Arc 3 Chapter 37: Defend the pass!

Fort Hardstone was built into the left side of the mountain in the Gnakad pass. The three slightly rounded walls that it had were built out of stone mined from the mountain itself.

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The walls were over ten feet tall and five feet wide. It was tall enough that nothing could jump over it especially the short goblins, and it was wide enough for the defenders on top to have enough standing room. On top of the walls, there were six small ballistas, three for each wall. The ballistas were a thing of great interest to Akira since they could shoot farther than the arrows that were shot from orc longbows.

The only gate of the fort was facing the right side of the mountain pass so that the warriors in the fort could easily exit and attack any Army that tried to pass by the fort.

The place where the fort had been built wasn’t that wide. With the fort also taking up space it created a bottleneck where there was only room left for ninety to a hundred orc warriors to stand shoulder to shoulder from the fort to the mountain wall.

The reason Fort Hardstone was built was due to the fact that the Gnakad Pass was the safest and easiest route to reach the inner orc cities. So Fort Hardstone was tasked with the job of protecting the main cities from any invading forces or at least to stall the enemy until the orc army was able to arrive.

Akira was outside the large fort helping the orcs dig a shallow trench in the rocky dirt that started from the forts north wall all the way to the mountain on the right. It had been decided that they would have to add some extra defenses in order to help them stop the large numbers of the goblins from pushing through the Gnakad Pass.

The orcs who were not digging were hammering freshly cut logs diagonally into the ground or sharpening the ends of the logs creating a crude palisade that was different from normal due to its diagonal slant forward.

Akira tossed the last shovel full of rocky dirt onto a pile behind the shallow trench and then climbed out of the trench.

With a sigh of relief, he sat down on the cold hard ground. The air was cold enough that he could see his breath every time he exhaled a breath.

The ground still had a light frost on it in which had made the ground even harder making it a pain in the ass to dig, causing it to take most of the morning in order to dig the shallow trench where the palisade was being built.

Varbu stood next to Akira and hammered the last log into place completing the palisade and completely blocking the Gnakad pass.

The dirt was then shoved back into the trench around the log and packed down to further support the wooden logs at the base.

“It sure is getting colder. The snow should be arriving soon,” said Varbu sitting down next to Akira.

“Winter here sure does come early compared to where I used to live,” said Akira.

“They last even longer here.”

“With the garrison force, how many warriors do we have to defend against goblin army?”

“The total is 568. We have been given the hard task of holding off the 3000+ goblin army. It will not be an easy task since they outnumber us 5 to 1, but we will defend the Gnakad pass. Let’s head back to the fort before we start talking about anything else.”

***

Varbu had taken over command of the fort when he had arrived the day before. Murb the fort commander was not hostile about it nor was their any arguments. He instead had been helping Varbu and Akira with anything needed.

Varbu was given a small office to use which was next to Murb’s own office. When they had first entered the room the day before it had been filled with boxes of supplies and other junk that they had to find a spot to move it to.

As Varbu and Akira sat down in the uncomfortable wooden chairs a knock on the door was heard.

“Come in,” said Varbu.

A messenger from the unit Varbu normally commanded entered the room and saluted Varbu.

“The scout has come back and has given the report that the goblin army has begun its march towards the Gnakad pass. They will be here within a day at the earliest and three at the latest. His estimate confirmed our earlier count, the army heading here should be somewhere around 3000+ strong,” said the orc messenger.

“One second let me write a letter,” said Varbu pulling out a piece of tan paper an and an ink pen from a drawer of the desk.

After dipping the ink pen into the inkwell he began scribbling down crude words in the Orcish language. When he finishing writing the message he threw a bit of sand onto the page to soak the excess ink and then shook it off onto the ground.

“Send this message with the fastest messenger bird to Orcrock, and please inform Murb that I need to speak with him,” said Varbu handing the folded and sealed message over.

The messenger bowed and left the room immediately.

Murb entered the office a short while later.

“Good, now that you’re here we need to go over our plan on how we’re going to stop the goblins long enough to for the main army to reach us,” said Varbu.

“I will try to help in whatever way I can,” said Murb.

“A report came before you got here, we now know the Goblin army will be here tomorrow at the earliest. It will probably be a small scouting force. While the main force will be a day or two behind it. It will take some time for the Orc army to get here I’m guessing it will be three to four days at the earliest. We must have extra guards on the walls at all times now. Murb how is the gathering of the arrows and other supplies for the city defense coming along? We need to do it now while we can before the enemy to show up,” said Varbu.

“Everything is going smoothly we should have everything in order by tomorrow afternoon before the enemy vanguard appears. The fort’s ballistas are loaded and have enough ammunition to last them for a while. If they bring any artillery we will be ready to deal with it,” said Murb.

“Good,” said Varbu.

The three of them finalized their plans on what to do if something unexpected happened.

***

Next day.

Akira walked back and forth on top of the northern fort wall trying to keep warm as he and the other Orcs on watch kept their eyes opened for any sign of the goblin vanguard.

He had just eaten a warm soup for lunch so he was not to bothered by the cold wind that was blowing. His body felt like it was able to adapt to the cold more than before he had awakened. He still felt the cold but he was now able to withstand it better than before.

Akira looked off into the distance a slight movement caught his attention.

He continued to watch the spot for some time and the speck of movement in the far distance slowly grew bigger, turning into multiple green blobs.

Ding! 

Quest updated!
Survive the wave of goblin attacks. 

You have been tasked to defend the Gnakad pass. Stop the goblins from breaking through.

Difficulty: D+Reward: Unknown

He grabbed the warhorn around his neck and blew it alerting everyone in the fort about the approaching enemy.

A large commotion was created behind him as the orcs hurriedly finished eating their lunches, grabbed their weapons and ran to their positions on the wall.

A short time later Varbu and Murb were standing next to him on the north wall looking into the distance.

“You sure have good eyesight. They’re still far away,” said Varbu.

“It’s nothing much,” said Akira.

“As we planned Akira you will be in charge of the north wall. I will command the forces at the gate and the ground forces. Murb you will be in charge of the south wall as reinforcements to make sure that anyone that gets past us will be taken care of,” said Varbu.

“I will make sure that none shall escape,” said Murb.

The three waited for the goblins to move closer. As the enemy drew nearer they were able to see two or three goblins were sitting on top of a few hundred wild Boars.

The goblin riders stopped out of the range of the orcs bows and studied the fort and the Orcs on the walls who were staring right back at them.

Varbu picked up a cone-shaped horn and brought it to his lips.

“You Goblins who have invaded Orc lands go back to your own lands now, or we will take you up on your offer of an all-out war!” shouted Varbu, the cone-shaped horn helped boost his voice so that the goblins could hear him from a long distance away.

Varbu waited for a few seconds before the goblins started to hop up and down screeching gibbering nonsense while shaking their fists at the orcs and pointing their weapons at them.

“It was worth a try. Ballistas are they in range?” asked Varbu.

“Yes! We can still hit them from this distance,” replied the leader of the three ballista groups.

“Fire to kill!” said Varbu.

The Orcs controlling the Wall mounted ballistas adjusted the aim before pulling the lever.

Fwoosh!

Three large spear-like arrows were loosed and sent flying swiftly towards the dancing goblins.

The ballista bolts reached the goblins in seconds and skewered multiple goblins and even a wild boar creating three gruesome looking shish kabobs.

With the use of the ballistas the prancing goblins cried in shock at seeing a few goblins suddenly die. The goblins hurriedly fled farther down the path until they reached a safe distance. Where they again began to taunt the orcs.

“These are our enemy?” asked Akira stunned at their childish actions.

“Yes it is shameful to have to fight such foolish creatures, but we must guard the pass and not allow even one of them to pass,” said Murb who had been silent most of the morning.

The orcs were on full alert as they watched the nearly 700 goblins set up a camp outside the range of the forts ballista.

A few hours passed when a small group of goblins separated from the camp and started to walk towards the fort. They were regular goblin infantry that had ridden with the goblin riders.

“Archers ready your bows,” ordered Akira watching the approaching goblins.

The goblins seeing the orcs readying their bows began running towards the wooden barricades.

“Release,” shouted Akira as the goblins came within shooting distance.

Multiple arrows flew into the air and rained down onto the rushing goblins killing and wounding a number of them.

As if spurred on by a fear greater then the arrows the goblins continued to run towards the wooden palisade. By the time the goblins were able reached the palisade there was only two alive and both were wounded.

They tried kicking pulling and punching the wooden stakes to try and move them but were too weak to do much of anything to the stakes that had been hammered into the ground which had a light frost that hardened the ground. They were shot full of arrows before they could do anything more.

Throughout the rest of the day goblins tried to send small groups to damage or remove part of the defenses, but after three failed attempts where there was no surviving goblin and little to no damage they stopped for the day as the sun sank down behind the mountains.

After switching Guard duty on top of the wall the Orcs continued to watch all through the night on high alert for any signs of a goblin night attack but nothing happened.

***

Inside the goblin camp.

A group of goblin officers sat in one of the larger tents talking heatedly over what they should do in order to get past the defenses of the fort.

“Gi gi giiii giiiii?(What are we to do?),” asked one of the goblins.

“Giiii gii giiiiiii giiiiiiiiiiiiii!( Smash them! Kill them all!),” shouted another.

“Giii giii giii giiiiiii.(Hide from them and just push through with the main forces),” said a third.

The fourth goblin officer punch the third in the head. “Gi giii? Giiii giiii giiiiiii? Gi gi giiiii giiiggii gi giii giii giiiiii. (Are you stupid? How are we supposed to hide from them? What we need is to pretend to be their friend with presents and when they let us pass the defenses we can attack them.)

“gi gii giiii giiiii. (I’m not stupid you are),” said the third officer punching him back.

The talk had been going on all night and they could not decide on what to do.

“Gii giii giiii giiiiiii gigigi. ( Fine, I will just think of something when we attack in a few hours.),” said the vanguard commander.

***

“Looks like they are trying something different today,” said Murb who was standing next to Akira and Varbu on the north wall.

“No need to worry about it we will be able to defeat them no matter what they try,” said Varbu.

The goblins were running forward with crude shields held above their heads to try and stop any arrows from hitting them.

They stopped just on the outer edges of the forts bows and Quickly drew their own bows and started firing them towards the fort.

They failed miserably, their aim was everywhere but the fort. All the arrows fell short of the fort and even the palisade.

With a wave of Akira’s hand, the Orc archers let their arrows fly towards the archers who were frantically firing arrows everywhere their aim becoming even worse.

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After only a few volleys of arrows from the orc archers, the surviving Goblins quickly retreated.

The orcs were able to relax until after they had eaten lunch when the war horns sounded warning that the Goblins were launching another attack.

A group of 50 war pig riders charged towards the defenses moving at a fast pace to not be able to be hit by many arrows.

“Wow! Look they’re not stopping! They plan on trying to jump over the wooden stakes. Are they stupid?” asked Akira shocked.

It was a fascinating but sickening thing to watch.

Over twenty bodies were skewered onto the sharp ends of the logs. Blood gushing and splattering everywhere. The cries of pain from the goblins and squeals of the boars were mixed together.

A few of the goblins had been lucky enough to be thrown from their makeshift saddles over the stakes. They quickly rose to their feet and clawed at the wood trying to escape back to the other side.

Arrows quickly pierced them through the back killing them.

Out of the 50 Riders that had charged the defenses only 15 managed to escape back to their camp.

“If they keep this up we won’t have to fight them they will just kill themselves for us,” said Varbu with a laugh.

- my thoughts:
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