Osrim Charz was in his element now that something needed doing. Even the ominous bat-like shadow that had suddenly darkened the sky above them hadn't bothered him. Some of the lads were even whistling.
"He don't want much does he 513?" muttered one of the younger sappers, nodding in his commander's direction.
His older and wiser companion shook his head,
"That he doesn't, 376, that he doesn't. Neither will those Orcs when they get here - apart from a good buffet to the 'ead"
One of the nearby Elves pricked up his ears and with a thinly disguised look of disgust turned to address the busy engineers,
"I say, along with elementary manners, don't you Dwarfs even have names? I thought you... people held great stock in what some dried up ancestor did centuries ago."
513 paused in his work and looked up at the Elf before turning back to 376,
"Just goes to show these high falutin folk with all their airs and graces don't know much, eh. Anyone can see we're a veteran unit - we'd be Longbeards soon if we didn't mind getting our hands mucky in such a manner as this."
The grizzled, old Dwarf again met the Elf's indignant glare with a steely gaze of his own,
"Were we to use our own names we'd be there all bleedin' day laddie, citing battle honours and titles gained in combat . 513 is how many engagements I've seen - how many you done?"
All of a sudden the Elf archer seemed to have developed an almost obsessive interest in the state of his bow string...
Still reeling from the shock of the sight of a large number of Orcs massing in the hills on the far bank of the river, Brommedir's Bows and Osrim's Engineers soon sped into action.
Osrim and half his engineers rushed to the main entrance to the village and began building a defensive wall. Over by the makeshift Hospital, the remaining sappers began construction of a second line of defense.
Brommedir, along with five of his bowmen, bravely commandeered the 1st floor of the Inn, turfing out the malingerers (or wounded as the Druid Snart liked to call them).
The rest of his contingent joined their standard bearer in manning the West wall. Gripping their bows tightly, eyes scanning the horizon for movement, they prepared to spread out to form an effective firing line.
In the midst of all this hustle and bustle, the Druid, Snart was busy too,
"He breaketh the bow and snappeth the spear in sunder! He breaketh the bow and snappeth the spear in sunder!"
Cursing and muttering under his breath, the old drunk proceeded to shepherd his walking wounded out of the hospital. Bertolac, an injured soldier, and Fernbreth, a half blinded Elf, struggled under the load of a stretcher and its occupant.
The reason for the Druid's apparent madness soon became clear - with a great screech, preceded by an altogether far more obscene noise, F'yar and his wyvern descended from the sky in a tumult of beating leathery wings and dung!
Landing by the main entrance to the compound, F'yar looked on in satisfaction as Elves and Dwarfs scurried for covered.
Osrim's party beat a hasty retreat from the breastworks they had erected at the village's entrance, taking shelter in the shadow of the hospital.
Back in the centre of the village, the finishing touches were being put to the redoubt the rest of the sappers were preparing outside the hospital - despite Snart's rantings and ravings. Slightly hampered by the Dwarf's fortifications, the Druid oversaw another unconcious casualty stretchered out of the building.
Having been nudged frantically by his subaltern, Brommedir became aware of the commotion outside and looked on with distaste. Retreating in full view of the rest of the contingent was hardly going to inspire the men to acts of valor. He barked out orders and as one, his detachment put through the windows they were stationed by and took aim.
A hail of arrows sped from the hospital eliciting an indignant squawk from the wyvern. All six archers found their target, although those that had aimed at the beast saw their arrows clatter harmlessly to the ground. F'yar was not so lucky and let out a furious bellow at the arrow protruding from his leg.
Stung by this attack and suddenly realising his vulnerability in landing in front of a regiment of Elf archers, F'yar kicked and goaded his mount somewhat ignominiously back into the air. From this vantage point he wheeled aroud, seeking revenge.
Osrim selected five of his best warriors and led them back to the village entrance - it would be unwise to leave it unguarded and hopefully the wyvern would be more concerned with eating those fool Elves who were doing their best to goad the beast with their arrows.
Still raving and occasionally waving his fist at the serried ranks of Elves on the West wall, Snart led his sorry looking party limping over towards the carts that made up part of the village's defences. The Elf bowmen shook their heads in bemusement at the madman's antics - he seemd to be leading his equally irrational patients in the direction the Orcs were approaching!
"Will you besmirch yourself and kill your brother? Ye shall not kill, so says the Law. You believe in the Law, dont you? Go to the others. Go to the others..."
One of the older Elves had had enough of the Druid's rantings, although conscious of the man's standing as a healer within the Grand League, couched his threat in genteel terms,
"Druid, be quiet now, will you? Theres a good gentleman. You'll upset the..."
His admonition ended in the beating of great wings and a terrible gurgle, as F'yars cruelly barbed lance tip burst through the unwitting Elf's chest. The Orc King had wheeled around and brought the wyvern into a long low swoop along the Elf line with eyes burning and a terrible cry on his lips. The next Elf in line had not the time to dive for cover as F'yar's attack raked across the wall. The burly Orc now struggled with the weight of two bodies, transfixed on the end of his spear. That is until the wyvern reached around, slobbering horribly...