I heard a commotion to the right. Growls and the clash of weapons. My heart froze, the animals had got to Naria first. I ran towards the sound, fixing an arrow to the string of my bow as I ran. I saw Naria standing back to back with Ramin facing of two wolvenmutes. Another one lay dead and another was crawling away, an arrow in its side.
Naria sliced at another attacker. I fought to get there quicker as I saw the ursusantus creeping out of the darkness of the trees. 'Oh gods. Naria, run!' She stood her ground ready to fight off the beast. Why didn't that girl listen to orders?
The beast lept at her and in the same instant I drew my bow and loosed an arrow, hitting the beast in its shoulder and knocking it off course. Naria looked to see me come thudering out of the bushes.
'I can't leave you alone for five minutes can I? The pair of you are magnets for trouble.' I grubled at them as I drew my sword. More wolvenmutes were coming, circling us, preparing for the kill. 'Don't let them see your back.' I whispered, standing to the three of us formed a triangle facing outwards at our attackers. 'Just keep calm and we can get out of this.'
I was trying to sound reassuring but this was quickly undermined when the same ursusantus I had shot came back out of the darkness, my arrow still in its shoulder.
'So what's the plan?' Naria asked. She was scared I could feel her trembling slightly and her voice cracked.
'Stay alive,' was the only answer I could give before a wolvenmute launched itself at us. Ramin brought his sword up in a giant arch, slicing at the creature's stomach. It whimpered and drew back.
Unfortunately the actions of one wolvenmute triggered the attack of the others and we were suddenly fighting for our lives. I cut and slashed with my sword until I came face-to-face with the ursusantus. 'I'm not going to let you win.' I muttered.
I darted forward, suprisingly quick, and lashed out at me with its claw. I blocked the blow with my sword but I'd underestimated the strength of the creature as the blade was knocked clean out of my hand.
Panicing I reached into my boot for one of the daggers I kept hidden there. I was really out of my comfort zone. I couldn't use my bow and I had no sword.
I focused on the beast in front of me, not looking round to see how the others were faring. The animal lept at me and I dodged, managing to open a gash in the beast's side. It let out a yowl of pain but turned on me again. I kept dodging, slowly making slashes at the animal with my dagger as I moved out of its way.
Then its attack changed and I wasn't quick enough. I fell to the floor, my dagger knocked from my hand as I felt the full weight of the monster driving into me. I thought this was the end and prepared myself to die.
The pain didn't come. Instead I heard the whistling of an arrow and the cry of elves as help came charging into the clearing. The creatures knew when they had lost and fled. The ursusantus didn't touch me as he ran, another arrow in his side.
An elf came and stood over me, holding out his hand. I took it and he pulled me to my feet. 'Thank you.' I looked at our saviours, a group of well-dressed elves, equipped with only bows and arrows.
'We heard the fighting from the city walls. We sensed your presence Armes and came to help.' I looked a little closer at the elf who had helped me to my feet.
'Is that you Kynan?'
'You mean you don't recognise a friendly face?' I laughed with happiness and threw my arms around my old friend.
'You have no idea how good it is to see you again.'
'And as lovely as it is to see you too Armes, I would rather you got cleaned up before hugging me, you stink of wolvenmute blood.' I looked down at my clothes and saw they were sticky with blood. Kynan laughed and put his arm around my shoulder. 'Come on we'll take you to the city and get you all cleaned up.'