The Hunt


Prelude to war the hunt final

Age of Ruin: The hunt – ( Prelude to war : Part 2)

Darkness, an ally that never fails.

The darkness concealed Rastain and Sid as they moved silently amongst the trees. The remaining Erahaim were camped about a mile west of the caravan. The soldiers were sitting around the fire laughing and drinking. They  were completely unaware of the fate that had befallen their fellow companions or the fate that was about to fall upon them.

“What in the name of the underworld is taking Haydrin so long?” One asked as he stood and looked west.

Rastain remained crouched on the low hillside above the camp, as Sid disappeared into the shadows. The time to strike was not right. Rastain  cautiously positioned himself just a few feet away from the fire’s revealing glow. The darkness would cloak him from their casual glances into the shadows outside the camp.

“Shut up and sit down, Darrin.”

“Yeah. No one cares about Haydrin and his goofy side kick. They probably got lost in the dark.”

“Bah… Rimick most likely got lost and Haydrin didn’t know what to do next.”

“Haydrin is even more clueless then a freaking changeling. The big ox is probably just standing there waiting, with that dumb look on his face.”

“I can see it now. He’s contemplating if he should take a leak or wait for Rimick. Most likely wondering if it would be best to just stay put and take a leak right there on the spot.”

They all laughed at the expense of their fallen comrades. Rastain smiled, they would soon join them. They could spend the rest of eternity in the underworld drinking, laughing and joking.

Rastain gripped his swords tightly as he saw Sid slowly advancing toward the fire. The wolf boldly entered into the camp.

“Whoa! What the…” One yelled as he came face to face with the snarling wolf.

“Kill it!” another cried.

The Erahaim drew their swords and Rastain stood up from the darkness above them. He jumped right into the middle of the three soldiers, slashing their hastily drawn swords aside. Rastain crouched low as he  circled around the soldiers. He was consumed with an uncontrollable rage that burned in his veins.

The soldiers stood their ground, but fear was rising quickly in their hearts. The blood covered mad man and his wolf had emerged from the darkness like demons from the deepest pit. The look in the man’s eyes was dark and rage filled, giving them pause to the idea of fighting or fleeing. One of the soldiers lowered his sword as he nodded to the others. They turned and slowly backed off.

“Who the hell are you?” The one they referred to earlier as Darrin asked.

“I’m your judge and executioner.” Rastain snarled as he slowly continued circling.

“Rimick and Haydrin have already been sentenced for their crimes, now it’s time for your sentencing.” Rastain spat out the words with contempt.

“What?” Darrin asked. He knew instantly that there was no reasoning with this man.

“You killed and slaughtered innocents. Women and children in the dark while they slept.” Rastain pointed his sword directly at Darrin.

Darrin swallowed hard. This crazy man must be referring to the elven caravan they had encountered earlier. Rimick and Haydrin had been ordered to detain them.  Haydin although had a taste for blood, Darrin could easily guess what they had done.

“Look… I didn’t order my men to do any such thing.” Darrin tried to plead with Rastain.

“Enough… you carry the responsibility for the actions of your men.” Rastain shouted as he nodded to Sid.

The wolf reacted instantly leaping into the air and knocking one of the soldiers to the ground. The soldier tried to fight back but sid was a blur of fangs and fur. The wolf went instantly for the soldier’s throat, ripping out bone and flesh in one swift motion. Rastain charged forward swinging his sword at Darrin as he spun around to come behind the soldier. Darrin barely was able to recover. He backed up and raise his sword in defense. The blood gushed out of his nearly severed left arm as he raised his sword to defend off Rastain’s relentless barrage of slashing blades.

Darrin’s attempt at parrying off the attacks was feeble and ineffective. Rastain’s twin blades sliced through the Erahaim’s neck in one swift motion. Rastain stood over the fallen man’s body as he stood with his back to the remaining soldier. He needed a witness, a survivor that would tell the others the cost of slaughtering innocent elves.

“Run…” Rastain growled over his shoulder.

The remaining soldier needed no further encouragement. He had stood motionless and transfixed in horror as the wolf and blood crazed hunter had slaughtered his two companions. He was just a foot soldier following orders, untested and newly recruited. The soldier ran toward a small cusp of tree’s where their horses had been and grabbed the nearest one. He paused to look over his shoulder as he galloped off. The wolf stood silhouetted against the dark sky its blue eyes seemed to burn into his soul from atop the small hill. The blood crazed hunter was chasing him on foot. He spurred his horse on faster as the image of the hunter’s blood covered face and body was burnt into his mind’s eye.

Rastain led chase only for a minute or so. The horse quickly out distanced him and headed deeper into Erahaim territory. The soldier would live another night, maybe another day.

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