Battle Report Contest Honorable Mention - To the Last Breath
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I found myself staring blankly at my breakfast of scrambled moa eggs, as the realization sunk in that this probably was my last meal. Orders had just arrived from Firstwatch Sergio, informing us of the advances of our enemy, and that an attack on our fortress was expected at any time. Though the enemy outnumbered us two to one, our orders were to hold the line until reinforcements arrived to defend Lion's Arch. If we failed, Lion's Arch would be defenseless.
Looking around the mess hall, I could notice the same anguish in the faces of my comrades Adamo, Angra, and Keldor. We did not have much time to ponder our fates however, for it was not long before the sentries sounded the horns, alerting us to the enemy's presence. Our northern watchtower was under attack! While shouting orders to rally the men, we rushed to reinforce the tower. Fortune did not smile upon us; though we fought valiantly, we could not prevent them from claiming it. After a minute of pitched battle we perceived the futility of pressing further and retreated to the safety of our walls.
Bruised but still alive, we manned the fortress walls, confident in our stalwart stone and stout gate. They would prove meaningless however, since Angra uncovered the enemies' plan of attack: they had hired thieves that could open the gate from the outside. Armed with this knowledge, we did everything we could to prevent the thief from reaching the gate. Meanwhile, Adamo sneaked out of the fortress to reclaim the watchtower. If successful, this would give us a much-needed boost in morale that perhaps would turn the tide of battle.
Just as Adamo reclaimed the tower, our archers and mages managed to kill their thief. Confused, half of the enemy went in pursuit of Adamo, while the others stood their ground outside our gate. I could not have asked for a better opportunity, and we took full advantage by storming out of our gate in a stunning counterattack. Weakened by the hail of ranged fire they had faced earlier, their troops proved to be no match.
Their remaining troops gave up pursuit of Adamo and retreated in wait of reinforcements, while we prepared for their next attack at the watchtower. A couple of minutes later, they returned in full force, and again we were forced to retreat to the fortress wall. They kept pushing the attack and sent the thief forward. Though we focused our attacks on him again, their protective spells were able to keep him alive long enough to open the gate.
Not all was lost, however, since they had to survive a gauntlet of ranged fire before they could reach us on the walls. Distracted by the storm of arrows and spells, the enemy did not notice as Keldor ran to the gate. In a stunning maneuver, he closed the gate with only half of their army inside. Confused and no longer outnumbering us, they were slaughtered.
This seemed not to matter however, for there were just too many of them. Wave after wave of enemies reached our gates, their troops encouraged by our lost watchtower. With each successive attempt, they progressed further and further into our defenses, learning quickly from their mistakes. Our casualties hurt us deeply, yet theirs seemed not to matter, as they were constantly reinforced with troops and supplies.
We held them back for over half an hour, each of our defensive maneuvers more miraculous than the last, executed with fewer resources but with the same result: two more minutes of safety for the people of Lion's Arch. We knew that we could not delay indefinitely; it was only a matter of time until the enemy finally understood that though there were four of us and they numbered eight, we could not be defeated through brute force alone.
They finally did what I had feared, occupying a defensive position inside our fortress. We had no room to maneuver, and could not hope to storm them out because of their superior strength. So they waited for more reinforcements to arrive, their wounds to be healed, and their wavering morale to recover. These were the longest six minutes of my life, as I knew what would follow. But it did not matter, for I had been successful; Lion's Arch would survive. As their inevitable assault finally came, I thought briefly of how I might be remembered, “Hanz Emberheart, savior of Lion's Arch, fallen leader of Legio Arcanis.”