Gar and I agreed that the men would be of no use against such a thing, but they would be if it came accompanied by the savages that remained. We again formed a chokepoint, and prepared yet another killzone, while sending messages back to camp on our progress. Our man with the keenest ears kept watch, as I expected that we would hear them long before we saw them, and that proved correct. That man heard the faint echoes of a thunderous footfall, warning us of the fiend’s approach, and that sent our party into motion.
Gar ordered the men into formation, and—as expected—the savages came first; I figured that the fiend would drive his minions before him, intending to wear us down before engaging us. This time it was a truly berserk mob of death-dealers, and we killed them without relent as they broke upon our shield wall time and again.
Once the corpses piled up enough, I gave Gar the order and he drove the men forward. We pushed the corpse piles out of our killzone and down the corridor. This pushed back the next wave of savages, and when the corridor opened into a deep and wide chasm we began to push them off that narrow bridge connecting our side with theirs. The screams of the damned as they fell into the abyss gave my men and I some relief, knowing that these feral, frail things would not survive impact with the unforgiving stone below.
Yet, throughout our return encounter with these savages, the thunderous echoes got louder and louder. When the glint of reflected light off the mineral deposits still in the stone revealed the shape of the thing I saw that none but I could face it and win. I saw before me a misshapen, giant-sized goat-man, stomping with each step and twirling a broken spire of stone for a club. No tool of iron or steel would pierce that hide, so I knew then that I had to handle this myself.
Telling Gar that spears were of no further use, I had him take the men and fall back. I drew forth another wand I kept secreted away, used the basic set of self-defense techniques we all learned in our first years, and I began blasting away. The first few rays showed just how tough its hide was, so I turned my wand upon the rock above its head. That slowed him, but not enough. Time grew short, and I saw that it could likely leap the chasm, so at last I used my wand to cut loose some hanging debris and then employed raw power to seize it with an invisible hand and threw it at the fiend when it made that leap.
The debris took the fiend’s leap and cut it short. It fell, and the debris with it, into the chasm and down to that same unforgiving stone below. Yet, I knew that this was not our last encounter.