The battle of Blackrock

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  1. Blackrock, the home city of the Blackskull clan of Orcs. A city of trade. A city attempting to stay peaceful.

    Yet trouble often seems to find them.

    One of the Orcish guards walks into the marketplace, getting onto the stage in the center, and called the attention of the people there.

    "Hear me, people of Blackrock!
    Earlier today, a group of scouts returned from their patrol, bringing grave news! A large Brionian army has been spotted marching towards the city!
    All citizens and visitors are recommended to stay inside the walls, as there are undoubtedly enemy scouts and slavers attempting to enslave or kill anyone not of their empire!
    Any man, woman or otherwise who are willing are to report to Blackrock fortress, to be signed up to the defense of Blackrock! You will be paid if you survive, or your body will be handled as you wish if you do not! If you do not have any weapon or or armor, some will be provided!
    Any and all merchants may have their merchandise seized for the defense of the city! You will be compensated for your loss after the battle!
    Strength and honor!"

    The Brionians will most likely arrive in a matter of days. And then, the fate of Blackrock will be decided.
  2. Ledona had been following the army for nearly a week.

    They were clumsy, loud, and generally unappealing. She could tell easily what they marched for, Gold.

    They knew that she was there, and she knew that they knew, but didn't care. They had no reason to attack her, and if they did she would simply act to defend herself, only striking those who attempt to harm her.

    It was a shame, that she had to run into the army. She was already on her way to level a bandit camp, whom were attacking quite everything that got in their way. Normally she wouldn't care, but as they were attacking their own fellow bandits, she felt she had to balance out the area, and remove them.

    Ledona heard a disturbance, and looked over to her side at the army. They were beginning to move forward again, so she should do the same.
    She moved more to her left, and squatted next to Cearic, who was already grunting in argument. But he didn't delay, and rolled onto his stomach. She placed the sattle on him and strapped it down, hopped onto his back in one swift move, and left, not bothering to put out the small fire.

    She moved with the same pace with the army, and would easily be mistaken as one of them if it weren't for the difference in their colors.
  3. What could have been a mysterious statue hidden in the shadows was actually a lone figure at the top of a tall building. Kneeling down, the figure could see the crowd begin to gather from down below as one of the guards called the people of Blackrock for their attention. The news was nothing new for it was Zenobia Darksteel and two other Wolves that had gathered the information and delivered it to the Warlord yesterday late at night. She and her small team had been following the Brionian Army for several days from a distance so as to avoid getting caught or give away any suspicion. The Sky Warriors, birds of prey trained for battle and silent scouting against the soldiers of Briona, were able to get up close from high above, during the night while the opposing army set up camp and slept, and verify that it was indeed soldiers of Briona. Zenobia had figure out that they weren't taking a stroll to see some beautiful scenery but were heading towards the direction of their great city, Blackrock. Sadly, this really wasn't so surprising to her for Zenobia knew that Briona was tainted by greed and the need for more power which she mainly blamed on the humans. Briona was beginning to spread like the plague and with their zealous pursuit for the Cleansing that The Light so desperately desired was added fuel against the Orcs of Blackrock.

    Zenobia sighed as she stood up, her black cloak whipped gently against the wind as she rose from her kneeling position but the cowl that hid her face behind a dark void stood motionless due to the wolf shaped brooch made of silver that kept her cloak & cowl secure in its place. She was dressed all in black but was completely hidden from head to toe within her cloak. Zenobia preferred to be anonymous amongst the civilian crowd, but only the Warlord and The Wolves would be able to spot her... that is if she wasn't hiding in the shadow. For a moment there was a look on her face, a look that only those that knew her extremely well would realize that there was something bothering her and indeed there was. Zenobia couldn't help but to empathize for the people when they are told that their family, lover, or friend are dead when they fought in the war for she knew first hand how that felt with her own family that had died so valiantly in battle. However, that feeling quickly disappeared when she realized that there were other important matters to attend to. Zenobia needed to head over to the Blackrock Fortress and help overlook the process for the enlistment of the war. Perhaps, she'd find the Warlord there and have a discussion about his plans for the War but Zenobia knew he was a busy man especially during this time of need. Either way, she'd have plenty of things to do to keep her busy.

    It didn't take her too long for her to get to the Blackrock Fortress as she swiftly ran and leaped from roof to roof to get to the fortress. Fortunately, no one was there to enlist yet and so was able to get in through the main entrance without any trouble. Zenobia slid back her hood so as to expose her face as she walked towards the tables where the soldiers sat behind patiently for people to sign up for the war. Secretly she was the Captain of The Wolves a secret organization that only the Warlord knew about, but out in the public for the majority of the soldiers and people of Blackrock Zenobia was still recognized as someone of importance: a high ranked commanding soldier. The soldiers looked at her and respectfully gave her a salute and in return Zenobia gave them a short nod in approval. Now she played the waiting game as well as she silently stood to the side with her watchful eyes.
  4. Varn roused at the sound of shouting outside the window of his personal rooms... The marketplace was usually noisy but this was something entirely different. A hush had passed over the usual din of the days buying and selling. The hawkers, crying out their wares and prices to the normal passerby had stopped entirely and only a single voice rang out... He walked over to listen, picking up his swords from their place by the bed as he went.

    "Hear me, people of Blackrock!
    Earlier today, a group of scouts returned from their patrol, bringing grave news! A large Brionian army has been spotted marching towards the city!
    All citizens and visitors are recommended to stay inside the walls, as there are undoubtedly enemy scouts and slavers attempting to enslave or kill anyone not of their empire..."

    The orc continued on but Varn had no need to listen... he already knew the procedure. The orcs would call for volunteers from the various peoples that inhabit their peaceful little city, and many would answer the call. Not that most would know enough basics to know that the pointy end of their weapon points towards the enemy... They needed proper fighters. And he had the supply for the demand. A small smile graced his face before he wiped it away, taking on the stern look he reserves for ordering his men.

    He straps his armor into place and puts his belt around his waist, sliding his swords into place as he does so, and then heads out the door. His armored boots crash against the floorboards of his compounds second story, alerting the men and women below that their commander is awake. His fist smacks against each door as he goes, hopefully rousing his various commanders from their sleep.

    "Alright you lot! Wake UP! There's work to be done and Brionans to kill!"

    Varn's deep voice rebounds down the halls and he can hear a small cheer from down the stairs. He knew that would get his peoples attention like nothing else. Each and every one of them had a bone to pick with Briona, and now those who had mist out on the Red Hands famous border skirting battles would finally get their chance to stick it to the empire. A small fire lit in the palm of his hands and he smiled... a dangerous smile... a hungry smile.
  5. Regina woke to the sound of Varn's heavy boots hitting the ground. "Go back to bed!" It was a joke, but she wasn't entirely joking. She sat up with a groan, rubbing the weariness out of her eyes, only to hear the boom of his voice shortly after "Alright you lot! Wake UP! There's work to be done and Brionans to kill!" And then shortly after that, she heard the wallop of his fist against her door. "Loud enough?!" Regina could easily be the loudest in the house, but always came second in a shouting contest with Varn. She swung her legs over herself, and stood, back cracking.

    'I shouldn't have spent the entire night flirtin' with the rookies...' Which she did often, it was her own way of testing them, see if they could handle taking orders from a women. Most of them were happy to listen, but she had to beat one of them into submission. He gave a good fight, best arm wrestle she had in months. Took guts to stand up to her like that, 'and guts is what we need.'

    She turned to the back of the room, and began to remove her armor from the wall. She strapped the set on, piece by piece, taking her time. Because she knew, that one day she might never be able to do this again. It scared her to think that one day you could be a living, breathing, living person. And the next a hunk of cold, dead meat.

    Finally, she strapped on her cloak, which always brought a smile to her face. Maybe she should stop correcting people that its a sun, and just go with a daisy. 'But wheres the fun in that?' She left her helmet as always, but why she kept it around she didn't know. 'Luck? Sure. What was luck? An excuse for doing something that shouldn't have happened.' Having strapped her shield to her back, she slid her sword into its scabbard and turned toward the door, and made a mental note.

    Today, no matter what, she was going to beat Varn in everything if she could. Especially the usual morning annoyance. With that thought, she slammed open the door of her room, thankful she was on the opposite side of Varns, and farthest from the stairs. "You heard the capn'! Put your ponies back where they belong and get out here!" Chanting her usual string of insults, began to set forward on waking the Red Hand.
  6. Upon the mighty stone wall, an outstanding member of the guard looked over the Dal-Malgoor plains, outstanding due to his pink and not green skin colour. He had seen the courier, the harbinger, make way for town; he knew it meant trouble, for it had happened -too often- before. An inaudible sigh escaped his lips as memories of battles past rushed through his mind. Many people had died, many more will, but on the other hand, many had been saved by the brave people that volunteer to protect the city.

    After a short prayer for the fallen, Belros reached for his sword, then strapped it to his back. As he was on duty, Belros already had his armour on; a thick hunk of metal, protecting his upper body, some shin guards and a helmet is all the half-orc needs. He looked over the plains again, until a breeze came over him, and he made his way down the wall, towards his colleague. A speech, much like the ones before it, the usual thing. "Hey, Zogork. Another assault, then? They just never give up, do they? Honestly, when is it enough for those people? If I should even call them people." He said annoyed, knowing well that he's a human, but the Brionians aren't. They're monsters.

    "OH YEAH! I'm so ready to kill me some Orcs!" A tall and outstanding soldier yelled. He wasn't walking in line with the rest, and most of the commanding officers had given up trying to discipline him and the many soldiers walking in troops knew better than to report his disobedience, they didn't want to be thrown at the enemy like the last guy.

    Beltiln turned around to face his dwarven friend, who did march neatly with the others. Walking backwards, the berserker addressed the dwarf. "And if I see any traitors, I'll stab them in the back, just like they did to Briona." His giant fist slammed against his chest, a sign of respect for his home. "Damn right, they deserve no less punishment fer sidin' with the foul greenskins." Jarvig said in response.
    #6 Majem, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  7. Viortu had been awake for a while already. She preferred the city pre-dawn, it was quieter and easier to commune with the immortal souls of her ancestors without distractions from the mortal plane. That, and the helpers they had hired were hopeless at making breakfast without her down there to supervise them. Like a mother with a whole herd of ornery children, she always wound up bearing responsibility for meals, and in truth she didn't mind it much anymore.
    The announcement from the square had drifted in through the open kitchen windows without comment, but when Varn announced their participation, her instincts kicked in. "And ain't none of you doing any workin' or killin' with no food in your bellies!" She shouted up the stairs, ringing the meal bell. "That goes double for you, Regina, and triple for Varn! I want to see your butts in chairs and some empty plates outta you two before you go runnin' off without breakfast again!"
    And so help her ancestor spirits if anyone had been procrastinating with getting their charms renewed, since she had no time today to be sewing up new talismans against harm. They were supposed to see her about new ones as soon as the old ones ran out, but if she knew the Red Hand, someone would have been lazy about getting it done and making her day harder. She had quite enough to do that day without adding the headache of expired enchantment work to her list of tasks.
    "If you get down here too late and the bacon is run out, I don't wanna hear about it!" the shaman added after a moment, grinning. Nothing drew in a fighting crowd like the siren's call of bacon.


    "The glory of battle is in the knowledge that your side is just, not that the other side is unjust," Ser Ector reminded Beltiln as he rode by, reigning in his horse to ride beside the two men for a moment. He rode, as befitted an officer, but was not afraid to strike up conversation with those who were not. "We are as the fury of god. There is no grey area. There are no lukewarm angels. All who did not stand with us will be cleansed by purifying fire."
    He was a fierce man, but it was the certainty in his voice that was fiercer still. He simply did not have self-doubt, and wouldn't have known what to do with it if he did. To commander Aquila, the world was not even black and white. It was light and whatever had yet to be illuminated. To ask a man who has never doubted to contemplate others' doubt was nothing more or less than a complete waste of time.
    "It is good to be fierce, but a wise soldier or knight tempers ferocity with tenacity. Whether in the first hour you slay six or sixty matters not, what matters is when the bodies are counted, our pyres must not burn so high as theirs," he added with a slightly cruel smile of his own. "And if by slaying six or sixty you add your body to the stack, it is best to kill and be killed than never to war at all."
  8. Warlord Hargosh walked out of his fortress, to the training grounds, to check on the recruitment. He knew his officers had preferred if he stayed inside, planning along with them, but he knew better. A leader sitting safely behind thick walls, sending soldiers forth against the enemy could not inspire the troops! That type of lord would never charge first, rousing his men into a frenzy. That kind of leader would only pick up his own weapon as a last resort.
    No, Hargosh was a true Orcish leader! He wanted to be in the thick of it! To slay the most enemies! To show his men how it was done! Even just showing himself among the men as they signed up was something he felt he needed to do!

    As he arrived, he was pleased to see a small gathering already signing up. Most of them Orcs, of course, but it seemed quite a few others had started to show up as well! He spotted Zenobia walking among the tables, making sure everything was going as it was supposed to, so he marched over to her, each step he made creating quite the thump, quickly pulling the attention towards the giant Warlord.

    "Report, Zenobia. There has been no trouble, has it? The men and women of Blackrock are working for the greater good, are they not?"
  9. Belros turned towards the familiar thumping sound the warlord made due to his eccentric, eye-catching and quite bulky armour. Though probably going unnoticed, the half-orc saluted the warlord anyway, old guard habit to salute higher-ranking individuals just wouldn't go away, even off-duty you'd see him do it. Curious about the report, though, Belros got a little closer to the warlord, trying to get a better hearing. Even if it wasn't a secret, he'd rather be sure he heard it good.


    "Yessiree, just, we be just. Those dirty things hafta be purged." "Ooh yeah! And there's no point in surviving longer than an hour by slaying 6 if you'll be overrun in the next hour. I'd rather have these wimps slay sixty orcs, then add their own body to the pile." The two spoke, seemingly thinking the same. Jarvig chuckled for a moment, then continued. "He be a bit hot-headed, but he's right. No matter the strategy yeh start with, in the end it becomes a battlefield. And a battlefield be a battlefield." "And a battlefield's abouting slaughtering so that your comrades don't get slaughtered!" "Like that guy yeh threw at the enemy?" "He messed with me and payed the price! Besides, you should'a seen the look on their faces! Hah!" Beltiln began laugh heartidly, while Jarvig sighed and shook his head slowly.
  10. Varn was forced to cringe a little as Vio's voice echoed up the stairs, likely waking more with its promise of food than even his own intense shouting... But he'd be damned if he let this sorry lot have all of her best morning meal. His boots clanked loudly as he rushed down the stairs, the bang of opening doors from the floor he had so recently vacated following him down as men and women tumbled from bed, lest someone else grab their share of the breakfast.

    He barreled into the dining hall and skidded to a halt, straightening up and fixing his armor so that he would look composed and calm before walking on into the kitchen and grabbing himself a fair heap of bacon and eggs... Before he walked out he gave Viortu a small wink and a smile, thanking her for her help. After a moment he took his place at the head of the table and began to eat slowly as his men filed in behind him... most were only half dressed from their rush to get down the stairs and he had to suppress a chuckle so that he could give them a stern glare, admonishing them for not being suited up and ready to head out.

    "Eat well... We might not be home in time for lunch."

    That got him a dark chuckle from his men... many had heard his earlier statement about the Brionans, and there were mixed feelings all around. Some were hungry for their revenge... for a real battle against the bastards at last... but some were merely nervous that the city would not be able to hold out... Varn didn't particularly care either way... He would keep them all safe, no matter what he had to do... But he was forced to admit that the idea of giving the Brionans a poke in the eye was looking rather good to him...
  11. Regina was down the stairs in under a minute when she heard Viortu's claim of bacon. She didn't all to care for the bacon, but it was the Orcs cooking that she was racing for. Easily pushing past and quickly grabbing a thick leg of... Something. 'But damn did it taste good.'

    The Red Hand were obviously awake, the once quite inn house was now as noisy as a war field. Which reminded her, so she grabbed another leg on her way to her table, and began to stuff her face. She had to be ready, it was clear they were going to war, so she had to let nothing hold her back.
  12. It didn't take too long for a group to start forming soon after Zenobia had arrived at the fortress. There were a variety of races and of which appeared a little too young to attend. Zenobia parted the crowd as she strode her way towards the young Orc. Kneeling down to look at him at eye level she said, "What are you doing here, young one?" her face was still but there was still kindness in the way she looked at him. The boy looked at her with awe as he couldn't believe Commander Darksteel was talking to HIM of all Orcs but he quickly yet clumsily regained his composure, "I'm here to join the war for father and my family!" he said rather loudly while saluting her. Zenobia stood up as she gave out a hearty laugh. Her eyes smiled down on him, "What is your name, little soldier?" she asked with a tone of amusement. The boy was about to reply but a much bigger figure over shadowed the boy and cut into the conversation, "Azuk Blackwind," said a deep voice. Zenobia's eyes left the boy's and looked into the cold stare of, "Veteran Orok Blackwind," she said stiffly. Orok nodded at Zenobia, "Commander Darksteel, I'm afraid too many battles have finally broken me down," he said while leaning against his walking staff, "and my eldest sons, as you know, all died in battle. I've brought the last of my son's here to represent our family. Us Blackwinds have always defended Blackrock with great honor and my son here will too. His duty is to represent me and my dead sons and bring back honor to the Blackwinds," Orok Blackwind then patted his son hard on the shoulder. Zenobia glared at him, "Veteran Blackwind, you know the rule, there are to be no elderly and younglings at war and you're son is not near of age," she said in a steely tone. Orok Blackwind was known for his quick temper and it was quite clear that he didn't like what Zenobia had said. "I am his father and I should be able to make the decision!" he yelled at her stone cold face. Zenobia grabbed hold of his shirt and pulled him in close which made Orok cry out in surprise, "Don't be an idiot," she growled in his ear and tried her best to keep her voice low so as to not attract any more attention from the rest of the crowd, "if something were to happen to the Blackrock army then your son, along with the rest of his generation, will rebuild Blackrock. The young ones need to stay safe and protected...they are our future," Zenobia had finally let go of him roughly that it almost knocked him down. Azuk too afraid to stand in between them had frozen solid without any words. Veteran Blackwind finally understood that there was no chance to get his twelve year old son through and so grudgingly turned and escorted himself out while Azuk followed like a lost pup. Zenobia growled out loud and bellowed out, "You all know that the elders and the YOUNG ONES are to not step foot in battle! You KNOW that!" and quickly walked back to her spot where she stood, with much heated frustration, to keep an eye on everyone. Clearly she wasn't in the best of moods anymore but that clearly changed as soon as she heard the familiar footsteps of the Warlord.

    "Report, Zenobia. There has been no trouble, has it? The men and women of Blackrock are working for the greater good, are they not?"

    Zenobia saluted the Warlord and nodded, "Yes, Warlord, they are indeed..." she looked at him with great respect, "trust in our people, Warlord, that they will defend Blackrock with great strength and honor...for they trust that you will do the same, they know that you'll fight to the end" she said. Zenobia then lowered her voice for only the Warlord to hear, "How was the strategizing and planning with the rest of the officers? I usually don't have the patience being in there for too long. I'm afraid I might kill everyone just to shut them all up since there are too many chiefs and not enough indians. I know you know this but you have the final say and I support you in whatever decisions you make. You're an excellent strategist and have great battle instincts. I'm sure whatever YOU come up with will be the best course of action," Zenobia said confidently.
    #12 Grimoire, Aug 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013
  13. With the food service underway, Viortu went to get dressed. Her own morning meal consisted of sampling every dish as it was made; quality control and breakfast all in one. Her food was always good; if she didn't want to eat it she wouldn't force anyone else to, either. Officially they had hired helpers that were supposed to be the cooks, but in the end no one liked any of their recipes as much as hers and she had quickly gone back on kitchen duty, at least for breakfast and dinner.
    Still, her main job was to be Varn's left hand (the right hand sounded too oriented on combat, so she preferred left) and so she abandoned the kitchen for the call of her armor. Stiff leather and bronze chain mail made the bulk of the protection, but as a shaman her helmet was horned while the rest of her armor was adorned with claws and feathers. She made a ferocious sight, with her hatchet at one hip and dirk at another, carrying the steel-capped staff that had served her so well.
    "Got something for ya, Reg," She called as she passed the other woman, tossing Regina an amulet carved in the shape of a winged viper. "Just don't get it wet and it'll do ya great."
    She had a few others on hand, but she was only really concerned about distributing one other charm. Kicking another man out of the chair, she took her place at Varn's left. "Got something for you, too. Strength & protection," She declared proudly, plopping down a strange device made of a tiny turtle shell and a bundle of bear claws. "I fixed the issue the other ones had. This is ninety-nine percent effective and nearly odorless."
    "Nearly?" One of the other men sitting farther down the table jabbed.
    "Smells better than you," The Orc retorted. "Mind your own damn business."


    "The enemy cowers behind high walls," Their commander warned the men with a stern look. "Take care not to dash yourselves against them.
    "Their towers of lies are not to be toppled with the brutality of one man alone. Stand by your fellows in arms, and love them as brothers. The strength of many good men together will prove to the enemy why we are righteous. The fractious hordes within know not the solidarity of our legions. We have our humanity, men. That is why god smiles on us. Though the Orcs are fierce warriors, their souls are already aflame. Envy not their vicious nature, but let them envy that yours is not always so."
    Glancing ahead, he watched his soldiers watch for a moment, features stiff on the outside but inwardly proud. He was their one true commander, and they were all like sons to him. He would lead them to victory this time, as he always did... wouldn't he? He had been in leadership positions since he was but a boy, though this was his first time to lead a host so large single-handedly. In previous battles, other commanders had split his authority. Now, he commanded alone, and in spite of himself feared for the fate of his forces. He would not fail them, surely? He could not fail them.
  14. "How was the strategizing and planning with the rest of the officers? I usually don't have the patience being in there for too long. I'm afraid I might kill everyone just to shut them all up since there are too many chiefs and not enough indians. I know you know this but you have the final say and I support you in whatever decisions you make. You're an excellent strategist and have great battle instincts. I'm sure whatever YOU come up with will be the best course of action," Zenobia said confidently.

    "From what the scouts have said, and from what the sentries can see from the walls, it will be a hard fight. They outnumber us quite a bit, but one of them is nothing to one of us. We have the advantage of our walls, and being on the defensive. And as far as we can see, they don't have any proper siege weapons. So we can slay them as they advance on us, as they're at their most exposed going uphill, or attempting to scale the walls." The warlord told Zenobia, looking at her, before turning towards the young man standing withing earshot.
    "And I see not only the fullbloods of the Blackskulls are singing up. We would not have made it with just us, after all. What is your name, half-blood?" The warlord asked the young half-human, not a trace of disrespect for his family in his voice.
  15. Belros was caught off-guard a little by the Warlord addressing him, but remained in his stern position. "Belros Urthadar, Warlord. I am determined to defend my father's hometown, and the only place my mother ever felt welcomed." He let out a sigh. Not wanting to annoy the Warlord with anymore of his backstory, he only asked for his name, afterall. "Rest in peace, father." He thought to himself.


    Both the dwarf and the berserker decided to quietly march with the rest of the army now, they didn't like to think about what's about to come too much, since death will reign and despite their brash attitude, they are very well aware this might be where they find their end. Jarvig might never feel the glowing hot sparks emanating from his furnace, now handled by his nephew. And Beltiln might never see the Elven healer anymore. Nightmares to both men which, unfortunately, were very closely related to their favourite dreams.

    A low grumble interrupted the both's silent thoughts, a grumble coming from the dwarven stomach initiated a chain reaction to all the men marching across the plains. "Anyone else hungry?!" Beltiln's voice carried over the legions of men whose stomachs rumbled, then chuckled, as the answer was more than obvious. They had been marching for quite a while now, and an army marches on its stomach. "Hey, Sir. Think we might be eatin' soon?!" He yelled again, looking over at the man riding his horse.
  16. Varn gave Viortu a small smile, shaking his head in wonder at her constant tinkering with new enchantments," That so Vio? Well lets hope this one doesn't backfire like the one you gave Joffrey last month... made his armor thin as paper." He chuckled a little as her cheeks flushed in annoyance... but another one of his men spoke up before she could.

    "Oi, Joffrey was a little shit anyways. I'm still hopin she did it on purpose."

    He turned to look down the table but couldn't tell exactly who it was... By the voice it had to be Rob, but still... He shook his head and decided he would let it slide... Because he wholly agreed with the man in this instance. After a moment he laughed and looked back to Viortu," Aye, he has the truth of it. Joffrey was more pain than he was worth... Well done ridding us of him." Varn flashed a mischievous smile," I'll have to remember to reward you for it later... not to mention the new charm as well." The men openly laughed at that, all of them happy for the little distraction of their leaders constant back and forth...

    All of them were aware of the battle that was coming, but still they laughed... Because this was the Red Hand, and they had fought through worse situations time and time again. And this was not different. Varn's eyes shone with a small glint of pride as he looked them over, before turning to address his commanders," Alright Vio, Regina... The rest of you lot. Time to get yer buts in gear. Were goin tae visit the warlord." He stood, gesturing for those on cooking duty to clean up the table, and walked out, trusting that his two commanders and designated captains would follow along.
  17. "We'll not stop until we have sight of the city," Their commander returned, shaking his head. "No point in stopping within striking distance. We'll stay where we can watch the doors of their city and make sure they do not try to turn the tables on us. That having been said it would be in poor taste, all humor intended, to send you in without supper. We'll have our meal and prayers whilst the engineers assemble our siege equipment. Make your peace with god before the battle, men, and he'll not take you to settle the issue."


    "What, you wouldn't be rewarding me anyway? Besides, that paper thin charm came in handy for some things..." Viortu returned, grinning at him mischievously. The men never seemed to mind their relationship- if anything, it put them at ease to know their commanders were also only human (well, in a way) who fought, lived, and loved as they did. In a mercenary company, everyone was in everyone else's business. A leader wasn't some half-mythical figure who maintained a tight cloak of mystique, no, in the Red Hand they all got drunk and danced together, all walked the same trails and bathed in the same rivers. They were all just mortals, and all fairly close to one another. It was all the family a good number of them had.

    "And my butt, as you know, is always in gear," The young shaman-in-training added after a moment, standing to follow him. "Let's go squeeze some gold from a stone, eh?"
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