When the shadow had completed forming, it lingered for a moment. In his heart, Tobias felt something terrifying building from inside the mass; without warning, it was expelled, an invisible wall of dread and terror across the land. Instinctively, the young soldier spun on his heels, wrapping his arms around the Priestess protectively. Despite his effort, however, it felt as if the wave passed straight through him, cutting to the bone like a bitter winter wind, and all the dread that a cold winter's night would bring.
When it had passed, Tobias slowly relinquished his grip, leaving his hands on Lucretia's shoulders as his head pivoted slowly, gazing at what the shadow's dark wave had wrought with wide eyes. Turning back finally, he gazed at Lucia for a moment, staring straight into her eyes with a concerned 'Are you alright' look.
The moment didn't last, however, as he leapt back, relinquishing all of the light feathered touch he had on the Priestess, his face flaring red, visible even in the crimson glow of the flames. As he stammered to find words, the wall of the barracks suddenly exploded outward with some great force, and a black tower of spikes and flame emerged from the inferno of barracks.
Without a second thought, Tobias' hands went to his hips, to draw a sword that wasn't there. He gawked at his lack of blade, and eyes shot skyward at the massive figure that turned its fiery gaze toward him. With a weary sigh, the lad realised it was only Malcharion as he began to approach, holding something gingerly in one hand. The dark tower placed the bundle of cloth in his arms, and Tobias could only stare at it, a pit quickly growing in his stomach - it was about the right shape and weight to be something he desperately hoped it wasn't.
Shooting Lucia a concerned glance, Tobias gently shifted the balance of the bundle into one arm, letting the far end touch the ground as he removed the fabrics from one end. As they fell away, his heart dropped; he could almost feel the splash in his stomach where it landed.
For a brief moment, Tobias stared in absolute horror at the dirtied, but pale face of the shaman of Anshar in his arms. He observed the completely twisted features of the poor soul's neck, and began to softly shake; a shake that soon became almost violently uncontrollable.
"NOOO!" He howled suddenly, his raging cry piercing even the cacophony of chaos going on around them, echoing into the black, smoky night. He bit his tongue to stifle the howl, clenching the body in his arms. Each breath quickly became ragged; head bowed shoulders hunched as he fought back the tears. His whole body shook only once, rattling the banded mail he wore. With a deep, slow breath, he caught himself, and ceased the shake. The tears were held at bay before they began; he knew deep down there wasn't time for tears, that there was never time for tears.
Gingerly, he covered the face up, hopefully before Lucia could see the shaman's neck, and looked skyward to Malcharion, whose hollow, flaming eyes admittedly provided him with no comfort; he knew why the golem had brought the shaman.
"Thank you." He croaked up at the helmet, clearing his throat. With the care of a father and infant son, Tobias placed the body to the pavement, a little further away from the burning barracks, where he thought it would be safe.
He stood, for a moment, and took a shaky breath, before turning to the two; his eyes, however, were glued to the barracks beyond.
"We'll give him proper rights when this is done." He spat the words as he took off, striding at a meaningful pace. He spoke to and moved directly toward Lucretia, only to breeze straight by her as he finished talking. Without blinking or even, seemingly, thinking, he marched straight into the crumbling barracks, the flames licking him the entire way. In only a handful of seconds, he emerged at the same brisk, uncaring pace, but with something new - a longsword in his right hand, charred but otherwise fine. Attached to his left forearm was a similarly charred heater shield, the paint having long since boiled away from the surface. Both felt extremely hot against his leather, but he didn't care.
"Malcharion." Striding up next to the Priestess and the Tower, Tobias extended his shield to point off into the distance, at the neat, gaping hole in the city's wall.
"Seal the wall. Make sure nothing can enter through it again, and while you're there, see if you can spy who or what sent this attack, but do not engage. Once the wall is sealed, regroup at the city heart!" It was a bit of a shame Tobias hadn't accepted a leadership position in the Militia - with the way he dished orders, he'd have made a fine captain. His tone alone told volumes of the new sense of faith he had in the golem visitor, and he had no doubt in his mind that the black iron beast could more than manage the task.
"Lucretia." He started, identifying that he did indeed know her name properly as he turned to face the young woman. With a slight gulp, Tobias set his jaw and locked gazes with her. "You're a big powerful Priestess, right? Can you contact Anshar? The fires are getting out of control, and we don't have the manpower right now to put them out." He stepped forward, placing his left hand gingerly on her upper arm, close to her shoulder.
"We need support here. I need you to make it rain. Hard." The lad had clearly discarded all beef and gruff he held for the Priestess, at least for now. His voice, filled with a strange authority, yet also belied the need for her help - in fact, he made no effort to hide it. They needed to work together, and Tobias knew it.
"I'm going to defend the city heart. If they break it, the whole city will alight." He briefly gazed down across the city, toward its pulsing, flaming heart, and bit his tongue for a moment. Vivian may have dealt with the ground troops, but Tobias needed to figure out a way to deal with the air support, but they would be a real problem indeed - shooting them down was certainly not the answer, but he knew of other possibilities...
Turning back to the Priestess, he gazed at her again, but this time his brow knit with concern.
"Stay safe, and regroup at the heart when you summon Anshar, alright?"