Torien’s Stand

by michaelhodges3


Torien the Elf Lord strained his hearing to take in as much detail as possible about the attack on the Great Gates.
The orcish assault had begun around sundown, and the stars in the sky showed the current time to be around midnight.

An orcish army had been stationed north of Lalassenen Forest since the Month of Pasturing. Torien had been hoping to avoid a confrontation, to buy the orcs off with silver until the armies of Agnar the Bold returned to the north to drive the orcs back into the Forbidden Lands. Unfortunately, Torien ‘s younger kinsman, the Elf Prince Ameriel had had other ideas. He had launched an all out assault of the main orcish army after losing his youngest daughter in a raid by the ‘accursed green skins’ on an isolated elvish settlement.
Ameriel was no fool; except in one respect the campaign in itself had been well planned, organised and led. Ultimately though, it was doomed to failure; the elves simply lacked the numbers to achieve Ameriel’s objectives without a large supply of luck; the luck needed had not been forthcoming.
The orcs had won a major battle, and were now harrying the settlements of Lalassenen in revenge.
Torien’s warriors had fought well given their small numbers and lack of experience, but they had little chance of victory against the seasoned veterans of Ugjol One Fang.

The children, elders and non-combatant female elves had been sent further into the forest at first sign of serious trouble – however, a number of the sick and the weak had had to be left behind. Torien had tried to lead Ugjol’s fighters away from Surrivien Fort with a series of feigned attacks and retreats; unfortunately for the elves, Ugjol had already learned the location of the Fort by liberal use of torture of those who fell into his hands.
As a last resort, Torien had sent his younger warriors deeper into the forest to join the elvish non- combatants, whilst the Lord himself and a picked band of mature warriors ( the few elves who had known combat in the far south in the days of Torien’s youth) would buy time for them to escape by standing and fighting.
The Lord had expressed his determination to defeat the orcs altogether and to save the lives of the invalids still sheltering at the Fort. However, as he divulged to his trusted advisors, he reckoned that the chances of success in such a venture were small.

CRUNCH! With a sickening sound one of the Great Gates tore free of its hinges and crashed inwards. Immediately, orcish war-horns sounded in triumph, and Ugjol’s fighters swarmed forwards in anticipation of victory.

Torien and his warriors stood at the window slits of the Fort’s tower, raining down well-aimed arrows on the orcs.
The orcs hesitated slightly, but then pushed onwards as the orcs in the rear forced them forwards.
A moment later the main door of the tower gave way, and a moment after that orcish footsteps sounded on the stairs…