She blinked. The dead were not supposed to do that. She blinked again, but the corpse kept moving. She scrambled back, reaching for her fallen sword. Around her, more fallen were starting to stir. The dead from both sides of the battlefield were rising in jerky movements. The soldiers in her company drew together and backed away from the rising horror. Bad enough to be too hot, to be fighting until you dropped, to square off around your fallen friends, now they were rising, and they were turning on you. Regardless of side, the risen dead were turning on her people. The enemy seemed equally off balance, but the dead were not attacking them and so some brave souls pressed forward with them.
This meant a mage. It was hard to take controlled breaths and narrow her focus to battlefield necessities. She wouldn’t be the only one who would be trying to find them. She was just the one with the best chance of finding them. She hacked her way out of the battlefield to the outskirts of the engagement area. Some soldiers were fleeing, her side taking losses which then shuddered and rose to turn on their former allies. Thankfully they weren’t very good. But there were more of them all the time and slow and stupid could still kill you. She darted off down the path, circling round the edges of the enemy line. There were a few sentries, but most were distracted by the sounds and action on the battlefield and she slipped by. One of the benefits of leather armor over chain or plate. Less noise to give you away.
She saw the mage standing on a slight rise, before the sun, explaining why they hadn’t spotted him before. He was chanting as a score of prisoners knelt around him. All were bleeding from gashes in their left arms. She focused on narrowing her view again. No use raging, more use attacking. Unfortunately there wasn’t any cover which meant the handful of guards around the rise would see her coming. She had to stop the mage regardless. She shifted to get a better view and her foot slipped in the soft soil. She looked down at the dirt and gravel. There was more than one way to halt a spell.
She sheathed her sword and unclipped her waterskin. Twisting off the cap, she damped some of the earth around her feet. Putting the waterskin away, she knelt and gathered up loose gravel and damp earth. Mudball in hand, she scanned the surroundings, she would need to be a good shot.
She got as close as she dared and stood up, launching the mud ball at the mage and following it with a charge. The guards shouted and leaped to halt her progress and the mud ball sailed just off center of the mage’s mouth. Whether it was the impact or the unexpected taste of mud in his mouth, the mage faltered, and with that single hesitation, the spell shattered. The mage collapsed under the backlash of the sundered spell.
Job done, she turned and ran. The tide of battle would be turning and she needed to lead some of her squad back to that hill.
This first line has been stolen by opportunistic thieves. Keep an eye out for those blinkers!