Just before an insectoid intervention- Lescar
Dodging to her right, Lescar swayed out of swipe of a dire rats claws, before responding in kind with a sharp thrust.
"SKREE!" the rat squeaked, Lescar's blade burying itself in the rat's chest, the thin-bladed shortsword piercing between its ribs.
Convulsing the rat fell to the ground dying.
"That's one," Lescar grunted rubbing her side that was bleeding from a shallow wound. the downed rat managing to graze her before its fatal error.
Even with one less opponent, Lescar didn't like her chances, she had already drawn blood on two of the other rats, wounds that wouldn't impact the creatures ability to fight, which wasn't favorable.
These dire rats were significantly larger than the ones she had killed earlier today, about twice as large, which made them the size of Barreta hounds, creatures that often stalked the more downtrodden parts of Octaal at night and were not to be trifled with.
Rats this large likewise were also to be feared, monsters or rats that had gotten this large over the years were clearly veteran predators with many years of hunting under their furs, and that expertise was showing.
With a glance at their fallen brethren, the three remaining rats slowed their initial wild attacks and spread out moving to surround her swiftly, cutting off any attempt to escape and making it very difficult for Lescar to defend effectively.
So she didn't,
knowing that standing back and defending would only hamper her mobility and make her vulnerable Lescar dashed forward her blade poised to strike.
The three rats who had begun to gradually close the circle around her, flinched, but being expert hunters they quickly responded, the rat directly in front of Lescar leaning low and hissing instead of running.
Lescar didn't hesitate and sliced at the rat's neck in a downward arc, her blade whistling as it went.
But this rat had seen attacks like this before and rolled sideways back on its feet immediately, leaving Lescar dangerously exposed as she tried to recover her posture, having missed her target.
"Rats!" Lescar cursed, knowing much like the rat she had just slain, she had made a mistake.
A mistake that was immediately seized and exploited.
"AHHHHH!" Lescar cried, feeling sharp claws piercing through her leather jacket into her side, knocking her off her feet onto her back.
She was sprawled on the sewer floor now, dazed, disarmed and winded, she tried to stand but had no time to recover, as immediately the rats were on her.
"Hrrrrr! no! no! not like this!" Lescar screamed, desperately locking her legs around the rat practically straddling her in an attempt to keep it from gutting her, the rat trying to tear out her throat ignored her struggles clawing feverously at her body.
Lescar punched at the rat and thrashed, trying to get the rat off her, but the rat didn't budge, entirely focused on ending her.
Her hopeless actions achieving nothing, Lescar despaired, coming to a full realization, she was going to die under the claws of this rat and there was nothing she could do to stop that.
Like so many other times in her life, she was powerless, weak, a helpless and broken bird trapped in a dirty cage of class, surviving only by the leavings of greater birds, who in turn looked down on her with disgust and contempt, as she tried her best to survive.
She was little more than a pest in the eyes of these great ones and... in a way they were right.
Born of a whore who abandoned her at a young age, Lescar had known despair since the beginning of her life, she had starved, been beaten and been verbally abused as far back as she could remember.
Her mother hadn't wanted her, her father never cared in the first place and the whole world seemed to hate her.
Except for one being, her brother.
With equal parts hate and rage, her brother had thrown back the contempt, the world and its lords, had tossed upon them.
Tearing into the world her brother had stolen, killed and murdered his way to survival, carefully trailing Lescar behind him the whole time, teaching her to steal, teaching her how to kill when she needed to, helping her grow stronger.
He cared for Lescar, kept her safe.
but one day he never came back from a heist.
And then Lescar was on her own.
Her brother had taught her everything she needed to survive, to become stronger, but even now it wasn't enough, she would die here, food for rats.
She would never achieve her dreams.
She would never find her brother.
No.. he was probably already dead... and Lescar was soon to join him.
The rat was cutting deeper and deeper into her leather jacket, soon it would be tearing into soft flesh instead.
Despite her predicament, Lescar began to cry, sobs escaping from her strained breath.
From the corner of her eye, she could see that the other two rats were simply sitting, watching, clearly believing Lescar was finished.
Yes, she was finished, it was over, she was done.
Lescar screwed her eyes closed, hoping that the rat would at least kill her swiftly.
And then it happened.
Lescar's throat wasn't torn out, instead, something huge and dark dived from the ceiling.
Lescar heard the pained and fearful squeak of a dire rat ending in a loud crunching noise, the rat falling silent right after that.
'What?!' Lescar thought confused
Then the weight of the rat on top of her was gone and Lescar was free to sit up, what she saw shocked her.
The rat that had pinned her, was struggling frantically, its eyes bloodshot and terrified as something larger than it, held it firmly by the neck almost casually.
The rat didn't struggle for long as soon an audible click rang out, like that of two scissor blades coming together.
The rat went immediately limp, its limbs trembling slightly before the rat was dropped on the floor unceremoniously, revealing the thing that stood behind it previously hidden by the dark and the rat's body.
Lescar gasped, it was huge.
The shadowy creature turned, Lescar making out two enormous and blood strewn jaws as it turned to regard the last rat very calmly, its fractured eyes glowing a sickly yellow.
The last rat shivered visibly under the newcomer's glare and wasted no time turning tail and running as fast as its legs could carry it, even faster than when Lescar had seen it charge her.
That just left Lescar and the creature alone, the remaining rat already dead, crushed by the beasts entrance into the brawl.
Lescar scrabbled to her feet snatching her fallen sword of the ground and eyeing up the new threat before her.
She was extremely glad to still be breathing and not dead on the floor, her tears already drying up, but she felt that the creature before her, was even more deadly than the rats.
Lescar studied the beast nervously as it strutted over proudly, the beasts yellow staring eyes focused on her in turn.
It was big and as she watched disbelievingly it swelled up and grew even larger, right before her eyes it was much bigger than a barret hound now, almost horse sized and that wasn't the only unsettling thing about it either, she now knew what it was.
It was a cockroach, but bigger and unlike any, she had ever seen, its head was triangular with two long feathery antennae waving about, the head started wide at the base of the neck joint and came down to a narrow point at the front where two pairs of enormous slavering jaws hung either side of its sharp head, still covered in blood and brains.
Its body was large and bore many signs of battles, the chitin bearing scratches, and discolored shell frequently over its body, its back was also covered in course looking matter that looked like giant dried leaves forming a sort of crest that ran down the beasts carapace in waves, some sort of camouflage?
On each leg, two long jointed talons flexed which were then connected to spiny limbs that made Lescar think of spears, the legs were also thick and through small gaps in the leg chitin, Lescar could see pulsing rippling muscle, the hind legs being notably the largest.
And the eyes! when Lescar looked into them she felt a sort of primal fear rise in her chest, something about this beast was different and wrong, its glowing unnatural eyes seeped hunger and it felt as if a creature much larger than the roach itself were staring at her, breathing down her neck.
Lescar gulped, swallowing with a dry mouth, this thing was definitely more dangerous than the rats it practically oozed menace, it felt like Lescar was facing a dragon not a cockroach.
The monstrous thing then broke Lescar out of her fearful thoughts when it stepped forward leisurely, Lescar stumbling back one in a hurry, the creature ignored the meat lying about it and stepped forward once more.
And again, Lescar stepped back.
She didn't want to fight this thing at all, but it looked like it didn't intend to let her go.
Taking a deep breath Lescar slowed her racing pulse down gaining some control over herself.
She had fallen apart before when she thought she was going to die, and it made her feel sick, she didn't want to do that again.
Steeling herself Lescar drew herself to her full height and went into the fighting stance her brother had taught her.
She wouldn't crack this time if she were to die it would be on her feet fighting,
Eyes again lit by the fires of determination Lescar shouted her challenge at her foe.
"Come and get me! you dumb bug!"