All of the houses surrounding the square were burning now; some nearly burnt to the ground, others just beginning to burn. The creatures were raging through the square, relentlessly attacking the villagers. Markus spotted Sed coming toward them. He had his own bow in his hands, an arrow knocked. A large hunting knife was strapped to his side. He acknowledged them with a nod, looked around, raised his bow and loosed the arrow. It found its home in the chest of a beast attacking Master Amathorn. The innkeeper looked in their direction and hurried over.
“Boys, we really need your help, these things are going to overrun us if we don’t do something to turn the tide soon. They are unlike anything I’ve ever seen; something out of a story”. The big man’s voice shook as he said it, and he nervously wrung his hands around the handle of his weapon; a staff of some sort.
“We are here to help”, Markus said, readying his knife.
“Are all of the men out fighting?” Daein asked.
“All but the old, the sick and Maeilor”, Master Amathorn gritted his teeth, “That coward is hiding away in his cellar”.
“Why is he not out here defending his village?”” Sed asked, then spat at the ground in distaste.
“Because he is a stinking coward. We need to fight boys; it is vital that we force these beasts out before they destroy the village and kill everyone that still lives”.
Markus nodded. Master Amathorn ran forward, brandishing his own weapon as he swung at one of the beasts. Sed crouched low and loosed another arrow into the fray, finding the shoulder of a smaller beast. Markus spotted the troll cornering three men. They were unarmed and defenceless. He tapped Daein on the shoulder, and they both ran for the troll. An arrow flew over their heads; its source, Sed’s bow, and it found its target in the centre of the thing’s spine. A roar escaped its mouth, and it spun, its club swinging wildly. Daein ducked beneath the swing and smashed his hammer into the troll’s knee. The thing stumbled, and then kicked out at Daein, shoving him back. He rolled over, then ran forward and clapped the thing’s knee again. It roared in pain, and then swung its free fist at Daein, catching him on the chin and sending him flying through the wall of a house. Markus spared only a second to glance after his cousin, and then launched himself at the troll. He ran at its legs and slid through on his knees; using his hunting knife to slash across both of its thighs. Blood that was the darkest shade of red possible spilled from the wounds. He rose quickly to his feet behind the beast, leapt into the air and plunged his knife into the thing’s neck. The beast roared and yanked the knife from his grasp as it spun away. Undaunted, he unstrapped his spear and held it ready. He jabbed quickly, piercing the thing’s chest three times. It arched back to swing its club down, and he plunged the spear-point into the things neck. The rock lodged itself there as he pulled the shaft away. Markus scrambled back as the troll toppled to the ground in a heap in front of him. He sighed, the removed the knife from its neck and wiped the blood on the beast’s loincloth.