There were stinking feathers and blood everywhere, most of it Balthazar’s. Two of the harpies were savaging the mage, near enough to lifting him into the air where they could leisurely rip his guts out. She flung herself onto the slight young man and held him down, covering them both with the Mantle of Fenth, which the harpies could tear at all night if they wanted without doing much harm. She might have just given Balthazar the Mantle, but she wasn’t at all sure it would work for him, since she had claimed it with her own blood. Besides, he likely would have tried to keep it.
The wizard kept trying to struggle out from under her, reminding her of a bantam rooster, clucking and squalling to get back into the fight. With the harpy down blood-glued to his beard and eyebrows, the image was even more compelling. She actually laughed, in the middle of a battle.
The others were in the fray by then. The Elves were taking a heavy toll on the harpies with their bows, and Wick-Trimmer was … riding one of them, stabbing at it like a lunatic with Doffy’s sword, as it tried to turn its claws on him. They flapped and fluttered and crashed to the ground in a flurry of dust and feathers, like dirty snow. Ulv had been visibly dangerous, threatening — a great barking bitch of a woman — but that quiet little goblin, the former slave, had murder in his heart, and he guarded that hatred like a treasure. He was scary.
He would have made a good Black Lotus.