Aaron stood, muted with terror as he took in the scene playing out around him.
His dented helmet hung off the back of his head and rammed his neck whenever he moved. A half inch gash had been forced into the helmet’s side, a matching blood stain painted the helmet’s interior. A remnant of the helmet’s previous owner.
The helmet sported a pointed blade on top, a decoration choice that was clearly made to appear intimidating, but now only looked comical.
The rest of Aarons armour appeared equally ridiculous. He’d managed to find a breastplate that had been sliced through the middle so that it no longer connected and hung uselessly at his sides. He’d also found one knee pad and a padded glove. The glove fitted his left hand, his right still sporting a scar along his finger.
Jerry looked equally under-equipped and overwhelmed.
Surrounding the two men was utter carnage. A battle was raging around them, although battle hardly seemed the word. It was a slaughter.
The two men had never seen the enemy before today, they’d never even known who the enemy was.
The king had been so secretive about who they were fighting, that most common-folk figured that the king was either lying about the war, or greatly exaggerated its stakes.
Rather than exaggerating, it turned out that the king had underplayed the severity of the enemy.
The enemy was a race of magical creatures called the Ceyx. They stood over twelve feet tall and appeared a blackish blue in complexion.
They wore black and gold armour that covered them head to toe and brandished staffs as weapons. With their staffs they were able to fight hand to hand or shoot fireballs from a distance.
The kings army were broken into small squadrons.
Each one was manned with soldiers from a variety of skills and disciplines, but very few were ready for war.
Each squadron was made up of a soldier, a captain, an archer, a medic and a wizard.
These small teams were expected to stick together on the battlefield and rely on each other to stay alive. This plan seemed perfect in theory, but proved lethal in reality.
Each of the men were half-starved and sick by the time they’d made it to the battlefield. The wizards were so weak that they leant on their staffs rather than wielding them. When the horns sounded and the soldiers allowed to charge forward, a third of the charging force was trampled as they collapsed under their own exhaustion.
The resulting battle was a Ceyx feast.
After each man was slain, the offending Ceyx would pick the man up by his neck and suck his dying soul from his mouth with a ghoulish scream.
Jerry had long-since dropped the bow he’d been holding, he’d resigned to a soldiers death beside his friend.
Joe’s battlecries rang in the distance as he fought against the ferocious enemy. His body gleaming with sweat, Joe duel-wielded swords he’d been using for two years.
He’d found them on the body of a dead ghast, consequently they’d proven extra deadly against magical enemies.
A sly Ceyx climbed a tall tree and jumped onto Joe while he’d been fighting another.
The creature tried to knock him onto the ground, but Joe ducked and rolled to the side, narrowly missing the enemy’s staff.
The Ceyx swung his staff with all his strength, striking Joe’s blade with a deft THUD.
Joe’s other blade wasn’t slow to react; it cut through the air, around the back of the Ceyx’ neck and buried itself deep inside the creatures spine. The Ceyx crumbled to the ground with a high pitched hiss, blood pouring from its mouth.
Joe looked across at Jerry and Aaron, the two were still standing there, somehow still alive.
The battle seemed to move in slow motion as Aaron looked around. He could see death in every direction, he knew it was coming for him.
In that moment he saw the Ceyx that had marked him and his friend for death.
The creature was pulling its bloodied staff out of the skull of a fallen wizard.
It then turned and fixed its shining eyes on Aaron. The creature gripped its staff with two hands and began to sprint in Aarons direction.
The creature tore through the air, smashing bodies beneath its feet as it raced to get to the two souls it hoped to consume.
The creature had only a few feet to go as it raced towards Aaron, its staff raised above its head and a gleam in its eye.
Time slowed to a standstill for Aaron, his hand aching and his scar glowing. Aaron reached up, opened his fingers and pushed his opened palm into the air at the Ceyx.
In that moment the earth shook. His scar split open and blood poured from his finger, gushing into the air.
It seemed to take minutes, but in reality happened in the blink of an eye.
The blood ran through the air, ignoring gravity and running in all directions. It formed the shape of a man, a tall man wearing a cloak. The blood poured down the mans back and began to form into hair.
Blood ran high into the air and down to the ground, forming a staff inside of a blood-formed hand. Once the form finished solidifying it began to move. It swung the staff through the air, straight at the Ceyx.
Time returned to normal for Aaron.
He woke from his stupor and saw the wizard standing over him, the wizards staff connected with the Ceyx’ staff.
The creature looked at the wizard confused, it had all happened so fast and resembled nothing the creature had ever seen.
The wizard pounced on his chance. He forced the creatures staff down, reached out with his left hand and grabbed it by its face.
The creature began to scream as the wizards hand glowed white with heat. A moment later the creature stopped screaming and fell down dead, its face burned to a cinder.
The wizard turned around to Aaron and Jerry.
“We need to get the hell out of here now.”