AS SEEN ON A JOB BOARD IN A DOGHOUSE IN CRAFTON
“Hoppers are overwhelming the farms in the foothills again. Will pay per set of ears. You keep the skins. Multiple farms in need, see back for addresses.”
“A feline has taken up residence outside my fences and is consistantly eating from my herd. Houndmaster and pack can keep skin and will be invited to stay within our house. Dogs welcome.”
Written underneath are the words:
who can’t help themselves
“Tracker: Looking for a pack to help find a runaway. He is thirteen, human, has been taught fundamentals of masking trails and is potentially suicidal. Full offer on back is for his safe return. Will pay half of offer if you can retrieve his body if he has done the unthinkable. Please hurry.”
“Messenger: Need a runner for between the mines. Younger houndmasters preferred.”
“Tracker: Need help finding a thief. Room has been locked off and untouched so scents are preserved.”
“Hunt: A large hellion drake has come south out of Feloc’s Canvas. We are looking for multiple houndmasters to help take it down, preferably those who have worked together before. Amount on back is first offer. Pay can be negotiated.”
“Hunt: Murderer. Skilled swordsman. Has fought houndmasters before. Double pay if he is brought back alive to be executed. Dead works too.”
“Escort: I need to safely get to the Ruins of Matoxi for research. Will be staying approximately twelve days, then needing help returning safely to Crafton. Will pay all travel expenses plus hazard pay. I have a mage on retainer who can help mask us from drakes if activity is spotted. Experienced houndmasters only.”
(Pack Helping Pack)
“Three houndmaster pups needing a good home. Their dam and sire were killed on a job up near Feloc’s Canvas. Oldest is nine—she has three dogs and is capable of hunting common game. The two younger are six and five. Neither has started on their packs yet, but both are in shape and obviously were well-cared for by their parents.”
“Sick dog needing specialized medical care. Have to go south and need a second houndmaster to help support my pack on the trip. Can pay.”
“Lost pup. Last seen playing near the downtown emporium outside the mage arena. Too many scents made it impossible to track her down. Sketch included. If you have any info on her, please give it to the doghouse owners. She is lost and scared and isn’t communicating effectively within our consciousness. Please do not contact me solely to mock me—I already know I messed up.”
Scrawled across the bottom of the board, some of the words partially hidden by overlapping jobs, was: Contact doghouse owners for more information on any job. Sample contracts available for select jobs.
And hanging below that, written by a left-hander if the slant was any indication, was: We reserve the right to not post requests by those who have abused houndmaster or dog in the past.
This was for J in my A-Z Wilds Duology Challenge. Just a few sample job board offers as an idea of what might be found on one. They are usually posted in doghouses within the cities so they are only part of civilized houndmasters’ lives. This is a teaser for my upcoming novel, Haunt of the Wilds, now on pre-order for .99c.