Aleska widened her stance and stared down the three men in front of her. Technically, Nenshe was standing next to her, and the cultists were standing in front of him, but she could do something about that. She focused her gaze on them, and pulled the Clamor tight around them, willing their attention away from Nenshe, and to her. They could all feel it, the din of the spirit world which made Nenshe fade away, become a less inviting target.

“I am your enemy,” she said for emphasis. She readied her shield and hefted the thick tree branch she was using as a club. Nenshe had a bewildered look on his face, but he remained vigilant nonetheless.

The cultist in front of Aleska lunged at her, unable or unwilling to fight the Clamor to get at Nenshe, but she deflected his attack with her club, which proved to be an effective defensive weapon with its considerable size and weight. The cultist swore an oath against her, but Aleska was unconcerned.

One of the cultists she held at bay with the Clamor took a swing at Nenshe. Nenshe parried the man’s clumsy attack and struck him across the brow. The blow caused the cultist’s hood to fall away, and revealed the man’s scraggly, grizzled beard and hair. Aleska dropped the man with a well-timed blow, and she stepped over him to position herself between Nenshe and the other two.

She smiled as they closed around her. Nenshe muttered, “well, the odds are slightly better now.” Aleska blocked a blow with her shield from the cultist on one side, and she swung her club in a wide arc at the other, which forced the man to backpedal to avoid her attack. She reached into the Clamor again and knotted it around herself and Nenshe.

“Feel better now?” she asked.

“No. Maybe.” He paused. “Okay, a little.”