Barbarians In Mazlan: Part 5 - Fire & Fear
"Run Run! They are coming." Jurga spurred his group forward, they had been beset by an enemy that moved fast and as many arrows at they put into them it seemed pointless.
"Jurga what are they." Pip said as he cast a worried gaze back to his older brother. "Don't look just run!" Jurga barked and Pip's eyes shot forward and he picked up speed. They hef left the woods not long ago and were in the mountainous scrub land deep north of Mazlan County. Caves and outcroppings hid them around every turn but the clank of their pursuers never seemed to stop.
"Jurga we have to stop!" Hereg took a turn hard and slid under and overhang of rock. The five others stopped as well, all of them were breathing hard, panting and hunched over. The sound of their assailants was faint at best, they must have finally put some real distance.
Jurga was the first to fully catch his breath. "Arrows up. If they get close we wil volley again and push on. We can't be far from a patrol, if we get some shields and some bodies we can push them back."
"Pip, drop your bow, run ahead." Jurga didn't look at his brother and none of the rest of them did either. Pip opened his mouth to protest but was quickly cut off by his brother. "Find the patrol and bring them back!"
Pip swallowed hard. He dropped his bow and his axe and took off running leaving his brother and friends behind. He wanted to look back but he knew it was pointless, it would sap the will form his legs. He ran for a long time until he finally encountered a patrol, fifteen men, shields and armor. He could barely speak his lungs burned so hard but they got the jist and jogged in the direction Pip had come. Their speed was much slower and he was able to catch his wind.
They saw the carnage long before they got to the outcropping. Thick black smoke billowed upwards, and with so few plants they all knew what was burning, but why they would burn bodies no one knew, and so quickly.
They got into a shielded formation and they inched forward towards the outcrop until they were in it, and the scene unfolded. The stone and ground was charred black, and laid out on the ground and huddled in the corner were the six bodies, all of them frozen in burned horror. The patrol group froze, the fear radiating off of them all could be felt.
"What men could do this...they are demons." Pip said as he pushed past the shield wall and went to the corse that was obviously his brother. The heat coming off him was too much to even touch, but he managed to grab the bone handle of their father shunting knife. IT burned his palm from the heat but he didn't care he just winced into the pain.
"You should have ran, and kept running. Brining more of you solves nothing." The voice came from above them, the accent was thick and heavy, but the trade language was clear. Up on a large stone was a single man, clan in dark blue robes. He wore no armor and held no weapon save for a single solid black metal rod.
Stepped up behind him were a few men in armor head to toe, their banners were black with a yellow sun blazon on the center.
"Fools. Dead fools." The robed man held out his hand palm facing them and it was a roar that turned the world inside out, the flames exploded from his palm like a windstorm. The roar died down and the screams took it's place as half of the patrol was engulfed and burning. They dropped ot their knees and clawed at their flesh with no hope as armor melted to flesh.
The robed figure pointed his rod down at the group that was now scattered, flame again. The roar turned the sound off in the world and scorched everything it touched a heavy black.
Pip didn't know when he started running but he was so afraid that he didn't know what to do. Tears streamed down his face from the shame of fleeing and the grief of the loss of life, his brothers life.
" Master Magus?" One of the guard said to the caster. He had finally stopped his casting and his brow was heavy with sweat and strain from the rapid fire spells. "We tempt the gods with so much magic."
The Caster leaned heavily on his rod, he was fine to show the moment of weakness as there were no enemies to capitalize on it.
"We saw one flee. A younger fighter. Should we pursue?"
The Caster waved his hand. "We were ordered to let some live. To spread the word of what we can do. He will spin a good enough tale for us."