The followers of the goddess Badb had a strict policy when it came to fighting the forces of evil. It was a simple policy despite every single follower having their own way of interpretation and implication.
Huebsch had seen evil. She had fought the worshippers of demons, she had tortured demons for answers, her hungry sword had slaughtered ten thousand ghosts, and her accomplishments were heard across even the furtherest reaches of Gaul.
But she felt incredibly small as she saw the battle that was happening above her.
Madness. Up in the sky an array of the strangest people that she had ever seen were fighting the corrupted greater fire primordial.
Dozens of flying metal golems were shooting darts of light and screaming arrows at the mass.
The human girl who had transformed into a older and scantly dressed version of herself was waving her wand as if trying to swat a fly. Stars and girlish hearts shot out of her wand and when it smacked into the fire the blackness temporarily to the normal red.
Huebsch tried not to look at that maniac. The girl was flinging around blessing spells that had taken her eighty years to achieve and she wasn’t getting tiered.
What was really impressive were two beings with bird wings on their backs. Holding swords made of hot white light that burned with divinity, the pair struck the primordial in the face and Huebsch could tell the fire didn’t like it.
The huge metal flying ship was gently falling to the ground. Five beams of light came from the ship’s back and it struck the clouds.
The clouds rained green blood for a minute and then dispersed. The falling eyeballs and fire-breathing frogs soon stopped.
Thought they were not doing any lasting damage they were slowly oppressing the primordial’s influence.
On the ground it was equally frantic. Men with strange weapons that shot bursts of thunder were firing at what appeared to be a swarm of lesser fire elemental, which just happened to be corrupted.
Most of the thunder weapons did absolutely nothing but to hurt the silth ears, but one in ten shot something that seemed effective.
She watched as a one human shot a shadowy mess of odd flames, the elemental froze for an instant and then it turned from black to red. The elemental shook itself and then turned on its corrupted brothers.
Soon the ground troops had dozens of non-tainted fire elementals that were devouring their brothers. With each burst of thunder there was one less enemy and one more ally.
On the back of their war stags Huebsch watched all of this and felt overwhelmed. All the while her crew were communicating through the link.
Are those winged things goddlings? One exorcist said through the link
Chief Huebsch, orders? Said another exorcist.
We need to get Private Ciara out of there. Huebsch ordered through the link. She had ordered the talented wizard onto the cart, and she had no intention of allowing any single one of her group to be lost. They all go home or they all die together.
The private, still in the back of Jessy’s cart spoke up. Thanks ma’am, but you should stay out of here. The white elf is getting us towards another exit. This place is a maze, ma’am, and the boy thinks that there is going to be another explosion to come. Don’t worry about me.
Tough luck of that. Hubsch was not going to leave a solider behind enemy lines.
There was a shimmer in the air in front of the battlenuns, not like a heat haze but ripple of light manifesting in reality.
A hand made out of solid steel pounded the ground five meters from Huebsch’s stag’s nose. Dirt and grass flew up and the earth shook from the impact.
The stag reared up on its hind legs and the gave a primal protest at the sudden shock.
By instinct the exorcists drew their weapons and glared at this new threat.
What had to be the largest steel golem that had ever walked this damned planet was staring down at the dozen silth warriors. Over fifty metres tall it was a massive colossus, looking big enough to arm wrestle a sea monster.
It’s four glowing azure eyes appraising them, the golem spoke something in a foreign language that could have been something like, “I will squash you” or “Do you want to have a tea party?”
Not far away the lesser fire elementals were crawling down the side of the dome, like soap running off a pan.
A slot opened on the golem’s back and what looked like a mounted spear appeared from within. While the golem looked down at Huebsch there was the sound of a thousand tiny gears spinning manically as the shoulder mounted spear pointed itself at the coming onslaught.
An arch of twisting golden and violet sprayed the flood of poisonous fire.
There was not the hiss of water meeting flame, nor the crack of lightning, there wasn’t even screaming. The corrupted elementals simply cease to be, in their place was the black wall of the dome.
Ikelsia, one of Huebsch’s banner men made her thoughts clear the mental network, “Avalon fuck me over and on both ends.”
This was the problem with telepathy tactics. Though the strong psychic connection between battlenus were strong and allowed each member to communicate to one another over unbelievable gulfs of land instantaneously, feelings, intuition, and subconscious thoughts could find their way through the link.
A lot of inner party problems happen when one of the nuns noticed that her party member had a large bum or there was sexual tension. Nuns spent years in deep mediation controlling these thoughts, but when something surprising happen thoughts just tended to come out.
The network was saturated in thoughts and fears.
It just destroyed thirty lesser corrupted fire primordials in a single strike.
What spell was that?
No spell. Didn’t smell like one.
Were you not paying attention? Did you not just see a beam of light?
The spell destroyed the lesser elementals and the realm. Not break. They weren’t sent back to the fire realm. It destroyed. It turned hundreds of elementals into nothing.
It wasn’t a spell.
All of this interaction happened before Huebsch could manage to blink.
The golem spoke something unintelligible and the nuns could pick up the threat.
Idelisa, the group’s second most powerful telepath and the one with the support powers spoke through the link. Chief Huebsch, do you want me to expand the all-tongue spell though the connection? I wont be able to maintain it while in combat.
Do it. Huebsch commanded.
The group didn’t show the sharp pain that travelled through their mind as the spell travelled through the invisible network that connected each battlenun. No longer had Private Ciara been the only one effected, now the field expanded so that all the beings in the cluster could appreciate the power.
The cogs in Huebsch’s head sorting themselves out, the exorcist yelled up to the metal giant, “You will let us pass.”
Was it her imagination or was the golem shocked that it was being addressed. She guessed that if an ant told her to step aside she would be slightly put off.
“You are approaching a combat zone.” The golem said and quickly added in a different tone, “Yeah, so you should get out of here.”
Huebsch stared up at the golem, her eyes making out the various marks and details. The thing wasn’t an entire hunk of steel, it was made of individual pieces. Its armour was welded on top of it, like platemail.
The exorcist almost believed it to be just a giant in armour, or that was until she noticed that beyond the skin its muscles were in reality huge pistons.
It was a clockwork golem. A toy the size of twenty houses stacked on top one another.
“You invaded our land and you brought this…” Huebsch pointed to the huge greater primordial was now hissing fire on the flies that were striking it, “This taint to our world.”
“Bit mean isn’t she?” the golem said to itself, “She isn’t wrong. Listen miss alien with the big ears. I assure you, we come in peace.”
The golem shrivelled his spear around and another burst of arching light cut through another storm of black fire, which had been rapidly cascading down the skin of the dome. Once again the elementals were obliterated by the swash of power.
“Mostly.” The golem finished.
There was a shock of fear that came over the troop before Private Ciara alerted the group to a new development. Chief exorcist. We just got hit by a abstract demon. Hunger I think or gluttony. It just killed one of the horses. Permission to… No. never mind. The scholar took care of it.
Up ahead the gate that separated the city and the outside world slammed down, closing the portal like a guillotine.
That bitch. That damn white bitch just stole our only horse. Private Ciara announced. Ma’am, I’m sorry. Seemed I sacrificed my life for my cover. There are a lot of demons here. I don’t recognise any of them. Tell my ma I’m sorry.
Shut it, Private. I’m getting you home. Huebsch grew visibly agitated.
Huebsch brought her sword down on the golem’s fingers with all her strength. Despite her sword being made of wood, it had soaked up rivers of ectoplasm and blood.
It hadn’t made a scratch.
“Did she just try to cut us with a wooden sword?” The golem asked itself, “Detecting class three exotic energy absorption. It wont kill the elementals, but it might remove the corruption and it would heal itself.”
Huebsch had enough of this mad thing, “I demand you open that door.” she stopped herself before announcing Private Ciara presence. “You have a boy with blue hair and demon horns. One of your people took him in there.”
“Blue hair?” The golem said, “Hang on I’ll check the Juris,” A second later it spoke again only this time it sounded worried. “That is not good. Listen, that black fire up there. That is just a leak. Those small fire things are droplets.”
Huebsch just stared up at the giant metal monster. The thing was insane, that was obvious. “Leak? What leak?”
The all-tongue spell was a tricky thing. It’s one of the problems with translation spells. It’s easy to translate the term for food and water but when its something like a Yonium elcana thorium or something really impossible to explain like compound interest, it dumbs the concept down, or more often than not, becomes a second of silence.
The golem spoke quickly, “The city’s tanks were lost. The sail and rudder were sabotaged. We needed more fuel. We were in an Inferno. The bossman got desperate. He managed to trap an evil sun.”
“One of your people trapped a sun?” Rhiannon, the exorcist’s medic said in bewilderment.
“That’s one way to put it.” the golem said, “The other way to put it would be an sentient that sucks up souls and burns a wave of suffering.”
The golem lifted up its massive arm and pointed at the huge tower of black flames, “This monster is large enough to eat ten of your suns. It devours planets. That thing you are looking at is a small leak. The real monster is crammed inside a small box and is banging its fist on the walls, and if it gets out, every single life form on this planet dies in an instant.”
Huebsch and the other battlenuns dropped all thoughts of battle.
Before it had a chance to sink in, Private Ciara spoke over the link. Ma’am. It looks like I’m not going to make it. And it feels like you’ve got your own problems. It’s been an hon… Oh, shite. There was a spark of shock and what could be interpreted as excitement.
Huebsch tried to stay calm as did the other exorcists but she was just barely holding onto her sanity. Private, report.
Never mind ma’am. Um. I seem to be making a tactical retreat to the nearest exit. I think I might also be in love.
Just what in the name of the Gods was happening in there?