The Marksman sits among the branches of a tall oak tree, blending in with the shadows that cast a dappled pattern on the dark gray bark. Several trees over, a goat carcass hangs from a tree. The heroes had been hunting the Wolf for several days, staking out the hanging bait for hours on end. The Marksman is perhaps the best at this, able to sit motionless through the passing hours. His ability to find the perfect position to blend into the background, becoming all but invisible to his unsuspecting prey. So far the heroes had only seen the odd ground squirrel or hart.
That’s why when he first hears the rustling of leaves, it doesn’t draw his interest. As the noise grows closer, however, the Marksman recognizes that this sound belongs to something much larger than a ground squirrel.
Suddenly, the Wolf charges through the trees, launching itself through the air and ripping the goat carcass from the tree. The Wolf stands over the bait before digging in and eating his fill. Meanwhile, the Marksman loads a barbed arrow, coated in sedative, and stares down the arrow ramp.
The Wolf sniffs the air, something isn’t right. His ears perk up as a light whistle pierces the silence. The Marksman’s arrow strikes home, burying itself in the Wolf’s hind leg. The Wolf howls in pain, before limping off through the woods. The Marksman lifts a hand to the sky, sending up a plume of blue magic flame. He leaps from the tree, sliding down the trunk of another tree, before kicking off the trunk, rolling on the ground to break his fall, and giving pursuit.
The Wolf begun tearing through the woods, but the farther he runs the slower and more staggering his gait becomes. The Marksman follows at a measured distance, keeping a close eye on the Wolf, not allowing him to get away, but not pressing the Wolf anymore than he already is. Eventually, the pair reach a clearing in the center of the forrest. The Wizard stands on the far end of the clearing.
“That’s far enough Wolf,” calls the Wizard, “You don’t have to run anymore.”
The Wolf staggers, struggling every step before collapsing in the center of the clearing.
“Well that was easier than expected,” says the Marksman as he materializes from the wood line.
“It’s not over yet,” says the Wizard. He sniffs the wind. Something strange is in the air. It is something bitter, corrupt, unnatural… evil. A presence that makes the Wizard’s hair stand on end. The wind begins to pick up, as if all the air in the forrest were being sucked into the center of the clearing. Suddenly, a black smoke rolls in from all around the wood line, being sucked into the center of the clearing beneath the Wolf. A burning red portal begins to open up under the Wolf, pulling him into it.
“No…” says the Wizard, understanding what was happening. The Wizard runs forward diving after the Wolf just as the portal closes…
Narrated by Brandon Warner