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Rebekah King Rebekah King
Recommendations: 21

LAS V - Thorars

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Sorraru's feet hammered against the sodden forest floor as she ran, the slick undergrowth and mud constantly threatening to slip her up. She turned to see the pack of thorars still pursuing her relentlessly, seemingly unhindered by the wet conditions. She turned back to continue watching her path for roots or particularly slippery patches of mud that would halt her progress and ensure her death.

Sorraru had been on her own, not ten metres from the camp when the thorars had attacked her. She’d managed to escape unharmed, but knew she could not run forever. She desperately wished that Lan would intercept them soon, but for all she knew he could be on the other side of the environment. Lan had spent many hours passing on his knowledge, arming her with the skills to know what to do in a situation like this. But most of those teachings had involved the availability of a weapon. Sorraru had none.

Sorraru’s only chance now was to run. She and Lan knew that there were checkpoints placed around the environment. If only she could run for long enough to reach one, she might find a weapon. She had to try – it was either that or lie down and be eaten alive. The very thought drove Sorraru forward. Sorraru had no idea how many of the four-legged, razor-fanged mutts were chasing her, but thorars typically didn’t hunt in packs of more than four or five. If she had a weapon, Sorraru thought she could take them on.

Just as Sorraru broke through the trees out into a clearing, she saw it. The building was sitting, black and domineering, in the middle of the meadow. She felt relief wash over her, but she couldn’t allow it to slow her progress. She ran harder still, heading in a direct line to the checkpoint. She knew she would only have seconds to search the offering table for a weapon before the thorars would be upon her.

Sorraru’s courage found her once again as her eyes rested upon a knife, gleaming brightly in the sunshine, sitting in the centre of the offering table. She reached out her arm and snagged the knife, turning to face the thorars just as one leapt at her. Prepared for the attack, she slashed the thorar across its breast, its blood spraying onto her face. The beast fell writhing to the ground, staining the grass with red.

She turned towards the rest of the pack, who were keeping back at the sight of Sorraru’s weapon. Sorraru was momentarily stunned at her first kill, but she didn’t lose focus. She stood with the knife in a backhanded position, staring down each of the animals. There were four more, and as they surrounded Sorraru, they looked more intimidating than she’d first thought.

Eventually, one of the thorars advanced and took a snap at her. Sorraru was prepared, swinging the knife at the beast, but it jumped back again. As Sorraru staggered from the momentum, another of the animals came up behind her. She turned and her eyes widened as the beast knocked her onto her back. She struggled wildly to free the arm that held the knife that was trapped under the creature’s heavy paws. It snapped its feral teeth at her face, but she thrust her knee up into its gut and it yelped and drew back.

Sorraru raised the knife and another thorar latched onto her hand with its jaws. She cried out in pain and felt the warm blood trickling down her arm. The thorar that had jumped onto her regained its composure and slashed at Sorraru’s chest. Sorraru screamed as its sharp claws cut deep into her flesh, and within moments, her skin and clothes were soaked with red.

Sorraru knew that this was it now. No one was here to help her and these beasts were going to tear her to shreds. She wished now that Lan had put the arrow in her head. That death would have been so much faster, so much kinder. As she thought this, the thorar that had a hold of her hand suddenly released her. Something awoke inside of her, and ignoring the searing pain, she brought the knife down into the side of the beast on top of her.

The thorar fell to its side and Sorraru scrambled to her knees. The creature wasn’t dead, so she brought the knife into its flesh once, twice more until its only sounds were the gurgles of it choking on its own blood. Sorraru looked around, expecting to be met with the thorar who had bitten her hand, but was bemused to find it lying dead on the grass with a long, bone-white arrow jutting from its head.

Sorraru stayed kneeling and watched with blurry eyes as Lan agilely slayed the remaining thorars. She watched with wonder at his grace and skill as he moved through the battlefield, taking the thorars down with almost invisible strikes from his knife. It was like a dance, so beautifully choreographed – a dance of death. It was over in moments.

Lan stood, looming over his final kill and turned. His combat-hardened expression changed to one of wide-eyed worry and deep concern as his gaze turned to Sorraru, kneeling, bloodied and defeated in the grass. Her gaze met his momentarily, then the knife slipped from her grasp, her head dropped and she swayed unsteadily. Lan rushed over to her, his sure hands breaking her fall.

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