This scene is from a fantasy novel I toyed around with writing years ago. In this scene, the warrior Brand (who wields the Hellsword of blood and amber) has rescued a girl named Laurel from a temple where she was about to be sacrificed. They’re in the midst of escaping when things get interesting.
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At last they reached the pass. Moonlight lit the landscape with startling clarity. There was a bitter edge to the air that had not been present before. Brand looked back at the temple.
A fringe of torches shone along the top of the outer wall. Five figures were outlined in the flickering light, arms raised in supplication. The wizard priests.
Laurel was paralyzed with fear. Brand dragged her forcibly into the pass, ignoring the wind and swirling snow that built up around them. He fought to keep his footing. The deeper into the pass they travelled the stronger the winds that rose against them. Unseen fingers plucked at their clothing. Voices shrieked in discordance to the howling wind. Sinuous, wraith-like tendrils sought to hold them back. The ice spirits rose to their masters’ commands.
Brand finally drew his sword and tried to hack his way through. The shrieking rose in pitch. The swirling snakes of white became even more frenzied, tearing Laurel from his one-handed grip.
Using his teeth, he tore the glove off his free hand and then gripped the blade of the Hellsword with it.
“May the twin gods accept my blood,” he beseeched, slicing downwards with the amber blade.
An icy chill ran down Brand’s spine as nothing happened. The ice spirits left off their attack and blocked the throat of the pass in a writhing, screaming mass. A flicker from the red core of the amber blade travelled outward. Power flowed from the hilt into Brand, suffusing him with warm energy. The sword shimmered and burst into a brilliant yellow flame.
Snow hissed as it met the flames. The swirling mass before him coalesced, separating into three wavering forms, swelling in size. The snow demons, guardians of the pass, took on solidity.
Brand swept his sword down in a flaming arc. He slashed the foremost demon, severing its arm. The thing drew back with a deafening screech while the other two closed in. They were cumbersome, unused to corporeal form, but what they lacked in agility they made up for in size and sheer strength.
He ducked as one enormous paw swiped at his head and from a crouched position stabbed upwards. The point of the flaming blade entered the creature’s eye, sending it into a frenzy. Claws formed on the flailing paw that caught Brand on the shoulder, sending him careening into the side of the pass.
Brand recovered his footing, and tried to ignore the pain in his shoulder. The snow demons circled him. He slashed with the flaming sword but the creatures, growing used to their solid form, were always just out of his reach.
One struck from behind, slashing Brand’s sword arm. He staggered, nearly dropped the sword, and quickly changed hands. He thrust the flaming sword deep into the nearest creature’s chest. There was an explosion of wind and snow as the power of the sword cancelled out the magic of the wizard-priests.
Pressing his advantage, he closed in on the remaining creatures. His breath was ragged and the pain from his injuries was numbing. The wind picked up, bringing more ice spirits. They launched their own assault on Brand, blocking his vision, pulling at the arm holding the sword. Despite them, he managed to deflect a blow to his head and destroyed another snow demon.
With an ear-splitting shriek the ice spirits drew back, creating a fountain of snow and wind. The fountain grew and joined with the remaining guardian. The creature swelled in size, absorbing the essence of the ice spirits.
Brand retreated. The newly formed snow demon towered over him, clawed hands clenching and unclenching. The scream that issued from the thing’s mouth shook the sides of the pass. A mighty swipe of its arm sent Brand reeling to one side.
Even as he hit the ground Brand rolled to avoid the tread of the enormous feet above him. Despite the unearthly cold he was slick with sweat, unnaturally warm. He swung the flaming sword, gouging the demon’s leg. It did no more than enrage the creature further.
Brand staggered to his feet again. The demon picked up a block of ice and hurled it at him. Another followed, catching him on his injured shoulder. With a cry he went down once more. Before he could catch his breath the creature was above him, a triumphant scream sending loose snow down the walls of the pass.
The angle was bad, but it was the only chance Brand had. Levering himself up on his bad arm he hurled the sword at the creature. The massive explosion of wind and snow knocked him flat again. He was for the first time grateful for the mask protecting his face. When he could see again, the pass was clear and Laurel was helping him to his feet.