Evernight: The Darkest Fantasy

Act Zero Part 3

A Fistful of Orcs

From the Journal of Adelmar, Headman of Roxbury:

The village wall defenses were as ready as they could be, all thanks to the guidance of the Red Knight Amador.

Only ten able-bodied ten farmers remain, yet they managed to repair the breach in the rear wall and reinforced with spiked stakes. Similar spikes now also protected the main gate. The bestial orcs won’t be foolish enough to impale themselves upon them, but it would surely break their charge.

After supper, the Amador, Tarana, and Viggo decided to take turns keeping watch during the night, accompanied by a couple of farmers. The Sun Priest Bogart appeared to be indisposed, with some sort of stomach ache. I hope the orcs don’t make another raid tonight.

Solace shine over us all.

From a rough translation of an unnamed orc chieftain’s partial diary:

My horde is almost complete! Soon, we shall crush that small village and continue onward, slaughtering these weak humans.

My scouts return! The village had improved its fortifications but no matter! It shall still be crushed! But from the south, a human army marches and will be here in a few hours.

My horde isn’t at full strength yet! But I shall strike now at the village before their reinforcements arrive.

I’ve gathered a score of my most savage orcs. We go now to crush this small, weak village. I’ve taken eight out of the twenty to go with me to assault the main gate. The remaining dozen shall circle around and climb over the rear walls.

Blast it! As we climbed the slope towards the gate, foul magic came hurtling down, blasting me and one of my orcs. I just got a flesh wound. I’ll live. Too bad I can’t say the same for the other orc.

I cursed my troops to continue their charge forward, as more of the dark bolts rained down upon us. I got hit maybe three times, but the magic was weak, and I shrugged them off. I heard the witch who was hurling the bolts chanting, somewhere just beyond the gate. She will be sorry once I got inside the village.

My orcs have clambered over the fence and are now inside the village! Sounds of fighting and then screams of dying humans. I chuckled in amusement. Human death-sounds never get old.

Something sounded wrong though. Mixed in with the human’s screams are the dying grunts of orcs. These human farmers are fighting back?!? Impossible!

I peered over the short fence they call fortifications, and found out the reason: among the farmers wielding their pitiable spears, there was that despicable magic-using witch, and two more warriors who were cutting down my orcs!

The first warrior wielded two weapons, a scimitar in one hand and an orcish swordsword in the other. He’s almost as big as an orc himself, and bloodlust flashed in his eyes the same way it did in some savage orcs. As I watched, he threw away the shortsword and switched to using a shield in his off-hand.

The second was clad in shining armor—a Red Knight! I sneered. It would be very satisfying to clash steel with this upstart. His sword crackled with some blue energy, no doubt a blessing from his cursed god, Solace. But Kargak is mightier than any human god!

I leaped and held onto the top of the fence, pulling myself up. I perched, crouched, upon the fence, unslinging my great axe. The Red Knight was making his way toward me, shouting a challenge. I shouted a battlecry in return and leaped down upon him.

I smiled in satisfaction as my axe blade drank deep of the knight’s blood. He staggered, heavily wounded.

The witch looked exhausted, the scimitar-wielding berserker was weakened, and the knight was bloodied. Only a handful of villagers remained. I laughed. Victory was mine!

But then stopped as I realized something.

Damn it! They have killed too many of my men! Even as I watched, they killed the last orc with me. This is bad! Their reinforcements will soon come! I cannot afford any more losses.

I shouted for the rear orcs to fall back, and began withdrawing myself. The Red Knight took a couple of ineffective swings at me, but I am strong.

I cleared the fence quickly and vanished back into the forest where my horde awaits.

We shall crush them at dawn!

From the Report of Captain Dux:

We reached the village of Roxbury shortly before dawn.

We expected to find the villagers on their way along the road, and feared the worst when we didn’t meet them.

Newly-erected spikes protected the main gate, and the fence surrounding the compound appeared to be in good repair.

The adventurers the Baron hired were inside, and appeared exhausted and battle-weary. Two bodies, that of farmers, have been neatly put aside for later burial. There were other bodies as well: orcs from the looks of it. It seems they’ve just repelled a large raiding party just a couple of hours before we arrived.

I immediately briefed the adventurers on the situation. As my scouts have found out earlier, we are now surrounded by the orc horde. We must make a stand here and now. The village is on top of a hill and the fortifications will undoubtedly be of help.

By all accounts, the orc horde outnumbers almost two to one. My troops include a mixed force of archers, spearmen, and cavalry. Put to good use, they may overcome the horde.

One of the adventurers, the barbarian from the White Towns no less, had volunteered to lead the army into battle. I’ve quizzed him and he appears to know more about war than I do, so I relinquished command of the troops to him. I myself will act as his lieutenant.

Thus ends my initial report at Roxbury. The orcs will surely attack on the morrow and there is still much to prepare.



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