Monday, April 1, 2013

1.4 Shield and Spell

"Just try it!" the giant man shouted, his arm protecting the fallen woman at his feet. "Your words and daggers won't help you now."

Hesitating, the men about the corner of Maj and Barrack Streets, shuffled their robes tightening the circle about the two figures. The giant man, Shield, crouched further, his eyes moving from one figure to the next. Armored in scale-mail from head to foot, his shoulders towered over the onlookers who tried desperately to not be onlooking. His bald, tanned head gleamed in the day's sun, its angles casting sharp lines on his chest. A satchel hung from those shoulders, other than that he was unarmed. Encased in thick gauntlets, his hands clenched and turned as the others encircled still tighter.

"The Canons of Ri'lun," a deep voice called out from the crowd. "dictate that weaving arcana within the city is permitted only during the Festival." The voice came from nowhere, and everywhere. The only signs that anyone had even spoken was that many people tried not to turn their heads. "These gentlemen will take the both of you to the central Monast."

"Come," Shield contested. "Try!"

A signal perhaps and the nearest to Shield charged, weaponless. Protective, the man blocked the path of the assault, resisting a blow to the arm and checking with his shoulder. The attacker appeared to bounce, colliding with another.

A gasp from under him, brought Shield to attention. "Spell, are you..." Shield spoke sternly but there was worry there.

"Recovering, slowly" the thin woman said, her light robes about her, moving about the middle of the street. Lithe exotic features trembled in pain, her long hair drenched in sweat. Amber eyes blinked in pain. "If you can hold them off, perhaps I can conjure something from the underrealms."

"And have that happen to you again? madness!" Shield growled at another attacker, the figure hesitating. "Arcana cannot happen here. All we can do is resist, its what I do best."

Three attackers looked to one another, shrugged, then suddenly seemed compelled toward Shield and Spell, faint marks appearing on their skin. Shield readied himself, his arms widening for an embrace of fists or thrashing hay-maker, his legs turning.

The crowd bulged to Shield's left, his periphery barely catching the intruder. Cruelty crashed into the circle, colliding purposely with the three men. Sharp taloned fingers dug deep into one, another backhanded back into the crowd. The third attacker to find a horned booth deep in his pelvis, throwing back into the crowd in a stream of blood. Shield, astonished, pulled his hand down protecting Spell.

Cruelty sneered scenting Spell under Shield's feet. A fallen Arcane-weaver- his favorite, damn Evil for willing this. His fevered eyes looked over the crowd, to no particularly place or person. "Not these!" he said, shaking his words. The voice of the crowd, answering, simply- "We shall hold the Tongue."

Turning to Shield with a smirk, a dare, holding it all back.

"The Milkmoon and she lives."