Chapter 27

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When attacked, Ghemella lunged at the vhultard with her sword, deftly striking the bird's underbelly. But the Guardian's elation turned to dismay, when the strike had no effect. The bird's underside was of the same armor-like hide as the tail and next to impenetrable. The vhultard, sensing the advantage, landed on the ground and began attacking with its talons and flicking its dangerous tail.

Ghemella maneuvered Uriel behind her and took a defensive position against the bird. But the vhultard drove them backwards and Ghemella lost her footing on the wet ground and went down.

The vhultard, though, was intent on Uriel and attacked viciously. Uriel could see its face clearly now, the hawk-like features and gleaming blood red eyes fixated on its prey. He managed to put his staff in front of him to try to ward the bird off but it did little to slow the attack. Uriel was forced to one knee and made a mental plea for assistance.

Just then, Uriel heard thunder from the ground followed by the vhultard's shriek. He looked up and saw Ullyna who had the vhultard on the end of her horn. Ghemella quickly jumped up and hacked with her sword at the head of the bird until it was severed and dropped to the ground.

Both Ghemella and Uriel stared with disgust at the black ooze which exuded from the creature's decapitated body. Then a cry brought their attention to Arhyvhynne. The High Witch was prone on the ground, the remaining vhultard dangerously close. The bird's poisonous tail was flicking at Arhyvhynne when Uriel screamed, "No." He pointed his staff at the vhultard and quickly spoke the Words to a spell. A series of bolts took the bird full in the chest, reducing it to a scattering of singed feathers. Were it not for the devastating effect, it might have appeared comical.

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