The monsters came for us last night. Not minutes after I laid my pen down did the howling pick up in the distance. It swirled around us as before, but with even greater ferocity and speed. There was no pretense, no attempt to scout us out before attacking us, they simply flooded our campground.

They are indeed some form of ape, but with greater jaws than I have seen in the drawings of the almanacs.

Quote-Entry-20-monsters

Starlark saw them coming first. He put an arrow in the eye of two before any of us had seen one. Bolton kicked the pile of leaves we’d collected onto the fire to create smoke, and the fighting immediately began in earnest.

They were still repelled by the smoke, but its strength as a defense was greatly diminished. Starlark began calling out directions as the monsters came in quick waves, striking first from the south and then the west. They continued to clash with us in groups of ten, until suddenly they came from every direction at once.

ITN-E20-monsters

Within moments we were pressed into each other, striking out from our small cluster with a ferocity that matched that of the monsters. Dionus raised a quick whip of the wind, slashing down this first full wave, and yet more came on their heels. They pressed in upon us until I thought we would surely break. And then Bolton struck the bamboo with the flint.

The noise gave the monsters a moment’s pause, as if struck dumb by some unforeseen force. Their ferocity returned quickly, and they pressed in again until Bolton struck the bamboo once more. This time, while the monsters were still dumbstruck, Dionus let loose with a series of explosive blows from the wind.

ITN-E20-close-1

The monsters were thrown into disarray, many killed by impacts with the surrounding trees and hidden stones. The suddenness of the assault, combined with their inability to understand what caused it, drove the beasts to flee. At least as far as I can guess. Bantish was right, the power of the bamboo is soon to be lost to us. The next time they attack, I doubt it will be of any use.

Just a short distance away from our camp site I found our first real clue. On one of the trees I found a carving of a swirling arrow, a symbol I know all too well.

Somewhere ahead of us there are Mentalists.

Share on Pinterest