"Christ! There's hundreds of them!"
Knight snapped out of it first. "Are they real?"
"Are they real?" he yelled.
The Lady hesitated. "I... I can't tell" she almost whispered. "There are so many minds."
"Lady, you have to find out" Knight was almost shaking her. "You have to find out!"
She faltered, stumbling on the marshy ground. The hem of her long dress was soaking up the foul, dark water, creating spreading stains that crept slowly upwards. "Yes" she finally said. "Yes. They're real."
I watched in terrified awe at the crowd charging us. Most were running. The rest were in flight. Some were leaping, crawling, undulating toward us.
They brandished weapons and menace. As they closed in on us, I could make out a few with visible supernatural attributes and abilities. Distorted bodies and unnatural shapes. Surges and coronas of psi energy, flashes of darklight. Sparks of destruction.
Knight took point, his armour flashing into existence, psi weapons bristling from his lighted form. Blacksmith took his position at Knight's left. Huge slabs of metal hung from him so that he looked somewhat like a bipedal rhinoceros. I knew my place and fell in at Knight's right, out of range of his deadly psi blades and lances. From the regular wafts of cool evening air that ruffled my hair sticking out from under my pointed hat, I knew Dragon was hovering above. Casting a glance back over my left shoulder, I caught the Lady's eye. She gave me a wan smile as she directed Seer and Wraith back across the muddy field. As the youngest and least experienced, they were to be saved the initial onslaught. They would, however, be our last line of defence when... No, if we failed.
I connected to Knight. Do what you can. Everything that you must he instructed me. Then, somewhat desperately, Anything. He smiled, warm but distant. Accepting. Of us, or our impending fate, I didn't know. I smiled back then turned to face the advancing mob, my heart pounding in the confines of my chest.
I drew out my broom and cast hex upon hex until curspheres littered the air around me. I didn't know what they'd do - I didn't care, fear had gripped me. As long as they did something. I cast a few more for good measure. One for each of the approaching swarm.
I spun quickly to face the Lady. She caught my thought.
I didn't recognise any of the enemy, except for Salamander who was pushing steadily through Knight's shields and diverting his blades.
Where had they all come from?
They weren't real!
"It's Swarm" the Lady shouted, forgetting her telepathy.
I dropped my hexes and fell back, creating a hole in our defences. "Lady. Keep them off me" I instructed. Dutifully, she raised a telekinetic shield to repel the mob. Seer came running towards me, mud splashing everywhere. Good. He had Seen my intentions. I fell backwards, trusting Seer to catch me. He did. Before I was even in his arms, I was searching them out.
I would Borrow Swarm!