Monday, September 8, 2014

The Wilds - Dancing Lights

"We have to stop. They're too fast for us. Too close. We're better off together and facing whatever they are as a group than trying to fight and walk." Ohwatoo seems very sure of himself.

Ra├║guey, who has been pushing for more speed, looks back at the glowing spots flickering between branches and leaves. "Maybe you're right," he sighs. "Let's dig in. He hefts the sword of bees, and looks around for a good spot, but there is little to recommend anything within reach of the party's light sources. Just trees and undergrowth and...

"There!" calls Rawon, pointing off to the left. "A bit of higher ground at least. Cover the lights and let's get there quickly!"

"It's hard to move quickly when I can't see anything," mutters Durego. He nudges Mordikarr. "Come my friend. We need to move, and we need your help with the animals. I'm sure Ava will be fine."

Mordikarr carefully tucks the little owl into his rough tunic and moves to help Gorvil and Jonquil with the beasts. Slowly, oh so slowly, the party stumbles and creeps toward the mound Rawon saw. And the lights get closer.

"Here. We hold here." Rawon lays a silver arrow across his bow, and the others check their weapons. Gorvil, Jonquil, and Mordikarr try to control the mules while Maro has his hands full with the cats.

The lights get closer, but seem to grow dimmer as they approach. Three, no, four glowing spots, now low and slow between the tree trunks. 90 yards. 80. A curious whine begins, like an off-key mosquito. Everyone begins to feel a low, thudding pain behind their eyes. Maro and Saurabh both wince and cry out as this intensifies, blinking away spots that cloud their vision. The lights creep left and right, forming a rough semi-circle 70 yards away. 60. Durego clutches his head and wavers, as does Ingvild.

It's too much for Jedit. Maro tries to grab the cat, and Mordikarr growls something catlike, but the lynx claws Maro's arm and darts away, streaking into the shadows between the trees to the north. Abruptly the lights go out, then flash bright red. Those most afflicted by the whining, thumping pain cry out, stagger, and fall. The glowing orbs swirl and gather, and then, swirling like some demented tornado, circle the east side of the party's shaky circle at a tremendous pace. Glow. Flicker. Glimmer. They almost disappear among the trees.

Dagmarten moves to help his brother, while Mordikarr calms the remaining beasts. Mageta yowls, cowering next to Maro's fallen form, and Ohwatoo tries to rouse Durego. A few moments later there is a horrible wailing shriek from the woods. Mageta whimpers and goes still, shivering. Another shriek, then silence. The flickering lights gather together into one glowing mass, low and distant, barely visible beyond the trees and undergrowth. They pulse, yellow, blue, and green, then fade to a dim purple.


The lights are, best you can tell, a few hundred yards to the north, low and still. Maro, Ingvild, Durego, and Saurabh are dazed and stunned. Maro and Saurabh both have nosebleeds and are half-blinded by dark spots before their eyes.

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