Nature Abhors a Vacuum
for his sword. Dashing up to it, he struck with his blade, and then hit it again on the back
swing before it could react.
The borer shrieked in pain, and then lashed out with its rear paws. Aiden had
anticipated this response, however, and held his shield ready to block the attacks. The
first paw scraped the front of the shield well enough, but the second paw slammed into
Aiden's left side, slashing him through his unarmoured shirt, and pushing him backward.
A flash of light lit up the area of the cavernous hall they were fighting in, followed
by the roar of the other borer as Sayana bathed it in flame. Aiden risked a quick glance
over to see that Clavis was slashing at its flank with his hand axe, while Colt was trying
to bash its head in with his sword. A crossbow bolt from Nellise's direction struck the
side of the creature Aiden was fighting, but didn't seem to do a lot of damage.
The blow did, however, get its attention. The borer turned to its left in a slow,
lumbering fashion, and then squirted a stream of liquid from its mouth in the direction of
the other group. Aiden swung his sword again as it moved, which was deflected off its
thick hide, but had the unintended effect of ruining its aim. Whatever the liquid was, it
splashed on the ground at Nellise's feet, sending up a cloud of noxious vapour as it
sizzled on the bare rock.
“Oh they also squirt acid for eatin' through rock!” Clavis yelled as an afterthought.
“That would have been handy to know a few minutes ago!” Aiden called back, his
heart racing as he took another swing at the borer in front of him. The armoured hide on
the beast was too thick to get through with his sword though, so he decided to try another
tactic. Locating one if its paws in the shadows, he swung at that instead and connected,
slicing a huge gash along its rear leg. The beast lurched towards Aiden, but its crippled
leg couldn't maintain its weight.
“Pace, are you still over there?” Aiden called, hoping that while he had been
occupied with the back end, his friend hadn't been killed in the meantime.
“Yeah, thanks for the assist, mate!” Pacian yelled back. “I'm pulling back though, it
got my right arm pretty good.”
“I'll follow you out,” Aiden cried, stepping to one side and bolting for the group that
fought the other creature not twenty yards away. More flame erupted from Sayana's
position, causing the borer to shriek and recoil from the heat and light. With the other
beast partially crippled, they had a better chance of surviving this fight.
Aiden wasn't sure what had motivated them to attack – it might have been hunger, or
the light pained their eyes, or some other reason. But they couldn't just run them off,
considering how dangerous they were. This had to be a decisive victory if they wanted to
continue on through Ferrumgaard.
With the first borer on the defensive, Colt took the opportunity to take a powerful,
reckless swing at its head. His weapon struck a telling blow, gouging out one of its puny
eyes and spattering blood onto the stone, but in doing so the big man was squirted with
acid, which splashed onto his left arm and quickly ate through his leather armour to burn
his skin. Colt dropped his sword and staggered backward, clutching at his arm and
screaming. Nellise immediately dropped her crossbow and went to his aid, leaving the
rest of them to deal with the creatures.
“Bugger it, I'm goin' for me crossbow!” Clavis bellowed, running past the gravely
wounded borer and over to the rock pile as fast as his little legs would carry him.