Saliva covered Balamor’s feet as he continued to inch across the trunk. His eyes fixed on the blind prince as he put hand over hand. Still Awkid was nowhere to be seen, but Balamor knew the distraction was his. The sky was pitch black and everything but Balamor stood still. He felt like he was days away from the land only yards in front of him. Slight scrapes of his dagger against the dead bark shook his nerves, he paused as he watched the frogman turn his head back.
Balamor jumped from the log with blistering speed, adrenaline overwhelming him in a split second. He landed short of the island and splashed into the water, paddling his feet as fast as his legs allowed him. A loud whip crack shook the hideous bog as Du’gahr speared his blue tongue through the water and latched onto Balamor’s foot. The hobbit whizzed through the water before slamming into the fallen tree trunk. He stabbed into the bark with his silver dagger and struggled to hold on. His fingers began to slip when a loud roar came from across the water. In a fiery flash Awkid’s brass lantern crashed into the blind frog prince, its flames exploded across his slimy face and singed his wiry mustache. Balamor felt his foot come loose and quickly yanked his dagger from the tree.
Awkid ran towards him and rushed him ashore, water splashed in their mad escape from Du'gahr. They both sprinted wildly across the wetland terrain, oblivious to what direction they were headed. Behind them they heard the enraged croak of Du'gahr followed by a loud splash and the snapping of trees. The wind whistled past their ears as they ran through the swamp.
"This way!" Awkid shouted.
The two adventurers cut left just before the cursed frog could pounce on them. His powerful hind legs crushed the surrounding trees and stamped into the muddy soil. The sky split open with a crack of thunder and rain started to wave across the misty swampland. Balamor followed close behind Awkid Anvorbeard as he glided over the root torn soil. The bandages that protected his arm became damp from the rain but he didn't stop for a second.
Du'gahr tore through the wild bog with unmatched speed. In a few long strides he caught up with the adventurers. They both ran across a shallow body of water in a panic. Balamor fell at the edge a dirty shore, broken bones and pieces of wood pierced his feet and hands. Laying beside him was the skeleton of a fallen warrior, hollow eye sockets stared him. He jumped back from the remains just before they were crunched by the webbed feet of the blind prince. Now overtop of Balamor the frog man croaked once more and twiddled his knobby fingers.
“Hmm, hm, hmm!”
He took a mighty inhale and nearly stole the air from Balamor’s lungs.
“As you know… Hobbit’s have a, rare scent, but do you ever wonder how it is they taste?” He asked before flicking his blue tongue upon his mouth.
His body language was strangely calm, a slight imbalance in his stature made him unpredictable. Twisting the end of his narrow mustache he continued.
“It's a thought that crosses your mind when you’re, like me… Imagine, the sound your bones make when they snap… It's fascinating really.”
Balamor wanted to speak, but his mouth was motionless. The hilt of his dagger numbed his hand.