Backed Into a Corner


Authors
xqueen0fhellx
Published
6 months, 5 days ago
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2535
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Cassia’s claws scraped against her opponents armor, the sound reminiscent like those on a chalkboard. It was a testament to her determination that she blocked out the sound, refusing to let it bother her. Warrick wasn’t doing that well either, their whole squad seemingly outnumbered and outgunned. 


Their squad had been backed into a corner. Sure they were all about trying to be prepared, but their foes were better - their armor gleamed with freshly forged materials, their weapons not showing a single nick on it. Everything was honed to the sharpest points, even the edges of the armor, and Cassia’s paws were bleeding from wounds as she attacked. 


Warrick fared better. His unnaturally long front claws helping to get in deeper without cutting the flesh of his feet. No one wanted to use their teeth though, and Cassia groaned inwardly thinking of how flayed their mouths might be. 


Some of their squad were arcanists, using their magic in the form of shields and weapons to better defend their partners. Cassia sometimes bore a sword in her jaws, but it had been torn from her earlier in battle, and she knew that with how deep the snow was, it was bound to get buried. With how their luck had been too, she half suspected one of them would step on it, and she could only imagine a paw being hacked off. 


She looked over at the gruff, quiet warrior. He held a regal bearing to him even in battle, his head held tall and his tail never dragging. He was stepping up to be a symbol for their people to rally around, just as she should be. Leaders needed to lead, and she was letting her own doubts bring her down.


With a grunt of newfound determination, she felt energy return to her limbs. Kicking up snow, she used the distraction to get behind her opponent, trying to find a weak spot.


***


Warrick didn’t let his companions distract him, but a sword still found its way under some plating in his armor. He grunted in pain, and used his body to yank the weapon from his foe. He left it for now, the plates holding it in place so it wouldn’t dig in deeper, and he used the moment while the enemy was unarmed to attack. 


Finally taking him down, he heard Cassia’s own triumphant war call, and he glanced around for her, finally finding her surrounded by her own pile of bodies to match his own. He was glad she was here - had either one of them been elsewhere, he suspected the rest of them would have died by now.


Seeing no one else around, he took a moment to yank the blade from his flesh. He was thankful for his thick fur, it had caught the sword and prevented the wound from being much deeper than it was.


Someone had caught his lapse of attention though, and a volley of arrows flew from above. The cliff faces they had been backed up against provided no escape, and only a ledge for further attacks to come from. 


Shit.


He heard the cries from his fellows but he blocked them out. He couldn’t care about their injuries, or their deaths, now. Sure it was good to know for strategy, but he couldn't let emotions get in the way unless he wanted to end up dead himself.


Another roar of pain echoed across the snow. Even muffled by the white material, he recognized that particular voice. 


Cassia.


If she fell, they wouldn’t make it through this battle. If she fell, no one would be able to get back to warn the main bulk of the army. If she fell, well, it was best not to dwell on that.


Emotions got in the way of battle, but he felt anger bubble up as he yelled.


“BACK OFF!”


***


Cassia heard the yell, but the odd thing was, it wasn’t just audible. She heard it inside her mind, echoing between her ears and her brain. She involuntarily took a step back, and as she did, she noticed the three warriors that had taken advantage of her arrow ridden hide to ambush her also step back.


Magic.


Her blue eyes wandered to Warrick’s golden ones, and the confusion in them helped her realize what had happened. He developed his magic, and it erupted in the form of that of a mentalist. 


Fucking amazing.


She wouldn’t let this opportunity go to waste and she surged forward, lashing out at those that had obeyed his forced command. 


Run.


His voice came again, only this time entirely within her head. She had the feeling it wasn’t meant for her, as all those around her also heeded the command to make their limbs fly. She ran, but she used that command to steer her paws right into another vayron, tackling him in her flight.


They tumbled and she wished Warrick could get control sooner, but she knew that would only come with practice. Instead she fought the command, risking her mouth to bite at the tangle of limbs she fought with.


The arrows came again, causing her to let go as she snarled in pain yet again. She felt pain in her mind as well, and she suspected that was also from Warrick, the magic he now wielded hard to control what came through and what didn’t.


Her head tossed around to look for him, and she saw the look of concentration on his face, the arrows in his hide. He was so focused on his attempt to control this new magic, that he was oblivious to the danger coming straight for him.


A tyrian had started an avalanche down the cliffs into their little valley. The winged beast itself was flying down, jaws outstretched to snap at the warrior. 


“Warrick, run!” Cassia bellowed, the sound from her throat a raw and carnal sound that carried power with it. She felt it in her chest, and her eyes could scarcely believe what happened in that moment.


***


Warrick’s mind was open now, and he felt everything. It was overwhelming, the feelings and thoughts and everyone in that valley between the cliffs - friend or foe. He didn’t know anyone well enough to identify anyone, and he attempted to be useful by lashing out mentally the best he could at any presence he felt.


The yell of Cassia cut through the overwhelming thoughts and drove him forward, giving him something to move towards. He recognized her voice audibly and mentally, and he raced towards it, seeking some sort of guidance through the haze of thoughts blending together. He didn’t even know which was his own anymore.


He heard a shriek from behind him and turned his head to look, trying to focus on his eyes and less on the voices in his head. He felt a presence disappear from his radar, another death in this battle.


Behind him a tyrian lay in the snow. He barely had time to observe the body before snow cascaded over it, but there was something odd about it. It took him a bit to sort through what he had seen, but he finally came to the conclusion that spikes of ice had flown at the beast as effectively as spears. They pierced the wings, bringing it down for the kill where another penetrated through an eye to reach brain matter.


He didn’t have a lot of time to contemplate it, and he kept running from the rolling snow. He knew others of their squad were falling victim to it, while some struggled to stay afloat. 


More ice spread out in front of him, like a slide that he could skate on to his destination. It seemed to drive him exactly where he wanted to go, and he felt the surprise from some of their fellows as they too found icey slides to stay above the avalanche.


They weren’t perfect though, and the ice was uneven and imperfect, causing most of those using that mode of transport to find themselves airborn - a shocking feeling for an unwinged creature for sure.


He finally saw from his high vantage point the source of all this mysterious ice. A reosean stood within a swirling shield of ice shards, clearly an elementalist. He would have known if it was one of his own squad, so was it an enemy? The fact the ice seemed to aid him and his companions spoke of the opposite, and he felt her more than he saw her, an opalescent female at the heard of the shards.


He felt her fear, and understood she didn’t know how this happened, or how to control it just as much as he was lost with their first outbursts of magic. He was just as overwhelmed as she, but he reached out mentally and physically as he fell (as stupid as the latter was in hindsight), trying to calm his partner.


***


Cassia wasn’t sure how she was doing it. The only suspicion she had was that her desire to live, her drive to bring as much of her squad to safety, it was doing something. Of course she couldn’t see outside her ice shield. The swirling shards had ripped the nearby reos to shreds and provided cover from the arrows. She didn’t know of the haphazard ice slides, or the shards that grew to spears to take down the frying foe. All she knew is that she was alone, and the ice trapped her as much as helped, causing her to panic more than she should have as a soldier of her status. Her panic only made the ice worse, swirling faster, the shards multiplying and sharpening to terrifying blades.


A familiar presence touched her mind, and while there were no words, she felt the emotion, the desire to reach her, the familiarness of it all. 


Warrick.


It calmed her, allowing her to level her head. With deep controlled breaths, she managed to reduce the ice to nothing, and was met with a familiar tobiano face, a little more scarred for wear. He bled deep from a wound on a hind leg, but that seemed to be the worst of his wounds.


It took her a few moments to see that behind him gathered the remains of their squad. Some were still trying to dig themselves from the snow they buried deep in after their fall, while others were trying to stay on their paws after blood loss or their dizzying rides. For the most part, the majority of them would live, which was a better prospect than she could have expected at the beginning of this encounter.


Arrows still rained down from above though, but at a lower frequency. Many of them had lost good vantage points from the avalanche, and others still probably were daunted by the fact that the snow fall had taken out more of their own numbers than their enemy.


Injured and tired, Cassia still lifted her head high. 


“Shields up!”


Her command echoed through their group, and those that could went ahead to protect themselves and others.


***


The opal sported some new injuries, including one that slashed across her face, forcing an eye shut. Warrick hoped he wouldn’t go blind for it, but he cracked the slightest of grins to see her mostly okay, and still pushing forward. She already was doing her best to trudge ahead, her eyes looking for a way up, and his gaze darted between her and those that would still be left behind.


Her magic seemed to be something she could rely on at the moment, but his was still up, even though it wasn’t too reliable either. The distance was far, but he did his best to reach out with his mind, looking for those archers still up on top of the cliff. He couldn’t identify anyone yet outside of Cassia herself, but he figured a command his fellows couldn’t follow would be safe.


Jump off the cliff.


It was savage, but the result was immediate. Those that followed the order found themselves tumbling down. Those that fought it mostly turned and fled. The few that stood their ground saw Cassia determinedly trying to climb the cliff face, and they too realized their lives were more worth it.


He caught some of his own squad jumping in the snow, but that wouldn’t hurt them thankfully. It was something he would have to practice with to be sure. Just another thing to strengthen through dills and repetition. It would help him not to be so overwhelmed as well, as he still was aware of everyone around him, and it was dizzying. 


Cassia too eventually stopped fighting the compulsion, and jumped down. She hadn’t gotten very high herself, so thankfully her fall wasn’t terrible. He winced, not thinking of her with that command, assuming since he recognized her that he could exclude her. He was only thankful it wasn’t worse.


The opal wiggled her way out of the snow and made it over to him, and the two of them took the time to make sure their squad was good enough to continue. They’d have to make a few sleds, or perhaps some more ice slides, but they survived the battle, and it was time to get back and report. 


If neither of them had sparked their magic at that time, they might never have made it out that day. Although, he was grateful for the ambush. Sure they lost some members, and there would be scars on everyone once this day was through, but who knows if he or Cassia might have been able to erupt that magic from them. They both had been training and trying to force arcanist magic to wield weapons, assuming if it was any other it would have manifested anyway with their attempts. Clearly that was their downfall, and he was glad to see they had been wrong. Both of their magics would be more than useful in the years and battles to come, and he held a small amount of satisfaction that they shared that achievement, just like they had for everything else in the military thus far.


He limped over to her, the injury on his leg starting to ache more than he expected now that the adrenaline was wearing down. She easily supported his weight without a second thought, which he could tell due to the bits he still picked up from her mind, and the two started their long trek leading the others back to camp. 


-End-


Magic Awakening - Spark for Warrick 10084 (Mentalist) and Cassia 11637 (Elementalist)


♦ Awakening the Spark is the first step to becoming a Magi:

Draw your Reosean discovering their spark for the first time. Did they accidentally sneeze out a puff of fire? Break an expensive vase while musing about pottery? Or perhaps they properly studied to awaken their spark? The interpretation is up to you!


Warrick 10084

WC 2425 +24

Corresponding Land +1

Other Reo Cassia 11637 +2

Magic Awakening +2

Total = 29 CP