Red tendrils, reminding me of blood, weave into the pulsating green substance, forming a lattice within the fluidity.
Abruptly Horin clenches his hand into a fist. We flinch as sound and movement resumes in a heartbeat.
It is chaos. People run and stumble, scream and groan. Arrows caught in mid-flight smack down. Donkeys bray and horses neigh. Shields in the sky buckle a bit before righting for the next pass.
I see terror in many eyes. The men on those shields stare at the rising substance, and they are afraid.
On the ground, silence falls as we gaze up. Even the animals are quiet.
Arrows are nocked and loosed ever faster, but now they do not find ground; the spreading green and red ‘net’ absorbs every impact. It lifts ever higher and stretches wider and further, becoming almost transparent, it is that thin. It is now a veil between us and the archers on their flying shields.
My heart threatens to escape its cage in my chest. Peripherally, for the spectacle overhead has all my attention, I notice Horin punch the air.
The miasma explodes.
The sonic boom accompanying it fells us. We stumble to our knees, but still we stare up.
Small pellets of sorcery target the archers. Those tiny missiles smack into flesh with popping, wet sounds that serves to empty a few stomachs here on the ground.
I expect the men to explode also, by the sands, but instead they become as nothing in an instant. One moment a man perches atop a shield, the next he is ether. His shield hurtles to earth, and his bow and arrow pouch joins the headlong tumble.
Within two minutes the sky is cleared. The ground is littered with shields, bows and arrows.
Horin opens his hand. The miasma forms anew and then contracts swiftly until a green orb rushes to him, and smacks into his palm. His fingers enclose it and he stares at it in horror.