The trees down below were bending over backwards, screaming winds ripping and tearing at them as leaves and branches were flung off, then battered by the lashing rain.

Rana’s clothes were already soaked through, had been the instant she stepped out of the Hall, now there were merely a sodden layer of second skin, too plastered to her skin to be stolen by the winds.

Lightning burst the sky open with light, and a mere second later, the sky crashed with thunder, bursting around in her eardrums, echoing between the towers and roofs of the building she was standing on top of.

She could see the whole city from the top of the Hall, standing where she and Caleb had had their first adventure, almost a decade ago now. The scar of the recent destruction could not be hidden by the sheet of rain, dark and jagged where most of the city was spotted with lights shining out of windows.

Rana swallowed, her stomach beginning to twist as she looked down at it. She wrenched her eyes away, scanning beyond the city for the disturbance that had brought her out, feeling through the rain and the wind as much as anything.

There. By the river. She could feel the water’s swelling and rising, a huge bulk just about visible from where she was.

The wind shrieked by as she ran the few steps to the edge and jumped off from the tower. It may have brought the storm, but she was the wild mage, and the elements worked for her.

The wind landed her on the wall surrounding the city, lending her speed as she ran along, rain and water doing nothing to impede her. The shape was growing though the gloom of the rain, serpentine body, claws, longs necks with heads forming. She could feel and see the jets of water that it was shooting out, reaching out towards the gap in the wall that had been created by the earthquake. Her earthquake.

This was her mess. And she would be thrice star dammed if she let any monster get into her city.

Her hand worked it’s way into her sodden pocket, fabric clinging to her skin, making it hard to her to wrench the coin out. She was still running, along the top of the wall, nearing the fighting, the tiny guards on the floor not coping with the storm, trying to hold this monster back.

Her fault. Her fight. She skidded to a halt just at the edge of the broken wall, feet spraying up water as she extended out her arm, lined it up, and fired.

The bolt hit the hydra squarely in its chest, burning away scales and flesh and rain, lighting up the air even more so than the lightning had done. It screamed and thrashed, heads going in all different directions. She drew her arm back, and the rain and wind rushed into the void left in the air. They hydra’s many head turned round, all of them fixating on her, as the rain hit the flesh, and it started to steam. She could see new scales underneath that smoke, the hole she had created started to heal over.

It might be a creature of the water, but she had all the elements on her side. Rana gritted her teeth, and pulled the wind to her, jumping off the wall and down to the earth. This storm would be hers to use.