Columnae Ex Machina

JP with Lucian, Bandorchu, Omni, and Lorem

There was a cacophony of noise around Voah but she was having trouble telling what was real. Her heart beat made the sounds pulse in and out. The raiders were hooting and cheering for their soon-to-be champion. The soldiers were praying... Then she heard a new voice.


It was not the usual paranoid whispers who had started to make a nest in the back of her mind, instead, it was the angry voice of that dust devil she beheaded on Sentinel Island. She looked from Tarmen, back to the mine entrance, sensing the danger of the dark. A portent of things to come? She hoped not.

The sounds of joy from the raiders changed to different cries of confusion and worry and Voah thought she heard a horn and the metallic clang of steel.

The raiders turned their heads around. Something was happening.

Their horses stamped and let out unsettled whinnies. The cries rose with the dust they kicked up into the sky as the clamor and alarm grew swiftly louder and the beating of hooves approached.

Voah went into a low defensive stance, her blade drawn and the archers were looking away. What new danger was this?

A moment later the crowd dispersed chaotically and a small contingent of armored cavalry made their way into view, parting the path with steel.

K’ol had reacquired his blade and was standing over Tarmen, ready to finish him. He instead turned his attention to the rousing commotion.

Those at the entrance of the mine saw the armor of their people. Soldiers from Ostiarium... here.

Sir Zane plowed through the others and into view. He rounded the duel, seeing Tarmen lying in the ground.

Voah had to jump back out of the way as Zane turned back to K’ol and brought his old sword down onto the surprised man. K'ol stood little chance as Sir Zane, fully armored, batted his sword away and swing around for a second blow to take off his head.

Now the raiders were being pressed closer to the mine as they fled on foot or horse from the heavily armored riders.

For a moment Alexis could only stare at the approaching cavalry in absolute incredulity.

But only for a moment. Then she knocked an arrow and began to pelt anyone that was too close to either Tarmen or Markus and his fellow survivors, moving closer to them as she did.

She did not give a damn whether those raiders lived or died, but she wasn’t willing to chance any of them striking out in a last minute revenge.

Holiest of Holy. She was certain she had felt the presence of the Pillars. Now the duel had been broken. Voah didn’t know what that meant for Zane or Tarmen in the eyes of Vastad, but she didn’t stand around to think about it.

She caught sight of maybe five or six soldiers total, the battle was on again now and the group was survivors on foot were in danger of being trampled if they didn’t get back to the mine. Voah rushed forward as K’ol’s body was hitting the ground.

She raised her sword and nodded, hailing the Salosi knight before tucking her blade in and pulling Tarmen by the arms out of harm’s way. Thank the Pillars he was a lean man and not wearing heavy armor.

Gonyaul was amazed at the sudden turn of events. He looked around as the rest of the people in the mine began cheering jubilantly. Gonyaul moved deeper into the tunnel to share the good news with those that couldn’t be, or easily make their way, near the entrance. Hope shone throughout the tunnel and Sir Zane was winning high favor from those lives he was saving.

Seeing Voah taking Tarmen to safety Alexis made her way towards Markus and his miners as fast as her leg allowed. She switched to her blade as she came too close to effectively shoot arrows, having to jump out of the way of being trampled more times than could be good for her injury.

Finally she reached Markus and pulled him to his feet, shouting over the absolute chaos surrounding them.

“They don’t need to fucking enter but y’all have to get to the entrance!”

With that she proceeded to help the other men get up, doing her best to shield them from hooves and weapons alike.

The soldiers at the mine entrance that were still able bodied ran out to assist Alexis in her endeavor of getting the remaining friendly Odenine closer to the mine entrance; at least to where Nicolaus’s wagon was parked.

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