1. The hair of the dog

The hair of the dog

Walking off towards the rock formation he spotted on the horizon he wiped his brow to clear the sweat. It had gotten rather warm and with no shading from the roll wall that seemed to follow his path as he moved towards the rock formation. From the left he started to see the faint outline of a trees, it started with some bushels several feet away from him which quickly turned into a thick forest behind that. He glanced towards the forest to at least be out of the sun. The bushels stung his shins as he tried to move through them as cautiously as possible. After clearing the thorny madness he stopped a second to feel down at his shins which were now completely torn with skin peeling off in disturbingly large flaps. “Damn it, I have to find a way to keep these wounds clear or I’ll die due to a simple infection.” He snorted, “I won’t give the old man that pleasure”. The thought alone made him smile.

It was a year ago now that he met the old man. He had decided he had gotten too old to keep up with the pace set out by the newer generation Hunters. All the years he was involved he had earned himself quite name, Blood Guard some called him, so he knew he had enough respect to earn himself a place in Zandali the troll capital. The after he announced his retirement and moved into his new home, which was a welcome change from the cold, dim lit Undercity, the old man showed up at his house. Dressed in long grey, frayed robes, most of his face was covered by the cowl he was wearing, the only thing visible off his face was his beard, tangly, dark. Eerily enough under the cowl Frolos was able to discern two metal grey eyes that pierced his despite the shade the cowl threw over the old man’s face. Urgently he spoke: “Frolos, I know you haven’t been able to enjoy your retirement much, but I need your help. I can’t explain anything right now, quick.” Frolos was shoved aside as the old man rushed in.  His eyes darted around the room, to the entrance and then focused again. “Please, I beg of you, come with me!” Heavy footfalls in front of the hut seemed to startle the old man. Frolos narrowed his eyes trying to get a read of the man. He seemed anxious, jittery. “Why don’t you just tell me what is going on?” The footsteps closed in on the hut, at first it had sounded like another youngster trying out his first raptor but something was off. The old man’s eyes darted to the entrance again with his back half turned towards Frolos he froze, panic flooded his face. The old man turned rushed towards Frolos while mumbling something inaudible. Smoke started to arise from under his robes, the speed with which he moved pulled his cowl backwards, uncovered, the grey eyes were almost blinding. As Frolos was being tackled by the man he saw the cloth that functioned as his door being pulled back by a gigantic hand which seemed wrapped in some sort of glove. The next thing he could remember was waking up in that bloody hut where he was stuck now for too long.

The sound of a cracking branch shook Frolos from his memories. He crouched down to his knees drawing his bow from his shoulder reaching for the quiver to draw an arrow. After the sudden snap of the branch the sound stopped, breathless, Frolos waited. Slowly rising out of the bush he spots a hound like creature not far from him. The creature was brown with black stripes much akin to hyenas. The hound seemed to have found a cadaver of some small animal. It’s head was down and the sound of his mulching teeth on the corpse made disgusting noises. He drew the arrow back, the arrow perfectly lined up to hit the hyena in the neck. He took one last deep breath, tried to control his heart rate as best as he could and let go off the arrow. He was taken aback when the arrow made a soul screeching shriek once it left the bow. The shriek startled the hyena as well but instead of hitting the neck it hit the hyena square in the eye as it lifted his head to try and find where the sound came from. Slowly rising still slightly surprised he saw something thundering towards him. Before he could turn he was hit in the flank by another Hyena. “I’ll be damned, bugger off you dog.” The hyena was not deterred and come in for another strike. Frolos tried to dodge but got hit scare in the chest, sending him to the ground with the hyena on top of him. Frolos stuck his bow in the hyena’s mouth, the moment it bit down on the bow he whirled the hyena off himself. Scrambling to his feet he realized he was no longer in possession of his bow. The hyena spat out the bow ready for another lunge.  Slowly backing off he remembered the flute in his pocket, he took the flute from his pocket and blew it. The flute stayed silent and the hyena didn’t move. The hyena started dashing towards Frolos as a thundering shriek pierced the skies.

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