The Story of Jasmine notes continue:
Thorne’s eyes never left Gavin. She was aware of the battle, and knew her hawk was in the midst of being victorious against the foul creature. Her combat-trained hawk was about to finish off the evil-looking black lizard when that damned girl healed it! Why did she do that? Thorne saw it all happen. Gavin broke off his attack when it landed on the head of Jasmine’s horse. And, for but an instant, she saw the staff glow, just as Jasmine touched the creature’s heart with her hand. The ring glowed too!
Thorne had made it to the clearing when she saw that horrible black, evil creature suddenly spring away from Jasmine. In a flash, he was already in mid-attack, when Thorne called a warning to her retreating bird. The dragon-lizard struck such a powerful blow, the bird instantly fell from the sky, pursued by Gryth.
Thorne heard no cries from her hawk when he landed on the ground with a thud. Gryth pinned Gavin, concentrated his breath and breathed into Gavin’s nose. Momentarily stunned, the hawk still had plenty of fight left in him. But he was no match for Gryth’s poisoned breath. As the hawk took its last breath of air, Thorne dismounted and ran to her bird. With all her might, she kicked the creature away from her pet. The lizard-dragon shrieked in pain and writhed away. While he rolled, Thorne swung at it with her sword, but missed.
* * *
Lt. Cartwell arrived more quickly than his troup. He had witnessed Thorne’s brutal kick and Glynn’s impending action. Although the wounded dragon lizard was hurting, it wiggled away quite expertly. With an already bloodied battle axe, Glynn was prepared to take this opportunity to strike it down, once and for all. But a heart beat or two before Glynn raised Ieithoedd, his mighty battle axe, to cleave the creature in two, Lt. Cartwell clearly heard the dragon speak to him. “Help me out of here, quickly…!”
No longer than it took him to hear the command, he acted in one swift motion. Lt. Cartwell dove from his horse, rolled his body mid-air, scooped up the bleeding dragon-lizard and ran with him, blood streaming, out of the fray, leaving in the direction he had arrived. Glynn’s axe hit the ground.
The Lieutenant’s horse followed its master, but was nervous around the creature. Lt. Cartwell took off his jacket, wrapped Gryth within it, and managed to remount his reluctant horse. As he rode away with the wounded creature, the Lieutenant called to his men, “Our orders are to apprehend them. Do the best you can, we have back-up on the way.”
His men were momentarily puzzled. Why was protecting the creature so important to the Lieutenant? Why would their leader leave in the midst of a fight? These and questions like it popped into their minds. Most of these men were well-trained mercenaries that Bardulf had picked up for his army and they well understood their job. They were loyal to the one who paid them. So they were loyal to Bardulf. Each wondered why they agreed to such a low fee, and secretly wondered if they had not been magically induced to lower their price.
Most of the trip had been boring and they were ready for action. They knew what to do, and usually attacked in a wedge formation. Would they reach a wide enough space to maneuver their horses like this? They knew to look for and head towards their primary target, a blonde maiden. They originally thought their numbers could easily take three fighters and two women.
But then, they noticed large, ugly things emerging from the rocks. Quickly re-assessing the situation, with the Lieutenant’s absence, they were going to have big problems. They no longer possessed superior numbers.
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