He adjusts the armor yet again, trying to stop the chafing. The shoddy workmanship, poor design, and unbearable stench are a constant enticement to abandon the scavenged gear and press on. But the encounter with the goblin raiders has shown him that fighting nearly naked with a makeshift club is risky, even when his abilities are vastly superior to the individual opponents.
At least the bandit camp had contained a few decent supplies, some serviceable weapons, and enough coin to anticipate better gear once he reached civilization. Assuming, of course, he could find someone who would trade with him rather than attacking on sight or running away screaming.
His stomach growls, protesting both the semi-rancid meat from the raiders’ stores, and the general lack of sustenance for almost two days. The elements are hardly a concern, and water plentiful, but food is not so easy to come by. Hunting is hardly his strong point, and he remains less than certain of the correct direction to travel.
Pausing for a moment to rest, he leans against a thick oak, resisting the urge to settle in for longer. The silence of the sparse woods is nearly complete, reminding him of his status as interloper.
A sudden growl punctuates an impact of fur and muscle, knocking him off his feet. Savage claws rip and tear at leather and skin alike as he struggles to draw a knife while fighting to keep the cat’s teeth from his throat. Twisting forcefully, he manages to drag the blade free, trying to shift position to allow a proper attack. Sacrificing his left arm to the beast’s fangs, he manages to land several blows, enough to slacken the assault and break free.
Rolling to his feet, he circles the bobcat warily, willing to allow the animal to make the first move. When the beast springs, a quick twist of the body and slash of the blade ends the battle, leaving the cat crumpled on the forest floor.
At least I shall have fresh meat for a day.