It was a werewolf; all o' the disappearances. Or so Alice had claimed when she'd finally calmed down enough to put a coherent sentence together. Not a demon colluding with Zamorak, summoned by some transgressor seeking forbidden knowledge, like all the local rumours claimed. Not a plague brought down by the wrath of Saradomin, as a retribution for the sins o' those who had strayed from the light, as the fanatical Father Gabriel had so fervently asserted. Not even that blasted feral mutt, Cerberus, the one Almos had all but paid the monks at Paterdomus to take off his hands. Escaped again and finally come down with the froth, the way he'd figured it; started going after people and all.
A werewolf, of all things. Almos hardly even believed it himself. He'd heard rumours, o' course, working in the kennels on the Ruthven estate just outside Silvarea these past few years. Never quite believed 'em, though, even if his wife did.
He'd found her at the edge of the woods, scared as a jackrabbit staring a fox dead in the face, clothes all torn and bloody. Wouldn't quit sobbing, always kept her face buried in her hands, never gave anyone a good look at her. The beast came out o' nowhere, the way she told it, just emerged from the forest and savaged her father, tore his throat out like an animal, then stood on its hind legs and laughed like a man. Would've killed her too if that strange dagger o' hers hadn't scared the thing off.
Lord Ruthven believed the tale, that was plain enough. Claimed something similar happened north o' Falador not too long back, so he organised a hunting party, sent em' out mid-morning armed with those daggers, hounds at the lead, while Alice herself stayed behind in the care of Almos's wife. Trouble was all the damned fog. Eerie stuff. Supernatural, almost. Made it hard to see past arm's length, set Almos's heart to racing.
Fumbling through that gnarled tangle o' trees, half blind as they were, it was no wonder he got himself separated, left with nothing but two of his hounds. Sun was down by the time they picked up the scent, put 'em right in a frenzy. One long, blood-curdling howl off in the distance, and the dumb animals were off after it, disappeared into the fog.
Wasn't long 'fore he found 'em. All torn to ribbons, they were, along with all the men he'd set out with that morning. A single set o' tracks, not quite human, lead right back to the estate.Almos followed just as quick as he could, burst through the door, searching all frantic for his wife. Door creaked shut behind him and all he heard was, 'She's not here.' He turned round and saw Alice standing there, feet all muddy, a wicked grin 'cross her face and a pale ray o' moonlight through the window glinting off a pair of blood-red eyes.