This is the scene as near as I can remember. That’s me in the corner, with Acgar. Right as the invisible hellcat attacked. We were in Nulin’s room and it was kinda fun. Dude was so insanely paranoid — I guess assassins kinda have to be, right? And so the place was like Booby Trap Land or something. The bed was all trapped and if you triggered it, it would slam into the wall like a possessed Murphy bed. Wild. There is a stream of lava that runs through the room. Came in handy later, but I’ll get to that.
So Sadi and Ian both have boots of spider climb. So they went up the walls to try to avoid traps. Yeah, right. The walls and ceiling were trapped, too. So they are making their way around the room. Me and Acgar were discussing the runes on the floor. Indira and Brus were just standing by the bed. And none of us paid any attention to Theresa. She’s always poking around. To hear her tell it later, she jumped across the lava stream and landed on a little pillow. That’s when all hell broke loose. Did I say hell? I mean it. The fiery, killing sort of hell.
First I know, I hear a growl and Acgar yells, whirls and slams into something. Something that doesn’t move. Something with claws. I hear Indira yell, too. And then there’s this… sizzling sound.
I look over in time to see like liquid flame just wham! down on Indira and Brus. Like it wasn’t there and then it was.
Just this shower of fire, dumped on them like water. They were outlined in flame for a few moments and I could clearly see the outline of the hellcat as it slumped over. Dead or stunned, I didn’t know.
Indira must have heard the noise, too. Because she stumbled a bit but she missed being in the dead center of the firestorm.
That’s where Brus was. The middle.
Have you ever smelled burning bear fur? It’s gross. Trust me.
It was all like slo-mo. I can see it when I close my eyes. Indira’s hair on fire. Brus on his hind legs struggling to escape the flames.
I had no thought of Acgar or the hellcat right beside us. I — if I had any thoughts, any real thoughts, it was simply to save Indira. At that moment it all solidified for me. If she dies…. I don’t know what I’d do.
Her name ripped from my throat as I ran to her. I’m not some hero guy. I didn’t run through the flames. Luckily they were dying out anyway. What was that spell?
Indira was laying at a strange angle but she was coughing so I knew she’d be OK. As I slid to a stop near her, I realized that she was propped on the still invisible carcass of the hellcat. I would have laughed if I hadn’t been preoccupied.
She looked like hell. She hair is charred. We’ll have to cut it off — what’s left of it.
I grabbed her hand. Her return grip was strong. “Help me up.” She said. We got her upright and our combined heal got her breathing back to normal.
At that point I felt the rest of the world come back. Acgar was off to my left, her sword flashing as she fought the hellcat. I didn’t see Brus, but I hoped that was a good sign. If he could run, he was going to be OK. My eye caught movement in the far right corned. Sadi was standing on the wall and I saw her dump flour on to the ground. The shape of a man formed where the flour hit. Ha! Our invisible spellcaster, perhaps?
It was incredibly heroic of Sadi to expose the enemy that way. She was in such a vulnerable spot, right above him.
I saw him turn and then Sadi was gone. Everything, gone. I keep replaying it in my mind. He turns and she’s gone. Turn, gone. Who or what was this?
Indira hadn’t seen it happen. I’ll always be grateful that she didn’t see Sadi’s last seconds. I’m sure there was no pain for Sadi. How could there be? Blink. Gone.
I caught movement and Ian was casting a spell over to the left. Mr. Big Bad wasn’t looking that way. He was looking my way. My mouth went dry. I’d always heard that expression but yeah, for real it happens.
And then I laughed. Indira looked at me and I pointed. Ian had turned Mr. Evil Spellcaster into a guinea pig. I love that little guy.
Quick as anything, Theresa whipped off her cloak, wrapped up the pig and dropped him in the lava stream. I dropped to my knees in prayer.
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