Though she may be nothing but a collection of thoughts, a few ink marks on paper, a character in another universe, Esmerelda Weatherwax is nothing short of inspiring. Her steely gaze and stern demeanor, while not especially aspirational, are certainly fearsome and intimidating. It was this that kept me forging ahead with the Borrowing, a skill that Granny Weatherwax had more than perfected.
I reached out to the myriad blurs of Swarm surrounded by their Supernatural images, felt their infestation, their purpose, their direction. They were easy to subdue, at first. The front lines fell instantly, but the further forward I spread my silver mind, the more taxing it became. I wanted to find out how Swarm had managed to project these images of humanoids around each of itselves. It was not an ability we were aware that it had. I couldn't afford to investigate further as I had to keep my psy-grasp on the fallen Swarm lest it reestablish itselves.
As I accumulated more and more, I saw through their eyes, if they indeed had such sense organs. Dragon swooped down on me/them, immolating us with her firey breath - I let those Swarm go for they were now charred and useless. We couldn't penetrate the Lady's telekinetic forcefield to attack her and our number diminished as she picked us off with her piercing psi-needles. Blacksmith, his mighty body covered in metal armour, beat us and crushed us with his various metallic weapons. Finally, we saw Knight wrestling with Salamander, his psi-armour almost gone. He was naked and filthy, covered in muck and blood, mostly his own, but we saw a swathe of ochre meaning his opponent was wounded, too.
Suddenly, Salamander got the upper hand and pushed Knight's face into the mud.
We barrelled down upon them, that part of Swarm becoming me, and covered Salamander, pulling him from Knight while cutting him all over with our claws/teeth/machines. Knight spluttered for air as Salamander screamed and flailed at us, smashing us and swiping us from his ripped and torn skin.
Another scream joined in. The Lady! She fell into the marsh under the combined forces of Swarm, the part of it that had escaped me as I fretted about Knight. Her 'field had almost gone and Swarm was dangerously close to her. Luckily, Blacksmith appeared and ensnared the clicking, whirring things in dozens of metal tentacles before crushing them.
Failing to overcome the exhaustion, I found myself, all of myself, back in Seer's arms. He gazed down at me, the faintest of smiles flickered over his face.
"Hello" he said, softly. I just looked at him, defeated. "I know where the Queen is" he offered. "I was going to send Wraith, but saw you returning".
The Queen? He must have meant the Monarch of Swarm! "No" I commanded.
"Don't send Wraith. She's too young." I lifted my head, glancing around at our surroundings. The Lady had reestablished her 'field and was protecting us. Blacksmith had captured Salamander in thick metal bands, and someone else, too. Was it Crystaleyes? Whoever it was, was also unconscious and bound in metal. Knight was on his feet swinging his psi-mace, holding more of Swarm back. "Where is it?" I breathed. "Where is Monarch?"
"She... It" Seer corrected himself, "it's in those bushes" and he pointed over to the west where a dark smudge in the distance could've been a straggle of scrubby bushes.
"I'll go." Resigning myself to the task, I struck out before Seer could object. My silver mind slipping across the marsh unseen, albeit slowly and distractedly. I tried not to think of Knight, tried not to see him but my sub-sight thwarted me. It was drawn to him. I was drawn to him. Why now, at this most inopportune moment? I thought we'd got our feelings sorted out?
Bugger this. I'm bored. The end.
Thank Christ for that!