"They are just the same as the adults, only smaller," Ivo marveled as he examined the slain gibberling he'd taken from the ranger's hand.
"They act just like the adults," growled Harald. "My torch went out then they attacked."
"This may be the cause of the herds migration," Ivo said holding the small body on the palm of his hand and raising it level with his eyes.
"That is a leap," said Harald, "you may be right, but who knows? Who has found their young before?"
"Only us," Ivo said with wonder.
"Our luck is holding then," the halfling broke in. "All bad."
"I feel lucky enough to still be breathing," said Harald. The ranger wrapped his legs with strips of cloth. He'd cut his cloak apart, Ivo did not have enough bandages to cover all his wounds.
"What are we going to do with these?" Harold kicked a gibberling pup. It was curled into a tight ball hiding from the light of the enchanted stone. "It's going to take some work to kill them all."
"I'll have to find a way to preserve a body or two," mused Ivo.
Harold nudged another pup with his toe. "What do you think their worth?" he asked casually.
"They are priceless," Ivo replied.
"Priceless..." Harold murmured back thougtfully.
* * *
"Back away! Back away!' Talberth warned the orcs. The mage's face was eerily underlit by the glowing amulet he wore, his expression was demonic. The shadow of the wand he held was huge as it was projected against the wall, it terrified the orcs. Their weapons clanged to the floor and they backed themselves empty-handed into the corner of the room.
Talberth had thought he'd heard yelling from the far passage, but the orcs noise had drowned it out. Now that they'd stopped their vile cursing the chamber had fallen into silence. Talberth's shouted commands faded into the dark that surrounded the light of his amulet. The mage bent and put his hand beneath the scout's nose but kept his eye upon the orcs and kept the dweomered wand pointed in their direction. He felt a slight stirring of air, he shifted his hand to the scout's chest, its rise and fall could barely be felt, but it was there as well as the steady beating of Derue's heart
* * *
Harold casually searched where the ranger had lain for the empty jar of salve. It wouldn't hold much, not a complete body, but he could save one the little gibberlings' heads. If the whole was priceless perhaps the head would be worth a fortune by itself, he thought.
"Harold," Ivo called, "go see what is keeping the others. Find Gytha at least, Harald is still injured."
"I'm fine," the ranger objected.
"You are not," Ivo replied. "And no more of such lies. Harold go, go..." Ivo shooed away the thief waving both his hands. "And take the orc with you!"
Harold shook his head in regret; he would have to think of a way to save one of the bodies of the giberling pups. Walking past the young orc he did not need to signal or say a word, Little Rat fell in behind.