Selenia is quiet as she thinks about what is heading toward her students. She slowly unsheathes her longsword and coldly stares at its flawless shine. Kevin nods without her having to say a word and makes his way to the south wall. Duggan is already yelling orders to the students as Selenia climbs the stairs to the top of the wall.
“About time you showed up, Selenia. It looks like your old friend remembers you fondly,” Duggan mentions, casually pointing his gauntleted hand toward Visindor. “I did the best I could with the weapons. Being rushed doesn’t help a smithy make a stockpile of any kind. Now, we can only pray that the Holy One is smiling on my work because we are going to need it.”
Selenia looks out over the killing field to see a swarm of dark crimson flowing through the forest from the direction of the Caster Swamp. The red figures resemble hairless, muscular humans until one dares to look below their waist. The students shy away from the wall as they see the horrid body of a scorpion with curved barbs along its skin and a seven-foot, stinger-tipped tail curled behind them. Two giant pincers jut out from the monsters’ waists, snapping at anything that comes near. Occasionally, one of the smaller spadix gets too close to one of its bigger brethren and gets viciously snapped in two by a pincer.
“Those spadix get uglier every time I see them,” Duggan mutters. Selenia forces a smile as she notices larger figures pushing their way to the killing field. Standing over twenty-five feet tall, the ten cyclopes begin their thundering advance. Another cyclops stands in the back and Selenia can see that it is much bigger than the others.
“Damn Kevin and his vision sword. That’s more than one cyclops and the one in the back looks to be almost forty feet tall. I’ve met giants smaller than him. That Lich must have magically altered that bastard,” she angrily says as the monster army swarms into the killing field. “Well, I’m not one to wait for our guests to knock on the door, Duggan. Let’s be the ones to kick off this battle. Everyone prepare for battle! Archers and catapults! Prepare to fire on the northern side! Wait for my signal!”
Selenia raises her longsword above her head and it begins to crackle with magical electricity. Duggan has his crab-shell shield aimed at the monster army and nods to Selenia after a quick prayer. He concentrates on the shield, causing a jet of water to erupt from the front of the magical item. Selenia quickly lowers her sword to release a screeching lightning bolt along the water blast. It strikes one of the cyclopes in the face and the monster collapses in a twitching, burning heap on top of several of the spadix.
The moment the dead cyclops strikes the ground, the archers and catapults begin firing into the oncoming army. At first, the barrage manages to keep the shrieking monsters at bay. Three more cyclopes are killed before many of the spadix begin pulling out longbows and fire barbed arrows over the wall. One of the cyclopes hurls a tree into the academy, crushing two of the catapults along with five students. Selenia looks down at the bodies before stepping onto the edge of the wall and dropping into the killing field. She is a whirlwind of polished steel as soon as she lands in front of the startled spadix horde. Limbs, heads, and stingers fly everywhere as she cuts a path through her swarming enemies.
“Now this is my kind of strategy!” Duggan shouts.
The dwarf leaps from the wall, his armored body landing with a crash on top of a spadix. He can feel the monster’s body crumple and gush underneath his feet. With an echoing roar, Duggan begins knocking monsters away with his warhammer. He barely notices the squads led by Thomas and Kevin as they come around the corners to intercept the monsters that are within a few feet of the wall. The two forces meet with a terrifying clash of battle and screams that are both human and bestial.
The forty-foot cyclops finally gets to the battlefield and charges at Selenia, waving a massive club. She gets her sword up quickly, but she is still knocked over the academy wall by the monster. The half-elven warrior grabs the edge of the wall and does a mid-air flip to land on the walkway. From above the action, she can see her students being skewered by tail stingers or shredded by snapping pincers. Another cyclops is killed by a boulder that gets embedded in its chest and the dying behemoth starts to pitch forward. Selenia watches a group of archers leap out of the way as the body smashes into the wall, creating a gaping hole that becomes the new target of the spadix.
“Everybody fall back into the academy! Use your knowledge of the area to your advantage!” Selenia shouts as she drops from the walkway. She darts past a group of axe fighters and dives into the sea of monsters. They continually try to stab her with their stingers, but they end up hitting each other if they manage to hit anything at all. Selenia gracefully moves among them as she slashes through bodies, enjoying the feel of their crude swords harmlessly bouncing off her body. Every unnatural weapon is deflected by an invisible coating of magic until one of the stinger tails pierces her leg.
“Son of a bitch!” she screams, yanking the stinger out and jamming it into the face of another spadix. She stumbles back and immediately starts to feel faint. It isn’t long before she can feel her blood boiling, but a sudden pain in her side quickly clears the poison’s effects. Kevin and Duggan are immediately flanking her, giving her time to recover. Duggan happily bashes the surrounding spadix into the ground while Kevin stands his ground, swiftly attacking any that come near him. Even with his limited mobility, Kevin is impossible to hit as he expertly blocks and counterattacks the spadix.
“Did one of you do this?” she asks as she blocks a pincer and points at the fresh cut on her side. Both men shake their head and start to move away from her to clear away more of the monsters.
“More are coming!” shouts one of the archers from the wall.
All of the students are desperately fighting and struggling to keep their bearings. Selenia sees one of the dwarven students get stabbed in the shoulder by a stinger. The student lops off the tail with his axe and savagely cleaves the monster’s face in two. Selenia smiles with pride until the student begins to stumble from the poison in his body. She is about to run over to him when a curved blade on a chain flies into view, cuts him, and disappears into the crowd again. The steady wind changes, allowing Selenia to catch the brief scent of the magic anti-toxin they keep in the infirmary. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that the mystery weapon was covered in the potent liquid.
“Someone is using their head,” Selenia whispers as the next wave enters the academy. A cyclops approaches her, but it is swiftly killed by another thundering blast of lightning from her sword.