"I can set up a barrier-"
"There's no time! RUN!" Grant's shout echoed off the dark and shadowed walls of the cavern, half-formed spells thrown over shoulder illuminating his panic clearly to any watching eyes. Talia heeded his words without complaint.
A Massive Basilisk was directly behind them: Its stony scales and giant coils filling the tunnel with a terrible grinding sound.
As her legs pumped with wide and high steps, tripping over stones and slick moss, Talia struggled to keep her glowing mace held ahead- providing just barely enough illumination to show ten feet in front of her at any given time.
They had been trying to find another way up, but all she could do was descend- further and further. Twists and turns, shrieks and startled calls of unseen monsters. Each twist and turn was just another atop the large pile she might never manage to remember.
Finding their way back was already impossible.
A huge burst of heat and light knocked her to the ground, feet lifting and body thrown roughly forward with a heavy blast of wind.
Her vision swam, ears ringing from the show of thunder and pressure, as she sought out the source of the voice. Pushing herself back off the ground, the makeshift bag weighed down her shoulders, glowing blue serpent turning startled in all directions it possibly could.
"I'm sorry this isn't romantic as I planned it." The voice was calm and serious.
Legs shaking, Talia's eyesight pulsed in and out of focus as she fumbled for her weapon. Grant stood with a live-chord of air magics between his hands, arcs lifting off and strumming like a string under tension as his broken staff smoked on the ground before him. His robe lifted, catching on the heat and sparks that shattered out along the vibrant air of mana.
From the brilliant glow of the magic crackling between his hands, Talia saw the entire cavern as if in the light of day: Every crack, stone, and detail illuminated as the Massive creature towered overtop the Wizard, rearing back for a certain strike. With horror, Talia saw the cliff's edge. The pitch black darkness that had waited not two steps more.
"You need to escape, Talia."
The magic flew through the air, unorganized and chaotic: Channeled without a tool by sheer willpower alone. Stone exploded, cinders and sparks flared, and Grant's hands raised up further. With horror, Talia recognized the off-shade clutched between his fingers. The color of crystal shards, gripped by the handful in each fist.
"For my sake, for Joan and Rodrick: Don't give up."
Then the Basilisk struck, and the cavern exploded beneath the ungodly force that waited for it. A blast that hit with gale-force strength, pushing and throwing Talia into the air.
Above the chasm,
And then down.