Worse, the goblins didn’t just have teeth. They wore armor and carried weapons–specifically swords and bows.
I took in the situation, and came up with the best plan I could think of on short notice. “I’ll grab Haley. Cover me?”
Still staring down the hallway, Amy didn’t look at me. “I’m going with you. You need someone to handle the troll.”
To be fair, Amy became a lot more intimidating as Bloodmaiden than she was as Amy. She went from being only a little taller than Haley to a little taller than me, and from being thin to… It was hard to tell if she became more muscular because her black and blood red armor would have thickened her arms even if they didn’t grow. I was pretty sure they did though. Even her hair thickened and grew.
All the same, while she looked intimatiding, she didn’t look “I can take down a troll” intimidating.
I glanced over at her. “You’re sure?”
“Vaughn’s got it right. Fighting monsters is what Bloodmaidens do best.” She gripped her spear in both hands, readying herself to charge.
“That’s right,” Vaughn said. “Rock the Pooh references.”
Amy eyed him. “What does poop have to do with this?”
“Nevermind,” I said. “I’ll explain later.”
The goblins nocked their arrows, and began to fire.
A gust of wind knocked the goblins over and the arrows into the wall. None of them made it. Unfortunately, goblins weren’t the useless cannon fodder I remembered from Dungeons and Dragons games. They were already getting up and beginning to scatter, nocking more arrows as they ran toward us.
Knowing we didn’t have time to talk anymore, I ran forward, amping up the energy the suit’s artifical muscles would use even though I knew it meant less for later.
I jumped over a pair of goblins who were trying to intercept me, closing the gap between myself and Haley that much more quickly.
As good as that was, it was outweighed by what came next. The troll stood up, shook its head and growled, its leathery lips shaking and dripping drool, its feet hitting the ground with a weight that I could hear.
It left cracked rock behind when its feet left the ground. The goblins, scattered as they were, charged immediately when it started moving. I felt weird leaving Vaughn and Samita back there, relatively unprotected, but I had to assume they could take care of themselves.
I jumped over a group of four more goblins as lightning arced down the hall off to my right.
Checking the HUD’s replay function showed that Vaughn had thrown the first bolt, and Samita the second.
So they were tag teaming, but with lightning bolts? That was surprisingly cool.
The troll stopped as a third lightning bolt flew, enveloping a goblin, and causing him to flail around with his arms and finally fall. The troll stared, eyes moving between the goblin on the ground and Samita and Vaughn. Its indecision would have been funny enough if it weren’t a creature that could turn me into reddish paste with a blow.
Worse, it veered in my direction.
That earned it a lightning bolt to the head. It screamed, flailing with its arms, hitting the far wall with a glancing blow that caused bits of rock to spray down the hall.
I ran and leapt past it, making it nearly to Haley who was alone, and unwatched. Well, almost. The troll bellowed as I landed.
Haley shouted, “Behind you!”
I turned, but too slowly to stop much of anything if I’d been attacked.
It didn’t matter. Amy had already landed between where the troll and I stood.
She dropped underneath a blow that could easily have taken a person’s head off. Then she took her spear and stabbed the troll deep in his side. Judging by how Rod took a hit, I would have expected it to strike her back as she stood there, or even break her spear.
It didn’t. It stood there screaming as Amy grew more, gaining several more feet in height. Weirder, her armor and even her spear also grew, and her gem glowed brighter than I’d ever seen it, illuminating the hall in a blood red light.
The troll in turn seemed paler, diminished.
When she pulled out her spear, she stood almost as tall as it did.
It gave a bellow as it charged her, its voice just as deep as it had been before, but somehow hollow. Its feet moved slower, seemingly only an instant away from a stumble.
Amy, however gave an ululating war cry nearly as deep as the troll’s and using her spear like a staff, smacked it in the face.
It drew back its right arm, advertising its next move as surely as if it had put it on a billboard. Amy hammered it with the spear, avoiding the blow easily, moving quickly enough around its side that she could smack the troll in the back of its head.
It fell face first to the floor, hitting with a solidity that I felt.