Ambush!

The beginning of the adventures of Quelek, Immerral, and Stor.

When Quelek, Immerral, and Stor first accepted the job to escort a cart filled with Provisions to Farthenwall, they were under the impression it was to be a perilous journey. So far, after spending at least a week on the road and only a day out from Farthenwall, nothing of great consequence had occurred. Quelek--who was a bird-man creature with two arms as well as wings, with talons for fingers--was to keep watch while soaring above the cart. This decision had been made by Immerral. Not because it was advantageous strategically, but because it would keep the bird-man from being able to speak to him. While Quelek’s particular species was apt to hold the intelligence of a man, he seemed to lack the common sense and instinct one would typically require to be thought of as ‘intelligent.’

“We are coming to the end of our journey,” Stor, a rather large human male clad in simple steel armor, said with a deep voice, “and I have not heard much of you, or your tale, elf.”

“There isn’t much to tell,” responded Immerral, a light-gray skinned elf dressed with a green cloak over light leather armor.

The two of them sat at the front of a wheeled cart being pulled by a single ox. On either side of them were tall trees, occasionally broken by a meadow or hill. The leaves were green in the spring air and the sun shone brightly through the canopy. Quelek was flying far overhead, as he had done for most of the journey. From the cart he appeared to just be a large black raven.

“Well, I feel it is only right that you give me your tale. I know I’ve given you mine. Or have you forgotten already? I’d be willing to tell you once more,” Stor said.

“No, no, that is quite alright, between you and the bird I think I’ve had enough of origin stories and the like. I’d prefer if the rest of this journey just went quietly, so we can be paid and then move along with our lives.”

“You, elf, are not the most enjoyable of companies, but I like to think that we have become friends in this past week. It’s been nice talking and joking with you. I hope after this that if there is ever a need for us to work together again that we can do so. It’s a shame, however, that we have not been able to taste of battle. I wish to have seen your skills with that sword and bow you carry with you.”

“Perhaps another time, Stor, if we can find a way to ditch the bird. Then I will be quite alright to do another job with you. One with less talking, I hope,” after Immerral spoke he leaned his head back and stretched out his limbs to relax a bit.

As Immerral began to relax the flutter of large wings could be heard and rush of wind came over the cart. Immarrel tensed up and he opened his eyes to a large beak and two big brown eyes staring at him inches from his face.

“Hello, Lemmerick. I am glad to see you are finally able to relax,” Quelek--who largely resembled a raven of sorts with his black beak and feathers--said rather robotically.

“Bird Person, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be keeping watch in the air. Far away from us, especially where we can’t hear you,” Immerral responded, annoyed by Quelek’s lack of respect for personal space.

“Yes,” said Quelek.

“Yes? Yes what?” Stor interejected.

“I was keeping watch, like Lemmerick told me to,” answered Quelek.

“We know what you were doing up there! What are you doing down here?” Immerral retorted with lack of patience.

“Oh yes! I came down here to tell you something, but I caught wind of the smell of something delicious and it made me forget and Lemmerick here was lying so peacefully. I just can’t seem to recall. Oh, Lemmerick, what happened? You had such a joyous look on your face just now? Why has it gone?”

“You started talking. What could possibly be so important that you had to come down here and interrupt us?”

“Well, Lemmerick, while you were down here working hard with your eye’s closed I was up in the sky with my eyes open,” Quelek stopped speaking at that point and stared at Immerral, as if expecting him to respond. After a minute or two Quelek began speaking again, “I remembered! I remembered why I came down here!”

“Hey, guys! Look, up ahead it looks like a carriage was attacked!” Stor said pointing to a tipped over carriage and two bloodied horses littered with arrows.

“Stor, I was trying to tell you guys something, pay attention,” Quelek said.

“Sorry, Bird Person, I thought the carriage was rather interesting. Seeing as we’ve only seen trees and grass for the last week.”

“Well, it’s not.”

“For the love of all that is holy! What are you trying to tell us, Bird Person?!” Immerral yelled suddenly.

“Lemmerick, are you sick? No matter, I have important news. I was flying high above, like you said to, and I spotted out ahead about a mile or two a carriage and some dead horses. It looks like they were ambushed! We better be careful,” Quelek seemed rather pleased with himself that was able to warn the company of what could have been impending doom.

“Are you serious? You mean the carriage and dead horses that Stor just pointed out?” Immerral responded.

“Why yes, the very same.”

“I’m done, just done,” Immerral said and then jumped out of the cart and began walking in the opposite direction; however, no one paid much attention to what Immerral was doing.

At the moment Immerral began walking away Quelek flew off to investigate the horses on his own--he actually flew off to try and eat the dead horses, but he liked to tell it differently. As Quelek neared the horses, and his mouth salivated from the smell of rot and dried blood, an arrow flew from the edge of the thicket just behind the downed cart. It caught Quelek in the shoulder and he fell to the ground with a squawk. Another came flying through the air and caught Quelek in the back causing him to fall unconscious from the pain.

Stor alerted himself to the sudden halt of squawks and caws coming from Quelek’s direction. He noticed the arrows sticking from the bird’s body and saw two goblins running from the treeline to retrieve their catch. Immediately Stor brandished his weapon and leaped to the bird’s aid letting out a bellowing battle-cry, completely ignoring any sort of strategy in the matter.

Immerral glanced behind his shoulder and saw the large man running to the seemingly dead bird. At first he shrugged it off and continued walking. No amount of money is worth that bird, Immerral thought. Though a nagging feeling his in heart made his steps slower. I guess he isn’t that bad. Images of Immerral’s past swept into his mind, he could see blades bathed in blood, flashes of large beast like men slaughtering his family, and an image of him sitting alone, underneath a tree. A single tear welled up in his eye and Immerral rededicated himself, I may not like him and I may hate everything he is, but I promise to never turn back on those in need. I will never again be weak!

Immerral started running toward the downed bird, brandishing his bow and nocking an arrow. He let off 3 shots in quick succession, two at the closest goblin and one at the farther one. He leapt atop the carriage and knocked one last arrow. One goblin left, he thought, his blood running hot. He let loose his arrow, his aim was true and the arrow found it’s mark, driving itself deep into the head of a third Goblin that appeared out of the bushes, killing it instantly.

The elf felt quite proud, having just saved the life of his friend and the bird. He took his moment of pride to survey the carnage he had inevitably created while amidst his rampage, only to find himself surrounded by 3 goblins. All but his last arrow had missed and he had just ran straight into the middle of his foe, two of which were armed with short bows. Immerral was immediately struck with two arrows and his leg was slashed by the third goblin. He fell from the carriage hitting his head and losing consciousness.

Just after Immerral went down, Stor came into the scene wildly swinging his sword. Two goblins jumped back and were able to dodge Stor's attacks. They quickly retaliated and jumped for an assault on Stor, slashing at him while his defenses were down inflicting deep wounds. Stor managed to throw his blade at a goblin farther away, but it proved fruitless. He fell to his knees pulling out his daggers. The goblins lunged at Stor, their swords driving toward him. Stor defending the attack, dispatching one of the goblins with a dagger deep into the eye. However, the other goblin landed a fatal blow on Stor. Stor fell to the ground, bleeding profusely from the attack.

With the three companions downed, and dying, the goblins quickly gathered all that they could from the cart and bodies. They then scampered away into the wilderness. Leaving Quelek, Immerral, and Stor lying with blood pooled at their backs, covered in arrows, wounds, and shame.