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Battle Report Contest Honorable Mention - The Beginning

Liz
Orlando, Florida, United States

The countryside was filled with a stark beauty, with great trees and elegant towers set before a sky filled with color. Such were my thoughts as I ran, possibly to my death, not knowing when or how we would come upon them, but knowing that battle would be joined this day. I was a new recruit, in point of fact we all were. Perhaps this was our final initiation? Maybe only those who survived would truly enter into the Guild? It no longer seemed to matter.

We rounded a hill, and before us stood the enemy fortress. We stopped for a minute, examining our enemies fortifications, planning our assault, and catching our breath. One of my companions suggested an immediate assault, straight at their front gate, and into the very heart of their fortress, ending the battle swiftly but risking high casualties. I was reluctant, but my companions were less cautious, and they rushed around the foot of the hill and made a dash for the main gate! I charged after them, trying to catch up and find my proper place in the lead to protect them from whatever awaited. I caught up to them soon enough, indeed far sooner than I would have hoped. In our excitement and inexperience we had forgotten to bring along our locksmith! The gates were barred tight, it would be impossible to force our way through, and now we came under fire from enemy archers! “Hurry! Someone fetch the locksmith from our Hall!” The cry went up, but nobody listened. Our rangers were busy returning the fire of the defenders, and the elementalists were huddled in a corner by the door, preparing their enchantments. As I looked around and saw this, I became full of dread that we would not survive this day, that we should not be victorious.

I broke away from my comrades and sprinted back to our Hall, determined to bring our locksmith before my comerades should fall. But alas, when I got back to our fortress, I found fighting! The enemy had left through an alternate entrance, and they had attacked our gate much as we had theirs. Luckily, the similarity did not end there, as they had also forgotten to bring their locksmith! They met defeat by myself and our archers, and I rushed on. If only I could return quickly with the locksmith, before the enemy was able to resurrect their forces, we could easily carry the day! I raced for our locksmith, he was ready to go, his tools packed neatly into a bag, and he ran after me like the wind once I explained the situation.

It didn’t take us long to return to where my comrades waited, still being pelted with arrows. The locksmith went straight to work, and I did not even have time to fill everyone in on what had happened at our fortress before the great door was open. We dashed in, running for the seat of power as quickly as we could. We knew not what awaited us there. The Guild Lord himself, flanked by two powerful clerics, and a handful of archers, stood on a balcony overlooking the rest of their Hall. We were taken aback, we had no plan for a situation such as this. That was when we saw that the enemy locksmith was nowhere in sight. The enemy had already been resurrected, and slipped out their side gate again to attack our fortress! This time they had corrected their earlier mistake, and they would very soon break through our own defenses, assault our own Guild Lord, and perhaps, succeed. This resolved everyone.

We rushed the Guild Lord, pelting him with arrows and fireballs, slashing at him with swords, a constant hail of death and destruction. We hurt him, but those two clerics were able to heal him faster than we could kill him! Obviously we would have to take them out, and quickly, as we could not survive here much longer. “The left! Kill the one on the left!” was the cry that went up, and we obeyed. Under our combined assault first one cleric died, and then the other. Weakened, but still remembering that we must hurry, else the enemy might be victorious and dishonor our Guild, we turned on the great Guild Lord. The rangers flung arrows with poison, arrows with fire, a never-ending stream of arrows piercing and clawing. The elemtalists rained fireballs and meteors from the heavens, calling them down on the Guild Lord’s head. And in the midst of this hail of destruction, I battled the Guild Lord, sword to sword, where defeat meant death and dishonor for us both. But my Fiery Flamberge was not about to let me down, it struck quickly, almost impossible to parry, and the Guild Lord bled and was wounded repeatedly. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the enemy Guild Lord was defeated. As he fell, all we could think about was our own Guild Hall, hoping that the battle that was surely raging there was still in our favor, that we could return in time to defend our Guild Lord as the enemy should have defended theirs. But before we could dash back to our Hall, we were teleported there!

We were dazed for a second, then we looked around for the enemies who would be assaulting our Lord at this very instant, but we saw nothing. No defending archers, no clerics, no Guild Lord, and no enemies swaggering triumphantly through our fortress. It was over, and we had won! Our guildmates rejoined us in the Hall, and we walked out into the countryside with them, showed them the sweet glade where the enemy fortress had been, showed them the very spot where we were trapped under a hail of arrows, unable to enter. We showed them many things, but they merely chuckled at our recounting, looked sideways at each other, and then asked “So would you like to do it again?”