The young halflings found good hiding places from which they could observe the desert and if anybody is coming towards them. They were not scared, as they were really good at hiding, and on the other hand they were quite small. Odorf, in the meantime, figured out where to place the traps to be most effective. There was an eerie and gloomy silence in the hole. Odorf looked around him, and could only see the long desperate faces. Of course, the others have never done anything like this before. Granted, they have captured and killed smaller animals, but it was to gather food, not to fend for themselves, he was the only one calm about all of this.
“We will put the nets above the entrance, and the younglings can pull them down, if anybody enters.” Odorf started explaining his plan. “If they reach the inside of the hole, we will hang these makeshift balls.” He was pointing at the balls made out of all the sharp objects they could find, he also added that if whoever comes through they should swing the balls at them, to slow them down, or in the best case scenario kill them. The halflings gasped and clenched when they heard they might have to kill someone, for them, who lived in eternal peace, killing another being was inconceivable. Odorf on the other hand, had no problem with this.
After much preparation, in silence, they managed to put everything in place, the halflings were still struck by what they were about to do. While everyone was about their business, Odorf started to dig in the middle of the hole, a smaller hole. Thaf, who was shaking from fear, asked him what it was all about.
“You see chief, while you all act as preliminary defense and decoys, I will be the main course.”, “What do you mean decoys?!” Thaf shouted “As I said, decoys, you have never faced anything dangerous in your lives. How do you expect to defend yourselves. Clearly I have the most experience here.” Said Odorf while still digging his surprise attack hole. “And what makes you have the most experience, pray tell?! You want to tell me you already killed someone?!” Thaf shouted louder and louder as he was getting more nervous. “Relax chief, I just have more experience thanks to my… erm… ranger work I have done in the woods, while scouting. You know, setting up traps, fending off wolves, bears. That sort of things.” What Odorf failed to mention was his night-outs in the nearby village where he regularly set traps to mess with the townsfolk, occasionally stealing some of their gold or other valuables. It is true that he hasn’t killed another being before, but he has plenty of experience killing bigger animals, he figured it couldn’t be more difficult than that.
To his surprise, Thaf, still shaken, stayed quiet and went about his doings. And good riddance too, Odorf was getting irritated and he is not handling situations well when he is under pressure, he gets a twitchy finger in those situations. Nevertheless, he completed his special surprise home welcoming, he also thought about using a blanket to cover himself and to blend in with the floor, daggers in hands. He figured that he could do short work.
The other halflings were seemingly getting more nervous, even Brienn stayed quiet. Deep down though, they all accepted that they should go through with this because there is no other way now. Well, they had a choice, either be boiled or ambush a couple of thugs, if there is anyone coming back at all. For a while, it was quiet, too quiet, one of the halflings got so anxious that he lost his mind completely and just made a run for it.
“I cannot take it anymore! I rather die in the desert!” He was screaming as he was running out of the hole and not even running two or three meters, something swooped down from the sky. “There isn’t anything out here!!! OH MIGHTY YONDALLA HAVE MERCY ON MY SO–” A terrible screech could be heard as the wyvern was diving to pick up the easy meal. The halfling let out such a terrible ear piercing scream that almost everyone in the hole fell down in despair, some even threw up. Even Odorf had some trouble calming his nerves. The female halflings started praying to Yondalla while crying, it was not likely for their deity to be so merciless. What could have happened to change one being so much, could they have angered her so much that she requires retribution. All was lost it seems, the wyverns will come back and finish them off one by one. They are helpless and cannot fight such vile creatures. All but one, Odorf that is.
Odorf thought how it all made no sense, and now he was certain. The ones hiding in here didn’t leave because they wanted to but because they had to. They must have been in there for days without food or water and now they were probably somewhere out trying to find sustenance. A group of wyverns might have been circling the area in search of food and if that is the case, if there really are more than wyvern around all of them are in big trouble. Odorf searched one of his books for answers, there must be something about how to deal with wyverns, a weak spot, some kind of weapon or maybe something poisonous.
Anxiety and gloom crept into the little halfings hearts and chaos and panic were soon to follow. The silence after the unfortunate event was making it even harder for anyone to process what just happened. Everyone was on the verge of crying and just giving up, everyone but Odorf. He was still frantically searching his books in the hopes that he can find a way to deal with the not-so-friendly neighbors and he was lost in the books so much that he almost didn’t notice the faint breeze that just swept through the hole. Wait, that wasn’t a breeze, it was too hot outside and no wind was blowing for the past hours, that wasn’t the wind. It was the wyvern’s wings. Odorf has completely forgotten that the young halfling children got so scared that they hid so fast he couldn’t even notice them, sneaky little buggers they are. But now he had a problem, a big one, he has lost the element of surprise now, maybe if he uses his crossbow, maybe he could get a sneaky head start. He laid down on the floor, slowly pulling his crossbow out and loading a bolt as quietly and as fast as possible. On one hand, the wyvern was interested in the children, it could smell them, so it paid no attention to the halflings inside, for now.
Odorf stopped his breathing, whenever he was taking aim he would stop breathing, and start countingt back from five. Four, three, he was aiming for the eye, two, if the thing can’t see maybe it will run for cover, one. He pulled the trigger and the bolt swished fast towards the wyvern’s eye. Bull’s eye, in this case however wyvern’s eye. The creature let out a ferocious scream, stum
bling back a few steps while spreading its wings in confusion. Odorf couldn’t have asked for more because the creature just exposed its soft belly. Quickly he leaped from his hiding place and made a run for it, hoping and praying that he would make in time to cut it op
en. A few more steps and he can cut it, he was pulling out his daggers, a longer curved dagger, very pointy and very sharp. Another step and he leaped through the air just in time to stab the wyvern at the base of its jaw and just pull down with all his weight to slit open the wyvern’s long neck.
The sounds the dying creature made were horrible to listen to, Odorf didn’t know which part was worse the gurgling sounds it made while it was slowly suffocating or that he couldn’t prolong its suffering. Nevertheless, his whole body was shaking in ecstasy, he never felt so alive. The fresh warm blood dripping down his grinning face, the heavy breathing, the adrenaline rushing. He wanted more. He needed more. He had hoped that there were more of them outside.
… The Dice have been cast…
By Dejan Vicai