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The Ambush

Night of the Toad (20th), Thunder Moon, Year of the Sea Serpent [19/6/2002]

Eastern Great Forest

With no further warning, the air is filled with a hissing sound, as a cloud of black-shafted arrows come arcing towards the wagons. Quarn throws himself to the ground and rolls towards the wagons as arrows fly everywhere in the darkness. Lucidia is not so lucky; she gasps as an arrow pierces her leg. Three of the drivers are screaming loudly with pain; Myron whimpers softly in the dark. Quarn estimates fifty shooters, though he can't see their positions easily in the black forest.

Beneath the marshmallow wagon, Quarn mutters the invocation of Flames of Kakatal as more arrows hiss from the forest, thudding into the wooden sides. There is a brief silence, then the forest explodes in flames near the shooters, casting sudden flickering spiky forest shadows. Although Quarn reckons that some of the shooters must have been engulfed he hears no screams but only some grunts of pain, and he realises that this is no petty force of weak-willed bandits here. They have not fled, only retreated somewhat.

Quarn casts Hell's Razor and his scimitar glitters with baleful light reflected from the forest flames. Quarn peers into the forest. He sees figures moving. They are stocky beastmen in full war gear, and their faces show not fear, but fanatacism. Quarn blasts another Flames of Kakatal into their midst and they are lost to view once more in gouts of flames. Then he looks for Oohool, who is standing steadfastly nearby.

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