We met up at the house at the edge of the forest. The monsters in the area had been growing more populous and we were tasked to clear things back a bit. The wife and I had trimmed our equipment so that we were lean and efficient. The kids on the other hand were still learning the ropes of how everything functioned.

We felt that this would be a good way for them to see how things worked and to learn from us without having to worry about getting overrun. While the monsters had been growing more populous, there were not supposed to be any that were dangerous in the area.

Once everyone was gathered we met up for the briefing. Another group of hunters was going to be with us. The kids had some basic understanding of the job and we’d taken them on training trips before, but this was going to be their first time working with others.

All too soon it was time to set out. I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Hunting was always a thrill and spending time with the family was great as well. However, there was a definite danger to this work and while I was confident I could handle anything,

The monsters near the house were easily dealt with. Low level spells  burned them to ash so there wasn’t even a need for cleanup. The further we headed into the forest, the darker the ground became in the shade of the canopy, the larger the monsters became. They leapt from the darkness, first by the ones, then in pairs, then in groups.

Soon the fire spell weren’t enough. We had to go to our equipment. Out came the spell decks, imbued with quick spells and bonded to our magic. The two groups, my family and theirs, worked independently of each other, but still as a single force. We spun through the forest, unleashing bolts of lightning, blasts of wind, and shards of ice. The monsters seemed drawn to us and each passing moment saw more and more of them pouring from the darkness.

I’m still not sure who faltered first. One of the kids missed a spell and they were overwhelmed, swarmed over in a pill of imps. A quick gravity spell pulled my child to me but by then the rhythm was gone. We lost the initiative and were being forced back by sheer volume.

I shouted at everyone to go as I pulled out another deck. These ones were too powerful to use in a group but right now, AOE was what was needed. Several mid level wind spells gave everyone the space they needed to retreat. My wife and I had only a moment for a single shared kiss before she turned and escorted everyone away, taking a potshot at one of the demons that tried to get past my wind wall.

Once they were all safely away, I let my wall fall. Five separate cards fanned between my fingers as my body lit up with magic, lightning racing over my skin.

Let them come.