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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Colt loosed the arrow into their ranks before the charging akorans closed the
distance. Aiden spoke the command word to summon his force shield and as it
shimmered into existence his mind analysed the situation, trying to figure out what had
gone wrong. He didn't have time to think about it however, as three warriors bore down
on him with spears poised to strike.
Sayana let out a stifled scream as her worst nightmare came to life, and she
reflexively huddled towards the centre of the group, unable to face the oncoming storm of
her people. Pacian threw a pair of knives at one large figure, striking true yet barely
slowing their advance. Nellise began cranking out bolts from her crossbow. Shooting at
close-quarters targets was precisely what it was designed to do and she struck down one
after another in quick succession.
Colt threw down his longbow and drew his greatsword as the front line of akorans
closed in, managing to take a swing at his nearest enemy as the sword came clear. After
their furious charge the akorans began working together to defend their flanks and take
advantage of any mistakes. They closed in around the group, preventing any escape.
Aiden was fighting on a purely defensive level as he was pushed towards Colt's position
by the relentless attacks of his opponents.
Colt swung his blade back and forth with all his strength, striking down first one
warrior, then another in a shower of blood, but they were replaced as quickly as they fell,
showing no fear at the sight of their fallen comrades.
Nellise was eventually forced to discard the crossbow and whirled her quarterstaff
around, keeping the enemy at bay as best she could. Their situation was looking worse
with every passing moment, but it could be turned around in a heartbeat if they could just
break out of the surrounding warriors.
It was at that moment Sayana finally overcame her fear. She screamed the same war-
cry the akoran's had and threw her shining mithral axe at the largest of their foes, almost
splitting the man in half. She drew the weapon back to her hand with sorcery, and took
her place in the defensive circle to hold back the rest.
Holding the axe in her left hand, she conjured flames from her extended right,
enveloping the nearby warriors in fire. Sayana's flames abruptly died almost as soon as
they began, however, at the shouted words of a venerable man wearing a black bearskin
robe who stood beyond the ring of warriors. In one hand he held a staff etched with many
runes and sigils that glowed with an eldritch light.
“A shaman,” Sayana breathed, fear evident in her voice. Although he appreciated her
respect for the newcomer, Aiden had a different reaction to the scene before him. He
realised the futility of their situation and understood there was no escape from the
ambush. Nellise‟s quarterstaff whirled and hit with precision, breaking limbs until she
was struck with the butt of an axe and dropped to the ground, unconscious.
The last thing Aiden remembered was Sayana looking at him in despair, right before
a thrown axe hurtled into his field of view. It struck him right between the eyes and
everything went black.
* * *