Part 56 – A Court to Take
Theomin looked at his men and nodded too. They quickly formed ranks as both Theomin and Sergee marched up the hill followed closely by their men, Eleswith, Helesdir, and Magla. They stopped just shy of the arched gate of the western portion of the city.
Theomin looked at his men. “I trust we have some archers amonst our ranks.” A few of the wardens raised their hands. “Look for any of the enemy who are carrying bows or crossbows. Anything that has range to it. It may be tough to spot them in the dark but it is necessary to do so before we are picked off one by one the enemy. Wait for my command.”A few of the wardens nodded and removed their bows and drew their arrows. They pulled back on them, waiting for Theomin to hear the command from Theomin. Sergee was already taking the southern route, up the hill away from the water. He was leading his men to higher point to have the strategic advantage. Theomin then looked at his men. Eleswith looked eager to start fighting as did his men. Twenty of them there were, almost a third of them were holding their arrows back in their bows, ready to fire. He gave a quick sigh, knowing that once the arrows flew, it was time to fight. He finally gave the order with command but softly so as not to allow the enemy to hear, “Fire.”
Arrows flew, meeting their targets with presision. Many of the enemies were felled even as they still looked around. Some had already noticed where the arrows came from. Some had crossbows while others just ran toward Theomin’s group with swords in hand. They were quickly dispatched while the others with crossbows were also slain. Some of the others that were not killed continued to run toward Theomin’s group. Theomin drew his sword but Eleswith met them and finished off two of them very quickly. The rest of the enemy, then, began fell out toward Theomin’s group. The rest of his wardens ran out to meet the enemy with swords and yells of “glory!” and “death!” and “for Annuminus!”
Theomin too, ran out to meet the enemy in the fight. He hacked and slashed his way toward the rest of the men, the evil Angmarim men. He then yelled to Eleswith, “Elewith, take five wardens and secure the lower part near the water. We want to secure this whole path up the hill.” She did as she was told and five of the wardens and Eleswith ran down toward the water, firing arrows and slashing at all the Angmarim down there.
Theomin and the rest of his men made their way up. A couple of his men fell to Angmarim sentries posted utop some of the structures around them. Theomin commanded his men to fire upon them and almost as soon as he commanded them, the sentries fell to Theomin’s archers. They ran their way up to the top of the hill and met up with Sergee and his men. Not long after they joined with Sergee’s men did Eleswith return with her five men.
“The lower part is secure,” she said, glee was on her face as she was glad to have two swords in her hand, being able to fight an enemyqq instead of running from them.
“Good,” Sergee said. This is where the ranger camp is.”
Theomin nodded, “That was not too bad.”
“Huh,” Sergee gave a slight chuckle, “That was only the beginning. This part was lightly defended. There are many more enemies in the city. Tough ones. How many did you lose?”
“If Eleswith lost none, then I only lost two wardens on our way here,” Theomin figured. “I am down to eighteen, or nineteen if you count the sergeant.”
“I lost none,” Sergee said. “Helesdir and Magla do not let any of my men kill anyone.” He looked at Helesdir and Magla who had a look of pride on their faces. He then looked at his men, “You will all have a chance. There are planty of them in the city.”
The group made their way to Echad Garthadir, the camp of Wardens of Annuminus that had tried to hold back the tied of invaders relentless attacks on them. Two wardens stood guard at the western edge of the camp. Releaf washed over them as they saw, coming before them, a large contingent coming forth to help them.
“Ah,” one said, releaf was all but preasant in his tone, “I am glad you are here. The attacks are becoming more aggressive. This night I stand watch on this gate but other nights I have the northern entrance and other nights I have the eastern enterance. The Angmarim fight so viciously I cannot understand.”
“Well, one of the three marchells for now since Captain Daerdan had left south, Ambadanir, Fimdir, or Tudang.”
“Did you say one of the marchells?” Sergee said.
“Yes, I did…well…acting marchells,” he corrected himself. “We know not if the real ones will ever reveal themselves.”
Theomin and Sergee glanced at each other with a slight grin and then Sergee spoke up, “Fear not, good warden. The time will soon come.”
They marched into the camp and found it in a sad state. Wounded were laying on the ground, being tirelessly cared by a healer who tried to do her job as best she could. Men and women all collapsed on the floor of the camp of the great city, tired, spent, and demoralized. All hope seemed utterly lost and once hope was lost, bad things would take their place.
“Amandir, Fimdir, or Tudang!” Sergee yelled out as he and all of his men marched into the city. “Come forth.”
All around the camp, there were faces of confusion. They did not know why Sergee was calling out for the three men. The three men, all looking tired exhausted came forward toward Sergee. Dark circles they had under their eyes, as fear set in and constant attacks kept them from having any sort of sleep. Each came from a different direction. One from the east entrance, one from the north, and another came from a table near the rear of the compound.
“Is this our releaf? This is our releaf!” one of the men said, happily wanting to praise them for making their way in.
“We are not your releaf,” Sergee said, “We are to retake the city and we have not much time.”
“With only this many men,” another said, “We started out with this many. As you can see, our numbers dwindled. You cannot possibly break the garrison of Angmarim here.”
“We can, and we will,” Sergee proudly said. “You will split half of your men. One half will go north with Theo…Enedion and his men, and the rest will come with me. We are heading out the eastern gate. Leave your sentries on watch. They are the last line of defense for this camp and we do not want it retaken.”
“Who are you to demand such orders?” one of the acting marchells asked.
“I am Neleghil and this is Enedion. Our father Athegdir and brother Teryndir are already fighting in the lower levels as we speak. We are the true Marchells of Annuminus and we have come to retake this city.”
“Marshells!” one of the acting marshells said with all gladness. “Marshells have come!” The man straitened himself and bowed his head. We are all willing to offer our aid for the Marshells of Annuminus.” With that the rest of the men and women of the camp rallied by the side of the Marshells.
“I will take half of the wardens up that way,” Sergee pointed toward the east side of the camp. “The rest, go with Enedion and rid the northern courtyard of the Angmarim.”
Theomin and Eleswith marched with his wardens and half of the wardens of the camp toward the northern side of the camp. There, a wall stood with an archway leading into the northern courtyard of the upper city. “What can we expect here?” Theomin asked one of the acting marshells by the name of Amandir.
“There are quite a few Angmarim but the concern is trolls. We have seen them, two to be exact. They are the reason we cannot gain a hold on the northern courtyard,” Amandir said.
“Are there any Angmarim with ranged weapons? Bows or crossbows?” Theomin asked.
“There are a few. On a fallen rock in the middle of the lower level and some on steps leading up to the center courtyard.”
“I have,” Eleswith said. “In the Lone Lands there is a mass of trolls in Harleog. Helesdir, Magla, Sergee, and I were able to take them down once we developed a plan. Their skin is too tough for swords. Aim for the eyes. If they can’t see us, they can’t outright attack us. Be careful, though. If they are blind they will just swing anywhere. You have to go around and push just behind the knees. That will make him fall. Then just attack his head, the most vulnerable part. They are very tough creatures. If we are not careful, they will strike you and with its force, you will die.”
“Okay, sounds like a plan. I need three archers on the sentries. The rest, and I hope you are proficient t shooting out small targets. The Angmarim that have no ranged weapons will come at us and we will quickly take them. Wardens of the camp, move to the other side of the door. We will catch them by surprise.” Theomin gave a quick sigh, “Are you ready?” The wardens of the camp quickly moved to the other side of the door while the archers readied their bows. “Steady,” Theomin whispered to his archers. “Fire!”
The archers moved out and quickly fired on the sentries standing on the rocks and the stairs while the others fired on the trolls who had just noticed the beginning of the attack. The trolls screamed their vile scream at the wardens and ran over as the warden’s arrows struck the eyes of the coming troll. Successful, two arrows plunged their ways into the troll’s eyes as it started swinging its club back and forth, taking down some Angmarim in the process and also hitting the other troll. The second troll then regained its wits and ran past the troll swinging its club. It ran up to the group of wardens but was hit in the eye by an arrow, which just enraged it more. It swung its club and struck a group of unsuspecting wardens, smashing them and killing them. The rest of the wardens jumped free but not in time for another swing of the club. Two more were hit by the club, flinging them far into the night.
“shoot the other eye!” Eleswith screamed but the archers were too flustered to do so. It swung its huge club down to an empty spot where the wardens once were and not but a second later Eleswith flung a sword at the troll’s other eye, at last blinding the creature.
“Make him fall!” Theomin yelled at the wardens over the loud sounds of the battle. A couple of his wardens ran for its legs and weakened its knees to the point it felled the troll. Eleswith, Theomin, and a few other wardens pounded their swords into the trolls face until, at last, it stopped moving.
The other troll was still swinging its sword while some of the other wardens tried to fell it. It was not working. Three other wardens had fallen and five were left to try and make it fall. Theomin and Eleswith and five other wardens, including Amandir, ran for the troll’s legs. They pushed on the legs and the troll had finally toppled over like a mighty tree. Amandir was then hit in the shoulder by a bolt.
Theomin ordered his ranged wardens, “Kill the crossbowman!” at which point two stood wardens blasted bows at the crossbowmen and killed each one. Theomin, Eleswith, Amandir and other wardens slammed their swords in the trolls face, finally killing it. The trolls were finally done with.
But the Angmarim that avoided the troll’s swinging arms finally came forth. A whole horde of them ran toward the few wardens that were still left. They finally met in a clash of swords. Eleswith was making quick work of a lot of the enemy. Theomin, once he was able to work with his armor, also made quick work of a lot of the Angmarim. Theomin, Eleswith and the wardens had engaged in combat. Slowly they dispatched multiple Angmarim, finally fighting their way to the stairs just north of them.
At last they made it to the stairs and they ran their way up them with a couple of the wardens from the camp leading the charge to the mid courtyard but were quickly hit by bolts. The two wardens left with bows fired on the crossbowmen, all were left as the rest of the wardens charged on the courtyard.
A pool long pool that ran north to south separated the courtyard into and eastern and western half. “My wardens, follow me! Amandir’s wardens, to the east side!” Theomin yelled. They followed his command, taking out each of the enemy’s fighters on both sides of the pool, slowly trudging their way northward to another set of stairs. The archers dispatched another set of crossbowmen, clearing the way for the rest of the wardens to finally clear out the stairs.
The end of the courtyard could be seen. A great wall stood at the end, guarded by one dressed in a cloak all in red. Theomin suddenly felt fear as he approached the thing. It took down three wardens before Eleswith finally came at it from behind. Each swing the one in the red cloak gave was met by Eleswith until Theomin finally plunged his sword into its back. It let out a piercing cry. Instead of falling though, the cloth just sunk and sunk down to the ground and finally fell as an empty cloth, as if there was nothing inside. Theomin kicked the cloth but nothing was there. Just emptiness.
“Now that is odd,” Theomin said. He looked around and saw the last of the Angmarim being fallen to his wardens. The battle of the north courtyard was over.