The Oaken Wolves, as a group, were usually pretty cautious about mercenary jobs. They took on things they could handle. They didn’t send out members on solo missions. They tried to avoid actual wars, which were always more trouble than they were worth.
However, no matter how many precautions you take, sometimes you end up shit creek with no paddles and the Skum closing in.
“Book, report!” shouted the old man from the front of the line, holding his own alongside his much younger compatriots against the still-advancing much-larger-than-advertised Orc raiding party. The mousy-looking female mage behind the line rapidly flipped through a spellbook.
“I am currently on my lowest-level spells, Whiskey’s down to one surge left, and I think that last casting drained Gale so much he passed out. "
“Well, isn’t that just fucking incredible.” The man growled. “Any sign of Gray?”
“No sir, the alarm I’ve set up hasn’t pinged yet.” she said, following her words with a babble of arcane gibberish that caused one Orc to get a face full of force magic.
“Damn. Hold the line, people! We can do this! Keep these ugly bastards at bay!”
For once, Herald didn’t have some retort to throw. He just gritted his teeth, hefted his giant shield, and slammed it into an Orc’s face. Axe was just focused on trying to weather the onslaught.
Then an Orc got lucky. A huge sword found its way right into Axe’s shoulder, exactly where his shield wasn’t. He cried out and dropped to the ground, passing out from pain and blood loss. Another laughing Orc lifted his own greataxe, intending to finish the job.
He met a blade on the way down.
“You know what? Fuck this, fuck you, and fuck all your ugly-ass friends. I’m done fucking around.” growled what before had seemed like an older warrior who could only just keep up with the younger crowd.
It was exactly the opposite. The younger crowd could only occasionally keep up with him.
His blade glowed, and then the Orc suddenly found himself without arms.
The blade traced a glowing line in the air, and where it went no armor nor any kind of defense could stop it. it found the weak points and slashed through everything like it was air.
It could not last. Seven dead Orcs later, the man collapses to one knee, panting heavily. A shield intercepts a blow meant for him.
Then a feathered shaft sprouts from the eye of the Orc that tried it. Interestingly enough, immediately afterwards the Orc’s head explodes. The Old Man catches his breath.
“God fucking damn. Gray, if you keep up like this I might actually shoot a couple of prayers up to that dried-up old goddess of yours.”
The Lady Gray stands at the top of the pass, holding a shining bow in her hands, her Austere Lady holy symbol hanging from her necklace.
“Your casual blasphemy never ceases to amaze, sir.”
He stands, back straight again.
“Old Soldier’s rights, Gray! Now get your ass down here. If you’ve got Script up there, we could use some healing. Whiskey’s almost out.” He accepted a flask from the aforementioned Cayden Cailenite. “Still good for something, though.”
“Yes, Script is here. We will be down shortly.” replied his second-in-command and tactician.
“Good. We’ll need to get the new kid up, too. We’ve still got work to do.”