To the rescue
Aurei hoped she had made the right decision as she and the others ran out of the Flydros barn lot and up the dirt path that connected the farm to the great western road.The rush of courage she had experienced when she had heard Leah’s scream was starting to flag now, but she was in it too far to change course.She and Pectros crested the hill first and found a group of three wizards and seemingly several zombies or ghouls surrounding a plate armored man who was fending them off with a massive Great sword as he stood beside his dead horse.
"Stop in the name of The Duke of Westmark!" Aurei called out, hoping to bluff the attackers into thinking that a greater force was upon them. The attackers and defender both stopped in surprise as they advanced, and Aurei suddenly remembered how she was attired and wondered how she looked to them.
"Get away from him!" She ordered as they closed in on the wizards and undead.But their surprise over her appearance seemed to be quickly broken, for one of the necromancers raised his staff and suddenly a thick swirling fog surrounded them.
A second later, Pectros was knocked off his feet by a blast of lightning.He jerked on the ground for a moment as the electricity danced across his body and then was still.
Anger surged in Aurei and suddenly her courage flowed over her again.She lunged at the first form that she could make out in the fog, her sword swipe deflected by a staff. From behind her, something jumped on her back, clawing for her face.She fell into a roll, pounding the ghoul into the dirt road with her body.It hung on, biting for her neck but found no flesh due to her armor.
Aurei shot backwards with her short sword, ramming the blade into the wide mouth of the ghoul.With a yelp it pulled free, jumping off her back.She wasted no time, but swung in a low wide arc, her long sword nicking the ghoul as well as biting deep into the ankle of one of the Necromancers standing beside it.The mage fell backwards, caught up in his robes.She leaped on top of the man, not wanting to have to kill a living person but seeing no option in this situation.She had raised her short sword to plunge it into his chest when he suddenly let go with a Light spell directly in her face.The spell caused no physical damage, but her sensitive eyes were instantly blinded by the brilliant light.She swiped in front of her blindly with her Long sword, killing her attacker.Then she was trying to get to her feet, frantically trying to blink away the orange afterglow of the spell so she could once again see. There came an abrupt loud whistle and a hard wood staff slammed into the side of her Dark Elven helmet, the impact sending it flying off her head and knocking her backwards over the corpse of the mage she had just killed.
Her unseen attacker rammed his staff full force down upon her chest as if to impale her with it.The blow knocked the wind from her, but the enchanted Drow plate armor absorbed the impact, cracking the wizard’s staff in half.
Aurei gasped for breath, but somehow found the strength to sweep out with her foot and was rewarded with the crash of a body falling over her.Her short sword arm was pinned beneath her, but she swung her gauntleted fist into what she hoped was the face of the wizard.Suddenly the enchanted fog disappeared, apparently dispelled by the effect of punching the caster of the spell.She still could not see clearly yet, but was able to make out the necromancer’s form as he pulled something shiny from a belt scabbard.With a quick movement, the mage stabbed at her neck, his blade easily deflected by her armor.Twice more he stabbed at her in vain before her vision cleared enough for her to catch his wrist in mid swing.To her relief, the man was not very strong and Aurei held on while working to free her other arm.Then seemingly out of nowhere the long sword of Brolen thrust through the wizard’s chest and he collapsed on top of her.
"Are you alright?" The guard asked, pushing the dead wizard off.
"Yes." she squirmed free, realizing that the sound of battle had ended.
"They’re dead." Brolen told her, "The Necromancers, a Ghoul and several Zombies."
"Pectros!" Aurei suddenly remembered, "He was hit by a lightning bolt!"
"Over here!" Brother Darv’s voice interrupted.The Cleric was kneeling beside Pectros and was just then joined by Thorm, cradling Leah, and the knight that they had just saved.
They rushed over to find Darv in the middle of a healing spell.
"Not good." Thorm commented as he looked at the fallen captain.
"He’s NOT going to die!" Aurei yelled, kneeling beside the Dwarf.
"He’s NOT going to die!" She could hear Brother Darv finishing his spell and she closed her eyes, grabbing the lifeless hand of Pectros, "Yesh, the merciful, let him live." She prayed in a whisper.
*Lay your hands upon him* a thought came into her head, not a voice but almost as if she had heard it.She opened her eyes and caught Darv’s glance to Thorm.The Cleric shook his head grimly.As if she was in a dream, she turned the other way to find that the knight had raised his visor, revealing a sweaty, bearded man who locked eyes with her.He smiled ever so slightly and gave a reassuring nod.She had to do it.Aurei closed her eyes and took hold of the forearm of Pectros and heard herself say, as if in a trance, "Be healed."
Something very warm flowed out of her, rushing forth from her in an instant through her hand, making her whole arm tingle.A moment later and Pectros took a ragged breath and opened his eyes.Aurei burst into tears as Darv looked heavenward giving thanks to Yesh.To her right, the knight smiled and unnoticed by the others, released his grasp of the guard’s foot.
The celebration only lasted a moment, for Aurei remembered the Flydros family and stood up, "We’ve got to find the rest of the Flydros family.I’m going to look in the farmhouse."
"No need, Aurei." Darv also stood up, taking her by the shoulders, "They’re dead, all of them except Leah. Even the detachment we sent out today – they’re all dead."
"No!You don’t know for sure!We have to check-"
"Aurei." The Cleric interrupted, "We do know.The zombies…"
Aurei suddenly understood.Looking around her, she found nearby one of the forms of one of the zombies that had attacked them.She recognized its face – it was Phillio Flydros.Suddenly totally overwhelmed with it all, Aurei fell to her knees and threw up.Brother Darv patted her back until she had finished.
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