A rather eventful day. Thanks to the #outsider crew for vetting this for me
Her squad had been given a very important job. Spaced along the walls were a series of towers, even more heavily fortified then the walls around them. From each tower, a member of the Mage Guard continually cast a powerful spell that prevented anyone around them from using magic, making sure the enemy couldn't sneak a powerful mage up to the walls and blow a hole in the defenses. Her squad was assigned to protect Dezlen, one of the most powerful and important mages in the city.
Their job consisted of watching this old man peer out an arrow slit, muttering and twitching. She knew he was protecting the city, maintaining the shield and deflecting attacks thrown in from beyond it, and she could even see the threads of his magic as he worked, but she still felt useless. Part of her was frustrated that she was stuck in this tower, away from the fight, while the men and women who she had trained with fought and died outside. Another part of her was relieved that she was away from the fighting, afraid of death and pain. She felt shame at the comfort that safety gave her, wondering if she was a coward.
She was broken out of her thoughts when the rumble of a far too close explosion rocked the room. Dezlen winced and spoke "Sorry, one got through. Came at a weird angle. Hit near us." The captain rushed to the heavy doors that to the wall east of the tower and slid open the small covered window. He growled, then shouted an order "Tyan, Kara, Sohald, go to the wall, they're going to need your help out there!" Without hesitation she obeyed, clutching her heavy axe tightly as she rushed out of the safety of the tower and onto the exposed wall.
The stone in front of her was scorched black, parts of the crenellations were missing, and the bodies of defenders were strewn about the path, still burning. She almost gagged at the smell, forcing herself to look out at the attackers to pull her attention elsewhere. The sight she saw terrified her, streamers of red flame arced from the enemy camps towards the wall, batted away by invisible hands just before reaching the walls. Some soared over the walls and hit the city behind, starting fires that threatened to cause untold damage. Showers of arrows flew in near solid waves towards the walls, and the same invisible hands deflected huge swathes of them at a time. Below, enemy soldiers gathered at the gates, trying futile to break through, while others snaked tall siege ladders through the ruined outer city.
It was the ladders that she had to worry about, and the chance of a stray arrow hitting her. If one of those ladders managed to get in place uncontested, it would mean the enemy could attack Dezlen directly, and then all the walls in the world would mean nothing. Tyan pointed and shouted, bringing her attention to one such ladder just beginning to rise. Together they put down their axes and drew their bows, beginning to pelt the enemy below in an attempt to slow the ladder's rise. Archers on the ground fired back, but the crenellations provided good cover from them.
The ladder reared up toward them, hardly slowed by their effort, there simply weren't enough of them. Reaching back to draw another arrow, she noticed defenders from another section of the wall had started firing on it. She had nocked the arrow and began to draw it, choosing a target carefully.
She found herself lying several feet away from where she had been, side stinging and ears ringing. Thunder filled the air, individual claps blending into one massive roar. The shield had to be down. She pulled herself to her feet, ignoring the protests of her suddenly sore body, and saw the tower. The roof was gone, and it looked as if the side had been hit with a giant fist. Bits of debris burned brightly, and the heavy door lay flat on the ground. She hesitated, then broke into a run towards the remains of the tower. She had to see if anyone was still alive in there.
The interior of the tower seemed oddly undamaged, if you didn't count the fallen blocks of stone from the roof. Her squad mates were scattered around the room, slowly starting to move. Some looked like they had broken limbs, but they should be ok if they could get to a healer. Then her eyes fell on Dezlen. He lay motionless on the ground, blood slowly beginning to pool under his head, at least some of it coming from a noticeable dent on his temple.
She had learned basic healing magic when she joined the Guard, but she knew that head wounds like that were beyond her training. With him down, the outer wall would be lost. Images of her family fleeing as the middle city burned filled her, fueled by her memories of earlier battles. She had to do something. She remembered seeing a healer treat a similar wound before. She had watched closely, always fascinated by the intricate flows of magic. She thought she could reproduce it, if she tried hard enough.
She moved to his side and knelt down, putting her hands around his head. Concentrating hard on the memory, she began to weave the strands of magic, both thicker and more intricate then any she had ever handled before. It was a massive strain, but she kept pouring her strength into it. The wound had stopped bleeding and seemed to be healing as the sound of battle faded away. His eyelids started to twitch as her vision began to narrow down to a point. She concentrated on his face, refusing to let go of the spell. The effort of wielding that much magic burned at her mind, but she had to finish the job. She was still holding the spell when she passed out.
When she slowly returned to the world, she felt warm and clean, surrounded by warm, soft cloth. Reluctantly she opened her eyes and saw that she was in a very large, luxurious room, on the most comfortable beds she'd ever been on. She tried to look around the room, but her body refused to respond, every muscle crying out in protest at the idea of moving. She heard a familiar voice to her left speak "I'm glad to see you're awake again" barely managing to turn her head, she saw Dezlen sitting by the bed. "Don't try to move, you're still very weak. We were afraid that you'd permanently damaged yourself healing me. I wanted to be here if you woke up, to thank you. You saved me and you saved the entire city. There's a medal coming when you're well enough to walk again, and you will always have the gratitude of myself and many others. Now, you should rest more" he smiled warmly and put a hand on her arm. She felt the tingle of magic being used, and then the world faded pleasantly away again.