Photo credit: Al Forbes, A Mixed Bag
Djura stepped back from the altar, staggering. All the times he’d prayed to Sambar for his holy blessings, he’d never received a spell he hadn’t planned on.
He recognized it, of course. When he’d advanced far enough, they taught him to pray for lightning, as befitted a Mighty Hand of the great sky god.
Djura touched the blue hand emblazoned on his tabard. Palm out, fingers up. The sign of the protector. Until now, he had protected from the back of the line. Organizing. Managing. Helping those he saw as true soldiers of Sambar.
Had he unconsciously asked for lightning, dreading today’s expected attack? Or did Sambar overrule his requests? Either way, Sambar endorsed it.
The faint rumble made his heart skip. Here already. Shouts roused the camp. The pounding of those terrible horse creatures came closer, carrying the war droves from the north.
Others rushed around him, clanging, calling orders, running. Djura walked slowly toward the front, oblivious. Each step forward required all his concentration, all his willpower.
There. They were coming so fast. He readied the spell. His hand shook, but he kept it raised.
Lightning rained down upon the enemy from all sides.
Nobody noticed Djura’s tears.