Alex and Jeod arrive at the wall where most of the fighting seems like it will take place and can already hear the war cries of the goblins and hobgoblins and the sounds of bows twanging as both attacks and defenders fired volley after volley of arrows.
At the bottom of one of the steps up the wall they spotted Martland, the person in charge overall of the entire defense operation with the various group leaders then placed below him. Even the council was not above him in decisions related to the defense unless all 3 of them and the elder collectively agreed to the opposition.
‘Alex, be careful of this man.’ Alice said to him. ‘That weapon… it is very impressive and he must be powerful indeed to wield it.’
‘We will be fine Alice, but thank you for the concern. Martland is a well known public figure and one of our best defenders against the stronger creatures that roam the land.’
Martland was a grizzled guard veteran in his fifties. He had large muscled arms, a strong jawline and, piercing eyes that told you he was always serious. He stood about 6 foot 5 inches tall and was wearing an entire set of enchanted full plate metal armor that he had scoured from dungeons himself during his younger days as an adventurer, before retiring from that line of work and using his strength for the defense of the town instead.
He held a massive 6-foot tall spear in hand with an elegant shaft made of a dark, almost black, wood few had ever seen, for it only grew after the Cataclysm and only in the most dangerous forests, and was as sought after as Mithril - Elerium wood.
Elerium wood was, as far as humans knew so far, only capable of being cut or damaged by a mithril blade and even then was quite hard to work with. Carving such an elegant spear shaft from it must have taken a very long time. The main draw of the wood, however, was that is vastly multiplied the strength of Ki channeled through it, thus making its wielder a terror on whatever unlucky battlefield they chose to descend upon.
Tipping the Elerium wood spear was a pointed blade made of mithril, thus completing the look of Martland’s legendary weapon known to all - Gungnir, named after the spear used by Odin himself in Norse mythology. Martland kept Gungnir on him at all times and used it as a walking stick when not fighting, making him quite an imposing figure even when he had not donned his full gear.
“Hey, Captain Martland!” Alex called out jovially as they ran over toward him.
Martland turned to look who had called for him and was surprised to see the Scholar Jeod having left the safety of his house at a time like this, and a young man running beside him. As they got closer his eyes widened when he realized who the boy was. The council had made sure to brief everyone of importance on Alex’s identity and his peculiarities but Martland had not heard that Jeod somehow changed as well.
As the two stopped in front of him, Martland wondered what they were here for. “Do you two plan on taking part in the defense?” He asked curiously. “I have heard some of the news about you, Alex, but did not know your powers were under control enough to help here. As for you, Jeod” He said as he shifted his gaze towards the Scholar, “I don’t recall ever seeing you heading toward a fight.”
Jeod smiled sheepishly at that, for he was indeed a bit of a coward. His purpose is research, after all, not bashing skulls! “You are half right. I do not plan to fight, but to observe, and indeed young Alex here did not have nearly enough time to properly experiment or master his powers but he should still be a big help.” Jeod finished as he gave Alex a friendly slap on the back.
Martland rubbed his beard in thought for a moment, before deciding to just let them do what they think best since he has no information on their abilities and has his hands full coordinating the rest of the forces. “Do as you will Alex, just do not get in the way of the soldiers. You know better than I how you can contribute at the moment, so it makes little sense for me to try and order you around. I must go now, however, stay safe.” With that final comment, Martland turned and left them.
“Well, let’s get going then!” Said Alex with enthusiasm. ‘I can’t wait to help kill some goblins and get some more levels!’ He thought to himself.
‘Yes, indeed. The more powerful you become the more powerful I become by extension.’ Alice said in response to his previous thought. ‘Maybe one day you can discover a way to let me manifest outside of the soul space…’ She drifted off in thought and desire.
Alex and Jeod climbed the stone stairs leading up to the top of the impressive walls surrounding the town. It took many years to convert the wooden walls into proper stone ones, but it was well worth it, in the end, to keep the town safe. The current walls stood 20 feet tall and had 2 entrances. The outer stone portion was around 2 feet thick and then turned into wooden supports helping to hold it up. Jutting in toward the town from the top was a wood platform that ran the length of the wall all around, giving plenty of space for people to run along the wall while others could still fire from it uninhibited.
When Alex and Jeod reached the top of the steps and took in the sights of the battle so far, it stopped them in their tracks for a moment. Neither had ever seen the horrors of a battle on this scale and it was quite a sobering sight.
The goblins had sent several hundred useless fodder troops in first, as they had been doing for days, in an attempt to keep wearing down the human defenses and making them waste energy and arrows. As a result, the no mans land in-between town and the forest was littered with countless goblins, both dead and dying, and arrows continued to fly from both sides.
Finally preparing for their proper assault the goblins and hobgoblins had lined up outside the forest and it was a fearsome sight to behold. The hobgoblin troops were spread out evenly amongst the normal goblins, no doubt to make use of their racial ability. As the hobgoblins began yelling and roaring and chanting war cries, it became obvious that their ability would play a major role, as hobgoblins could empower nearby goblins with their war-cries and chants, strengthening their skin to ward off stronger blows, allowing them to hit harder and removing their fear of death. It allowed the goblins to go from fodder troops to truly a fearsome sight in large numbers such as this.
The front row of the goblins all had pig-iron short swords with wooden shields while sporting crude leather armor. The row behind them had spears, aiming to support their sword brothers by poking in-between the ranks. Further back were the archers and behind even them was the shaman, surrounded by what looked to be several fellow shamans and some normal goblins. Several goblins spaced throughout the army clearly had wooden ladders meant to help breach the walls as well.
Now that the fodder troops are all used up and the main force was coming, the humans finally stopped holding back and began infusing Ki into their arrows before firing. This increased the power and range many times over and the goblins wooden shields did little to defend them as the arrows tore right through them. As soon as the goblins realized how powerful the enemy volley was however they began utilizing their own strength and channeling their meager Ki into the shields, giving them just enough protection to block most of the human arrows that hit them without it shattering in a single hit.
War horns began sounding again from various points all over the battlefield, shaking the defenders standing on the wall to their core. As the horns finished their blast a drum beat took up where it had left off. Far behind the army, the group of goblin shamans was currently banging on drums in a ritualistic beat while the head shaman performed a dance and a chant, although the words could not be heard at this distance. At the start of the drum beats the goblin troops rushed forward and the defenders at the base of the walls did the same, meeting in the center of the no man's land in a bloodbath that would be retold for generations.
As Alex stared into the throng of goblins and humans, dumbstruck at the sight of his first large scale battle, he suddenly got jolted out of his stupor by Alice.
‘Alex! Isn’t that your mother down there?’ She asked curiously and mentally directed Alex’s vision to a particular point of the battlefield.
‘It is! I know the elder told us she had been fighting the scouting parties on the front lines but I had hoped she would not fight outside the walls as well…’ He thought with worry. ‘I will concentrate my magic there and attempt to lessen the danger in that area.’ He decided. ‘It’s not like I have any real orders, so it should be fine as long as I don’t hinder anyone.’
Alex quickly explained his findings and decisions to Jeod and the two of them ran further down the wall to get to a better vantage point for Alex to begin assisting in the fight.