Small Packages: Departure
Marius had never been in a full scale battle before. He had his share of fights as an adventurer, but this was a different animal. The sheer numbers simultaneously made him feel empowered and small. The undead had no feeling but they screamed when they charged, likely because Luca screamed.
Marius’s web wand was put to good use after sundown. The vampires had taken out all the small forces along the banks before sawing down some trees they used in conjunction with web spells and debris collected by thousands of zombies. Within minutes both streams were effectively dammed and would likely be for at least a few hours if not a few days.
Suddenly the famine king’s thousands of zombies and millions of insects could be brought to bear on the two manipole of orcs waiting on the southern end for the gnomish brothers. Were that not enough, the vampire strike team had circled around them ready to play anvil to the massive hammer about to fall upon the orcs.
Marius and Luca had one major job, one they and their wolves would be teleported behind the orc line to do, kill the wizard. Captain Septimus called on his own doom by overstepping the Famine King’s line. His arrogant assumptions would soon come to a head and Marius made his peace with his part in instigating the conflict.
The Famine King and his minions were not pretty, but they were a damn site better than what the orcs did to the Sorrow Lands. The orcish machine was ever a hungry one and it consumed too much. The burning of the fields was just a step beyond what Marius could tolerate. The orc he killed was just a cog in the monster of a machine that was the orc empire.
Septimus was a more crucial cog. His death would echo in the region, maybe further. No one was untouchable, no one could act as he acted and get away with it. There was a limit to the world’s tolerance for tyranny.
In the darkness Marius waited. He felt like bottled lightning, he wanted to rush headlong into the fray and battle forward but he held and watched. The wizard did fine work. He used vermin barriers and a wind wall to preserve the core of his formation against the swarms and a well place firewall to deter the zombies. One of his apprentices used a fireball wand to grant the overwhelmed legionaries breathing space while another used magic missiles to rake out wounded foes.
More crucially the skyship was looking to round a strafing pass. The wind was against that maneuver which is in part the timing of the strike. Experienced skyship sailors could perhaps overcome the countering wind but it would take more time then the footmen had.
Numbers, plus fearless ferocity, plus superior coordination lead by a genius mind was making fast work of the disciplined manipole, simply put one thousand would not hold long against five thousand, particularly when backed by billions of insects.
Predictably, the orc captain realized this and started a retreat, ordering men to stay and die that he may escape.
The vampires went first. Elves that remembered the terror of the fire raining from the sky and destroying their homes got a measure of vengeance for the dead. It would not undo the curse of vampirism or the memories of lost loved ones, but the way had been cleared.
Marius surged forward knowing the futility of the timing. The way had been cleared but the apprentice with the fireball wand was free to act. He screamed a word in draconic ready to flick the wand forward when an owl drove out of the sky and ripped the wand and a couple fingers from his hand.
The strange spider Marius recruited, appeared next, somehow behind the other apprentice. He drove his glass like blades deep into that orc’s kidneys. He was riding Calia who then closed her fangs over the wizard’s throat.
Flanked by Luca and Simone, Marius charged headlong. The wizard spat a sizzling bolt of acid that burned Marius and nearly caused him to falter in pain, but he managed to raise his lance in time and impaled the wizard near his black heart.
The wizard managed a sizzling blast of lightning that rattled Marius’ teeth and racked his body with searing pain, but it was not enough to stop him from cross drawing his bastard sword into a circular swing that nearly severed the Captain Wizard’s head. Seconds later Luca and Simone finished his surviving apprentice.
Disheartened by the loss of their commander and the sheer numbers the orc’s formation buckled, the battle was decided in that moment and no orc stood within a short and brutal minute.
An hour later, the brother’s left with three wolves, a grass spider ninja, and the owl that turned out to be a orcling druid girl. The Famine King’s vermin fed well as the skyship fled back to Fort Furthest.