Stephan bolted up at the noise. And a lucky thing too as one of the voracious bats had just alighted on his leg, making to sink its hollow fangs into his femoral. With a spasm, Stephan launched the wad of leather and rubber–for that is what the bat seemed to be–across the room.
Irina screamed. The bats, there were at least three in the room, made grating hissing noises and fluttered about in a veritable tornado of black wings.
Grabbing a torch from a wall sconce, Stephan began waving the flame and tarry smoke at the bats.
“Look, I can herd them. Open that windhole. I’ll try to flush them out!” His words were stunned with sudden adrenalin after being only moments ago in blissful sleep.
Darya opened the wood shutters add two of the bats fled the easy route. But to her horror, she saw several more bat claws and heads peeking through the now open window from the outside. Had she been able to see the tower from the outside, her blood would have curdled. What seemed to be dozens of additional vampire bats clung to the tower’s stonework, seeking entry through various means.
She quickly shut the windhole.
“No, keep it open! I can get this last out.”
“No, Stephan. There are many more out there!”
Using the torch as a cudgel, Stephan swung, missed and set a table cloth on fire. Swinging again, however, he smashed the bat to the board-work floor and quickly got a boot on it.
But the creature was hardy and took more than a stamping to kill. Irina quickly saw that a heavy table was near. With what strength she had, she turned the table over such that the falling, heavy edge of it came straight down on the hissing head of the bat.
The crush was too much even for the rubber and leather-bodied hellion.
A stillness settled on the room. In the quiet, they heard cries from other parts of the tower.
“Quickly, there are more…”
Keeping a grip on the torch and wielding his short sword, Stephan rushed from the room.
Adrenalin wired the mage. The first thought that raced though Miklos’s mind was, ‘Now that isn’t someting you see everyday’. The second was ‘I am now conpletely awake’. The next thing that happened, happened in a flurry of activity. “It’s a, ahh… a damn heavy bat! HELP!” He yelled trying the foist the thing from him.
Wings and fangs and beady glass eyes were everywhere. Miklos flailed his left arm round trying to buy himself enough time to grap at his staff. Grappling claws snagged in his cloak fuelling the mages fear and excitment. He shrugged the garment off in an aggitated disire to be well away from the room. The staff forgotten he lauched himself toward the stairwell casting as much of the cloak as possible over the creature. It was then he counted more. “Bats! Giant Bats! We are assailed!” He called as he leapt down the stairs two at a time.
Maruc snapped out of his meditation. He scrabbled for his weaponery and rushed toward the tower and the screaming. He saw Miklos rushing down the stairs. A bat, larger than any bat had a right to be, flapped and flustered down the stairwell after the white-faced mage. It bit into the spellcaster’s shoulder. Miklos dropped to the ground, unable to move.
Maruc rounded the brought up his burnished Halavist Shield that glinted in the torchlight, and flung his chainflail at it, killing the thing.
The commotion from above had awakened Hasan, who awkwardly rolled out of bed, his sword arm still very stiff and sore. As he went up the stairs, he heard Miklos shrieking about bats. Just in time, he grabbed a torch from the wall sconce and shoved its flame into the face of one of the creatures. It twitched and shrieked as it rolled in death spasms on the ground.
The armoury was uncontaminated, so Hasan had locked the shutters tight. Going up one more level, Hasan entered just as the the pale, slender mage did. With a bang, Stephan and Darya had eradicated the last pest in that room as well, one just as it had almost been on top of Kuzma. Hasan checked the latches, and asked, “was anybody keeping watch from the top level of the tower? if so, we’ll have to save them!”
Thankfully, the shrieking noises from room above had stopped. On its way in, one of the bats bit Alphana, paralyzing her. Pyotr angrily slashed it in half, and, along with Taras, successfully repelled the others.
All the bats in the tower were dead, and no more tried to enter. The smoke, fire and death cries of their fellows had caused them to fly off.
Meanwhile, the dwarf, below, drowsily guarding the hall entrance door had glanced up at the shouting. Bats?! There was something wrong with that notion even to the dwarf. Concussion or not, the dwarf suspected another ruse. A distraction. He kept to his post. Fighting to keep alert. Once again, the chanting and drumming of the goblins stopped. Dawn was approaching. Instinct told him they were getting ready for a final assault.