Hidden 4 mos ago 1 mo ago Post by Inertia
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Inertia Pretty Lackadaisical

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The nights sleep was comfortable- well more comfortable than average. Acrius' body usually woke itself up at 4:00 AM as part of his daily training and internal body clock. However a shadowy figure slunk into his room five minutes before he would usually wake. The creaking door had already woken him up; being a heavy sleeper in his line of work was a death sentence. Soon a figure stood on his bedding and he heard the sound of a bow being drawn. Acrius was getting ready to take down the would be assailant but he recognized the figure after opening his left eye slightly.

It was Celeste Roesche. A figure that's been bothering him for awhile now. "Celeste what in the godsdamned hell are you doing in my quarters," Acrius asked, his voice still deep and croaky from being awoken early, "Nevermind that. Who let you IN my room?"

The string was let loose and a padded arrow hit Acrius' chest. Air escaped his lungs as he tried to catch his breath. Celeste seemed pleased with herself.

"Acrius!" She jumped down and enclosed Acrius into a hug, "I've come with Sergeant whats-his-name to assist Bergkoff. Have ya gotten fat?"

Acrius' eyes bore down on Celeste as he got up with her clinging onto him like a koala. Though he didn't notice, it seemed that the girl was also taking in his scent in. The reason for her infatuation stemmed from the past; A younger Acrius saved her family and her caravan from bandits. The oranged-eyed swordsman was 15 at the time and was passing by on foot to another town. Three bandits were in the process of robbing and threatening Celeste's family. Acrius couldn't stand to hear Celeste's and her brother's cries and intervened.

The three bandits were simple cutthroats and easily fell to Acrius' blade. It was also his first time fighting versus a group of people as opposed to simple one-on-ones. It was a valuable learning experience, at least. The Roesche family was eternally grateful. Acrius began walking away; he didn't expect any reward as he did it of his own volition. The family was appalled and insisted on letting him ride with them to the city and even offered him accommodations for the duration of his stay. It seemed that they were a smaller noble family. Recently, the Roesche family have built up and consolidated their power thanks to the wit and smarts of Celeste's brother- Robert Roesche. Though when asked, Acrius would simply think they were some noble family. It wouldn't be a stretch to call them one of the bigger noble houses of the empire now.

If Acrius had to guess she probably picklocked the door and snuck in. He was certain others weren't allowed into the private rooms. "Can you get off now." He continued, "Weren't you on the trail to find out my 'origins' or some such? Even when it's a fruitless endeavor."

"It isn't a fruitless endeavor-" Celeste stopped herself as she caught a whiff of an unknown fragrance on him and released the hug, "Wait this smell..."

Acrius stretched and began getting ready for his morning routine. "Probably from a girl I met during this campaign, Elizabeth," He said, "... Speaking of, women from this city are more forward and dangerous than those from the capital. One even exchanged rather uncomfortable pleasantries last night."

Celeste was used to Acrius' denseness and knew that he wasn't the type to be a playboy; he definitely wouldn't do anything to a girl. Still, the boy was catnip to women so it wouldn't have surprised her if the women here were more forceful than the capital. "What did this woman do?" She scoffed, "Kiss you or something?"

"I guess so," Acrius said simply, "I think that's what the action was called." He stepped out of the door and his eyes met a few guards who gave him ear-to-ear grins and nodded at him. He arched his brow, those same soldiers simply ignored him yesterday.

Celeste stayed in the room with a dumbfounded expression. Someone actually stole that idiots first. Who the hell was this woman?





Acrius got breakfast at the soldiers barracks and ate by himself. Food was one of his secret vices and he enjoyed a good meal. However he was also used to the horrid gruel and food served during marches. The food in Bergkoff was, atleast, decent so he could enjoy it to some degree. He didn't have an opinion about the noble meals, he was talking more of meals served to commoners.

Acrius did his normal morning routine after thirty minutes of letting the food settle. The routine itself was intense, it was devised by him; normally it would leave him winded and out of breath. However he thought it prudent to not get himself too tired on the day that he predicted would be a long and tiresome one. Afterwards he would prepare a bath by himself with the help of serving girl to wash off the gruel and dirt from yesterday.

Finally he would step into the room with the other royal guard and greeted them all by name. He silently listened to Leonidas' suggestions and Balthazar's ever in-depth analysis from his scouts. The more information the better, even Acrius knew information is important in war. If you had to ask him; it'd be best in the sewers for full on action for him or the north for the chance to test his mettle versus Orcs. "Full on melee on the sewers sounds fun- err, strategic. The orcs also seem a tantalizing option." Acrius said, "I will, however, go where Prince Leonidas commands."
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Fetzen
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Fetzen

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Manald suddenly made a gaping maw out of his mouth and gasped for air. That bucket of water had come in as quite a shock and forced his consciousness to come back to life in an instant. His heart was pounding and going very fast as he craned his neck and stared at Rudolph. Or at least he tried to stare since his optics were still configured for infinity and, quote obviously, refused to change much about that. The lycan blinked repeadetly in order to get the excess water off his eyeballs, but it took more than just one moment for his sight to become sharp again.

He heard another man speak up, addressing him by his full name including any titles, and... What ? His hearing, having been knocked out the day prior due to a cannon shot, now felt like being hypersensitive. The guard's voice sounded like that of a Banshee, loud and with some of the syllables being so high pitched that it almost hurt. Of course that wasn't true in reality, but reality was something Manald was just trying to get back into. So: Something about having to be in the keep in one hour ?

A quick thought about it later, Manald decided to get up. Maybe a little bit too fast for his still impaired sense of balance as Rudolph repeatedly found himself confronted with the lycan being on the verge of collapsing onto him. Only with one of his hands borrowing some additional stability from the tavern's wall behind him Manald's situation finally stabilized.

"Please tell me this is not true!" he muttered, more to himself than Rudolph initially but still clearly audible. One hour ? For eating, cleaning, getting dry again, dressing himself up properly and getting there ? Sounded like a rush. At least for someone who struggled with going in a straight line. "Alright, food. Let's go!" Manald detached from the wall the way someone learning swimming lets go of the wall and starts to float freely for the first time -- and he wobbled around pretty much the same.

A quite slow and for Manald perhaps a little embarassing bit of a walk later the two men found themselves in a more calm inn. Manald ordered a few slices of meat, raw meat, and some bread. The latter served a more decorative purpose than anything else as the lycan was not in the condition to answer many stupid questions asked by anonymous people. He got better slowly, but still the smell of liquor wasn't entirely gone from his breathing and neither were many items of his to-do list. Only half an hour left until the meeting...

It was a rather short breakfast because of that. Manald really would have liked to talk more, but given the current time constraints he and Rudolph would have to postpone that until... whatever would happen this day. He still needed to redress himself and then find the way of course. Berkhoff was not that a small place, so he'd have to rely on people giving him some hints in order to make fast progress.

---------------------------

Manald joined the strategy meeting a little late, so he tried to enter the room as silently as possible and nudged the massive door back into its closed position very gently. He had no interest in attracting a lot of attention right now. His clothes were fine again and so was his fur, but there still was that easily recognizable stench of beer emanating from his mouth with each of his breaths. He therefore tried to stay at a distance to the others and more to the corner of the room so hopefully nobody would notice.

Then it came to the question of where each of them should be placed. The day before Manald had not been able to do much more than to throw some stones and to linger around otherwise, so it felt like an open invitiation he just couldn't resist accepting: "I want to be where I can mess around with hostile intestines. Also, if I may suggest, we should prohibit every non-fighting citizen from having a good shit today. If the goblins manage to blow up the sewers I'd prefer that happening with as little poo as possible raining down upon us. Everybody got me ?"

That was right, right ? Manald's head ached still and, if he was honest, not all of his cognitive functionality felt like being in perfect order this morning...
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Pagemaster
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Naysein

"For the first time in nearly two thousand years, I have no path."



Goblins and Orcs. Tasteless, filthy, and utterly repugnant; more worthless and useless races she had rarely seen in her mortal lifetimes on this plane. What purpose did they serve? She had no idea, but she knew they could still kill her if she wasn't careful.

Now, as she knelt by the treeline running her eyes over their encampment she found herself wondering once again how she had come to this. A dragon, the greatest of the realms beasts, reduced to being worried about orcs and goblins who she would have once turned to ash without a second thought. Two goblins lay dead nearby, not a mark upon them, but blood leaked from their eyes and mouth to show poison had been at work here.

She licked her lips, she could still feel the oily film, that her breath weapon left behind when she used it. She had once forgotten about it and then watched in morbid fascination as a drunken male who had kissed her died in the mud with a bloody froth spilling from his lips. Since then she had done it more than a few times simply to amuse herself.

Light flared briefly to the right and she moved at once, darting across the open ground and into the first line of ragged shelters. Orcs, as she well knew, were easily blinded by light, even if briefly, and it was useful to move when one of them threw a log on their fires. She wasn't much taller than an orc herself and the ragged cloak she wore would serve to confuse anyone long enough for her to kill them.

She moved quickly through the encampment, her nose wrinkling at the stench of the open latrine pits; how orcs did not die of disease always amazed her. Most of the orcs and goblins here were asleep, or sharpening weapons, muttering away in their guttural language that she understood but would never bring herself to speak. Only once did she encounter a more alert sentry whose eyes widened in surprise when he saw her. He opened his mouth to give a shout and died as a scimitar slid from its scabbard, sliced once, and slid home again in one fluid movement. He was dead before he hit the ground.

The ground between the encampment and the city was largely cleared by the garrison to provide a killing ground for archers. She crossed it by crab walking a long ditch that was held in deeper shadow, her hood pulled low. An army or even a large scaling force would have certainly caused the goblins to notice but a single figure darting through the shadows was completely unremarkable.

The real problem came when she reached the moat. Reeds had grown tall here and the stagnant water almost smelled worse than the Orcish latrines. She looked up at the high walls and pondered her options before pulling out a small flute and playing a sharp tune. Within moments she saw the outline of a helmeted head appear at the edge of the crenellations. She couldn't see the eyes in the shadow but knew that they were probing the shadow. She caused a small light to flare in her hand, lighting up her face and the Imperial insignia she carried around her neck.

The face vanished and she could hear a muttered conference before a knotted rope sailed over the battlement. She caught it before it hit the water and then gave a sharp tug and leapt toward the moat. High above her strong hands heaved and she shot skyward without ever touching the water. Her feet flashed as she walked up the wall until the crenelations were beneath her hands and she stood in a gap between the stones. Two soldiers faced her with crossbows levelled, though they lowered them as soon as they saw she was clearly no orc or goblins.

"Thank you for the lift fellows. Lady Naysein, to see the Prince."

One bowed and gestured into the city. "Of course, follow me, lady."
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Borosev
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Rudolph occasionally helped the large man as he stumbled at first when they walked from the tavern. It wasn't too long before they entered a rather empty inn, and quickly found somewhere to sit.
Rudolph had something simple for his breakfast, compared to Manalds rather bestial choice.

The two men engaged in some minor chatter, but with not much time available, the two were unable to enjoy the company. Soon enough they had split directions, Manald went off to clean himself up, and Rudolph went back to the barracks in preparation for the drill.

--------

“Merik will go to the west gate. Merik requests the use of the confiscated supplies against the battering rams and more small wooden pillars to delay advance.” said Merik. "What pillars do you mean Sir Merik?" the Duke asked unsure, and oblivious to what the lizardman had used during the attacks on the previous day.

Shortly after, Zatana voiced her idea "Highness, if the orcs and goblins are going all out, perhaps it is a chance to slip behind them? See if we can discover more while they are looking elsewhere. Destroy their supplies perhaps, yes?" "An idea indeed." the Duke agreed.

Balthazar then spoke up, "Before we discuss that, I feel I should share my findings. Firstly, it appears more Goblins have arrived to reinforce the losses they took yesterday. In fact, it's quite likely that we will be dealing with more today than we did yesterday."

The Duke shook his head slightly, This will certainly get worse before it gets better he thought.

"Secondly, it appears our Dwarven allies are delayed. It appears the tunnels they used to move around in the area have been collapsed. It will take some time to clear them-- assuming nothing interferes with them, I expect them to do so within a few days, perhaps a week depending on the damage." Balthazar continued.

"Hopefully the tunnels collapsing is the only issue they are facing. Such an issue would be trivial to them." the Duke said to himself.

"Lastly, some of our scouts have managed to spot their camp. While surveying the area, they had spotted an unfamiliar figure within the Orcs. Reportedly, they appeared to be humanoid, but they were not Goblin or Orc. Although we have nothing to confirm such things, I would surmise that this figure is responsible for the advanced tactics of these invaders. I'd go as far as to say that they are the brains of the operation. If we can eliminate them, then their army will fall into disarray...Unfortunately for us, it appears their campsite is constantly on the move, likely in an effort to avoid such tactics. If you wish to look for information, I'd start there, and then perhaps move to track their whereabouts." Balthazar finished, as he turned his attention to Zatana.

Someone that is not an Orc or Goblin, but somehow has themnunder their sway? what sort of person could they be? the Duke thought and questioned to himself.

"However... it is a mission fraught with risk and danger. We should not overplay our hand, especially in a precarious position like this. I think you should stay here and help us repel the next wave, and await an opportunity to strike. Of course, if an opportunity to disrupt their supply lines presents itself... then by all means." the man then looked toward both the Prince and the Duke. "What do you think, Your Majesty? And you, Duke Karstilli?" asked Balthazar. The Duke remained in thought after hearing Balthazars news.

Acrius spoke up next, "Full on melee on the sewers sounds fun- err, strategic. The orcs also seem a tantalizing option. I will, however, go where Prince Leonidas commands."
"There will hopefully be no need as the tunnel has been sealed. I have sent a small squad to go and keep watch, however one cannot be too careful." the Duke admitted. "Of course, you and your comrades are free to choose wherever you feel you would be best suited."

"I want to be where I can mess around with hostile intestines. Also, if I may suggest, we should prohibit every non-fighting citizen from having a good shit today. If the goblins manage to blow up the sewers I'd prefer that happening with as little poo as possible raining down upon us. Everybody got me?" said Manald saying his piece. "Yes, well, it is noted." the Duke nodded awkwardly as he paid attention back toward the main point of the conversation.
One of my main concerns among the rest is how to deal with their siege equipment. They appear to be somewhat out of sight or range. We have catapults of our own, but they can reach only so far themselves. The Duke took another sip from his drink before turning to Balthazar. "Is there no more information you can provide about this individual who seems to be the puppeteer of this siege?"

----------

It was a tedious but necessary process that took nearly an hour to go through. Rudolph and many of the other sergeants had or were still reading out the names of the fifty or so soldiers on each of their registers. It was to help identify who and how many soldiers remained. Guards patrolling the walls and the other points of concern were excluded, and previously accounted for.

As Rudolph neared the end of his list, he saw from a distance the remaining captains as they exited the keep. "How is it coming along Sergeant Kestrell?" came the voice of Captain Helt.
Rudolph let out a small irritated sigh, and even some of the soldiers in the back of gathering rolled their eyes when they saw the captain approach.
"Alright so far sir. Almost all are accounted for on my list." he replied simply. He quickly scanned his list again, "Just short by about five men sir."

"I see." replied Helt as he viewed the men arrayed. "As you were sergeant." he nodded seemingly satisfied, and the man then wandered off down the road inspecting the rest of the gatherings. Rudolph briefly watched as the man walked away before turning away shaking his head. "Alright lads, dismissed for now. But standby for future orders." he announced saluting and watching the men as they dispersed.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Arthanus
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After listening to his guard Leonidas started to divide them out among the defenders. To the West he assigned Merik and it also seemed that Rodolph had been assigned the western gate as well and Merik was given the go ahead to use the explosive charges he requested. To the east Faira and Manald were sent to deal with those who dared climb the ladders. Up north was going to be Leonidas and Zatana to face off against the orcs themselves. And finally down in the sewers was Acrius placed somewhere where he could go a little wild if the enemy were able to smash the barricades that had been put in place. And Balthazar would remain in the war room assisting with troop redeployment and rotations.

---About an Hour later---

It was still early in the morning, a chilling breeze was in the air and a light drizzle started to fall. Leonidas stood on the wall Bow in had with a cauldron of arrows at one side his Warhammer leaned against the wall on the other. As he breathed you could see his breath hang in the air. "Don't you go running off on your own today. The orcs probably won't be as nice as the Goblins and run away from you." he said with a grin looking at Zatana. It was about this time that war horns started to sound in the distance and a massive chorus roars started to sound from the mountains. "Well, looks like its about time to start." And the attack came. Rocks flew from behind their cover aimed at the Northern and Western walls. Goblins flooded out rushing to assault the West and East walls and a green tide of orcs charged the North. As the forces rushed forward the cannons facing each side started to open fire. Leonidas started to sling arrows at the approaching Orcs trying to thin their numbers, but the green beasts were resilient most taking multiple arrows without even flinching.

---West Gate---



As the war horns blew goblins spilled forth rushing the gate. As the goblins approached it seemed they wanted to try the gate again, although in lesser numbers this time. Only three sappers rushed at the western gate in the initial charge but those three were quickly taken down by the focused fire of the guardsmen. With the failure of the sappers the battering ram started to emerge from its hiding spot. slowly making its way to the gate.

---East Gate---

The goblins rushing the eastern wall didn't waste any time at all their lead ranks rushing forward while carrying the siege ladders. There were about 20 ladders in total making their way to the walls, and the ladders seemed big enough that the goblins could climb them two at a time. To make things more difficult two massive armored war trolls were also deployed to this side, one wielding a massive hammer, the other a huge great axe. The trolls made their way to the gate forcing the defenders to split their focus between the ladders and the trolls.

---Sewers---

Things were quiet down in the sewers at the start. With each of the cannon shots above the sewers shook a little and the guardsmen below seemed a little shaken. And as the battle continued things were boring especially for Acrius. That was until there was a bit of a boom. The barricade that had been built to close the sewer entrance was blown apart by a goblin sapping team. As goblins started to race into the tunnel the guardsmen readied themselves.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Inertia
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Inertia Pretty Lackadaisical

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Acrius listened to his fellow guard's comments and preferences of which wall to defend. Their choices made sense given their dispositions. Leonidas would soon announce where each guard would go and he waited with bated breath; he was announced to head to the sewers and he internally cheered. It was entirely possible that he would be bored out of his mind and nothing interesting would happen in the sewers but he had a feeling that wouldn't be the case.

The sewer grate was pried open and the foul odour from under hit his nose. Luckily, it was something Acrius was fairly used to. He waited for the other guardsmen to drop into the sewer before he himself made his way into it. A guardsman greeted him with a rather ostentatious bow on the way in; he arched an eyebrow as he recalled who it was- Petyr, the hulking behemoth he had 'trained' with last night. The man looked stiff as a board and seemed to shake in his rather comically small armour.

"Ah, Petyr right?" Acrius greeted him with a pat on his shoulder, "Can't believe you've been assigned with little ol' me."

"Ah yes, sir!" Petyr replied formally, "Sergeant Geraldson told me after I asked and you're one of the royal guard?"

"Drop the sir, I'm not your officer and I'm just a commoner," Acrius replied, "I'll just apologize in advance."

"It actually is no worries, si- Acrius." Petyr replied, "The experience itself was... enlightening."

Acrius noticed that Petyr was shaking slightly. It seemed to be his first real battle. I know that we're strapped for soldiers but this seems risky for a first exposure. The orange-eyed boy thought idly. There was a real risk of him just freezing up if the situation does get horrible. He sighed internally as he decided to keep an eye out for the recruit. Acrius excused it as him feeling bad for Petyr croaking after all the wonderful teachings he gave him in their training session.

"One piece of advise from someone whose been through many battles," Acrius paused as if he was looking for the words, "... easier said than done but don't freeze up. Keep your legs and sword moving and you should be fine."

The siege would soon go underway as he said this. Petyr and many of the guardsmen seemed wracked by nerves. Acrius himself simply leaned back onto the wall and hummed one of his favorite bard tunes. He would glance over the guardsmen a few times and they seemed to get more and more stir-crazy; the contrast of the raging battle above versus the still sewers seemed to get to them. Petyr himself would come over and make idle chit-chat to pass the time and try to settle his nerves.

Acrius ears would prick as he heard the tell-tale sound of a fuse going off. The other guardsmen noticed him being alert and stiffened up even further as he drew his longsword.

"They're here~" Acrius said in a sing-songy tune. The officer screamed at the men to stand ready and draw their weapons as the explosion resounded through the hollow sewers.

"You Bergkoff men..." Acrius said, "You're not going to let some outsider outshine you... right? Don't let some nobody gladiator beat ya or is Bergkoff as disappointing as I thought it would be."

Though Acrius was rude about it, that was his version of a 'rousing speech'. Well, atleast that was his intention. At his words the men seemed more annoyed than nervous now and charged the goblins with renewed vigour. Good, it was better to be annoyed than nervous.

Acrius could finally have some fun. Gripping his throwing knives, from his rucksack, he threw them at three goblins charging at him. One of the knives would sink into one of the goblin's necks, the blood staining the murky waters below. The other two would deflect or block the knife as they continued their charge.

The first goblin's would strike vertically; it was a wild swing, untrained and bestial, and telegraphed. Acrius' short-sword would stab into the goblin's soft neck before his strike could even come downwards. The third goblin was unfazed; his strike came horizontally. He would kick the goblin's arm upwards, causing the stroke to become ineffective as it sailed sideways into the sewer walls. Following that motion he would bash the goblin's head with the pommel of his short-sword a few times and then deliver the killing stroke as it was dazed. The blood would splatter onto his face as he did this.

With his open hand he wiped his face with his gauntlet. Goblin blood is disgusting... How are the guardsmen doing?

The guardsmen seemed to be fairing just fine. They formed a small, tight circle. This formation should be nigh-impenetrable if they could stayed in formation- it was essentially a goblin shredder. Good. Acrius would find that he thought too soon as Petyr blindly broke formation. It seemed that he had killed a goblin and began mindlessly charging forward. His stature and strength easily bulldozed through the goblins but if this continued he would likely be surrounded soon.

"PETYR!" One of his fellow guardsmen said, "DON'T BREAK FORMATION!"

Acrius clicked his tongue as he rushed towards where Petyr ran off from. A goblin soon jumped onto his back and stabbed downwards- at his neck. His shoulderpads would save him but Petyr couldn't get the goblins off his back. Acrius soon arrived and stabbed the goblin from behind. He lifted and hefted the dead goblin off of Petyr's back and threw it at two charging goblins.

"You fucking idiot," Acrius reprimanded him loudly as he fought off the goblins at Petyr's back, "Keep your head clear, you're not allowed to blindly race at enemies, get the hell back to your formation."

"What about you, Acrius?" Petyr snapped back to reality, "How come you're not in formation with us?!"

"Get stronger than me before you say shite like that." Acrius spat back as he grinned, "No more backtalk, I'll cover you, run back to the formation."

Acrius would jump off a wall and tiger kick one goblin, the force pushed him back onto another goblin as they stumbled onto the floor. Petyr's slowly retreated with Acrius covering him.

Soon Petyr would meet back up with his fellow guardsmen. "Good, now stay," Acrius paused purposefully between words, "... if you want to make it out of this."

"With that said... I'll show you Bergkoff men what it means to be a royal guard." Acrius said as he thought up an excuse on the spot to let loose.

Acrius wasn't about to let some guardsmen best him in terms of kill count. He would redouble his effort after escorting Petyr back and sliced through the goblins with raw skill and finesse. Some of the guardsmen would notice that his movement and sword strokes were oddly mesmerizing. It was beautiful and elegant in its on way- very minuscule amounts of wasted movement and each stroke seemed to take a goblin's life. It appeared like he was zipping through the sewers.

The guardsmen themselves were no slouch. Their tight formations made it difficult for Goblins, with no warfare knowledge, to break and attack. Acrius surmised that the guardsmen would end with injuries at worst if they continued on the same.
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The war room had been filled with offerings of tentative ideas and suggestions. Which was reasonable, the Royal Guard was not your average gathering of soldiers. Their skills and weaknesses were as varied as the people, and not all for the better nor worse. Zatana paused in thought at that title she so carelessly had given herself. Was she truly some soldier now? Another person to line the ranks and bend her blade in service to the Empire of Man? Perhaps, it was the role she had been given to play after all. Spy, assassin those were terms she was more used to applying to herself. Theif was another, though she tried not to get so connected with that particular one. An old habit that if she was smart, would be curbed shortly. Though, Zatana could not bring herself to stop. Always it was just one more pocket, one more sleight of hand, just a little pinch here and there and she would move on. No one would be the wiser. Who would suspect a Royal Guard? Even one of the dark elves if she bore the seal of their Prince, when she wanted to show it. Though she considered the backlash of Bergkoff finding out her less than pleasant heritage, word would spread and that would cause problems. Drawing more trouble to herself and the Prince would do nothing but put her entire operation into jeopardy. Something Zatana was loath to do. Failure was not acceptable among the dark elves.

Waiting as she was with her thoughts, she was pulled away by a grinning voice of the man beside her. Arching a darkened brow, Zatana glowered at the heir to the Empire as he grinned like he had made the best joke of the day. "I shall just throw you down upon the ladders. The weight of such armor and prestige shall crush them. It is the wise ones who run from me. I use what weapons I have at hand." She muttered under her breath thankful for the mask, her cheeks slightly molten by what she took as telling off from a superior. Something she had done enough to herself! Changing the topic she strung her bow and nocked an arrow from the cauldron of them. "They are tough in the hide, Your Highness, yet they still shall die." She noted in a far more audible voice, as she picked and chose her shots with some care. While the orcs created larger targets than the goblins, they were not so easy to go down. It was just as well, their throats and eyes were what Zatana aimed for and her mark was found just as often as it was missed and body shots were had. Orcs were large targets and she was trying for a very particular place. Her sharp eyes were also distracted by looking for any stray missle that grew too near the Prince and to intercept it or move the royal young man out of its way. It would not do for a stray strike to take down the reason she was in the Empire of Man.
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Naysein




Humans... She has to resist the urge to duck as she walked through some of the lower doorways. It was something she had never quite got over, the memory of how large she was in her true form and how she would have had to jam her head through the opening to blast those hiding within. The walls seemed close, even here, and she resisted the urge to touch the stone. The Imperial Palace was at least large and open, a space that anyone could find inviting. Her own nest had, no was, large enough to fit her comfortably. It had once been a palace for an Elven King who had died before she was hatched; a maze of finely carved rooms, rose shrouded pathways and thousands of arches that opened onto mountains cut deep with a thousand rivers; her home. A far cry from human settlements with all their closed in living spaces and echoing stone hallways.

Her senses, barely dulled by her mortal form, were working overtime as she followed the soldier through the long corridors and up narrow stairs. She could smell him, the slightly gamey odour of a man in armour, the sausage and eggs that had been cooked for breakfast, wood smoke, the smell of thousands of folk crammed together, and above it, the sharp smell of a fresh storm. It was the same smell she herself would have made once upon a time after blasting a foe with lightening. A ripple of sorrow coursed through her as she thought of it and she pushed the memory down. Now was not the time.

"In here, lady." The soldier nodded to a door on his right, a big wooden double leaf reinforced with iron. It would be a beast to try and break down, and they were already deep into the heart of the citadel. She nodded her thanks to soldier who was already hurrying back toward the wall with a clanking urgency that reminded her of a knight who had tried running from her back when she a youngling. She smiled to herself and stepped into the room.

It was largely empty now save for several pages, a noble she did now know and, framed by the rooms only window and hunched over the lone table, was the tall lanky form of the Keeper of Secrets. The room was warmed by a smouldering fire and several torches that cast flickering light over the impassive faces of its occupants, all of which swivelled to look at her as she strode in. The ragged cloak she had worn to penetrate the enemy lines was gone and replaced with a simple blue-black that curled around her ankles and hugged her form. Scimitars jutted over either shoulder and her fiddle case was strapped beneath the cloak - giving her an hunchbacked appearance.

Well, well... She had known Balthazar was going to be present but had hoped to find the Prince before the older man. She had a grudging respect for humans in general, but quite specifically for this man. The ability of humans to learn and master immense skills and talents in their short lifetimes was impressive and Balthazar had exceeded that of most in even less time.

"My Lord Trevarthen." She stopped, placed a hand on her chest and inclined her head. The grey head came up and steel grey eyes stared into brilliant blue as they regarded each other across the table.

Balthazar stared at the half-elf as she entered, raising a single eyebrow as she drew close. She had been around longer than he had, and yet, she was as young as ever. Once, she was the part of the previous Empress' handmaidens, and then she was a part of the current Empress' guard. The Empress had died in childbirth, but her son, Leonidas, lives on. This girl was there too-- having educated the Young Prince on the arts. It was no exaggeration to say that Balthazar had known this woman for most of his life.

"Naysein." He returned the nod, as he stared into her eyes, the faintest hint of a smile on his face. The warlock had not seen her in months, and meeting an old friend again put him at ease. "...I was not informed of your arrival." Balthazar did not enjoy surprises, but this one was... pleasant, by all accounts. "What brings you here? A message from the Emperor?"

"I will admit I did not send word. I slipped through the orcish lines not an hour ago." She allowed a smile to flow onto her own face. She liked this man, more than most mortals, and wondered what a pair they might have made had no secrets of her own to keep. "It is good to see you though. I have finally managed to convince his imperial highness to release me to serve the prince once again."

"...So I see. I will not turn away your aid-- we are much better off with you at our side." Balthazar echoed the same sentiment to her, though he did not say it. He knew that she kept secrets that even he did not know of, but so long as they aligned with the goals of the Empire, then he felt no need to take action.

Besides... it would be a shame to be rid of one of the few people he could truly say he trusted.

Remembering his decorum, the spymaster turned to the other man in the room. "...Duke Karstilli, I would to introduce you to Naysein. She was part of the old Queensguard before I was even born." Balthazar gestured to her, before continuing. "Her skills and talents will be useful in the times to come."

She bowed, hand on chest, to the Duke who gave her a curt nod and returned to his work. She did not mind. Being largely dismissed by folk had its uses. "I suspect this promised battle is likely more important than a reunion, we can do that later," A promising smile touched her lips. "Where can I best be of use, m'lord?"

He simply nodded at that. "Of course." Balthazar then gestured to the map of the city and the region surrounding it. There were pieces on the board that represented the forces of both sides: red for the attackers, and blue for the defenders. There were also other pieces that represented other things, such as a block of wood to detail siege weaponry, or a smaller blue token to represent a member of the Royal Guard.

"There are siege ladders to the east, Orcs to the north, battering rams to the west, and sappers in the city's sewer systems." He explained concisely, pointing to each token as he did so. "The north is where the fighting is heaviest. It is also where you will find Prince Leonidas-- I recommend you report to him and lend him your assistance." Balthazar was certain the Prince would appreciate it, and moreover, Naysein could watch over him in his absence. It was unlikely Zatana would make any moves against the royal scion, but he was more concerned that Leonidas would do something equally rash as his Drow Companion did yesterday.

"...any questions?" He raised an eyebrow. This question was mostly made out of formality, rather than any real doubts to her ability. After all, if anyone could watch over the Prince, it would be his mentor during his youth.

"None at all, my lord. I am, as always, impressed by your preparation." She was conscious of the pages boys gaze upon her now that they realized she was someone of importance - an attractive someone at that. "I will seek out the prince at once and lend what meager aid I can." There would be time enough later to ask Balthazar more questions but she had always enjoyed the trust that existed between them. It was a nice thing to have after so many years alone.

"If you require me, or my services, send one of these handsome young lads to find me." She offered them all a final smile and a bow before turning and making her way out of the room, hips swaying ever so slightly.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Borosev
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It didn't take long before orders were given out. Rudolph would be stationed on the western wall with Merik again. A couple of hours later, and the green-skinned horde finally poured our from their holes.

Rudolph accepted that they were testing the defences the other day, so then they must be coming in full force this time. For the first few minutes in the attack, the defenders had little issue and fairly easily cut down the approaching goblins with sustained arrow volleys and rifle-fire.
The defenders only suffered minimal casualties from the opposing ranged units so far.

"Watch out!" a soldier yelled, Rudolph turned toward the voice's direction and quickly realised for its reason, the orcs had begun their artillary barrage and sent two boulders their way. One boulder flew over the wall and landed in the city below, but the other smashed into a catapult atop a tower.

Soon after, the greenskins stormed from their lines with a battering ram. Rudolph stood up and realised this soon enough, "Take that thing out!" he ordered before turning toward the troops below down behind the gate, "Brace the gates, we have incoming!" he yelled down. The soldiers began placing wooden posts to keep it set in place, and then set up some barricades soon after.

Another sergeant stationed on the otherside of the wall ordered the catapult on their sides tower to open fire upon the ram, the first shot missed, but the second one made contact, it was only slowed temporarily however. Rudolph took up a position on the wall and aimed his rifle at the ram, he took his time and picked his target out. With an exhale, he fired. The shot hit one of the ropes that kept the armour in place, some of the wooden planks and iron plates slid off revealing some of the pilots beneath.

"Focus fire on the ram! kill the bastards pushing the thing!" Rudolph ordered as he reloaded. He quickly scanned the situation along the wall. Further down, he could see Merik making himself useful, "How're you faring lad!?" he asked.
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Faira looked over the battlements as the day was still young. She leaned on the wall, and said nothing to her companions. She quite agreed with her placement here, and Manald's as well. A great deal of extra strength would be needed to dislodge any ladders that found the wall. Her armor was in its loosened state, ready for her muscles to expand when she let the blood heat flow.

Suddenly, Faira stood up fully, her hands planted on the wall as she looked out to the east.

"They come. Ladders and... gods damned trolls!"

She couldn't do much but watch as they approached. She commanded that the rifles focus their fire on the trolls, as she trusted that the ladders could be dealt with in their turn. They had prepared for a scaling attack, but nobody had made any real consideration for defending the gate.

When the first ladder arrived, Faira, having watched its path, was already in position. Her muscles bulged as she let her magic flow through her body. Immediately, she began to sweat, and her hot breath hung thickly in the air. She grabbed the ladder, and simply pushed it away. The ladder tumbled backwards, landing heavily on a few goblins in its path. The remaining goblins, however, were undeterred and began to right it again. What's more, the next ladder that went up was braced more heavily, so that it was quite immovable and Faira was forced to content herself with drawing her sword and beheading any goblin that showed its face above the wall.

When she had a clear moment, she drew her dagger, and slid the blade along her wrist, leaving a small cut. Her blood activated the magic in the weapon, and it quickly began to glow as if she had pulled it from a forge. Faira thrust the dagger, halfway up the blade, into the wood of the ladder, which quickly caught fire itself, and began to burn. She moved to the next ladder to repeat this while the spell still held, her soldiers were meanwhile working with axes to splinter the ladders so that they could not be easily braced on the wall.

"Manald!" She called suddenly, looking down into the mass of foes. The trolls had been slowed by the peppering of lead from the rifles, but they were far from stopped, and had nearly made it. "We need to do something about those trolls!"
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Fetzen
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"I know!" Manald replied, having to halfway yell at Faira in order to overcome the ubiquitous sound of firearms, arrows, arms and armor. It was an environment that would do no good to his ears, that was for sure. If they'd survive this day he'd likely end up with one hell of an headache and a ringing tone that only existed in his sensation.

So far the lycanthrope had decided not to transform. It was a trait that could only be maintained for so long and thus an asset not to be wasted like the day before. Manald knew that his use on the wall was somewhat limited due to the necessity to use ranged weapons. However, now that the first siege ladders were put into place and the goblins started to reach the top of the wall here and there, this was about to change.

"Give me a moment, and then try to keep the green critters away from me!"

Having said this not only to Faira, but addressing all of the soliders around them as well, Manald did not retreat into some closed room where nobody could see him. Instead he merely stepped as far back as he could before starting to shift, so from down below he could probably not be seen anymore. The intent was to reappear with the element of surprise on his side.

"Don't destroy that ladder! I need it!" he added with an already distorted voice, the arm he used to point at the object in question already bulging and being overgrown with even more hair. He put off his set or armor pretty much at the last moment possible before it would have become jammed around his growing body and subsequently burst. A brief moment followed where the transformation reached its climax and every soldier would be able to see Manald naked while he couldn't do anything. Then, somewhat crouching so not to reveal himself to the trolls and goblins openly, he put on his other leather armor as fast as possible.

With a loud, smacking sound, Manald's claws dug into the throat of the goblin that had just reached the top of the ladder. Blood was pouring out of it and moments later the body was clearly devoid of life. Good. Manald knew he had not much experience in handling a sword, but even an idiot could use a club... And every bit of metal and other armor on that dead goblin now would only make it more useful for wiping its successors on the ladder off the latter.

The wood made more than one cracking sound as Manald climbed it from above. That thing was designed for green critters, not for him in his current state. However, as long as it would hold together somehow until he was down far enough to jump everything would be fine. He now held the dead goblin at one of its ankles, trying to get as much range out of his makeshift weapon as possible before thrashing those who continued to climb upwards as he came downwards.

Whether this would work out as planned ? Of course Manald couldn't tell for sure, but only hope. Unlike certain drows he had no magical ability to just disapper and reappear on top of the wall again, but maybe the soldiers there would be able to help him clear a way towards the first of the trolls. They simply could not be allowed to reach the gate and do their work. At least Manald now was at least as monstrous as they were, if not even worse.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by ReusableSword
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Merik Roak



Merik nodded towards the human leader of the city when he asked about the wooden poles, “The sharp ones at the gates.” He didn’t really care if the man understood the lizard man just waited and listened to what the others were saying. All good points in their own right, the information about their leader was interesting almost as interesting as the proposition to strike them beyond the walls. “Merik would also like to go over wall if possible, but later defend wall first.” Merik listened to the rest of the conversation until he was told where to go and with who. When it was time to leave Merik smiled and gripped Acrius’s shoulder, “If you die Merik will honor you with eating your heart.” The prince said he needed to work on his farewells so hopefully this was right.

The west wall was abuzz with activity. Humans in armor moving wood and supplies to the gate and wall. The explosives that Merik had received from what was left from the tunnels where secured on his person. He knew what he was going to do with them but depending on how powerful they were his plan could backfire. A chance he was willing to take, if the orcs breached this wall he would become the wall.

Rudolf looked rather busy ordering around the soldiers who seemed to be busy. Merik stayed in front of the gate assisting the other men with setting up the timbers to the weakened gate. Then when they started setting up the barricades Merik had them set them up a few feet back from where they were. This would allow him to use his full sword arc around him without hitting the stone walls of the gate or the wooden barricades. He was well aware that it was time to begin when the first stone made it over the wall.

Merik could see some soldiers preparing a cauldron of a black viscous liquid known to him as tar. The humans used it to seal their homes from the rain but he also knew it to be used as a defense against invaders and it was flammable. The large lizard made his way to the pot where a man was stirring it, “Ready?” the commoner seemed startled by his appearance and just nodded. “Good. Bring me torch.” Picking up the medium sized pot would have been a job for two humans but the beast was able to take it up himself straight to the top of the gate and set it down. Quickly he took out the explosives and set them next to him.

He was crouching and looking out toward the mass of enemy’s coming toward them. The ram was his target, he would wait here until it was under him then pour the tar, drop the explosives, and then the torch. Combined it should set the ram alight and hopefully disable it making another burning blocked entrance for the enemy’s. “Merik is fine, how is Ruduf?” Merik called out while taking the torch from the man that brought it to him.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Hawthorne
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North Gate

Leonidas and Zatana's continuous barrage of arrows helps keep the Orcs at bay, their precise shots putting down more than a few. Still, try as they might, the Orcs' superior toughness means that it will take more than a few arrows to stop their approach. The ones that do make it across the moat manage to reach the walls. The Orcish vanguard reach into their packs and retrieve grappling hooks and toss them skyward, the hooks catching on the crenellations. It seems they've practiced such maneuvers before, and it is clear that they intend to scale the wall!

Several archers and riflemen switch priorities to try and dislodge the hooks, but those who do are picked off by opposing Orc archers who were awaiting an opportunity for people to poke their heads past the battlements. This presents a difficult situation for the defenders; there are Orcs trying to scale the wall with grappling hooks, and if they manage to climb up, then they will certainly be able to kill any archer who tries to stop them. And yet, anyone who tries to remove those hooks will be attacked by the enemy archers. To top it all off, the enemy's numbers have yet to thin. The defenders must break this stalemate soon, or the defense will certainly fail!

West Gate

With a well-placed catapult shot by Rudolph and some clever use of tar and explosives by Merik, the battering ram falls by the time it reaches the gate. The Goblins hiding within the ram quickly scatter, retreating back to their lines, but they're soon shot and killed. The gate was damaged in the defense and the fiery impromptu barricade would be certain to provide deterrence for any future gate assaults... for now.

In response, the Goblins switch tactics. Soon, enemy artillery is aimed at parts of the wall. One boulder misses, harmlessly splashing on the moat below, but another crashes into the battlements. The men on that section of the wall are killed or injured, and the Goblins use that moment of pandemonium to charge the walls. Grappling hooks are used to quickly ascend the walls, and soon, Goblins are trying to scale the wall. A more perceptive individual may notice, however, the presence of several sappers near the gate-- it seems they're attempting to clear the flaming rubble to try and blast the gate open with explosives again. In the state that the gate is in... they might actually succeed if they manage to accomplish their task. The defenders must contend with Goblins atop the walls, and at the gates!

East Gate

With Faira's assistance, the soldiers manage to destroy or dislodge many of the ladders that go up... but unfortunately, they could not destroy all of them in time. A few siege ladders remain, and they were designed with volume in mind-- every few seconds, more and more Goblins appear upon the walls. Thankfully, they're not as difficult to deal with as Orcs, but their numbers threaten to destroy the defenders atop the walls! They must push towards those remaining ladders and destroy them before they are overwhelmed!

Meanwhile, Manald rampages on the grounds below. Many Goblins are rightfully afraid of the enraged Beastman and stay away, but those foolish enough to challenge him are torn to shreds. The siege Trolls, however, were less intimidated. Any arrow or bullet directed at the trolls quickly bounce off their armor, and the few that strike true and hit flesh are quickly rendered useless, as the Trolls seem to regenerate from their wounds in a matter of seconds! The pair look at one another and then nod, a plan forming in their heads. The one with the giant axe goes on the attack, swinging his implement of destruction in wide arcs that are hard to evade. As the axe Troll faces off against Manald, the hammer Troll attempts to move past their engagement to try and break down the gate. With his focus split between Goblins, the Troll ahead of him, and the Troll trying to destroy the gate, the Beastman must find a way to even the tide, and quickly!

Sewers

Between the efforts of Acrius and Petyr, the enemy numbers are quickly thinned. Soon, they both manage to make it back to formation-- and just in time, too. Soon, the second wave of Goblins arrive, and this time, they've brought equalizers of their own: wolves. The beasts are not hard to deal with individually, but wolves hunt in packs and are well-accustomed to fighting alongside both other wolves and their Goblin masters. In the dark, damp corridors of the sewers, it will take more than just skill at arms... this will be a test of coordination.

Whose strategies will win: the tactics of men, or the tactics of beasts?
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Arthanus
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Leonidas continues letting arrows loose felling orcs until he notices a grappling hook fly up and secure itself onto the wall. As the line goes taught he quickly rushes over trying to dislodge the hook. But with at least one orc trying to climb the rope it is to hard to dislodge it. The prince quickly draws his sword hacking into the rope easily cutting it drooping the climbing orc to the ground. But swords aren't meant to strike stone and his blade chips as it cuts through the rope hitting the stone underneath. "Get some axes cut the ropes!" he yells directing the soldiers who weren't focused on firing bows, or rifles at the orcs. After stowing the damaged blade the prince took up his bow again and tried to lean over the wall to fire an arrow at another rope down the wall. As he tries to line up his shot one arrow wizzes past his head and a second strikes his shoulder pauldron forcing him to retreat back behind cover. "Zatana you think you can deal with some of those archers?" he yelled back while tossing the bow aside picking up his Warhammer. Leonidas then started to move to the next hook and smashed his hammer into the face of the first orc up the line crushing the creature's face and sending it falling back down to the ground below.
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Though Acrius didn't show it (nor want to), he did feel partially responsible for the regiment as they've been assigned with him. He was surprised that they even listened to his advice as others of a similar situation have blown him off due to his status. The formation they keep was tight and soon the seemingly endless waves of goblins would trickle into a stop. Petyr and the soldiers gasped for air and rested on what they could anchor their hands on. Acrius would've commented on their stamina but it wasn't the time for it as he was certain that the assault isn't quite finished yet.

Fortunately there was a lull for a few minutes that allowed the soldiers to catch their breaths. Acrius kept a vigilant eye and ear out while trying to regain his own stamina; he had been fighting somewhat conservatively to preserve his stamina. The second wave would come soon enough. "Hoh?" Acrius mindlessly sounded as he spotted the second wave of goblins appeared. Their arrival was marked by the splashing pattering of wolf paws.

"Off your asses now," Acrius said simply, "... and back into formation."

The officer also chimed in and began shouting for formations. Acrius was well acquainted with how wolves hunted. During his youth he frequently hunted and was hunted by wolves due to his solo nature. A singular wolf was no issue but they were a problem with a pack- moreso a pack that seemingly pack-bonded with goblins. In reality wolves usually went for lunge aimed towards their preys jugulars and occasionally could swipe with their dagger-like claws. Luckily the soldiers were clad head to toe in armour.

"Another word of advice, keep your shield taut against your neck..." Acrius said, "And maybe you lot will make it out of this."

Though he didn't like it, Acrius himself subsumed into the newly-formed formation; he stationed himself to the corner of the formation. Getting surrounded by wolves was not a clever idea; it was entirely possible that he could keep his back to the wall but that still presented the risk of being attacked from multiple sides.

The two opposing groups were now facing off. The tension was like a wire waiting to be cut. The fight would begin when a lone wolf would lunge at Acrius- The boy would catch this movement and respond with a sideways kick directed towards the neck of the wolf. His greaves would dig into the beast's neck. The force of the kick would crush its trachea and send it careening to the side- soon it would die from shock.

The rest of the goblins and wolves would crash into the shields of the formation. The formation held and the soldiers would stab downwards at either the attacking wolves or goblins. The most important part of the battle would not be breaking formation; the fight turning into a mindless melee, while fun, would be more conducive to deaths.

Acrius himself would clash, steel on steel, with a goblin during their initial charge. Though the goblin tried its hardest, Acrius was like an unloving steel wall. Acrius would allow the strike to push downwards and away from him to his open right. As this happened, he followed up by making an upward strike targeted at the goblin's neck.

The fight would continue on- the goblins and wolves would try to break and encircle their formation. The would try to keep their formation tight and their strikes quick and efficient. The continued and combined assault of the goblins and wolves was tiring, to say the least. It was to be a battle of endurance; to see which side would falter first. Acrius would make sure that it wouldn't be them as he redoubled his efforts.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Borosev
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Rudolph gave a simple nod to Merik before he stood up and took another shot at the ram pilots, unfortunately missing this time. He soon realised that the ram began to pick up speed, and was quickly making its way to the gate. "Give that thing everything you have lads!" he said as he quickly observed the situation along the wall. Rudolph then made his way to the gatehouse, where Merik had already prepared himself for the ram's arrival. "I'll see if I can soften up that thing up a bit more." Rudolph said as he made his way past Merik, and headed toward the tower that still had a working catapult.

He noticed the sergeant that had been monitoring the situation on their half of the wall had been struck in the arm by an arrow, and besides being wounded, remained in the fight. Rudolph gave the man a pat on his good arm, and passed him his rifle before nodding and continuing on.
Soon enough he made it to the top of the tower to guide the soldiers controlling the weapon. He quickly directed them to aim at the lower half of the ram, just above the ground. To them, the side of the ram was now exposed as it made its way ever closer to the gate.

A few seconds later the shot went out, the projectile fell just short but bounced slightly and hit the side of the ram, rocking the structure of the thing. But still, it made steady progress. By the time the next shot had gone out, the ram had basically reached the gate. The shot hit home this time, perfectly crashing into the side of the device, crushing goblins and breaking some of the structure along the way. Soon after, Merik's burning tar and explosives went off, destroying the machine completely. All that remained was a flaming wreck, and an obstacle to prevent other rams.

Rudolph briefly cheered with the other soldiers on the tower when they saw the thing blow up. Soon after, another rock barrage came in, one missed but the other hit successfully. The tower shook briefly, and beyond the dust and rubble below, Rudolph saw the extent of the damage. Some men had been knocked
from the wall, while others were either wounded or lay dead upon it.

Rudolph hastily made his way down to help who he could. Him and a few other soldiers helped escort some of those still able to walk down from the wall, the dead couldn't be tended to for the moment. Numbers on the wall were beginning to thin out.

As Rudolph made his way back up onto the wall after helping to guide the wounded away from the battle, the metallic sound of hooks appeared along the wall. Shit. Guess break is over. he thought.
Rudolph pulled a soldier to the side and ordered the man to go and request reinforcements for the western wall. He then drew his short sword and went to work cutting the ropes, "Cut the ropes! Kill the bastards climbing them!" he ordered. An arrow came flying his way, though it seemed to had lost most of its power as it harmlessly pinged off his helmet, "...fuck!" he recoiled slightly, but he still continued to cut.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Pagemaster
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Naysein took the stone stairs to the battlements two at a time, her feet making no sound as they sped over the white/black stone that muffled the roar of the army beyond. Arrows flickered overhead through the smoky air, a hissing sound marking their passage when they came to close before clattering down into the courtyard beyond. Soldiers ducked back as they loosed arrows and she noted that more than a few had been fallen in return by Orcish weapons. One young soldier, she doubted he was more than two score seasons, lay dead with a look of surprise on his face and an arrow that had driven up under his chin. A trickle of blood ran down his chin and already she could see the bruising around the throat that suggested heavy internal bleeding.

She gained the top of the stairs just in time to see the Prince flinch back from an arrow that spun crazily away after striking his shoulder pauldron. As he ducked back behind a crenellation, she heard him call out to the Drow, Zatana. A brief glance registered the presence of the skilled fighter and Naysein dismissed her at once, she was more than capable of handling herself and no one expected Naysein to keep her alive.

Soldiers were already rushing to do the Princes bidding and she steel flashed as they hacked through the ropes. Some of the more devious waited until the ugly heads appeared at the edge of the parapet before hacking down. The wails of the falling creatures brought a smile to her face. For her own part she drew a single blade and then, with the grace of her kind, she began to kill those orcs who could still make it to the top of their rope, a single thrust into the eye, and they would tumble away to join the growing pile at the bottom of the wall.

She had missed this.
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The orcs were a tenacious bunch which at the moment counted against them in the eyes of the defenders of the city. As the grappling hooks snared themselves on the stonework, Zatana wanted to rush forward and cut the ropes but caution held her back. The arrows flew in thick and fast to stop any who tried with fatal, or nearly so, results. The dark elf gave a snarled curse as Leonidas lunged forward to try and hack at one himself. She was supposed to be keeping him safe! Nearly stepping into an arrow she jerked back as one nearly found a landing in her dark flesh, Zatana felt some relief as an arrow bounced off the Prince's pauldron rather than embedding itself into something vital. Turning she set two arrows into the crowd of orc archers each finding a lovely green head to pierce. They needed to get those archers distracted somehow and she doubted joining the battle below would be of benefit.

Her fingers plucked arrows from her quiver, from corpses, from the stonework and even one from the air. A lucky grab, Zatana would admit to no one. Firing them back on the thickest grouping of the goblins when a woman passed her. A half-elf to be precise, and someone to be careful of. The dossier she had on Neysein the Half-Elf was incomplete. Woefully so, and it bothered Zatana to no end. The rest of the dossier was set aside as the Prince called for the dark elf to deal with the archers. Dark eyes glared at the Prince as he whacked Orcs in the face with the hammer. Oh, he wasn't asking for much! Twisting herself about as she plucked arrows and sent them hurtling into the mass of cursed orcs, she looked for something better than an arrow. There were soldiers...

Time to play nice.

Gripping one man who had been standing near the catapult and helping to direct it, she ignored the disgusted look he shot her. "Order of Prince Leonidas, aim for the archers." She knew he heard her, he knew it when he raised his hand and she caught it as he moved to strike her. His nerves and temper fraying and his hatred taking over the good sense that one did not raise their hand to a superior. That the hatred drow, as part of the Royal Guard, did outrank him.

"Drow." The man spat in disgust, despite the Prince's words the hatred bred in the city ran deep.

Gripping his wrist, she applied pressure between the bone and her other hand pressed the head of an arrow under his chin. "Human, I care naught for the hatred of mine race. Your Prince Leonidas gave an order to me. Deal with archers, yes? And so dealt with they shall be. Even if I must fire you from the catapult at them. A flaming body works as well as any stone." She crooned her drowish accent coming to all it's glory as a slight cut trickled blood down the man's neck.

Checking him with her body, she shoved the unbalanced guard back against the catapult as it was loaded. The man was pale under his helm, sweat shining on his face. The soldiers about her were watching warily as Zatana adjusted the insignia of the Royal Guard about her armor so the pendant was shown. They wanted to refuse, but as a member of the Royal Guard, the drow did have rank on them and orders from the Prince. The soldier, a corporal, who was in charge of the catapult snapped to his men the conditions of where the archers were gathered. Though his eyes held more hatred for the dark elf woman. Zatana to her benefit ignored it, grabbing a jug of oil she poured it on the stone and touched a torch to it. Now the simple stone was a flaming meteor as it sailed toward the archers hopefully to dislodge the foolish creatures. But if it did not? Then better it would be for the next shot to come from somewhere else. Zatana had turned on her heels, all too aware of the tight grip the soldier had on his sword.

Playing nice didn't always work out. Zatana admitted it was not her job to make friends, but they did help when they suspected nothing. But she had a job to do and winning the corporal over with sweet words and such would have taken time she did not have. Let alone the insult that he might slap her! Her black eyes glittered under the hood. No man raised a hand to a woman among the dark elves. Plus, if she had played games there was the possibility he would have knifed her and hoped the battle would have covered it up, Zatana had seen and heard of such tactics happening among her own people. Putting the arrow behind a shot she took an orc through the eye when it popped it's ugly head over the wall as she repeated her orders to the cannon. The body thudding below, mute amid the raucous noise of battle.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Forett
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Forett Dragon Lord

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Drana would pant as she took a breather. Why were the goblins in the tunnels?! This is ridiculous.
Drana was trying to make a safe getaway from returning the skull of a displeased spirit. Her staff at her side, she was happy that Rupert, her Owl, was not with her in these tunnels. “Lady Drana, we must keep moving. The goblins know we are here and I fear they have paired us with the denizens of the city.” The voice would rattle out from behind a black helmet as two walking suits of armor quickly filed into the tunnel she was taking refuge in. This knight wielded a large shield with a short sword. “Thank you for your concern, Stephan! I know the goblins are being very rude-“ Drana would start, however she would be interrupted by the goblin blood soaked Knight.
“Drana, the time to strike is now. I can detect a group of humans holding out nearby, you should unite with them and make sure they do not join our ranks.” Gordon’s voice was far more shrill, like that of a grumpy old man.
“Ugh- I hate these little green monsters! I can’t believe I gave them some of our food! Fine, let us get going before more of those wolves show up.” Drana would smile as she lifted her staff. “Those poor animals don’t know any better…” Drana felt bad for the wolves, having to ride under the cruel little green balls of filth. Goblins and Orcs could normally be reasoned with, but these seemed far more organized than the roving bands she was used to dealing with. They had chased her along the tunnels after all!

She had no Idea that the nearby city had been attacked in force. It wouldn’t be the first time following a spirit had left her in a bad situation, but at least this time she had been able to lay it to rest before the trouble started! Nothing was worse than an angry wraith.

Moving through the tunnels, she would raise several goblins with the aid of her staff. Most of them had been felled by Gordon’s sword, and so made for nothing more than fodder to bog down the enemy while she made a run for it with Gordon and Stephan. “I really hope they see their dead buddies and stop coming down here!” Drana would say under her breath, not wanting to be at fault for any more of the dead green skins. She would send the goblins she had raised forward, ambushing the reinforcements with their own numbers. Knowing that the attack was only good for a surprise, Gordon would lead the group with Drana in the middle and Stephan taking the rear. The rumble of cannon fire would become evermore present the further they traveled, the sounds of fighting overtaking them as they stumbled upon a freshly dug tunnel. Gordon would lead them into the sapper’s tunnel, and soon they would emerge behind the group of goblins wolf riders that were giving Acrius trouble. Drana’s eyes would glow as she saw the men in need of assistance over the cramped battlefield. Gordon would raise his shield and ready his sword to defend Drana as Stephan raised his behind her about face. Drana would use the fact she had gone unnoticed to cast a spell.

“Nymuer sia lexri vur kiwieg asta vers! Slathalin mrith renewed dastudr!” The words of draconic power would boom unnaturally around the cavern, the effects of a more powerful healing word targeting the knights and Acrius. Green energies would swirl about them as the spell took hold with little warning. Oh- I hope they don’t think I am with the goblins. That would just be peachy. Drana would think to herself as she raised her staff. The men would feel minor wounds close and as though they had taken a good 15 minute break despite the fact the fight was still ongoing. This spell would attract the attention of some goblin riders. Seeing this, Drana would slam her staff into the ground. She knew that she would be between two forces if she did not find a way to join the mysterious men quickly. She would use her staff to cast a stored spell. Two nearby dead wolves would glow blue, and their spirits would slowly rise out of their corpses. Drana was not surprised her second spell had taken hold, but for it to bring two instead of one would mean that these goblins had been less than kind to their two mounts. Drana would mentally communicate to one of the spectral wolves, telling it to aid her in getting across this small room filled with goblin corpses. It would turn to face the goblins, accepting her offer. The other, however would fade. Her previous assumption had been wrong, only one of the two who had answered had been harmed.

Not wanting to waste anymore time, she would charge forward in unison with her knights. Seeing Acrius separate from the ranks, she would target him with her mental communications. Speaking directly to his mind so that she could be heard clearly above battle. “I am Drana Turash, Noble Cleric of the Sacred order! Do not fear, for I have come to aid you!”
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Inertia
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Inertia Pretty Lackadaisical

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The soldiers fought on against the wave. Though the more seasoned soldiers showed lesser signs of fatigue, Petyr and the rest of the newer recruits visibly looked tired. It made sense, this was their first real 'battle' after all. Unlike the veteran soldiers, they didn't know how to conserve their stamina nor they did have much stamina comparatively. Acrius tried his best to kill as much as he could from his position to try and conserve the formations overall stamina. The orange-eyed boy dodged a knife thrown on his face; it nicked his cheek as it made its way past him. He licked the blood that seeped from the cut.

An unfamiliar language hit his ear. Great, the goblins have mages in their ranks now? Acrius thought as he furrowed his brow. He began thinking of ways on how to deal with this unknown spell-caster before the cut on his cheek closed up and he felt his fatigue slightly lessen. The boy also noticed the men panting less heavily. What the hell was that spell?

Acrius could barely make out three figures in the newly-made tunnel. The dark silhouettes didn't look like goblin, atleast. However that wasn't just cause to trust someone that randomly happens to come from the tunnel side of the goblins. Soon the figures would charge towards them and a voice loudly resounded in his head.

“I am Drana Turash, Noble Cleric of the Sacred order! Do not fear, for I have come to aid you!”

A cleric? Acrius thought, he knew a few clerics, What in the hells is the 'Sacred order'? Hm... Balthazar said something about it but I can't recall.

Acrius retreated back into the formation and grabbed one of the weakest performing recruit. Early on he had noticed that this recruit was the most petrified and stayed back of the formation the most. Malfoy... something. Acrius had half a mind to call Malfoy a coward after the battle but would let him off provided he follow Acrius' instruction.

"Malfoy," Acrius said coldly, "Listen carefully. I want you to take your unused legs and run to the keep... Meet with gramps- er Balthazar Trevarthen. Ask him about Drana Turash of the 'Sacred order'." He fished around his inner pockets and handed Malfoy his royal guard sigil, "Should get you into the keep. Lost it and I'll hunt you down."

Soon Malfoy would run backwards and disappear into the darkness. Acrius turned back around and separated from the ranks.

"Drana, was it?" Acrius said loudly, his voice echoed through the sewers, "Not sure if I could trust you and your companions, coming from the goblins' side and all!"
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