Episode 35: Incoming fires
The door's wooden bar had been broken by Arthur's entry, but the dead guard's sword served as a replacement. Arthur started towards the stairs, which ran straight up to another door. Orlaith had an arrow drawn and aimed at it, while Percy was quickly searching for any papers of interest on the first floor. Isabelle followed Arthur up the stairs, Orlaith covering them from behind and Percy following a moment after. Arthur adjusted his shield-strap and then kicked in the door.
All hell broke loose.
Arthur, following his initial momentum into the room, was on his second step when he said "Oh shit!" and hit the floor sliding, his shield up.
All Isabelle had time to see was a blur of flame before she was thrown backwards.
Orlaith had just enough time to realize what was going on and duck the flying Isabelle before she popped back up and snapped off two shots at the lady who had been waiting for them.
Percy caught Isabelle and held her while she regained her balance; then he charge past Orlaith, giving a warscream fit to raise the dead (or at least distract the lady inside the room).
Isabelle's world shifted from fast chaos to slow chaos as her battle instincts finally hit high gear. Orlaith was crouched, knocking another arrow—no, two arrows; Percy was relieving his surrogate father; Arthur was crouched behind his shield, reaching for his horn; and in the center of it all was a lady wearing black with gold trim, red fire in her left hand and a sword in her right. Isabelle tapped Orlaith on the shoulder. "Guard the front door; I'm going in."
Orlaith spun in her crouch, re-focusing her aim on the entry door.
Isabelle ran forward, taking the four steps in two leaps. Her saber at the ready, she dove at the mysterious lady just as another ball of fire blew apart a wooden chair that Percy had kicked into the air as a distraction. The lady danced out of Isabelle's way, the pressure of three people in the relatively small room with her driving her towards the window. She blew the shutters open with another blast of fire even as she parried Percy's thrust at her.
Alarum! Arthur's horn rang out. Alarum! Alarum!
The lady backed towards the window, putting one foot on the sill in preparation for a jump. She glanced over at Arthur. "I would have expected a much better fight had I known that Arthur Avallonis himself would be leading the charge." So saying, she pushed herself backwards out of the window even as she let loose with one final burst of energy that filled the room with lightning, blinding everyone inside, searing their flesh, and setting fire to the walls.
Arthur blew the call for extraction.