A group of warriors detached from the others, running at the hideous creature and shouting battle cries. Their blades chopped into it and pieces flew off, forming their own separate creatures that swarmed over the hapless men. The remaining men and women turned almost as one to glance at Tryst, seeming to hope the man with the gleaming shield daring to drive back the darkness would guide them.
“Do not cut it.” Tryst cried, “Use any magics or blunt weapons but cutting it seems to have no effect!”
Callindra aborted a lunge and instead tried to find the winds. Even in this dark, dank place she could feel them but they were sluggish, her call to them feeling weak and strained. She focused on drawing what power she could into herself, but only a tiny spark of electricity glimmered between Shadowsliver’s twin tips.
Several of the others ran forward with hammers or flats of swords and began attacking the monster, but it focused on Tryst. A massive hand descended on him and he stood resolute, offering the gleaming symbol of his faith in a response. The fist crashed against his shield, black ichor spraying from the impact and driving him down to one knee.
“My GOD is my shield!” He cried and silvery white light erupted from him, breaking the bonds that held the thing together. Tryst rose as the creature recoiled and stepped forward, unlimbering his hammer. “You do well to flee before me!”
Vilhylm placed a mask on his face, becoming brutish and strong, and another, growing living vines about himself and flanked his brother. Callindra raised her sword, sweating with the effort and a crackle of lightning arced down the blade and into the chain. Cronos leveled his twin swords at the creature and a wave of fire burst from between them to scorch its flank.
Callindra ran forward as the monster retreated, leaping off the back of an armored man in front of her and throwing Shadowsliver to one side. The blade whistled through the air and she caught him by the hilt as she landed behind the creature, the electricity that the weave had gathered blazing into its body.
Cronos was on one side, flames lashing out between his swords and Vilhylm was on the other, mashing huge fists clad with growing vines into the thing’s gelatinous body. She cried out in triumph, feeling the lightning coursing through her weapon ripping into her enemy and inflicting grievous wounds.
The monster stood tall, gathering the jellied corpses that made it up into a mass above them and let it fall, engulfing them in a bubble of rotting flesh and fluids from dead bodies. Callindra struggled to keep her mouth and eyes closed against the pressure surrounding her but knew soon she would have to take a breath. Pushing hard on the floor, she struggled to free herself and move forward, but it was impossible. She had failed. She was going to die here.
A white light cut through the gloom and she could see Tryst striding towards her, face tight in a grimace of concentration and pain. Cronos and Vilhylm walked close on either side of him, looking worse for the wear even as Callindra was sure she did.
“I will hold it off and you must go.” Tryst said, his tone resigned and firm.
“What?” Callindra shouted, “I am NOT leaving you here to die for me!”
“You don’t have a choice.” Tryst said sadly. He incanted a spell, even as they all tried to reach him in time to stop it. The ground below their feet rippled and changed, a huge pillar rising high into the air to smash through the side of the room and three more slender ones to raise them out of the creature’s fetid embrace.
The large pillar broke through the wall and the smaller ones threw them forward. They tumbled to a stop, taking bruises and minor cuts along the way. Behind them the Keep fell in upon itself and before them the city burned.
“Adbar was working for Dergeras.” Callindra said, not knowing where the certainty in her voice was coming from. “He took Tryst. I’m going to Hellgate keep. I’m going to kill the bastard.”