Gabriel stole a brief glance around, but did not see Renault anywhere. He shouted for the Paladin to help, but had to turn his attention quickly back to the three werewolves that had zeroed in on him. He took a quick step back to avoid a swinging claw and watched as its owner collapsed, a sword quickly sliding out through its chest and then being pulled away so quickly that it sent the dying creature spinning. “Thanks,” the young Paladin called out as he stepped inside the reach of the second and snapping his shield upwards, its top edge catching the werewolf under the jaw and snapping its head upwards.
He watched as another clawed hand swiped in at him. He managed to barely duck the blow and stood up, still inside the reach of one of the beasts and swung his sword. Due to the angle he was not able to get a lot of strength behind the swing, but he connected hard enough to draw blood. As the creature reeled momentarily, Gabriel danced backwards and realized that despite the first one that he had dropped and the one that the other Paladin had fell, they still had at least seven more werewolves to kill.
He heard another of the creatures bark in pain and watched as one fell from in front of the other man. “Renault,” again Gabriel shouted, still unable to see his companion. His momentary distraction cost him a hard smack across the face. He felt blood begin to trickle down his face but pressed on catching the beast who had struck him in the chest with the tip of his sword, drawing a shallow line of blood that shown through the beasts white fur.
Quickly crouching behind his shield, Gabriel sprang forward and swung his blade out wide catching a beast that had moved to flank him in the neck, a hot burst of blood landing where the young Paladin had been standing. His momentum carried him forward into the other two, already wounded werewolves and bowled all three of them over. One of the beasts lashed out with a foot and managed to catch him in the shin, sending a sharp feeling up into the pit of his stomach.
“Renault, now!” Came the cry from the older Paladin that Gabriel was trying to save.
“Sarin,” came the response from around the corner, and Gabriel watched as one of the werewolves that had been attacking Sarin turned its head to face the newcomer. The creature had been stupid enough to take its eyes off of its foe and paid doubly for it. Not only did Sarin’s blade explode through its chest, but a crossbow bolt appeared in its throat as well.
“Get in here,” Sarin yelled at the second of Lear’s Paladin’s.
“I can’t,” came the response, but then the creatures that Gabriel was grappling with began to bark, a throaty sound almost like a man coughing, and drowned out anything else that was said. Gabriel used the pommel of his sword to smash the head of one of the werewolves and it stopped fighting after the second blow, the light in its eyes going out. The next thing Gabriel knew, he was flying through the air away from the fight, the beast underneath him having managed to plant both feet on the shield and kick out.
His fall was broken by the wall that caught him and left him standing, although all of the air had been expelled from his lungs. Although out of focus, he saw a large shape running at him and as the creature got close and his vision cleared, he slashed with his sword, completing the ‘x’ on the chest of the beast he had already injured, its intestines falling out of its stomach. It clutched at its spilling innards which gave Gabriel time to pierce its neck with his blade.
A crossbow bolt took out another beast that had begun to charge Renaults position, this time the bolt stuck out of the creatures eye. Gabriel took a second to gather his wits about him and to suck wind. Looking out at where Sarin stood, Gabriel could make out the distinct shapes of five fallen beasts in front of the older Paladin, plus the four that he had managed to kill and the one that had charged Renault made for ten slain beasts, plus the one that Sarin was still fighting.
The youngest of the three Paladins watched as Sarin smashed the creature first with his shield and then with the pommel of his blade, both times across its jaw, from opposite angles, and then again with the shield. This third blow he followed up with a short sword strike that opened the beasts chest up deep enough that Gabriel could see bone. The werewolf howled in a combined pain and rage and bounced back, rocking onto its heels before lunging again. It would be its last move as Sarin’s blade sword took its head clean off, sending it, and blood, soaring through the air.
Breathing hard, the older man made his way out from the pile of dead and dying creatures. Despite his exhaustion, he made a beeline for Renault and started yelling at the Paladin. “What was that all about. You should have been in there. You let that boy over there outshine you.”
Gabriel did not like the way he had just been called ‘boy’ but decided to stay out of the way of the angered Sarin.
“I…I can’t fight them.”
“What do you mean. A Paladin that can’t fight werewolves? What good are you then.” Sarin turned from Renault and began to walk over towards where Gabriel stood.
Sarin turned back to Renault. “Yes?”
“Ever since I was jumped by six of them. They cut me up good. Ask Gabriel, he saw how bad I was.”
“What’s he talking about boy?”
“My name is Gabriel, Master, and I too am a Paladin.” This did not have the desired effect on Sarin, in fact it had no effect, the older Paladin continued to look hard at Gabriel. “Renault came in about four or five years ago almost dead, at least I think thats what he means.”
“Yeah, this is the first time I have been in a fight with the foul beasts since then.” Gabriel watched as Sarin’s attention shifter back to Renault.
“Then what have you been doing since then?”
“Tracking the things.”
“But you haven’t killed any?”
Renault hung his head. “No.”
“Lear would be ashamed, and so would Father Meinos.” Sarin chastised Renault.
“Yeah, about that, Master Sarin,” Gabriel interjected, “Father Meinos has the Plague and went missing a few days ago.”