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Author Topic: Bryald’s Journal – Part 11 – A Somber Homecoming  (Read 1336 times)
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Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715

« on: September 14, 2009, 05:55:04 AM »

Catching my breath, I got my first look at the battlefield.  There were bodies everywhere and the air was thick with the cloying smell of blood. I could hear someone retching and another crying in either pain or relief.  At least five of my company were dead or would never fight again. I was amazed that we had so few dead. The Dorns had also lost two men and had a number who were hurt.  I could see them using simple charms and ointments to close and clean wounds.  Casualties fighting the orcs were nothing new for the Dorns; they had done this for thousands of years.

While Sergeant Yorin tried to organize our men, the Dorns moved among the bodies, beheading the orcs and binding the bodies of our dead. Once our dead were bound the Dorns took out long knives and cut deeply into their arms and legs. Before I could ask Sergeant Yorin told me that the Dorns would not leave the bodies of our dead behind but could not risk them rising as fell. They were severing the tendons in each body to enssure that if they rose as fell they could do no harm.  The headless orcs would be left where they fell, less their arms and armor.  It would do no good to try to hide their bodies, as there was too much blood and the carrion birds would soon be circling.  We had to leave.

In less then thirty minutes the Dorn had stripped the dead and sent runners south to find the horses. When the horses finally arrived, we took our dead and what we had taken from the orcs and headed south as quickly as possible.  We rode hard to gain some distance between us and the battlefield.  It was unlikely that a single fist of orcs was the only patrol the Shadow had on the plains. We rode until there was no light and kept a cold camp.  Without knowing how close the orcs were, we couldn’t risk giving away our position.

The camp was different then I expected.  Even without a fire, the men sat together, but more importantly, the division between my company and the Dorns seemed to be easing.  Our fight against the orcs had helped prove to the Dorns that we could help them.  It was not as if they had accepted us as a group, but at least some of my company had earned their respect. Fortunately, I was one of that group.  From what I heard, I was the first Erenlander down the hill, well ahead of the rest.  I couldn’t remember any details of the fight, but they believed I killed one orc on my own and held my own against another before Dulthas killed him. I was a blooded warrior in their eyes.

Late the next day we arrived at the fort; our home for at least the next two seasons. One of the sentries must have spotted the bodies tied to the horses. By the time we got to the gates the entire company was there to greet us. Everyone wanted to see who had died and find out how and why. Once we dismounted, the Sergeants ordered men to take our mounts and gather shovels for a burial. Dulthas and Sergeant Yorin went to report to the Captain and the rest of the patrol was dismissed for the day. I knew as soon as I made it inside the barracks that I would be besieged by the other soldiers forcing me to go over detail of the last few days. Everyone would want to know if we had sought out death or if it was coming to us.

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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: Bryald’s Journal – Part 11 – A Somber Homecoming
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