Orc Turn 5
Hearing the chink of battlegear behind him Abraka Dabrar whirled round and snorted at the pathetic human who was attempting to sneak up on him. Anticipating an easy kill he loped forward to crush this new foe.
As Grimbrow had expected, the storm broke. Dwarven hearts could not but help skipping a beat as the mighty Golgfag and his standard bearer thundered down upon them. Fingral Crackscratcha, driven on by the insidious whispers of his bloodthirsty blade, spurred his slavering warboar on, leaving Ruglud's regiment for the visceral pleasure of stunty bashing. The Clansmen would be hard pressed by this triumvirate of terror once battle was met...
The Orc archers wheeled once again to bring their crude bows to bear on the Alliance wizards who had beeen such a thorn in the Orc's side.
Smashing into the stockade the Ogres laid about them with their huge and cruelly spiked maces. One dwarf reeled backwards his ears ringing as Golgfag smote him about the helm. Despite being a good few inches shorter, luckily the Dwarf was saved from harm by his sturdy armour! Dissatisfied with this result, Golgfag once more brought down his great bludgeon- this time on Grimbrow, but the hero skilfully parried the blow. The Dwarf's sword flashed across the grain sack wall in reply, but failed to wound the brute. The Ogre trooper found his attacks hampered by the Dwarfs' defences but also emerged unscathed from the combat.
Crackscratcha, his eyes clouded by the red mist once again brought on by his sorcerous blade, hacked and slashed at the hated stunties. Three were struck and sent sprawling backwards, but again their finely wrought armour saved them.
With that the Ogres were forced to retreat as the stockade began to bristle with swords and axes, hungry for their blood. Crackscratcha paid them no heed in his frenzy and fought on!
Abraka swung his great, skull topped cudgel in what he was sure would be a killing blow for the puny human before him. However, to his utter astonishment his adversary faded to nothing as the club passed through where its head had been. He stumbled forward, bellowing in rage as he realised he had been fooled by a simple illusion!
The Wardancers, using their ability to distract their enemies, leapt and wove their agile way through their cumbersome Orc opponents, bringing the struggle to a stalemate. The Orcs gnashed their teeth in frustration as the Elves danced nimbly, just out of reach of their attacks.
Both suffering from their grievous wounds, Melthathar and the Wyvern were unable to put an end to their deadly struggle.
Dravid Coppafeel rolled his eyes at the Ogre shaman's foolishness, muttering something about beig surrounded by imcompetents - he was sorely tempted to send a lightning bolt or two in that direction to teach the dim-witted creature a lesson...
And yet a diabolical plan was beginning to hatch in his festering mind! As their bowfire at the defenders behind the wall had proved rather ineffectual he ordered the archers into a more viable fighting formation. Coppafeel then put forth his right hand and, invoking powerful necromantic forces, bestowed upon himself - the Hand of Dust...
It was time to deal with the enemy wizards in true Orc fashion - up close and real personal!
Alliance Turn 5
The hour was upon the fighters of the Alliance - now was the time to commit all reserves. Now was the time to put aside all doubt and prove their mettle against the hated invaders!
The Gladerunners and Zoat threw themselves at the Big'uns flank as Paldaniel held herself in check - ready to support them with her magic.
The Orc archers dared not join the rout as Coppafeel, terrible in his rage, screamed at the Big'uns streaming past.
Melthathar once again winged the snapping beast before him, as it lunged fowards, jaws agape. Again the Wyvern caught its plucky adversary in its rending talons as it lashed out in pain. Now down to their last reserves of strength the two bitter foes wearily circled each other, waiting for the chance for a killing blow...
Grimbrow now joined battle with the Orc general himself. Steel sang over the hemp parapet as both parried and thrust. Blows were landed by both antagonists but neither hero could penetrate his opponent's armour.
Finally (not that I'd forgotten about it!) noticing the Clansmen's plight under the malignant Orc magic the shaman had cast on them, Breward finally dispelled the enfeeblement that had been hampering their efforts.
Gaspar the Wise turned his attention to the softer target of the Orc archers - once more sending forth a torrent of stone, felling two of them.
Having observed the success of Breward's illusory hero, Tellur was determined not to be upstaged by a mere bog-trotting druid! The air swirled about in front of him as a horrifying apparition began to take form. With a gentle puff of air from the old Wizard, a terrifying spectre floated across the battlefield towards Golgfag and his Ogre trooper.
Not normally one to be frightened easily, the battle-scarred veteran had been badly shaken by the magical onslaught his unit had suffered. Had the illusion taken nearly any other form it might not have had the desired effect - however, deep seated superstitions that crouched deep within the ogre's psyche forced him to flee before oncoming phantasm!
Abraka, more used to such spectral phenomena, and now highly suspicious of anything that might be an illusion, was more non-plussed. Again, Coppafeel's threats proved more fearsome than the ghost's terrible presence and the archers too held firm.
Paldaniel, hoping to capitalise on the fear and painc that was fast dissolving the Orc lines, added her magic to the pandemonium. Ruglud's warriors felt the unfamiliar pangs of anxiety welling up in their iron guts as the Elf sorceress strove to instill panic in them . Yet again Gudruk's firm hand and strong left hook kept the boyz in line!
Seeing that the tide was turning, Gudruk decided he'd had enough. At a barked command his surprisingly well trained Orcs drew their ranks together and thrust their shields out into a protective canopy. Now in their famous "Razorback" formation (a crude kind of Testudo!) the Orcs grimly marched off the field, Elven arrows rattling off their shell and the deafening bellows of a frustrated Zoat ringing in their ears.
Dravid Coppafeel found himself pinned down by five terrified, but determined, Orc archers. His Hand of Dust was bound behind him and his mouth rammed full of stinking rags to prevent any magical reprisals. In this rather undignified fashion he too was bundled off the battlefield!
Abraka Dabrar performed an impressive vanishing act - shuffling off after Golgfag, definitely not fancying his chances against no less than four accomplished magic users on the Alliance side.
Deciding that easier prey might be found amongst the columns of Goblins marching further up among the peaks of the Ortar pass, the Wyvern took off with a keening cry - its ragged wings struggling to beat its great weight through the air.
As for Fingral Crackscratcha - he was never heard of again in Orcish parts - some said he was driven to madness and a fine Orcy end by his magic sword - fighting on until he was buried by a great heap of dwarf corpses. All that is certain is his body was never found...
The Grand League forces had little time or energy to celebrate their somewhat pyrrhic victory - the Orc advance had been turned but at what cost? In the wider scheme of the conflagration that was engulfing the Lands of Ramalia it had, after all, only been a small break-away raid compared to the long, black columns of Hill Goblins that poured day by day from the mountains, slowly eroding the once proud defenses of the great city of Ortar.
And then there was the small matter of a town called Orc's Drift...