Nature Abhors a Vacuum
â€œWhat did you say to them?â€ Pacian yelled at Clavis, who had completely backed
away to shelter behind Colt's formidable presence.
â€œThey're mad,â€ Clavis gasped incredulously. â€œThis is the MacAliese clan, me very
own cousins! Their leader, Connor, just admitted they were the ones that flooded the city
a century ago, by breaking through a wall into an underground lake on purpose.â€
Clavis and the entire group were moving backward now, around the rock pile that
covered Aiden's sole reason for coming here, and pushing them deeper into the city itself.
Nothing barred the way behind them as yet, and the wall of spears blocking the way back
to the surface drew inexorably closer.
â€œDidn't you tell them who you were?â€ Aiden asked, looking about with
â€œAye, and they don't believe me,â€ Clavis shot back. â€œThey think all their kinsmen
were with 'em at the time. They don't allow anyone from the surface to come down here
anymore, and they're gonna make sure we don't get back up there'n let everyone k now
what's going on. The only reason we're still alive is 'cause 'o the light yer shining.â€
â€œDo we fight them, or run?â€ Colt asked, his voice tight. Despite their apparent
hostility, the dwarves of the MacAliese clan still hadn't attacked, giving Aiden pause.
Breaking back through to the stairway didn't seem to be an option. He certainly
wasn't game to try and break through three dozen spears. That left the way behind them
as their only chance of avoiding a fight, assuming there wasn't another group of spearmen
back there as well.
â€œClavis, what's back in that direction?â€ Aiden quickly asked.
â€œThe way down to the next level,â€ he answered, â€œbut it's still a hunnerd feet or so.
Maybe there be a prison set up fer intruders before then?â€
â€œThey don't seem like the type to keep prisoners,â€ Colt growled.
â€œI'm not willing to hang around and find out,â€ Pacian muttered, giving them a quick
glance before turning and bolting into the darkness.
â€œPace, get back here!â€ Nellise called as half a dozen dwarves gave pursuit. The
leader, the one Clavis had identified as Connor, barked out a few words, and the rest of
his small army moved in, thrusting with their spears. Aiden spoke the command word to
activate his shield, and used it to block their attacks as best he could. He was between
them and the oncoming spearmen, so he decided he needed to buy some time for Sayana
to do what she did best.
Bashing aside the spears with his shield, Aiden stepped in and swung his sword,
trying to slash away at the front ranks, or at least push them back a little. But he didn't
have the reach he needed to hit anything without risking the next line of spearmen having
a clear strike at him. The young adventurer did have a trick up his sleeve though â€“ an
angry six foot ranger with a gigantic sword.
â€œFollow my lead!â€ Aiden ordered, and in an unexpected move, stepped sideways
across the front of the spear line, bashing the weapons aside with his shield. Colt, who
was right behind him, saw what he was doing and took advantage of the opening,
swinging his sword overhead and bringing it down at the head of the nearest attacker. The
dwarf tried to dodge, but was far too slow to avoid the strike.
Colt didn't relent, heaving his blade back and forth. His advantage was short- lived
however, as the second line of spearmen moved in and thrust their weapons, bellowing
incomprehensible war cries and stabbing Colt several times.