Krimm could smell it. This was something new. This was it. There were multiple layers to the scent. A hint of sweetness, but with a brisk edge. A dash of salinity dulled by a sheath of warmth. Slicing almost imperceptibly through the ambiance was something specific. It was similar to a bat, yet different. Krimm stopped just to savor it.
His ears pricked up at the sound of talking. There were three… no… four voices. They were getting closer. The sounds they made were alien, strange–like something from one of his grandfather’s journals. More proof that he was close. Very close.
An uncharacteristic panic seized him. His goal was in reach, but was he ready for it? The voices got closer. What to do? They might be peaceful, but he couldn’t risk it. He surveyed the river-hewn walls around him. Up to the left was a small nook.
Krimm deftly leapt up toward the wall. At the apex of his jump he used his legs to push off the wall and up into the nook. He squeezed and crouched to fit inside. The voices would come soon, but they wouldn’t see him up here.
The waiting was killing him. He was so close, so close to seeing the “sun” that he had only read about in his grandfather’s journal.
Four creatures entered the room. They wore some kind of gear, but Krimm could tell that they weren’t all the same. One had pointy ears. Another was about Krimm’s height with long scraggly fur coming from his face. Krimm leaned forward to see a little better. His foot shifted. A pebble dropped to the floor.
The one with the pointy ears whirled around. Krimm knew what that was in his hands. He had to move, and fast, but crammed into the nook he wasn’t swift enough. The bowstring made that familiar thrum. The arrow rushed through the air. It embedded itself in Krimm’s right eye socket and he collapsed.
Elorien swiftly pulled another arrow from his quiver and notched it as his gaze searched the rest of the room. There was nothing.
Rikard didn’t even bother drawing his sword. “Just one, Elorien? That’s sort of strange. Kobolds always hunt in packs.”