Afterward, none of them were quite able to put together exactly what had happened in the fight. Kirito came the closest; the Black Swordsman’s sorcery had a honed antipsi edge, and darkfire had left at least five sword-slashed <<Psiwasp>> corpses blazing away on the misty ground when they came out of it. But even he only had the basics: they’d been swarmed from the air by yellow-and-black things that looked like humanoid wasps and felt of wrong. Things that had used some kind of mass confusion attack; Dale could remember it peaking every time wing-buzzes had synched together. Just as he remembered feeling that change of pitch in his bones, and bracing his mind, so when the attack came he wasn’t dazed witless-
“Everybody, sound off!”
Klein. Sounding scared. With good reason, Dale realized, as the world seemed to clear and voices stated names. Two names were missing.
“They got Dynamm and Kunimittz.” Harry One looked ill. “They’re not dead, they wouldn’t still be listed in the guild….”
“Gods have mercy on them.” Tae was shaking; wings clamped tight to her body, wing-claws clenching and releasing her armor straps. “Captured by daelkyr-spawn, alive-” She shuddered.
“We’re going to need all the healing magic we’ve got.” Issin had his Inventory open, face grim. “Good thing we restocked in Snow Springs… anybody got any ideas on herbs specific against those – those things?”
“Wolf-Foot Fern.” Dale stepped forward, glad to contribute something besides screaming panic. None of them had heard as many daelkyr horror stories as Tae had, but he’d heard enough to know they might all be better off in a Ringu movie. “There’s not a lot of lore out there on advanced level psionic mobs yet, but that one’s supposed to focus you. It gives you a buff against phrenic mobs. Psionic mobs should be like those, leveled up.”
“It makes you too focused, if you’re fighting alone,” Kirito said soberly. “That’s why I don’t usually…. Anyone who uses it should work in pairs. As far as healing goes – Issin, they’re abominations, but they’re still insect-based. Adding Diatom Dust to healing agents ought to help-”
“We can’t take on a whole psiwasp nest!”
“They’ve got two of our people.” Klein leaned in toward Tae, eyes narrowed. “We’re damn well going to try-!”
“We can do it.”
Kirito was still pale. But he looked sure.
Harry One looked just as dubious as Dale felt. “You’ve seen these things before?”
“Never,” the swordsman said steadily. “But all nest-spawning mobs have common behaviors.”