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‘I am the baddest there is!’ Malistraad screamed... at no one in particular.
The warrior’s legs could barely hold him up. Two broken arrows jutted from his back and a large chunk of flesh had been forcibly removed from his breast. Still his heart did beat strong. He was determined. For word was to be spread.
‘You will not take me, not yet!’ Malistraad screamed... at no one in particular.
Not much remained of the warrior’s armour – a shoulder plate and his right gauntlet. His leather boots looked to be ragged, torn and sodden.
The hard dirt was unforgiving.
Thick, tall trees lined the road. Long stretching branches obscured much of the sky and spared Malistraad the hot sun. And still the heat was maddening. The warrior’s wounds stung and the pain ran deep – the humidity was an added irritant.
‘My beard for a tankard of ale,’ Malistraad said with an odd mixture of a cough and a laugh.
An hour or more did pass and Malistraad pounded the road still. Any moment now. Any moment now, a soil-tiller, caravanner or even a whoreson soldier from the capital will spot him, he thought.
Soon the sun would sleep. The drop in temperature would be soothing for the warrior, and a moment to close his eyes was eagerly awaited. But relief remained on the other side of an oncoming obstacle.
A beast lurked.

Malistraad seemingly had yet another battle to win before he’d find his rest.

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