As the door collapsed under the weight of the three clerics, Salvo had but a fraction of a second to dodge a gleaming blade headed for his throat. Caught off guard Gabriel took the lead and dived into the building to meet the assailant head on. Trying to follow the charge, Leonidas was halted by an arrow finding its way round his chest plate and landing under his raised arm.
Knowing he’d been through worse Salvo left Leonidas to sort himself out and went to aid Gabriel. As he quickly studied his new surroundings Salvo could see Gabriel dueling with an enormous man who whilst only wearing simple studded leather armour, wielded a tower shield and two handed sword as if they were made of cheap wood. The only other information to note in the deserted dwelling was an archer on the stairs and a dainty red headed woman running past him for the shelter of the upper floors.
With the archer lining up for another shot at Gabriel whose full attention was upon the mammoth task at hand, Salvo rushed the archer. Seeing the bulky cleric charging towards him the archer changed his aim and loosed at Salvo who at the expense of his speed, managed to duck out of the way of a fatal arrow.
Winning a precious few moments, the archer dropped his bow and drew a cheaply made, iron wrung sword which he leveled at Salvo waiting for a slow and cumbersome swing from his hammer. Almost wanting to laugh at the young man’s naivety Salvo used the heavy steel hammer in a stabbing action, punching the unsuspecting and very surprised man in the chest and sending him a clear meter in the other direction up the stairs.
Carrying his momentum after the archer, Salvo felt a sharp pain in the back of his left calf. Turning just in time to knock aside a short thrust, Salvo cursed his own nativity in rashly leaving his back unguarded. Now facing this new opponent, standing heavily on his right leg, Salvo was forced to block the oncoming tidal waves of quick sharp sword movements from the robed man’s pair of short swords. Before he knew it Salvo also had to block the attacks of the first man who had not only decided to join in but also had the higher ground.
Surrounded on both fronts with little manoeuvrability and every parry getting less and less convincing, Salvo looked to Gabriel and Leonidas who were struggling to deal with the giant in the middle of the hall. Knowing he was on his own Salvo dug deep in his mind to conjure a simple command spell and shouted the word “STOP!”
Instead of those designed to hear the command following its order, an amulet worn by each of the assailants round their necks lit like a fire had been kindled inside of the centred gems, dispelling the low level spell and causing no other affects – except it did. For in their anticipation of the spell working, the enemies Salvo faced paused for less than the blink of an eye giving Salvo time to think, a commodity few who knew him would grant if facing him in battle.
He knew that Gabriel and Leonidas would deal with the giant sooner or later, although very strong he was untrained and they would find a gap in his wild swings. His first assailant was winded and was only managing to strike out with such forceful blows due to the assassin to his rear, who was very fast, very well trained but had the lower ground and a pair of Marque’s children to his back.
Lashing out at the black clad assassin with his hammer, Salvo sensed the archer take a wild lunge at his back, preemptively Salvo turned in time to allow the blade to slide through his forearm. Surprised by the hit, the archer’s grasp on the sword was removed as Salvo painfully twisted his forearm round to disarm his opponent. With the assassin still recovering from the backwards jump down the stairs Salvo crashed his hammer into the archers chest as the sound of cracking ribs was drowned out by his startled cry.
With the archer out of the picture Salvo turned to the assassin in time to raise his hammer in defence with his good arm. Seeming to accept the challenge lay down before him, the assassin swung his swords around him in a confident manner as a cry of pain rose from the level below them.
The giant on his knees and by the looks of it, his legs broken underneath them, their battle was concluded and the assassin knew he didn’t have long left if he was going to stand his ground. Taking advantage of Salvo’s wounded leg he leaped onto the banister of the stone steps and bounded past him with an almost inhuman pace before Salvo could react.
The bottom floor was clear and the their enemy were now trapped on the higher levels – the first battle had been won. Taking a moment, Salve removed the sword from his arm and tapped into his powers, sealing his wounds and creating fresh blood in his veins to replenish that that he had lost. As his brother and sister did the same, a small contingent of deep blue Citadel Guard flooded through the door to block the exit.
Turning to the archer who was flat on his back holding his inflamed chest, Salvo spoke with the echo of Gabriel doing the same to the giant, “Citizen of Megarél and son of Marqué. You have been found guilty of obstructing and attacking a cleric of The Watch and your sentence is death. May your soul find forgiveness in the next life.” With the final words Salvo placed his hand upon the man, concentrated on his anatomy and once again drew upon his inner strength to stop the beating of his heart.