Toria: Chapter 1, Episode 1.4 – The Gleaming Blade

The wilderness isn’t a safe place for children…

Music: The Wherry Attacks

Wherries were massive avians — imagine crossing a dragon and a turkey, two meters tall, with the aggressive disposition of a goose. This large female, protecting her nest, was completely enraged.

She puffed out her feathers and fanned her wings, her eyes burning an angry crimson. Though she had no teeth, the edges of her beak were sharp and a set of jagged protrusions in the front could tear meat. Her front claws were also sharp, and a kick from a two hundred and fifty pound creature could break bones.

This wasn’t Toria’s first crisis, though an attacking wherry was a much more terrifying and immediate threat than the aftermath of a flood. She threw a pair of large rocks past the creature, striking the bounder next to the thick hedge of brush that concealed the wherry’s dig. The rocks struck and fell with a noisy clatter.

For a moment, the wherry was distracted. Her sinuous head turned to investigate and she screeched a deafening alarm.

Dylan used the opening to scramble backwards and ready his belt knife, his expression of sheer terror changing to one of grim determination.

Toria dashed forward and took him by the arm, “Run for the rocks!

The two of them ran for a nearby patch of rocky terrain where they might lose the wherry behind a cluster of boulders or find a hollow to hide in until she lost interest. The ground was littered with partially exposed stones, forcing them to watch their step and slowing them down.

The wherry charged forward, moving easily over the craggy terrain with the help of her wings. Toria and Dylan could hear her huge beak snapping repeatedly behind them.

Dylan’s sudden cry of pain made Toria’s breath catch her her throat.

He spun around, slashing with his knife. His blade hacked through empty air as the wherry ducked and dodged with incredible speed. Finally, he caught it on the front edge of a wing. She hissed in pain but wouldn’t give up the fight.

Toria could see a small patch of blood coloring the back of Dylan’s left sleeve just above the elbow.

The young explorers weren’t going to escape without a fight.

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