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Old September 14, 2017, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[Refuge Of Medonia] Hobble, Gobble, Here Comes Trouble (Calanon)

Era XXIV - Summer - Ulyris

Dark grey eyes flashed open and stared directly upwards at the darkening sky. Moss' view of the heavenly bodies was shaped like a circular face by the black shadows of treetops that surrounded the forest clearing in which he lay. The twin moons, Melora and Mejora, returned his gaze like a pair of unblinking illuminated eyes, while the multitude of twinkling stars appeared as freckles across the sky's black skin.

A few feet away, his elven friend slept, a smouldering pile of ash and wood resting between them and betraying where their hunted meal had been cooked earlier. The pair had talked deep into the darkening as they ate, reflecting on their encounter with Liahal and the group of bandits. But they had eventually settled down to sleep, planning to journey to Port Alyxandrya the next brightening.

It took only half a moment for Moss to realise that he was holding his breath, and his heart beat rapidly as his mind tried to catch up with what his body already knew.

They were not alone.

Moss wasn't sure what had woken him up - the sound of a snapped twig or a shared murmur, perhaps, or maybe an unexpected smell. He heard and saw nothing now, but he could sense that the small forest clearing was not as isolated as it had once felt. It was impossible to know what shadows lurked within the darkness of the surrounding trees.

Keeping his head still as he tried to look around the immediate vicinity, Moss allowed one hand to slowly and silently creep towards the hilt of his unsheathed longsword, slowly gripping it even as he sought to Focus. He had to ensure his companion was aware of the situation without losing what small element of surprise they had by pretending to continue their slumber.

He allowed the coloured arcanic threads to entwine and entangle themselves, forming a chromatic veil over his vision while his ears listened intently for anything that might betray any information about the new arrivals.

Wake up, Cal. We have visitors.
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Old September 16, 2017, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The elf had, unusually as of late, fallen easily into sleep. The forest floor was not his preferred place to rest, but taking to the trees had seemed unfair if it meant leaving his human friend alone on the ground. Calanon had groused about it enough to make his point, but of course, had settled down next to the fire anyway, the warmth of which had perhaps lulled him into slumber.

Dreams, or nightmares, whichever guise they took, had not plagued him either, and so when Moss sent his spell to seep into his friend's mind, it was not fighting against anything for the elf's subconscious attention. Other than the slightly seep fogged thought process that it sidled into of course.

Calanon shifted, a disgruntled expression forming on his features as a mumble of protest left his mouth. " s'not light yet..."
It was only a moment longer before what Moss' implanted message had said registered, and then forest green eyes had opened and were looking across at the human, all former signs of sleepiness replaced by wariness. The elf did not speak, but instead lay quiet, still enough to detect the sudden stillness that had fallen over the woods about them, as clear as a sign as any that something had disturbed the local fauna, and likely woken his friend.

There it was. A rustling, hushed whispers in the darkness. Unbeknown to the two travellers, their little camp had been marked, and they were now surrounded. Grito had been forced to lead his mob further afield than usual, and the hobgoblins were getting cranky. When they had discovered the two travellers the brightening before, he had been hard-pressed to justify passing them up. Even though both men were armed and would likely not prove a simple raid, the rest of his mob were just glad to find some targets after so many darkenings away from the caves.

So they had tracked them from distance back. Watched and waited, planned and prepared. And as the moons rose high in the sky and the elf thing and human thing had settled to rest, Grito and the rest had stolen around their clearing so the travellers had no clear exit.

"Stupid paleskins" he muttered, watching them sleep. So arrogant too, just lying down in the woods to sleep! They were almost asking to be robbed or eaten. Perhaps both. Rabbits had been easy to come by, but that didn't mean the boys wouldn't like a bit of something more exotic. He was about to give the signal to attack, when Lurpy, his wife's stupid brother, stepped on a twig, the crunch under his foot impossibly loud in the quiet wood.

Maggot brain! Grito cursed familial obligations and raised a hand to stay the advance, watching their prey carefully. The elfy thing moved. He was almost sure they had been detected.Oh well. Boys were ready for a fight anyway. He gave the nod, and there was a brief whistle of wind and then out of the night towards the prone travellers came a hail of rocks, flung with some force.
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Old September 19, 2017, 11:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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For the most fleeting of moments, Moss could have sworn he'd just seen a shooting star. It crossed his stellar vision of the darkening, streaking across the sky from one shadowed treeline to the next. But then he remembered that shooting stars should be bright - not dark. What he'd seen was not a light, but a shadowed outline.

And then it hit the ground.

Moss' head spun to face the noise, and then there were more, landing all around him and Calanon. Some came close, and a few even hit home, colliding solidly with human and elven limbs with enough impact to surely leave painful bruises. But it was the one that crashed into the smouldering pile of scorching hot sticks and ash between them, sending bright orange embers fleeing upwards towards the sky that really made Moss move. He quickly got to his feet, brandishing his longsword in one hand as the other hoisted his knapsack to hold in front of his face and block what few rocks he could actually see coming from that direction.

The human found himself snarling as he scanned the edge of the trees, trying to find their attackers, but seeing nothing beyond shadows.

"Stick together," he instructed Calanon, though he knew his elven friend didn't need such advice.

The rocks appeared to be coming from every direction, and if the pair went in different directions, they would surely be overcome.

Grito didn't take part in the rock throwing. He'd done plenty of that in his time, and he was content to rest while the others did the hard work. That's what they were there for, after all. His green grip rested on his two handed gurn, a weapon larger than any of the others in his raiding party - another perk of being the boss.

"Keep them in the clearing," he hissed at Lurpy, who simply grunted in assent, then passed the command to the next hobgoblin, who did likewise until the message travelled around the entire clearing.

Grito didn't like blades up close. They were sharp and painful, and the human was waving one around like he wanted to stab someone. It would be best to keep their targets at bay.
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Old September 21, 2017, 06:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Calanon was not stargazing. Not once the first rock had hit him –hard. He was up on his feet, sword drawn, hopping out of the way of the shower of sparks that were sent skywards as another projectile disturbed what was left of their fire. It did little to assist in seeing where the rocks were coming from though, the tree canopy blocking enough light from the moons that the fringe of their clearing was shadowed and dark.

“ Fething…ow!” The elf cursed as he caught another, this time from behind, and he span as if expecting he might be able to see better in that direction somehow. Heeding the human’s words, he drew closer to the man, ducking neatly as he saw another dark shape flying towards him. Pointed elven ears picked up the hiss of a whisper in the shadows to the left, and he instinctively went to move in that direction. He wasn’t going to just stand there and be pelted with stones. Towards the edges of the trees then. “ Come on” The instruction was cast back over his shoulder towards Moss.

The human meanwhile, was being bombarded with his own array of missiles, one rather sharp edged rock catching him on the shoulder, though the knapsack did a fair job of protecting his face at least. He couldn’t see much ahead of him, some suggestion of movement perhaps in the leaves, if he peered into the darkness. He too would catch the noise from their left if he was listening, though the rocks continued to come in from all sides.

Around them. Grito’s gang were more than ready for a fight. The pinkskins had shiny swords that would fetch a good price, and if their targets themselves weren’t good for eating, then maybe they could be sold too. Not that the Hob Goblins had any use for them but there were folk out there who buy almost anything. So with that kind of bounty on the line, they were more than happy to follow the boss’s orders, the incoming torrent of rocks only increasing as Calanon drew closer to the clearing’s edge.
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Old September 25, 2017, 06:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Moss used the rucksack as a makeshift shield as best he could, but the rocks seemed to be coming from everywhere. Whenever he managed to protect his face from a frontal attack, another would hit him from behind or the side.

A curse escaped his lips, hanging under his breath as he felt the stinging impact of one such projectile, and he rolled his shoulder in an attempt to shake away the pain.

Adrenaline was surging through his body as Calanon made a move, and the human dropped his rucksack and ran after the elf, close behind one shoulder as they approached one edge of the clearing...

...where a pair of hobgoblins were waiting. The diminutive attackers flinched when they saw how the moonslight glinted off the blades that came their way. They would be valuable prizes, but only once they stopped being deadly weapons.

The two hobgoblins immediately abandoned their piles of rocks and rushed up to the tree line as Calanon and Moss approached. Each hobgoblin hid behind trees either side of the gap where their targets appeared to be headed, before picking up opposite ends of a length of rope that they had rested on the forest floor. Then, with the shadows still hiding them, they pulled it taut just in time for it to collide with the elf's shins.
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Old September 26, 2017, 03:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As an elf, Calanon was blessed with a natural grace and agility. He had also been raised in the forest, and had been navigating winding wooded paths and scaling to the tree tops since long before his and human companion had even been born. All things that would aid him in a forest ambush such as this.

Were it not for the fact that it was dark as all feth and he couldn't see where he was going. Unlike his dark skinned cousins, Calanon's eyes were no more suited to the night than those of his friend, and so he was straining to see what lay ahead in the shadows, whilst being pelted repeatedly by the volley of stones from the rear. It meant he had little time to be inspecting the ground beneath his feet, so a well timed, collaborative effort from the hobgoblins before them proved a success.

The elf registered the obstacle just a fraction too late, his forward motion enough to send him toppling toward the ground. It was with some foresight that he angled his blade away so as not to impale himself, but still, he hit the ground hard enough to steal his breath as it fled his body in inelegant grunt. Calanon lay there, dazed for a moment. What the hell had happened there then? The impact of another rock was enough to have him scramble back to his feet, infuriated now. Elves did not trip over in the woods. It just was not done.

For Moss, his friend was just in front of him one moment, and then the next, sprawled out on the ground, as if he had fallen over his own feet. The human's progress was not impeded, and he reached the treeline whilst the elf was getting up again. There was a rustling, and as he craned forward into the darkness, something hit him hard on the left arm. There was a grunt and then in the blackness he made out what might be a figure, stooped low and brandishing what appeared to be a staff of sorts. A staff that was being raised high to be swung in towards his head.
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Old September 26, 2017, 04:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Everything was happening so fast.

One of the lessons Moss had learnt about his past was that he had served in the military. He'd had training. He was a former militiaman. That explained why, in the few moments of fighting he'd had since waking up on the Khardran Pass, he had remained so calm throughout.

But in all of those situations, he had been able to see his opponent. It was different with attackers who hid from view.

And companions, for that matter. Another curse escaped under the human's breath as Calanon disappeared from view for little more than a moment, the elf falling just as he left the clearing and passed into the shadows of the trees. Fortunately, Moss found his friend clambering back to his feet as he himself passed the treeline, and amidst the adrenaline rush, he failed to notice that the rock storm from the other side of the clearing suddenly stopped.

Moss flinched down to his arm as soon as he felt contact, and he immediately spun to face the new threat, his longsword streaking out in a wide arc as his eyes strained to adjust. Whether or not the blade made contact, the shadowed movement told him he had to move. His sudden change in momentum had him slightly off balance, and he doubted he could step back and away from the weapon's reach - especially with his friend behind him. So he moved the only way that made sense: towards the threat. Lunging forward and letting go of his blade, Moss attempted to tackle the small figure and by doing so evade the worst of its attack.

Calanon, meanwhile, had his own problems. He too could make out the basic outline of a figure, just as it sent a rock into the elf's stomach - mercifully, with little force. A pause of hesitation, then the short humanoid turned and ran, its feet crushing twigs as it went, leaving an audible trail in the darkness.

As for Grito, he had sent a command around both edges of the clearing. If either the elf or human tried to encircle their chose sleeping spot, hobgoblins would be waiting.
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Old September 27, 2017, 09:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Calanon had watched Moss pass him and moved to follow, watching his path a little more carefully now. When he did look up, it was just in time to make out some shadowy outline of a figure in the undergrowth, before another flung projectile caught him in the stomach. Little fether!. He bent over a little at the impact, but as soon as he straightened again, he gave a cry of indignation and plunged into the undergrowth after the running figure. Sword in hand, he was ready to dole out some retribution for his bruised ego ( and body) as he followed the sounds of the thing crashing through the woods ahead of him.

Behind him, Moss’ blade, swung out wildly as it was, bit solidly into his foe. Had his foe been the young sapling to his right. The jarring vibration shot up his arm, and Moss dropped the sword. Taking a leap towards the movement he had seen, he could make out his true foe and the perpetrator of the blow that had caught him on the arm. Beady eyes gleamed out of the darkness, and Moss got a whiff of the unique hob goblin aroma that the lady goblins so loved.

Lurpy gulped and then gave a squeak of alarm. He wasn’t the brightest of Grito’s band, that was true, but equally, he had basic survival instincts. So he brought his stone ended staff forward towards the towering figure of the paleskin. Moss forward motion meant it did not catch his head as intended but instead walloped him on the shoulder, with a painful crunch. But then Lurpy could do nothing as the stupid paleskin barrelled towards him except squeak in alarm, sending a cry for help to his buddys. One came scampering along to his aid, crossing the clearing just as Lurpy disappeared under the weight of the human.

Moss would find the hob goblin a wriggly little fellow, and the stench was almost eye watering so close up. Long grimy fingernails dug into his neck as the smaller creature tried to push him away, and behind him, the second goblin was drawing close, ready to give the human an introduction to his gurn.
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Old September 27, 2017, 05:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yet another curse escaped Moss' lips as blade met tree and hand left hilt. That was followed by a growl as he tackled the hobgoblin, the stink of whom would have generated another curse if he'd been able to breathe without triggering his gag reflex.

The human was now able to tell that he and Calanon had been attacked by hobgoblins, which went some way to explain why his friend had been tripped by a rope. The green skinned creatures loved ambushes and traps and they had a clear advantage in the dark shadows.

Grappling with his opponent, Moss tried to take advantage of his superior size and weight to keep the hobgoblin pinned, reaching to his hip to draw the small, plain dagger that he'd once used to try to defend himself on the Khardran Pass. Then he would attempt to stab his assailant on whichever part of the body provided him with such an opportunity.

Amidst the flurry of tall shadows and foul smells and nails in his neck, the human was completely oblivious of the other hobgoblin who was coming to Lurpy's rescue.

Calanon's quarry, while diminutive, was surprisingly fleet of foot, and - aided by its strength of vision in the darkness - was able to maintain its lead over the elf as the pair ran through the underbrush. Never quite within reach, but never quite able to get away...until the moment it ducked behind the trunk of a large tree, its footsteps falling quiet the moment it disappeared from view.
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Old September 29, 2017, 06:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Lurpy made a bony sort of landing for the human as he made his tackle. All at once the creature began struggling, hands scrabbling at Moss’ throat, legs flailing. He should have paid more attention when Grito was giving his dull as all feth lessons on fighting.

Moss managed to reach his dagger, but with the incessant wriggling of his opponent the blade made a fairly minor slice across the goblin’s forearm. Not that anyone listening would think so, from the ear piercing shrieking sound that Lurpy was making.
“He’s stabbed me! The pale face had killed me, killed me dead!”
It made Moss’ head ring, the pain travelling down his spine and radiating across his back. Or, that might have been the rain of blows that were falling from Oglop’s gurn, as the hobgoblin fought to defend his fallen comrade by repeatedly bashing the human with the knobbly end of his stick. Not gently either.

The elf was surprised at the speed at which the creature before him managed to move. He could gain no ground on it, only managing to keep up by following the noise and the movement of the undergrowth, where his eyes could see it, in the darkened woods. He cursed their luck to have attracted the attention of whomever had set their sights upon he and his travelling companion, and also their foolishness for not having been more wary.

It was then that Cal realised he could no longer hear the sound of the creature ahead of him, and he immediately skidded to a stop, quietening his breathing and readjusting the grip he had on his blade as he stood on the spot and turned in a circle. Eyes and ears strained then to catch a trace of his target, though the elf was aware of his own vulnerability at that moment, in the shadowed depths of the forest.
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Old October 1, 2017, 03:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Moss was pleased to make contact with his smaller blade, but Lurpy made such a racket about it that the human wished the impact had been a fatal one. The small creature surely would smell any worse - he already stank like he was decaying.

"Quit your fething whining," he growled, though his own words were cut short by the impact of the gurn on his back. "Feth!"

Summoning a burst of energy, the human made for one more stab at Lurpy before rolling off the ambusher, hoping to time it right so that Oglop's gurn might hit the reeking screamer - though he wasn't planning to remain an easy target just to make that happen.

As he rolled, he stuck out his arm, swinging the small blade up at the figure, though he chose to take such an action before he knew just how close Oglop was. And as he tumbled, he kept a keen eye for his longsword, hoping he might catch a reflection of moonlight along the steel as he moved towards the tree where he thought it had fallen.

Calanon's experience at that moments was decidedly calmer. The noisy chase had stopped, and now an uncomfortable silence had descended upon the elf and his surroundings - until he heard Lurpy's pathetic screams from where their chase had begun.

As the elf turned on the spot, trying to sense movement or noise, he heard something: a quiet and short-lived whoosh of wind just before a rock hit him square in the back of the head. If he was quick to turn, he'd catch a glimpse of a hobgoblin ducking behind a large tree.
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Old October 5, 2017, 07:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The impact of the gurn hitting him hard on the back knocked the breath from the human, and the slight pause and slackening on his muscles was all Lurpy needed to bring a boney knee up towards the mans abdomen and wriggle free, bemoaning the gash on his arm as he did so. Moss rolled away, the dart out with his blade enough to have Oglop jump back to avoid it, and giving the human a few precious seconds in which to fumble for his sword, discarded somewhere in the undergrowth.

It was some strike of luck that his hand found the blade, and did not slice upon on the sharp edge. The uninjured Hob Goblin was ready to exploit the fact that his quarry was on his knees, brandishing the stone ended gurn to strike Moss again. Lurpy meanwhile, had picked up his own Gurn again, and was coming at Moss from the opposite angle.

The elf, meanwhile, having stopped his chase, was trying to locate the goblin he had been pursuing, when he heard a distant yell. It didn’t sound altogether human, but still, his attention was diverted for a moment. That was all it took, and the next thing he knew was a bright flash of pain as something hard smacked him in the back of the head.

That did it.

Spinning to look behind him, his free hand coming up to clutch at the sight of impact, Calanon glimpsed movement at the edge of a large trunk. It was all he needed to move quickly toward that tree, sword at the ready to deal with the pesky little rock slinger.
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Old October 5, 2017, 10:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Moss would have cursed again if the impacts of the gurn and of Lurpy's knee had winded him sufficiently that all he could manage was a grunt.

Even so, somewhere amidst the melee, the human began to calm himself. His less panicked state did little to numb the pain but he found it easier to focus with a perceived semblance of control within the chaos. No doubt everything was happening at a frenetic pace, but to the amnesiac there was a sense of patience to the combat. This was not the first time, either. Presumably, this had something to do with his subconsciousness recalling his brightenings as a Daltina militiaman, but such thoughts were banished from the forefront of Moss' mind as his fingers wrapped around the familiar home of the hilt of his longsword and gripped it firmly.

The human saw Oglop preparing for a strike, and the sudden cessation of Lurpy's pathetic screaming told the blonde that the wounded hobgoblin had regathered its composure. The uninjured assailant was his main priority, however. Lurpy was a pathetic creature who apparently squealed at the sight of shadows, so perhaps dispatching his friend would send him running.

The instant his hand held the longsword, Moss pushed himself up onto his feet and swung the blade upwards in a long, smooth strike. If Oglop was close enough to hit him with a gurn, he was also close enough to be skewered in the attempt. His other hand still held his dagger, and as he rose he also pivoted on the heel of his front foot, and that arm swung around behind him in the general direction where he expected Lurpy to be. If he made no contact with either weapon, Moss would be forced to leap sideways in an attempt to avoid Oglop's downward swing.

Not too far away, Calanon was smarting. The back of his head pulsed with pain, but it hadn't scared him off. If anything, it appeared to embolden him, and he rushed around the large tree trunk to find a pair of hobgoblins almost within reach of his blade.

That was only for the first instant, however, because in the next, the elf found himself falling, as the earth beneath his boots opened up like a hungry mouth and Calanon tumbled into a deep pit below. His landing was a bumpy one, but his pride would be hurting more than anything else.

Above him and out of reach, he could make out two dark silhouettes as they peered down into the hole.

"We gots one, boss!" screeched one of them excitedly. "We gots one!"
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Old October 8, 2017, 04:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Moss' ability to seemingly keep a cool head in battle likely had served him well in his military days. Unfortunately, he was now fighting two foes, in the dark, and their fighting style was probably quite different to what he was used to. ( or could remember)

So whilst Oglop might have been readying his gurn, he had not yet rushed in, and Moss' sword swipe went wide. And Lurpy? Well, having been bitten once by Moss' dagger, he was in no hurry to do it again. As Moss pivoted, the goblin swung his stick, and it crashed into the man's dagger hand painfully. If he managed to keep a hold of the knife, it would be impressive.

He had turned his back on Oglop too, and when he turned to locate the other goblin, found him gone. At least from sight. He could hear some whispering to his left, and then the sudden glint of moonlight off steel as the goblin swung his newly borrowed weapon. Sticks weren't much good against pale skin pointy sharps after all.

Calanon had landed with a thump, thankfully avoiding skewering himself on his sword when the world opened up beneath his feet. He was a little dazed as he looked up, only to see two shadowy shapes and hear their gleeful exclamation at his supposed capture.

The elf was so annoyed - at himself mainly- that his first attempt at focus proved elusive, and it was only once he had taken a few steadying breaths that he could concentrate enough to weave the pattern to teleport, looking to set himself neatly behind the two gloating hob goblins above him. Adilah then, would come in handy as he sought to detach their wretched heads from their bodies. Either that or kick them into their own trap.
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Old October 9, 2017, 06:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Moss gritted his teeth as Lurpy's gurn connected with his wrist. The dagger loosened in his grip but he managed to cling to it through sheer desperation - finding it in the darkness would be an immense challenge - but he wouldn't be able to use it properly again until he adjusted his grip.

The human had bigger issues to deal with...like Oglop's return with a blade. It was all he could do to lift his longsword in a defensive movement to block the incoming strike.

The moonslight had been his friend in that moment, but he knew the shadows would rule again soon. With a grunt, the human stepped in towards Oglop and swiped his sword sideways across where he expected the hobgoblin's midsection.

And then he ran. Past Oglop and back towards the edge of the clearing, hoping to balance the fine line between seeing his opponents better on the edge of moonslight without becoming too easy a target for any further thrown rocks that might come from the trees opposite. Once there, he spun back around to face the pursuers he expected to be just behind him.

Ugnug and Hoc, meanwhile, were celebrating. They'd caught that pesky elf in one of their traps, and they were so excited about their apparent victory that they completely failed to notice that their prisoner had escaped. Worse than that, he was behind them, blade in hand.

It was only when Ugnug decided to take another look that he realised something was wrong. He was leaning over, straining his eyes, unsure why he couldn't see Calanon despite his night vision.

"Hey Hoc," he gutturally exclaimed, "what happened to--"

Ack!

The noise caused the hobgoblin to stop short, and he watched, puzzled, as Hoc's head flew into view and landed in the pit where the elf had just been.

"Get out of there, Hoc!" he yelled, spinning, gurn in hand, to see his friend's headless body lying nearby.

Nervous eyes looked up to see Calanon standing over Hoc, Adilah now dripping with blood and with sinews and tendons clinging to its length.
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