“That was no ordinary wolf,” Rander commented.
“What is so unusual about that wolf?” Linvin inquired as he found his bow and arrows.
“Remember those predators I was telling you about before?” Rander asked. “That’s one of them. You can tell from the low howl. Up here, we call them Trogoandras Wolves.”
“What is so special about those wolves?” Anvar asked.
“Well, to start with, they are the size of a full-grown human. Their claws can effortlessly cleave flesh from bone. They have powerful jaws that can snap your thigh in two, like a twig. Inside their mouths are two rows of teeth. The outer set is for tearing and shredding while the inner ones are for grinding.
“They have been the bane of loggers and farmers. You see, for all of the creature’s strength and power, Trogoandras have one flaw. Their legs are disproportionately short for their body. Most of the prey out here is long legged and too fast for them to run down, so they hunt in packs. One will mark a target and call for the pack to assemble. Then they will corner the herd they are tracking and attack. They are reasonably intelligent and crafty hunters, few escape the wave of death cast across their victims.
“With the ax men driving away the herds from these woods, Trogoandras have set to devouring stock and, as necessary, people.”
“They attack people?” exclaimed Linvin as he placed an arrow on the string of his bow.
“Sure do,” said Bander. “Lost two friends in the last month to ‘em. Can’t run as fast as deer, ya’ know. Outa control, them Trogos are.”
“I shouldn’t worry for now,” Rander told his cousin. “That was only one Trogoandras we heard. They seldom attack alone and will never come near a campfire without a pack. As long as we keep the fire going through the night, we should not have anything to fear.”
To be safe, Linvin set up a schedule for everyone to take turns watching the fire throughout the night. He had dealt with wolves on a normal scale, years before in Valia, and barely survived. The thought of an animal as big as a man was fodder enough to remind him of the past and keep him awake most of the night.