Not wanting to lose the precious meat, Rander dropped his bow, drew a knife and slid down the tree to finish his task. As he neared the fallen game, he noticed that it was not looking at him as it tried to escape. It was looking back at the woods it had just left.
Rander stopped next to the deer and turned curiously to look at the woods as well. All he saw was a charcoal-colored blur as he was knocked to the ground. An immense pain came from his leg moments later. He looked down to see his entire calf lodged in a Trogo’s mouth. It shook its head back and forth so hard that the motion lifted Rander off the ground. With one last swing of the head, it threw Rander several paces in the air before he landed and rolled to a stop.
The wounded elf was in shock and looked about for the beast. To his horror, more creatures than he could count had entered the clearing and were surrounding him. They growled and snarled as they moved closer. Time seemed to creep as Rander awaited the attack. He screamed for help, but his voice was overcome by the sounds of the Trogos. Having sized up their prey, the one with Rander’s blood in his mouth attacked first.
Having lost his knife during the attack, there was little Rander could do except put his arm in front of his face and close his eyes. The sound of the barking suddenly stopped as a low-pitched whine came and went in an instant. Immediately following it was a loud yelp from the Trogo near him.
Uncovering his eyes, Rander saw the Trogo spinning in a circle, trying to remove an arrow from its side. It had hit near the ribs, but did not dig deeply into his thick hide. Another Trogo came close and snapped the arrow’s shaft.
It was about that time that another arrow struck the same wolf. It struck in the hindquarter, but again, did little damage. A third arrow totally missed the target and lodged in the ground.
The pack spread out and did not take long to locate Bander in his tree. They left Rander and the deer behind as they surrounded the tree and began barking at its host. The beasts demonstrated remarkable agility as they leapt nearly to the branch where he stood.
As the terrified elf drew back his bow, one of the trogos caught hold of his boot at the apex of its jump and tore it from his foot as it fell. The incident knocked Bander on his belly. He struck his head on the wide branch but had the sense to hold on to it. In order to grab the branch, however, he was forced to let go of his bow. It fell to the ground, where it instantly became a chew-toy for the trogos.
Realizing he was within reach of his adversary, Bander tried to return to his feet. The action was too late however, as a wolf jumped for his dangling arm. Bander could see the jaws coming near as if it was happening slowly.
Just as the teeth were about to strike, a high-pitched whine preceded an arrow slicing through the great animal’s neck. The arrowhead stopped only after exiting the far side of the skin. With a horrible yelp, the beast fell to the ground and moved no more.
The other members of the pack and Bander looked down the clearing. Linvin stood in front of Rander, panting, as he fired another arrow. It struck a Trogo in the chest and embedded itself deep into the innards of the wolf.
With a great howl, the one who had bitten Rander led the others on a charge. They spread into a bird-like formation with two wolves to each of the leader’s sides. Linvin gazed upon the wall of teeth bearing down on him and stood his ground. With lightning speed he fired shaft after shaft at the attackers. Two struck the leader. One wedged in his shoulder while the other hit dead center in his left eye. Its head immediately hit the ground while its body catapulted over the head before landing lifeless. With their leader dead and two others wounded or dying, the remaining Trogos decided to save themselves and scattered to the nearest thicket of trees.
Linvin stood ready to fire even after the wolves were gone. As the howls grew fainter, he could finally turn his attention to his cousins.