The Blacklings prodded and poked Calum with their little horns and claws. He squirmed at first, but soon he stopped. He knew they liked it when he was annoyed, and he thought of what to do. He had been taught about Blacklings before, he knew they would try to make him one of them. He couldn’t just leave, but they would have to take him out for water if they wanted him to live. Unlike these soulless creatures, he needed food and drink, and they needed him alive for now. So, he decided to wait until then, and run they slipped. They did more than merely slip.
When they eventually surrounded him and carried him out, they surrounded him as they let him stand up, baring their wicked little teeth. As he put his hands forward to the river to drink, he looked around for an escape route, and instead found something better. In the distance, he saw a man in a traveling cloak. Immediately, he yelled for him. He shouted for help. The man indeed turned to him, and immediately ran forth. As the traveler ran towards him, Calum’s blood suddenly turned cold, quite literally. The air about him chilled, and he immediately knew that this things was no man.
He ran off as the Blacklings scattered. The man in the cloak paid them no mind, focused only Calum. As the man didn’t see him, Calum immediately climbed swiftly up a nearby tree, and said absolutely nothing. He mentally thanked his father for all those years of training him as huntsman. He fell as silent as the tree itself on a windless day, and gazed down. The figure dashed about, its head swivelling back and forth as it scanned its surroundings. Calum heard it breathing heavily and wheezily, as though it was dying, every raspy breath a chore. It was unbefitting for its unnatural quickness as it grabbed a Blackling that had rustled in the leaves once, and Calum could feel its bitter anger as it ripped the Blackling’s head from its shoulders. Calum waited for hours even after this thing left and the air warmed again.
He started to move stealthily through the canopy, skillfully climbing and dashing through the branches, as he searched for someone to help him.