Tythel clamped her mouth shut and pushed herself off the wall in a wide leap towards Ossman. They impacted mid air, slamming into each other.
I’ve just killed us both Tythel had time to think. Ossman was too big. The impact had arrested much of their momentum, and they were falling towards the lumwell.
Inspiration struck, almost too late. Tythel reached out and activated her shield. At the sudden surge of unlight, the mutants whipped back towards them, those unnatural limbs lashing out to grab them from every angle they could manage. A pair of them, on either side of the pit, managed to get their fingers around Tythel and began to pull.
Tythel and Ossman stopped a mere foot from the lumwell. Tythel could faintly hear Armin screaming in pain above. This close to the light, she could actually see the effects of Armin’s manipulations. The light was rippling away from them in a single wave, coming up on either side.
The mutants were able to her and Ossman away from the Lumwell, digging fingernails into Tythel’s skin in their fury. “Wrong and lies and leave and twist and rend and kill and-” Tythel did her best to tune out their muttering.
“Do they ever shut up?” Ossman said. His voice was shaky, Tythel could feel him trembling.
“I don’t think so,” she responded.
Ossman grunted. “Well…they should.” He looked over at Tythel and gave her a weak grin. “Thanks for the catch.”
“If I let you die, I don’t Armin would have ever let me hear the end of it,” Tythel said with a grin.
“If you had died trying to save me, I think Armin would have found a way to rant at our ghosts.”
Tythel chuckled and then felt one of the hands holding her tighten. She gasped in pain and looked around, trying to find the window.
It was still behind her. One of the mutants holding them up was on the ledge, directly under it. Armin was being held up by Haradeth, who at least was no longer being forced to ward away the monsters. For his part, Armin looked pale and was sweating profusely.
The mutant had an expression of furious confusion on its face that would have been comical if the situation was less dire. Neither mutant wanted to let go of Tythel, probably for fear the other would do the same, but without letting go they couldn’t pull her towards one ledge or the other. She was being held directly over the lumwell. That’s probably saving my life, she realized. If the mutants wanted her dead, they could have torn her apart, or even just let go.
If they did, however, she’d drop the shield directly into the lumwell, which was the very thing they were trying to prevent.
“We need one to let go,” Ossman said.
Tythel nodded and twisted in the mutant’s grasp, trying to bring the shield around to get near the hands of the mutant on the far side. It seemed to have understood Ossman, or just learned from experience, and snapped its hands down to clutch at her arm as tightly as they could to prevent her from moving. “It’s going to get hot,” Tythel warned Ossman, and shot a quick gout of dragonflame along her arms to push the hands away.
That turned out to be a mistake. The hands holding her arm had been supporting her more than she realized, and she and Ossman lurched downwards. The mutant brought its hands back down to catch Tythel by the ankle, but Ossman slipped out of her grasp and started to fall again towards the lumwell.
Tythel lashed out with her hand, grabbing him by the back of the shirt. He let out a pained gargle as the neck snapped shut, and then the shirt started to rip. “Ossman, give me your hand!” she shouted.
Ossman raised one up shakily. With one hand holding the shield, Tythel had to let go and then lance out to catch him before he fell to the pit below. His arm was sweaty as were her palms, and he was sliding, falling, she could feel herself losing her grip…
Ossman started screaming, and Tythel winced at the sound. Her talons had dug deep slices into his arm, but it had stopped his fall. “I’m sorry!” she shouted.
If Ossman heard her, he was in too much pain to respond. Already the cuts she had caused were healing up.
That was when she noticed Ossman’s hair beginning to fall out. A quick glance to her Armin was being supported on the windowsill by both Haradeth and Eupheme.
The mutant holding her was probably strong enough to reel Tythel in. Not both of them, however. There was only one option left. You have to get this right or Ossman will die, she told herself, ignoring the fact that if she did nothing Ossman was going to turn into a terrible mutant.
Tythel began to swing Ossman back and forth, building up momentum with each swing. The mutants watched her with growing alarm right up until she snapped one final swing, hurling Ossman towards the platform under the window.
Haradeth let go of Armin to reach out with Lorathor to catch Ossman. Tythel then swung her shield frantically towards the mutant, getting the one on the far side to finally let go. Its companion, no longer trying to lift two people, had no problem pulling her towards the window. As soon as she was over the platform, she let loose a gout of dragonfire directly into the things face, letting the spindly arms of the creature trail behind it as it fell into the lumwell.
“C’mon, Ossman, stay with me,” she said once Haradeth helped her join the unconscious form of Ossman in the window. “Don’t turn into…still be Ossman, please.”
Ossman grunted and Tythel held her breath. “…tear..” Ossman whispered.
“No, not you too,” Tythel said, tears coming to her eyes.
“Not me what?” Ossman growled, “You tore my flathing arm apart.”
Tythel let out a choked laugh, “Next time I’ll let you drop.”
“Talk later,” Haradeth interrupted. “Go! Get out!” Now that they were all in one place, the mutants were converging on them. A number of them had died from overexposure to the light, but three of them were still advancing, and Haradeth could only keep them at bay so long.
Tythel scooped Ossman up and jumped out the window.