“Lost in an Eyeblink…”

A spear of light shot out from the eyeball of the Evil Priestess, hurtling right towards Uuco’s face…right towards his mustache.

It all happened in an eye blink. There was no time to dodge, no time to conjure a shield. All he could do was witness it.

 

“Noooooo!” Uuco shrieked, throwing up a hand.

 

The spear light touched Uuco’s bushy upper lip…then passed right through him, as he dispersed into a cloud of purple mana.

 

Axe-wielding Seekers closed in around Ira, who had no time to philosophize on what happened. With luck, she mused, that old Nobble actually did something to keep him alive.

 

The Lady Ira strummed furiously on her harp’s glimmering strings. The air rippled in front of her harp, then burst out in a thunderclap that hurled the Seekers back.

 

Ira opened her strumming hand and tossed three Seeker Stones into the air. The sigil-engraved pellets zipped off in different directions and, appropriately enough, sought the Seeker’s skulls.

 

Corax had time enough to open his jagged-tooth maw and spit out a beam of white-hot light. He swept the blast across two of the red-robed Zealot priests, who were gathering up their blood to fling at his allies.

 

Then it was all blade work. Corax the Saurian, Corax the Warrior, Corax the defected Hidden God drew his sickle-blade from his saddlebag sheath. He parried, slashed, and severed an arm coated with small octopus suckers. He hooked a wicker shield with the inward curve of his blade and pulled it down. Corax’s long snout snapped forward. He bit off the enemy Seeker’s cheek with a single snap of his jaw.

 

Rintha threw a sling stone to the ground. The egg-shaped bullet of clay shattered. Grey powder puffed outward like spilled flour, forming a concealing cloud.

 

A few of the Seekers charged into the cloud, snarling eagerly like wolves with the scent of their prey. They fell back out of the cloud, white-fletched arrows protruding from their skulls.

 

The other Seekers hesitated. Raising their wicker shields, they worked their way around the spreading powder cloud.

 

V’vendy the Deathweaver burst out of the cloud, spinning upward in a vortex of hair. Her white feather-hair stood on end, glowing with a nimbus of faint purple light. She drew and loosed three arrows, her drawing hand shifting as slowly and gently as a rustling branch.

 

The spinning arrows flashed past the Seeker’s shields, ripped through their bodies and then flew onward to pierce more enemies.

 

Slipping into the shadows, Rintha snapped his leather sling forward, hurling obsidian stones at the reeling Seekers that shattered into razor shards.

 

Many Seekers died in those mere seconds of combat. Even without Uuco, the Pilgrims flung the enemy back.

 

“My warriors–!” The Priestess cursed. She sighed and blew a stray lock of long hair away from her face. “No matter. They weren’t fit to survive.”

 

The Priestess glared. All five pupils in her Evolving eye dilated. A beam of orange fire shot out from her eye, melting stone as it swept across the room, consuming a few wounded Seekers.

 

The Pilgrims were thrown into disarray

 

Droplets of molten rock splashed onto Lady Ira, burning holes in her dress and cloak. More molten droplets splashed onto her Harp’s gleaming strings, splitting all but one.

 

“Hidden Gods!” Ira cursed.

 

V’vendy fell back to the ground. The moment she landed, she was forced to leap away as the fiery eye beam shot past. Blooming heat washed over her: blisters sprouted all across her hand and cheek.

 

The red-robed priests formed ranks. They flung their hands out, scattering droplets of bloody mist that turned into flame. Corax reared back, screeching as acidic flame seared through his hide.

 

The Priestess sighed in relief. “And now, with no further interruptions–“

 

The Priestess strode up to the sleeping Roarer and drove her sacrificial dagger right into his skull.

 

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