I was running out of time… I didn’t know how long I could counter Chucaro’s attacks… I had to figure out a way to end this, and fast!   Surveying my surroundings, I quickly came up with a  plan… this just might work!

I made my way near the path leading out of the camp and came out of stealth.  Chucaro instantly turned towards me and readied herself for the next attack.  She suddenly let out a howl that chilled me to the bone… and that distraction nearly cost me my life.  I quickly regained my senses before she attacked and faked losing my balance… she seized the opportunity and was on me in a heartbeat!   As I went down, I quickly rolled onto my back as she hit me… her powerful jaws brushed my throat as I rolled with the force of her pounce… my legs keeping her at bay from the killing blow and then launching her away from me as I completed my roll.

I watched as Chucaro hit the side wall and went still.  I was leery that it was a ploy to get me close enough to finish me off, but she lay still… I prayed she wasn’t killed by the force of the blow.  I slowly got to my feet and cautiously approached her still form.  When I was relatively sure that she wasn’t going to attack, I got close enough to see that she was still breathing… I let out a sigh of relief.   I looked down at her and gently nuzzled her… I didn’t know if she could even hear me, but I whispered into her ear that Wargie was alive.  I swear that I saw a glimpse of a smile after I said that…

I was interrupted by sudden clapping… “Bravo… well done!” said a strangely dressed dwarf standing on a rocky outcropping above the entry path.

“Excellent battle!  Is she dead?  Either way, that was a battle worthy of an epic ballad.  I’m only sorry to see that my brethren didn’t put up any kind of fight to match what I have just witnessed,” he continued as he looked upon the carnage of what remained of his fellow dwarves.  He wasn’t dressed like the others, however… this one was different… he had garishly colored robes with different runes and symbols inscribed all over… but it was what he held in his hands that caught my attention… a pair of stones with glowing runes etched all over… power flowed from the stones and all around the dwarf, crackling like a small lightning storm… I could feel my fur standing on edge from the power emanating from this rune keeper.

“I was right in choosing your kind for my little ‘project’,” he said, his voice turning sinister.  “Maybe I should take you two, as well.  No, you two are much too dangerous, and, besides, the one we now have will suit my goals perfectly.”

“What have you done with Wargie?”  I asked, venom spewing from my mouth.

“So, Wargie is her name, is it?”  he replied, toying with me.

“If you harm her, your life, and every other dwarf I come across is mine!”

“Ah,” he snickered, “the fight in your kind is tremendous!  Yes, I think this ‘Wargie’ is the piece of the puzzle I was missing.  She will be my ultimate killing machine!”

“What are you talking about, monster?” I asked, preparing to rush him.

As if predicting my attack he hit me with some kind of spell that made me feel like I was walking through slug goo… I could barely move at all.

“You should have stayed in the Moors where you belong… unless I would have needed more of your kind,” he said, laughing evilly.  “But you two have been more than enough trouble as it is and I no longer have the time to waste on you.  Your chase ends here.  I wish I could make your deaths quick and painless, but, alas, that is not my style… enjoy your frozen tomb!”

He raised his hands to the air, the stones glowing brighter and brighter.  A light shot up into the heavens from where he stood… it was then I noticed the mountain peak behind him… a sudden bolt of lightning struck from out of the sky, hitting the peak… a horrid rumble started, growing louder as the avalanche quickly approached!

“To a slow, painful death!” he sneered as he slowly vanished… his evil laughter disappearing into the roar of the rushing snow as he left.   His initial spell had broken as I could move again… but if I left now, I would lose Chucaro… I rushed to her prone body and covered her with mine.  “I’m sorry, Chucaro.” I whispered to her as the beginning of the snow and rocks rolled into the camp site.  I clung to her tightly as we were quickly enveloped… darkness quickly engulfed us as I could feel a huge weight covering my body… something stuck my head as I quickly lost consciousness….


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