Running towards the city gates, my hand clenched around my staff, the rain was still pouring. My hair stuck to my skin and was very insistent on blinding me every so often. “Sometimes I wished I’d be bald!” I muttered to myself, a little too loud, too, because some of the people around me gave me an odd look. Alright, I admit that sometimes I may speak my mind when it’s nobody’s business, something that got me in trouble quite often in the past.
But now, I had to defend the garrison.
We reached Captain Thackeray in time. Surrounded by an army of Centaurs and accompanied by a few Seraphs, he stood out from the rest. Fierce and determined, you could see the passion in his eyes. The will to protect these Krytans, us, beating hard through his veins… You could see that he was no novice. I know just a little about Captain Thackeray, but someone told me once that he was a scout for hire near Ebonhawk. I find it hard to believe that such a powerful ally could have started that way. To me, he looks like royalty; his silver armor reflecting spell lights, his long brown hair flowing gracefully with every move… I couldn’t help myself but feel like a teenager, star struck in the making. To a point where I was grinning and people were dying around me.
Now I know why my mother would often sigh at me and tell me that I was has “hopeless as a Henchie“. I don’t know what a Henchie is. But apparently they’re dumb.
Out of the oven, straight to the… frying pan? I had replaced battle for more fighting. Centaurs were gathering at the gates and fighting their way through it, towards us. Within a few seconds, I found myself casting spells and, despite the fact that I was a great student, I found that I had not practiced enough. Some of the skills I should have known by now were missing. And I wished I could have healed some of the men and women battling next to me, but all I could do was to assist them when they would fall and fought for their survival.
Only a few minutes passed when what seemed like the Centaurs leader appeared and all went loose. Centaurs were driven back, their leader under attack, and we followed them as they started their retreat. Little did we know that something bigger was waiting for us. As we stepped outside the gates and into the fields across the bridge, the earth started to shake under the Leader’s command. Not like an earthquake but more like something wanted to emerge out of the earth to engulf us. I stood my ground, but wasn’t prepared for what surfaced to attack us. Two massive hands made of rocks, the size of a building, shun out of the earth in a blazing light, “arms” still attached to the ground. I panicked. For a second, I forgot everything I learned in class. I forgot my spells, my defence tactics, it felt like I had lost all of the blood in me and my body felt numb as I was staring at this…. Monster. This beast. I had never seen anything like it.
Before I was struck by this new enemy’s magic, I was tackled to the ground, protected by a heavy weight. Well, heavier than me. Catching my breath from the impact, I pushed my arms up to see a man staring right into my eyes, his whole body shielding me from attacks. “Captain….” I started, but my teenage dream was struck. No, Captain Thackeray did not shield me from the attack, it was a man I didn’t know, staring into my eyes with his own dark blue orbs. “Get a GRIP soldier!” he spat out at me. “Who the hell do you think you are?” I returned, a little insulted by his words. I knew I wasn’t focused, and I was thankful that I hadn’t been struck with the attack, yet I felt like a dumb little girl at the moment. He grabbed my hand and helped me up, replying with “I’m just a ranger, saving your ass!” Whoa there Nelly. Language. But he was right. As he turned around to resume his fighting, I could see the gash in his back. The impact of the magic attack had left a devastating mark stained with blood. With this view, I resumed fighting in an instant. As if he had cleared my mind from the fear that had frozen my blood.
The fight only lasted a few seconds more. I had contributed but only a few spells, breaking through the monster’s armor. I had done but only a scratch. Actually, I might have even just tickled him, if rocks can be tickled. Useless. I felt like I was on top of the world, like I was the best fighter out there while I was battling the Centaurs, but after the beast flew out of the ground, I was reduced to an ant form. No, not even an ant. A flea. Ants are great fighters.
Warriors, Guardians, even Necromancers were fighting and winning. Up until a giant light made of gold started to form around the Hands. It felt like an eternity, but eventually, as the hands were gathering wind and elements around it, fences and wagons alike, it seemed like it was beginning to implode when a massive burst of energy exploded, sending the monster’s hands in all directions, shattered wood and rock particles flying in every directions.
And then, everything went black.