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 Under Siege

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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Under Siege   Tue 7 Dec - 14:10:22

Under Siege

Our situation was just fine: Cut off in an icebound fortress with a massive defence force comprising six guards; a rusty portcullis; a set of unreliable doomstones with a habit dealing death and destruction to their own wielders; not to mention of course a formidable committee of monks with a very stern outlook on proper administrative procedure. What could possibly concern us?

Certainly not a fully equipped siege army of Blood axe alliance orcs outnumbering us by a minimum of ten to one (if you include the total number of elderly monks amongst the us) supported by goblins, wyverns and a shaman with a nifty line in elemental magic.*

*Ah irony, so we meet again

We moved to defend the main entrance as five score orcs moved to try a frontal assault. Would this be the main attack or merely a feint? The main army body withdrew from doomstone range, its siege enginesí effectiveness slightly blunted by the incinerating fireballs laid down by Carstein.

As Carstein assessed the assault forces we revised our estimate of hostile numbers to more like 500, it seemed that our earlier estimates had been somewhat inflated by elvish exaggeration.

We had in our favour a sturdy guardhouse well equipped with murder holes, flaming oil for the dispensing of, three mega powerful artefacts of mass destruction and absolutely no compunction about using them, a trigger happy elf and not forgetting of course my trusty pickaxe. Confident in our armoury, we moved to prepare the defences.

The somewhat crushed Captain Scar supervised additional barricading whilst Oakshadow prepared to deploy her stone of doom as the orcs were funnelled two abreast across the windswept bridge. We laughed in the face of a swarm of bats sent to harass us ineffectually and gazed expectantly from ancient lofty battlements, unconquered for a hundred years.

It all went precisely to plan, right up to the moment the gatehouse collapsed.

An orc shaman escorted by a phalanx of black orcs had unleashed a powerfully disruptive earth tremor which collapsed the upper floor. Fortunately our sea elf and I were below with Scar and the three guards allocated to hold the fort, and though the roof shuddered and creaked, it held firm. Above though, Getz and Oakshadow, our mysterious elf Mage, took the full brunt of collapsing rubble, including a great deal repelled by Snorriís protecting Earthstone.

The orcs arrived in the confusion cloaked by a screen of magic mist and began throwing themselves against the suddenly all too flimsy looking portcullis, pausing only to pluck out the occasional arrow or crossbow bolt that we fed into them. I say we, but actually I played little part, preferring to await the inevitable breakthrough.*

*OK Iím not ashamed to admit it: I am a lousy shot

Carstein, positioning himself in another tower now unleashed his doomstone on the western flank, brilliantly flaming the entire (and fortuitously empty) tower. That showed them. Snorri and Getz emerged from the rubble, dragging a very sorry looking elf. A monk medic was on hand and duly fussed over Scar and then Oakshadow.

Snorri meanwhile took on the orcs at close range as they tried to stick him with spears through the bars. Eventually, even he tired of combat and fell back to try a shot with his doomstone,* succeeding in first heating the metal, causing scattered oil to burst into flame, and then blasting a hole in the floor, forming a potential crawlspace where any invader might wriggle through.

*Because thatís always turned out well; will we never learn?

Meanwhile the two wizards had joined forces in the south tower and bombarded the attackers with spells and doomstone attacks, some of which injured and even killed orcs rather than our own for once, though the canny shaman and escort had withdrawn early after the first devastating attack.

At last, after losing a quarter of their number and failing to breach the gateway, the orcs fell back, but the main force had not been idle, more catapults were being brought up to the north, floating in a sea of goblins; it seemed our forces were about to be tested by a new threatÖ


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