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CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

Lightning forked wildly over the city, setting fires, deafening those too close, and killing those it touched. The roars of eager devils in the clouds were joined by the howls of bloodthirsty gnolls waiting for a breach to open in the walls. The hyena-faced brutes' eyes glowed in the tall grass, just beyond the hunters' deadly arrows.

Gargauthan warriors gathered in front of the war wizards among them.

Like armored devils, they watched Morgynn's spellcraft through masks frozen in toothy snarls and leering skull grins. Sheets of rain and icy wind never touched the blood mage within the invisible sphere she'd woven. She hovered inside it, just above the muck and mud.

Morgynn drew her dagger and sliced open the palm of her right hand.

Holding the wound high, she willed her blood to drip freely. The blood was caught by her spell, collecting into a perfect sphere drop by drop. Her breath spun the red orb in place, enchanting and boiling it as she deftly directed the spin with her dagger. The globe grew to the size of a fist, glowing with an inner, flickering light, and she let the sphere rest on the tip of her dagger. Through its glossy translucence, she admired the burning image of the crimson city captured in the spinning globe. "Open them," she told it. "Bring them my blessings." She blew on the sphere and sent it flying. It swelled as it neared the gates, gathering a tail of red flames as it grew larger and faster. She watched as warriors jumped and skipped away from the death she sent to them, abandoning their walls and shouting unintelligible curses. Morgynn imagined she heard swift and whispered prayers as well, but these were only a faint descant above the orchestra of storm, magic, and the pulse of the Weave.



***** | Bloodwalk | *****