Welp, I’m way off track again.
This morning I was chasing down a lead—rumors about strange lights sighted up north—when three cats ran across my path and into the woods. Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten lost chasing a stray, but this time I have a really good reason. See, one of the cats stopped to look at me, and I caught a glimpse of something blue and shiny hanging from its collar… Call it a hunch, but I think it was made of Utokium!
Does it seem excessive for someone to adorn their cat’s collar with a rare and mysterious stone whose origin and properties remain one of the world’s greatest mysteries? Yes. Yes it does. But have you met cat people? If someone would put a solid gold designer litterbox in their home, I bet they’d splurge on a chunk or three of Utokium.
So I scrambled after them through the woods. I kept pace for a while, and I almost caught up a few times, but it wasn’t long before I lost them in the underbrush. After a few minutes of trying to bait the little scamps with my road snacks, I gave up and whipped out my compass to resume my journey north. I had no idea where the road was at this point. And besides, wandering through the forest is more fun anyway.
I didn’t have to wander for long though, because pretty soon a familiar smell reached my nose—the smell of chowder… Gross. But still, it was either a person making chowder or a weird new fungus that smelled like chowder, and both were worth investigating. I followed my nose, and pretty soon I popped out of the forest—and right onto the fairgrounds of a little village called Clowderville.
WELCOME TO THE SUMMER’S END FESTIVAL, read a large banner that was halfway hung-up when I arrived. People were hustling and bustling all around me; some were building booths and rides, others were shooing goats into a petting zoo, and on one side of the field a few folks were setting up a table for the main event: the Clowderville Chowder Cookoff. Double gross.
I made my way through the fairgrounds and into the town square, and that’s where I saw her—a strange woman with bright magenta hair, surrounded by cats, who was affixing this flyer to a post. I ran to catch up with her, but much like her missing cats, she disappeared before I could investigate any further…
“DO NOT REMOVE COLLARS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE,” huh? I think I may be onto something. I’m going to stay here for a few days and try to find these cats…and maybe pet a few goats. With the promise of a reward though, I won’t be the only one trying to find the little guys. Hopefully I can track them down first, and if it really is Utokium around their necks, maybe I can find out where it came from and what it does.
Wish me luck!