The Stalker could feel the cool might wash over him, summoned by the priest’s strong words and stronger faith. He resisted with spellcraft of his own, calling on the nefarious ones of his own kind and the power of their abilities. He was only barely aware of the presence of the others, only sure of the presence of the holy man. One arm was full of his Prey, who was barely conscious. The other arm was extended toward the priest, to call forth the others against him.
He could see that the priest had withdrawn something with a stopper from somewhere in his robes. The Stalker didn’t have time to wonder about what it was, but he knew that it was yet another weapon against those like him. He didn’t like the look in the man’s eyes or the fearlessness with which he casually strode forward.
One of the men stepped forward with his cross held high and rammed the iron of his pitchfork toward the Stalker’s knee. The tines bent against the otherworldly joint, and the man shouted in dismay. The Stalker’s attention was drawn to the irritating prick from the fork, and his burning eyes met the other. The villager’s own eyes were wide, and the cross shook in his hand as he thrust it out against the apparition. He gasped a prayer, forgetting where he was and only caring about the mortal danger he was in.
It began to shine. The priest smiled, even as the rich song he sang continued to roll forth. To the others there it seemed that the man’s voice was joined by others singing the same song. But try as they might, they didn’t see anyone else around. They hid behind their own crosses.
Another man rushed to the side of the first. He had powerful shoulders and rough hands accustomed to swinging a heavy axe. His beard was touched with the first few strands of gray. He moved in front of the other man. His eyes carried the same fire as the priest’s.
“Release her! I order you!”
The Stalker stumbled over the uneven ground, but wrenched himself upright to confront this man fully. His eyes narrowed as he stared down at the man, who stood taller than the others, but over a foot shorter than him.
“By what right, little man?”
“I see your prisoner, and I know her. I claim the rights of blood kin. I attest the rights of her purity, and I claim the Blood that Saved her! By those rights, and by the Sacrifice made long ago, I claim dominance over you!”
The cross he held erupted in a pure light, joining the one held by the priest.