Klinderas scrambled through the tall grass, trying to avoid being seen. The gorlocs were after him like a pack of wolves hunting down a wounded caribou, and Klinderas could hear their mad gibbering just behind him. Pain throbbed in Klinderas’s shoulder where the teeth of one gorloc had sunk in before Klinderas had finished him off with a quick slice of his axe, letting loose its blood. The bite went deep into his shoulder, drawing out copious amounts of blood and tearing a large chunk of muscle out in the process. The blood was flowing thickly now, and the blood loss would soon cause him to go unconscious. No amount of bandaging would be able to heal this; he required the aid of a skilled healer for a full recovery.
He continued his frantic speed through the brush towards the safety of Taunka’le, knowing that the gorlocs would kill him the instant they could see him. All of a sudden, a spear crashed in front of the young elf, like a thunderbolt hits the ground and sends anything nearby sprawling to the ground too stunned to do anything about the calamity that has just fallen. Thus is how the spear fell in front of Klinderas, sending him sprawling in surprise. He quickly regained his footing, but not before a net had fallen on him like a shadow. He was captured. Klinderas tried to move the net, but was too weak to do so, and only succeeded in tangling himself further. Klinderas became surrounded, as if he were a wounded zevra surrounded by a pack of famished lions who were thinking of nothing more than eating the beast alive. Such was Klinderas, surrounded by furious gorlocs with nothing more in their minds than vengeance for their fallen chieftain. Helplessly, Klinderas watched the gorlocs edge nearer and nearer, licking their lips and gibbering with malicious delight. They were so close that Klinderas could see their fish-like eyes, and smell their foul, fishy breath, almost causing Klinderas to black out. Klinderas felt a spear drive through his leg, like a needle drives through cloth. The pain coursed through Klinderas like an electric shock, causing his entire body to go numb with pain. His vision went red with blood, and his arms gave out as he slumped to the ground.
But then, a familiar presence in his mind: he could feel aid coming to help him. As he felt it, Jormungandr leapt from the tall grass, his large, gaping mouth swallowing a gorloc’s head whole before biting it off, like a beautiful and sharp sword cutting off clean the head of a ghoul. The gorlocs turned on their new threat, like a pack of fearful hyenas turning on a tall and proud lion, knowing their fates were sealed. Jormungandr the worm stood confidently, his long and powerful body barely containing his primal strength. One of the gorlocs tried to bite Jormungandr, but his thick, scaly hide was too strong, and the gorloc was swatted aside by Jormungandr’s mighty tail and was lost to the brush. The proud worm then leapt between two of the gorlocs, his bladed sides carving apart their midsections and letting loose their vitals, like water spilled from a cup, and they slumped to the blood-sodden ground. The gorlocs began to flee from this terrible beast, like a terrorized child flees from a rhinoceros, enraged to protect its pack. Thus were the gorlocs, running in fear from the beast that had come to protect its soul-brother. Jormungandr’s belly did not like the taste of gorloc flesh, and so he spat the head he had eaten at one of the fleeing gorlocs. The missile had lost it’s solidity, and splattered all over the gorloc’s backside. The acid of the worm’s spit burned away at the hide of the hateful creature like a fire burns at paper: quickly and without stopping. The screams of the gorloc died out soon after, his body being lost in the grasses of the tundra. Jormungandr then tore at the net covering Klinderas, like a light tears away at a shadow.
Once Klinderas was free, his spiritual bond with Jormungandr began to heal him and give him strength. The bond between Klinderas and Jormungandr, the same as any other beast in the pack, was strong enough to heal any wound given enough time. It would take a long time before the bond could heal his shoulder, but it was enough to get the blood to stop flowing. Klinderas bandaged up his shoulder, while Jormungandr secured the area around them. There wasn’t any need for Jormungandr to do so however; Klinderas already knew that there weren’t any more of the gorlocs around near them. He could sense it, as any half-decent hunter should, through smell, hearing, or sight.
Once Klinderas had finished nursing his maimed shoulder, he stood up and began limping towards his kodo beast, Cole. Jormungandr accompanied him, like one friend walking alongside another to protect him. After an hour or so, they reached the kodo. Jormungandr leapt atop Cole’s backside, settling himself just behind the saddle. Klinderas, with much difficulty, mounted the kodo, and bade him to go to Taunka’le. The kodo began his walk to Taunka’le, trying not to jostle around the passengers. Now that he was safe, Klinderas began to relax. He had hunted down the gorloc chieftain, slain him, taken his trophy, and escaped with his life. He reached into his pack, and searched it. Eventually, he found what he was looking for and pulled it out to inspect it closer. It seemed to be the bottom half of an ancient curved horn, now covered in blood and bile, but the ancient shamanistic runes covering it had not faded at all. Even broken in half, the horn howled as if a great wind was blowing in it, like a wind howls through a hollow cave. Klinderas smiled, his mission was accomplished. He placed the object in his pack again, and then closed the hexcloth tightly. He looked forward again, and saw the glorious sun begin to set. It had been a long day, and he looked forward to be able to rest, if only for an hour.
The other half of the horn would have to wait until tonight, when the northern gorlocs would be asleep, and unaware. The perfect prey. Klinderas then fell into a deep, dreamless sleep, and Jormungandr kept watch, like a guard dog patiently watches over its sleeping master, chasing away anyone who comes close.