Vaelarian crouched in the bushes near the river as the late afternoon sun peeked through the tree branches into the sandy clearing before him. He held his daggers ready in his hands as he watched the river. He could see one. Only the top part of its head was visible. The rest of its body was hidden in the muddy water. It hadn’t moved at all since Vaelarian had first spotted it, but then again, neither had he.
They were both hunting.
Vaelarian waited. Some wading birds happened though the clearing. At last the beast in the water moved. It slowly neared the birds at the edge of the water.
The crocolisk was large. It was also very quick. Vaelarian watched as it shot out of the water and snapped its immense jaws over one of the birds. The other birds flew off as the crocolisk began to drag its supper into the water. Vaelarian tightened his grip on his daggers, and lunged from his hiding place.
He thrust one of his daggers into the tough skin of the crocolisk’s back, right behind its head, hoping to hit a vital spot. The crocolisk threw its head back, letting go of the limp bird. Vaelarian stayed on the crocolisk’s back, holding onto the dagger as he swung his other dagger into the crocolisk’s side. It rolled. Vaelarian let go as the crushing weight of the beast rolled over him, leaving his first dagger stuck in the crocolisk. His other dagger, displaced by the weight of the beast, sliced across his left palm. He recovered quickly, jumping back onto the back and locking his legs around the crocolisk’s legs. He pulled his dagger out and thrust it downwards again. The crocolisk thrashed beneath him as he stabbed at it until finally it went limp. He put an arm under its head and pulled it up, slitting it’s throat to make sure it was dead before going to the river to wash. The cut on his hand was still bleeding.
He washed it clean and quickly checked his pack for something to wrap it. He hadn’t brought much, having hoped to fill his pack with food before returning to his camp. He took off his shirt and wrapped that around his hand instead, hoping to stop the bleeding. He glanced back at the crocolisk. The bird it had killed still was on the riverbank. That should last him a few days, and he had found an icy spot up on the ridge above his camp to make sure the meat didn’t go bad. He set about skinning and gutting the crocolisk. He tossed the bird in his back whole. He could finish that when he got back to camp where he could properly bandage his hand.
He filled his pack, he had brought his largest, with as much of the crocolisk meat as he could. He saved the skin too. Perhaps it would make a nice belt, or boots. He started on his way back to his camp after his pack was full.
He thought about his granddaughter as he picked his way up the hill. She would marry the blood elf in a couple of days. He had received the invitation. He sighed. There was to be a reception afterwards. He hoped he wouldn’t offend anyone if he brought his own food. He wouldn’t eat any of their conjured food. Crocolisk stew sounded a lot better than mana cake.