"Loose!" A volley of arrows from the directions of the war parties started to pour into the encampment.
"To arms! To arms! we're under atta-" the soldiers stirred from their slumber and rushed to prepare for war.
Their captain arose quickly from her bedding, and rushed to dawn on her armor. A soldier opened the flap to her tent.
"My lady, the camp is under attack, the men are preparing for combat as we speak, we do not know the size of the force, but they are too massive for bandits."
She turned to him.
"Take defensive positions behind the wagon, I want a firing line at the ready. At what direction are they firing from?"
Another soldier rushed to the tent.
"My lady, chaos beasts are charging from the west!"
The commander, now dawned her armor, rushed outside to take command.
"Gunners, hold your ground, pikemen to the front, kneel and brace for the charge!" She shouted, the soldiers began to rally near their commander. "Crossbowmen, behind the gunners, prepare to volley!"
The soldiers quickly reorganized, as the charge neared at 70 yards away.
"Make ready!" Some of the pikemen at the front began to shake.
"Aim." The beastmen were now at 50 yards.
"Fire!" The gunners and crossbowmen discharged their weapons, droves of beastmen fell to the projectiles.
The front line of the beastmen party in the charge dropped, the ones behind jumped over their dying comrades.
When entering the wall of pikes, some of the less fortunate were skewered on impact. However, despite the brutality and scale of the abrupt demise of their comrades, the beastmen began to push the pikemen back. Some of the men were forced to drop their pikes due to the tight quarters they were in. Hand to hand combat by sword and axe broke out through sections of the defense.
The line was holding, however the strength of the individual beastmen gave a disadvantage to the men.
The commander mounted her horse, and ordered the mounted troops to follow.
In the intense melee, between man and beast, a counter charge in the rear of the beastmen shocked the force.
"Behind!" Shouted one of the Ungors.
The cavalry hacked a good portion of the beastmen apart, now surrounded, the pressure of the attack crushed the beastmen against one another. The dead could not fall and died upright.
The leader of the beastmen saw this, and grinned.
"They think they have the field? Send in the Minotaurs behind their cavalry." With the order given the forest began to rumble, and out of the thickets, massive bodies came rushing toward the rear of the cavalry.
With a single swipe, several mounted troops were battered and obliterated, their horses also meeting the similar fates as their riders.
"My lady! The rear has been breached!"
The commander ordered the middle troops to focus firing on the minotaurs.
"Aim for the monstrosities! Take them down!"
Bolts began to fly, hitting the monsters, the beastmen in the initial charge was reduced to a quarter of their number but still fighting.
"Time to make our entrance, warriors on me!" Gekoz and his war party lead the charge behind the backs of the men's defense.
With a bellowing holler, the troops of men trembled upon the realization of these new forces.
"Cpt! New forces have appeared behind us!"
"Swordsmen, wheel right! Brace for impact."
An abrupt shield wall was erected partially, however, with one swing of his axe, Gekoz managed to slash three soldiers and he bursted through the thin defense.
Upon seeing what he thought to be one of the leaders of man, Gekoz continued to sally through straight for Lubeck. The captain had little time to react once he realized what was occurring. With another swing, Lubeck was beheaded, his corpse slumped then fell off his horse.
The crossbowmen reversed, and began shooting behind them, at the new enemies.
Upon seeing the rear charge, the commander attempted to reorganize the defense however, a stray arrow hit and toppled her horse. She fell to the ground but quickly rose to her feet and dispatched the two beastmen attempting to surround her.
"Fight or die! Stand your ground we-" a blunt mace wielded by a Minotaur, bashed her breastplate, causing her to be driven to the ground.
"Th-The commander has fallen, avenge her!" A roar of revitalized determination rose from the ranks.
The beastmen between the cavalry and pikemen faltered, and some began to flee. Reorganized, the cohesion between pikemen began to fell the behemoths with multiple pikes thrusted into the flanks.
The commander now on the ground was soon flanked by two soldiers.
"My lady, you live!"
"Yes, yes dont mind me, engage!" She shouted. She struggled to her feet and continued to fight.
"Karos!" Zhankig rushed to his comrade that was gasping for air.
"Damn monkey gutted me in the stomach. I don't think I'll make it out of this one." He smiled.
His breath began to quicken until a final exhale made clear of his death.
Processing this, Zhankig rose invigorated by anger dove head first into the fray. Screaming like the beast he was, fought ferociously. A bolt hitting his side caused him to stumble.
The Ungors with bows were still hidden, they were ordered to shoot into the mass, killing as many horses and men as possible. They were some distance from the fighting, and some were quite content.
"Wow, it's like a turkey shoot." Sneered one.
"Way better than in the fray."
"I still can't seem to hit anything."
A shot of energy exploded by these Ungor killing two and wounding the last.
A new adversary entered the field, the one eyed former chosen of the Chaos gods, the Fimir began to rush the dazed Ungor Archers.
Smashing through the rear guard of the men's defense, Gekoz could not help but notice the Ungor archers rushing out of the woodwork near the field.
"What are they doing?" He questioned, only to be answered when several Fimir exited behind the Ungors, one swung its mace obliterating a fleeing Ungor into pieces.
"Sound the horns, we must shift quickly."
Zhankig was still furious over the loss of his comrade, his fervor for battle still boiling as he dispatched several of the enemy without mercy.
Through the melee, he spotted a familiar face, the commander he scouted before the engagement.
His next target set, he rapidly advanced, the commander focused on ordering her troops.
Zhankig rushed toward the commander, his axe nearly hitting his mark. The commander then noticed, and parried his swing. He stumbled back but again went on the offense. With another parry, the axe swung out of his hand. In response Zhankig tackled the unsuspecting commander.
The commander now pinned had a stoic look on her face as she looked at Zhankig. That then broke to a smile.
"Well, I had a good run beast, go on… do your business."
Zhankig now face to face with the commander pulled a dagger from his attire, and stared at the commander as she uttered those words. As he was taken aback by the acceptance of the commander, as he was about to plunge his weapon the horns of war could be heard.
Zhankig looked up and saw the archers fleeing from massive creatures the likes he never seen.
"Ah, Fimirs, this is a peculiar day isn't it?" The commander spoke.
Zhankig looked down at the commander, her head turned in the direction of the new combatants.
As the bellows of the horn signal to regroup, Zhankig looked back at the commander who stared back expectantly.
After a brief moment of contemplation he quickly rose to his feet and rushed to the horns that signaled to regroup.
As he left and the remaining beastmen as well, two pikemen rushed to her aid.
"My lady are you alright?"
"Today it would seem I can't seem to stay on my feet today." She chuckled.
"Never mind, fine the bugler and order a withdrawal."
"Yes my lady."
"Archers behind the shieldbearers, spears behind the shield bears, with pikes between gaps! Fire at will!" Gekoz ordered the remaining beastmen into their new formations.
"What of the men?"
"They will turn craven and flee, we will have glory or have death!" Bellowed Gekoz.
The beastmen quickly readjusted, however, the Fimir were already upon them.
The melee was gory, no quarter was given by both sides as Fimir and beastmen were at a deadlock.
Another energy blast was shot, and it connected in the center line. The beastmen were thrown back from this, and the gap was exploited by the onslaught of Fimir.
The Ungors were the first to flee, already wavering from the newcomers entering the field. The Gors were next to break, as word spread quickly that their leader had perished. The Minotaurs stood firm, but were overwhelmed.
Zhankig was one of the last to flee from the field despite being an Ungor, believing in their leader until the very end.
He ran, ran as fast as his legs would carry him, now feeling the sensation of pain from the lodged bolt.
Despite a few loyal troops of the Reiksguard and some pikemen that reformed under their commander, the initial withdrawal became a full route upon seeing the routing beastmen give way.
Every man for himself, as they dashed into the forest attempting to escape death.
A few crossbowmen stood near the commander and quickly discharged their weapons before fleeing.
The commander attempted time and time again to rally her forces, shouting and urging the men onward. Only to be lifted off her feet from a blast of a staff deriving from the Fimir Matriarch.
Knocked out, she laid still, from first glance seemingly dead surrounded by her dead and dying troops. While it was undignified for someone of her rank, she, like most, wanted to live.
She pulled over a corpse of a fallen comrade and laid as still as she possibly could, to wait for the Fimir to pass.
Zhankig's injury was finally becoming apparent. He felt the agonizing pain where the bolt had struck him. He tripped and toppled over, near where the beastmen and men fought. Not being able to stand, he too crawled near some of his fallen clansmen and played to look as natural as he could possibly be.
The field was already littered with the dead and dying and the Fimir were now making short work of the remnant beastmen We're running then fleeing down. They were concerned with the eradication of their rivals and the capture of possibly some of the craven men.
Droves of Fimir passed, overlooking the encampment and heading toward the retreating troops. The beastmen ran the same direction as the retreating men, so the Fimir naturally followed suit. Zhankig could hear and to some degree see the rushing Fimir passing through the dead, and killing the dying in their pursuit.
The commander too could sense the Fimir rushing through, but could not see under the corpse. Dusk began to settle, and vision became difficult. They both laid still on the field even if they were certain the new enemies left. There they remained for some time after night had fallen.
The first to rise was the commander, commander Emilia Jade. Not her giving name, but the one she adopted after arriving in the west. She made her way slowly to the remnant of the encampment. The armor protected her through thick and thin, but brushing from the blast certainly was present underneath. As she slowly made her way, she tripped when stepping over some beastmen corpses. She fell to the ground.
While repositioned to sit, she was startled to see the corpse underneath move. She recognized the face of the beastmen that almost killed her.
Zhankig flipped to see that it was the commander, the one he did not kill. He could finish the job but, his leg was now imobile and he did not have the strength to attempt a jab. So, the only thing he could do was stare back.
Despite the nightfall, the sky was illuminated by the full moon. There the two adversaries sat, unable or unwilling to make the first move in a blooded field in the middle of nowhere.
-End of Chapter-
Well here's a second chapter, let me know if it's crap or not and possible additions you like to see. Until next time.