Reveka tried to hang on to Arren, scared for his life, but he rushed away toward the monsters and Callysta put up a ring of thorns around them. "ARREN!" she was screaming at the top of her mental lungs. She saw monsters coming at him, saw him engage them. The shadow creatures, with abilities the solid ones did not have, faded into the shadows and began trying to get around them, to get behind Arren, Talos and Ethinine, and kill them. She saw one such rise up behind Arren, its claws raised.
"NO!!!" Without even thinking, she thrust her hands forward, full of her focused energy. The glow around her increased in its brightness, and some of this extended from her hands, whipping through the shadowy thorns and impaling the shadow behind Arren. She whipped it around in the shadows above and behind, clearing the road. Then, she gasped as it faded, and her mind came back to herself as: tired, really and truly tired. She sagged against Callysta, trembling slightly. Light...she wanted to go home. If they could get back, she'd do everything the Grand Sage said and never leave the place again!
Ethinine, realizing his rocks weren't doing the trick, began dropping things from the ceiling on their heads. This gave him an idea. "How about a cave-in?" he asked Arren. "Or I could bring the walls together, effectively closing them off from us. Then we'll go back, through the shield. At least from there we can just run back into the forest, and go home." He hoped the normally pig-headed-stubborn Arren would agree.
Jadis stiffened as he heard a sound behind him. He turned, then saw it was only Shaddoc. He sighed in relief. "Hey Shaddoc!" he hissed. "Over here!" When the aforementioned came over, Jadis whispered, "Stay silent now, I'm following this thing. Would you believe it completely ignored me in the forest? Has to be something big here-"
"Not found yet?"
He paused, then parted the leaves of the branches a little bit for a better view. There were three in the clearing ahead, two men and the shadow. "Men"" being used in the general term as they at least still looked humanoid. Now the one to the left, closest to the shadows, there was something odd in how the darkness seemed to deepen around him. Something extremely odd...The second man, with the flaming hair, spoke again.
"You have looked everywhere, you say, but have not found them? How can you have then? They are here, their very essences are buried in the grass beneath our feet! You will find them!"
Terrified, it shrieked some kind of reply and scampered away, fortunately away from the hiding pair. The two men in the clearing were silent a moment, then the second said, "My apologies sir. This may take longer than I thought."
"Its not your fault these simple shadows cannot seem to understand how important this is," the first said. He looked around, scanning the trees. Jadis cautiously replaced the branches and shrunk back down, suddenly afraid though he knew not why. "They respond merely to the base emotions, primarily hunger and fear. They cannot comprehend."
"All the same, they only hunt children. Its simple enough even a baby could understand."
"Yes, but these are not ordinary children. Remember that, Gamaliel."
"Gamaliel?" Finally a name. But who was the other man?
There was silence for a long moment, then the one called Gamaliel asked, "Can you sense their direction from here?"
"...presently. What is interesting is that I can only sense the shadow-wielder, which means the Archsage has somehow infused the protection into them. But fortunately, if the shadow-wielder would only use-"
At that moment, he suddenly gasped. "Gamaliel! I feel her!"
"Great." Jadis looked again. The first man had vanished, and Gamaliel was rushing northward, after him perhaps? Jadis grimaced and stood. "We have to follow," he said to Shaddoc. "Random question, do you have something to shield your essence?" This he asked as he started hurrying after the retreating pair.