The Battle Draws Nigh


As the Lotharingians begin their anticipated military push into Limbourg the motley assortment of professional mercenaries, conscripted citizen militia, and foreign allied soldiers are taking their last measures to provide an adequate defense. Anyone familiar with Slothjemian military convention knows that this means a final pre-battle speech from the senior officer. In this instance that duty falls upon the shoulders of the thrice retired yet still active orc General Shr Boligar Vishkin.

Walking with his customary limp, the aged warrior sizes up his audience with his one good eye. Adjusting his eye patch he takes a deep breath. The soldiers around him are a mixture of fresh recruits awaiting a posting in the regular army back home and veteran troops such as himself who did their time in the ranks of the military before accepting posts in the 2nd Reserve Army. Men and women keen for a fight, and each of them watching their general intently.

As he speaks, his voice is strong and controlled but not overly loud. Those in attendance lean forward and must focus in order to hear their commander. An unnatural calm descends on those gathered and the voice of Shr Vishkin is the only thing any of them can hear.

“Beloved brothers and sisters in arms! Welcome to this, the Battle of Käsestadt. This is as you know my final campaign as the commandant of the 2nd Reserve Army. And no doubt this will be my final skirmish, one way or another. We have had a busy year, haven’t we? First in Sikilia, then in Oublier, and now way up here in Limbourg. A fine year. I thank you for your determined efforts both on and off of the field of battle.”

“I won’t lie to you. The foe we now face is likely to be as close to our equal as anyone you’ll encounter anyplace in Partum. The Fallen Knights are ruthless, well-trained, and have an unquenchable thirst for violence. They are also infamous for their depravity and wickedness. Be mindful of the women in our ranks! Defend them above all else should these bastards breach our lines. You can count on them being merciless, so don’t hold your own attacks. We aren’t taking prisoners from this bunch. Grind them up and stomp them into the mud. That is an order!

“Keep a wary eye on the signals given by your superiors. We might need to fall back, or surge forward. Your officers know what to do. Follow their lead and whatever happens keep fighting. They are coming here to punish our friends and allies, the Maelonbourgers, for trying to wrest this land of evil. This is a fight we all share. These aren’t mere goblinoids we face, no offense to present company, but then the Maelonbourgers faced down the Ash King on our behalf. This fight is the least we can offer as thanks.”

Turning away and heading back to his tent, Shr Vishkin raised his arm and said simply, “Now to arms!” And the 2nd Reserve Army smiled collectively.