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Into the Time-Rift

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The ringing clash of broadsword against longsword reverberated through my arms; sweat from the drawn-out battle dripping annoyingly in my eyes as I faced my armored opponent with a fierce scowl that promised imminent destruction. My muscles burned as I held the man’s sword at bay - halting it as the warrior attempted to physically force it towards my unarmored throat.

The sizzle of burnt flesh assaulted my nose and I quickly swung my head to the left, where Malcolm, my twin brother, and Fenris, the elven father-figure that had raised my brother and I for as long as I could remember, were fighting. I breathed an inward sigh of relief as I saw Fenris still up and fighting and Malcolm casting various barrier and healing spells to keep his small family alive and protected. It was our normal fighting routine, perfected over many years of hunting slavers and destroying various magisters together. One of Mal’s barriers had repelled the lightning spell the current magister we were fighting had flung towards Fenris and had deflected the spell into a couple of the dozen or so guards that were defending the magister at the moment.

My nose wrinkled in disgust at the disturbing smell - it was a close second to the coppery tang and dessicated smell of blood magic being used and I hated it. At least it had not hit Malcolm or Fenris. The purple-robed magister decided to change tactics and I saw him begin the motions to a complicated spell as he began to chant rhythmically in some kind of archaic Tevene.

My inattention to the man in front of me as I surveyed the battle briefly cost me as he swung his longsword through my defenses and managed to land a strike near my ribs. I heard a crack as a sharp pain shot through me at the point of impact. My adrenaline soaring I turned back and bared my teeth viciously at the man, managing to transform the pained yell that was my initial reaction to the injury into a fiercely intimidating growl. The man’s eyes widened as I found my energy anew and swung my broadsword easily up and towards the chink in the man’s defenses afforded by the strength and overconfidence of his previous strike. With a triumphant shout, I managed to cleave the man’s head nearly in two as he fell bonelessly to the ground and quickly bled out.

Gritting my teeth, I pushed my hand against my side and winced at the pain. A broken rib, most likely - though I didn’t appear to be bleeding too hand coming away nearly blood free. My hunched body signalled my distress to Malcolm and I sighed in grateful relief as a wash of healing blue magic enveloped my body and helped to ease the pain. I rushed towards Fenris, who was fighting five of the soldiers at the same time. I joined the fray and we quickly dispatched four of the five men with brutal efficiency.

The world around me came to a gut-wrenching halt and sharpened vividly as, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the deranged magister raise both of his arms and laugh maniacally as he finished whatever Maker-damned spell he had concocted and flung a greenish burst of light straight towards Fenris. In a split-second decision more borne of instinct than conscious decision, I barrelled into Fenris and knocked him out of the spell's path just in time for the spell to strike me instead of him, my mind screaming a wordless goodbye to them both as the light from the spell enveloped me.

The last sight that burned through my vision was Fenris, eyes widened in desperate panic as he screamed my name through the blooming haze of pain that was currently ripping me apart. I vaguely heard Mal’s voice as he wailed his denial and anger, his expression one of horror and impending loss. In what seemed to me to be a small measure of eternity but what was actually more like a few seconds in reality, my vision faded into blackness and I passed into unconsciousness.