Rander was beginning to fall asleep when he heard rustling from the trees across the clearing. He perked up and looked closely at the area. Though his eyes saw nothing out of the ordinary, his ears heard the snapping of branches caused by an animal running in the woods.
He turned to signal his brother, but noticed that Bander was preoccupied trying to swipe a mosquito buzzing about his head. Rander dared not make a sound in fear of revealing his position. He waved an arm to get Bander’s attention. The gesture went unnoticed. Bander’s interest was totally held by the flying nuisance.
The sound from the woods grew louder and was repeated in unison from other nearby clumps of trees. Rander could wait no more. He placed an arrow on his bow and fired it at his brother. It struck the tree near Bander’s head. The suddenness of the event nearly caused the burly elf to fall from his perch.
He drew back an arrow and turned to see his attacker. When he spied his brother looking at him most crossly, Bander relaxed his bow and stared at him with his head slightly cocked to the side. Rander feverishly pointed to the woods from which the noise had originated. Bander stared at the woods with the same confused look he had been showing Rander.
Suddenly, the trees began to shake. Bander joined his brother with his bow ready to fire. It was not long before a heard of deer leapt from the woods and into the clearing. Without hesitation, the elves fired. Their aim was true and two deer fell immediately. The rest of the herd charged down the clearing with great haste.
Rander pulled a second arrow from his quiver and fired again at the fleeing game. The arrow struck a deer in the hind leg and knocked it to the ground. Bleeding badly, the animal tried to get to its feet and resume running.
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 calf entirely 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 feet 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 passed slowly 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.