“You’re outmatched, hero,” hissed Turrel, his snakelike tongue flicked the air in front of him. “You’ll be rent limb from limb and your rotting carcass used for bedding for the Ancient One’s pet.” Two of Turrel’s minions stood at his sides, ready to leap to his defense at a moment’s notice.

Elysia snorted. “I’m occasionally outnumbered, but never outmatched.” She braced herself, held her staff vertically in front of her, and indicated her willingness to fight.

“You are cornered,” said Turrel. His voice adopted an urgent tone, which unintentionally acknowledged Elysia as a considerable threat. He motioned his men forward, which confirmed Elysia’s assumption. Both guards drew weapons. “There is nowhere for you to run.”

“That is indeed what ‘cornered’ means,” she said. “Thanks for the clarification.” Turrel’s men looked to him for an order, but Elysia began to chant an invocation to Hestia.

Turrel spat. “Kill her!”

Elysia completed her invocation. “Hestia, protect me,” she said, and she struck the floor of the chamber. Her magic mimed her movements, up to the point where she struck the ground, where it instead clapped its hands together with mighty force. The sound was amplified to a thunderous cacophony that buffeted Turrel and his minions.

The guards dropped their weapons and made to cover their ears. Elysia reached toward them with her magic and pushed both of them back against the wall with two great, spectral hands. The priest, Turrel, she pushed backward and out the door to leave herself a clear path of escape. Then, she ran.