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Battle Report Contest Honorable Mention - From Newbie to Veteran

Joshua
Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States

The dawn came crimson red that morning. It was as if the earth knew there would be blood shed that day. I watched the sun rise with a mixture of apprehension and excitement; this would be my first day of real combat. I would get a chance to prove myself, and my guild mates would no longer joke and call me “Cyrus the Untested” or “Cyrus the Newbie.” I arose and headed to the Free Corps guild hall, and a few hours later, (it seemed like seconds to me) the battle had begun.

Chata, my superior officer and trainer, rushed forward, carrying the standard of Free Corps. I followed right beside him, at the front of our pack, to screen our mages and rangers from the enemy. And suddenly there they were. Two warriors and several casters were charging at us just as fast as we were charging them. Arrows and spells began flying over my head. Chata and the lead enemy warrior met first with a thunderous crash. Chata’s hammer wheeled around and struck the enemy warrior’s sword as he tried to parry, but the blow was so great the enemy was knocked backwards and fell.

I met the other warrior with a similar clash. My shield blocked his first sword swing; he then dodged my countering axe swing. A well placed arrow from the ranger Ellowyn pinned my opponent’s foot to the ground. I struck him in the face with my shield, and then buried my axe into his chest. He fell and I had claimed my first kill. I did not have much time to celebrate, as fire rained down from the sky around me. My armor was able to deflect most of the intense heat, but my ranger friend Jirel was at the center of it and he burst into flames.

I saw the enemy elementalist responsible for the spell. She was muttering another spell, so I charged her and struck her with my axe. It distracted her long enough to interrupt her incantation. Chata, having dealt with the other enemy casters with the help of ours, ran up and gave the elementalist a blow to the head with his hammer. She collapsed with a fatal headache.

“This is it, our chance to get into their guild hall!” Chata yelled as he thrust the Free Corps flag he was carrying into the ground. The sight of our guild standard gave me a new surge of energy, and we charged forward towards the enemy guild hall. There, waiting for us, were the same enemies that we had just killed. I would never get used to the resurrection circle that could be found in any guild hall, and the way it threw the laws of life and death out the window.

I met the same warrior in combat, but this time Ellowyn was too busy fighting a necromancer to back me up. The enemy warrior began to drive me back, and his sword struck my leg, severing an artery. I knew that I would bleed to death soon, and my opponent thought he had won. He let down his guard long enough for me to use the last of my strength to strike him with my axe. His face showed surprise as he pulled back a bloody stump from where his sword hand had been. Right then a large shard of ice lodged itself into his torso, courtesy of our elementalist. A blue glow surrounded me, and I realized that our monk had closed my wounds and restored most of my strength.

By now we had infiltrated the gates of their guild hall and killed their archers, and the twice resurrected enemy was making their final stand in front of their guild lord. Lightning struck around me and Chata as we led the charge into the waiting enemy. Learning from my previous encounter, I was able to best my opposing warrior in our third bout by chopping off his hand again. You think he would have learned. The enemy guild members scattered at the fury of our charge, trying to heal themselves and reorganize.

The enemy guild leader stepped forth and suddenly the tide was turned. Chata tried to engage him but all his attacks were quickly healed by enemy monks. My axe found the neck of one of them, but as I turned to find the other monk a fireball slammed into my chest, throwing me backward. I looked up to see the enemy elementalist chanting a spell that would finish me off. I braced for the intense pain that I would feel coming back at our resurrection circle. I opened my eyes as I heard the whistle of an arrow, and saw that the arrow had pierced the elementalist’s tongue and come out the back of her throat, obviously interrupting the spell. This was not a good day to be a spell caster. I looked over to see Jirel firing a second arrow that found the heart of the elementalist. He had made it back to the fray just in time.

Brushing aside the pain of my third degree burns, I ran to help Chata. As I reached Chata and the guild lord, I saw the last enemy monk being taken down by Ellowyn. As I stepped forward to engage the guild lord, my pain overtook me and I fell forward. In a last desperate attempt, I thrust my axe into the right shin of the guild lord, and it stuck fast as he howled in pain. Chata quickly shattered the other leg, toppling the guild lord to his back. With a mighty heave Chata struck the guild lord in the chest, which didn’t have any breath to rise again.

The remaining enemies, seeing their guild lord killed, turned and ran. We had won. As our monk cast spells to relieve my burns, Chata walked over to me. “Well done Cyrus the Mighty, you are Cyrus the Newbie no more."