Nature Abhors a Vacuum
Colt had managed to get his equipment together, just as the rock behind him
exploded outwards, showering him in gravel and dirt. The spray obscured Nellise and
most of the torches, but there was enough light around to see that something big had
â€œThey go after loud noises!â€ Clavis roared over the immense sound of the rocks
tumbling around them. From behind, the loud screeching sound grew louder, and the
torch Pacian had dropped when he took flight with the rest of them lit up a huge creature,
easily filling out the tunnel it was crawling through. Aidenâ€Ÿs saw a shiny, dense outer
shell and two beady little eyes, glowing ye llow in the torchlight.
He was still half running, half stumbling across the rock-strewn floor towards
Nellise, who was backing away from the borer that had emerged almost right next to her.
She was clearly stunned by what she was seeing and wasnâ€Ÿt reacting fast enough. One of
the borer's great paws, tipped with huge razor-sharp claws, lashed out and struck her in
the chest, sending her tumbling backwards with the tremendous force.
Aiden drew his sword and spoke the command word to activate his magical glove,
bringing the shimmering force field into existence. He continued moving as fast as he
could towards Nellise, hoping to find her armour had protected her from the slashing
claws. Her staff was still glowing, making it easy to locate her in the dusty me ss they
were mired in, though getting there through the shadowy half- light without tripping was
challenging. Nellise was starting to pick herself up as Aiden reached her, a sizeable dent
clearly visible on the lower part of her breastplate.
â€œI'm fine,â€ she coughed in the dusty conditions as he helped her up. He didn't get a
chance to say anything, for a second giant borer followed the first one, screeching in
unison, and started shambling their way with alarming speed towards the light sources â€“
Nellise and Sayana.
â€œEveryone, rally around me!â€ Aiden cried out, readying his sword as the others
rushed over to him. â€œClavis, can we outrun these things?â€
â€œThey can keep up with us real easy,â€ he called back, pulling out a hatchet as he
skidded to a halt next to Aiden. â€œThey hate bright lights, loud sounds and fire though, and
I think we have plenty 'o that right here with us. We don't have to flee, man - we can hold
â€œYou better be right about this,â€ Aiden muttered as one of the two borers shrieked
and charged towards the light that was hurting its puny eyes. When this was over, and
assuming they survived, Aiden would have to have a word with their dwarven friend
about the concept of 'full disclosure'.
The giant borers moved on all fours, and seemed to resemble a cross between a
wolverine, tortoise, and a mole. Their armoured hides glistened a sickening shade of
yellow-white, and each of their four paws was tipped with vicious claws. They towered
over Aiden and the others by a full three feet, and must have weighed close to a ton. Colt
was the closest to the creatures, and had been backing away from them to regroup with
Aiden and the others.
The big ranger drew his greatsword and waited for the first borer to move in close
enough, then swung the huge weapon a t its flank, slicing through its chitinous hide and
gashing it severely. He hadn't anticipated the creature's hind legs though, and was
suddenly thrown backward by a retaliatory blow from a leg that sent him into the path of
the second Borer. Colt roared with pain as that creature struck him from behind, and