Vanyel will focus on the mages and un-Gifted guards instead.
It's obvious that they've been completely caught by surprise, and weren't at all expecting the barrier to come down with no warning, but three of them react in time to rush him anyway, throwing a concerted fireball attack. Without blood-magic behind it, though, it doesn't have a hope of making it through his shields. He shrugs it off easily and then, very carefully, strikes, not with his mage-gift at all but along the Mindspeech channel, with the power of a node behind it. (His mage-gift isn't that good for 'nonlethal' either; unheard-of power makes control harder rather than easier.)
If not for the calming effect, he might not have managed, but as it is he's able to calibrate it – enough to knock them out, not enough to kill them. Ouch. His head throbs but it's bearable.
Several of the un-Gifted bandits rush him with swords. They've got even less of a chance. He just knocks them down with unformed bolts of kinetic force – only one man makes it far enough to go under Yfandes' hooves, and he winces but manages to keep his breakfast where it belongs. It's convenient that they came at him like that and now they're nice and close together. He spares a moment to whack down the men who went after the strange mage instead – though she's moving very fast and he really doesn't think they'll catch her – and then, barrier. He does end up having to put a second barrier up around the men who went other way. He can consolidate later, if need be. Barriers are easy – it's a simple spell and it's not hard for him to overpower it to a ridiculous extent, when the node is right there.
He dismounts, only a bit shaky, and that's when he sees the dismembered bodies. Adult ones, two of them women, and...mutilated. A painful death can eke out more blood-energy, he's been told.
Vanyel can't help it; he bends over and throws up. Gods, that's embarrassing. He stands, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, and only then thinks to look over and check at how the stranger's half of their plan is going.