A pair of arrows came at him at once, but he managed to angle his shield to deflect them both. He tried another lightning bolt, this time aimed at the tower itself, but the wood soaked it up with only superficial damage. Fire? Or... Now there was an idea. It hadn't occurred to him earlier, because he generally only used it when he was assaulting fortifications.
Another arrow struck his shield and exploded into a ball of flame, but the armor and Black's barding absorbed it. Hell below! He leaned down and touched Black's shoulder, and the horse stopped abruptly, reared, and then slammed its hooves down harder than should have been possible.
The earth shook; the wooden tower swayed. The fires in the camp did amazing things as the shockwaves reached them. A section of bluff came loose and slid away into the valley, though nothing in the camp was close enough to the edge to be caught by it.
Black was already charging, closing the distance to the tower, and Pallian watched with interest as an arrow buried itself in the ground beside them. The swaying of the tower must have thrown off the archer's aim. This arrow slid deep into the ground, burying itself, and Pallian wondered again at how the archer had come by these abilities. It must have taken real dedication to build up all this... and it wasn't the work of a sorcerer-lord, either. At least, he didn't know any who used an archer as their champion, and Edrias already had its Shadow. If that was what I truly saw...
He leaned down, gripping the saddle as a wave of magic built in front of Black. They hit one side of the tower at a full gallop, smashed through the thick wooden beams, and came out the far side. Behind them, the tower swayed and began to collapse; Pallian tossed another ball of fire behind him to complete its destruction.
He couldn't see it, of course, but his armor could. It captured the final moments of the collapse and showed them to him... along with the image of a lone figure, thrown or leaping free. Damn it, he thought, and nudged Black into a sharp turn to get them facing back towards the fallen tower. An arrow struck his shoulder, lightnings spreading out from it in an echo of his own attacks. He shivered, but the armor absorbed the worst of it.
Damn it, Champion, KILL HER! The thought was so strong that Black felt it and shivered; inside the armor, Pallian froze for a moment and nearly died as an arrow slammed into the face of his helmet, missing the eye-slit by a hairs-breadth.
"Not helping!" he shouted, knowing his father would hear him. Of course the wizard-king was watching his attack instead of Ravaj's defense. Of course he would have opinions about it. And of fucking course he would make those opinions known at the worst possible moment for Pallian.
I should have seen it coming, he thought, as he regained his focus on the archer. Dark hair pulled back, light armor designed to aid her mobility, a bow already drawn... if he could hit her with anything she'd probably go down, but of course she intended to keep him at a distance and kill him there. And at this rate she might very well succeed.
He tossed fire and lightning at the same time, the fire to one side as a distraction and the lightning directly towards her. She ignored the fire and dodged aside, impossibly quick, as the lightning scorched the air where she'd been standing. It cost her another shot at him, but she didn't seem to care; the tip of her arrow was a bright spark, growing larger and brighter as she held it ready. Oh, hell, he thought, and turned his attention to the lance to try for more lightning...
...but something caught him from behind, something soft and dark that soaked through the armor and closed off his sight, his hearing, the images from the armor itself. He thought Black stumbled, thought he might have been thrown, but...
Should he brace for some sort of impact? He wasn't sure he could, and then everything went away.