The sky shone in pale blues and pinks, the tops of trees just beginning to glow with the rising sun. On his way to the city, a man came upon a peculiar sight.
A riderless horse stood near a heap.
Curiousity peaked, he dismounted, going in for a closer look. As he neared,the horse' he noticed the tip of a sword protruding from the back of a strange creature. Rot and decay hit him hard when he was mere feet from it. His insides summersaulted, sending their contents up. Heaving until there was nothing left, he stood, wiping his mouth with his sleeve. He wanted nothing more than to leave, but something was keeping him there.
A vaguely feline head lay next to huge crumpled wings on the grass.
Thin limbs, each tipped by thick talons splayed out a coiled mess of a body. The entire animal was blueish-grey and hairless, a faint scale pattern running the length of it.
“Well here it goes. A strong push rolled the beast over. By the Gods!
A man lay motionless, deep gashes criss-crossed his chest, blood staining the ground beneath him. The horse cried out seeing her friend. Kneeling down, he put an ear to his chest. There was a faint heartbeat and his breathing shallow, enough to give a fighting chance. “It's alright friend.” He spoke soothingly, trying to calm the anxiously pawing horse, and to his patient on the off chance that he heard.
Going to his saddlebags, he quickly rummaged through, retrieving several items.
Returning, he took a knife from his belt, cutting the tattered remnants, throwing them aside. Taking a waterskin, he cleaned the wounds, scrubbing away dried blood, breathing a sigh of relief that at least these weren't nearly as bad as he first thought. Reaching into a small pouch he pulled out a cluster of plants. Bruising them between his palms, he carefully packed the cuts. He paused momentarily, wondering how he would turn the man over without dirt undoing everything. An idea struck. Going back to the saddle, he grabbed a blanket. Unrolling a length of cloth and laying it over his chest, he gingerly turned the man onto the blanket.
Fresh blood covered nearly every inch of skin. Hurriedly washing the blood showed that these were much deeper, having cut into the muscle. With no needle and thread, he made do with packing them more firmly. “There we go.” He sighed in relief as he finished tying the wrap snugly.
Bringing his own horse over, he stooped to collect his patient. Doing so easily was another matter. Unconcious, the man was dead weight. With trial and error he was finally able to lift him without fear of losing his hard work. “Avel.” Hearing the command, it knelt down, allowing him to ease the man onto the saddle. Situating himself behind, the horse rose smoothly. Shaking the reins, they were off. Balancing was tricky, but doable. Walking a short distance, he heard the clip-clop of more hooves, he looked back.
Obediently following its master like a young pup was the man's horse.
Chuckling, the group set out for the city.