Ch4: Trail of blood
Nobit was already moving towards the other direction. Once he reached the edge of the wood, his eyes caught something that he did not expect. It appeared to be blood, but not any like he has ever seen. Each drop glowed slightly as if consumed by fire, but left a small ember in its spot. He saw the throwing dagger that Tlond missed with sitting among the roots and moss that covered the ground. As he inspected, the embers darkened and fade to ash. He realized that he had only moments to follow them.
He rushed as quickly as his short legs could carry him, following the trail. Each drop only barely visible. The trail wound a few thousand feet before it stopped at the other side of an enormous tree. There he saw a puddle of fiery blood and Tlond’s last blade laying covered in the same. He picked up the trail again and followed it. The drops were much bigger and splatters as he could see that whoever it belonged to was now not capable of walking straight.
He reached the edge of a small clearing where he saw a dark figure laying on the ground. Beside it was a bow and hanging off a strap was a quiver containing three arrows. The figure did not move he reached it and uncovered its face from behind the hood of her cloak; it was a woman, but unlike any other he had seen before. Her skin was almost black as ash and her hair glowed faintly as if it were on fire. Her eyes were closed, but he could see tears that glowed slightly flowed down her cheeks and onto her cloak. He moved the cloak out of the way and saw that she was bleeding from the side of her ribs. He chanted a familiar spell and prayed to Clanggedin to heal her, but it was too late.
The dwarf knelt silently beside the woman, praying. After a while, he heard a noise coming from the other side of the clearing. He got to his feet quickly and drew his mace. “Fool, he said under his breath.” He slowly stepped backward towards the woodland, expecting a group of these creatures to come and finish the dwarf. What came through was a young boy. His eyes and hair glowed with a dim fire. The child could not have been over two as he stumbled forward.
“Unkesh.” The child spoke.
Notbit could not understand him at all.
The child slowly walked to the woman and put his hand on her shoulder, trying to wake her up. “Unkesh?”
Notbit’s heart sank, and a tear flowed from his eye. He walked forward slowly, with his hand outstretched as if to calm the boy.”
“Unkesh!” The boy yelled and shook her harder and cried.
By the time the boy even noticed the dwarf, he was only a few feet away. “Easy, laddie.”
The boy stood and placed himself behind his mother. “Shecka ashello ashesh.” The boy raised his hand, palm forward.
The dwarf took another step closer as the boy took a half step back. He looked down, and he still had his mace and shield clenched hard. He released his grip, and both clanged to the ground. He again turned his attention to the boy.
“Sheka ashello.” The boy said as his palm glowed.
The dwarf’s eyes widened. ‘Killed by a child?’ He thought to himself. He braced to be burned alive.
A flame shot from the boy’s hand, traveling straight towards the dwarf. A flame just bigger than a candle, which then only traveled two feet before dissipating. The boy turned to run but tripped over a stone.
The dwarf caught him quickly, and the boy was sobbing and screaming. He picked the boy up in his arms and carried him back towards the mill. By the time he reached the clearing, the boy had fallen asleep in his arms, fitfully crying.
With a brief explanation of the events that had just transpired, the three discussed the fate of the boy.
“We canno’ keep it.” Bahil snorted.
“I didno’ say we were gonna keep it.” Notbit rebutted. “I think we are gonna’ have ta take it back ta Phandalin and leave it there. Let the humans take it.”
“The humans won’t want that thing either. Jes’ look at it. It looks like it’s on fire already.” Bahil said.
“Jes leave it here. I dun’ wanna keep it, it’s creepy.” Tlond said.
“You shut yer hole, you’re the reason it’s with us.” Notbit came back.
“We got our sword. Let jes get it back to town and leave it there.” Bahil concluded.
Each nodded and with that, they were off.