Raise your blade. You just defeated a dragon hiding itself within a metal can. This vulpes will stand no chance!Matty
Get low and scamper into the brushViolet the Screeching Creature
Your fingers twitch above the handle of your sword. Your feet scream at you to turn tail and flee. But you know that a vulpes cannot be so easily outfought or outrun. To have the slightest chance of surviving this encounter, you will have to try something else…
Maybe you can talk your way out of this – if it can speak, that is. Take a deep breath, bow before the Titan, and respectfully start a conversation.Rashan
You recall once hearing a song about a silver-tongued mouse who talked their way out of being eaten by a basilisk. Perhaps you can do the same.
You stutter out a hello.
“Yes, hello, mouse,” the vulpes replies in a disarmingly smooth voice. “I heard you making a racket with that can over there. Did my ears deceive me, or do you consider yourself something of a dragon slayer?”
No sir, no, no, you are no dragon slayer, definitely not. You are… You are just…
Have you perchance seen a red hat anywhere? Thank you for your time!W1770W
You are just an ordinary, humble knight looking for a red hat.
“A knight? Ah, I see. You are Thimble Guard. I did not recognise the uniform, but I have heard the tales. And you say you have lost your hat?”
Honesty might be the way to go. You explain that it’s actually your commanding officer’s hat, and you will be in very big trouble if you do not find and return it.
“And where is your commanding officer now?”
Ah, maybe not too much honesty. Leading a titan to Solhill would certainly be a bad move. You start to mumble some vague lie, but the vulpes interjects.
“Solhill, is it? Did you come to investigate the missing shrews?”
Wait, what? Can vulpes read minds?
“No, I’m no mind reader. I just used some rudimentary deduction. See, the shrews of Solhill inhabit one of my many dens. And as such, they are bound, contractually, to pay me tribute in the form of food parcels. But tribute has not been paid for several months. And as per the terms of the contract, I am permitted to eat one (1) resident per day in lieu of the missing tribute. I will, of course, return to eat another resident tonight. The arrival of the Thimble Guard was an inevitability, but as you can see, there is little to investigate, for my actions are legitimate.”
The vulpes leans in close to you, his snout almost touching your own, and his putrid breath washing over you with every word. “I am a reasonable beast. And you appear to be a reasonable rodent. And I have no quarrel with the Thimble Guard. So I will offer you a contract: take your rodent friends, return to your mouse city immediately, and in exchange, I promise not to harm you or the Thimble Guard. For today, at least.”
What if you refuse?
The vulpes does not answer. He stares at you, with unblinking, golden eyes.
What do you say?