Plumes of hot breath smeared the starlit sky, matched by dwindling pillars of smoke from the scattered remains of the campfire. The owlbear, its dying breaths puffing out of its gore-streaked muzzle, lay among the embers hissing their heat into the chilly night. In battle, the ferocity of the owlbear was an overwhelming terror that could only be responded to in fight or flight. But the piteous dwindling of its dying movements demanded a quiet contemplation from the four men who had brought it to such a lowly state. Its blood dripped from their weapons, and dark crossbow bolts jutted from its furred and feathered contours. The staccato of their pulses slowing just as that of the great beast did, the four men stood and watched in silence, a vanguard to the owlbear’s passing.
The barely conscious Garand broke their reverie as he gasped “…her…help her…please…” before passing out entirely. Krivaxus quickly leapt to the woman’s aid, retrieving her unconscious form from where it lay in the underbrush. As Abarsis tended to the fallen guard and Belgos kept an eye out for any further incursions from the woods, Lousak turned a critical eye upon the owlbear’s corpse.