The Centaurs cantered out of the forest’s tree line and went to a full gallop across the open plain. Their lead archer had spotted the probable location of an intruder to their territory, a being of a sort not seen here before.
It was big, this one, something like a man, something like a dragon, and standing some three meters tall. It had horns; a long, heavy tail swayed back and forth behind it. Its left arm ended in a tip that looked all the world like a mace of sculpted bone. It looked like it had more muscle than it knew what to do with, and it strode confidently over to them as they galloped closer, longbows ready and arrows nocked.
It raised its right arm as if to greet them, and said something in a language oddly out of place for its vocal equipment, yet they understood the gravelly, resonating tones.
“Me, Gr’ozz want to talk! Gr’ozz have news of coming of Bad Men! They carry weapons to hurt while they hunt and hound Gr’ozz!” The creature said, sounding more toddler than adult in speech patterns, yet looked serious enough for the Centaurs to slow down and listen.
“Gr’ozz being hunted by Bad Men. Bad Men look like Gr’ozz, but short, shorter than Half-Horses, shorter even than humans, but not as handsome or smart as Gr’ozz! Bad Men will hurt Half-Horses too! Gr’ozz want to stop them.”
The Centaurs lowered their longbows. This creature, whatever it was, seemed dull of mind, or perhaps merely speech-impaired, but of good heart and would do them no harm.
“Me, Gr’ozz always wanted to say this, so here go . . . Take me to your leader!”
To be continued