“Help you? You mean you’re coming with?” Callindra said, surprised by his sudden change of heart. She decided to take refuge in sarcasm to hide her confusion. “I’m glad to see you’ve gotten over your debilitating fit of cowardice. Don’t worry I’ll protect you from the big scary beasties.”
Ignoring her he turned to Vilhylm, “Would you like to see my latest research? These bears are most fascinating.” The pair of them wandered off to a fenced enclosure where a monster was being held captive, paying no mind to Callindra’s impatient outrage.
“NO!” Callindra shouted, and the Weave leaped to her aid. Her voice cut through the room like a thunderclap and all three of the men jumped. Cronos and Vilhylm seemed to come out of a kind of trance, blinking momentarily in confusion. Pierce had the good grace to appear a bit contrite.
“You were using magic on us.” She said, realization dawning on her. “You were trying to charm us into doing your bidding!”
Cronos edged a hand towards one of the sword hilts that protruded over his shoulder. Vilhylm set his plate down and looked at Pierce with suspicious eyes.
“Is this true? Have you been altering our perceptions?” Vil asked, his eyes dark.
“Of course it is true. Be thankful that you have at least your … sister … has the ability to see what any idiot should be able to.”
“Eh?” Cronos drew an inch of steel, “You saying we’re idiots?”
“YES!” Callindra shouted, smacking her hand down on his and forcing the blade back into the scabbard. “You two came in here thinking only with your noses and stomachs and proceeded to sit here wasting time while our brother is back there dying. You ARE idiots, even if I love you both.”
“It was not their fault girl.” Pierce said, his demeanor changing. “You passed my test but it was really just luck. As to your brother or whatever, if he didn’t die immediately he probably won’t for a while. I really do need some items from the wilds in order to make a tincture to wake him up.”
“That wasn’t just something you were saying to distract us?” Callindra asked, “Well then tell me where we can find those things and we’ll go and retrieve them.”
“I will mark them on a map I’ve made of the area.” Pierce said, “Best hurry I’d say.”
Gripping her sword in two hands, Callindra hacked through the leg of the monster. It howled in rage and pain, falling to the ground. Vilhym’s fists brutally smashed into its head moments later. Spinning in place she scanned the battlefield and saw the remaining beasts had been dispatched.
“Gods and demons, that’d better be the last of them.” She panted, flicking the emerald green blood off Brightfang. “These things just keep coming.”
“No, another group is approaching from the south sister.” Cronos pointed at motion in the trees.
“Enough.” Callindra hissed, looking up at the roiling clouds. “GET DOWN!” She shouted and thrust Brightfang into the air, forcing the Weave to her will through him. Lightning crackled and a lance of pure power slammed down into her sword before arcing out to immolate her enemies where they stood.
“That was … helpful.” Vilhylm said, wiping the sweat from his face and giving Callindra an appraising look.
“Maybe next time you lead with that.” Cronos said, wincing as he cleaned his broadsword, a long pair of slashes across his chest making the motion painful. “Could have saved us a lot of trouble.”
“I didn’t know it would work that well.” She said, shaking from the exertion of the spell. “I’ve been experimenting with lightning. I guess I have an affinity with it, and the storm helped.”
“We got the vials from the box and the flowers, now all that’s left is the crystal that the priest has.” Vilhylm said, removing his mask and reverting to his own normal shape from the hulking form the mask granted him.
“According to what Pierce told us, this ruined city is where the priest was interred after he perished.” Tryst said, glancing around. “His focal crystal should be with him. As distasteful as it is we must now go grave robbing.”
They moved through the abandoned streets warily, alert for anything that might be threatening. It was eerily quiet after the combat and they encountered no further resistance. The graveyard seemed to be the only place that was in good repair.
“This doesn’t feel right.” Callindra said, “I don’t think-“
The door to the burial chapel exploded outward and The Ravenger strode out, its body setting everything around it on fire. A scream of rage and pain burst from it, nearly driving them to their knees. Callindra gritted her teeth in a rictus smile.
“Oh, you’re here for a rematch. Only this time I’m ready for you.” Thunder rumbled overhead, “It’s time to get some back for Tryst you bastard!”