A comedy with a body count, A BEAST REQUIRES has a bit of everything: riots, royal plots, forensic gastronomy, interspecies politics, and a collection of historically significant chamberpots.
When conspiracies threaten to plunge Aurum into civil war, the city’s only hope is Deputy Constable Albicon Pine. Unfortunately, it’s his first week on the job.
Urban life isn’t what Albicon imagined: his landlord is a huckster, the constables are as shady as the criminals, and the sprawling, ancient city overflows with garbage. But when bodies start dropping, Albicon and the constabulary must unravel a mess of grisly deaths, pointy shoes, and a forgotten sewer system before the city burns.
By all accounts, there are two things every traveler should know about Aurum; it’s the largest city in the world, and their Benevolent Tourism Association are a bunch of stinking liars. Squashed between the Frothing Sea and the Great White Mountains, it stands as a great, cosmopolitan metropolis. For over a millennium, Aurum’s urban sprawl consumed the surrounding countryside, engulfing anything foolish enough to stand in its way. At its height, the imperial armies of Aurum were destined to conquer the world. These days, Aurum is a grand city but a minuscule kingdom, and the soldiery are more interested in conquering the closest buffet.
With marvels strange and wondrous, the city overflows with opportunity and prosperity, but most of it lays discarded in the streets. With a population estimated in the millions, its cultures are vast and its districts are many. A bit too many, as it takes weeks to walk across if one survives the gangs, illegitimate businessmen, and being trampled by runaway wagons. For anyone wishing to visit Aurum, don’t. But, if you must, tread carefully, for no one ventures there and remains unchanged.
A humorous homage to police procedurals and fantasy settings, A BEAST REQUIRES is a story about choices. Being a good person, doing the right thing, eating a questionable piece of meat: these are the choices Aurum struggles with on a daily basis. Each is fraught with its own peril, and destined to cascade into an avalanche of unintended consequences.
Albicon does the right thing because he doesn’t know any better, testing his resolve when the results don’t go as planned. The killer feels that murder strengthens his ability to save the world from The Beast, the epitome of evil. Prince Harkon makes deals with criminals to empower Aurum, and Chancellor Ruxley empowers himself to control Aurum’s destiny.
Some heroes make choices you hate. Some villains come to decisions you admire. The rest, they’re just looking for steady pay.
JAY LOCKWOOD has been called many things: Dyslexic, Queer, Nerd. Hell yes, he is. A former retail manager and convention organizer, he now aspires to live a stress free existence. His deep love of storytelling has prevented this endeavor, and he now battles word counts alongside D20’s and dragons as a tabletop game reviewer for Killer Moose. He lives in Kent, Ohio, and is owned by three cats.