Prompt: A rainy afternoon.
I slid behind the tree, slowly crouching. Their footsteps were muffled by the rain, soft squishing sounds as they approached down the muddy lane. I checked my crossbows, readjusting the arrows. No room for error.
Emilia’s voice echoes in my mind: Ready?
Across the way, I see her fade out of the shadows, arcane energy crackling in her palm as they round the last bend. Not long now.
Emilia strikes first, a wave of force energy sending them flying backward as I spin and shoot. My arrows sing through the air, slamming into the bigger one’s chest. In a blur of motion, Kriv is upon them, fists glowing with the strange magic of monks. He snaps the neck of the other scout. It all takes about two seconds. How easily a life can be snuffed out.
We pull their bodies into the brush. I resist the urge to spit on them. Bandit scum. Emilia talks quietly with Kriv about our next move. I’m not much for strategy. I’m just here to make the world a better place one dead baddie at a time.
I wander while they talk, mentally calling Tirial down from her perch. She lands gracefully, rubbing against my arm as I ruffle her feathers and hop on. We soar up, high above the clouds where there is no rain, way out of range for Emilia to contact me. I close my eyes and let Tirial take me where she pleases, her keen sight looking for potential threats to the group.
Tirial doesn’t care much for Kriv, but she has a certain fondness for Emilia. We’re alike in that way. Tirial was my mother’s ride. My clan has always had a bond with giant owls, and they with us. I found Tirial, wounded and hiding, when I revisted my home for the first time in 10 years, a lucky find. After healing her broken wing, she decided to stay with me, at least for now. I’m happy for the company of another silent companion.
Not finding any immediate threats, Tirial takes us back to the other two. Emilia scowls at me as I slip off Tirial, her feathers ruffling to get the water off.
You know better than to wander that far.
I had Tirial. She always gets me back safely.
She sighs, Kriv looking puzzled and annoyed. He hates when we leave him out of the conversation.
“Okay,” Emilia says. “Here’s the plan.”