Wild boars are not very agreeable by their nature. Luca had found that they were even less agreeable when you were trying to turn them into dinner. Luca sat in the branches of an ancient tree, looking down at the 1000-pound boar that he had so offended. Luca’s simple bronze sword lay useless in the bushes near the base of the tree. The choice had been simple; he could either drop the sword and keep climbing, or fall from the tree and be mauled by the massive beast. Luca had made what he believed to be the smart choice, but as he sat in the tree, cornered, he began to doubt the wisdom of his decision.
The furious creature rammed the tree with the force of an elephant, wreaking chaos to its every branch. Luca’s doubts were beginning to grow into real fear. The limb on which Luca sat creaked beneath him. The creature angrily trotted a little further away from the base of the tree this time, and then charged at a dead run into it. This time Luca heard the sound of wood snapping, but it was not in the tree falling, or his branch breaking… The boar had lodged its tusk in the trunk of the tree. An enraged grunt echoed off of the short grass below. The animal was stuck.
Luca did not wait for his adversary to free itself. He reached into his pack and produced a dagger. It was not nearly as impressive to the eye as his sword, but Luca was not vain. A dead enemy is a dead enemy, no matter how he is slain. Luca adjusted his positioning on the branch ever so slightly as he prepared to descend upon the boar and slay it, but just as he was about to jump he felt a whisper of leaves crossing the forest floor in the periphery of his consciousness. There was something about the slight noise that startled Luca.
The small hairs on the back of his neck stood. Someone was using magic.
A ball of flame erupted from the bushes not far from where Luca’s sword lay, and buried itself in the hide of the boar, sending the sounds of the creature’s suffering and the smell of singed hair and flesh wafting up to Luca where he sat.
The creature was obviously weakened but not dead. Luca leapt down, landing on the beast’s back blade first. He allowed the unfortunate creature to break his fall, and then he swiftly hid behind it. Whoever had launched that spell at the boar would probably not like to share this kill.
“Luca!” a voice entreated from the bushes. It was a familiar voice.
“Is that you, Garron?” Luca called back from behind the boar.
“Of course it is you dumb clod. Who else would half cook your dinner for you, even before you’d killed it,” Garron answered. His answer removed all doubt as to his identity.
“I would have had that beast even without your help. Might have even been easier without you,” Luca chuckled as he stood.
“Aye, it may be so,” Garron answered, “but it would’ve been twice as hard for you to carry him home, and ten times as hard to cook him without a mage around to light your fire for you.” He emerged from the bushes, revealing his bronzed face, the leather cape that he seemed never to remove, and the red spell book that he seemed never to put down. On his face was a genuine smile. Luca bent down and grabbed one of the boar’s hooves. He felt the warmth of his strength amulet against his chest as he hauled the bulky beast off of the ground and over his shoulder with one arm. Garron regarded him with a look of amusement, before he opened his spell book and began to whisper.
Luca felt the weight of the boar on his shoulder lessen as the creature was lifted from his grasp. He had never seen Garron use that spell before, but nothing much the young mage did surprised him anymore. The two warriors ambled off toward Luca’s camp, laughing.