Stephan, still in a state of shock at the realization that he somehow shared a heritage with the lizard riders, faltered a bit in getting his bow ready. Seeing Maruc run to the aid of one of the wounded, he loosed his arrow to cover the priest.
Running forward to take cover behind a boulder, he loosed another arrow. While his aim did not strike home, it did serve to harry the beastly jackal man now running forward in a snarling fury toward the Traldar. Stephan knelt behind a the rock and loosed several more arrows into the fray. He wondered if Miklos would unveil the tapestry map that seemed to have a powerful effect on all things jackal.
Feldard grimaced as the ambush descended on the riders ahead. These were the ones they were looking for…descendants of those who’d made the map. And now because of the stupid Traldars, his party had little choice but to defend themselves. Feldard took aim and fired off his crossbow, aiming for a leg. Maybe he could just maim one and they’d have someone to question.
The slender jackal-headed warriors switched to firing slingstones. The ambushers seemed content to engage from their high position, so the Traldar warriors sought to quickly charge upward and close the gap. Feldard would have to decide whether to continue with his crossbow, or switch to his axe and run up the side of the gulley.
“Traldar!” Stephan bellowed as he hefted his sword and shield for hand-to-hand combat. Sprinting across the gravelly ground, he again shouted “Traldar!” as he engaged a slavering jackal-head whose eyes bore pure hate and fury.
Hasan sighed on seeing Stephan charge bravely ahead. “Rash,” the elf complained to Miklos. “Stay here, we can bring them down from range.” Hasan let two arrows fly into the melee, and saw that one struck home, lodging deep in the shoulder of their nearly-elegant foe.
Miklos ducked back out of the line of fire, frustrated and angry. On the one hand his theory was proved, there were two warning factions, but he had hoped the Hukataans would have been more cerebral about it. Yet here they were proving themselves as vulgar as the Traldars. Perhaps he was foolish to think that they would be a peaceful conservative order of academics who fostered a wealth of knowledge. That they might find a library or university.
He tried to focus on the situation, but it was running ahead of him. More death would cure nothing and they as yet did not know the facts around the start of this war.
“We will not take sides Hasan. The Hukataans are simply attacking their enemy not us, we do not know who started this, I will not slay them and destroy any chance of their aid in finding what we seek. Although I shall defend us!”
Maruc observed the force above, some of the warrior did not wield slings, but rather drew maces. Three of them held aloft symbols and engaged in the tell-tale chanting and gesturing of spellcasters. Not arcania like his friend Miklos, but rather the priestly intokement of the will of the Immortals. From his current vantage, he could just make out the symbol of their chosen patron, a star symbol with which he was not familiar.
As charged up the embankment, Stephan’s courage all of a sudden became overtaken by a sudden surge of fear. His instincts shouted at him to turn and run the other way. He gritted his teeth and tried to will away the fright, and just as suddenly as it had come now it was gone. He resumed his charge.
The Traldar were now within 20 feet of the Hutaakans. The oddly shaped Traldar with the overgrown chest and neck let loose with a shout so loud that it thundered into the enemy and echoed across the valley. It stunned the Hutaakans, causing them to lose their balance and concentration. They tried to regain their composure as they tossed aside their slings, and prepared to engage in hand-to-hand combat. The majority of the ‘mutts’ drew short swords, with a half dozen of them armed with maces. The Traldar all wielded crude hand axes and their lizard mounts bit at the humanoid enemy with large pointed teeth.
Miklos had ducked across to the other side of the gully to get a better view, He knew the sleep incantation was indiscriminate which in this case was and advantage. He cast it into the general melee and knocked out four of the combatants, two from each side. This fight had to stop.
Hasan cast his levitate spell, lifting one of the attackers away from the combat. Jackal eyes went wide in amazement. They could not wonder long however, for the Traldar bloodlust was great and beyond distraction. Armed with crude hand axes, the Traldar fought with more skill, but the ‘mutts’ had superior equipment, making the two sides evenly matched.
Moving around the flanks of the combat, Ludo came up behind one of the slender humanoid creatures and struck it down with the pommel of his sword hoping to stun the creature into unconsciousness, they needed a prisoner, not corpses.