A Pikemans Journal: Reborn as a dwarf

Sixth Day:

Right, well – that’s that. The castle of Lord P— was raided by another Lord, our garrison put to the sword, and its goods and chattels seized. We were massacred. As an Offensive Unit, there weren’t a thing I could do to stop the slaughter. Oh, I made a good show of it, to be sure – but how much can one man with a sharp stick do? Now I wait to return to Stormfall in a better form – maybe this time the Gods will appoint me a Lord who don’t need a torch to find his own backside. May Balur take him!

First Day, Second Incarnation:

Well now, ain’t this a turn? I’m a Dwarf. The old Gods have seen fit to return me to the world of the living as a Bear Rider in the service of Lord D—, truly, a mighty Lord and a respected member of an influential League. Mum would be proud, but being a Dwarf ‘tis harder than I thought. It’s not all beards and quaffing like in the songs… there’s chainmail leggings to deal with, for one thing, and they just don’t build latrines with our folk in mind. I’ve been posted to the walls on guard duty, but word from the lads is that we may be sent afield to defend Lord D –‘s holdings. Milord controls a fat Settlement of Sapphire Mines, and has more than a few lesser Lords held under Siege. Besieged Castles don’t occupy themselves – I’ve a feeling I’ll be putting this axe to good use soon enough…

Day the Second:

Action already, but I’d be hard-pressed to say I enjoyed it. Some damned fool of a hedgelord thought we’d be easy pickings, and sent a handful of poor half-starved idiots to raid our Castle. Didn’t bother with Silent Ones, no scouts – nothing! Can you imagine?! Just waved his hand, said “take that castle” and sent them on their merry way, by the looks of it. I almost felt sorry for the poor louts as we cut them down… they didn’t even make it in range of the Ballistas. Better luck next life, lads… we’ll be drinking to you tonight, and for all those at the mercy of fools.

Day Four:

My good Master, Lord D— has been receiving many messages from the other Lords of his League – of what, I know not – but the Herald was in and out of the Keep all the morning. No combat for me today, which suits me well enough – I’d been meaning to put a new edge on the axe and oil my beard. Milord sent a force of Offensive Units to the woods nearby to send some Orcish scum back to their dark lord Balur in pieces. I’ve befriended a Paladin who’s marching with them, says he’ll bring be back some Orcish brew if he can. I hope so. My underwear are starting to rust, and it chafes something awful.

Day Five:

By Bran’s beard – we go to war! Milord dispatched well near our full offensive complement from the Castle gates today. By the looks of it I’d say we’re marching on one of the Beacons! I’ve heard tell our League holds three of the Fifth Level, but a fourth? Is that even possible? No doubt we’ll prevail, Lord D—‘s dragons near blot out the sun – but it will be a bloody battle, sure enough, and taking it’s the easy part. Guarding it will fall to me and my boys. Tonight we will pray for the favor of Ran and Bran, and await news of the battle. We are ready.

Seventh Day:

Finally! We’ve news from the Beacon! Brutal losses, but we carried the day! Our Lord D— and his closest League allies drove the enemy out with the third wave. The previous occupiers have sworn revenge, of course. Ha! Let them try, not three units in ten survived the battle. They’ll be lucky if they can occupy a Farming Village with what we’ve left them. Now comes my part to play – Dwarves, Demons, Archers, and even Griffins make ready to take up the defense of our newest holding. There’s little doubt I’ll be among them…I will write more when I am certain.

Day Eight:

Can’t write long, been marching since sunrise. Two-score leagues yet remain. Very tired, but have time enough to think of what lay ahead. Attacks from rival Leagues, wave upon wave of Orcish hordes from Balur’s Chasm, bad food, and long watches. And there’s nothing at stake but, oh, the end of the bleedin’ world. I hear they’re tall too, Beacons… never could stand heights.
Day Nine:

We’ve arrived at the Beacon. Not much to look at – makes you wonder what all the fuss is about. Oh, it’s magic… old magic. No doubt about that. Every hair on my beard’s been standin’ on edge since we’ve arrived. Our blades seem sharper – our eyesight, keener. There’s powerful enchantment here. Still, bits of masonry keep falling off as fast as we can make new repairs. We’ve not much time to shore up the defenses, we’ve spotted the Dark One’s goblin scouts sniffing around in the shadows near our first picket line. Not much looking forward to nightfall. Aye, it won’t be long now…
Day Eleven:

The first wave of Orcs struck a little after midnight – light casualties. I reckon it were a probing assault, to judge our strength. We had the best of them by sunrise, and spilled much of their black blood upon the Beacon’s flagstones – and by the gods, it reeks something awful. But that’s not the worst of it – I saw something after that will stay with me to the end of my days. Each drop of Orcish blood we spilled was drawn into the cracks of the foundations – like it were a thing alive. Like the Beacon were… feedin’ on it, so to say. Not so much as a stain left to show it was there. Milord’s Necromancer saw me lookin’ on before I went about to tend the wounded. Didn’t like that. Don’t like them on the best of days. I’m volunteering for picket duty now… I think I’ll sleep on solid earth tonight.

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