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View Full Version : Geomancer's Fan Fic Competition Entry - Only the War


Geomancer
07-17-2010, 04:15 PM
"Rendarg!" Ogluk spat the curse out as quietly as he dared, frozen face down in the brush. The sounds of horses echoed far too loudly through the trees. They were close, and if those damned mounted rangers caught wind of his marauders, the whole plan would fall apart. His only hope? That they weren't expecting visitors so far from the front. But if his troops were spotted... As skilled as they were, they couldn't bring down a full mounted patrol before alarm sounded. Ogluk glanced cautiously over his shoulder at his troops, armed to the teeth. Frozen in place and covered head to toe in leaves, mud, paint, and anything else they could find...would it be enough? At least the summer undergrowth was thick that year! Some of them looked nervous, but most are straining to hold their ground. "Dey know I flay dere skins an' eat dere flesh if dey grukk dis one," Ogluk thought grimly. Still, they had done well to get this far. Nearly forty miles through the underbrush during the night, evading patrols and even merchants, anyone that could raise the alarm. They hadn't been nearly this disciplined in training, even as recently as a few days prior to the mission. But why was taking so long? Couldn't those pointy ears ride faster? They should have passed by now. Unless...

Ogluk raised his head slightly, just enough to see out of the shallow depression he lay in. No wonder it was taking so long! This was no patrol; hundreds of pointy ears heading towards the front, all mounted: rangers covered head to toe in greens so muted they seemed to blend into the forest behind them, sentries with great shields and halberds, even glimmering grand masters in burnished armor. So Torkraddor's bait was working after all! "Well I be a stumpy's beard," he muttered. If ol' Torky and his impalers could draw these pointy ears off far enough...

-

"We shouldn't be out here, Finradel. There's no way such a large group of gelmee would drive so deep into our territory only to sit tight in the middle of our forest!" the tall, dark-haired elf exclaimed to his red-haired companion. "I heard you the first ten times, Elmiras. You're right, it doesn't make sense, but those gelmee don't always seem to be the brightest of stars. Besides," he said, gesturing to the lengthy column of cavalry surrounding them, "we'll ride down on them like tia'fah and drive them all the way back to Ral Nistro!" "Or another force will ride in behind us and raze our illas'hafio. This feels like a trap, Fin," Elmiras replied, "and we certainly should have left a garrison behind!" "We should only be away a short time, perhaps a day? Our home should be safe," said Finradel, though clearly uneasy. Elmiras just shook his head and stared off into the forest. And so they rode on in silence.

-

"'Bout damn time," Ogluk muttered, as the elven column faded into the distance. "How far, boss? De boys be itchin' fer scrappin', an' de youngstas damn near run after dem pointy ears," said a grizzled older Beatchief. "Mebbe half light?" Ogluk shrugged. "We seen dem tall trees from de hill, not too far." Smiling, Ogluk turned and started out again. His marauders fell into step behind him. Just a few hours, and then...then they would slaughter a village. With the defenders away, it would be a short fight and a long feast.

The time passed quickly as the marauders made their way along the trail, and as expected, the crimson sun reached the horizon as the peaceful elven village came into view. A few villagers move about, but most had settled in for the evening, unaware of the orcs closing in. No guards. "Course not," Ogluk thought to himself. "Dey all off huntin' ol' Torky." And so it began. "Skarrav!" he bellowed, and almost as one, fifty orcish marauders whooped and charged forward towards the sleepy village. And sun set on the doomed village for the last time.

-

"A stunning victory, don't you think Elmiras? They must have been green troops: I've never seen a battalion of impalers break ranks so quickly" Finradel said, beaming. He had slain four impalers, one in the first charge and another three as they fled. Not a bad day at all for his first action since that rout on the borders of Thikken Dal, over a year ago. "Do you think we'll chase them all the way to the front? With what's left of those impalers scattered, we have to look, right El?" "Not likely," his friend replied, carefully rubbing the cut under his eye. That had been close, but at least it didn't seem poisoned. "I think Artalis pulled too many sentries from Telpireth. We should be -" Elmiras broke off as the horns sounded around him, calling the battalion to reform. Confusion reigned for a few moments, but soon it became clear. One by one their gazes turned towards home, and the first tendrils of smoke reaching towards the moon. "I knew we shouldn't have come!" cried Elmiras as the column reached the road home.

-

"I tells yoo dey be tastiest if yoo boils 'em in de beer first," shouted a young marauder, grinning widely as he danced in the light of burning homes. "Yoos already done drank it all, Thargrad!" replied the older orc, tearing into his feast. Ogluk smiled to himself. Young Thargrad had indeed drank much of the beer, but he had earned it. Thargrad had proven outstanding at sniffing out the hiding pointy ears. None of them had escaped and their corpses littered the ground around the burning village. The slaughter had been glorious, and none of his marauders had fallen. The loot was rich, the feast grand, and the fires immense. It couldn't have been more perfect, but it was time to depart. The fires cut through the black and elves possessed good eyes. They would return soon after first light, and his marauders would be miles away by then. Still, his troops had earned their revelry. Just a short while longer...

The raucous celebration was shattered by a bloodcurdling scream. Embers flared as a flailing Thargrad tried in vain to claw his way out of the bonfire, a goose-feathered arrow protruding from his chest. They had waited too long! The elves had returned too fast and caught his marauders unprepared. How did those elves get the drop? "Dem pointy ears be here! Gut 'em and cut 'em, and bleed 'em dead!" Ogluk shouted, trying to rally his marauders before grim-faced elven archers could cut them down. He raised his shield in the nick of time, catching two arrows on the way in. Not too many down yet. "Shield wall! Dem pointy ears can't stick dem pokeys in yoo tru yer shield! Backs to de fires! Advance!" Even after feast and drink, they formed up quickly. Perhaps they would make it out yet! Fifty feet to the first elves and a respite from those arrows. The relentless din of elven arrows clattered off orcish shields, drowning out the roar of burning buildings. Above all came the crashes of arcing orbs of flame as they raced into the orcish formation and exploded. Neither shields nor armor protected against this new barrage, and many of Ogluk's marauders fell to the ground, smoldering. The archers' arrows raked in on the resulting gaps in the shield wall, tearing the formation further apart. Then, with a shout, the elven infantry charged. An arrow bit savagely into Ogluks leg, jarring his shield loose. A halberd sliced in, but Ogluk was able to deflect it. His axe cut back and the elf fell with a cry. Ogluk smiled grimly. Another arrow struck his shield, piercing through it and into his forearm, but still he fought on. At least the orbs of fire have stopped, he thought. The ring of blade on blade, blade on shield echoed through the night. The marauder to Ogluk's left fell, and a tall, dark elf stepped in, his sword arcing in past Ogluk's shield and biting deep into Ogluk's shoulder. The elf's eyes burned with hatred, and he launched into flurried attacks born of pure fury. Slowed by his wounds, Ogluk parried what he could, but this elf proved too much. His blade sank deep into Ogluk's chest, driving the orc from his feet.

As night closed around him, Ogluk gazed up at the tall elf. The elf's eyes held no mercy as he plunged his blade once more into Ogluk. The orc jerked once more before settling against the ground, his life flowing out of him.

-

Elmiras wiped his blades on the grass and looked around. His home? Gone. His family? Gone. He looked down at a fallen elf, cleft nearly in twain by an orcish axe, his red hair matted with blood. Everything he knew, gone...except for the war. A blond elf approached the blood-soaked infantry - it was Artalis. "Bury our dead. Burn the gelmee. There are flames to the north; it looks like they hit Tar'reledir as well. I'm taking the rangers now. The rest of you follow when you are done here. Ride swiftly!" And with that, he turned and rode off into the darkness. The rangers fell in behind him.

Everything was gone. Only the war remained.

Yami-Yagari
07-17-2010, 04:19 PM
Very nice! Wanna see more. :D

Geomancer
07-17-2010, 07:10 PM
I'll see what I can do. Real life keeps me busy, but I might be able to put another round of story together. :)

Tazorzs
04-23-2011, 02:06 AM
Gj on your submission. =D