First Blood  

rm_Amanes1986 31M
16 posts
9/1/2006 8:55 pm

Last Read:
9/3/2006 8:58 am

First Blood

In the two days I've been stationed here, I have come to realize that they had a much larger need for soldiers with experience then I had previously thought. Things are so poorly run here, that there was no designated refuse area. There was disease ridden waste in nearly every hall, every room, seemingly every foot of space both inside and outside the walls of the wooden fortress. I swear there were more vermin then fighters.

I immediately went to work in clearing it all out. It was a disgusting job, but there was no telling how long it had been there, and ignoring the problem risked illness spreading and reducing our already crippled numbers. Hours passed by, almost entirely without aid, though I could understand as everywhere I looked it seemed everyone had their own chores to do. Arrows to be fletched, armor and weapons to be polished, food to be prepared, and countless other menial but neccessary tasks that had to be done. I could only assume the reason so much filth had accumalated was because there was either nobody willing to do the monstrous task or all hands were simply too busy.

I had spoken with the captain about the matter and with a relieved expression she assigned one of her lieutenants to help me. Together we designed two appropriate ways of disposing of our rather large amount of human waste. In the future we would have it dumped into a nearby river not one mile from our position, and for what we had now, well, instead of undertaking the painful task of transporting it all by wagon several times over, we simply began digging a very deep hole in the middle of the courtyard. All available hands were set to the task, and it was about halfway finished when the warning bell was first rung.

I looked up from 5 feet from beneath the earth to see the Captain shouting orders as she rushed to the battlements, half a dozen men and women following her as everyone else scrambled out of the hole and to their respected positions. We had gotten lucky so far, two days had passed without incident, but now it seemed that Death seeked to take us in a fashion considerably more violent then disease.

All the fruits of nature within bowshot surrounding the fortress had been cut down, restricting any would be enemy archers from taking cover atop the trees to shoot us down, or allowing anyone from sneaking up unnoticced. Climbing up to the upper walkway, I took a quick count and saw no less then a dozen great wooden shields heading towards us, constructed to such a size as to protect those behind it from arrows. They obviously had done this before, as the shields were covered in animal hide and doused heavily with water to prevent us from lighting it aflame.

I could not believe that more then four people could be protected by those shields, thus giving us nearly fifty men to deal with. A laughable number, but taking into account that there were only forty hands behind the walls, I was a bit troubled that there might be an attack on our flanks if we focused our attention on that one group.

I needn't have worried though. I later learned that they often faced this type of attack many times before. In the past, the Woodsmen (the name I have heard mentioned many times) had just attacked from the trees, until they were cut down. Then, they attempted to rush the fortress from all sides with only small shields for protection, but they were decimated. Afterwards, they wrought great shields of wood and through trial and error, perfected their defense.

"They approach us slowly, in tight formation, and when they get within range, they hit us with a volley of arrows, then hide. We fire back, and then we hide. We used to have horses, but we lost them all in an ambush." the soldier next to me explained. I sighed, and shook my head. It was a terrible plan, but under the circumstances, there was no other. I had a few ideas on how to prepare for the future, but I would tell them to the Captain later. For now, I had no choice but to hunker down and hope that my aim wasn't the worse for wear.

ShyWhisper2006 54F
15175 posts
9/3/2006 2:03 am

Wow...oh please continue...this was awesome *smiles*

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