Mittel danced lightly on his toes, anticipation keen. Fadro seemed an easy opponent — calm and confident true, but older, a little slower, grey creeping into his hair. Almost silver grey, shimmering lightly in the dawn light. Or was it hazy grey. Cold grey. Mittel shivered, and abruptly gasped.
Frost burned around Fadro, a halo of crystalised air that grew with startling speed. Half an instant was all the time Mittel had to grasp the situation.
The haze solidified into spears of ice and screamed towards him.
A swarthy wolvore stepped forward. A scruffy crest adorned his head, sweeping down his neck and encircling his throat, a vibrant slash of blue against the dusky black fur. His eyes burned, searing through the shimmering heat.
“One man!!” the words blasted forth, “shall be your bane. Stand proud, for by your deaths you witness a new order. No more shall we fall before you, no more shall we tremble at your approach. No more! Today, one man shall strike you with force such that cannot be matched. As you stand here now, so shall I cut you down.”
“Blood to steel!” a voice shouted. A thousand rivulets of red sharped to silver. Tarqe stepped aside as the needles pricked the ground where he had stood, hissing as the grass was stained a dull rusty grey.
“Tremor blast!” Tarqe roared, slamming the ground with his fist. The terrain buckled instantly, a furious wave expanding around the wolf knocking over men and trees. A half glimpsed flicker and Tarqe raised his right arm as Pradeor slammed into him. Back he bounded, arms flashing to deny metalled fists as they flew fast and furious at his face.
A gauntlet cracked against his right arm above his face, a second smashed into the left in the same instant. Dull explosions boomed forth as the gauntlets withdrew and flashed forward at chest height again to be blocked. Spinning, Tarqe whirled, his arms blocking swords, spears and daggers as they came at him. Five, seven, he lost count as their attacks blurred together in a kaleidoscopic dance, shimmering silver flashes against a hanging curtain of blood rain.
He met them all, blocking with such power that many fell back in shock. Others came on and he ducked below their blows. Springing forward his claws ripped out throats, fists punched through armoured coats, knees knocked men crashing to the ground.