Druador – Episode 3

A snap, a rustle and the soft rumbling of a torch. Druador perched up from his bedroll his ears twitched to various different directions listening intently to these distinct sounds that penetrated through the unnatural silence.
The silence didn’t feel nearly as exceptional when paired with the strong light from the moon.
He could count three sets of footsteps about 50 ft away, light footsteps, children maybe? He picked himself up quietly and began to climb through the tree’s branches getting closer to the source of the noise. An orange glow cut into the blue-white of the moonlight and small voices started to reach his ears.
“We kill it now?”
“Nah, betta’ to wait for Cha’ to get ‘ere.”
Druador pulled himself forward and between the branches could see two filthy goblins walking towards a large bear in a clearing, laying on the ground with an arrow protruding from its chest. The arrow was moving in rhythm, starting to slow. Druador had no clue why goblins would be in his forest. They are usually seen in much larger packs than this. As he was thinking this another goblin came into view. This one had a necklace made of bones around his neck and a short bow.
“Did I get it?” The goblin shouted.
“Yeh, yeh you got it Cha’, ya got it.” the smallest replied excitedly.
Cha’ approached the bear and said with a grin.
“That’s the one I wanted, yeah nice, his fur will fetch a good price.”
Whilst finishing his sentence he swiftly kicked the bear in it’s snout.
The poor creature let out a tiny growl, too exhausted to manage more.
The smallest goblin laughed horribly and snorted.
Upon seeing this Druador’s thought pattern shifted within a second. Killing an animal for food is one thing, torturing it and killing just for its skin is another. He leapt from the high branch he was perched on into the clearing. He could see his hands get larger and hairier and his nose grew in front of him and gained hair. By the time he reached the ground he was a bear. He could now not only see the goblins but he could smell them just as well. The goblins looked terrified and began to run, he could not allow that. He ran into them, bit into the meagrest one’s neck before swiping into the middle one’s torso. He looked up toward Cha’, his snout dripping with blood. He charged towards the shaking little goblin and jumped. Cha’ attempted to fire his short bow at the bear looming toward him but missed every time. When druador reached Cha’ he swiped down the goblin’s body and bit into his gullet.
Looking around Druador could not see nor smell any other living goblins. He looked downwards and willed his form to revert. The ground beneath him got further away and his armour came back into view. He looked up and saw the bear struggling for breath in front of him. He walked forward and spoke to the bear in a soft docile way. The bear watched him with comprehension as if to know he was there to help. He extracted the arrow from the bear, luckily it was just a piece of sharpened wood. He settled one of his hands on the wound the other on the bear’s head. He focused gently, commanding the sinew of muscle and fat within the wound to reknit and form a solid bond. He opened his eyes, lifted his hands and there was a bald spot in the bear’s coat were the wound once had been. He stood up and backed away from the bear. The animal stood up quickly, glanced at Druador and rushed from the clearing into the thick woodlands.
Druador kept watching until the animal had vanished. He then looked at the burning torch lying on the ground and willed it to extinguish. In response, the torch died and moonlight flooded the area once more. He turned and headed back to his camp. He had done his duty for his forest once more.

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