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Lexalon moved to the rim of the tower. It was a clear, sunny summer's day and from this height he could see for miles around, including into the Blight itself. It looked normal near the border but the further out he looked the more rotten the trees seemed and the more damned it all appeared to be. He shivered at the thought of it. It was a horrid place and one where he hoped never to go although that was a wish which he doubted he would get due to his place in the army of Kandor. It was known for men of the army to occasionally cross over when hunting groups of Trollocs.
Suddenly he saw movement at the edge of the dark forest. A second later Trollocs burst from the trees racing towards that watch tower with terrifying speed. Cries went up from the soldiers on watch even as they started to knock arrows to the bows they held. Lexalon pushed back from the wall making space for more archers to take up position. He was a foot soldier and so would be of little use to people up here. Quickly he sprinted down the steps even as more shouts echoed down the tower. He shouted to men as he past them telling them of what was happening above. Even as he did so men started quickly moving, strapping on bits of armour and lifting weapons, readying themselves to face the oncoming fist of Trollocs.
Then he was out of the base of the tower and onto the open field. The tower commander was already out along with a handful of soldiers who were already lining up. Most were archers who were even then testing bow stings and knocking arrows waiting for the Trollocs to come within shooting range. Those on the roof had already started firing having the advantage gained by extra height while those on the ground were much more limited in their range.
Lexalon drew his sword from its sheath in a single movement as he had been taught. It was a one and a half and sword and he gripped it tightly in one hand. He knew only a handful of the most basic sword forms. The one he had been taught for drawing the sword was known as Unfolding the fan. It was a simple arcing movement which brought the blade out of its sheath. It was the only form he had any skill with and that was just due to sheer practise and time spend preforming the form, truth be told it and its counter part were the only two he remembered although as had been pointed out by the instructor, you didn’t need the forms to stick a blade in a Trolloc's gut but they did help.
He and the other soldiers with melee weapons all began to form up into ranks while the archers took up position to either side of the main body of the soldiers so that they would be able to keep shooting to the last moment before getting to safety or to a new shooting position.
He was just left of the centre of the second rank. It felt surreal with them standing there watching a fist of Trollocs charging towards them. Before, when he had been running down the tower's stairs he had been acting on pure instinct with no time for rational thought. Now that he could think clearly he realised just what was happening. He was preparing to face a fist of charging Trollocs. Fear filled his belly. He was going to die. The thought raced through his head but he pushed it away. Now wasn’t the time to think about that. What he had to think about was how he was going to fight and kill the Trollocs.
By this point all of the men had drawn their weapons and were in the ranks. Fully totalled they have seventy fighting men plus their thirty arches ten of whom were on the roof shooting long volleys. Some of the men were telling jokes and quietly talking to one another. Lexalon fell sick at the thought of humour. This wasn’t the time for it, even he knew that. While he was prone to jokes he found gallows humour to be really bad taste, especially when men might very well die in the next few minutes. They might have signed up to do the job but that didn’t change anything as far as he was concerned. There was a time and a place for joking around and laughing but it was not on the battlefield waiting to meet Trolloc charge.
The commander shouting something and as the last volley of arrows left the bows of the men using them and the charge began. The seventy men all picked up to a run and charged headlong into the oncoming Trollocs. Of the initial hundred Trollocs perhaps thirty were down already but at least had of the remained had arrows sticking out of them. The archers had moved round the side and were losing another volley of arrows into the Trollocs flanks just as the first rank of men collided and connected with the Trollocs. Screams and shouts rose from both sides and swords and axes cut through Trolloc and human flesh alike. Men and Trolloc fell to the ground screaming, clutching at either sword wounds or arrows which had appeared out of them.
As the two groups met their lines broke and suddenly he was faced by a snarling Trolloc with a beak holding a long two handled axe. Instinct overtook training and he swung his sword with all of his strength straight for the Trolloc. It raised is axe but too. Lexicon’s blade slammed into its arm. He pulled it free with a wrench even as the Trolloc roared in agony. He took a step back from it as the Trolloc swung widely with its axe. Then as the blade past his he stepped forwards thrusting forwards and up, straight for the Trollocs neck. This time when he thrust he held the sword tightly in one hand, before he had swung using two hands. That was the advantaged of a one and a half hand sword you could use it like a great sword or a short sword although it did neither job as well. The blade went into the Trollocs neck.
Pulling it out he looked around to see what was going on just in time to catch a roaring bear headed Trolloc's sword on his left arm. It was a glancing blow but it smashed part of armour in crushing his arm. He cried out in pain. As he did so he brought his other hand round to clutch his injured arm forgetting that it held his sword. The blade spun round with his hand had caught the Trolloc in its side. The blow didn’t have much strength behind it but it had caught the Trolloc off guard. It took a step back.
Lexalon forced his hand away from his arm. He gritted his teeth through the pain and raised his sword, taking up what he hoped with a defensive stance with his sword raised. He lunged towards the Trolloc thrusting with his sword. The Trolloc batted it away easily with its own sword despite Lexalon having put all of his strength behind the blow and swung with its own sword for the space where Lexalon's head had been a moment earlier. Only the fact that he was already moving back saved him from decapitation. Again he trust forward and again the Trolloc parried and swung. Again and again Lexalon lunged forward only to have his blade knocked aside and for him to have to jump out of the way in order to avoid a blade. Thankfully the Trolloc didn’t get the chance to try and move forwards and attack him directly as every time it made a move to do so Lexalon jumped forwards forcing it to parry. Almost as suddenly as this deadly dance had begun it finished as a sword punched through the Trolloc's guts from behind. As the man withdrew his sword the Trolloc feel.
“Th th thank you” Lexalon managed to stammer out as he looked around him. The field was covered with the bodies of dead Trolloc's only a handful of the soldiers lay on the ground. He had been the last on still fighting. It had felt like forever but he knew it could only have been a handful of minutes since the fighting began. Despite how little time had past he was exhausted and his arm burned with pain. He sagged to his knees, his mind to tired and addled to think.
“Don't worry about in son. You did well just holding that brute of. But come on now, we need to get a medic to take a look at you.” The old grizzled soldier who had saved him said pull Lexalon to his feet and half dragging Lexalon to the tower where other soldiers were banding up wounds and preparing to set bones. As they entered the tower Lexalon looked up at the bright clear sky and though just how nice a day it had been.