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Du’gar stared at the dwarf as he lay in the water. His clay arm dissolving with each passing second. For moment he looked around and took a few deep breaths, round nostrils flaring while tongue flicked between his lips. He turned his dead gaze to his left where Balamor was hiding. Warm breath slowly escaped Balamor's lungs and pushed against the fog.The blind prince scanned the area with his nose sniffing heavily. His webbed feet stamped into the mud and shook ripples across water. Balamor waited for his last moments to come to an end but there was nothing, it seemed that Du’gar was lost. The young Wisebeard reached for his dagger when he felt a bright blue muck covered its sheath along with his tattered brown robes. Spreading the blue substance between his fingers he cringed at its pungent scent. Balamor looked at the monstrous frog prince and back at the putrid slime. Du’gar stood still with his nose held high, searching for Balamor’s scent. A sinister grin crept across his slimy face before he shouted,

“You won’t last long!”

Du’gar started laughing before crawling into the water and swimming away silently. Balamor blinked his eyes as to shake off a dream. Seconds passed before a groggy cough pulled him from shock. He grabbed his knife and slowly crawled across the swamp. Balamor arrived at the edge of the water where he saw his companion, Awkid Anvorbeard, washed ashore. His blood filled the water around him with red, and his right arm was reduced to muddy bones. Short stuttered breaths meant he was alive, but for how long? Balamor felt a surge of energy run through his body and he reached for the dwarf and pulled him from the water. The young Wisebeard dragged him to a patch of the strange mushrooms and yanked four from the ground. He cut into one of them and squeezed out the blue muck onto himself and Awkid. Returning the others to his pack, he continued through the swamp without thinking where to go. Adrenaline sent a numbing sting to the his feet and hands as he hurried awkid through the fog, avoiding the water as best he could.

His eyes snapped to his left where he heard a distant scream and a loud whip crack. He didn’t stop, not even at the thought of someone else in danger. Whoever it was might prove just as dangerous to him. Balamor could trust no one else, it was a feeling that scared him. He looked at Awkid’s Arm, now reduced to darkened bones rattling against the rooted soil. Everything went wrong. That was all he could think as he pulled his friend to whatever safety he could find. For a while there was nothing, soggy footsteps through dead shrubs and bone littered earth made his legs burn. Awkid was unconscious, blood stained his beard, and slight wheezing came from his lungs. Suddenly his back slammed into a rocky surface and he winced in pain. Behind him was a sharp crag of rock protruding from the ground with a small mouth to a cave carved out. Long dead grass and weeds entangled the entrance. With a few slices of his dagger Balamor broke through and pulled Awkid inside.

The End

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