Friday, August 21, 2009

Berserker Part 55

Marhault and his aid had been keeping watch over the eastern gate after determining that the gnolls’ projectile attack done no real harm to the structure. He was sorry to say that this was not so for the soldiers manning the wall, over ten were dead and another ten wounded. Arrows and spears sought them out with uncanny accuracy, making shots that he daresay would’ve been difficult even for his skilled hands. The loss of his men both rankled and interested him, the idea that he might soon meat another who was as fine an archer as he excited him. As a result he had ordered more than ninety percent of the troops on gaurd to keep their heads down and not to return fire until further notice.

Going over the plans in his head as he surveyed the crippled caravan he heard a sharp crack and whoosh from behind. The few catapults he had managed to manufacture before the enemy arrives would prove usefull, letting the gnolls know that not even in the forests were they safe from Halfway’s retaliation.

He turned in time to see the first of the rocks they had fall short by fifty yards. The crews manning the flingers would need practice. Marhault suspected they would have plenty of opportunities soon.

Shouts of wonder and superstitious signs from his men dragged his eyes back to the eastern gates, where a figure was being propelled upward on pillars of blue flame.

“Black magic”, his aid gasped to the distracted nods of others.

Suddenly the figure was ripped apart, the energies that earthed in its body shrieked and crackled across the sky triumphantly.

“That’s magic alright”, Marhault agreed. His kind were much more familiar with such practices than humans, who deemed magic to be evil and something to keep away from. While he knew better than they, and that magic was a natural force which is shaped by the user depending on its purpose. He also knew that wielding such power can twist even the most kind and humble soul into a grandiose monstrosity. Thus Marhault made it a point to keep as far away from anything arcane as possible.

“The enemy must have powerful sorcerers”, a man said, judging by the pyrotechnic display. Marhault rolled his eyes, rumor mongerers such as he were the most dangerous foe in situations such as this. He had better put a stop to it quickly.

“Sergeant?”, he called to his aid. Who drew himself to attention upon hearing his rank.


“Do we have any pitch?”


“Good, then have a sizeable measure loaded into the catapults and set the eastern fields ablaze. We must destroy those magicians before they can reach the walls”.

“But sir”, the sergeant asked in shock, “there are soldiers, women, and children out there. Would you have them die?”

“Sadly with sorcerers of such power fighting against us, our men would have no hope of survival, let alone the civilians. They’ll be dead before long. Now carry out your orders”.

The sergeant wordlessly saluted and hopped down the wall to obey.

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