The high pitched screech dragged kale from his senseless slumber. A brief moment of confused terror envloped him as he struggled to remember where he was - then in a flash his was on his feet, sword in hand. He stood still, waiting for the blood to reach his head.
Ralleks guards where all gone, Jorn joined him at his side, sword held into the darkness.
"What beast makes that noise? I have never heard such a noise" whispered Jorn.
The sound of the guards jostling down the slope below could be heard clearly.
Kale edged closer, he could see nothing.
"It must be game. But why on earth hunt now!" Kale said tersely.
A muffled croaky voice started up behind Kale and Jorn,
"Sounds like a Wirabong happened to get too close. A rarity around here."
It was Doraveen,
"They are tall animals, on two legs. The moonlight can trick you into mistaking their bent form for Prolls - even rarer round here. Someone must of got spooked and let and arrow fly - realised their mistake and went to silence all the fuss."
With that Doraveen rolled over and was silent.
Prolls. Kales blood chilled at the mention of the night packs. They were masters of sneaking, waiting and snatching. They resembed goblins, but did not have their highier intelligence. But they were brazen, and cruel, and held hate of man in their animal like eyes.
In the distance the squealing stopped. Kale stayed at the edge of the outcrop peering down. After five minutes a guard appeared to his right, breathing hard but otherwise ok.
"Some kind of beast" he spluttered. "Eravon saw it a distance - it looked like a...a...". The guard hesitated, not wanting to mention the foulness. Jorn intervened,
"But it wasn't".
The guard simply shook his head and took up his watch duties again.
Kale and Jorn went back to sleep. Only the sound of the other returning guards disturbed Kales rest momentarily. But it was only for a moment. Then Kale was asleep again. His dreams, though he would forget them, were of hunted breathless forms crashing through the brush.