Nature Abhors a Vacuum
“I didn't say I was staying!” Colt shouted, taking one last swipe at their enemies and
turning to run for it. Aiden did the same, hurrying after the group that Clavis was
gradually leading away, and the sight of the two warriors with a horde of spearmen
running after them was enough to spur their legs on to greater efforts.
Aiden felt a sudden sharp pain in his back, and almost lost his footing as he was
struck by a thrown spear. He moved to raise his arm and position the force shield behind
his head to give him some protection, but noticed that it had vanished already. He was
unable to ponder this strange event as he was struck in the leg by another thrown spear,
and went down in a heap onto the ground, tumbling over twice before coming to a stop.
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. He cried out as he tried to dislodge it, but to no avail. The dwarven
host, despite the slower movement afforded by their stumpy legs, was quickly descending
on him. With no shield, 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.
The young man felt strong hands grasp him under his arms and drag him backwards,
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 dripping
with blood as he raced past Sayana and headed for the nearby 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 that everyone else was already there and awaiting him a few steps
down. The light started to dim 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
“We'll never get away from them, with half of you unable to run,” Pacian remarked,
also trying hard to catch his breath. “They're just going to keep on coming until we’re
dead!” Aiden, looking out at the 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...
“Sayana, use a sound blast!” he said, 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!” The others complied, with Colt offering his shoulder to help
Aiden hobble down,\ one stair at a time. Despite her reservations, the exhausted sorceress
turned and began to invoke the spell, 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