We had been riding along in relative quiet, apart from Valour's loud story telling from the front of the group. While I did not have much experience in judging, the stories did seem to be something out of a bards song to me.
Suddenly Bandits had come swarming out from the trees in front of us. While the leader put his sword to Valour, our attention all focused on him, more came from the trees to the sides of us. Before I could react I had been pulled from my horse, a hand gripped tight against my mouth to muffle the cry I attempted to get out. All around me I could see my companions being similary attacked.
Yet the man had foolishly left one of my hands free, thinking that the bow I carried upon my back was the only weapon I had, or that if I had another I would not reach it as he fought to subdue me.
He soon learnt his mistake as I slipped a dagger from its sheath on my forearm and slid it into his throat. All he managed to get out was a gurgled cry before he fell to the ground. I had been trained to protect myself in the close quarters where a bow would be of no use and was skilled in the task. I had never actually killed a man before, but I could not dwell on that now, not while I was fighting for my life.
Other bandits were closing in and I did not wish to engage in a dagger fight with more of them. I had lost that element of surprise. Instead I quickly swung my bow into position, reaching to my quiver to quickly pull out an arrow and fire. Finding a mark I let the arrow fly, hitting one of the bandits in the eye, before letting another fly.
I could see the others holding their own all around me and yet the numbers were against us. There was no way we could withstand this many bandits. And I could not see Lace. A sudden outbreak of flames and the smell of burning bandit flesh let me know Rerin was fine, and even doing quite well. I could not see Valour but he could have turned into an animal of some sort and be aiding us in that way.
Suddenly with an ancient cry Lace appeared. He was like a force of nature, a rushing boulder with quite a few of the bandits mere obstacles to be run down. His sword swung and suddenly the gap between our numbers and theirs was not too great. A few more were quickly taken out and suddenly, despite the fact that the bandits still outnumbered us, our numbers seemed much more even. Arien was moving gracefully among her opponents, sword in hand. It surprised me to see a sword in the princess's hands, but then she'd have been trained to fight for a young age and it seemed she had little choice but to defend herself.
However I could not much more time to visually seek out my allies. The bandits around us, while beginning to suffer great loses, did not have the wisdom to know they should turn tale and run. My focus had to be on seeking targets and letting my arrows fly as the deadly missiles they are.