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Tryls reached the door of the stable before Herrin, throwing it open with such force that it bounced shut again behind him. Herrin caught a glimpse of fire as he pulled the door open to follow.

“If that’s these Briska fellows then they’ve made a tremendous blunder,” he called out, drawing his sword. Tryls didn’t reply. He had stopped in his tracks, and stared openmouthed at the scene.

The bar was burning, and its customers were spilling out into the courtyard and the street beyond. Hooded men awaited them, burning brands in hand and a fanatical chant spilling from their lips. Swords were being drawn as the regulars sprang to the defense of their drinking spot.

Herrin took a step forward to join the fray, but Tryls put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.

“This is not a fight to be won with steel,” he said, his voice a hoarse whisper.

Ahead of them, the air began to swirl and change, and the chant of the Briska gained pace.

Herrin looked at Tryls, shocked to see the elf cringe in the face of this assault.

“Nonsense,” he said, shaking Tryls’ hand away. “It’s their chant that does it, and steel can silence them.”

He charged forward. The Briska hadn’t seen them come out of the stable, and were focused on the building. Herrin took the first completely by surprise, slicing through his throat with shocking efficiency.

“I hate to say it,” he said conversationally as he slashed at the next foe, his feet moving nimbly as his sword flashed in the firelight, “But your singing is rather off key. We’re more of a drinking song sort of establishment here.”

Fast as his blade was, it was not fast enough. Several of the Briska turned to face him, and focused their chant on him.

“Really, chaps, I’m not a fan of… this kind of… thing…”

His voice faltered, and he stumbled. The air swirled around him and glowed a sickly yellow, and his feet left the ground.

The sound of a horn split the night. A light shone as if the sun had risen in second, and the Briska fell back. A dozen shadows sprang up from the ground and reached for the Briska, grasping them by the throat and silencing the chant. Herrin fell to the ground and recovered himself, coughing and squinting back over his shoulder at the source of the light.

“But I digress,” he choked out with a wry grin. “Have you gentlemen met my girlfriend?”

With a sharp twang, Mirra’s crossbow fired, and one of the Briska fell dead in the courtyard.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: The Three Word Wednesday prompts this week are Blunder, Cringe and Digress. Another instalment in the ongoing tale, which began with Herrin’s Escape.)