“I know you all agreed it would be silly for me to endanger myself,” said Myrtle, “but I can’t do anything to help all the way up here. I have to get closer.” She glanced at Alquis, who hadn’t looked up from his the conjuring orb in his hand. “All right, I’m going then.”

Myrtle climbed over the fallen tree she and Alquis had taken cover behind, and slid down the side of the pit toward the battle. She could see Arturo tumbling down the other side of the pit and she called out to him. She couldn’t tell what he’d been hit by, but he looked the worse for the wear.

Digging through her bag while she ran, she fished out a torch. It was cold now, but as a symbol of Hestia’s power, she brandished it like a weapon. Myrtle picked her way across the uneven ground as carefully as she could while keeping an eye on the battle. Arturo was moving, but she couldn’t tell his condition from where she was, so she continued toward him.

When her movement was noticed by Mercer and Nicyes, they shifted around to provide a screen for her. Mercer was already sporting several wounds, and Nicyes seemed a better distraction than a barrier. They were still outnumbered by Pan’s cultists.

“Before me, I see my enemy, an enemy of your fire,” she said. As she moved past Mercer and Nicyes, she uttered her vow to Hestia. “These men I name, Mercer and Nicyes, as protectors of your hearth. Shield them as you shield me.”

Myrtle’s words created a spark in the cold torch, which sparked once, and flared outward. “Drive back the darkness.”

Searing light engulfed both the warriors and cultists in a blinding conflagration. Mercer and Nicyes were adorned in a nimbus of glowing energy, while the goat-horned cultists fell back in awe of the display.

“Don’t waste it,” she said, and she continued making her way across the pit.