From the forest border Ruan could make out the furious retreat of his comrades and the dark shadowed masses of the swarms closing in on them. The voidlings were closely dogging their heels but if they kept their pace they would make the forest line. Unfortunately, what lay behind them was the lesser of dangers next to what lay before them. If they didn't change course, they were heading straight into a stretch of tangle root that appeared to infest much of the forest borders.
Notching an arrow and drawing back his bow string, he took careful aim. After only a moments adjustment he released it with an audible twang to imbed into the earth not a pace before the feet of the forerunners. The shot was followed up with a sharp signal whistle to draw his allies around to his position and clear of the strangle root.
A flash of worry ran was visible within Niv's otherwise composed expression as the signal whistle sounded. "Why would you think to bring them here if they've a league's-worth of voidlings tailing them?" The cocky half-elf seemingly joked, though all who knew him would find the sarcastic concern in his tone valid. "I mean, I'm sure they can handle themselves." He slowly drew his hunting knife in preparation for the imminent onslaught. In a situation like this, they'd surely hang him for deserting, and so retaliating against the masses was beginng to seem like the greater of two terrible options. Yet still, this didn't seem to ease the large knot now forming in his stomach.
“Because it's the only safe stretch of wood. Now make yourself useful, unless you want to go off and see how well you can handle yourself in a patch of strangle root. There, that tree behind you, cut a few of those bulbs loose and don't let the sap get on your hands.” Ruan disregarded Niv's sarcasm in favor of focusing on the situation at hand.
Slinging his bow over his shoulder and tossing his pack to the ground, Ruan grabbed up a sturdy branch. Pulling his sash free he rapidly wound it around the branch in a rather crude, but functional torch. Though any fool would know that a fire would attract every voidling for miles around.
Niv groaned, giving the man a look of utter distaste, before turning his back and stalking off towards the aforementioned tree. "Aye..." He muttered lowly. With a swift slash, he cut free a few bulbs, careful of the viscous and adhesive liquids they contained, all too aware of the rather unpleasant rash the stuff would cause should he get any upon himself. He turned back to face Ruan, nearly dropping the bulbs in realization of his companion's intent.
"Woah, what exactly do you think you're doing? Setting these aflame will draw every Voidling for leagues!" He protested worriedly.
While Niv went to work on the bulbs, Ruan upturned the pack and spilling the contents out onto the ground. Grabbing up a flask of what could only be assumed was a flammable fluid, he swiftly began dousing the torch followed by the pack itself.
“That's the idea. Put those in there,” Ruan instructed as he tossed the pack to Niv, not bothering to waste time explaining. They had only moments more before their allies reached the forest line, and the voidlings with them.
"Ugh..." The raven-haired half-elf grimmaced as he tossed the bulbs into the alcohol-drenched sack, holding the two entities as far from his body as possible. He ever so hated getting dirty.
Once his task was completed, he closed it up and tossed it on the ground, a look of sheer distate on his face. "There." He shoved his right hand into his pocket, his other still clenched firmly around his knife.
Grabbing up a hunk of flint from his discarded supplies Ruan swiftly drew his dagger and struck a few urgent blows against the steel to spark off a fire on the torch. Snatching it up the lanky scout swung up into a weather worn and gnarly tree.
Already the flicker of the torch light in the dark was growing to illuminate their position and it wouldn't be long before the voidlings caught sight of it. “The pack!” he called down to Niv urgently.
"Yeah, yeah..." Niv replied lowly, snatching up the pack and hopping up into the tree. With a shake of his head, he handed the pack to his companion, glad to finally be rid of it.