Adan scrambled as best he could toward the edge of the great net and salvation. The bolt in his calf caused him considerable pain, but it would be nothing, he quickly realized, compared to the barrage yet to come.
Tristan, at that same moment, was dealing with his own wound, bravely, the only way he knew how. Ripping the bolt free from the ground with his free hand, he winced as he tried to pull his ravaged hand up and through the steel bolt. After several agonizing moments, he succeeded, but now his left hand was torn and bleeding even more profusely.
Ignoring the searing sensation, the young priest went for his shield, and having secured it, and having managed to raise the shield to the proper angle, despite the weight of the net exerting pressure from above, began to crawl toward Adan, attempting to provide cover.
Adan meanwhile had used all of his strength to wedge his own shield above his body and below the net.
And so, like wounded warrior-turtles, the pair of Triguians crawled toward salvation, or death, whichever came first.
Tristan was mouthing words of prayer, but suddenly paused as he heard the booming voice of his companion, rising and echoing through the gorge.
The words were ancient, the prayers were grim, and Tristan was not sure of their purpose, but he could do naught but admire the ‘fallen’ knight, as they both crawled, for it was not the words, which Tristan immediately recognized, but Adan’s voice, which seemingly thundered, despite their physical predicament. The man, Tristan realized, was singing.
As the orisons of Trigu’s old tongue resounded, the whistling bolts came again, already having been loosed, and several sank into the ground around the Triguians, with muted thuds, several, but not all.
Adan had reached the edge of the net, and began feverishly working the attached weights, his powerful baritone still echoing across the valley. Tristan had propped the shield defensively, and nearly managed a smile, as he witnessed Adan successfully cutting through the net and loaded sacks. Just a few more seconds, Tristan thought...but just then, bolts struck the shield with loud “thwoots”, two or three, Tristan could not be sure. He peered out once the barrage had subsided, and now saw Adan lying nearly prone, while clutching his own neck, as blood pumped out, splashing across Tristan’s face as well. It must have been a terrible wound, Tristan thought despite himself. He had noticed now, that Adan had managed to sever the necessary cords and weights, and freedom was now only a few feet away.
“Wizard?” Mrok asked nervously, as he lowered his crossbow
“No” came the reply from Brown Borgradoc, “Priests” he spat the word more than said it.
“Has he cursed us?” Dumjakk looked terrified.
Brown Borgradoc did not reply at first, which made his five companions fidget and bulge their eyes even more. Instead the leader of the humanoid gang, stared at the two adversaries, then made a decision.
“Put down the crossbows. Come” he waved his hand and strode forward toward his captors, who were now crawling out from beneath the net. One of them, Brown Borgradoc noticed however, was in a bad way, blood spurting from an artery. This one would soon be dead, Borgradoc thought to himself. And before the man died, Borgrdaoc wanted to know what foul curse or sing-song magic the man had used against him. He had to know.
The six Verbeeg slowly approached the pair, weapons ready.
“I hit him, look! I hit him in the neck!” chortled Yoord, as he neared
“No, it was me, you dogs**t! Came Mrok’s voice now.
“It seems it was both of you” Borgradoc said amused, as he noticed two bolts had somehow found exposed flesh.
Adan was writhing now, rolling on the damp earth, silent, despite the terrible wounds. Tristan tended to his friend, but quickly looked up to see six humanoids, gangly and ugly, some seven, some eight, and some nine feet in height, armed to the teeth, casually approaching the pair.