One more lead.
That was all it was supposed to be. Now Balthazar was crouched behind the fountain in town square while some bastard fired arrows at him from a rooftop across the way. The Elements were coming. After the fight began, the few citizens walking around the town in the cool night air ran off towards the Element Hall to get help. Balthazar hated bows. He hated crossbows too. Range was the enemy of a unarmed master... but Balthazar had some magic to help him out. It was risky to try and stop arrows with Defiance. He'd done it before. He could probably pull earth into a very effective cover for himself, but the property damage would be substantial. It was likely that Balthazar was already in trouble for the brawl a little earlier so he didn't want to do anything overtly destructive.
Some might have wondered how Balthazar found himself being shot at in the middle of a normally civilized town. It was a long story that began several hours before the moment he was trapped in behind the fountain. A story involving a blacksmith, a murder, and a little brawl with some coworkers but to sum it all up, Balthazar got lucky. Attunement was never exact. He might have followed the notes of murder all night and walked over all of Scalvoris without really finding the assassin who had failed to kill him, but the assassin was looking for Balthazar as well. The man had a job to complete after all and Balthazar hadn't considered that. He was sure the killer would go on the run. But Balthazar got close enough and the assassin did the rest of the work.
He got into position, missed his first shot, and everything had gone downhill from there. Balthazar dove for cover, Nimue vanished, and now they were all stuck in a sort of stale mate. Thunk.
An arrow hit and broke against the rim of the stone fountain that Balthazar was crouched beside. One, two- Thunk!
Another arrow hit the fountain. One, two-
Balthazar popped out of his cover and swung his hand, trying to create a portal but before he could really do anything, the arrow zipped passed him, slicing but not piercing his side. The mage dropped back behind the fountain with a silent curse. His timing was off and he was playing a dangerous game by trying to redirect arrows he couldn't see coming until far too late. Another thunk
warned that another arrow had struck the fountain and Balthazar began his count again.
One, two- thunk!
How many arrows did the assassin have up there? One, two- thunk!
A lot? One, two, three, four, wait he isn't shooting anymore?
Balthazar hadn't gotten a good look at the assassin before the fight began. It didn't matter. Since the shots had stopped so the assassin was probably on the move again. He was probably looking for another vantage point... but if he was just waiting for Balthazar to peek out of cover things could go poorly.
Better not to test my luck.
"Nimue, keep him busy."
Balthazar instructed as his hand slipped to the dagger at the back of his belt. He slid the blade from it's sheath and turned it slightly in his hand so he could get a sense of the weight of it. Then Balthazar pressed his senses out to the world behind him with omnivision so he could get a sense of where the archer was standing. It was hard to push that far and Balthazar (having been surprise attacked) didn't get the chance to attune to the assassin before it all began. As far as he could feel, there were no people on the other side of the fountain. The assassin must have been higher up... on the rooftop maybe? Balthazar pulled his senses back and took action.
He took a deep breath, pushing his ether over the blade before he threw it out to the side. Two loud pops were the only warning the assassin would get. The blade snapped through a portal beside Balthazar and then popped out of a portal about a dozen feet above Balthazar, flinging the blade across to the other side of the fountain. It clattered the ground, hitting nothing, and Balthazar was sure he heard a snide laughter from one of the rooftops.
The assassin mocked as he nocked another arrow on his bowstring and took aim.
"No he didn't."
Nimue said as she materialized behind the assassin and shoved him forward, knocking his arrow out of his hand. The killer turned, quickly swinging his bow at Nimue to force some distance between them but Nimue took the slap across the face from the stick like a champ and kept moving in on the assassin. Balthazar got the dagger close enough for Nimue to materialize and attack but she didn't have it in her hands which Nimue realized a little too late into her attack. She surged forward, unarmed, and the assassin dropped his bow, reaching for his sword as Nimue threw the first punch.
Her first caught the assassin's jaw but it was a soft, fleshy fist... not the fully materialized fist of a living being or a more powerful ghost. Silas drew his sword, slashing across Nimue's ectoplasm and rending it slightly. Nimue stumbled back as the wound flickered over her form for a few trills before returning to normal. His (the assassin's) blade wasn't copper. It could damage her, but it wouldn't burn and tear apart her ectoplasm. She'd be just fine. Nimue pushed herself back up onto her feet and conjured a tendril which she wrapped around the assassin's sword, pinning it in place. The assassin struggled against Nimue for a few trills before remembering why he was there. Balthazar. The assassin turned to look for the mage but it was too late, the mage had come to him.
A blue light appeared behind the assassin and when he turned he saw the source- a flaming ring in the air- a portal, and Balthazar was moving through it. The portal snapped shut as Balthazar emerged through it and thrust his hands forward commanding a powerful gust of wind to throw the assassin off of the rooftop. The assassin tumbled in the air but couldn't quite catch himself. He crashed into the ground and bounced slightly.
"Who are you?"
Balthazar asked as he stumbled slightly on the rooftop. He was fairly good with his balance but the wind still smacked him every time he used it. Balthazar embraced the offset in his balance and took the to air, gently lowering himself onto the ground with the wind. Nimue conveyed through the roof of the building, then out through the wall onto the street where the assassin rose slowly in pain. He turned to run only to find that all the streets out of the main square had been blocked off by the Elements. The Land Troopers had arrived.
The assassin grumbled as he looked around for a way out and realized he didn't have one. He set his eyes on Balthazar, the target. He could still finish the job.
"Who sent you to kill me?"
Balthazar demanded as he opened his frequency to the assassin and began attuning to him. He'd never let this one sneak up on him again. He realized, just after he'd finished attuning, that the man had no intention of answering his questions. The assassin struck quickly, charging at Balthazar with no weapon in hand.
The assassin thrust his fist forward and Balthazar swung his left arm quickly up, knocking the assassin's arm into the air before his right hand jabbed out, striking the assassin in the throat. The killer began to cough violently but Balthazar continued by stepping to the side of the killer and kicking in the back of his knee. The assassin fell into a kneeling position and Balthazar took a step back. He reached out to the wind as his hands stretched out towards the choking assassin. Balthazar flicked his arms up and then brought them down suddenly. The wind did a similar thing with the assassin. It quickly lifted him up off his feet, and then pushed him back down into the ground.
"Enough, Trooper Black."
One of the land troops said as three other troopers moved over to restrain the assassin. "We'll take him to the Element Hall for questioning, but he need to be able to talk."
The men hoisted the assassin up by his arms and began dragging him away. Balthazar watched uncomfortably as the assassin was dragged off. He had a bad feeling that something was going to go wrong. "He'll be there in the morning for you."
The trooper tried to assure the mage. Balthazar nodded to the Land Trooper and turned to Nimue who seemed a little disappointed that the show was over. "Home then?"
"I am a little tired."
And so they went.