Episode 38: Deus ex ballista

Max stepped forwards. "I really wouldn't recommend that," he said to the darkness beyond the wolves.

The wolves growled.

"Okay, have it your way." He folded his arms across his chest. "Have at me."

A wolf leapt. There was a flash of lightning, and a wolf with a smoking hole through it fell at Max's feet. A crossbow bolt wreathed in fire lit up the darkness where a cloaked figure was hiding.

Arthur straightened up and grinned at the figure. "It would seem that we have you outnumbered."

The figure hesitated for a moment before growling and raising its hands as if to throw something, but a ballista bolt ended that. Isabelle shuddered at the drops of frozen blood that were now scattered about.

The wolves, suddenly freed from outside control, dispersed.

After a few moments, a familiar figure run up to Arthur; it was the tallest of the triplets. "Heyboss! Strangemovementinthenortheastofcamp; Oneeye'scoveringit."

Arthur nodded. "Max, deal with it."

Max saluted and jogged off, followed by his men.

After a couple of minutes, a somewhat confused-looking Max returned alongside a stranger in his mid-twenties. This stranger was of average height, perhaps slightly taller, with a very athletic build, and wore monks robes of primary blue; straw sandals, tan skin, blue eyes, and curly blue-black hair where he hadn't been tonsured completed the ensemble. He had a huge grin on his face and what appeared to be the remains of shackles dangling from his wrists.

Behind the two came Max's six men guarding a hobbling Aurora.

Ever further back was the man who had bought the solid-steel crossbow; his eyepatch left little doubt regarding the identity of "One-eye."

Arthur looked to the crossbow-toting newcomer. "Are we clear?"

One-eye lifted his eyepatch and surveyed the area with what appeared to be a perfectly normal eye. "Yep." He replaced the patch.

"Good. Now, Miss Aurora, would you mind telling me what in the Emperor's name is going on here?"