Temple in the Forest.
The boat was drifting parallel to shore for hours now. Randon was sitting there morosely staring at the dark outline of trees and listening to the bird calls in the rushes. His sword was at his side and his heavy cloak was slung carelessly over immortal wanderer's shoulder. He reached for the bottle at the bottom of
the boat, lifted it to his lips and drank greedily. An arrow passed right next to his ear and fell heavily into the dark water near the boat. Randon swore and reached for the sword. Next arrow scratched his leg as it fell into the boat. When Randon stood in the boat balancing precariously against the current, he saw a crowd of savages emerge from the forest armed with bows and arrows. The savages ran towards the shore filling the night with bloodcurdling cries. Randon could have sworn he heard some triumphant cheers there as well.
-Have we met before?- he wondered aloud
He waited for the first savage swimming ahead of the pack to reach the boat. He swung a sword and cleaved the man's skull apart with one stroke. Randon was just swinging again as an arrow released by someone onshore hit him in the chest. Arrowhead was deflected by his chainmail, but the force of the impact made him stagger and miss the target of his sword.
Soon most of his enemies reached the boat. Hands and teeth, fists and elbows came at Randon all at once. Once lucky elbow managed to push him out of the boat. The man went down into the water still clutching a sword in his hand. Heavy chainmail dragged him down into the murky depths of the water.Someone else's foot slammed into the side of his head and Randon sank below.
With his last remaining reserve of strengh the tried to free himself of the chainmail. His sword was already gone. Finally he was free and gasping for air he swam upwards, finally bursting into the air, choking and sputtering. Somehow he ended up a few feet away from the boat, so he swam towards the other side of the shore away from the enemy. The savages gave pursuit, but soon he was struggling ashore, water dripping from his tired body. Once Randon felt the solid ground beneath his feet, he ran towards the saving veil of trees just ahead. He managed to reach the trees well ahead of his pursuers.
As his opponents reached the treeline, they stopped their pursuit as if suddenly unwilling to cross some barrier forbidden to them. Randon heard a few shouts and saw flaming torches moving back and forth on the shore, but there was no more pursuit. He headed deeper into the forest. He did not know why his enemies suddenly attacked, nor why they gave up. Were they forbidden to go deeper among these trees? Was he heading into danger? Randon did not know.
As he walked he regretted the loss of his sword. He bought a sword from Aretan merchant in the busy metropolis of Karagen. The sword became a familiar presence to him and without it he felt naked and vulnerable. He walked among the tree for a few hours now and it seemed he was hopelessly lost.
He heard sounds and whispers of the night all around him.