The mists gathered all around, damping the sound, but Markun, Alistair, Rina, Faenoth, Windaralin, and Virgil stood ready. Faenoth raised his staff, casting off light for us to see by, but it didn't have much effect on the mists.
Rina pointed, drawing Alistair's attention to the direction. In a smooth motion he drew his sword. Virgil began playing on his flute, a rousing tune in an effort to drive off the effects of the mists.
I clutched my staff, wishing Virgil's song worked better.
Windaralin chanted softly and sent forth a wind that blew into the mist, dispersing it along a wide swath.
I wished it hadn't.
In the path shambled corpses, some obviously simple zombies, others stronger and more deadly.
Markun shouted something in his native Dwarven; I didn't know what, but the effect became immediate as the medallion glowed and the first row of zombies disintegrated. Two of the stronger corpses froze, but the others kept coming.
"Faenoth," Alistair said.
A ball of fire streamed out of Faenoth's hand, the boom of the fire made an odd counterpoint to Virgil's song. After the fire, Alistair charged, Rina joining him. I cast a spell, making Markun grow to be taller than Alistair's, then he raced off to the battle.
The din of weapons and armor in the battle meshed with Virgil's song, and I felt my spirits rise even more, especially as Windy and Faenoth tossed more spells into the battle, sending in bolts of acid and tiny meteors with pinpoint accuracy.
Then Virgil's song cut off abruptly. I turned to see something black and nearly transparent clung to him, making him wither in front of my eyes. Faenoth swung his staff, but it passed straight through the monster with no effect. Windaralin used a spell, but the electricity caused a small shriek, but nothing more as it clutched to Virgil.
Faenoth pulled out a wand, leveling it at the monster and Virgil.
"Turn away," Windy warned, but it was too late. A tongue of flame poured out of the wand, blasting into the monster and Virgil.
The monster screamed.
The monster had already withered him to the point he could no longer speak, and the fire was a quicker mercy than the death the monster likely planned for him.
The fire and battle faded, and I found myself staring at the charred fragment of a wooden flute.
I scooped up the charred wood, feeling the burnt, sooty edges in my fingers even as I recognized the faint smell of smoked apples.
"Virgil always said fruit woods made the best instruments," I said softly, feeling Rina come up beside me."There's nothing like an instrument that tastes good," she finished for me.