Dogs Of War
Night came and the
adventurers fell to sleep, leaving two of their number on watch. They were
camped on a hill so they could get a better view of any potential attackers,
but the creatures approaching the camp were skilled at stealth, their black
hides giving them all the cover they needed in the dark.
The adventurers were suddenly
awakened by a nightmarish howling that cut through the night like a razor.
Taking up their weapons, the adventurers saw nearly sixty pairs of eyes
glinting in the firelight. The eyes’ owners charged up the hill, and the
adventurers quickly recognized them as death dogs.
The death dogs more
than lived up to their name. Over four feet high at the shoulder, with hides
coal-black in color, the death dogs each bore two huge heads bristling with
sharp-edged fangs. There were almost thirty of the foul things, howling
balefully as they charged their prey, and they had the
adventurers completely surrounded.
Revafour might have been suddenly awakened, but he felt no
exhaustion as the battle lust surged through him. Eagerly, he swung his sword
at the first dog to leap at him, determined to show his new companions how a
Tenha warrior could fight. His strike cut the dog nearly in two, the huge blade
coming down between its heads and cleaving its spine. Tearing his sword free,
Revafour swung at the next death dog and tore a gash in one of its heads, but
the creature managed to avoid the worst of the blow. Snarling, the death dog
sunk the fangs of its other head deep into Revafour’s arm as he withdrew his
sword. Cursing, Revafour struck again, severing both of the death dog’s heads
in a single blow.
Revafour raised his sword for another strike, but winced at
the burning agony he felt in his arm.
Ma’non’go stood protectively in front of Seline, slaying the
first two death dogs to attack them. Seline chanted and gestured, holding a
pile of tallow, powdered iron and sulphur in her hands. When Seline finished
her spell, a small sphere of fire sprang to life in Seline’s hands, consuming the
materials she was holding. Glaring angrily at the death dogs, Seline threw the
ball of flame towards them.
The fiery ball flew past Ma’non’go and blasted into one of
the dogs, incinerating one of its heads and badly scorching the other one. The
creature yelped and turned to flee, trying to hide behind its kin. Seline’s
eyes flashed as she gestured with her hand. At her command, the fiery sphere
burned through one of the dogs that came up to protect her first target,
killing it instantly before the sphere moved on to kill the first dog it had wounded.
Another death dog lunged at Seline from the side, but Ma’non’go got between
them, causing the dog to impale itself on his trident. Glaring angrily,
Ma’non’go flung the impaled dog back into a group of its kin. The group of
death dogs scattered, and Ma’non’go charged forward, killing two of them with
quick thrusts of his trident. Two of the other death dogs raced past Ma’non’go
towards Seline, but she brought her fiery sphere back to strike them from
behind. The fiery sphere struck the death dogs from behind, causing them to
howl in agony as they died.
Luna and Airk had been on watch when the death dogs
attacked, and so they were fully armed and ready to deal with the creatures. The
first death dog to reach Airk lunged at him, but he skilfully blocked the dog’s
bites with his shield. Striking back with his military pick, Airk tore out one
of the death dog’s throats, killing the creature with the sheer shock of the
blow. He then lashed out at the next dog coming at him, but the creature dodged
out of the way. Snapping upwards with one head to keep Airk from striking back,
the death dog sank its other head’s teeth into Airk’s leg. Airk yelled in pain at
the burning agony he felt in his leg. He struck at the death dog again, but he
only managed a glancing blow as it dodged his blow.
Amyalla had slashed one of the death dogs attacking her
with her dagger, cutting a long gash along its back. Unfortunately, the
creatures were well-used to attacking in packs. The dog she was fighting lured
her forward, and another dog charged at her from behind, sinking its teeth into
her leg. The second dog’s bite was a shallow one, but it caused Amyalla to lose
her balance and she fell forward, barely managing to land on her knees as the
first dog lunged at her once again.
Amyalla got her dagger up in time to slash both of the first
dog’s throats, but as it fell back it took her dagger with it. Pulling another dagger
from her belt, Amyalla tried to get up and turn around as the second dog lunged
at her. The second dog was immediately halted as Luna came in from the side and
bashed one of its heads in with her mace. The dog yelped, and Luna struck it on
its other head, killing it as Amyalla finally got to her feet.
Airk’s third strike against the death dog he was fighting
finally slew the wretched creature. Before he could even catch his breath, two
more dogs came at him, one attacking head on while the other tried to spring at
him from behind. The death dog attacking Airk from behind was so intent on him
that it couldn’t react as Amyalla sprang onto its back. Smiling wickedly,
Amyalla slashed both of the death dog’s throats with her dagger, jumping off
the monster as it collapsed. Airk buried his military pick in one of the heads
of the dog he was fighting, killing it instantly before he turned to Amyalla.
Airk’s gaze met Amyalla’s, and he smiled in response to her
Nearby, Weimar was chopping away with his axe, smiling as
he cut down his third death dog. Unfortunately, the fourth death dog to attack
Weimar had more luck. Before Weimar could act, the dog bit him deeply in the
leg, causing him to cry out in pain and fall to one knee. The dog lunged at
him, ready to rip his throat and face off, but Revafour came charging in from
the side. Swinging his blade down on the death dog’s back, Revafour cut the
monster almost in two. Weimar grinned at him, and he nodded back stoically.
The remaining death
dogs, seeing so many of their number wounded and dying, howled angrily as they
began to flee. The victorious adventurers looked around at each other, and Luna
frowned as she saw the wounds several of them had suffered.
“Sit down,” she said, gesturing to Weimar, Airk, Amyalla
and Revafour. As they did so, Luna walked up to Revafour, placing her hand on
his arm as she began to chant. A blue and gold glow suffused her hand, sending
a wonderful soothing feeling up Revafour’s arm. Once Luna withdrew her arm, the
bite mark was gone, leaving only the faint traces of a scar. She repeated the
process with Airk, Amyalla and Weimar in turn, although Revafour, Weimar and
Airk still seemed uncomfortable.
“It’s still burning,” Airk said. “I don’t know why, but-“
“Death dogs are abhorrent creatures,” Luna said, a
disgusted expression crossing her face. “Their bites can often transmit
“Damn it all,” Airk said. “How much time do we have?”
“More than it will take for me to heal you,” Luna said.
“I’d do it now, but I don’t have the right magic to do it. I’m sorry,” she
said, her calm façade breaking with concern. “It’s just that-“
“Do not worry about it,” Revafour said. “It is nothing.”
“I’ll deal with it in the morning,” Luna said, a pained
look on her face. “I promise.”
“I don’t need it,” Amyalla said with a grin, “so save your
power for the men. Halflings don’t get sick easily, after all.”
“Lucky you,” Airk said, as he
moved to take off his armor. “You’ll need all your strength, considering it’s
your watch, after all.”