The troll woman was completely under Callie’s control. It was eerie how she simply stood frozen, awaiting orders.
“Will you be able to keep her fully under control?” Michael asked. “It would be unfortunate if she was able to retain her senses enough to warn them.”
“I can,” Callie said. “At least until daybreak. At that point it’ll start getting questionable.”
“Then let’s get the operation under way,” I said.
Callie smiled at me and nodded. “Furiam,” she said. “Go over to those trolls and tell them there’s a posh looking elf over here.”
“Yes, Mistress,” Furiam answered. She turned and marched towards the Inn. She didn’t exactly look natural when she spoke with the guards but they either didn’t notice or felt it worth checking out any way. A half dozen formed a unit and started heading over.
“Wait until their comrades can no longer see them,” I ordered. “We want to have them dealt with before the others arrive.”
“Naturally,” Michael stated.
I readied an arrow. Callie moved close to me. Having her nearby was more than a little comforting. Thinking that I wondered, just how badly had I fallen for her? I tossed the thought aside, they were getting close.
“Now!” I cried, firing. My arrow went directly into the right eye of the lead troll. He winced with pain, pulled it out with surprising ease and the group charged.
Gabriel and Tynan moved in first. They rushed the same troll. Gabriel went low with his blade, Tynan went high with his axe. The troll tried to block the axe and the sword cut him in two.
I fired a second arrow. This one lodged itself in a troll’s throat. She went down, choking. Callie leapt into the fray, bouncing off of Tynan’s back and running a troll through. Michael took to the air, diving down at one of the trolls, slicing his skull open before he could respond.
The one-eyed troll was heading directly for me. I moved back, firing arrows. One caught him directly in the shoulder. He kept coming. Did this man feel no pain?
Callie fell back, leaping on his back with her rapier piercing down. He howled and tried to force her off of him. She stabbed again and again. I fired three arrows in rapid succession, aiming for his heart. He finally went down.
I looked around for the final troll. Tynan had lifted him with one arm. He swung his axe with the other, separating his head. He tossed it to me. “You’re up!”
I caught the head and tried not to think about how gross carrying it around was. “Michael, let’s go!”
“Understood,” Michael said. He lifted me into the air.
I looked down at the trolls. They were looking up, straining to try and see. I tossed the head as far as I could in their direction. Michael gave it a push with his air magic, sending it right to them.
The response didn’t take long. One of them picked up their comrade’s head. Shortly after, all eighteen of them charged.
Michael and I quickly landed. I poured my own magic into the ground. “Piercing Earth!” Stone spikes jutted from the ground moving at the trolls.
“Ground Shield!” I heard one of them cry. The ground rose up to protect the advancing trolls from my attack.
“I’ll deal with the mage,” Callie said. “Tynan, I’ll be counting on you to protect Lyn while I’m gone. Michael, Lyn, use your air magic and arrows to keep them scattered while I go.”
“Be careful,” I said.
My heart sank a little bit. We were outnumbered more than three to one and Callie was going to go right into the heart of their forces to try and slay their mage, assuming they only had one with them.
Not that we had much choice. We needed to use magic to thin their numbers. Otherwise, we didn’t stand much of a chance.
I readied more arrows and began firing. “Gods,” I prayed “Please protect Callie.”