Kudzu #9 – Origins of Legends

Larnok had grabbed a bow from the supply-house as well as a sword, along with a scabbard and belt, which he handed over to Dohar. “Strap it on, and keep close. My Wardens know what they are doing, so with any luck you should not need to use it.” With that, the captain fell silent and appeared to listen intently to the wind. Since the presence of the dragon minions had become so evident, the forest around them was nearly devoid of any sound beyond the wind rustling through the trees. A few animals, mainly birds, still sounded out, almost as if in defiance of the Risen approaching. The captain listened to the bird-calls for a moment before moving the brush silently aside, keeping his mallet close at his side. Dohar attempted to follow but was painfully aware that he was making a great deal more noise than his companion. He only hoped it would not be too much, while branches snagged at his weapons and thorns stung his shoulders. When he pushed one particularly big leaf aside, he was almost out of the brush where he found Larnok leaning against a tree, attempting to look at some shapes in the clearing ahead without being seen. While the minions had not been described to him, he was not in doubt as to whether they were in the clearing ahead or not.

10 humanoids were shambling through the forest floor, heedless of the sucking mud or the stinging flies. Gore-clotted wounds covered their rotten bodies, and water dripped from them as if they had just risen from the ocean. Each carried a water-logged weapon of some variety but not all had armour. In the front of the shambling column was something unlike any of the others. Its massive frame was easily twice the height of the largest creature in the column, and its tree-trunk-sized arms hefted an enormous club riddled with rusty metal-spikes. It looked less like a leader and more like the biggest predator in a pack. Their very presence angered and disgusted him, and the Warden captain seemed to feel the same. Judging from the quick glances Larnok was sending along the treeline, his Wardens were in position and ready. The captain withdrew the signal horn from his belt and turned to Dohar. “Stay here and do not make your presence known. My Wardens will have enough on their hands without having to protect some greenhorn Valiant.” With that, the captain hoisted his hammer and blew a long note on the horn. The silence of the clearing was broken as arrows whistled into the Risen column, sending one creature into the mud with several arrows in its skull and another tumbling into a Risen beside# it as arrows hammered into its legs. Almost as soon as the ambush had begun, the biggest creature let out a roar like a signal blast, causing any wildlife still remaining within a mile to flee in panic.

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