Tumbor momentarily stopped dead, adopting his usual stance with his axe ready to strike, although he quickly realised the depth of the water was going to hinder him being able to swing effectively. He also noticed he was slowly sinking.
Another branch snapped. Louder, closer. Something of considerable size and power was heading towards him, and he was completely disadvantaged by his surroundings. Cursing dwarven expletives, Tumbor abandoned his stance in favour of something he was completely unfamiliar with, fleeing.
Several hundred feet away, a large reptilian creature had picked up his scent and was heading towards him using a combination of stalking and swimming. Razor sharp talons tore at the bark of trees, its immense bulk simply bending them out of the way.
Tumbor was aware that it had quickly closed the gap, and he would soon be able to feel its breath upon his back. Eagerly he looked around for any perch or ledge that would lift him clear of the water, but there was nothing.
Stopping dead once again, he could now hear the creature off to his lefthand side quickly closing in. Opting not to look upon his adversary, he waited for the moment of inevitable collision before unleashing his attack. He held ‘Trollcleaver’ high above his head, swamp water and rain dripping from the blade onto his intensely stern face as he counted the distance.
The axe came down with immense force across the stomach of the reptile, catching it by surprise and causing it to cry out in pain. The wound was deep and gaping, blood free flowing down its body. Enraged it lashed out violently, connecting firmly across Tumbor’s chest.
The force lifted him clean from the swamp, his armour falling apart from the gouges made by the beast’s talons. He landed submerged in the swamp, his breath battered from his lungs. Scrambling back to his feet, he had just enough of his wits about him to avoid another deadly swipe.
Sensing his body becoming engulfed in the rapture of bloodlust, he swung his axe instinctively in the direction of the avoided blow. A solid connection was felt through its hilt, the blade biting deep into the reptiles front leg, lodging securely within the bone.
Tumbor’s unwillingness to relinquish his axe saw him being pulled free of the swamp once more as the creature withdrew its leg. The dwarf and his axe was sent crashing back into the blood soaked swamp as it became dislodged, however instead of being momentarily stunned, he attacked again, this time cleaving at the reptiles tail severing it half.
The creature stumbled, frantically lashing out at thin air, before falling sideways with a deafening splash. It breathed heavily, the life seeping away from its lungs, and its eyes seemed to acknowledge that it would soon die.
Tumbor, taking now chances, brought his axe down upon the creatures skull silencing it instantly. Taking a moment to gather his thoughts and regain some sense of regular breathing, he slumped up alongside the dead creature.
“You’re an ugly bugger,” he said wiping blood and gore from the blade of his axe.