640x457_19608_Spark_2d_fantasy_mage_lightning_spell_fight_picture_image_digital_artWalking up to the edge of the circle, Rana looked over at Thomas. His face was dirty with dust as he stood calmly in the middle of the circle. He had done away with the dark robe he had used to conceal himself before, now in clothes which resembled those worn by the mages of the hall, although as dusty as his face was.

Rana made a subtle gesture with the hand behind her back, and the mages and guards moved to surround the circle, several paces further back than where she stood at the edge.

“Attacking the gate was hardly a subtle move Thomas. The Thomas of old that I knew was beyond such overt gestures.”

He didn’t respond.

“Why are you here Thomas?”

Still he was quiet.

It wasn’t unexpected that he was quiet. Rana was using the time to think through all the possible moves that he could make. But it was puzzling her that the circle they were surrounding was defensive in nature. If they crossed it, there would be backlash, but there didn’t look like there was anything which would attack them directly if they just stood here outside of it. And that was odd, thomas had never been a defensive person before.

With the same hand she made a quick few gestures to Regis, who back away to spread the word for the mages to start slowly and carefully unwinding the ritual circle. It would take time, but they seemed to have it.

Rana’s eyes remained fixed upon Thomas as the mages began to very subtlety unweave the magic of the circle, the faint tendrils of magic coming from all around the enclosed circle..

Regis came up to her shoulder and whispered a confirmation in her ear. She barely heard the words as she looked at Thomas, and saw the barest twitch of his mouth, just the slightest hint of a smile was the only giveaway to her as an illusion faded and she saw the faintest outline of another circle, a larger circle that they were all standing in.

In a second Rana’s head snapped round and took in the meaning and purpose of the new circle. The circle that Thomas was standing so blatantly in wasn’t the trap, this was the trap, and most of the mages and guards were all in it.

Thomas spoke the first syllable of a phrase and Rana made a snap decision. In one sharp move she stomped her foot, arms snapping out. A twin earthquake and gale wind ripped out from her as she undermined her own forces shields and threw everyone away from her as Thomas spoke the second and third syllables. The trap sparked once before activating and the screaming force erupted upwards.