Dwarven Crates: A Casual Raid (part 1)


From her vantage point on the hill, Eruviel watched as the battle ebbed and flowed below her. Well, if the raid could have been called that. The locking of Bree’s gates during the plague had been a major setback. The search for the crates of dwarven weapons had led her and Raigar here, and she offered a silent prayer that the stolen weapons were indeed still at the camp.

Anricwulf grinned wickedly. With a roar, he drew his spear and charged into the mass of Orc bodies. Plowing through the enemies ranks, Anric slammed Orcs aside with his shield before piercing necks and chests with sharp jabs of his spear. Kicking a wounded and raging monster aside, the man whirled his spear in his hand and brought the point down through the Orc’s eye.

Raigar seemed at ease in the chaos. The Horselord strolled in easily behind Anricwulf, slaying in his wake. He severed the throats of many Orcs that had been left wounded or stunned in his path, and his long sword gleamed in the firelight as it flashed back and forth, deadly yet elegant. Raigar plunged his hunting knife hilt-deep into the skull of one of the Orcs that had been kicked aside, and wrenched it free seconds later. A twisted smirk etched along his lips as black blood splattered across the grounds in the wake of their onslaught. All the while, his eyes remained moving, constantly searching the dark for sign of the missing Dwarven crates that had brought them there.

Threz, standing on the ridge not far from her, set his sights on a meaty looking Orc and dropped the beast with a bolt to the brain. He worked to recock the weapon, grunting as he put strain on his shoulder blade muscles. Eruviel felt a pang of gilt, knowing by all rights he should have been back in Bree, healing. But the guild needed rebuilt, and she figured he would prefer the payout to pity. Threz loaded a bolt and scanned the bloodied scene for enemy archers. He found one when the villain’s arrow bit the dirt near where he crouched. Cursing, he sighted and shot it down before the Orc could get another arrow in the air.

Glancing back to the mercenary, Eruviel pivoted and took out an Orc archer that had circled from the eastern side of camp. Shifting her stance back she loosed arrows in swift succession into the mob of beasts, avoiding the men who battled below, and taking out any potential threats to them she could perceive. A wounded Orc that had been missed attempted to rise to his feet behind her companions and Eruviel swiftly nailed it to the ground. Looking further into the camp she sighted a larger Orc sprinting down from the crude fort, and after striking it once, then twice, the monster finally dropped.

Raigar followed the path of dead bodies even deeper into the camp, pausing only to signal up to Eruviel and Threz to join them once the way had been secured enough. When he turned to them, another Orc tried to tackle him from behind, but he hurled it over his shoulder and gutted it with his blade.

Anricwulf slammed an Orc to the ground before bringing his metal heel down between the beast’s eyes. “So are we looking for something or just here to spill some blood?”

Threz stepped back out into the open, aimed and loosed, pausing to re-cock his weapon before marching down to join the others. Eruviel followed, drawing another arrow from her quiver as she slid down the incline. It had been a long time since she’d had a fight like this, and she easily dismissed her wondering if it was a good or bad thing.

Raigar drew his sword free of the Orc’s belly and called out to Anricwulf, “Didn’t want to deter you from your fun,” he practically laughed, his eyes glancing to Threz and Eruviel as they approached.

Anricwulf cracked his neck. “Was a good fight. Far better than Brigands or Tomb Robbers.”

Raigar rolled his eyes. He sheathed his knife and plucked the horn that dangled from his quiver, raising the mouthpiece to his lips. A mighty roar burst forth as he blew into the horn, and soon a new, large pack of Orcs came running down the hill from the back of the fort. Anricwulf grinned, hurling a javelin into the mass. He drew his sword and rushed the Orcs, shield held out in front of him. Eruviel took a step to the left and aimed high. Shooting in rapid succession, her fifth arrow left the string just as the first hit into the fast approaching mob.

Threz glared at Raigar, and Eruviel could have sworn that she heard the mercenary mutter, ‘horn man,’ rather spitefully. “I thought we were done!” Then he loaded a bolt in, sighting at an archer taking position on the hill, and fired.

As Raigar let his horn drop  the sound of thundering hooves echoed off the cliff walls. Raigar’s riders had arrived, and they swooped in from the far end of the camp, crashing into the Orc lines without mercy. “That cave up ahead,” Raigar shouted, gazing back over his shoulder in search of Eruviel’s attention, before turning to nod at it. “Looks like a good hiding spot, doesn’t it?”

“That it does!” she responded, moving forward as she shot another orc archer from the far ridge. Her eyes gleamed as they then darted ahead towards the cave. Threz parried an Orc’s blow easily, slashing the beast with a practiced arm as he fought through the quickly panicking mob.

Anricwulf slammed his shield hard into the chest of an Orc, his sword finding a sweet spot beneath the foul beast’s arm. His swing produced a spray of black blood that spattered his companions. “Is that where we are headed?”

Raigar nodded and the small company fought their way towards the cave. “There’s no telling how deep it goes. The riders can keep the rest of the camp busy while we explore it.”

Eruviel resisted the temptation to draw her sword, but with a dark, satisfied smile turned up her mouth as she decided there were enough blades about, and shot an arrow inches past Raigar’s head to kill the orc behind the one he’d just cut down. “I hope we are not too late,” she called in response, dodging falling bodies and horses. Threz blocked an Orc’s attack with his dagger and grabs the monster’s sword arm, holding it out of the way while he sliced the beast’s throat.

Raigar ‘s brow quirked as the arrow whistled past his head, and lips curled into another wicked grin. “Aye, to the caves!” he shouted before slamming his sword into the jaw of another Orc. Anricwulf kicked an Orc between the legs with the metal heel of his boot before following, Threz hot on their heels as he slammed his dagger up under an Orc’s chin and into it’s skull.

No enemies guarded the door into the hill, and the small group slid into the cave unhindered, the thick wooden door muffling the roar of the one-sided battle taking place outside. The air was dank and cool, the relative quiet more shocking and welcome than anything else.

Anricwulf looked between his fellows. “Alright, we’re here. What now?”

(All dialogue taken from in-game RP and edited for tense and exposition.)


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