The group readied themselves, but then, hesitated. It wasn't like Gnolls to attack without the element of surprise. And, while technically the group was currently surprised, it was going to take the Gnolls about a minute or so to get to the party.
"Something's wrong, here." Ash commented. "Doesn't feel right."
Jay El nodded. "What if they aren't attacking us? What if they're..."
"Running?" came Raelin's interjection, as he began summoning a fireball.
"From what, though?" Jay El questioned, "There's nothing... on the..."
Raelin launched a fireball and obliterated the Gnolls.
Jay El paused, and looked up, and was unable to see too far due to the tree's canopy. "...ground..."
Manbearpig followed Jay El's thought and glanced upwards.
Jay El breathed his prayers of flight and launched himself skyward so as to get a glimpse of what they might be up against.
There were six, flying, lion-like creatures covered in long, wicked-looking spines; their large, dragon-like wings were carrying them about 180 feet in the air in large, powerful flaps.
The Manticores looked at the sudden appearance of Jay El, who was only about 60 feet above the ground, and fired a volley of their spines at him.
Caught completely unprepared, Jay El looked in horror as the rain of spines approached him. Manbearpig had told him a story once, when they were young, about such creatures, and how their spines could pierce through plate mail and even mythral like they were butter.
Jay El closed his eyes and flinched "ABATU!" he yelled.
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