Bright Eye, Winter Night 2, 354 AC
One of the strangers lifted an object. Chai squinted to see clearly through the windblown snow. Too late he made out the image as he heard the distinct twang of a crossbow releasing its bolt. The cleric clutched Gharad’s arm. “Crossbow!”
Gharad nodded knocked an arrow and let it loose in a single seamless motion. One of their foes crumpled and fell as the arrow bit deep into its abdomen. Fresh white snow quickly stained red.
Odren winced at seeing the arrow fly and hit the man. "Ouch. No party for him I guess."
“Nope,” Cherry laughed, “he is gonna miss out on fun!”
Odren smiled wide at the kender then enthusiastically ran toward the wagon, "party time!"
Chai counted two remaining foes left. One glanced at the charging dwarf, then at the cleric. Its choices before it, it ran westward, leaving only one to fight the charging dwarf.
The party could hear the lone foe yell at his fleeing ally. But the exact words were lost to the bitter wind. It dropped its crossbow and pulled a large double bladed axe from a baldric on its back, running to meet Odren.
Odren’s eyes went wide at the sudden change. The dwarf began to hiccup.
Cherry planted her hoopak into the frozen ground as best she could, loaded the sling on the forked end and let a stone fly at the remaining foe.
Another arrow from Gharad followed close behind the stone. Gharad cursed as both missiles landed hard into the snow.
"AH!" Odren shouted in alarm as the remaining foe ran toward him. The elderly dwarf hopped back and unwrapped his chain from around himself in a single motion. A smooth wooden club attached to the end of the chain. Each link rattled as Odren whipped the chain forward, the club end leading the attack.
Odren could make out the flat nose, orange skin, and reddish brown hair of his enemy. This was no human. The club hit with a thud against the creature. It grunted, stunned for a moment. Not a long moment, but long enough for Odren to pull back his chain and club. The creature shook off the blow. And charged forward again, raising its axe and swinging downward the crazed dwarf. Odren stepped to the side, the axe only claiming a stray whisker and parts of his tattered robes.
Odren grumbled and looked down at his now even more tattered robes. The dwarf sighed with a hint of sadness. His robes barely hanging from his body
Chai glanced at the dwarf and shook his head. Many more blows like that and he would have a naked dirty dwarf on his hands. The cleric could hear the kender laugh as she launched another bullet at what was clearly a hobgoblin. The bullet landed square on the creatures face, breaking its nose. The kender continued to laugh. Chai could only think that she must have been envisioning the same thing as he: A naked dwarf in the middle of the cold.