Bitter 409

“Are you alright?” Dad shouted at Mark.

Mark shook his head and his eyes wandered around before settling on Dad. He nodded, and nearly lost his balance. He looked groggy, but not too badly hurt. He had lost half his health in a single blow. If it had been one of the others who weren’t as tanky, they definitely would have been one-shot.

“Okay,” shouted Dad. “Let’s go with the original plan.”

Apparently, Mark charging into the fray hadn’t been what he was supposed to do. Maybe he wanted to impress everyone with his secret weapon. Britta could see an ability to reflect spells as a very cool anti-magic tool, but it would have helped if he’d made sure the banshees’ screams actually counted as a magic attack.

Lady Da ran out to the bridge. She stopped just before reaching it and raised her hands. A black circle, about the size of a football, appeared between them. She was chanting in some strange language that sounded vaguely like Dutch.

“Fifteen percent isn’t a lot.”

Dad turned to look at Flawed huddled next to him. The fifteen percent he was referring to was the chance Lady Da had of turning an undead creature. That was the base chance — other modifiers, like difference in levels and saving throw bonuses would also be taken into account, but he was right, fifteen percent wasn’t a lot.

“She gets fifteen percent against each of them,” said Dad. “If she high-rolls, she might get two or three. The important thing is they notice her.”

There were six banshees floating around the far side of the bridge, two more in the middle of the bridge. Being blind, they hadn’t paid attention when Lady Da ran up, but now they could hear her chanting, they began drifting closer.

The kobolds had stopped throwing things. Everyone was waiting to see how effective Lady Da was going to be.

The circle over her head began glowing purple, bathing the bridge in its light.

The two banshees on the bridge threw up their arms, but didn’t run away. One banshee on the other side turned and fled into a corner. The others stood there. Britta would have expected them to start screaming, but they didn’t move. Even though they hadn’t been turned, they seemed wary of the cleric.

“Why aren’t they attacking her?” asked Britta.

Dad smiled. “They will once she finishes the spell. That’s why she’s saying it so slowly. Once the light goes out, though…”

Slowly, they drifted forward, joining the two already on the bridge. There was some kind of attraction to the purple circle.

“Nice,” said Dad in the video. “She’s pulled aggro on all of them.” Then he stuck his head out and shouted, “Now.”

A bottle of holy water went flying over the bridge. Dad Shot it with his Magic Bullet.

It shattered over the banshees, and they spun around, huddling together.

“Plenty of backs to aim at,” said Dad. “Start stabbing.”

Flawed jumped up and ran. He was joined by a screaming army of kobolds. They rushed past on either side of Lady Da, the glowing circle between her hands shrinking, now only the size of a grapefruit.

Dad looked down. There was a bottle in his hands with a gentle red glow coming from it. He looked up again.

Their combined forces were pounding on the banshees, pushing them back, keeping them together.

Flawed came leaping in with his dagger raised over his head, shouting some kind of battle yell. Britta didn’t think it was a spell, just him being excited. Not the stealthiest of attacks.

A banshee pulled its head out of the huddle and screamed directly at him. Britta could see the air shimmer between them, but before it could hit him, Flawed was shoved aside by Dun Kirk, who took the hit.

He had his arms crossed in front of him, and the air passed around him like water going around a rock in a stream. Britta wondered what skill that was.

A small red two floated off Dun Kirk, meaning he’d taken some damage.

Flawed was back on his feet, looking for an opening. There were too many kobolds in front of him to give him an easy way to use his Backstab.

Dad looked down. The vial in his hands was bright red. “I’m ready,” he shouted. He ran forward to the bridge as everyone else ran back, and rolled the bottle along the ground like a bowling ball.

The people still on the bridge parted to let it through. It went across the bridge, right towards the middle of the banshee huddle. Everyone watched with their breaths held.

A single banshee turned around, its head cocked to one side, listening to the sound of glass rolling across stone. Then it let out a breath, like a long whistle, and the bottle bounced into the air, flying off the bridge, into the darkness. There was a distant explosion from below.

The other banshees turned to face the kobolds still on the bridge, ready to blow them off just like the bottle.

“I’ve got this,” shouted Mark, running forward.

He charged through the lines, right down the centre of the bridge.

The banshees leaned back, like they were taking a deep collective breath, and then let loose a combined scream.

Mark kneeled and braced himself, shield held up in front of his face.

The air shimmered and hit the shield. Mark’s entire body wobbled, like when they show a water balloon bursting in slow motion. And then the sound wave bounced back.

It hit the banshees full in the face. They were knocked back, and hung in the air like dresses on hangers in a closet.

“They’re stunned,” shouted Mark. “Charge!”

No one moved for a second, and then they streamed across the bridge, weapons aloft.

Dad caught up with them as blows rained down on the banshees, who didn’t even try to protect themselves. Flawed was whooping as he scored hit after hit. Mark had a banshee on the floor and was battering it with his sword.

“I thought your skill didn’t work,” said Dad.

“I didn’t use it the first time,” said Mark. “Wanted to make sure it was magic I was facing. Couldn’t afford to be wrong, it’s on a sixty-minute cooldown.”

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