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Okay, not as long as I'd wanted it to be, but I'll post what I've got.


When Pike woke up, he felt as though he’d eaten an entire patch of unripe dreamberries. His head pounded and his muscles were sluggish. He felt the hard rock beneath him, and the soft fur of Hotburr next to him, and not too far away he could hear the movement of a being far too graceful for a troll. Obviously, they were no longer in danger’s way”¦ for the time being.

He groaned, and heard the person, who he soon discovered was Shenshen, rush over to him and ask if he was all right. He mumbled an ok and tried to get to his feet, but his legs felt like moss, and he didn’t get very far. Shenshen seemed worried, although she tried to suppress a giggle.

“How long was I out?” He asked finally.

She didn’t really have an answer for him, so she shrugged and said, “A while.”

He turned then and examined Hotburr, who was not awake, but breathing, and that seemed to satisfy him. He asked then what happened. She explained that the trolls threw some pouches with dust at them, and both he and the wolf went down, but it didn’t affect she or Rayek.

“Rayek!” Pike said suddenly, just noticing their companion was missing. “Where is he?”

“Out to get us some food and water.” She replied, looking down the tunnel where he left. “He’s been gone a while.”

Pike huffed grumpily and muttered, “Let’s just hope he didn’t get himself caught.”

Shenshen didn’t reply. For a few minutes there was silence while Pike tried to make his limbs work properly, and a short time later, Hotburr woke up as well. He did not seem happy, but didn’t do much more than growl when one of them got near.

After for too long of a wait, Shenshen broke the silence. “Pike?” He looked up, but said nothing, so she reached down and picked up her sword. “Could you teach me how to use this? At least so I’m not useless if we’re attacked again.”

He didn’t reply immediately. Slowly and embarrassed grin widened across his face. He scratched the back of his head. “I’m not the best with a sword. I’ve always liked spears. More reach.”

She cocked her head. “But”¦ why did you give me this then?”

He shrugged. “It was all the trolls had on them.” She looked away with disappointment, and that struck something immediately. Pike put a hand on her shoulder. “But, if you want me to, I’ll try.”

Her smile returned, but before she could respond, the Wolfrider’s ears perked up and he stared intently at the entrance to their hiding hole. Shenshen followed his gaze just as an almost panicked Rayek ran in carrying something that the other two could not make out at first. He put it down, and then put a finger to his lips, indicating they should be quiet. As they watched, whatever it was he had been carrying, moved towards the entrance and the rock suddenly began to move on it’s own, closing the opening.

“What are you doing?!” Pike said in a harsh whisper. “We’ll be trapped in here!”

Rayek flashed him a warning look, then turned to Shenshen. “Don’t worry.” He then pulled out some objects from a pouch he’d also held. He hit a couple of rocks together and after a spark or two, he held a lit torch, just as the entryway sealed up.

Annoyed at being ignored, Pike turned his attention to the strange figure. It was an elf, he could tell that just by the smell, but aged”¦ and abused. He was completely bald, and his eyes were sunken. His physique could only be described as thin and boney, though one could tell that if he’d had proper nutrition, he may have been taller and more graceful. But the worst part, the part that made Pike visibly cringe, was that parts of him were missing; His left arm, and left leg mid-calf, and the middle finger on his right hand.

Pike wanted to say something; question what was happening, but he couldn’t think of any way to do so without yelling at Rayek. So, he kept his mouth shut. After a moment, the strange elf, leaning on the rock wall, gave the three an unsure grin and said, “I, uh eh”¦ I am Ekuar. I shape rock.”