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The value of teamwork

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Having freed the captured Ebon Vanguard soldiers from Hierophant Burntsoul and those charr who remained loyal to him, the heroes returned to Longeye's Ledge to rest and plan their next actions. Gwen wanted to stay a while with the Vanguard, to help them regain their strength. Jora insisted that they should seek out the destroyers and kill them. Vekk was adamant that they should seek out his people and their assistance. As had grown customary among the loosely affiliated group, Devona was given the casting vote. They had found her to be even tempered and trusted her opinion.

Devona had sided with Vekk, and the group had set off for the Tarnished Coast in search of Asuran allies.

It wasn't exactly true to say that their journey was uneventful. No journey that went far from the beaten path was ever uneventful in Tyria. Even at the best of times dangers were plentiful just from the native wildlife. Then there had been the recent problems with the mursaat and then the titans, then the plague that had been carried over from Cantha on ships. Now there was the issue with the destroyers. This was far from the best of times. Even so, their journey had been no more eventful than they had expected.

They'd taken shifts for combat duty, splitting into combat teams of eight who led the way while the rest of the group followed in their wagons, resting whenever they could. They'd encountered some dangerous beasts but nothing that was beyond their capabilities. These people had no room for false modesty. They all knew that they were good at what they did, amongst the best in the world, in fact. It wasn't arrogance that made them believe that they could defeat any foe that came their way. It was merely a simple acknowledgement of the truth.

The first real problem they encountered was in Arbor Bay. They'd started to encounter a few wandering Asura by this point, and Vekk assured them that they weren't all that far from Rata Suum. They were all eager to get back to civilisation, rest their weary muscles and take a bath. Possibly this was why they didn't pay too much heed when one of the local Asuran krew members warned them of a particularly dangerous family of krait.

When they came to fight them, though, it was clear that the reputation that Flannuss Broadwing and her brood had picked up was entirely deserved.

"It's no good!" shouted Devona. "No matter how hard I hit it, its wounds just close right up. It must have some sort of innate magical abilities. Nothing can heal this fast otherwise!"

"Hurry!" urged Tahlkora. "I'm growing exhausted trying to close up all your wounds. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up."

Vekk said a few words of magic and threw a mighty fireball into the middle of the kraits' formation. None of them seemed to so much as flinch.

"It would seem" he said, as he rained fire on them from his wand, "that the Broadwing has natural powers not unlike our monks. We must take her down, and then the rest will follow."

"On it!" grunted Pyre.

"Leave it to me!" shouted Gwen at exactly the same moment.

It said something about the predicament that they were in that the two didn't stop to argue. Taunting each other was among their favourite activities. Staying alive still ranked higher.

Both focussed on the lead krait's actions until they thought they could sense the pattern to them, and recognise when it was, in essence casting spells. Pyre brought an arrow to his bow and let loose with a savage shot. Gwen attempted to cause a spike in the power that it was channelling. Both missed. It was casting too fast for them.

They looked at each other and for a second, they had a moment of understanding. Gwen summoned all the magic she could muster and directly pulled at the beast's brain. It wasn't subtle, but it was powerful, and she was sure that it would give it a bad migraine. She'd pay for it later, of course, with a migraine of her own, but right now it was worth it. She knew from experience how difficult it was to focus on spell-casting when your head was pounding like that. She just hoped that the krait physiology was similar enough to her own that it would have the desired effect.

It did.

As Flannuss Broadwing started to cast its next healing spell, Pyre was able to quickly shoot an arrow at it, distracting it from the task at hand. He followed this up by shooting a burning arrow at his target, setting it on fire. Gwen unleashed more magic on the beast, making the flames dance out from it to adjacent krait, almost like an epidemic of burning.

With the groups healing cut off and most of them on fire, it was then short work to finish them off.

Pyre turned to Gwen and smirked. "Nice work, Mouse. Seems like you and me make a good team after all."

"I know that" replied Gwen with a scowl. "I'm not an idiot. I just don't like it is all. And stop calling me Mouse."

Pyre smiled widely, showing his fangs. "I was wondering when you'd ask me that. So be it, Gwen."