One of Aria’s sisters threw herself in front of her when she reached the square. "Aria, we are lost!" she cried.
"What do you mean Lis?" Aria grasped her sister by the shoulder and glanced around at the thickening crowd of women and children.
"It's the Trickster's army." Lis sobbed. "They're here...they're coming!!"
Aria drew her breath in sharply and pulled her sister close. "May the gods help us all!" she whispered as she watched the dark shapes on the horizon.
The Trickster's creatures were once peaceful Atticians, now corrupted by his evil and twisted and bound to his will. They began to resemble charcoal, their bodies burned and twisted as their sins consumed them from the inside out. Most frightening of all, were those that had yet to turn completely, their eyes wide and staring as their inner turmoil threatened to rip them apart.
The men stood uncomfortably at the edge of the village, bearing weapons of all shapes and sizes, as Aria climbed to the top of the bell tower with several others to get a better view of what was happening.
Vale fighters were renowned for their skill and Aria watched with bated breath as the men, that on the outside appeared to be simple farmers, sliced their way through the hordes that descended on them.
It seemed that they had the upper hand and several of the people around her even ventured to cheer a little, but Aria knew that it wasn’t enough. They were running out of strength and time... if only the ground would crack open and swallow those hateful creatures of the Trickster! If only she could do something to help!
"I wish I could help them!" she cried softly, as another villager screamed and collapsed under the creatures' scrabbling hands.
Something twitched inside her, a spark of something long forgotten, and she shivered as she looked down at her hands, a confused expression on her face. She stood up and spread her arms wide, embracing the air without even realising what she was doing. Her feet began to slowly lift off the ground as her head tipped back and her eyes closed, lips parting with a silent groan as light began to fill her.
Lis looked up at her sister questioningly, but her look turned to one of awe as she fell backwards into their mother.
“Mama what’s happening to Aria?” she cried as their mother turned and gasped.
Carolina knew that this time would come soon, but she hadn’t realised how soon it would be, and her heart began to ache.
“Shhh my love,” she stroked Lis’s hair and held the young girl close. “Only Aria has the power to save us now.”
The pendant around Aria’s neck began to pulse with a strange green light.
“Aria!” several voices around her were screaming her name, but she ignored them, only concentrating on this soft pulse that brushed against her skin.
“It is light…” she murmured,, throwing her hands forward to point at the army in front of her. “Let the light burn our enemies, aid our swords, and free us from pain.”
With these words the soft feeling seemed to rush away from her body and out in the direction she was pointing. Screams began several seconds later as the evil creatures began to catch fire and disintegrate in the wake of the magic Aria threw forth.
The remaining village men swung their swords in arcs of light and fire, cutting through their foes like butter, and all the while, Aria stood six inches off the ground with folded arms, watching her work with cautious eyes.