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Submitted By: Immortal
All Characters Involved: Keinjo, Tennant, Sheawyn, Wellen, Kalinere, Gistagen, Arngrim, Ruthan, Lucian, Jaim

Submitted Log

This morning the call went out in Fal Dara. The march to Malkier was to begin today. Two hundred men say mounted and on foot with the nobles of several houses sitting near the front of the group. The army stood in a large field near a spring several leagues from Fal Dara. At the head was a middle-aged man with a full set of plate mail on his chest and a large two-handed sword strapped across his back. He turns his mighty warhorse to face the army his eyes glittering with the prospective of glory and honor. "TODAY! My brothers and Allies of the Light... Today we retake Malkier from the blight. We show that the reclamation of Tarwin's Gap is the beginning and not the end of the Borderlands victory!" Holding up his sword at the end a roar of cheers erupts from the throats of a little over 200 men. "We march for the border of the blight and Shienar today; tomorrow we make for the great city of Malkier and the seven towers!" Another cheer rips from the men?s throats. The army begins to move the mounted division off to the left side easily 75 men strong with gleaming lances with streamers on the tip. The rest of the army moves on foot save for two wagons trundling along near the middle.

Keinjo rode along the army off towards their west. Behind him stood around forty some odd men and women who were positively quiet. Many of them pale faced, others less so, some just looking bloodthirsty. They rode in box formation save the far rear where six wagons are pulled slowly along. Each of his men mounted, each of them holding crossbows, each with swords and shields. [Keinjo]

A man in simple wool, coarse wool at that walks along near the back of the army. He moves slowly using a long staff with a blade affixed before each step as if it was his third leg. Wide eyes look unseeing forward but he does seem to be moving in the right direction if a little slow. Every so often, he looks around almost as if he can see. [Tennant]

Walking near the middle of the army, Jaim looks around himself with interest, keeping an eye on his surroundings at all times. He walked a bit awkwardly, due to the weight of the sword at his hip. Despite his curiosity about the area around him, he kept pace with the rest of the army well enough. [Jaim]

A woman clad in an odd wardrobe sat on the back of one of the wagons, which was trailing after Keinjo. A pair of tinted spectacles was pressed to the top of her nose as she held a small flute in her deeply tanned hands. She played a slow mournful tone as the wagon bounced along ignoring the many glares and glances that were sent her way while she played. [Sheawyn]

In the middle of a less organized part of the army walked Kalinere. Whereas other regiments gave impressions of unity and training as a whole, the group she walked amongst seemed more like a gathering of volunteers who had only ever needed to depend on themselves. A brown wool cloak hides most of her clothing, leaving only her brown hair and green eyes to really give an impression of her. [Kalinere]

A young man of around twenty years of age rides a horse off to the side of the army. Holding a makeshift mask in his hands he turns it over while riding, a sorrowful look on his face as he place it inside his belt pouch. He looks to the side, where the band led by Keinjo was, watching Sheawyn for a few moments before turning his attention back to riding. [Wellen]

A somewhat tall man walks near the front of the foot borne men. He walks upright, peering ahead over the shoulders of those in front of him. He seems eager to get to where they are going. A wire hilted sword hangs on his left hip, and a notched sword breaker on his right. He fingers the hilts of his weapons as he walks. [Gistagen]

The army continues to move a soft roar coming from the men. Easily two dozen conversations occur between mounted men and the men walking. The nobles at the front of the army seem to be talking very intently six of them circling the leader motioning with their hands every so often.

Ral speeds up slightly to ride along side Ral before leaning over and whispering something. Keinjo frowns somewhat before nodding towards him and makes several hand gestures towards the front. He turns his horse around and offers a nod towards various Borderlanders and other Soldiers of Fortune while pulling towards the back. He rides up behind them and offers a firm nod towards Tennant, "Need a lift? We have room on some wagons." [Keinjo]

Turning to look one way then the other his gaze finds the man who speaks after a moment. Lips twitching into a smile he begins to shift his direction to intersect with the sound. "That would be pleasant." he says simply raising his head to the air a he begins to walk toward the wagon. "Is this your wagon?" he points the blade affixed to his staff at Keinjo's wagon. [Tennant]

Glancing over towards Kalinere nearby, Jaim mutters a surprised comment to himself about finding women in this army. But he keeps his voice low, trying to avoid too much attention. "At this rate it's going to be a long day," he said, regarding the pace at which the army is moving. [Jaim]

As she continued to play the flute, Sheawyn glanced about at the man men and women around her and nodded to a passing Saldaean soldier who gave her a broad wink before he moved forward. Shaking her head and suppressing a laugh, she began a more upbeat song, which had mixed implications depending on where you heard it. [Sheawyn]

Stepping up her pace as a reply, Kalinere moves through the ranks of people surrounding her, quickly reaching nearer to Jaim. "Don't act so surprised. It will be a big task ahead to just leave it to some men." She smirks. "Tell me, what is your specialty? I'd prefer to have someone watch my back when havoc breaks out, rather than hoping that no trolloc sees my back." [Kalinere]

Riding in silence, Wellen turns his horse towards the caravan led by Keinjo. His horse moves at a steady gait, "Sheawyn" he speaks in a slow tone as he rides closer, "You seem to have traveled north as well, interested in how this will play out?" He keeps his horses pace in tune with the wagon, "Call me Calm for now, I do not wish to play games today." [Wellen]

Gistagen marches in his column position for quite some time. Sometimes his eyes are peering forward, other times he watches the mounted column, and rarely does he glance a look at the mercenaries. He notices a woman and man walking together behind him and starts. He comes to a complete stop and allows the two to catch up to him. [Gistagen]

Traveling northeast the army covers the rolling fields of Shienar at a decent pace. The men continue to converse as the sun over head begins it's descent toward the horizon. The nobles are no longer speaking in a large gathering. Instead, most of them are with their men speaking with them some of them smiling and the sound of laughter sometimes rolling over the crowd. A chilly breeze blows from the north against the army.

"It is indeed old man. Think you can get there on your own?" He dismounts and walks along his andalusion warhorse. Different perhaps but not superior to the great many war stallions that travelled together. He grins easily at the man beside him with the bright golden eyes. [Keinjo]

"Old? I ain't old," the man says with a displeased sounding voice. "Besides." swinging his staff so it hits Keinjo lightly in the stomach. "I wouldn't be talking about old with a gut like yours." chuckling the man finally reaches the wagon and swings his way up. "I'm Tennant; it's nice to meet you." [Tennant]

"My specialty?" Jaim repeated, glancing up at the sky, squinting his eyes as he searched. Then he paused and lifted one gloved hand, waiting as a hawk descended to land on it. He walked a bit quickly to catch back up, and grinned at Kalinere. "My specialty would be training these. It can come in useful." [Jaim]

Glancing at the man who had talked to her Sheawyn winked at the man before finishing her song. "I was curious." She replied simply as she glanced about them at the army. "I suppose that we might stand a chance but you never know." She commented at him yawning widely. [Sheawyn]

A harsh-sounding laugh escapes Kalinere. "Birds? I suppose they have their uses." She shakes her head slightly as she glances towards Gistagen who is approaching. "I am merely saying it would be nice to have someone?s back, who would look after mine in turn." She calls out. "Greetings. Looking to join the conversation?" she grins. [Kalinere]

"Curious, same emotion that brought me this far north" Wellen speaks in a sober tone, adjusting to his seat again. "It is not that hard to guess what will happen" Wellen sighs, looking at Sheawyn. "You seem to be proficient at playing the flute, where did you learn it?" he questions, looking straight ahead. [Wellen]

Gistagen keeps pace with the woman on the opposite side as the fellow with the hawk on his fist. He gives her a half bow while keeping pace and says, "Pleasure to meet your Acquaintance ma'am." He straightens and keeps pace with her continuing, "I am Gistagen Forhertz, thief catcher and expert tracker. May I ask your name, Women in an army such as this are rare, if seen at all." [Gistagen]

"I am Keinjo Tor'vadol Salor Tiam Evolous. Short for Kei." He chuckles, at least until the staff makes a resounding thong against his breastplate. Keinjo touches it and mutters before mounting back up on his horse and pats its side. "Forward, Dark Orchid. See that wagon? Stay next to it." He points at the wagon. The horse whinnies for a moment before increasing in pace and then moving parallel with the side of it. Keinjo opens up a slat on the side and looks within, "Keep it down you people, you?re spoiling the dark noire feeling that this march is bringing." [Keinjo]

Tilting his head at the noise after sitting, he chuckled softly. "Interesting." He says in a soft voice leaning back on the wagon and setting his ashandarei along aside his body so the tip of the blade lies against the top of the wagon. [Tennant]

"I'll admit, birds are more useful in hunting small game than in serving an army, but they can't be useless." Jaim shrugged as he finished, then turned to look at Gistagen in amusement. "I was thinking the same thing just minutes ago. Strange to see my sentiments echoed so precisely." [Jaim]

Shrugging slightly she offered him the flute to look at. "I learned it when I was a child. Just some little hobby I picked up out of boredom and a slight amount of interest." She replied sheepishly as she glanced over at Keinjo when he yelled at the man around his wagons. [Sheawyn]

"Light shine, Master Forhertz. I have not forgotten your face, although it seems you have forgotten my name." A mocking frown shapes her features before breaking into a smile. "It does not matter.? I and this gentleman were discussing ways to survive this march. This group of assorted muscle lacks the refined manners to make me trust them with my life. Interested?" The question is asked mostly towards Gistagen, although clearly also meant for Jaim. [Kalinere]

"You could make some coin as a musician, if that is your desire," comments Wellen as he rides. His face turns to the right slowly, away from Sheawyn, "I hate not wearing my mask" he speaks as his grip on his reigns tighten. "I think I will ride alone for a while longer" he moves his horse away from the set of wagons, before adopting his steady riding stance. [Wellen]

Gistagen chuckles at Jaim's statement and then looks once more at Kalinere. He starts as he recognizes her face and hastily mumbles an apology. He responds to her question then and says, "It would be my honor Mistress Kalinere to protect you in this adventure. However, I must ask, what caused you to join this expedition?" [Gistagen]

Noting that they were all settled and ready to march Keinjo moves forward towards the front again, leaving Sheawyn, Tennant, and Wellen. Making his way near the center of his men, he speaks loudly for each of them and possibly the edge of the Borderlanders own march, "Today, all of you, are feeling apprehensive. Nervous. Whether it?s because you are looking forward to the fight or because you are afraid of it. But realize, you are Soldiers of Fortune, Men of War, Warriors of Coin and Masters of Luck. We do not do defeat, we ride forward riding under our flag. We will show these Borderlanders what it is to be women!" He grins at them all before guiding his horse towards the front. Only a man bearing a terrible glare sits there waiting for him. [Keinjo]

Coughing at the terribly speech, Tennant pats the wagon driver on the leg. "I think that man was kicked in the head by a horse. I hope your leader doesn't let him speak often." [Tennant]

"I'd be interested to know that myself," Jaim began, nodding at Gistagen, and then turned to concentrate on Keinjo as he makes his speech. He smirked a bit at the end of the speech, but said nothing, turning back to Kalinere and Gistagen. "That was interesting," he muttered, then fell silent. [Jaim]

Listening to Keinjo's speech Sheawyn just shook her head and gave a small laugh. "Well for a motivational speaker I do believe he would be dead of starvation by now." She commented aloud as she gave a sympathetic shrug to the men and women around her. [Sheawyn]

"Well, why shouldn't I?" She reaches up with her hand, rubbing over her neck as she shortly regards Keinjo during his speech, but quickly continues speaking. "I grew up in the Borderlands, and the amount of occasions that we took the fight to the shadow in my lifetime cannot even outnumber the amount of fingers on one of my hands. If it is to succeed, they need all the help they can get." She shrugs as she casts a glance towards Jaim. "I'll have both of your backs if you have mine." [Kalinere]

Wellen rides along, glancing at Keinjo while the man spoke but making no comment about it. Reaching for his mask in his belt pouch again, he spins it repeatedly in his hands before he speeds up his mount to join near the side of the marching army before slowing back down. [Wellen]

Gistagen nods thoughtfully at Kalinere's speech his grin slipping from his face. He peers at her and Jaim both intently and finally says, "I have your back Mistress Kalinere, and you Master Jaim if you desire." He then stares straight ahead as if lost in his own thoughts and idly loosens his weapons in their scabbards. [Gistagen]

As the army clears the mountain, passes that lead to the blight the leaders call a halt. The army stops at the base of a large mountain the last vestige of the borderlands before the blight begins. In the distance, the stale smell of corruption and death hangs on the wind. Despite this the nobles keep the men in good cheer and order the proper patrolling measures be taken. Camp is made and the army goes to rest, save the patrol, which alternate every two hours. When the morning comes the majority of the camp finds that their sleep was restless if not brief. Some even had strange dreams that they do not remember save the feeling of discomfort that stays with them even now. The sun is rising and the air is no longer pleasant but humid and heavy. The blight seems to be perfectly still and not a breeze touches the land. The army breaks camp and after conferring between themselves and the dubious Keinjo, the nobles put the lancers once again along the left side of the army while having pike men at the right with Keinjo's band leading the rear. Entering the blight as soon as the sun provided sufficient light they marched.

Keinjo rode at the back of the train, obviously pleased with the position. He keeps an eye out and chuckles, "See that Ral? They trust us already; they're trusting all their lives to us. Keeping the rear." He flexes his chubby little arms which results in the stone faced man beside him to simply shift his gaze off in the opposite direction. Several orders were made to ensure that the wagons were spread out equally among the back, each one having two crossbowmen aiming out the back. The rest of the men kept swords loose and their crossbows ready for firing. [Keinjo]

Sitting on the wagon once more Tennant yawns loudly the ashandarei still lay next to him. "I don't suppose strolling through the blight is the best idea. Even Jain Farstrider didn't do that without a care." [Tennant]

Walking near the middle of Keinjo's band, Jaim checks his surroundings to make sure there were people on every side of him. "This seems like a good position," he comments cheerfully as he proceeds, taking care to stay around that position. "Any opinion?" He did not direct the question at anyone in particular. [Jaim]

Sitting near the back of one of the wagons Sheawyn had a loaded crossbow leaning next to her staff, which was beside her. Her face was blank as she studied the landscape around them. She was chewing the inside of her lip before giving a small sigh and rolling her shoulders as if to get the stiffness out of them. [Sheawyn]

Her cloak was pulled tighter around her than it had been the day before, an instinct that their mere surroundings inferred upon Kalinere. "Probably. The only thing I can properly deal with is close combat. Putting me closer to the rear, side or front would just make me jump in front of bolts not meant for me." A grin crossed her face as her hands uncomfortably hid beneath her cloak. "Did either of you get any sleep?" [Kalinere]

Riding near the left flank of the Borderlander army, Wellen rides in silence, occasionally talking to some of the other Borderlanders. Occasionally reaching down to check if his pouch was still there. Looking around the army, "How far?" he asks to himself, though the question could seem to be directed to the Borderlanders. Wellen]

Gistagen marches along side Jaim and Kalinere, his sword sword breaker are both loose in his scabbard and his gaze darts nervously around the landscape. He makes very little conversation and seems unsettled by the Blight all around him. Despite the soldiers surrounding the three of them Gistagen licks his lips before responding. "I feel these mercenaries may be our best chance of survival, those Cavalry wouldn't want us near them, and that rabble they call infantry is made up of many men who don't appear too capable." He shrugs at Kalinere's question before mumbling quietly, "A little, but not very restful..." [Gistagen]

The blight's landscape is desolate but humid. The tree's and even the rocks sit unmoving clinking to a parody of life. The blackened trunks of the once great trees of Malkier litters the field and some of the trees even still stand though they are twisted and pathetic things. The smell of fetid water and the dampness in the air weigh every on those walking in armor, even the horses trained for the blight trot at the edge of panic. The occasional buzz of an insect a be heard yet none are evident. The army is tense.

Keinjo frowns slightly while he barks several orders, "Stay away from all plant life, stay away from anything that looks anything remotely like something that isn't dirt. The blight corrupts and these things have a way of leaping at you. The last thing we need is to die because we pissed on a dead tree." Suddenly he grins, "On the other hand, it'd be kind of a funny way to go. Still." He lifts up his own crossbow and moves on towards the nobles. "If you need to send scouts, I have one that is exceptional." He tells them, "If you have one planned, I'd like to have him join them." [Keinjo]

Keinjo frowns slightly while he barks several orders, "Stay away from all plant life, stay away from anything that looks anything remotely like something that isn't dirt. The blight corrupts and these things have a way of leaping at you. The last thing we need is to die because we pissed on a dead tree." Suddenly he grins, "On the other hand, it'd be kind of a funny way to go. Still." He lifts up his own crossbow and moves on towards the nobles. "If you need to send scouts, I have one that is exceptional." He tells them, "If you have one planned, I'd like to have him join them." [Keinjo]

Looking over the landscape Tennant stands and hops off the wagon touching down on the ground with a soft but audible plunk. "I would like to scout ahead; I do believe no one will mind. I am after all not under any of your command." Grinning widely his teeth look oddly sharp. [Tennant]

Glancing at the men who were discussing sending out a scouting party Sheawyn gave a small sigh before rolling off the wagon and landing lightly on her feet. Picking up her staff and slipping the crossbow onto her belt, she stalked over to the man in an odd toe-heel walking style with a stubborn expression. [Sheawyn]

A cry rises from the front of the army. A noble man slides off the horse gasping for air his eyes rolling into the back of his head. The army halts as medic run to the fallen man. After a moment the gurgling stops and the medics reaches him. After a long pause, his screams can be heard splitting the air his body beginning to twist and contort.

"Mercenaries? For survival, perhaps. But who's?" Kalinere sighs as she directs her gaze to the ground after overhearing Keinjo's warning about the plant life. "Mercenaries just want coin and would likely be among the first to run when it gets really dangerous. Although, of course, some exceptions to that rule exist. Either way, I prefer enlisted men who fought the blight all their lives myself. The Shadow never sleeps, and at least they know that." She smirks as she turns to Jaim, wanting to respond but the commotion in the front immediately makes her freeze, two daggers flashing out from beneath her cloak. "What's going on?" [Kalinere]

Wellen turns towards the twisting noble, a frown growing on his face. Turning back, he rides to join the group of lancers, moving his shield to his left arm but not pulling out any weapons. "Soon?" he guesses, scanning the area they moved in. [Wellen]

Gistagen immediately snatches his sword out of its scabbard and after only a moment's pause snatches the sword breaker and wields it in his off hand. He peers up towards the head of the column and says slowly, "Doesn't look like we're under attack, but there are medics moving about up there." He cranes his neck for a better look and then glances at Kalinere to check on her. [Gistagen]

At the sudden screams and shouts from the Borderlander before him, a seriousness near took over Keinjo, his face becoming bland. Not concerned, just bland. He lowers himself off his horse and immediately searches around himself. Back near Gistagen the sudden drawing of his sword has several crossbows initially pointing his way. A moment's pause and curses, they resume looking around themselves. A man leans over and speaks loud enough for her though he leans in as though pretending to whisper, "That woman over there with the big mouth thinks Keinjo is paying us to save his homeland." The other man whom was supposedly was whispered to snickers before shaking his head, "All women are loud friend, point to me one that isn't." He receives an elbow jab from one of the closer female mercenaries. Overall, the Mercenaries of Fortune doesn't seem to have their morals horribly affected. [Keinjo]

Looking out over army, he frowns. "If you?re going to keep going a scout would be wise. At least if they die you can see what killed them." [Tennant]

"Light, what is that?" Jaim mutters as the commotion begins, and his face pales, as the situation grows worse. "This...Isn't good. How many men are dead, and we haven't even started yet?" He drew his sword in the hand not supporting his hawk and steeled himself with a deep breath. Then, hurriedly, he thrusts the blade into the chest of one and then the other. [Jaim]

Standing next to the group Sheawyn leaned on her staff and glanced at the man who was pushing them to send out scouts. "I hate to say it but I do believe I agree with him." She commented as winced every time a new man began screaming around them. Glancing about as she stood there, she peered about as if hoping to see whatever it was which was mysteriously killing the men. [Sheawyn]

Grimacing in disgust, but not delaying her response due to it, the dagger in Kalinere's right hand flashes out to ungracefully severs the throat of the man that fell nearest to her, only to have Jaim's second blow pierce his heart a moment later. She then turns around on her foot, casting a meaningful glance towards Gistagen. "What is the cause? Poisoning us while we were asleep?" she mutters, her daggers held in a position to be ready to slash out at anything near to her at a moments notice. [Kalinere]

Wellen reaches down to his belt, grasping the hilt of his weapon. "This is heartening," he mutters darkly beneath his breath. Looking at the nearby lancers on his side, he turns back to scanning around the area to look for approaching threats he could deal with. [Wellen]

Gistagen peers about intently as if his sword can do something against the mysterious force that is felling men like so many weeds. He spins about and a low guttural snarl escapes his mouth. He vaguely registers Kalinere's question and says simply. "Whatever it is I vow it shall not harm you Mistress Kalinere..." [Gistagen]

Where initially they did not seem concerned with the blight, they suddenly grew sickly and serious. Humor vanishes, faces pale, and aggravation spreads through lines as they kill off those that react as they do. "Worse than Tarwin's Gap..." One of them murmurs. He finishes off the woman who just moments ago had been the butt of his joke. Words of sorrow for the passing of their brothers and sisters move among the Soldiers of Fortune's lines. Keinjo is now serious. And perhaps angry, his sword drawn and his eyes scouring. "If you do not want him to go with your party, he will go ahead of them. Make your choice and let him know." He shifts his glasses back to his face, his knuckle going tight against dragonshield as he goes to attempt to calm down his family. [Keinjo]

Ignoring the discussion, he already begins to trot through the army Ashandarei in hand. His pace was surprisingly fast for a blind man and he rarely if ever brushed against the soldiers as he made his way. Passing the nobles, he goes forward into the blight. A smirk lies on his lips. [Tennant]

"I'm not sure how we could defend against something like...That." Jaim shuddered at what had just happened, and then composed himself. "But it won't hurt to be extra cautious. Keep an eye out for anything unusual." Glancing around at the Blight that surrounded them. "Well, anything more unusual than the landscape already." [Jaim]

Shaking her head a the lack of reply to the attempt to organize scouts Sheawyn glanced at the man who left heading towards the front of the army. Sighing she glanced sharply at Keinjo before turning and making her way after the other man although she began angling her way away from him despite the fact she tried to keep him in view off the side. [Sheawyn]

"Thank you, but don't kill yourself in the process." She sighs softly as she straightens herself, her fingers loosening and regripping around the hilts of her daggers as she glances around her immediate company. "I give either of you my promise that if this happens to either of you, you won't have the time to realize it happened. It is an ugly death, unbecoming of suffering or wasting undue effort upon contemplating." Her face is grim as she slowly sets in, following the masses if and when they start to move again. [Kalinere]

Wellen glances back at the nine dead men, shuddering as he turns back to the march. "Why did I decide on this again?" he asks, leading his horse closer to the center. [Wellen]

Gistagen peers out from under the wide brim of his hat with eyes that look like two intense bits of ice. He glares about, sword and sword breaker clutched in his white knuckled fists. He hardly blinks, as if he intends to avoid blinking the whole hour to Malkier. "Stay behind me" he mutters to Kalinere without looking at her. [Gistagen]

The day comes near the end and the seven towers of Malkier come into full view. Stagnate lacks string the towers like a necklace. Their putrid green water and diseased surface giving off the smell of death and corruption. The land here has many trees, which the army tries to avoid. Nearly the entire army has their longbows at the ready and the lancers no longer have streamers tipped on their lances but have them at the ready. The scouts return reporting a small trolloc encampment ahead several 100 yards. They have up until now been unaware of the army.

Keinjo's men continue onward until they finally reach Malkier. A frown crowns onto his lips as he watches what looks to be a nearly desolate city. He shakes his head incredulously before making his way towards the leading nobles. "Alright. I did my part. You be sure to get this place livable again." He watches the city, his eyes dull and distant, as though recalling a fond but nearly forgotten memory. He leads the horse around and raises his arm, "For Malkier! For the Borderlands! For the Light!" He shouts once good before looking back at the nobles. "I expect you to get back alive. I will make my leave now." He begins to ride back down towards the sound and issues his orders to Ral. Ral goes and retrieves Ruthan and informs him that Keinjo will be departing and that Ruthan is to take the lead. [Keinjo]

Tapping his ashandarei on the ground, he frowns. "Trolloc camp ahead, if we move in and just use the archers and lancers we shouldn't lose a soul." He says to the nobles before moving into the army saying as much too several people. [Tennant]

"I suppose I didn't come all this way just to turn back..." Jaim muttered to himself. He joins the portion of the army that would be engaging the trollocs, one hand on the hilt of the short sword at his hip. His left hand is gloved, and perched on it is a trained hawk. He glances at Kalinere and Gistagen nervously. "Stay together, right?" [Jaim]

Kalinere nodded towards Jaim. "We will be close, although I hope we won't need each other. Please refrain from stupid heroic acts." A miniscule grin can be seen hinting her lips, the blades in her hands loose arcing the direct surroundings around her hands. "Are you ready too, Gistagen?" [Kalinere]

Gripping one of his axes, Wellen pulls it out of its axe loop. Leading his horse nearby the lancers as if considering charging with them if they do, turn his horse back towards the center somewhat. "Better to just wait" he looks towards the rest of the army, tightening his grip on his axe. [Wellen]

Gistagen looks about hurriedly and mutters to himself. "Trollocs, blasted trollocs" He says quietly. He sighs and says then "I suppose I didn't come here to be cowardly," he mutters before turning to Kalinere and saying "If you're intent on joining us, which you apparently are, then do not expect me to 'refrain from stupid heroic acts' to protect you." [Gistagen]

The nobles confer and the order is pass. The army is to draw bows and prepare. The lancers were going to draw the trolloc army toward the archers to slaughter them. After several moments, everyone was setup in a tight square formation with the mounted lancers at the front. Two of the nobles stayed with the archers while the other four went with the lancers yelling a charge. After a few minutes, they vanish behind an outcropping leaving the archers to wait.

Ruthan nods in reply to Ral, "Ral, guard my back as you do, Keinjo. You are not to leave my back. Keep your sword and shield to the ready, the young steely eyed man turns to his Mercenaries of Fortune squadron, "No heroics here today, mercenaries. Guard each other's back and when able pull the wounded back to the caravans, following. Squad 1, 2, 3, and 4 swords and shields to the front and rest, string and load crossbows and keep them ready." Ruthan turns towards the rest of the followers, "I'm unsure what your skills, technique and training is - but pick a squad that suits your fighting style, either hand to hand or ranged. I'm here to bring us all into the blight and hopefully bring us all back. Follow my orders and hopefully most of you will live. Eat, drink and touch nothing that lies on the ground or hangs from the blight-infested flora. You are to eat and drink only from the supplies you brought or from our pack wagons. Now let's follow the Borderlanders. Squadron. Move out.".

Ignoring the smelly man's orders, he moves to the side not watching anything due to being unable to see. Still his Ashandarei is slanted across his body held in both hands now as if he is waiting for something. [Tennant]

Watching Ruthan as he gives orders, Jaim hesitates for a moment then wanders over towards squad 3, joining them and gesturing for Gistagen and Kalinere to follow. "I assume that neither of you are using long range weapons?" He asks as he begins to walk. "If you are, then this is going to be awkward." [Jaim]

"Perhaps it will be awkward, but I wouldn't have anyone watching my back in those other squads. Nor would you if we went elsewhere. A promise made is a promise made, and besides, this other squad doesn't seem to stray too far from yours." Kalinere smirks as she follows Jaim while placing a friendly pat on Gistagen's back. "We'll do fine." [Kalinere]

Riding his horse towards the group of mercenaries, he gives Ruthan a quick examination from a fair distance before joining to join squad two. He looks around for the squads apparently leader, before stretching his arms out. "I guess it's time" he speaks in a quiet voice, "Where are the lancers?" [Wellen]

Gistagen follows Jaim and Kalinere as they shift locations with the group. He still holds his weapons out and at Jaim's question he holds up his sword breaker "I suppose I could throw this at a trolloc, might catch him in the nose" He chuckles at the thought for a moment but then immediately sinks back into his brooding worry. [Gistagen]

A roar can be heard form the north. A ripple goes through the army as people draw their long bows and the front line readies with the pikes. To the north a cloud of dust can be seen rising as the mounted lancers come galloping back. Behind them, the equally fast trollocs throw barbed spears and wave their axes and scythes. One of the men leading the group the leader of the army seems to be trying to shout something. After a few men on horseback fall to their death with a spear jutting through their armor the mans screams can be heard above the stampede. "Dha'vol trollocs... Loose! Loose! Loose!" Behind him, the trollocs roar now within firing range of the army. The mounted soldiers quickly being breaking to the left and right to avoid the arrow fire.

Ruthan watches the Trollocs stream from the camp and issues the following orders, "Squads 5, 6, 7, 8 - move to the front and fire on my command. Squads 1, 2, and 3 - close the gap; attack the trollocs from the flank. Squad 4, stay with me. Let's get this over as soon as possible." Ruthan turns towards Elliot, one of the members of Squad 1, "Elliot, if you of your squad notices any additional Trollocs, blow your horn. When I blow my horn in response, all squads are to retreat back to me, and the ranged squads will cover you." Ruthan then turns to Grey, the squad leader of Squad 4, "Raise the banner so that all can see.. Ruthan raises his hands and motions forward, "Attack!"

Once again ignoring the smelly man, he seems to have obtained a short bow somewhere and already has the arrow pulled back to his ears. Loosing it on the leader's command the arrow soared through the air toward the trollocs. [Tennant]

As Ruthan begins to issue orders, Jaim stares for a moment in no comprehension, then at the order to attack, he offers Kalinere and Gistagen a wan smile and advances towards the trollocs. He yanks his sword out of its sheath as he begins to move and focuses on the Shadowspawn. With a gesture and a spoken word, he attempts to convey to his hawk to go kill the trollocs. [Jaim]

Moving with squad four which ended up near the man who had taken over for Keinjo Sheawyn twisted her hand on her staff for a few moments as she watched the rest of the squads began their charge. Frowning slightly she reached up and took her glasses from her face and slid them carefully into a pouch before brushing her hair from her face. Her skin was pale under her tan as she waited with the rest of the squad. [Sheawyn]

Turning his horse around towards Ruthan's group, Wellen rides his horse towards the group back there. "Hello again" he nods towards Ruthan and Ral as he gets closer. Dismounting from his horse, he pulls a longbow from the saddle and readies an arrow. "Small world, I didn't expect to see you in the blight" he comments loudly at Ruthan, but remains facing the group of trollocs. [Wellen]

Gistagen curtly places Kalinere behind him as he charges forward. His brandishes the sword and sword breaker and yells a wordless shout of rage as he charges the trollocs. He sticks with group three as they curl about and strike at the trollocs from the flank. He glances once worriedly at Kalinere before wading into the midst of the surprised trollocs. [Gistagen]

The army looses its arrows in a cloud of steel, wood, and fletching. A second volley follows any seconds later. Trolloc drop by the dozens to the hail of steel, their screams and howls can be heard for miles. After the second volley, nothing remained standing of the Trolloc charge. All that did remain was a large patch of the earth littered with over 300 arrows and the corpses of trollocs and the mortally wounded trollocs crawling along the ground. The mounted lancers come back to the army now at a trot. The lead noble raises his land in the air and shouts a cheer. "For the Light and the Golden Crane!" The lancers behind him raise their lances into the air as well repeating the chant. "For the Light and the Golden Crane!" The army cheers, and after a few minutes of celebration the nobles mounted on horses once again begin to confer. Jaim's hawk is caught in the hail of arrows and it to lays on the battlefield.

Ruthan pulls forth his horn and blows one sharp note halting his squads advance and calling them back to the banner, "We'll let the Borderlanders clean up the wounded trollocs, we push forward, keeping close together - I want you all to keep an eye out from trollocs, fades, or any other blasted shadowspawn." Ruthan uses his knees to nudge his horse forward, expecting his followers to follow close behind, whilst using his hands to string and load his short bow.

The nobles finish their discussion and break to their own respective troops. One man comes over to Ruthan and bows. "You are to scout the area near the lakes and destroy any shadowspawn. Scouts have been dispatched and will warn of any impending attack. We are to reconvene here." Bowing once more, he trots back to his own group of people. The army fragmented now splits into groups of forty, and begins to fan out with archers and pikes in each. All the mounted lancers begin to ride out as well.

Ruthan nods his acknowledgement of orders to the messenger, "Okay, orders are that we are to move to the area by the lake, destroy any shadowspawn we see, and reconvene back here when they're destroyed. Same orders as before, stick with your current squads. Squads 1, 2, and 3 are to the front, squads 4 are to protect our flank, squads 5, 6, 7 and 8 are to stick close to me. If you hear Eliotts or my horn blow, you're to retreat back to the banner, while we cover you. Let's move"

Following behind the group with the Kalinere and her companions, Tennant smiles. "I hope you have room for one more with you." twirling his Ashandarei he tilts his head sideways his eyes simply staring out at nothing. [Tennant]

Staying with squad 3, Jaim proceeds northward with the rest of his group. He looks around near constantly, as though afraid a trolloc will appear at any angle. He grips his sword in a white knuckled grip, muttering about his dead hawk and about the Blight being nerve wracking. [Jaim]

Looking at the blind man who had walked up to them, she gave a small smile although he could not see it. "You are more than welcome to join us Master....?" She replied leaving the question open as she began to move with the group her staff thumping into the ground as they moved. Watching their surroundings with a careful eye her movements were loose and graceful despite the tension seen in her shoulders. [Sheawyn]

Kalinere smirked. "Go to the lake. Kill the shadowspawn. Now that's language I understand." She glanced towards Sheawyn and Tennant. "Feel free to join us - we all have the same goal I believe." [Kalinere]

Resting his bow, Wellen holds it and the arrow in one hand, using the other to lead his horse with him. After a few moments, he replaces his bow on his horse and remounts it. Drawing out his shield and axe again he joins group one as they are ordered to advanced. [Wellen]

Gistagen moves with the third squad as they spread out and begin searching for shadowspawn. He sticks with Jaim and Kalinere as the squad begins its patrol. He glances up at Sheawyn and Tennant as Kalinere speaks to them but offers them nothing more than a quick nod before he returns to his vigilant lookout. [Gistagen]

The men near the stagnate lakes that were once the great lakes of Malkier. The water is as still as death and green algae overgrows them. Death is on the air and a humid and rank smelling breeze flows through the area. Several trees? are to your left looking ominous while the lakes are easily several yards away to the right. Up ahead is a ridge with a telltale sign of smoke coming from it. A small group of rocks is along the space between lake and tree's that forces one to go either left or right or over to reach the ridge.

Ruthan approaches the lakes studies both paths, before turning back towards the structured group "We'll take the right side of the lake, I've heard stories about Blight trees snatching riders right out of their saddles." Ruthan unhitches his shield from his horse and straps it to his right arm. "Shields up. This is the perfect place for an ambush." "Squads 5, 6, 7, 8 - keep an eye on the ridge, if you see anything move up there - shoot"

Pausing he falls a few steps back, tilting his head back. Frowning he begins to jog forward holding his Ashandarei at the ready. "The blight stinks worse then the man who keeps using numbers to identify people." [Tennant]

The soft sound of dripping can be heard. Some of the men look over shouting in panic as three large oily black tentacles are out of the lake and hovering only a few feet away. As if triggered by the screams the tentacles shoot into the group grabbing Kalinere and Sheawyn along with an unfortunate soul who is almost instantly crushed when he stabs the tentacle with his dagger. His face pours blood before the tentacle carries his body above the lake and drags it into the depth, the green water turning reddish with his blood.

Screaming as the tentacle grabbed her Sheawyn attempted to shove her staff into the coils of the tentacle in order to wedge her way out of it as she wiggled about. [Sheawyn]

Surprised at the first shouts but recomposed when the tentacle hits and coils around her waist, Kalinere instinctively embeds her daggers into the tentacle firmly, one from the side and the other from the top, twisting them in a scissor-like motion as to inflict most pain and damage upon its nerves while shouting. "Grab me, pull me back! Swordsmen, cut that thing. NOW!" Desperation sounds harshly through her voice as she struggles to loosen the things grip on her. [Kalinere]

Wellen's horse walks along next to the water, Wellen holding his shield on his left arm, to block any attacks from that direction. He glances over the water, clenching his axe at the lack of a threat except for the smoke over the ridge. The tentacles reach out and snap up three of their group, turning his horse around looking at the incident. He tries to urge his horse but it refuses to comply. [Wellen]

Gistagen watches helplessly as a large tentacle drags Kalinere into the air. "Kalinere!" he shouts "Hold on!" Despite his words of hope, he stands still as a statue, unable to help Kalinere. He watches in horror as the man taken is brutally killed by the monster and yells a wordless howl of rage. [Gistagen]

The tentacles begin to bring them over the water and slowly pull them down into the fetid depth. As their feet begin to sink into the water, a great shadow looms beneath and the water roils with its passing as waves lap up against the lakeshore.

Hearing a shout, he 'looks' around. All of a sudden, his face scrunches up and he brings a pair of daggers from his belt. The twin blades are easily a foot long each and curving slightly. Leaving his Ashandarei on the ground, he begins to run for the water diving in after the kraken daggers in hand and a roar escaping his lips before he hits the water. [Tennant]

The water begins to turn read and the tentacles flail out putting the women well over land again although slightly out of reach of melee weapons. However, the tentacles begin to crush the two women slowly as several more rise from the lack and then arc back down into the water as if grappling with something.

A shadowed figure in a blood stained cloak travels through the thick fog. The figure is large, near impossibly, wielding a very plain sword. Plain if a sword as long as the seven-foot warrior's was could be called plain. The hood drops down as he picks up speed, his hair flickering out, and closing distance to the kraken. He breathes heavily, his grip tightening around the weapon before coming to a complete stop and then creates a heavy-handed swing at the nearest tentacle. His grip tightens as he takes a step forward and allows the momentum to create an overhead to remove Sheawyn from her perch, "Run." He says to them in a chilling quiet voice. He does not stay long, does not see if they are kept safe from a second attack, only to run south and shout, "Jumara packs come. Retreat. Head south to the border." He stops where he can shout to them all, "Do not gather in groups, do not fight, there are too many. Flee now." [Arngrim]

Finally urging his horse forward, Wellen comes in with a cleaving attack on the appendage holding Kalinere, attempting to pull the axe out and cleave at the tentacle again if it does not break through the first time. Continuing to urge his horse onward as he cleaves the second time, grabbing at Kalinere to pull her loose from the Kraken's gone or weakening grip as he does and head back to shore. [Wellen]

Ruthan takes the word of the incoming stranger and lifts his horn to his lips and blows a retreat, "Retreat. Pull back to the rendezvous point. Squads 1 and 5, stay with me. Squads 6, 7, 8 - rolling retreat. Squads 2, 3 and 4 - retreat back to the border as fast as you can. And you stranger, you're staying with me and telling me what the hell you're doing in the Blight by yourself." Ruthan points towards the squads "Move. Now. I wish to make it out of this place alive"

As the situation steadily becomes worse, Jaim pauses, and when the order is given to retreat, he mutters "Finally." Then, without hesitation, he begins to make his way towards the nearest borderland nation as fast as he could go without exhausting himself quickly. [Jaim]

Struggling out of the coils which had trapped her Sheawyn's face was twisted in a snarl as she retrieved her staff quickly as the man told her to run. Glaring at the lake with narrowed eyes she looked as if she was about to take another step forward before she shook her head and turned to flee. Moving after the others she quickly caught up to them as she held her staff in an underhanded grasp with her right hand. Running along with the group, she cursed under her breath as she ran. [Sheawyn]

Falling into freedom as the tentacle she was caught by was cleaved; she lands right next to Wellen with a harsh fall. Struggling to get up again, she glances at him thankfully before approaching him. "Mind if I join? That fall was nasty." She does not wait for an answer, instead placing her hand on his shoulder and using him as support to climb behind him on the back of his horse. [Kalinere].

Gistagen hesitates and waits until he is sure Kalinere is firmly on the horse before sheathing his sword and sword breaker. He grabs the hilt of his sword to hold it away from his legs and immediately begins running after the others as fast as he can go. He keeps a wary eye out at the trees as he passes them but despite his caution makes good time. [Gistagen]

Arngrim adjusts his grip, his face hard and steely as he watches the people begin a steady retreat, the weapon resting onto his shoulder. His entire woolen armament remains blood stained and new blood seems to soak onto it. He breathes heavily, trying to peer through the fog in the direction he had arrived from. Soon the reason is evident as from that location thirty other borderlands pour forward, fear on some faces determination on the rest. He nods his head, his eyes relaxing just slightly in his relief. "Follow these men out, there is strength in numbers." He shouts out calmly. He offers Ruthan a nod at his words, "Perhaps another time, Borderlander." He begins a slow walk towards their escape, which gradually turns into a full out run. [Arngrim]

Ruthan nudges his horse towards the weapon that Tennant dropped before he jumped in the water, collects it from the ground and hefts it in his hand, "Interesting weapon." Ruthan turns back towards the rest of the men, "They've had a head start on us, men. Time to retreat back to the border. Grey, take down the banner, we do not need to give them something to follow. All of you - stick close to me."

Following along with the ground Sheawyn's breath came slow and steadily as she ran as fast as she could. Despite the fact she was carrying her staff she was gaining a small lead on a few of the slower people. [Sheawyn]

"No trouble" Wellen states, forcing his horse to speed up along with the others on horses. "Hello Tally" he greets as he reaches Arngrim, "Enjoy your little run through the blight?" He slows the horse down enough to fall behind Arngrim a short distance. He nudges Kalinere with his right arm, "Are you any good at riding a horse?" he asks. [Wellen]

"I can ride just fine. Can't fight off one, though, so I came as a mere footman." She mutters slightly as she places her hand in her side, glancing over her shoulder as she does so to look behind her. "Thank you for that rescue, by the way." She inclines her head towards Arngrim politely, curiously regarding the towering man. [Kalinere]

The groups escape from Malkier is hounded as the ground trembles every so often. The screams of the last remnants of the army that marched to the blight can be heard along side the wails of the Jumara's. After almost an hour of fleeing, the humidity of the blight weighs heavily on you. The earth is corrupted and the ground is hot as the air is beginning to freeze the sweat on your skin. To the south, you see the mountains that you entered the blight from. The sun's light is waning and yet the blight is still illuminated. The sound of a horn can be heard; however, it is no Human horn. It comes from the south. To the north the wails of the Jumara return this time, they sound as if they are moving, closer.

Arngrim has his weapons sheathed at this time, his hood covering his head just a portion of his head. He walks slowly among the group of Borderlanders and speaks words to them. A few he places a hand upon their shoulder and gives them a firm nod. "You all survived." He tells them with firm voice, "You fought well and brave." He raises his head for a moment at the sound and shakes his head, "We are close to returning to our homes. You are close to returning to your families." He walks towards the mountains and he touches his hilt. "But I have to ask you to fight with me one more time. There are trollocs to the south, they come. A Jumara pack cuts our retreat." He does not smile, his warm voice carrying to all that stand around him. "Fight with me and live." He turns around to face everybody. ?Borderlanders move forward, creating a wide line. You, gather your men, have them fire at whom they can from the sides. If we are lucky they are not large, if we are not lucky... we will slice into the center of their ranks and gut them from the inside out." He moves to the front of all of them and begins to lead his way. [Arngrim]

Ruthan nods to Arngrim, "Squads 5, 6, 7, 8 - shoot the Trollocs when they appear. The rest of you are to stick close to me, we should be able to use the Borderlanders as a distraction and slip past the Trollocs, in the fighting. Let?s determine their numbers first." Ruthan sheathes the salvaged weapon, draw forth his short bow, and loads it with an arrow.

"Like we have much of a choice? Outrunning them failed miserably, didn't it?" Jaim muttered irritably as Arngrim finished his speech. "Still, any chance of survival is nice." Then he moved in to take a position near Ruthan, watching both the leaders of the group and his surroundings alternately. [Jaim]

Sheawyn came to a stop and tilted her head towards Arngrim as he shouted his motivational speech. Sighing softly she glanced about before she froze for a moment. Her face contorted for a moment as she spat out a single world, "Neverborn!" Sheawyn snarled slightly as her head whipped around towards where the rest were facing. Sprinting towards Arngrim, she slowed slightly as she came close to the man as her head reverberated or so it seemed. "There is at least one neve... fade amongst them." She snarled at the man as she slammed her staff down beside her. [Sheawyn]

"Use the horse" Wellen speaks to Kalinere as he stops and dismounts the horse, joining next to Arngrim as he begins to lead. Adjusting his shield to his back before running after. Reaching into his belt, he grabs the mask made of leather straps, setting it over his face after waving it in the air a few times. "Much better' he speaks gleefully for the first time in their trip. Pulling his other axe from his belt loop and wielding it in his off hand he charges after Arngrim. [Wellen]

Quickly taking the reigns of the horse, she nods towards Wellen. "I'll take good care of him, even if it is to prevent its suffering. Light shelter you." she says, moving forward on the horse as she speaks. After searching around her for a moment, Kalinere moves the horse in the direction of Gistagen. "Let's go." she says to him, her tone rough around the edges. [Kalinere]

Gistagen starts as Kalinere rides back to him on a horse. He gets over his shock quickly however, and hops on immediately. He draws his sword from its scabbard and holds it ready to defend them as they ride back towards the group. [Gistagen]

The horn is answered by another long horn this one much deeper then the last. Despite the Jumara's wailing from the north a horde of at least 70 trollocs with two black horses ridden by black cloaked halfmen stand in your way. They are just meeting, as they seem to have arrived from the east and west respectively. The fades look at each other for a few moments before moving to different sides of the crude formation of trollocs. The Borderlands snarl at the sight and the Mercenaries of Fortune tighten their grips on their weapons. The Jumara are getting closer however their seems to be just enough time to attempt to break this group of shadowspawn. In any case, they block the only entrance to the mountain and sit at least 200 yards away as if waiting.

Arngrim pulls on his weapon, the metallic contraption on his back clicking as the sword comes loose. He holds the sword in his hands, places it against his shoulder, and looks towards the fade. The chill touches him that feeling he understood should be fear. It did not touch him. He begins to move forward and raises his voice again, "Do not fear the eyeless. They die today." He moves down the battlefield, his right arm holding the hilt heavily over his shoulder, the steel resting against his back, his left arm raised up to keep and maintains balance. Distance closes; he feels it in his heart. He prepares himself and then stops. The full mass and momentum of his body, the sword flying overhead, his left hand gripping it tightly. He slams it down towards the fade, aiming at the ground, his body already comforting to prepare for the next attack. [Arngrim]

Taking care to stay near the back of the groups of soldiers, Jaim advances towards the shadowspawn. "Do not fear the eyeless? Easier said than done," he mutters as the distance closes. "We're backed into a bloody corner." [Jaim]

Sheawyn snarled as she began moving forward towards the shadowspawn although she was sure to allow the others to remain around her. Attempting to go after the trollocs a little ways to the left of the fade she slid into a complex form with her staff being sure to keep it close to her body so that she could use it defensively as needed [Sheawyn]

"Borderlanders, Mercenaries" Wellen turns around, calling out to the group of warriors before him. "I am Wellen Diyaveho, former member of the Kandori Borderguard" He motions towards the trollocs before shouting orders, "Mercenaries, proceed forward, build the center of our charge, ready for melee combat!" He motions for the Borderlanders, "Fill our sides with your archers! Use your bows to take down any trolloc within range!" Regardless of whether the two armies listened to him he, charges forward to help build the center of their attack. [Wellen]

The fade rode toward Arngrim without hesitation. Its cloak unmoving it's arm draws a black blade from its belt in one smooth serpentine motion. Leaning down it catches Arngrim's blade but is forced off its Mount. Landing on its feet, it begins to move almost like a black blur its arms and body shifting and bending in a dark dance of death. When the Mercenaries and Borderlanders meet the trolloc, the clash of steel and smell of blood fills the air. All around Sheawyn the trollocs fall back from the skilled staff wielder. Several of them lay with broken skulls at her feet. While other come in more cautiously with swords rather then axes. The trollocs break the borderland and mercenaries line in minutes and the battle is joined in full now in chaos. Kalinere's hand flits out twice leaving a trolloc to drown in its own blood wreathing in a heap. The Mercenaries are beginning to clear any area around the wagon, which had been traveling with them since Malkier. The wooden structure had several dark arrows sticking out of it. The fade fighting Arngrim moves ever faster their swords sparking with each contact now. The trollocs leave the pair of them alone a wide area being left as the two blade masters duel. Some of the men listen to Wellen's commands and use their longbows and crossbows to great effect shooting into groups of trollocs that are not mixed with humans.

Arngrim's body pumped as he wielded the two hander, his body twisting heavily back and forth with his cloak flutters against the wind. He takes a quick step forward and swings to the side Apple Blossoms in the Wind. With the swing ceased, he follows through with The Rose Unfolds a couple of times in quick thick slashes. He stands back, his body braced, realizing he managed to place the army line before himself. He watches the fade, his face impassive, and his body rock solid. He breathes quietly and waits for the myddraal to make its move. His body already set up on the defensive, prepared to attack on a twitch. [Arngrim]

Coming out of the wagon with a crossbow and a spear in hand, he fires it into the nearest trolloc growling his eyes a bit red his skin a bit pale. Looking around a moment, he hurls the spear at another trollocs shouting. "For luck and Coin men!" a cheer goes up from the mercenaries at seeing one of its leaders seemingly magically appear in the middle of a fight. Still Lucian smells faintly of whiskey and as he gets out of the wagon, he draws his heron marked blade and snarls in an almost feral way. Wading through the trollocs, he begins to make his way toward Arngrim and the fade. [Lucian]

As the fighting begins, Jaim goes pale and hesitates for a moment from shock. Then, gripping the sword hard enough to make his knuckles turn white, he makes an overhead slash towards the sword, putting the weight of his body behind it and aiming for the trollocs head. [Jaim]

Sheawyn's staff was a blur as she slid from form to form Wind Catches the Sail slipped into A Leaf Rides the Rapids as she moved against any of the trollocs near her. A feral snarl covered her face as she spat curses and growled at the trollocs as her staff whirred about around her. [Sheawyn]

Shifting her weight in the saddle seems to be enough to move the horse in the middle of combat, although harsh prodding with ankles and tugging on the reigns are the only things that can make the horse obey with trollocs all around. Despite that, quick turns of her wrists and changes in the orientation of the dagger quickly happen to counter and punish any blades meant for her. [Kalinere]

"Don't let them group on you, assist your allies" Wellen?s call comes from the center of their lines, he attacks the trolloc in front of him with a heavy swing towards it's neck and a vertical slash for it's opposite arm. Ending the attack in an elbow jab to the same trolloc, he pushes forward, slashing at the backs of nearby trollocs intent on his allies. "Borderlanders, continue your arrow support, thin out their outer lines!" he tries to call over the mass of fighting, but cannot tell if his words were lost. [Wellen]

As if appearing from the ground two more fades flow at Arngrim blades stabbing for him while the first fade actually quirks its lip in a bloodless smirk. Trollocs fall left and right as Lucian wades through the combat slashing them from behind while engaged with other men. THe trolloc Jaim slashes at is caught by a pike in the side and is unable to block the mans swinging his skull splitting beneath the steel of his blade. The trollocs now give much berth to the woman with the staff as several more fall to the ground with cracked skulls and broken bones. Several blades stab up at Gistagen and Kalinere both.However, his deft movements manage to deflect the blades. One of them catches the horse in the flank causing it to rear and throw both of the riders to the ground surrounded by trollocs. Another volley of arrows fires into the trollocs before the archers and crossbow men are forced into melee combat by a charge of trollocs. A trolloc loses the left side of its chest and another it's entire right arm to Wellen's furious assault.

The appearance of the two fades catches Arngrim only partially off guard. He had been preparing for the other to make his appearance since he noted him on the battlefield. He takes a step back, the first nicking his neck. His originally opponent strikes at him quickly and he shoves his sword forward deflecting the strike. His eyes focus harder, his lips twitching. His body tenses as he feels the third fade's sword cut against his leg. Blood flows over cloth many times torn over and heavily blood stained as it is. Again a strike, this time deflected by his armguard. He takes a step back, his eyes seeming to lose focus for a moment before he breathes quicker and aggravation starts to show on his face. Bits of muscle twitch as he quickly moves forward and unleashes a flurry of hard and swift thrusts. [Arngrim]

Bashing the back of a trollocs head in with his sword hilt he clears the trollocs and begins to make his way to the fades flowing in with his heron marked blade he attempts to move the fade away from Arngrim grimacing as he dances with steel against this shadowspawn. On his hip is a small bundle with a long cord hanging out. [Lucian]

The fade falls back behind Lucian's assault until a fourth fade appears that the man's side slashing for his neck with a blade of blackened steel. The Jumara worms are quite close now the ground beginning to rumble.

Blinking in surprise at the effectiveness of the slash, Jaim pulls his sword out of the trollocs sword and looks around briefly for the next nearest shadowspawn. Now a bit more confident, he aims a thrust at the nearest trolloc to him, in an attempt to put the blade through its heart. [Jaim]

Fear began to tinge the battle haze, which Sheawyn had been in as she reached out of instinct even though she knew it was futile. Continuing to snarl she moved from form to form seemingly tirelessly as she attempted to clear out a small group of trollocs, which was trying to encircle a group of mercenaries who were fighting back to back as best they could. [Sheawyn]

Quickly scrambling to get up from the ground, Kalinere glanced at Gistagen for a moment before turning her attention back to the surrounding shadowspawn. Noticing Sheawyn work her way towards them, she in turn worked her way towards her to the best of her abilities, the lack of high ground advantage being made up by having her own feet and full mobility back on the ground. Her daggers flit one after another at a higher pace made necessary, reaching out to slit throats and aim for hearts whenever possible. [Kalinere]

Leaving the extremely wounded Trolloc alone, Wellen begins to move through the enemy army, slashing at trollocs fighting the mercenaries and attempting to block and dodge the ones not busy while heading to one of the sides to free the Borderlanders on the side. "Push them back, don't let them surround you" he calls, assuming he manages to make it back into their line.

The trolloc is caught from behind by Jaim's thrust and goes down squirming. While Sheawyn beats down a group of trollocs before they can even turn to fight back freeing a group of Mercenary crossbow men to fire into the small remaining pocket of trollocs. Kalinere reaches Sheawyn after slicing the throat of a few trollocs and managing to hamstring another setting up a Borderlander to lop off its head. The mercenaries and Borderlanders are beginning to reform herding the remaining 20 trollocs into the middle. On Wellen's orders archers and crossbow men fire at the remaining shadowspawn. The four fades work in tandem together forcing the two swordsmen back to back in some cases. Blood begins to flow from Arngrim's arm where another wound had sliced him while Lucian has a gash along one of his ribs turning his cotton shirt red and another cut on his thigh. The ground begins to tremble constantly now the wail of the Jumara filling the air.

Arngrim takes several steps back and grunts heavily, anger starting to burn behind his eyes. His narrowly avoids another strike before shoving his clawed gauntlets into the fade's face, his sword resting on his shoulder and coming down quickly at an angle. His fingers dig into the eyeless sockets, breaking through the fade's teeth and holds it there tightly while the giant sword comes down and cuts through the shoulder and down through the arm and eventually into the torso. The second fade strikes him hard in the back only to discover his back plate. He kicks the fade forward and frustration appears on his face. "I missed." He says simply before removing its head from its neck with Soft Rain at Sunset. Severing it, the head begins to fall while Arngrim turns to engage the survivor. [Arngrim]

Ducking under the second fades slash his eyes latch onto the darkened steel of the newest arrival. Smirking at both fades, he spits at them going into a frenzied movement. On his belt, he tugs the bag free and shouts "TORCH!" one of the men quickly light a torch within easy reach on the wagon and hurls it over near the fight between the men and the fades. Falling back between the two fades, he attempts to keep them on the same side of himself. [Lucian]

Waiting his legs crouch and he leaps backwards managing to land almost on top of the flame. Letting the cord ignite on it he rolls to the left and back up to his feet barely in time to meet the fades and side step reaching out with now hissing bag and shoving it into the fades cloak. Taking a slash across his back before he can spin away in time he turns sideways and begins to run. The mercenaries who are nearby also begin to back up. [Lucian]

"This day just keeps getting better and better," Jaim mutters as the Jumara, continue to get nearer. Pulling his sword out of the body of the second trolloc, looking around for another with a touch more confidence. Rushing towards the remaining trollocs, getting close before using his short sword to slash towards the side of one of the Shadowspawn. [Jaim]

Watching Lucian dash away from the fades Sheawyn's eyes dart from the man to the fade and then to the fuse which was hissing away. Her eyebrows arched up, she turned and began scrambling to the south away from the fades, and the Jumara?s which were even farther out. Keeping her staff at the ready she began gathering as many Borderlanders and mercenaries as she came across in an effort to usher them towards the mountains. [Sheawyn]

Finishing off the final trolloc in her range, Kalinere looked up only to see people sprint away. Instinctively, she chose not to question the wisdom and quickly fell in line as Sheawyn ran past her, following as quickly as she could. [Kalinere]

"Open a hole back to the north for the remaining trollocs to escape, start falling back south!" He calls out, hearing the approach of the Jumara far too loudly. He turns to the mercenaries, "Send you?re remaining horses back into the blight or we're all dead" he yells out, "Everyone else, fall back to the south!" [Wellen]

The men fire once more into the trolloc that are already falling to the ground convulsing as a fade dies to Arngrim and another explodes in a bright flash of light and an almost deafening bang that echoes across the land coming back having bounced off the mountain. Everything within 10 yards of the explosion is pushed back from the blast and the fade is turned into little more then chunks of meat. The remaining fades press the attack more with the nearing Jumara. The mercenaries already have the wagon trundling along at break neck speed with the men obeying Wellen letting all the horses run north. However, some of them veer off and begin galloping west.

Arngrim holds his weapon steady for a very long time as he watches the fade. It did not look amused, never really did, Arngrim's face reflected that same sentiment. His body ached slightly, blood spilling down his arms. He felt tired. His cloak felt heavy and his armguards did not assist. He parries a strike and then another before assaulting with his own, two strikes blocked the third causing them to lock blades. He presses forward, closing the distance and then thrusts his fist at its face. It avoids the strike and attempts to lop off his arm only to have it stopped by his armguard. Arngrim's features begin to calm down slightly, his hand adjusting itself over the weapon before he suddenly spills forward a barrage. The strikes miss for the most part until his final strike allows his sword to thrust into the fade's mouth. He withdraws his sword as the creature falls and begins twitching non-stop. He gazes at the sky before quickly starting to run. "Retreat." He shouts out among the men, "Retreat." [Arngrim]

Pulling a dagger from his belt, he hurls it at the fade then charges in his ears still ringing. Brining the fades sword low he produces another dagger in his hand and shove it into the fades throat. Moving back he lets the thing begin to bleed out. Moving forward once more, he catches the fades blade a second time and kicks out with his boot hard kicking the fade in the chest causing it to fall to its knees. Then kicking again, he drives the dagger through the fade's neck almost ripping it in two. Turning around he begins to lip to the south coughing a little blood pouring from several cuts and his left leg not working except for a limp. Ral quickly appears at his side and offers support. [Lucian]