“Ah…,” Mayerling met the charges against him by the good Valerian and SunshineSparkle with a dose of skepticism.
Mayerling was dressed in what was left of a humble tunic and tights. It had been torn to shreds as he still wore it in his sleep; seemingly helpless against a much more powerful, animalistic assailant.
“I can tell you this, m’ladies,” he retorted, “my night was filled with far more horror than yours.”
Mayerling moved to a central area of the village where a tree had been felled and removed long ago, and now an old gray stump of tree formed a natural stage from which to tell his story. He mounted the stump, and thus began,
“My friends, I come to you now as sole witness that there in fact are werewolves living among us. I can assure you of this fact because, while the rest of you were struggling to find a bit of sleep in this deeply forsaken place, I was attacked near mortally. As you can see I will need to replace my wardrobe.” Mayerling made a gesture apologizing for his appearance.
“Fortunately for myself, I was saved from a sure death only through my own knowledge of brewing and alchemy. After the creature had left, I was able to mix a concoction of various proprietary substances to act as an elixir. By consuming it, I was able to survive. Unfortunately, it contains several poisons that, through the years, I have been able to build a tolerance. However, I am sure it would kill any of you if you consumed it, and sadly I will also perish should I need to take more of it.
“For some reason, I am seen as a danger amongst you, but it is now proven that I am of flesh and blood, like the rest of the innocents among us in this place. Now knowing that I have survived an attack, surely my time among you is short. I will certainly be attacked again, and this time I won’t be able to save myself. This may very well be my last day among you, but do not end it with the lynching of an innocent. End it with the lynching of my assailant.
“In this determination I can help you, for through my survival of the incident, I know who attacked me.” Mayerling scanned the eyes of the gathered villagers. “The costume of a grisly wolf can only conceal so much, but a brewer sees with something else.” Mayerling put the tip of his finger to his nose.
“The wolf carried the scent of sweetness with him, and this leaves only two possibilities.”
Mayerling’s eyes moved to the candy cigarettes in Starlequin’s hands. “Ah yes, the weakness that leads to betrayal.” Mayerling shifted his eyes to the baker. “Though we can’t forget our local baker, either. Was it to be me that was going to fill your mince meat pies, sir?
“To me, both Starlequin and Ryven must be werewolves among us. My vote must be for Ryven. Please heed my words, friends, for I was seen as a threat because I am believable and persuasive, but also because I have a strong nose for lying and truth. I may sacrifice my life to prove myself; so be it. But do not let me be slain in vain. Let my death take with me the one who tried to kill me. Do it in order to save yourselves. Keep in mind that both Starlequin and Ryven voted for Torch for Sherriff. Therefore she must be suspect as well. You must also suspect anyone else who attempts to ruse being the survivor of last night's attack. Use this information after I am gone. Save you it will.”