February 20 at 1:30 PM
Photo courtesy of Farmer Stephanie
"Please, help," Farron pleaded as the line swept over the fields. Thick brambles dove down his throat, preventing any further cries. As both halves wallowed in the dank soil, three brothers came to his aid. As they knelt, whips of bone slashed down. Bodies burst, hacked into pieces as the tendrils converged.
Alain gazed into Farron's eyes as the brambles claimed him, helpless to do any more for his childhood friend. He waved his men back, and watched as the brambles licked away every last morsel. Vines continued crashing down, extending their reach as tree bent to foe. Even as Alain adjusted, bone found its way to flesh, stretching further due to the elastic membrane tying them to the tree. Finally the young commander had no choice but pull out of the meadow, and away from the sting of the scythes.
"Surround her, but do not engage," Alain called, certain the moral coil was the witch herself. Soldiers bracketed the hellmouth; a reluctant vigil. Never had Alain seen so many enlightened felled at once, especially ranks of Vissorouy. Men wiped tears from their eyes, and sharpened their black hearts, vowing only dawn would rob them of reprisal. As one considered the other, the gray tendrils steadied, and fell still. Brambles recoiled within itself, wiping the floor clean.
Alain's battalion stood ready, as the young commander pondered his next move. He did not wish to seek advice from the elder nor his counsel, especially now with Farron graveside. Vangley would no doubt ask him to navigate the obstruction, though he knew better, never considering the monster to be anything less than Enura.
As one dark intention after another brooded in his heart, hellflowers blossomed from the tangles. Bulbs of translucent skin rose from the coils and swelled, needles erecting in keen rows, and shooting into the air. Quills blocked out the moonlight as they arced down, pummeling the hapless siege.
With neither armor nor shield, the volley shattered the host, covering their bodies in a venomous hail, reducing the retreat to a wishful crawl. Though not killed outright, many could no longer see nor stand. Brother pawed at brother, helpless fish ashore, struggling to drag the other seaside. Even Alain was not unscathed, tearing spikes from his skull as he staggered back. As more brambles blossomed, two shadows lurked in the branches. In tandem, they cut the tendrils before they aroused, and jumped headfirst into the sea of thorns, swords slashing down.
After centuries dormant, the knights of Vissorouy finally joined the fray.