Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Talonius, part 2

            We had lay in ambush for nearly an entire day with no sign of any potential victims.  I had all but given up and was about to order my minions to move back to our encampment, when I espied a lone rider on the road.  I nearly went forward with my plans of retreat, but something staid my hand as I watched him approach.
            It was no doubt his stoop-shouldered frame that initially caught my attention.  However, the contents of his saddle packs were what cemented my interest.  For there, poking out from the lips of the bags were scroll cases of all manner of shape and size.  My heart leapt just a little, and I was even more elated to see that there were also books and tomes strapped to the man’s tack.  And in my excitement I nearly forgot my present company.  A savage grunt of anticipation to my right brought the reality of the situation back to me, almost a moment too late.
            As the five orcs in my company leapt to the attack, my instinct was one borne of desperation, and perhaps a bit of ironic cruelty.  From my outthrust hand purple eldritch fire lanced, engulfing one of the orcs.  The rest were startled, and turned to regard me with utter confusion, tinged with a bit of angry betrayal.  In that instant, I knew my course, and without further concern I let forth all of the powers I had managed to muster through the course of my studies.
            In the end, it was nearly the end of my journey.  Although three of them were down from my magical onslaught, and one had retreated to the nearby tree line, I found myself exhausted of magical energy, and faced with a singed but quite alive and angry orc.  He had forgotten the man on the horse, and had now turned his vengeful eye upon me.  As he stalked forward, I knew a moment of fear.  But, the conditioning I had been subjected to as a Drow youth took over and without even meaning to, I drew the short sword I habitually wore, and met his attack.  To my surprise, the hours of drilling in melee combat were apparently much more effective than I had ever believed.  For I expertly parried his clumsy attack, and drove my blade to the hilt through the center of his chest.
            Before I could even feel jubilant at my victory, a cry shook me, and I saw the old man topple from his startled horse, a black-fletched arrow jutting from his chest.  In that instance, I looked to the tree line and made eye-contact with the remaining orc.  I read fear in his eyes, and he disappeared into the woods with a thrashing of foliage.  I let him go, for in that moment my concern was for the rider.

To be concluded...

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