- Episode 21 -
Slowly the sun stalked it's way up into the sky. It was now dawn and with it came a wave of excitement that thrilled the beasts that were already poised about Thatch and Cobble. They were already on edge, eager to begin their vicious task. Looming in the distance was a lonely old farm house and inside it were the prey they sought.
"Remember the plan Cobble," Thatch warned his partner. "It's not us I'm worried about forgetting the plan Thatch," Cobble countered eying the grizzly growling creatures that surrounded them. "Let's get moving before these things decide to just eat us instead," Thatch remarked. Cobble wasn't about to argue on that one, and the two started towards the house leading the pack.
Just as Mal had known they would he marked the approach from where he had stood watch and drew his blade. "Get Trinity to Percival Cam," he bellowed, his voice far more effective than any horn. As he stepped out to meet the rushing foes he wore a trusty old leather jacket studded with steel and layered with mail. It was a far cry from his gleaming old suit of plate but it had always served him well when training or traveling. Besides, at his age he figured he both needed the speed and really didn't want to draw any extra attention to himself that the plate would have immediately brought. Knights wore plate and he wasn't a knight anymore, at least not officially.
"We have to get out of here Trin," Camden pleaded, begging her to get on the massive mount. "Mal will hold them off while we make our way and then he'll catch up." Or at least, that is what Camden hoped he had planned to do. "No," Trinity defiantly proclaimed. She closed her eyes and focused her desire to hold back the beasts back, she had to concentrate.
Heedless, Mal slashed and stalwartly slowed his foes progress. Claws swiped at him from all sides as he rolled to avoid deadly maws to keep his defense tight and strong. He couldn't risk going on the offensive against so many, to turn his focus on any single threat meant the chance any of the others might slip past him. Instead he had to settle for making them pay dearly for every inch they gained with a cut hear and a slice there. All he needed was a few more precious moments for the kids to be clear, to be unburdened by that worry.
Twisting to neatly sidestep an off-balanced blow from the taller thug Mal reached out and countered with his left to seize the advantage. Thatch found his own weight used against him as he tumbled over to land in the way of the pack of pets. A wave of triumph rose within Mal as he realized he hadn't lost his edge even after all these years. The feeling quickly changed to one of confusion when a single strange word rippled through the ground behind him carried by some melody he couldn't place.
"Involvet," Trinity softly called to the earth at their feet her tone one of kind request. She was careful this time to measure just how much magic she called to her will and watched as the ground responded. Thick thorn covered vines erupted from the ground to entangle and restrict their fiendish foes.
Mal rolled his sword in a quick arc downward to keep from being rooted to the ground himself and backed away. Already the creatures were desperately struggling to free themselves from the impediment and he was sure they would likely manage it before long. And he was certain that they really didn't want to stick around to wait for that moment.