It was late afternoon when they spotted the horsemen. A line of six riders ambled towards them from the trail ahead, though with no obvious signs of ill intent. As they drew nearer Rasha noted that they were armed in the ulfen style, though all had short horse bows and quivers of arrows slung on the saddle.
The lead rider nodded hello, and as they walked past casually scanned their wagons. It was at that moment that Ameiko popped her head out of the wagon ahead to take a peek at the riders.
It might have been a figment of his imagination, but Rasha thought that he detected a flicker of interest in the face of one or two of the riders. nevertheless they carried on past.
It was over an hour later when he heard the galloping. Looking up he saw half a dozen riders rushing out of the trees on both sides. He heard the twang of bowstrings and saw Ameiko cry out as two arrows hit her in the shoulder; another rider rode past her wagon and slashed with his sword.
“They’re after Ameiko. They know who she is” thought Rasha, pulling his wagon to a halt and reaching for his bow. Ahead he saw Ragnar and Dinald jump down to try to protect Amieko, as the hit and run tactics of the riders fired more arrows at her.
There was something about their arrows….a single wound from an arrow and the target went down. Reynald and Ungo were firing their bows in return, and Ailukka was firing her magics from the rear of Ameiko’s wagon; it was impossible to get to close grips with the darting horsemen.
Their own missile did have some effect however, and any horseman that was badly wounded rode off into the trees, though only three or four of the wagon party remained awake.
A lucky sword swing from Kelda cut one of the riders virtually in half as he ventured too close, before she too was sent down by an arrow.
But the remaining rider had had enough now, and he too retreated off into the trees.
As the fallen were seen too it was found that they were mostly fast asleep: some enchantment from the arrows deduced Ailukka. She tested a few of them, and passed these to Rasha for future use.
It did seem that Ameiko’s enemies were actively searching for her.