Towards noon, the sky had darkened, and several more automatons were destroyed. But, a new problem arose.
Jace had polished seraph blades so many times, he could do it upside down, and asleep. Yet he was distracted by some distant cracking sound.
It for once, wasn't Simon cracking his knuckles, it was something a lot worse. A hoard of tiny elves of the fey had banded together, somehow got past the wards, and were tossing what appeared to small stones at everything they could. But with each stone, there was a small explosion. Not strong enough to kill, but enough to wreck buildings and injure.
Before Jace knew it, his own body was racing out of the Lightwood's house just as half of the roof exploded into debris. Everyone had got out, but as soon as they had, the elves swarmed them, nipping at their ankles. Jace pulled out a dagger and seraph blade, while he heard Isabelle's whip flare to life.
Normally, a mundane would think of an elf as a tiny helper of Santa's. In reality, Jace was fighting vicious, tiny, biting elves who in no way could wrap presents. As if the elves weren't enough, Jace could see faerie knights pouring down the street.
Everyone made a run for it, except Clary. Jace pulled on her arm, knowing he was stronger than she was. Yet instead of giving in, she grabbed his stele from his pocket and dashed from one side of the street to the other, drawing two identical runes that mirrored one another. The faerie knights were charging at them and as the first ones made it to the runes area, they dissolved. They hit an invisible barrier and turned to salt. For a second, Jace stood there in amazement, watching as countless faeries turned to salt. Then he remembered what was going on and ran for the others, Clary by his side.
"What was that?" Jace asked.
"That," said Clary, not the least bit out of breath, "was a barrier rune. In the middle is the fey's insignia, that's how it knows to deflect the fey. The barrier rune is also it's own illusion, the other faeries could not see that their buddies had just turned into salt. In a way it's almost like a glamour, but much more deceiving."
"Damn it," cursed Alec. Jace looked up and saw swirling clouds, not one but eight, eight gloomy, flying chariots, pulled by monstrous horses, filled with faeries, racing over Alicante, seven heading for the Gard, one landing in front of Jace himself. He heard a gasp from Izzy or maybe Maryse, and he realized the person in the chariot, was the Seelie Queen herself.