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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Sayana came to his aid, swinging her axe low to hit the bandit before he could stand
up again. A large blade blocked her attack, causing the weapons to ring sonorously.
Sayana looked up at who stood before her and locked eyes with her new opponent.
He was bigger than the rest, easily six- five in height and wielded a shining
greatsword that would have made Colt proud. Chain mail covered his torso and legs,
protecting him from all but the strongest of their weapons. His face was set in an
uncompromising sneer, and his unshaven stubble and dark eyes gave him an unsettling
appearance. Fletcher had entered the fray.
Sayana, with eyes wide took an involuntary step backwards at the ominous figure
bearing down on her, while Aiden rolled to one side and found his footing. Fletcher
swung the greatsword at the small girl, who had the presence of mind to summon a
magical shield to block the attack. The force of the blow was enough to disintegrate the
magical construct in a shower of blue sparks.
Fletcher stepped in, hefting his greatsword in a wide sweep which Sayana narrowly
avoided with a display of remarkable agility. Aiden saw his chance to act and scrambled
forward to get in under the weapon‟s arc. His short sword flashed as he struck Fletcher
not once, but twice in a flurry of steel. However, the chain armour defeated each attack
with hardly a scratch to show for it.
Fletcher had a surly grin on his face as he slammed the hilt of his weapon into Aiden,
who raised his own magical shield to block the impact. The force of the blow was enough
to send him staggering backwards, and the bandit leader was about to follow through
with a powerful overheard swing when Sayana‟s axe whirled through the air and struck
Fletcher in the chest.
He struggled to keep his footing, and as the axe dropped to the ground it became
clear it hadn‟t breached his chain shirt, though Aiden suspected there would be a mighty
bruise in short order.
Fletcher wasn‟t the only problem they were facing. More of his cohorts were starting
to show up, emerging from the surrounding forest to join in the fight. If Aiden and his
companions didn‟t find a way to end this soon, they‟d be overwhelmed.
Sayana sent out another burst of flame directly at Fletcher, who shied away from the
fire before charging straight for her. Unarmed, she hesitated in fear as the towering man
swung his sword directly at her. She fell backwards, the only move that would save her
life but it left her unable to move quickly to avoid the next swing.
Aiden, still having difficulty breathing, forgot all about his fear and struggled to
intervene before she was cut in two. He stumbled forward just as Fletcher‟s attack was
interrupted by a challenge from nearby.
“Hey, pick on someone your own size,” Colt shouted, “unless you prefer beating up
little girls.” The bloodied bodies of four men lay at his feet, and he seemed every bit as
imposing as the thug standing before him.
“Rangers,” Fletcher growled in response. “You've killed a lot of my lads today, you
ugly bastard. I‟ll make you pay for that.” He turned to face Colt and didn't hesitate to
close the distance. Colt faced Fletcher fearlessly, leaving the others to deal with the
remaining bandits as the sound of steel-on-steel echoed through the forest.
Aiden wiped the sweat from his brow and hurried forward to assist. Fletcher attacked
Colt with savage fury, swinging his fearsome greatsword back and forth, trying to hew
the big ranger down like a tree. For his size, Colt could move pre tty quickly when he had