The morning was colder than most mornings. I stepped from the small cabin and into the deep snow, my staff leading me.
“I would’ve like it to be a bit warmer,” I say.
With my cloak and staff I have no reason to stay and I strike out. Right in front of left, then left and right. A few moments pass while I try desperately to not think of the biting cold when something catches my attention. Something dark speckles the snow just ahead. I look around searching for any sings of company. My eyes hang on the clear skies over the city in the distance, the Miasma pressing in all around like a ring of fog. There’s no going back. The wind changed direction and the smell of blood revealed the speckles ahead and likely much more.
I ready myself as I venture further along the red trail. Another smell came on the wind, something familiar. Uneasy I climb through the trees and over a hill. They see me as soon as I do them. Only three wolves, a deep breath releases the knot in my gut. Wolves are not Veran, wolves I can handle.
My staff is in both hands now across my chest. The alpha lets out a low growl with blood dripping from its maw, the kill between them and myself. I let out a growl myself. The alpha advanced while the other two spread out on each side of me. I know better than to wait for them to make the first move, so I charge screaming into the alpha. It’s ears flicker for just a moment before it realizes it has a fight on it’s paws. It crouches to pounce a moment too late when the knot in my staff connects with its snout. Not a solid blow, but enough to nearly send it spinning. I hear the other two right behind me and spin. One wolf dodges the blow retreating, the other gets it in the side of its head.
That one is out for the time being. I turn and strike the alpha in the side, the attack elicits a loud whimper as it scrambles to get out of reach. Then a crushing pain envelops my arm as the unharmed wolf latches onto me. My teeth clench as it pulls me off balance trying to remove my arm from my shoulder. I pull back hard and manage to maneuver my arm back so my fist is in it’s mouth. I throw all my weight into the wolf’s mouth sending my arm into its throat. The animal jerks violently as its jaw stretches trying to eject the obstacle. I pull hard tearing as much as I can before my arm is retrieved with only a torn sleeve and imminent bruising. My fingers start to tingle as the cold hits the saliva soaking my whole arm.
The wolf stumbles backwards heaving blood into the snow. I raise my staff and smash it onto the wolf’s head and it collapses at my feet. Fatigue starting to settle I turn to face the remaining wolf.