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Five-way skirmish

Tags: Shavyak,  Dorn,  Agaracuk,  Bardur,  Masked_Uruk,  Rukhet,  Bernar,  Arzi,  Neleth,  Sahgigoth

Short Summary: A convoy of orcs attack a Dwarven caravan. Fortunately help is at hand - or is it?
Date (real-life): 2013-02-10
Scene Location: Rolling Dales
Date (in-game): February 3058
Time of Day: Morning
Rolling Dales

Vegetation grows lush and wild, fed by the River Celduin which flows through the valley. Here, the river flows from northwest to southeast. A small but still well-defined road appears to follow its entire course while a larger, more heavily traveled road heads north, cutting past the great curve of the river. Many tracks, made by wagons, horses, and humans, suggest that this road probably serves as a major trading route through Rhovanion. Though sparsely populated, this valley is punctuated here and there by the odd farm or homestead, and in the distance can be seen the dark eaves of Mirkwood to the northwest, and the tiny town of Finney which stands to the southeast.

Obvious exits:
North leads to Rolling Dales.
SouthEast leads to In the Dale-lands, passing by Finney.
NorthWest leads to Iach Celduin.


Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service

Real Time: Sun Feb 10 14:20:15 2013 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Monday, midnight on a clear winter's night, February 28 of 3058


[Shavyak(#22008)]
The rising sun reveals a scorched patch of earth and grass along the road that follows the river Celduin. A clean up of some violent incident is mostly complete: bits of wrecked wood, a few splashes of blood, the clear mark of fire. What exactly was broken here and why is no longer apparent, but the leftover traces of misery hover over the spot.

A half mile to the west, buried within an earthen make-shift cave, the perpetrators revel in a night's victory. Chewing on savory human bones, attempting to count the coins stolen, stacking the supplies and gear salvaged from a wreck of two laden wagons, they plot the next move. Shavyak sits outside on a rock with the more cunning and daring members of this foray. "Shame we gots here 'fore the spring, when them folk really be goin a up and a down that road," he speaks, drooling, "what a fine show they'd get of what's a comin for they doom."

[Dorn(#13467)]
An early dwarf gets the coin! It has been an hour or more already since the Erebor caravan started out from their last camp site. Slowly but surely the wagons move forward. But not all dwarves keep near the others - Dorn, what with being young and quick...ish on his feet has been sent to scout ahead. So, ahead he comes, trudging along the side of the road, a grey cloak tossed over his shoulders, a worn leather cap on his head, a short sword on his side. With light steps he turns around the bend of the road, stopping suddenly at the smoke ahead. His eyes squint as he tries to make out what's going on there but can only see scorched patches of earth and signs of a fight. Between who remains a mystery. The others must know of this as soon as his little feet can carry the lad!

So Dorn turns and races back toward the caravan, faster than he's run before. Luckily for his brethren, he's rather good at any kind of running, sprint, long distance, obstacle course...

Agaracuk lounges about, unconciously performing his best impersonation of a large, fat, self-satisfied cat. He is well-fed and has little to care about in the (albeit annoyingly glaring) morning sunlight. His full belly and ever-present flask of grog at his side -- this flask stolen from last night's rather fortunate encounter -- Agaracuk sighs contentedly, picking at his teeth with what appears to be a jagged finger bone. Still, he is not a complete fool and has positioned his engorged belly and accomanying bodily girth a good distance from the road, behind a small copse of broadleaved trees -- a mini-Mirkwood of sorts, not more than a few dozen paces across. Here, at least, he can get some relief from the bright sky and with it the pounding of his head of too much ale and not enough sleep. A well muscled arm, wrist, claw bring the grog up to his lips once more. "A bit of the cave worm that bit you, aye that's the trick," he murmers to himself. A few other grizzled and scarred orcish veterans lounge about Agaracuk in similar aspects of repose. None incredibly aware of their surroundings, most numb in various states of recovery from the orgy of snapping teeth and breaking bones from only hours before.

For much the same reason as Dorn (he's young, and he has good eyesight), the Dwarven skald Bardur finds himself toward the front of the train of wagons. He's donned a stout jerkin of studded leather that creaks rhythmically as he walks, and the regular percussion is soon joined by his deep voice humming a fragment of song:

We march, we march, with voice and drum,
O'er moorland bleak and mountain high;
Through the night and Sun's bright light
'The Iron Hills!' our battle cry.

Our arms are strong, our-"

He breaks off suddenly, announcing without preamble as there's a stirring of dust in the distance, "It's Dorn. Can't see anything chasing after him ..."

[(#32351)]
"(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)"

The shout is sharp, and loud, its single word amanating from behind the armored and masked figure on the outskirt of the orcish celebration.

He does not stand still, instead turning his back to the spotted and then fleeing Dwarf, he barks more words back in the direction of the encampment, "(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)"

[Rukhet(#24527)]

Silent Night (the scout band Rukhet heads, and has been training) has spent very little time near the uruk headquarters. That's true of Rukhet herself, too. The sun is rising, and she intends to sleep soon. But not yet. She'll finish her route by crossing the road, checking for daytime travellers...

And, in the distance, she hears something bass and rhythmic, along with a still-vague clatter she associates with moving carts. (Bardur)

She nocks an arrow to her bowstring, but first she raises her horn, to wind it once long and twice short. Unidentified traffic on the road.

Her ears are very good, and drops the horn hastily and crouches behind brush at the side of the road as she hears rapid, heavy footsteps behind her. (Dorn)

[Bernar(#16896)]
A troop of about thirty men comes riding in a double column from the southeast. Patrols have become frequent in these parts as the King's Men search for the orcs encountered earlier, and seek to minimize the damage they inflict.

These appear to be a mixed group of King's Men and Karath's armsmen, judging from the royal crest on half of them and the red and blue with crossed golden sword and golden axe of House Karath on the other. Though they must have been gone for days, they look little the worse for the wear: a few have a hint of stubble. Rather than turning off in the direction of Iach Celduin, they follow the the road leading north: towards Esgaroth and, beyond that, Dale.

Thus it is that an outrider comes galloping back with news of the scorched ground and the small bits of wood that can be seen. Their leader halts and speaks to the scout. Proportioned like a bear but covered in ringmail and helm adorned with the signs of House Karath and a black arrow, Lord Bernar moves as though on a parade ground. He gives an order quietly, and a sergeant echoes it back. "Forward!" And as they hear a foul speech in the air, Bernar motions them into a trot.

[Arzi(#23862)] Bundled up against the cold late-Winter weather, Arzi has been trotting along with the Ereboran caravan - getting his first taste of the Far East after wandering Eriador. From the back of the line he hears the shouts and horns from the front of the column. He strings his bow as the caravan begins to slow.

[Neleth(#11788)] The caravan of dwarves does not travel with only dwarves of the Lonely Mountain. It would be hard for outsiders to tell between the clans, but there are indeed dwarves traveling in the party hailing from the Iron Hill, and even some from as far away as the Blue Mountains. Wheels creeking, the driver of a wagon bearing the crest of the Azundelbur clan leans forward, eyes narrowing in his deep sockets as his eyes scan the road where some dust his being kicked up my the running form of Dorn. It is not long thereafter, indeed only seconds, when the blast of a horn causes the caravan to be called to a halt. Neleth is quick to halt his wagon, handing the reigns to a younger dwarf who was riding with him before he jumps to the ground.

The activity within the caravan is anything but orderly. Shouts come out from everywhich direction. Many dwarves are rushing to the front of the caravan within moments, leaving wagon and ware behind... that is, until a few on the senior warders take charge. "Everyone, back to your wagons! NOW! I want all the wagons moving back now!" he turns to one of his officers, "It might be too late to turn them all around. Guard the wagons with your men until they can get away. I'll take the rest." there is a pause before he shouts, "Warders, TO ME!"

Neleth wasn't far from the conversation, but he moves with a vigor his eyes would not show. He and his dwarves are not under the control of this warder. Upon reaching his wagon he speaks quickly to his driver, "We stay. Arm yourself and the rest." Soon, Neleth is doing just that. Even as he does, many of the ware-ladden wagons are turning, though this many wagons turning in such close quarters... it is not a pretty sight.

[Shavyak(#22008)]
Rumbling of so many hooves carries through the earth and into the den of the infestation of Uruk-Hai. "OUT OUT OUT!" barks the Lieutenant charged with this portion of the invasion force, and ant-like the evil folk pour from the mouth at his command. Celebration never lasts long for traveling warriors. Shavyak jumps up at the call of the Raven Scouts' horns, a familiar warning.

"Hoo nelly, this day's gonna start wild and early," he answers, beckoning his group of drummers forward. They race towards the top of the hill, looking down across the spread of distance. "Human horse riders, and ones we seen afore," Shavyak declares, pointing south, "And them folk - thats something I ain't never did see, but they gots quite the show." His finger wanders to the north along the road. "And here we be stuck rightsy tightsy in the middle." He readies his bow, and creeps forward to within firing range. His trio of his best follow suit.

[Combat(#13388)] Shavyak wields Longbow.

[Dorn(#13467)]
Quite aware of his surroundings but urged on by the sounds of orcish calls not far from him, Dorn realizes he's been spotted and his own hand goes onto his belt to pull a horn from there. Due to the lack of use, it resists however and he looks down for but a moment while running forward. But it is then when he tumbles out of a short bush and nearly collides with an orc - and what orc! Stopping short of bumping into the thing, Dorn stares at her, startled almost because of how sudden this encounter was and then grumbles angrily:"Harraruhmfumble." His other hand pulling the short sword and other lifting the horn, he blows it, loud and sharp, to differentiate it from all other horns handed out to various scouts in different war parties. Pity Dorn himself is only one of these two traits...

[Rukhet(#24527)]
(Dorn) Too close for the bow already! -- Rukhet starts back, drawing her short sword -- heavy at the hilt, light at the tip, it's balanced for her -- but she scrambles out of the way rather than closing with the dwarf scout who's practically tripped over her. She barely misses catching a root as she dances backward, and her eyes are wide. Rukhet doesn't go to hand to hand with stronger opponents if she can help it.

Agaracuk pops up from his prone position amidst small stand of trees as he hears the words in the gutteral tongue calling out to the fighting Uruk-Hai. He curses something beneath his breath, something even his grizzly compatriots are unable to hear, and wrenches his great bow from his back and begins stringing it up. Easily as tall as most men, the orc manages to still make the bow ready expertly and efficiently. As he crouches down into what little underbrush surrounds him, Agaracuk holds the bow at an angle and tests the draw. Meanwhile, he scans the area -- looking for whatever all of the crying out is about.

Suddenly he hears the call from what must be the scouts: loud trumpet blasts calling into the morning. "Damn, and there goes the final bit of surprise we'd a might had. Right lads," he looks over to the handful of Uruk-Hai around him and quietly waves them closer. "Here's what we do. We got a good view of all them wagon tracks and trails. What we do is, see, when 'oo ever comes around that there bend finally peeks out and comes in closer -- we shoot 'em full 'a holes. Ask questions later, and for Sharky's sake -- keep you bloody heads down. The dyin's for them out there," Agaracuk gestures broadly but concisely out onto the road.

Upon hearing Shagyak's cries of "OUT! OUT! OUT!" Agaracuk merely shakes his head side to side. "Bugger that rot, mates. We stay here and we wait. Ain't nobody going to even know we're here until we hit 'em. Stay low; stay bloody quiet."

Agaracuk watches the road warily. From the vantage amidst the trees, both foreign forces seem still distant and out of quality range. He silently curses his fellow orcs, hoping they won't blindly charge between two hostile forces but having little hope for the tactics of other orcs.

Bardur's announcement had already brought the caravan to a standstill, but the sound of the horn has brought instant clangour. Axes and hammers are unhooked from belts, swords slid from sheaths as merchants and warders alike prepare for trouble. The skald himself has already unslung something from his back - not one of his treasured instruments but something no less valuable: a recurved bow of wood and horn. He spends precious time in stringing it so that, whilst others rush to start backing the wagons as best they may, he finds himself in the forefront of the Dwarven group alongside the warders. No doubt his leather-clad form provides a tempting target to unseen eyes.

He risks squinting again in Dorn's direction and announces quite unnecessarily, "He's found something now." Arrow, where is an arrow when you need one. For once there is no song on the young Dwarf's lips; there is, however, an eager grin. Ah, the fire of youth!

[(#32351)]
Striding up the hill, the masked uruk-hai pauses only to shove a smaller compatriot from his way, retrieving his mace from the loop of rope that is slung round his shoulder to do so.

As he continues up the slope, he works at the shield in his left hand, stopping only when he reaches the place where the lieutenant gives orders.

Arzi frowns with a slightly perturbed expression as the caravan starts turning around, depriving him of some sort of cover. Such is life, apparently. Extruding an arrow from his quiver and, firmly planting himself in a line with about a half-dozen other archers, notches the arrow and scans the area for a target among the armoured Dwarfs and rambling Orcs further down the road.

[Shavyak(#22008)]
"Take down that horse-meat and bring me back the riders helmets," barks the Lieutenant to his stalwarts. Blade wielding warriors numbering near a score charge across the sun-lit morning landscape towards the riders. "Cavalry always wins," he spits, shaking his head accepting the inevitable rout of his squadron. He shall have no pardon in failure. He follows behind their formation.

Closer to the road Shavyak and his trio of drummers creep. He looks about the field, noting the onslaught of hapless troops. "We better shoot good and quick on them riders," he decides, "Or this day will be over fer us all 'fore it even gets a started." His group readies their fat black arrows, aiming to Bernar and the Dale-Landers approach. "Steady lads, steady, almost in range!"

[Bernar(#16896)]
The orcs come forth - and they are more than expected. How did they all hide behind that hill? Still, the movement of the dwarf caravan, and of the lone dwarf, catches the eye of the Dalemen's bannerman, who carries forward the party's standard: diagonally bisected, half red and half blue. In the morning breeze it fully unfurls, the golden axe and sword glinting in the dawn sun. He speaks quietly to the Karath Lord, who nods slightly in agreeement. "We do not know how seasoned those dwarves are; they are foolhardy to fight, if truly only merchants. Yet together, we may be an even match for these forces."

"Too even for my taste. What we need to do," the burly man rumbles, "-is take out their leaders. It will be easier to run them down than to kill them fairly. Orcs do not deserve fairness or compassion." He closes his helm and changes the direction of their advance: no longer towards the scorched earth, but towards the heart of where the orcs emerged from - and from which their leader seems intent to meet him as well. They draw their weapons, steel flaring in the light, before stepping up their pace to a gallop and moving to meet the foe. (Shavyak's Lieutenant and anyone with him - presumably Oxlrif)

[(#32351)]
"(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)" Oxlrif grunts, "(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)" he gestures towards the approaching riders, seen now upon the southern plain, "(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)"

Tossing his head back, he adds "(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)"

[Dorn(#13467)]
Pretty certain that his message was passed on and now faced with an Uruk-hai, Dorn tosses the horn aside to be claimed later and sizes the orc up. It's true, dwarves are usually stout and strong and quite the little tanks but Dorn's young and not quite grown into his belly yet - there's still time! He could dodge around the orcish scout and run for the caravan to join the others but considering there would likely be archers ready to snipe him off his feet when he entered open area, perhaps staying between the bushes here was smarter. Now to just ah, handle the lady-orc.

The ancient hatred toward this foul race burning inside the young dwarf(how many a time has he hoped for a confrontation just like this) and the usual dwarven recklessness taking over, he just darts forward with a cry, putting all of his weight behind pouncing the other while his sword slashes at her upper body, swinging down after he lifts his hand with it. A slightly clumsy attack but it is a defensive maneuver... of a kind, really.

[Shavyak(#22008)]
As third point of a triangle, along a line bisecting the clash of foot-soldiers and cavalry, Shavyak's small group finds their moment at hand. They fire at the shining targets bright and clear in the late winter sun.

Shavyak launches an arrow...

Shavyak's bowshot hits Bernar, moderately wounding him.

[Neleth(#11788)] Many of the dwarf lining into file are indeed not warriors by trade. Perhaps half of the number are warriors by trade, the rest an assortment of young merchants. Yes, many of the merchants are with the wagons, but those who were unneeded to protect and move the wagons line up with the warders, ready to defend against the orcs. Indeed, that is what the commander is prepared and ready to do.

Neleth's party are all seasoned. They travel with the senior ambassador often, as they are not only his advisors, but also his guards. A dwarf without is axe is like a snail without its shell. All of Neleth's party, 6 strong themselves, wield axes of one sort or another. Neleth himself pulls a long handled and broad headed axe from the back of the wagon, pulling it up to his mouth to kiss it, "Mahal, protect your children today." He is ready - shield and sword on his hip, axe in his hand and helm on his head. Neleth gives a nod to one of his men, indicating the front line of the dwarves. Neleth himself places himself next to the senior warder and it is then that his eyes catch the banner of the Dale-men, "Look, there!" His battle axe is directed to the banner moving along the road toward the orc encampment. "That is a Dale standard. Calvary by the looks of it. If they are attacking, it is in our interest to join." there is a moment where that warder does not respond, "We MUST charge!" And with that, not waiting for a reply, Neleth is moving down the road, his own men following soon after. The rest? Well, they can come too.

Agaracuk pokes his head up and sees one dwarf pull to the fore of the caravan and licks his chops. Against his own orders, he sneaks up to the edge of the small grove. "Just about got him in range." It will be a distant shot, he knows, but Agaracuk is never one to doubt his own prowess -- far from it, really. He pulls a long, black-barbed arrow from his quiver, just as oversized as the actual bow it nocks up against. He draws it back half way, bringing the bow up and into position. From his vantage at the edge of the copse, he tests the wind as best as the overhanging branches will allow. He looks back at the handful of orcs behind him. "This may be the best shot we get, lads. I call that dark-beard at the fore, pick your targets and... give them hell!," he hisses back at them. He pulls the bow taught, takes a final aim, and looses at his target. Up the arrow sails into the blue sky, and down in a deadly arc toward the distant caravan.

Agaracuk launches an arrow...

Ow! You've been injured by the bowshot.

Arzi's sinews stretch as he pulls back the bowstring of his hand-crafted recurve short bow, aiming into the advancing clot of orcs approaching up the hill.

Arzi launches an arrow...

Arzi's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.

[Bernar(#16896)]
Two of the arrows from the trio bounce off the Dale cavalry's armor and upraised shields, but the third drives its way through into Bernar's thigh. He grimaces and shifts, almost unbalancing himself atop his horse. But he has a role to uphold: "For the King, and House Karath! For the King!" And with that his cavalry meet the onrushing infantry. His blade flies down in a chop at the most dangerous-looking foe in his immediate path. (Oxlrif)

Bernar attacks Masked_Uruk-Hai with his Longsword, but Masked_Uruk-Hai parries the attack with his shield!

Arrow? Well, that would be in the quiver. Bardur's fumbling fingers close around one feathered shaft and nock it firmly in place. He's still scanning rocks and bushes - the amount of racket they heard surely can't have come just from that lone orc that Dorn's currently tussling with? For a moment his aim even wavers towards a flash of blue and red in the distance until a shout from further down the column (Neleth) clarifies that matter for him.

Then is attention is brought sharply back by the black-fletched arrow that sails seemingly out of nowhere to embed itself in his shoulder. The Dwarven bard half-turns with a choked grunt of pain, fingers automatically losing their grip on the bow-string so that his own arrow (fletched in a nice calming grey) is sent roughly in the direction from which the black barb had come. Whether it hits anything, given its lack of aim, is another matter.

Around him there is the thunk of arrows on wood as those of his fellows unencumbered by bows raise shields against the black tide. Another black-fletched shaft nicks the side of someone's help with a metallic clang. Neleth's 'charge' is echoed from other Dwarven throats as battle (well, more of a skirmish really) is joined.

You fire off an arrow at Agaracuk...

Your arrow hits Agaracuk, mildly wounding him!

[Rukhet(#24527)]

(Dorn) The dwarf is determined, and he's moving with enthusiasm and ferocity -- if not with the economy of movement of a practiced fighter. There's a ringing, then a scrape, as she parries and blade slides against blade: and she can feel the pressure as her blade deflects against her will. One hope: the footing, here off the road in the woods, is bad. It always is, with tree roots gnarling the ground and, sometimes, rocks protruding. Rukhet's used to moving on it: maybe the dwarf isn't. So she dodges quickly to the side, retreating uphill, hoping he'll lose the initiative long enough for her to get away.

[Masked_Uruk-Hai(#32351)]
The Masked Uruk raises his shield up against the onrushing clash of horse and orc; weathering a pounding of sword with what could only be described as practiced ease, he turns his hips, bends his back and twists his torso around, bringing up a cruel-looking, many-flanged mace in a sweeping, arc, careful to keep his feet.

Masked_Uruk-Hai attacks Bernar with his Mace, but Bernar parries the attack with his shield!

[Shavyak(#22008)]
With a first volley launched into the onslaught of horsemen, Shavyak considers the chaotic mix of forces and directions clashing and meeting from all directions. Thirty horses meeting twenty foot soldiers ahead of him - and that wild half-breed camouflaged in their mix. Perhaps some may survive after all. He spins about to check for any opponent seeking his unprotected rear - and finds such a target. A handful of well armored creatures, half-sized to his giant stature. "Them tales of old coming true 'gain right 'fore me eye," he surmises, "Bearded biters they be!"

He throws his bow to the ground, seething with a taste for bloodier combat. "You boys keep shooting at the riders, looks like my hands be 'bout full," he adds, seeking a path to meet Neleth. "We ain't leaving you alone with that many blades," answers his best mate, "But we'll fire off a couple more first." They do so quickly.

Agaracuk smiles as he sees his missile smack into the arm of the lead dwarf. He caclkes to his compatriots as he watches the dwarf stumnble back, firing his arrow into an awkward arc up, up, up into the air. Agaracuk turns back to his fellows, "Keep firing, you mag..."

Something slams into his chain mail and bounces off, flashing past the corner of his eye, barely missing slicing his face open. In shock Agaracuk looks down at his chest. With his free hand, he pats around quickly, looking for the wound. Amazingly enough, his armor must have turned some return fire. "How in blazes!?!" he roars aloud and sets another dart to its string. Stepping a few paces to the side, he takes aim again, his red-rimmed eyes squining in the sun. His target seeming to still be available, the tall, muscled orc draws his mighty bow back and lets loose again at the distant caravan. "Fire, fire!!" he calls out hoarsely, all pretnse of disguise forgotten in his rage.

Agaracuk launches an arrow...

Ow! You've been injured by the bowshot.

[Bernar(#16896)]
Bernar's own shield catches the helmeted and masked orc's reply, but the strength of the blow nearly pushes him from his horse, again. Breaking off from the melee as he passes through it, he dismounts - gingerly and with many a wince, as he lowers his wounded leg back to the ground. "Carpenter said there'd be leg wounds," he says philosophically, and after swatting his horse's rear and sending it racing southwest, he advances back to the line where cavalry meet infantry - now, he is one of the latter.

[Dorn(#13467)]
Blades meet and clash in a song of swords but alas, a parry is not a hit and the agile female orc dodges away from Dorn, climbing uphill quicker than a dwarf could. Cursing, the young dwarven scout hesitates for a moment - on the one hand, there is the unsatiable lust for orc blood spilled but then, the sounds of battle and cries come from the direction of the caravan. AND his shield is there, strapped to one of the wagons. But she could get away and comfortably shoot arrows at his butt until hitting something! It can't happen, it won't! So, against his better judgement of letting a more seasoned fighter of orcs handle this wily wicked orcsie, Dorn indeed does chase after Rukhet, taking care not to lose sight of her. He is fully aware of the risks and indeed stumbles every now and then. Who leaves rocks laying around anyway?!

[Neleth(#11788)] It isn't long after Neleth and his men begin their charge the the majority of the dwarves who had stayed behind the wagons are doing the same. Battle cries are heard as the stout, short men begin their movement toward the area where those orc seem to be pouring from. And yes, they are not "fast" but their pace will have them joining into frays soon. Neleth looks back for a moment at those following him , his voice raising louds, "Do not fear brethren! Fight with strength today! FIGHT!" He didn't need to, perhaps, but he did anyway. Those six who were with him are have dwindled into four, as a couple have joined battle at the outskirts already. Neleth himself is swings his axe at a smaller orc that appeared in front of him, though the nimble creature managed to dodge out of the way.

[(#32351)]
"(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)"

The masked figure shouts a command, "(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)"

As he shouts, he pursues the man who rode past him, black eyes settling upon the dismounted and returning figure of the human.

Holding his shield high and tigh against his body, he sprints forward, sweeping low with the flanged mace, an attempt to sweep the legs from under the man.

Masked_Uruk-Hai attacks Bernar with his Mace and badly wounds him!

Bardur clutches his bow tight, knuckles white about its shaft. He's in no fit state to set another arrow to the string, but that doesn't stop him taking a couple of steps forward with his fellows in response to that shout of "Charge!" The battle-lust has woken ...

Fate, alas, has other ideas in mind. As the second wave of black-feathered arrows falls amidst the Dwarven group, most skipping harmlessly overhead but some finding purchase as evinced by hoarse cries, a second barb finds purchase beside the first. The clatter of the bow falling onto the rocky roadside dirt is joined a moment later by a heavier thud as Bardur himself follows it. Alas, the tales of heroes fighting on stuffed full of arrows neglect to address the impossibilities of actually /using/ the arrow-pinned limb. Ashen-faced, he tugs hopefully at the arrow-shaft.

You forego your chance to attack.

[Sahgigoth(#27594)]
(Sahgigoth) Its thick, black tongue flicking nervously over its cracked, taut lips, the diminutive Uruk peers at the chaotic dance of steed, Man, Khazad and Uruk from the relative safety of a large boulder a fair distance away from the heat of the action. Gnashing its rotten teeth angrily and scanning the skirmish, it hisses in cold hatred at its chosen would-be victim as it produces a decrepit shortbow and a single arrow, its battered iron tip covered in reddish rust. Murmuring in its droning, bland voice about the incompetence of Sharku and his servants, it prepares its shot carefully and a single moment before knocking the arrow, it lets out a rasping prayer to the Eye, the blasphemous words lost in the feral expectation of blood-drawing.

The rusty arrow makes a half-hearted attempt of an arc and begins to land towards the blond Dwarf Arzi...

[Bernar(#16896)]
Bernar's legs are, indeed, swept aside by the mace's many heads, but he staggers in that direction so that he lands on his knees rather than collapsing full on to the ground. With a roar, he heaves himself to his feet and moves his shield off to the side to give more room for a backswing aimed at his opponent's right arm.

Bernar attacks Masked_Uruk-Hai with his Longsword and badly wounds him!

[Masked_Uruk-Hai(#32351)]
A rough snarl escapes from the masked orc's lips, but no further words are spoken. The blade of the sword finds its way to the open space, high on his shoulder; above where the arm itself is protected by another set of leather straps.

It would appear, however, to be a flesh wound, as the crouched defensive posture of the orc lets him drive upwards, the opened arm swinging in its own upwards, backhanded swipe, this one aimed more directionally at the Dale-man's chin than his legs.

Masked_Uruk-Hai attacks Bernar with his Mace and moderately wounds him!

Agaracuk calls out, "Alright lads! Let's take it to 'em now that we've softened them up a pit for the cooking pot! Gahahahaha!" He cackles out, throwing his bow down into the copse, bringing his flask to his mouth. He gulps down the ale, scowls and puts the flask back into his belt loop. He briefly readies his studded leather shield and whips a cruel looking broadsword out of its sheath. "Charge!!!"

And charge they do, the small handful of Uruk-Hai -- down from their hiding place amongst the trees and out toward the stout dwarves of the trade caravan, "Burzghuul, Morthash -- cut them down!" He roars gesturing to his right as the beasts sprint down slight hillside toward the road. "Marghaash, Bronk -- there!" He gestures to the right with a nod of his helmeted head.

Agaracuk unfailingly heads toward the fool dwarf brave enough to attempt to lead a charage against his fighting Uruk-Hai. He closes the ground quickly, howling all along.

[Shavyak(#22008)]
The platoon of foot-soldiers follows the better orders of a sharper commander, ducking and dodging the initial clash of riders and horse - a handful falling struck by spear and blade. The remaining force grabs at any piece of human flesh they can catch - seeking to unhorse the riders and even this fight before it becomes a rout.

The trio of bow-wielding archers stops their shooting, for their forces are now in their line. They too abandon their bows, strapping shields into place as they turn to join Shavyak and the onslaught of Neleth and his Dwarves. Their leader adjusts the buckles on his mighty war drum, shifting it bottom side up to serve as a shield. Heavy are his steps across the muddy winter earth. "Gonna shave that hairy face for ya, little fella," he barks in the common tongue as he draws nigh.

[Combat(#13388)] Shavyak fixes his War Drum for battle.

Arzi is smacked forcefully in his left arm with an arrow - so much so that he's knocked back a pace and a half. Scanning the field for the source of his wound, he sees a goblin archer (Sahgigoth) off to the side aways from the melee.

Pulling the shaft out of his arm, he mutters, 'Better out than in.' He turns his attention towards the goblin. Notching another arrow, he pulls back and fires with a loud 'TWANK.'

[Bernar(#16896)]
The Lord of Karath reels backward for a moment. His shield is too far away, and it is certainly a good thing that he closed his helm, for much of the force is deflected. Nevertheless, a few of the ends find flesh, and a bloody smear is visible alongside his nose - which may be broken, but how can you tell behind those helmets?

He sidesteps warily, circling his opponent, until his blade flicks out with surprising delicacy to probe the mace-wielder's defenses. Bernar's shield is pulled back in front of him even as his testing blow aims for the orc's knee.

Bernar attacks Masked_Uruk-Hai with his Longsword and badly wounds him!

[Rukhet(#24527)]

(Dorn)It's going to work, it's going to work, she's not going to die today! ... Rukhet dares to turn, then, leans forward, and puts everything into bolting up the hill, into the barren tree-trunks.

[Masked_Uruk-Hai(#32351)]
This time the heavy pad the Masked Uruk's kneecap catches the blade, but the speed of its wielding buckles the knee slightly nonetheless.

The Uruk-Hai is waiting for the blow, hoever; having content to be circled, when the man strikes out with his sword, the orc jerks his own arm around in a fore-handed arc, aimed towards the Man's weapon-side.

Masked_Uruk-Hai attacks Bernar with his Mace and badly wounds him!

[Neleth(#11788)] If the charge of the Uruk-hai from the trees is a surprise, Neleth doesn't let it show. His head turns to them, eyes narrowing in a glare before looking back to those behind him. His dwarves are bypassed, and he shouts out to a firebeard who weilds a mace, "There! The hill!" That firebeard has mind enough to listen to the barks of his elder, and he moves in the direction, followed soon by two more dwarves the Neleth barks at. That first orc Neleth came upon? He was felled by two of Neleth's men. The ambassador has seen his share of battles and foes, but when his eyes turn to set upon the approch of Shavyak there is a slight hesitation apparent on his face. This is one big orc. Neleth glances to his men before he spits to the ground hearing the words spoken to him, "I'd like ta see you try!" Even as he speaks he and his men are moving forward to engage Shavyak and his trio. Neleth's battle axe is brought in a wide swight, from his right to left, aimed at Shavyak's midsection. It is second later that his men are attacking the other orcs.

Neleth attacks Shavyak with his Battle Axe and moderately wounds him!

Those Dwarves at the head of the caravan move to engage Agaracuk's little handful of orcs with howls of glee and deep-throated cries of "Khazad ai menu!" (Alas for their ignorance that that particular phrase loses something in the translation!)

Bardur, for his part, is no longer 'leading' anything. The offending arrow-shaft pulled free, he looks up to see that one of the creatures - exceedingly tall from his seated vantage point - is barrelling towards him at a shockingly rapid pace. He pushes himself back to his feet, leaving his bow where it lies, and tugs his short broad-sword from the sheath at its side. Perhaps Dorn's lessons may yet pay off ... "For Dain! For Erebor!" he cries, battle-fervour dulling the pain for now; he stands rock-steady to meet the many-scarred orc as the world around him erupts into chaos.

[Sahgigoth(#27594)] (Sahgigoth) The small Uruk's gleeful, vicious snarl of satisfaction as Arzi's arm is pierced by its shot clearly emboldens Sahgigoth. Moving a full feet aside and outside the boulder's protective cover, it begins taunting Arzi with expansive gestures. "Dosh-guk, runt! Feel the sting of the One's wrath!", the curbed Uruk croaks triumphantly, spitting on the ground in front of it and stomping on the thick gob for emphasis.

It fails to notice Arzi's counter-shot until the arrow pierces its tattered black robes, grazing its shoulder and worse, pinning it against the boulder as the shaft ends up embedded firmly in a niche of the huge boulder. With a horrified look, it screeches in pain and surprise and tries frantically to tear its pinned robes away, cursing loudly in the process. "Skai! Woe and misery! Skai!", it yells pathetically, yanking helplessly as the arrow shows no sign of dislodging at its efforts.

[Dorn(#13467)]
Oh no, she won't! Blood boiling and his anger fueled by the fear that as soon as he turns around, an arrow will hit him in the back, Dorn runs toward where the orc lady went but alas, loses sight of her between the bushes uphill. And all this climbing and running is getting to him. What good would it do to rush into a fight with the unknown? Besides, it's not really cowardice if he leaves a fight or a chase in this case for the bigger battle. As his eyes search for any sign of the Uruk-hai, Dorn swears under his breath, glancing behind at the caravan and the dwarves fighting a group of orc there. So he turns and runs, dodging between the rocks and bushes to escape the notice of any more archers before he reaches the fight. It is with some sadness that he takes note of the absence of the wagon carrying his shield. The merchants and Warders protecting the caravan are already at some distance.

So Dorn dives into the fray with only his short sword, picking fights, taking hits and giving a few back. None will come out of this untouched.

[Shavyak(#22008)]
Unhorsed are some of the riders, and beset by the jagged black blades of Fighting Uruk-Hai. Those riders still upon their beasts reform and make a charge again at the mixed melee of Dale-men and southern Orc.

Practiced upon the field, but willful to live more than to fight, to return to another feast of flesh and a night of revelrous drumming, the trio test their opponents skill more than seeking their flesh. Who's constitution shall last when both were born of the earth?

Their boss is less patient, and far hungrier for blood. Especially with his own unleashed in bloody gash just beneath the rim of his mail. "Steady hands, they's bones'll look good on a necklace to give a wench back home," he laughs defiantly, drawing his sword.

[Rukhet(#24527)]

At first there's the waterfall-rush of heavy boots kicking up last year's dried leaves. Then the sound stops, recedes. Rukhet keeps running, as fast as she's ever run. At the top of the hill, she stops, and leans against a tree as she gasps.

Alive. She made it.

Bloody hellfire. She hadn't even noticed that she'd dropped her bow.

She lowers the sword in a shaking hand, and draws a deep breath.

[Bernar(#16896)]
The masked uruk-hai's blow misses Bernar's sword-arm - and impacts full on into the ringmail, which, whatever cushion it provides, cannot stop the force from the mace from passing inward. Rings fall from the armor. No mithril-coat is this, but man-work: quality, but it can only take so much.

He staggers to the side, and calls out, "To me, House Karath! King's Men! To me!" He moves to a riderless horse and tries to climb onto it, letting his armsmen try to block the masked uruk-hai's approach. For their lord is sorely wounded, and that he should die now: they will give their lives to prevent it. He motions to the bannerman, who is still untouched, and who shouts, "Fall back! Fall back!" Those Dalers still winning back off carefully; those losing break and run or fall.

Agaracuk swings at the seemingly hapless orc only to be pushed back by the clashing groups of warriors. The dwarves' mettle is surpringly resolute. Despite being showered upon by arrows, there apparen't was little 'softening up' here. After a few angry attempts to push through the crowd, the archer realizes this attack may have been foolhardy. Agaracuk has never been known for acts of stupid bravery. After clashing gamely against the dwarves a few times, the orc pulls back in time to see the rest of his men having little better luck against the battle-maddened khazad. "Augh, back up the hill lads. We'll pepper them from range again!"

Dwarves may be known as natural sprinters, but nary a soul can outdistance and outrun the fighting Uruk-Hai. As quickly as they broke upon the dwarves, they abscond away, back up the slight rise, toward their wooded cover. Agaracuk scowls all the way, pondering what dwarf tastes like.

[Masked_Uruk-Hai(#32351)]
These next are a fine replacements, though the Masked-Uruk's grin is hidden, the spring that returns to his step betrays his pleasure at these two new men, and the milling riderless steeds which remain about. It is not for the Men that he goes, but rather for one of the horses himself, a few only slightly hobbled steps before he jumps for saddle and reins, casting his shield to the side.

With effort, he clambers upwards as well, before circling back towards the remains of the melee between uruk and horseman; his own mace now benefitting from the advantage of horseback.

[Sahgigoth(#27594)] (Sahgigoth)With the help of its barbed chain and a firm yank, the small Uruk manages to tear itself away from the boulder's surface, leaving behind a swathe of tattered, hole-ridden black cloth and a good part of its pride. Scowling furiously, it scurries away towards the boulder's welcoming safety on all fours. Tossing its shortbow away in disgust, it sulks bitterly whilst rubbing its scratched shoulder.

"Filthy bearder, should 've killed at first for all it be worth. Right through the eye, clean and juicy kill 't would be!", the Uruk growls, its foul mood becoming worse as it scoffs angrily. Daring another glance towards the evolving skirmish's direction, it keeps screening the area, its single eye darting from Man to Khazad.

[Neleth(#11788)] There is something to be said about the choas of a fight with dwarves. One, two or three of them can esily enough be a hastily, but the movement of more than twenty dwarves in battle? I could be considered confusing to most. Look at Dorn, for example, his blade swooping in at as many enemies as he can. That this the style of many of these dwarves, even the battle-hardened ones. A short distance away from the fray, the wagons of the dwarven encampment have turned and are now moving away from the battle as fast as those little ponies can pull. Meanwhile, in the midst of the fighting, that senior warder, beard red from a bloody nose shouts, "Don't let them gain distance! Stay with them!"

There is an ease to the fighting of those four dwarves that meet Shavyak's trio. These dwarves have fought in many battles together, and their fimilarity with each other is evident in the way they move. They do not engage one-on-one. No, they do their best to test those Uruks, even as those Uruks are testing them. These four are Neleth's elite... but, yet, their smaller stature and age might catch up to them. Who knows?

Neleth's movements are fluid, solid. Practiced. The battle axe is pulled back towards him, "I forged this myself." Not much of a taunt? "I'll enjoy watching it unforge you." The battle axe is swung again, this time in an overhead "chop", aimed at his enemy's left shoulder.

Neleth attacks Shavyak with his Battle Axe, but Shavyak parries the attack with his Short Broadsword!

[(#32351)]
While the noble Dwarves fight on, the small company of Men is routed. Those who have retained their mounts escape quickly enough, trailing after their cowardly Lord, and shouts go up from the Orcs around them.

"(UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH)"

The shout comes from the now mounted, Maksed Uruk, as he spurs the horse now with his heavy boots, digging them into its sides; his left hand wrestling with the reins as his right swings the mace downwards, crushing the helmet of a dismounted Dale-man who grabbed too boldly at the horse's bridle.

The Dwarves are now fewer in number, yet for them with their cumbersome wagons, 'retreat' is not such an easy option. Those who have stepped forward to halt the orcs' advance are certainly no cowards; there comes, however, a time for wisdom. Once it's clear that Agaracuk's little group are 'retreating' one Warder, wise and clearer-headed than his fellows, booms out, "Hold the line! No pursuit!" With much grumbling and grumping his fellows dutifully pull back to form a 'line' (it had become more of a zigzag).

Bardur, short broadsword in hand, glances around himself with a somewhat dazed expression before recollecting that he's /still/ a target and, really, there are better ways to die than as a pincushion. Reluctantly yet logically, he lets those with shields take the fore for now whilst he retreats far enough to search for his dropped bow.

[Shavyak(#22008)]
"Get their leader and we'll win against these lads," calls Shavyak's best mate, even as he catches a dwarven axe from impact with his sword. He snarls, pushing away from the weight to regain his footing. The other two start stepping backwards, leading the fight in backpedal up the hill towards the bulk of the Orc forces that remain.

Within an inch of shield arm Neleth's axe comes, with the flat of Shavyak's black blade stealing its chance to purchase his death. Mighty muscles strain against the force, as he grits his teeth, and at last gives away and to his right. "Like my dinner to have some bite, I does," he answers, at last sending a mighty swing down upon the Dwarf.

Shavyak attacks Neleth with his Short Broadsword, but he misses by a mile.

[Rukhet(#24527)]

When it's sufficiently quiet down the hill, Rukhet sneaks down to retrieve her bow.

[Bernar(#16896)]
It is a dispirited wedge of cavalrymen that slow to a trot heading south once it becomes clear pursuit is not evident. They still have their banner and their Lord, though Bernar is being held in the saddle by sheer willpower - and help from others. Nothing else can they claim for their efforts. And they know some of their comrades will be lost to a stewpot this evening. But word must be gotten to Iach Celduin of the orcs' location, and so onward they ride, turning west once they have cleared some distance from the former line of battle.

And who was that masked orc, so much more composed and relentless than his comrades?

[Neleth(#11788)] Those weathered, experienced and /old/ dwarves who are engaged with Shavyak's Uruks are not inexperienced. As the fight begins to move back, pulling them further away for the main body of the dwarf forces, they slow thier attacks down, "Hold it, lads. Not too far." states one of the dwarves another catches sight of the fleeing Bree-men. "Neleth! The men have fled!" his voice is loud enough for more than just his master to hear, and a few of the dwarves who do look at the dust cloud made by the fleeing men. One, young dwarf in battle disengages as soon as he is able, his short sword falling to the ground as he turns to flee.

"COWARDS!" Neleth's shout is rather loud, and it is given in the midst of him spinnig away from that sword. Once his axe was pushed off, he used the momentum to turn himself, dodging that blade in the process. "Back, Nuiri! Back, Norvor!" Neleth yells this to his comrads. His battle axe is then... poked at Shavyak, Neleth using the axe almost like a spear, pushing the spike top of the blade at his enemy even has he looks to one of his retreating companions, "Pull everyone /back/! Periodic desengagement!" The dwarf he was speaking to barely dodges a mace swung at his head and he retreats, slowly.

Neleth attacks Shavyak with his Battle Axe and mildly wounds him!

[Sahgigoth(#27594)] (Sahgigoth) The morning progressing, Sahgigoth finds itself hard-pressed to keep on its scrutiny at the dwindling combat. Its eyes watery and bleary, it sniffs several times at the stinking, black blood that has now partially caked over its shoulder and its robes. Grabbing a chunk of dead tree bark, it produces a crude dagger and scribbles something on it, smearing a few drops of its own vile blood on the crude scribbling. It then sets the whole grimly on fire and lodges it carefully in a well-covered niche of the boulder, hidden from obvious scrutiny, muttering grimly all the while.

Its obscene task done, the very next moment, Sahgigoth is there no more.

[Shavyak(#22008)]
With a barbed tip stuck into his belly, the mighty brute looks down at the half-sized opponent. "That do sting a bit, i'll gives ya," he quips, curiously pressing against the attack with all his weight - it can't go any deeper than it has already poked. Still engaged in this fashion he calls to his mates in his native speech, "Go on and start scrappin up the dead, get lads, go!"

With his target still upon him, at last he stabs downward - small targets are hard to hit with the tactics he knows.

Shavyak attacks Neleth with his Short Broadsword and lightly wounds him!

[Neleth(#11788)] With another movement the one might not believe possible of a dwarf Neleth's age (if one were to know his age), his body spins as he pulls his battle axe back, away from his enemy. The movement cause the stab of his enemy's sword to snake into the edge of Neleth's shoulder rather than something more vital. The wound cause a grunt from Neleth as he tucks his shoulder back slightly. His teeth are clenched only breifly as he stares up at the Uruk-Hai. He feet start to move backward, however, even as he breathes out, "Bah!" Neleth is a proud dwarf, and the anger at withdrawing eats at him, but moves cautiously back, eyes not strayinf too far from Shavyak, in the even that the other might attack again.

The battle is moving. At least, the dwarves are. Never ones to enjoy fleeing, they are not stupid either. The retreat is more orderly than the attack was, the whole body of dwarves moving a portion of the road at a time, before the would engage any orcs pushing the attack. Of course, there /are/ a few, rare, cowardly dwarves who outright flee. Neleth's men are not among them - in fact, two of Neleth's broadbeam cousins appear on either side of their elder as the retreat continues.


Date added: 2013-02-18 12:02:47    Hits: 141
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