The attack was totally unexpected, none of the elves heard their approach even though we should have done. I was only aware we were under attack when I heard Naria's horse scream in pain. She came flying past me on her horse, struggling to regain control of the paniced creature. Luckily Jadir took off after her. At least she would be safe with him.
I wheeled Sariff around and galloped towards Ramin who was facing fifteen armed humans, all men, all dangerous. I let go of the reins, controlling Sariff with my knees, pulled my bow from my back, quickly putting an arrow to the string and loosing it, just as one of the men charged at Ramin brandishing a sword. The arrow found its target, hitting the theif straight in the heart and knocking him from his horse.
The remaining theives were angered by this and as one charged towards us, yelling their battle cry. At such close range I couldn't shoot my arrows, there simply wasn't time and they weren't the best weapon to use in close combat. Instead I slung my bow back over my shoulders and drew my sword.
I didn't feel as confortable wielding the blade but I had to use it or we would all end up dead. I took down two men before I came back to back with Ramin. I watched his back and he watched mine as we tried to fend off attackers from all sides. There was no way we could win. There weren't enough of us with sufficient fighting skills to defeat them. Both Naria and Jadir hadn't returned and they were two of the best fighters among us.
'Ramin.' I said, hoping he was close enough to hear me but that the theives could not. 'We have to leave, now. We can't beat them, only hold them off for a while. I need to find Naria, she's probably the target of this attack and I need to make sure she's safe.'
'OK then, on three.' I would have sighed with relief that he had heard me but I was too busy fighting. 'One, two.' I ran a man through with my sword and I now had a clear path to where Naria and Jadir had disappeared to. 'THREE!' I kicked Sariff into action and I galloped off in search of Naria.
When I heard hoof-beats behind me, I realised this might not have been such a good idea. Whispering to Sariff to lead me I turned in my saddle and drew my bow once more. The others were riding close behind me but I had just enough room to shoot at the theives following us.
Eventually they gave up, too many of their number dead to continue. I just hoped they hadn't found Naria first.