"Heh heh, it seems we've caught some juicy flies in our web."
The gleeful assassin took a few steps to the frozen group of Alliance. He continued grinning as he looked into Trogdor's eyes.
"Morbid metaphors aside, I've got a message for you. It's quite lovely, really. I'm sure you've been wondering about..." He turned and gestured toward the arrayed Vail. "Us."
The assassin chuckled a little, a surprising restraint from the mad laughter Trogdor had experienced before.
The Vail continued. "We've been taught some special tricks, as you may have noticed. But anyone can learn those if they want. At least, if they don't do something stupid and die. These special skills aren't the source of our power. We've been taught the power of the inevitability of death. We're all going to die. Death's all that matters in the end. Why not enjoy it? Bring it to everyone else. Make others die, feel the glee of murder, fill yourself with as much pleasure as possible before you cease to exist. Nothing else matters, nothing at all, heh heh. We've been taught this truth, and that's what makes us so strong. We don't care if we die. We just want to spread it around. So while you sad little fairies are trying to save your pathetic lives, we're not giving a **** and killing you. It's so much fun, hah."
"Why are you telling me this?" Trogdor managed to reply. "Are you just trying to scare me?"
The assassin chuckled again. "Well, apparently, my master thinks you're someone special. I can't imagine why, but he wants to teach you this truth as well. He wants to make you one of us. And that's why we killed your father."
The Vail continued while Trogdor simmered with rage. "See, that's the way we were given our power. Our master destroyed everyone we held dear. Oh, we wanted revenge, for a while. But we couldn't get it. He taught us that the power of futility is stronger than the power of purpose. When you stop caring, you become stronger than anyone else. It's so brilliant, heh heh, and it makes us so happy... I don't even care that he killed my family. He murdered my wife, my son, my infant daughter. Who cares? They would have died... anyway..."
The Vail paused, thinking for a second. A mix of emotions flashed across his face. Trogdor thought he could maybe see... anger.
The Vail snapped out of it. "And now, my little elf friend, we're going to kill everyone except you. See, you're going to be given the opportunity to get our power. And it starts with destroying everything you hold dear. Don't worry, in the end, you will be glad it happened. Heh heh. Let's begin."
Trogdor stepped in front of the mage, and immediately regretted it. The Vail's head jerked toward her. "Heh, you've given us our first target. This is most fortuitous, heh heh. Today is the first day of the rest of your death. Heh, I'm so clever." And the Vail sprinted toward the mage. His eyes grew bigger as he saw the terror in her eyes. He clenched his dagger, preparing for the taste of death...
Trogdor gave it to him. Trogdor had scarcely pulled his dagger out of the Vail's throat before the rest of the assassins charged. Some of the Alliance snapped into action, blasting assassins with their magic, but most of them were paralyzed with fear. But it didn't matter. The Vails ran past them, focused on one elf: the mage Trogdor was protecting.
And protect her he did. Something rose up inside him that he didn't fully understand, but fully embraced. The words of the assassin resounded through his mind. They wanted to take away what he cared about and transform him into an instrument of death. Trogdor thought to himself: "If they want the former, they're going to have to deal with the latter." With that thought, he slashed a Vail's face open.
Trogdor jumped and kicked an assassin in the face, breaking his neck. As he landed, he spun and pierced a Vail throat with his dagger. He pulled it out, ducked as claws slashed through the air over his head, and punctured the Vail's lung. Another assassin jumped over the crumpling body and tried to stab down at Trogdor. Tried and failed, as Trogdor had already moved behind him, stabbed upwards into his groin, and fluidly pulled his dagger into a slash that decapitated another Vail.
The mage fought as well, bringing a lightning bolt onto one Vail and then blasting another's face with magic fire. She brought green roots out of the earth to ensnare an approaching assassin, then sent a magic bolt into him, bending his body backwards and snapping his spine. She summoned a small tornado and sent it into three charging Vails, sending them flying onto nearby rocks. An assassin, having escaped her detection, raised his dagger to plunge into her neck...
Trogdor was there. He caught the assassin's arm and plunged his own dagger into the Vail's eye. The assassin fell. Trogdor turned to look into the mage's eyes. He expected to see terror. But the terror had turned to determination. Trogdor could see that she had been affected, like he was, by the Vail's horrible words. He saw the remaining assassins approaching. He looked at the blood on his dagger. He turned, and saw the Alliance mages and priests flooding through the fortress gates. He turned back to the mage.
They ran to the drawbridge. The assassins who tried to stop them were either cut down by Trogdor's steel or destroyed by the mage's magic. The pair was determined to live. The guards retreated into the fortress and prepared to raise the bridge. Trogdor and the mage ran for their lives, the assassins right on their heels. The guards didn't want to wait any longer, and began to raise the bridge. The wooden boards began to rise from the edge of the ditch. The pair leaped...
And came down on the boards and sped under the gate.
The assassins tried to follow. One leaped and got one foot on the edge of the bridge... he slipped and tumbled into the ditch, breaking his neck. Another tried to jump, but it was too late, and he was impaled on the spikes on the edge of the bridge. One more came through the air, and grabbed onto the wood. He hauled himself over the edge, rolled down the rising bridge...
The guards dropped the portcullis. The spiked bars plunged into the Vail's flesh. They raised the gate, pried his body off with their halberds, pushed him out of the way, and dropped the gate again. Trogdor, the mage, and the other Alliance looked on as the gears clicked, and then the metal came to rest.
They were safe.
(just a P.S. here... I was sick for 3 weeks,
so I wasn't really able to update this thing for a while. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep up with it now. If you're still reading my story, thanks for your patience.)