His nearest brother had raised the alarm. There was a sound almost undetectable coming from the bushes, something very similar to a hiss. It was enough. He knew they were encircled. He emitted a groan and this was the signal. Two more of his brothers were positioned at his back and then came a scream.
This was every year’s ritual. The tribe from the high mountains climbed down the peaks and attacked them in a display of boundless strength. They’d just had to resist one more time, but their number was lower each year that passed. Their forces were decreasing with each new raid.
They were rangers. They had a mission. Their forest was sacred to them, and it was always this way. They couldn’t allow that a lower race take possession of their ancestors’ land and the source of their power. Not without fighting. He put the wayward stone in his bag, tensed his bow and firmly grasped his axe.