A distant roar resonated through the trees on the other side of the river cutting off his words. The surrounding forest froze as if time had stopped. Nothing made a sound.
“What was that?” Bayle broke the silence, just as they heard something crashing through the undergrowth of the forest on the other side of the river.
“It’s today,” Master Gryph whispered. “Elhrin, Bayle, run!” he ordered.
“What?” Elhrin didn't understand what was happening, then a horde of creatures materialized out of the shadows of the forest, zigzagging through the trees, running straight for them. She had never seen anything like them before. From the shoulders down, the creatures had all the features of human soldiers, clad in black leather armor, and armed with an array of swords, bows, and spears. But from the neck up, the creatures’ heads looked like the gray and black wolves that roamed the forests of Anderan.
Master Gryph fired a blazing ball of energy across the river. It exploded into the lead monster, ripping its head completely off its body. The horde did not slow at the loss. Some ran headlong into the waist deep river while others ground to a halt at the river’s edge and loaded their bows with arrows.
“Do'athrim!” Master Gryph growled. He flung another deadly ball of sizzling energy at those crossing. This one was larger and more powerful. It exploded with a tremendous boom, sending a geyser of water spraying across the far riverbank. The creatures along the bank ducked under the drenching wave of water. The beasts in the river that had been in the lead were gone. A pool of crimson and chunks of flesh swirled around the rest of the creatures in the water. They looked confused, unsure of whether or not to continue to cross, but a forceful yip from one of the larger beasts on the riverbank compelled them to move again.
“You two, go!” Master Gryph commanded.
Elhrin could not move—couldn't take her eyes off of the snarling beasts.
He grabbed her arm and painfully jerked her behind him. “Run!” he ordered. The fury on his face was terrifying. “Go get Toome!”
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