Rake and Warrel burst in on the abandoned campsite where they'd first seen the lone woman. A small measure of greed slightly diluted the immediate lust as they took a quick look around for valuables they could plunder. "Naught but the raw stuff." Warrel growled, as Rake snatched up a rag to wipe the seeping blood from the scratches on his face. "She took the pouches with her. Come on, she we-..."
His comments were broken by rustling to their right, followed shortly by another insistent avian call. "Naw...THAT way, come on!" Warrel corrected, directing Rake to take the lead. Rake scowled back and commented sourly on the scratches on his face that 'taking lead' had earned him. He was in the process of taking a defiant pose when Warrel rolled his eyes and hissed "Fine!", as he started ahead, into the brush in the direction of the bird calls. Rake followed, a defensive smirk on his face.
After a few bits, Warrel stopped, looking puzzled. Immediately the bird calls erupted with renewed urgency. "That bird's an imp-shat ruse, Rake! We're bein' led off!" The two men looked around, trying to be quiet enough to hear any sounds of movement. As if in response, the bird calls shrilled to cover anything they might hear more than a dozen yards off.
"Pluckin' Imp-shat crow-bitch!" Rake roared, scraping up a rock and throwing it in the blind direction of the noise. it worked for a couple of ticks, in the midst of which they heard Trobo's call to muster to their left, and back a good fifty yards or so through a particularly thick hedge of undergrowth. "Shit!" the two men echoed as they plowed slowly in the direction of Trobo's voice.
No stranger to battle instincts, Trobo had seen the beginnings of Annalei's intent as he spun to call out to his brothers in arms. He had no shield, but he'd had enough archery practice to know that he was actually much closer than the optimum impact range for a bow. He continued his spin as he incorporated it into his sudden progress towards the woman, the hilt of his sword seeming to fly into his hand as he whirled, the blade hitting the incoming arrow with freakish good luck.
Lakia, however, did not miss, exactly, but neither did she truly hit. The arrow did
penetrate both the tunic and the mail beneath. But anyone could see that too much of the shaft was still protruding for the head to have done much more than cut some muscle tissue. And Trobo had much of that to spare, as the singing hiss of his steel emphasized.
Annalei took just a tick to begin reaching for a second arrow. It was almost a lethal mistake as she wisely abandoned that plan to dive instead into a diving roll that saved her from a severed neck. Trobo, however, had apparently been counting on the impact to partially stem his momentum, because he stumbled past and had to stab the ground for a source of stability to keep from falling on his face.
He roared the names Rake and Warrel again as he yanked the big two-hander from the ground and prepared a second charge. Annalei had a curiously anticipatory look on her face as she tensed to dodge the oncoming rush of the big man. But it was interrupted by a sudden flash of screeching black as a bird dove by, leaving ragged red lines across his face.
"Gaah! Rut ya blind, ya bugger! I'LL KILL YOU!" He swore, taking a blind swing at the empty air. Annalei charged toward him, grabbing the poorly penetrated arrow and driving it deeper into the man's side. He screamed and tried to swing his elbow into her face. He connected, but it was too weak to do much more than leave a bruise, as she was now turning with
him, using the arrow shaft as painful leverage to keep him spinning, and off balance. His sword was now useless in such close quarters, so he dropped it to get his arm locked around her neck, giving him a way to pivot and get hold of the arm she was using to aggravate the wound, which was now freely bleeding.
The two toppled to the ground, Trobo using his strength to bring her beneath him, one knee holding her arm away from the arrow, the other positioned to choke her. The two other women were forgotten in his rage, as was his sword, lying just a couple yards to his side. If they were not running away, those two other women would hear Rake and Warrel slowly closing the distance, demanding to know what was happening. And anyone familiar with the standard look of processed psinia, would recognize a small spill of it coming from one of Annalei's dropped pouches.