. . . The unicorn warhost stood spread in a long, shallow ribbon against the moonpool cliffs, more wyverns pouring from their holes and rushing toward them at every moment. Coldly, clearly, Tek grasped Lynex's strategy: with luck, he hoped to break through the unicorns' ranks and splinter them, then surround each smaller group and overwhelm it. Barring that, she knew, he planned to grind them against the cliffs until their line thinned and collapsed.
The extent to which her troops had allowed themselves to become stretched was not good, the pied mare saw. No helping it now. Her only viable tactic was to form them into an outward-facing crescent strong enough to resist the momentum of the wyvern advance. . . .
Scarred Lynex, amid his double-dozen huge bodyguards, reared at the heart of the onrushing mass, driving his followers with shrieks and threats. . . . The new onslaught's force was tremendous. Again and again, Tek hurled herself forward, fighting furiously. Half a dozen wyverns fell before her hooves and horn. . . .
Others of her band did not fare so well. The pied mare spied places where the ranks of her defenders had grown perilously thin. . . .
The crescent had stalled coalescing into the wedge needed to drive the wyrmking's hoard apart. Tek whistled the rallying cry again, again, but the exhausted unicorns were faltering. Before them, Lynex, three times the size of any other wyvern on the field, hooted his glee. . . .
The wyverns were breaking through. Tek saw the line waver. . . . Defenders crumpled beneath the wyverns' teeth and claws. The crescent was staving in. Tek felt her own heart quail. . . .
. . . She leapt forward to fill the breach.
The seven-headed wyvern king towered above her, his immense bodyguards writhing. They bore down on Tek like a mountain falling. . . .