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There are tales of ghouls and the dead rising along the Eastern Allir Reaches. The Templar chapter based of Allria has gone to investigate the matter... and perhaps bring to an end to whoever is at the root of this evil...

Interested? Find out more here.

OOC:
A necromancer seems to be ravaging the Eastern Allir Reaches(near the spine). Some of the Templars are trying to stop him/her. Feel free to join in as a survivor, a passerby, maybe the necromancers servant!

Chronicles A Hunt in the Woods

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Choki, Nov 6, 2018.

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  1. Choki

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    #1 Choki, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
    Allir Reach, South of the Sayve river, Forested path

    The path struck through the painting that was the forest in the autumn. On both sides, the trees were painted in all the dyes of the fall - splatters of orange, bordeaux and yellow made the view stunning. However, it was lone - a road of dirt that connected two villages and then attached to the way to Alliria. One thing stood out and that was a lone notice board.

    Caelynn was nearing. Other than the usual equipment, a small hog was veiled in bloodied white cloth and set on her back, her left hand on the tusks and the right on its back legs. It was as straight as a string. A notice board makes sense only if there's danger in the area, doesn't it? Caen got closer and closer. As she approached, she crouched and lightly dropped the catch aside. Straightening her posture, she began overlooking the papers. There was a marriage, a warning note and, finally, something of value - a bounty poster. Reading was such a nuisance to Caelynn, why waste it when they're not to the point.

    The request was simple in nature, however difficult in practice - and Caen knew that well. A 'fiend' to be defeated, spawn of evil and all the other folk epithets. However, what made her unsure was the short description given:
    "A fiendish creature, low in posture and shorter than a man. Walks on two feet, with feathers orange and yellow like an oak's leaves. Fast as the wind, suddenly moves and strikes with claws lengthy as an arm. Its face was that of a chimp and fangs of a wolf."

    Caen was done with reading. The sum offered seemed valid for a monster's head. And as such, she slumped down next to the notice board and took out her knife, unveiling the little hog. It was time to wait - she hoped for a villager to pass by. After all, in her experience - the more you know of your prey, the less scars you get away with. And she began skinning - a time well wasted.
     
  2. Saul Talith

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    "Why are we wasting our time with this?"
    Berrick shouted as the thirteen Templars rode into the small village, their armor clattering each time their horses took a step forward. Saul rolled his eyes, head tipping back for a moment as he swiveled in his saddle and turned towards the other man. Had he not been wearing a helmet the Templar would have seen a rather disapproving glare.

    "Because we're here." The Commander said simply, his voice as even as could be. There was a dangerous edge to it, something that told he was in no mood for any arguments today.

    They had spent the last few weeks chasing a Necromancer across nearly the entire length of the Reach. The man had left more than one village burned and filled with Ghouls, leaving sights that would frighten grown men back into their beds. Slaughtering the creatures had been menial work, but seeing those sights day after day got to a man.

    Even Templars.

    "This will be easy." Saul continued. "One little beast."

    A nice change of pace from their last few weeks, and it was on their way.

    Stopping in the middle of town Saul kicked his leg over the side of his horse, dismounting the beast and landing on the rough earth with a clatter of armor. His hand came to rest on his sword hilt, steadying the blade as he looked around. "Find the mayor."

    One of the other Templar scurried off.

     
  3. Choki

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    Caelynn knew of the meddling Templars, not through stories or any of that mouth-to-mouth nonsense, it was her own eyes that saw the bunch ride across the path and stop at the notice board. As any other hunter would've done, or a woman with common sense, she hid into the woods from the supposed brigands. After taking a look at them, Caen easily concluded they were no bandits. Mercenaries or a sect of knights perhaps. But one thing was sure.

    ``These..`` Caen counted them. ``..thirteen. They want to steal my work. And I have my dibs on it.``

    A small and sour grimace grew on her face as they rode onward to the village. She was not going to let them steal the coin. For the simple fact that she needed it. Even the copper were missing from her pouch. As such, she took the hog over her shoulder with one hand - it was significantly lighter as its organs were gutted

    By the time she walked the distance and neared the village's entrance, the mayor was out and conversing. However, rather than approaching, she hid the hog between some barrels and blended in with the crowd. She didn't seem much different than a local hunter. And now, she watched how the events were going to go. Why kill a monster yourself, when you could let others spill their blood for you. A quick and surprising swipe was all that was needed to topple the odds in her favor.

    Saul Talith
     
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  4. Saul Talith

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    "We're Templars, Mayor." Saul said simply as the man stared at him, his gaze more suspicious than anything else.

    The people in this part of the world still remembered the Templar Wars, a time when his Order had endured a great schism. There had been fighting then, between the Templar themselves, the Rangers, and of course Alliria. The mayor stared at him with no small amount of suspicion.

    "Well the reward is for anyone that can kill that...thing. Don't care who ye are as long as there's no trouble."
    Saul perked an eyebrow, though said nothing.

    He was glad for once that his helmet obscured his facial expressions, if only because he would have looked slightly perplexed at the man. Apparently this mayor thought they were just another band of mercenaries looking for coin. That wasn't so. Never was of course.

    "We're Templars." He reiterated. "We do not ask for money."

    The mayor looked at him unbelieving. "I just want more information on this...thing."

    Choki
     
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  5. Choki

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    Caen's ear perked up as if she was a cat upon hearing 'information'. And although she never delved into history, other than her father's folk tales, she listened. ``Templars? So, knights.`` And as what she suspected to be their captain continued, her unpleasant grimace slowly turned into a smile, even a laugh. ``Ah, soo noble, forget the coin, all I ought to do is protect my maiden.`` In her head, she mimicked. It felt funny to her, even hilarious. But it was not the time to laugh as of now. As such, she bit her lips to shut her grin.

    As Caen inspected them one by one to evaluate and make a plan within her head, the mayor spoke. "I.., I believe you read the notice, didn't you? All I can know and offer you is its description." He paused for a moment, straightening his tunic - the mayor himself was a short and skinny man of age with a wrinkled face, made gray from the prolonged years of shaving. He rose up his slim hand to the side of his ribs - at about a meter and a quarter, or about four feet. "It's that tall," then he mimicked large fangs by putting his teeth in front of his upper jaw, pointing downwards. "Fangs, that big!" He wriggled his fingers. And then he opened his eyes widely, as if he was about to say something shocking. "And it's skin - no such thing!" Dramatic pause.. Then drastically swoop his hand across, "All feathers!", then began shaking his finger in the air.

    Saul Talith
     
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  6. Saul Talith

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    Saul watched the man, resisting the urge to take off his helmet and rub his face in exasperation. He frowned for a second, letting out a slow controlled sigh. He was tempted to pick the man up and strike him across the face, though he supposed that wouldn't really get him more details.

    From the description it could have been a Harpy, they were common enough on the Eastern Reaches but really...it could have been anything. "Has anyone else in the town seen it?"

    He tried not to sound too exasperated, something that caused the men behind him to chuckle slightly. Dealing with country-folk wasn't exactly something the Commander was really good at. He'd spent most of his life in the city, and generally when he interacted with farmers it was under better terms.

    "Anyone at all?" Saul asked.

     
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  7. Choki

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    #7 Choki, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
    "I saw it!" A voice rang out from the small crowd. Caen took a look at him as he passed through to get to the front. A fat and greasy man in a tunic that stretched like spandex across his stomach. It was the literal embodiment of a pig, that's what Caen could explain to herself. Even the face had some similarities: the tusk-like, big as a bell pepper nose and the small, squinted eyes.

    The unit made his way to the front, and before he was asked, his mouth spilled a story that he most likely recited and not once. "It was daybreak." Without a pause, even swiftly, he explained. "which means that the sun broke against the horizon. In two words, it was getting dark. Sunset, you can call it. And then, we were on a cart - from Ham to here, trotting by the path. Myself said:" He paused and changed up his voice, it becoming not far off from a bad troubadour impression. " 'I shall't take a leak!', those were my words. And as my belt unbuckled, a vile shimmering - thought it was a squirrel, but then some big silhouette overpasses my head," He turned to the crowd. "That means he passed over." and after the small explanation, once again, he continued. "Fast as a wind it rushed to behind my back, where the cart was. I heard a yell, a scream and a shriek from my companions, but before my belt was buckled, two were already on the ground and one was being carried away. The little creature, as mayor explained it, had shank its claws deep into the shoulders and was rus'ling away, quick on its feet. But a harpy, no, no. It looked like an ugly inbred cousin of the harpy, I shall say! No wings and even skinnier."

    The worst was, it was hard to interrupt him. At least he entertained the crowd, including Caen, who simply laughed at the misfortune of the knights.
     
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  8. Saul Talith

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    Well that was something at the very least, though it didn't tell Saul much. His lips thinned for a moment, trying to puzzle the description into something that actually made sense.

    A harpy was really the only feathered monster that he could think of being around here. There were a few others, but most of those would be east of the Spine in the wilds. They rarely made it over the mountains, and even more rarely made it this far west without someone carrying them.

    Didn't make much sense. "We'll need scouts."

    Saul told one of his men quietly, paying no real attention to the man telling the story anymore. The story he told was added information, though not something that he took to heart.

    The only thing he really learned was that he likely couldn't trust any of these idiots.
     
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  9. Choki

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    Caen knew a thing by now. Those knights were the cautious type, and mixed with their need for a scout, the previous plan was not necessary anymore. Pushing through the line in front, she got out.

    "Hey, knight. Hope that wasn't intended for your buddies only, but I'll do for a scout."
    ``A bunch of iron-clad asses on horses, why did I even think they WON'T need me as a scout?``

    Her green cloak lightly waved behind her, and her braid covered the left side of her head. Her pointy half-elf ear stood out, along with her orange facial markings, that were also on the front of her cloak. Once out of the crowd, she seemed to be a woman who could hold her own.
     
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  10. Saul Talith

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    Saul turned around as a voice called out to him, his lips thinning slightly as he spotted what appeared to be...an elf trudging towards him?

    He frowned a second, wondering what the hell one of them was doing here. The others stirred slightly, hands resting on their hilts. The Commander waved them off, taking a step away from the villagers and towards the woman that had approached them. If she was going to attack she already would have done so.

    There was no threat here. "Will you now?"

    The Commander said with a smile, looking the girl up and down. His gaze lingered on her ears of course, noting that they were indeed driven to that odd point. Knife-ears, some of the less tactful men in the world would have called them.

    "In exchange for?" The Templar weren't exactly in the habit of recruiting random people into their midst, but a scout? Well that was different.

    Scouts were always good to have around.
     
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  11. Choki

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    Caen was to the point.

    "The reward. You don't want it, I do."

    She saw a look that was too known to her, past her eyes and to her right side - where her ear laid uncovered. Xenophobia, what else could she expect, even if she didn't have any more room for disappointment. Caen, as many others, had learnt to tolerate it.
     
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  12. Saul Talith

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    Saul paused for a second, glanced at the others, and then shrugged. "Find me the monster."

    Whatever the fuck it was.

    He didn't particularly care what it was at this point, he just needed to kill it. The reward meant little to him. Templars were not mercenaries, and they did not work for coin. They slayed the undead and beasts alike simply because they existed, not because they were trying to make money.

    It was their mandate, why they existed in the first place. Once that changed they became little better than the Rangers, or bandits depending on how you looked at it.

    "And the reward will be yours." A fair enough trade he thought.
     
  13. Choki

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    Caen ran her fingers through her hair. She thought about it, however there was one logical gap.

    "You know the way they explained all of this, right? 'Quick as wind' and all. I will help you find it, but don't plan on having me bring it to you. If we can trust these," She glanced at the morons with a bit of an emphasis. "then as soon as I am there, they'll either butcher me or flee." Then, rather than exchanging more meaningless dialogue, she got to the point. "That is, I'll enjoy if somebody came to guard my back. I'll still be ahead, tracking them down."
     
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  14. Saul Talith

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    "We will be right behind you." Saul assured the girl calmly, his voice still muffled slightly by the brace of the helmet across his face.

    He doubted that this little elf-ling would actually be able to find the beast, but at the very least it was worth a shot. He figured at the least they could use her as bait, and if that didn't work they would just find the creature on their own. Seemed like a good enough plan for him.

    "I wouldn't leave my men here." He glanced around the village. "They'd likely catch something."

    There were a few chuckles among the Templars.
     
  15. Choki

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    Caen did not like the arrogance of knights. All of them were the same, thinking that because they're clad in iron, they are at the top of the world. Didn't matter what sect or order they were from, all of them rode through the lands, believing in whatnot 'noble' nonsense. Worst of all, they believe that their cause is the right one. However, she was going to be patient. They had mutual goals and even lessened the burden of Caelynn's job.

    "Sure then, be it. I just have a few more specific questions to ask."

    As such, she turned to the witness, asking him a few simple questions. Blocking off all the other blabber, she focused on the core of the answers. And the clues came out to be at least a bit useful.

    "How many were you in the cart?" The answer was four.
    "What did you carry with you?" Flowers, for a wedding.
    "Did your companions survive?" One did, the other died and the third was carried away.
    "To what wounds?" His throat was slit.

    "Thanks," She looked the guy up and down. "we'll find the thing, don't worry."
    Turning to the knights to see if they're still there, she continued on the way outside towards the intersection and the notice board between this and the neighboring village. If one could lend her a ride, that would've been nice. Otherwise, her tempo wasn't getting much faster than the mounted men.
     
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  16. Saul Talith

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    "Spare horse." Saul told the Mayor, his expression stone and his voice the same. The man sputtered for a second, glancing up at the Templar with an expression of fear and confusion.

    "W-what?"
    A sigh of exasperation left him. "We need a spare horse for the elf. You'll get it back, don't worry."

    They weren't bandits after all, but they needed a mount for the girl. Having her ride with one of the Templar defeated the point of her being a scout, and none of his men would give up their mounts either. Mostly because they were war horses, and riding one of them was almost as dangerous as facing them in battle.

    The Mayor sputtered for a moment more, but a slight shift of the Templar's saw him simply nodding his head. A few seconds later a stable boy came running with a pony in tow, held by the reigns.

    "Mount up." He told everyone, including the girl.
     
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  17. Choki

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    Caen looked up at the pony, running her fingers through its mane. After mounting it, she trotted to the exit of the village, going ahead in the formation next to Saul. "Thanks for being considerate," It was more mocking than sincere. "however, you know that sooner or later we'll have to dismount? Unless it attacks on the road, then we'll have to go searching through the woods."

    The path running through the villages was on the slope of a hill, one side of it continuing down to the flat lands of the Sayve, and the other continuing to get harder to traverse as it went up. And any man with sense would've presumed that any wild creature would've decided to hide in the hilly forests, and not the delta of a river.

    "Once we reach the notice board, I'll go by foot into the woods to ind its tracks.." ``..hopefully`` Only one thing worried Caelynn and that was that none in the village saw the foot of the beast, as such prints had to be guessed. Most likely, they were something mimicking a bird's talons - considering the feathers and all.
     
  18. Saul Talith

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    ”We're fine on our feet.” Saul assured the woman.

    Though many assumed that men in armor would be slow and hard to move around, the thought was in fact entirely wrong. Plate armor was designed to allow for as much movement as possible, and the specific layering of theirs meant it was even better.

    The girl hadn't asked of course, but Saul figured that she was one of those.

    ”Don't worry.” The Templar told her. ”We'll be right behind you.”

    There was no concern in his voice, if only because he figured the elf couldn't get too far. Sure her kind was known for being quick, but she couldn't go too far if she didn't want to fight those beasts on her own. That was Saul's estimation anyway. He wasn't entirely sure about her scouting either.

    Better to trust his own instinct.

    Without another word Saul fell into step behind the girl, motioning for her to go.
     
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  19. Choki

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    After running her fingers through the pony's mane once again and petting its neck, Caelynn dropped from the saddle as well. After taking the initial steps into the woods, she stopped and took a deep breath. She got in front of the rest of the group and began looking around - first at the leaf-covered hill, then to the bark of the trees and the distance behind them.

    The first thing she noticed, not even far enough for the road to stop being visible, were markings across a set of three oaks. They were of talons, horizontally scratched across the bark - gradually rising in height until they reached the branches and stopped. "It can maneuver trees, check it out for yourselves." She called out to the knights approaching the scene.

    She roughly sketched out the jumps of the creature with her finger. From this oak to this, then back and to the third.. It was enough to get a direction. As such, Caen went northwards, away from the road. It was getting steeper.

    ``I shouldn't forget that they dragged away a man, it should be evident. Blood, tracks of dragging - any of that.`` Caen was already much ahead of the group of knights, having gone forwards once again. Even if their plates didn't stop them from being quick, it didn't match the natural pace of Caen in the forests.

    The next track was of a drop in the dirt, from up the trees. It wasn't deep, however the dirt had been left in the shape of four talons, alike a cockerel's. From there, the half-elf's work became simple. She followed the waving tracks that often went around trees and had huge leaps in them, followed by a deep drop from the jump's landing. ``This thing.. or things, they're hyperactive.`` However, Caen followed.

    After a few more moments, the group heard a whistle from the north. Caen waited for them in front of the lair - a dug out hole in the side of a hill like a mole's tunnel. It had many tracks going out of it, including blood.

    "If it isn't evident, it's not only one." Caen remarked as she drew her bow and gestured for them to go ahead.
     
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  20. Saul Talith

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    Sual was impressed.

    He could admit that much to himself, though he wasn't about to say it outloud. Complements could be given if they were successful and the elf survived all of this. Not before. "I know."

    The Templar replied as he bounded down to just a few steps behind the elf woman. His armor clattered as he moved, the cloak wrapped around his upper body snapping slightly as he moved. The sword at his hip rattled, though his hand fell upon the hilt to silence it's movements.

    Lips twisted slightly as he glanced down at the cavern.

    "Gather some branches." He said turning back to his men."Tear strips and get the oil, we need torches."

    Going and fighting these things in the dark was likely foolish, but there was no time to waste.
     
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  21. Choki

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    "They'll have to triple the reward for that." Caen smugly remarked, then turned to Saul as his men went to follow his orders. "What's the reasoning behind not taking rewards? I never understood you guys. How do you even survive?" She was speaking while readying her bow and arrows and tightening her attire.
     
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  22. Saul Talith

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    The others did as he said, gather supplies quickly and setting about the creation of torches. Oil was sloshed quickly, strips of cloth torn.

    They were well used to this work. "Our duty is to slay these creatures."

    That wasn't necessarily true. Many Templar would have argued that they weren't monster hunters, that their mission was to kill mages, undead, and all the 'evils' of the world, but Saul saw it differently. Most of these creatures were corrupt beings of themselves, something that had to be done away with and purged.

    "We don't take money for doing our duty." He stopped for a second, realizing that he hadn't answered her question. "The Order at one point controlled massive swaths of territory, before the schism. With that came wealth. Wealth that was invested in several Merchant companies."

    Which was how they actually managed to supply food, arms, and armor to the various members of their Chapter.
     
  23. Choki

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    "Good enough of an answer." Caen nodded to the entrance of the cave.

    She waited to be second or third in line, then entered after the first few. The cave was shallow - starting with a narrow entrance and then turning into a large room. Three holes like eyes sent barely enough brightness from above. Everything reeked of flesh and damp feathers. But before they could take in the scenery, countless shining in the dark corners eyes turned to them. Opening two by two. There were two dozens of eyes.

    With numerous monkey-like yells and clanks of jaws, the first few jumped out of the darkness. They were like skinny gorillas in posture, having arms as long as their legs. When moving, they were on two feet but stationary they stood at four. All of their black skin except the belly was covered in yellow and orange feathers. A few large ones on the back stood out like an ugly peacock's tail. Both their feet and hand were a mix between bird talons and chimp hands - having long and four fingers. At last, their face was uncovered from the feathers. They had two human-like eyes, a squished nose and four large fangs exiting out of their closed mouths, probably 3-4 inches long. Their jaws were a menaces.

    And they lunged, one by one at the unwelcomed visitors clad in armor.
     
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  24. Saul Talith

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    Saul moved fast.

    There was no time to think or yell orders, no time to tell anyone what to do. Nor was there any need to. The Templar with him were not amateurs, they were not fools, and they knew exactly what to do.

    Blades flicked forward, followed quickly by torches.

    Fire and steel bit into the creatures, whatever the hell they were. They cut and burned, they sliced and did what they could to fend off the screeching beasts. The noise of them seemed to bounce and reverberate through the entirety of the room, piercing through his helmet and sounding again and again.

    "What the hell are these things?!" Saul called out as his blade sliced through one of the creatures stomachs.

    It howled and fell, yet was almost immediately replaced.
     
  25. Choki

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    The Templars didn't have much space to maneuver, and after the first few monsters were slain and the formation was broken, they began hitting between each other. Some were forced to the walls. However, the beastly enemies had no such problem. Saul saw as he took down one of them, two others jumped off the wall and onto another knight. The claws tried to make their way through the helmet's eye holes as the warrior lost his balance and fell back into the wall.

    Caen stood back. She drew her bow, firing an arrow into one of the creatures tormenting the fallen knight. However, after one fell - the other did its job in piercing its claws through the helmet. A gurgled scream exited as Caen loaded another arrow.
    "Better spread out!" She simply yelled.

    Another man stumbled back after slicing through one of the beings' insides and found his foot stomping over a dismembered man's remains. Shock made him stop in his tracks, which might've been fatal if nobody had stopped the creature jumping against him.
     
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