30days30monsters day 1: Harpy Picture

Boom day 1 complete. Thought I'd keep the first one simple (as I will with some of them). Harpies really are cruel and wicked creatures. In Greek mythology they were thieving monsters that tortured and harried the oracle king, Phineus. Jason and his Argonauts drove the Harpies out and they fled to the island of Crete.
This is Shykkrah and EeKraht. They are sisters dwelling the wasteland and are a good reason for travelers to have good aim with a bow or sling. They originated in the Southern Isles but made their way to the mainland, following trade routes and caravans. They had been driven out by a great and terrible hydra. Their wings carried them above the deadly monster's reach.
Their flight eventually brought them to the Dovian Wastes, a vast, canyon riddled desert that merchants and wanderers had to cross through to travel between the major cities. Already accomplished thieves, they would attack lone travelers, diving out of the sky and striking with their talons. They would relieve them of their belongings and leave them to wander the wastes with their injuries and empty purses. When they discovered the lair of a great monster known as a stonehorn, their petty thieving would be taken to the next step.
At first, the creature snorted and roared at the intruding harpies. It stamped the ground, and bellowed angrily. EeKraht wanted to flee, but Shykkrah silenced her sister's worries. She wished to lure the creature back to the canyon that their own lair overlooked. Using carrion, they slowly lured the monster back to their home. At first, it seemed wary of the harpies, but with time, it understood that as long as it stayed in their vicinity, it would receive food. The sisters had trained the stonehorn to bend to their will.
They turned their sights from the lone travelers to the caravans loaded with food, goods, and coin. EeKraht would fly ahead screeching down at the caravans, causing a distraction. Shykkrah would then lure the rampaging stonehorn into a charge against the hapless merchants. It would smash wagons and trample the merchant's guards. The survivors of the attack would scatter into the desert, leaving the harpies to pick clean the goods of their wagons. Word of their misdeeds spread and the caravans began to hire mercenaries to guard their cargo. The harpies and their monster simply moved to different trade routes in the Dovian Wastes. It seemed that their muggings would never cease.
One early morning, EeKraht spotted a lone figure on the horizon. She shrieked excitedly to alert her sister. As the figure grew closer, it became clear that this was no ordinary human. She was three times the height of any man. Her form was shrouded in cloth from far flung lands and her face was obscured by hood and scarf. Shykkrah decided that such a large adversary would require the aid of the stonehorn to bring down. She lead the beast into a charge against the stranger.
Beneath the cloth that shrouded the being's face, Shykkrah caught a glimpse of a single flashing eye. The cyclopian creature produced a great, dark hammer from beneath her robes and brought it to bear against the stonehorn. Though the beast was strong, it quickly succumbed to the earth shattering blows of the hammer. It's beaten body fell to the sand with a dull thud. The strange being hid the hammer away and turned her single eye upon the harpies for a brief moment. They trembled under the gaze. Then, without a word, she continued onward through the desert, disappearing into the swirling dust.
The harpies were forced to sustain themselves on petty thieving and the hunting of lesser creatures. Their fear and hatred of the single eyed giant set their scheming minds into motion. They stewed in their plans to follow the creature and take their revenge. Such an attempt would likely prove futile, but their grip on the Dovian Wastes was loosening. Soon, they would have to find a new home. From their they could harass information out of travelers as to the whereabouts of the cyclops, as well as rob them of their possessions.
Continue Reading: Crete