Sir Fallon stood up in the stirrups and pointed. Sir Richard and Mad Meinhard looked out too, their eyes straining to see what his spotted easily. “More of them?” Meinhard asked, rolling his eyes.
“Yes,” Erika replied from her seat behind Sir Fallon, “it looks like this town is being besieged by more bodaks.” She closed her eyes and cast her vision outward, but kept speaking. “Makalu says there are close to a dozen of the creatures. Several of the townsfolk already lie dead and the others are running…”
“Sounds like we should steer clear…” Sir Fallon said. “Our business is north.”
“No!” Sir Richard interjected, “Our business is with any citizen in need of aid. We cannot allow this plague of undead to go unmet.”
“He’s right.” Erika pulled out her wand of fireballs, “At the least, we need to destroy the villagers bodies or these creatures will overrun the countryside and it won’t matter what your witches do. Self-replicating undead that can kill you with a glance seems like the more immediate threat to the nation’s safety…don’t you think.” Sir Fallon simply harrumphed in reply and pulled out his axe.
“We’re agreed then.” Sir Richard kicked Gray Lady into a gallop towards the town.
They rode into town to find a massacre. Piked heads and ash-streaked stakes marked the edge of town, just as in Almwick, and hundreds of women and children littered the streets, dead without a mark on them. A small swarm of bodaks crowded in central square, seemingly focused on something standing by the crossroads.
“Wait!” Erika shouted, urging the others to draw up there horses. “We can’t take the horses in there…”
Meainhard jumped off Gray Lady’s back, kicked in the door of the nearest home and took a look around. “Leave them in here.”
“And put the blinders on them.” Sir Fallon added, dismounting and leading Mitra’s Gift into the otherwise abandoned building.
A screech from one of Erika’s hawks brought them back to the matter at hand. “He says there is a woman up there…she’s alone but somehow she’s holding off the bodaks…” They ran to the square, Sir Richard and Sir Fallon praying to Mitra for aid as they ran and Erika calling up an aura of cold-burning blue flames around herself.
When they neared the square they herd the woman’s shouts, not of fear, but of rage. A peasant woman, dressed in a smith’s smock stood in the middle of the crowd of bodaks, hacking at them with a smith’s hammer in one hand and a strange black-bladed sword in the other, her eyes blazing with fury, somehow unfazed by the bodaks’ dread gazes. As they neared she swung her sword downward, cleaving one of the bodaks from clavicle to sternum, then bringing her hammer down on its head, the crushing of its skull accompanied by a blinding flash of light that left the bodak’s dazzled and reeling.
Laughing with manic glee at the display, Meinhard closed his eyes and charged screaming into the back of the bodak pack. His blind swing taking the head off of one of the creatures. Sir Richard, his sword blazing with pale gray flames came quickly on Meinhard’s heals, unleashing a burst of holy energy as he neared the bodaks, burning their flesh.
Less headstrong, Sir Fallon and Erika took up defensive positions at the edge of the square, waiting to see how the bodaks would react, and waiting to see how and why this woman was facing the undead beasts.
The bodaks focused their gazes on the woman to no avail. She simply glared back at them, completely unaffected, the retaliated with a fully of blows and slashes, the blade of her sword appearing to turn into a chunk of solid ice. “You guys here to help?!” she called out, as another bodak fell before her.
“Sure looks like,” Sir Fallon said, as he rushed in to join the others. Erika came in close behind him, unleashing a blast of cold, carefully aimed to take out a pair of bodaks without hitting her friends. As she got close though, several bodaks looked her way and she staggered.
“Keep her out of here!” Sir Richard shouted, unleashing another blast of holy power. Sir Fallon nodded, shoved a bodak off of himself, and ran to Erika, shoving her away from the fray.
To Be Continued when I have more writing time