The first werewolf threw itself at Gabriel, who toppled backwards and felt the rush of air as the beast leapt over him, raking out with his claws.  The young man rolled as soon as he hit the ground and avoided being pounced on by the second creature.  He stood up, expecting to get hit by the third werewolf, but a quick glance revealed that the beast had not made a single move, standing over Lear’s prone body.

Wheeling, Gabriel swung his shield as he spun and heard a satisfying crunch as he caught a charging werewolf, sending it reeling.  The other beast gave him no time to gloat as it closed with him.  Gabriel swiped with his sword and felt the blade bounce off of the creature, but heard no sharp bark of pain.  The young man tried to shift the blades momentum, but the blade was made for an adult and the wild swing threw him off balance.  The wild swing saved him as he felt the air from a swing hand narrowly miss his face.

A low moan from behind him told Gabriel that at least Lear was still alive.  Realizing that the third werewolf had still not moved, and fearing for the prone man’s life, the young Paladin made a sudden lunge backwards with his sword, letting the weapons weight carry him around.  The attack caught the unsuspecting werewolf by surprise and the rewarding howl of pain gave Gabriel pause to smile.

The pause was brief, as the other two beasts bore down on him.  Another pain filled bark filled the chamber.  Gabriel was knocked down and wound up laying underneath a pair of werewolves, the shield on his arm, and the chain mail around his chest the only things keeping their teeth from sinking in too far.  The weight of both beasts pressed all of the air out of his lungs and Gabriel’s vision was beginning to go dark, when all of sudden one of the creatures yelped and went limp.

The other werewolf pushed off of Gabriel, releasing all of the weight from his chest, and clearing his line of vision.  Lear stood over two of the werewolves, their lifeblood mingling on the ground beneath him.

It was then that Gabriel realized that he was no longer focused on the stonelight, yet the fire stone still floated nearby and gave off light.  Reaching into his pouch, he felt around a pulled out an air stone and focused his thoughts on using the glowing stone as a weapon.  Shaking the cobwebs from his head, Gabriel managed to shift the wind and sent the stonelight into the remaining werewolf, who instantly burst into flames.  It dropped to the ground and began writhing, trying unsuccessfully to extinguish it’s fur.  Lear stepped in, a mad look in his eyes, and stabbed deep into the chest of the beast, pinning it in place against the broken shale beneath it.

“Fast thinking,” Lear said quietly, as if breathing hurt.

“Are you ok?”  Gabriel had caused the stonelight to float again, almost to the top of the cavern they were in, and was surveying the scene.  Thick acrid smoke still wafted up from the burnt corpse of the last werewolf, causing his eyes to sting.

“I think so, I may have some broken ribs.”  Lear was poking his side, and winced as he did so.

“Did you take over the stonelight?”

“Yeah, it began to fade when they were on top of you.”

“But how?  I have all of the stones.”

“Work with them for a few years and you will just need them in your possession in order to use them.  Whenever you have them near my, I can still fee them.”

“Oh.  What happened?”  Gabriel was still trying to piece together the fight, but was having a difficult time remembering after he had been knocked to his back.

“After you stabbed the one that was watching me, it was distracted enough that I buried a dagger deep in its stomach.  The next one could not move fast enough, I had my blade in between its ribs shortly after the first one hit the ground.  You did a good job keeping them occupied.  And thanks…”

It took a moment for Gabriel to hear the unspoken words, but once he had, he nodded.  Looking over himself, Gabriel noted that besides the feeling that he could not draw a complete breath, all of his wounds seemed superficial.  A dozen or so points of blood could be seen beneath the chain mail on his sword arm, but none of them were bleeding still.

“Did Father Meinos ever teach you how to heal with the stones?”

“No, he was supposed to, but the…”

“Werewolves came early.  Ok, get one of each stone.  Hold them tight.”  Lear winced with each breath he took. He watched Gabriel reach into the pouch, his hand coming out in a clenched fist.  “Ok, now picture…”  The old man paused, breathing deeply, a look of pain on his face.  “Your skin whole again, as if the teeth had never gotten through the armor.”

It was an odd sensation that Gabriel felt, almost as if warm water was being poured over his arm.  He watched as the holes in his skin began to close.

“Anything else hurt?”

“It hurts to breath.”

“Aye it does.  You…know…what…ribs…look…like…Picture…yours…healed.”  Lear had to pause in between each word.

Gabriel felt a warmth spread through his chest and soon his breathing became easier.

“The…stones…give…them…to…me.”  Gabriel placed the stones into the old man’s hand and sat there as the old man moaned in pain.  He could see the bones in his mentor’s chest shift and soon Lear was snoring soundly.

Gabriel busied himself in setting up the three werewolves for the rites, but he was unsure what to do, he had not struck the killing blows.

Finally, exhaustion took over and Gabriel sat down against the wall and sleep overtook him as well.

The End

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