Throg gnawed idly on the thighbone, his thick incisors gleaning the last remnants of lightly-charred flesh free. Disappointment flickered through him as he realized this was the last of his dinner. The familiar specter of hunger danced on the edges of his mind. The two hobgoblins across the fire fell quiet as his gaze turned to them, whatever petty matter they were bickering about forgotten in light of the new danger that faced them, literally. Stillness hung in the air as Throg picked up the half-empty wine jug and downed the remaining contents in a few swigs.
The silence was shredded by a ferocious snarl as a jet-black form exploded from the shadows and landed on the back of one of the hobgoblins. The pitiful minion of Chaos barely had time to soil itself in terror before the great jaws of its ebon assailant clamped down on its neck, snapping bones and crushing cartilage. Its companion managed to stagger to its feet and draw a rusty blade. Stunned by the sudden violence and drenched in blood, the creature raised the sword to fend off ghostly form that appeared in the flickering firelight to be a mountain lion. The panther’s roar mingled with the hobgoblin’s howl of terror as the cat leapt from the broken body of its comrade.
Throg gaped in awe as he watched the flurry of claw and blade before him. The hobgoblin’s surprisingly skillful defense was for naught as the notched blade failed to wound it’s assailant. The ogre’s mind struggled to comprehend what his eyes understood as the weapon seemed to pass through the feline apparition. Realizing he could not outrun the beast, Throg reached for the iron-bound and spike-covered club beside him.. In the moment that he took his eyes off of the fight, the onslaught ended.
Unnerved as the dull red glow of the panther’s eyes focused on him, Throg brandished his weapon and bellowed. The cat tensed, gathering the power to spring onto the ogre. With a growl, it turned and ran off in search of less difficult prey.
A long time passed before Throg’s thoughts returned to hunger……