You can only run so long before your legs give out. Even Orcs have their limits.
Markas was beginning to tire from his run. His muscles burned with the effort of running for hours. Somewhere out there the sun was setting ahead of him slowly fading behind the Gauphira Mountains, home. A home he would never live to see again.
The creature that pursued him had endurance that defied even his own. Markas had to get away, but that dream was beginning to fade as his energy waned. He had taken a more damage during his skirmish with creature in the grove than he dared to admit. Acknowledgement of the wounds would only slow him down, so he pressed on as if nothing was wrong.
Cradling the carved wooden angel in his arm, he zagged to the right as he pressed through the forest underbrush. The path widened ahead. He was getting closer to the plains and the hills beyond. The wide open spaces of the open plains would give him the chance he needed.
Almost as if on some timed cue, the creature emerged from the birch tree to Markas’ right. He noticed too late to give himself much time to react. He leaned left to dodge left between two trees to get away. A blow that would have swung directly where his head had been only a second before seared into his shoulder and arm as it came down. Markas screamed, felt his vision wobble and then return. He couldn’t take too many of those. As he stabilized himself on the run, he heard the creature merge with a nearby tree and disappear.
Using the sound as a cue he bolted in a second direction for a few seconds and then a third. He could hear the creature moving and looking for him. He changed direction away from the sound. He ran about 3O feet more before he slammed into a tree branch he thought he had dodged under, audibly grunting with pain.
Pressing on he found himself turning again towards the open plains. They were close now, but maybe not close enough. This was not how he had seen himself die in the dream. The dream was from nature herself. How could Sansor be wrong?
It was then the creature emerged from a tree right in front of him knocking him back into another tree with a devastating blow. The creature immediately disappeared again. It was playing with him now. He forced himself back onto his feet. He ran straight forward in the direction of the open plains. It was only when Markas was almost right on top of the stranger that he noticed a gnome with bow pointed at right at him. He zagged again to pass the gnome. As he passed, he yelled in a language he hope the gnome understand.
Locking eyes with the gnome he yelled “RUN!!!”