conservationist, I feel it's our duty to stop the black market cryptid trade and turn these Practitioners of the Dark Arts, these "Merchants of Death", over to "the system". The digestive system of the nearest obliging dragon, that is.

As I am ever alert, I happened upon an establishment (see below) whose facade did very little to mask its true purposes.

When I leaped through the door (which had magically opened before me) with my judgmental pointer finger cocked and ready to point, my suspicions were NOT vindicated. The shop-keepers must have caught wind of my impromptu raid from the Spirit Realm, or foresaw it in a scrying stone. No pickled cockatrice waddle. No venomous wyvern venom. No lucky jackalope feet.

Like the Prohibition speakeasies of the 20s, this "gift" market must have been an innocent front for more criminal activity... BEHIND-the-scenes. However, I failed to extract any damning confessions from the Apprentices stocking shelves, no matter what amazing numeral I rolled on my trusty D20 or how much intimidation my posture and tone displayed (trust me). I did garner quite a few odd looks from patron and employee alike though. The guilt was ALL over their faces.

No butchered cryptid horn, pelt, or gall bladders sold here (not in the open anyway), but I did spot a teeny frog mariachi band and some clams with googly eyes fastened to their shells. No doubt victims of some warlock's "Spell of Freezing" and "Spell of Eyes,Googly", respectively. This location is going on my Watch List nevertheless.

For the sake of all monsters (protected by official law or no), keep your Scout eyes peeled and report all suspicious activity to your local troop leader... or local Witchfinder General.

Cryptically speaking,
*The Crypto-Scout

Lyrics | Red Buttons - Every Little Piece lyrics

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