The Gathering Shadows
Godric did well in battle, the power of his sword matching his skill with the wand though one he preferred over the other. It felt good to fight beside family, but it felt closer to being a stranger. Godric and Salazar had hardly before fought together, even then it was closer to simply being on the same side then looking out for the other’s back. It was a new concept to the brothers, but despite their adversity as children it was welcomed.
Few in number, but not in power, their battalion of witches and wizards handled well against their dark cousins. This caught the attention of more than a few of this ‘leaderless’ force. Higher powers took notice, interested in the feats of those they had only heard of. Now it was time to put them to the test.
“Look at them run!” Godric laughed punching the air in victory.
Salazar was less convinced.
“Reform the line!” Salazar snapped, unsheathing his sword and dual wielding it beside his wand.
Godric’s laugh halved, “They are fleeing brother--”
From the woods black smoke rose in columns of twelve that rode the air with surprising solidarity. They rode the winds for a time before hurtling toward the force.
Godric pushed Salazar from the path of a spell--meaning to take its impact with his wand, but lacked the speed to do one without sacrificing the other. He did what he could: divert its path, taking part of its furry to his arm, launching him from his feet far behind his brother.
“Godric!” Salazar quickly threw up a shield, blocking the snakes of smoke from approaching.
The young wizard was without movement. Without command the other were at Godric’s side, checking for life then injury. Both were present. Others of the barrier squad came forward to their leader’s side, reinforcing the shield and freeing Salazar from the quick defensive spell he roughly cast.
Defensive spells had never been a forte of his.
Everything in his body would have him protect his little brother, but his mind knew better. He was the leader of this battalion, responsible for the lives of all sorcerers in it. This was not the place to be sentimental, he had to ensure the safety of everyone else--they in turn would keep his brother safe in his place.
The majority were able to make their escape, though the black-smoked enemies attacked, they made no significant effort to decimate numbers.
They wanted to separate the force.
The barriers weakened, allowing a chance for the snake-like columns to breech. The impact of their decent caused some of the sorcerers off their feet, others prepared and were able to counter with another spell, but were forced to release the barrier spell.
Spells flew thru the air, from the smoke emerged black-cloaked sorcerers donning dragon-bone masks of different sizes and type. The dark sorcerers made no hesitation in attacking, spells flew thru the air from both sides. Salazar ordered for his people to retreat, to take the wounded while he and a handful of others covered their escape.
Having grown tried of defense, Salazar changed, gaining a footing which the others soon followed suit.
“Confringo!” A jet of magic shot from the tip of his wand, hitting one of the wizards square in the chest and exploding him, sending what remains back.
The other dark ones were caught off guard, un-expecting a quick retaliation especially when it was decided to attack the force just after a battle when they were most vulnerable. Their assault did no more than catch Slytherin’s people off guard and certainly entice the wrath of the wrong man.
Salazar shot out his spell more--
The spells met in midair. The orange, fire-like of Salazar’s blended perfectly with the same color of the dark wizard’s making it difficult to know whose was more power. That uncertainty was ended when fire blasted backward, snapping the tip of Salazar’s wand and splintering the rest from his grip into thousands of pieces. The force had him sliding back, but his reactions were quick, able to dodge the following spell.
“You fight well, Salazar, of House Slytherin.” The wizard praised with little emotion, “A shame a Pureblood of such power shall see the end of his own house--”
The spell was deflected, sent to the side by a second wand not known to be in possession until now. It did not feel the same as his own wand, the two were estranged, but there was to be a truce since this wielder and its chosen were of close relation.
“My line will continue.” Salazar hissed as he disarmed the attacker, sending another spell into his gut and having him fly back, “Long after I have gone from this world!”
The next was not a spell, nonetheless the ground shook and rumbled as an angry herd of centaurs entered the fray. The majority of the dark sorcerers withdrew, apperating with numerous pops. The only ones to remain were Salazar and his fellow dueler, less than pleased with his disarmament. Aware of the danger to being unarmed and against a herd of centaurs the wizard chose to live and fight another day. Smoke gathered from under his cloak and rolled outward as he prepared for departure.
“Until next time Salazar Slytherin.” The wizard was gone before Salazar’s next spell landed.
Next time, Salazar thought, he would not get away. A broom flew thru air, summoned by an additional spell in time before the herd’s arrows found themselves in the wizard’s body.
Mid-air Salazar pulled himself to a halt, catching himself between where he must be and where he must go. The direction where the Dark Sorcerers came from was not far, in fact it was judged that their place of origin was strangely close to the battle for them to be considered reinforcements. Something else was amiss, those masked sorcerers were without a doubt waiting for the battle, almost as though they expected for their allies to be defeated.
Salazar set down in a lightly wooded area, a small place where the trees were not tightly grown on top of one another. Kneeling, he found footprints of man, and when looking towards the battlefield found that there was a single path of clarity to see the majority, but this was not a natural path. Magic had been used here, when, could not be known as the importance of what lied before Salazar and his force proceeded what was beyond the enemy.
A wave of his wand gave no indication of anything concealed thru magic, but an irregularity of ‘presence’ of a nearby tree had him remember his brother’s words of hidden bases. Feeling the tree, Salazar found a hole within the trunk that gave the location of a rope within. A single tug and the wizard heard a click that rumbled the ground beside him; opening up the ground revealed roots that twisted and solidified into steps to an unknown realm. Foolishness would have him leave now and return with help, stupidity had him decent to discover the extent of this hideout.
Hugging the shadows of the wall, Salazar silently glided the steps and listened for anything, but silence. It was black underneath, but the glowing mushrooms of the underground provided the necessary lunacy to guide him. He dared not use a wand to light the way further, un-wanting to draw attention nor raise alarm. This path continued a single way for a great distance and after walking an unchanged path Salazar stopped, wanting to analyze whether this was the work of a misdirection spell. He set out his options mentally before him: a misdirection spell, simply a long tunnel, or risk using his wand to break the spell, granted it is a misdirection spell and not a trap spell waiting to be sprung.
Usually with misdirection spells the way to avoid them or escape them is by finding the turn or door the illusion blocks the unweary from noticing. Normally it is quite obvious for those who know what they are looking for. It look a few minutes, but Salazar was able to walk thru what other would think a wall, when in reality it was the act of the misdirection spell playing tricks to hide the otherwise numerous pathways the mushrooms also did well to draw attention from.
The mushrooms disappeared as the natural features of the underground tunnel became man-made, complete with torches and quite a few Dark Sorcerers in a single gathering area. Salazar made use of a discarded cloak and blended in seamlessly when sitting by a fire with an acquired mug of mead and his hood pulled over.
“I tire of all this moving! Hiding in the shadows--!” The wizard threw a half empty bowl towards the fire, “This is not what we were promised!”
“Quite you!” A witch with long, wavy blonde hair stood jabbing her finger in his chest, “You, as we all, came to the call! You are not forced to be here”
The wizard slapped away the witch’s hand, retorting, “Aye, that much is true, unlike some I did not need to slip into another’s bed to be here--”
Salazar sat silently and observed the women’s fist make a decent impression in the rowdy and vile-tongued wizard’s face.
“Y--bitch!” The man staggered back, reaching and grasping the axe behind him, “You will pay for that!”
Two other sorcerer stood beside the raging man, a witch and wizard and at the same time Salazar cleared his robe of his wand, and shot out a spell that propelled the trio into the wall, knocking them unconscious. The blonde-haired woman turned to Salazar and stormed to him--her hair and eyes changing an angry blood red.
“I did not ask for your help!” She shouted.
“No.” Salazar began, but then took an unexpected path in conversation, “But they are better off being knocked out than fighting a Metamorphmagus.”
That was not an explanation she was expecting, one that also had her shift her anger to pride.
“At least someone here knows better.” She extended a hand to the wizard, “I am Saraphine Rosier, second daughter of the Rosier family.”
Salazar took it firmly responding quickly, “Anguis Crawford (snake).”
Saraphine’s attention was then drawn elsewhere, as were the others who then rose and bowed before the masked sorcerers who entered. Salazar was no different, as it was said: when in rome, do as the Romans.
“We are done here.” One stopped as the others continued, “Make ready to move to the next location”
This chance could not be missed. Salazar knew what must be done and only hoped, prayed even his brother was into the task. Salazar followed the Dark Ones, sending a familiar to his comrades to make his intention known.