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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

ponder this strange event as he was struck in the leg by another spear and went down in a
heap onto the ground, tumbling over twice before coming to a s top.
Aiden's leg was a world of agony, and when he grasped it reflexively he felt the
spear sticking gruesomely out of it. The shaft had broken off in the tumble, but the point
had gone in deep. The dwarven host was quickly descending on him. With no shie ld, he
had just about consigned himself to an early grave when a blast of flame shot over his
head, stopping the oncoming dwarves in their tracks and severely scorching the
frontrunners.
Aiden felt strong hands grasp him under his arms and drag him backwa rds, past
Sayana who stood guard over him, flames roaring in front of her to keep the enemy at
bay. They were distracted further as knives flew through the air from the darkness.
A bloodied and angry Pacian darted into the light, the daggers on his hips d ripping
with blood as he raced past Sayana and headed for the stairs. She turned and followed
him, using the diversion as a chance to break away without risk.
“You gotta stand up man,” Colt bellowed, lifting Aiden back on to his feet, causing
agony to shoot through his wounded leg. He stifled a scream and managed to limp over to
the first stair, noticing everyone else was already there and awaiting him a few steps
down. The light dimmed again, plunging them into near-darkness as Nellise leaned
heavily against the stone wall.
“It's no use, he's too strong,” she breathed, clearly exhausted from her own personal
battle.
“We'll never get away from them with half of you unable to run,” Pacian remarked,
also trying hard to catch his breath. Aiden, looking out at t he sea of shining eyes closing
in on them couldn't believe it was going to end like this. If only they had a door they
could jam shut or something else that could block the stairs, they could at least remove
the immediate threat. A risky idea flashed through his mind.
“Sayana, use a sound blast,” he ordered, gasping from the pain in his leg.
“But you told me not to,” she replied warily, “it could bury us alive!”
“If you don't do it, we're dead anyway,” Aiden shouted. “Everyone, get down the
stairs as fast as you can.” They complied, with Colt offering his shoulder to help Aiden
hobble down, one stair at a time. Despite her reservations, the exhausted sorceress turned
and invoked her power, light swirling along the tattoos in her legs as she brought her
hands together.
The clap of thunder that erupted from her hands was deafening and shook the very
ground they stood upon. The dwarves roared in dismay, dropping their spears to clutch at
their ears in agony. Small rocks and a pile of dirt dislodged from the ceiling above, but it
still held.
“Do it again - drop the ceiling!” Aiden shouted. Sayana swayed to one side but
managed to steady herself. Again, the lights surged along her legs, but before she could
finish a spear suddenly appeared out of her back, having just been thrown by a nearby
foe. Time seemed to slow as Aiden saw all their hopes crumbling as Sayana staggered
backward from the blow. With an incredible feat of discipline, she managed to finish the
invocation and unleash a final blast of sound.
This time the ceiling did not hold. It crumbled slowly at first, then larger pieces fell
upon the stairs. Aiden was unable to move – his legs simply wouldn't respond to any
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