Darrick Sharparrow liked to fish. And fishing he was, in a small stream a mile south of the great city of Argave. A fish leapt from the water right in front of him, and he expertly snatched it out of the air and dropped it into a bucket at his feet. Another jumped, and he dropped that one into the bucket as well. He began to hum a jolly tune to himself while he snatched fish out of the air or used his fishing pole to snag fish in the water.
Suddenly, he stopped humming. In the distance, he thought he heard bells ringing. "Why would Argave be ringing the bells at this time of day?" he asked himself absently.
And then he remembered why they would be ringing the bells. Argave only rang the bells at night when it was about to close its gates for the night or when it was under attack. Darrick leapt from the boat and ran as fast as he could, leaping over sticks, rocks, and small animals that scurried through the forest. Finally, he burst from the forest and saw Argave's main gate looming ahead of him. Other people rushed alongside him, all of them trying to get into Argave before it's gates closed.
Darrick ran through the gate, past the portcullis and the murder -holes, into the city. He had a job to do. He was a soldier in the army of Argave and enjoyed fishing while off-duty. He rushed into the barracks and down one of the hallways. He entered the first room on the left in the hallway. These were his quarters. They were sparsely furnished, adorned only with a rack for his equipment, a bed, and a small table next to his bed. He put down his fishing pole, bait, and the bucket of fish and decked himself out in his chain mail, steel helm, gauntlets and greaves. He took his sheathed sword from the wall and strapped it to his belt. He also grabbed his dagger from the table and tucked it into his belt.
He ran as quickly as he could down the hall and out of the barracks. Outside of the barracks was utter chaos. Civilians ran to and fro along the roads, many screaming or yelling at others to move out of the way, some shoving others out of the way. Soldiers, both armored and unarmored, ran along the roads as well, shoving people out of their way. Across the street, the bells in a huge bell tower swung back and forth, spreading their tintinabulation around the city to warn people of an impending attack.
Darrick ran towards the front wall and clambered up the steps. He ran along the wall towards the tower that he was assigned to. He strode quickly up the steps into the tower and saw his commanding officer, Sergeant Frills, handing bows and crossbows to the other soldiers in his platoon. Sergeant Frills handed a bow to Darrick and then moved on to the next soldier. Darrick walked over to the wall and noticed quivers lined up along the wall. He picked one up and slung it over his shoulder. He looked over the parapet and immediately wished that he hadn't. He saw line after line of goblins, marching straight towards Argave's main gate. He counted at least ten thousand of them, all marching in unison. They wore battered steel helmets and some leather armor and wielded javelins, spears, bows, axes, and shortswords.
Darrick looked to his right and his left. There were about 35,000 soldiers in Argave's army, and about 65,000 in Argave's reserve army. Lined up along the walls and in towers were some 15,000 troops. A man wearing the uniform of a Commander began giving orders to the men who had bows.
"Nock arrows! Aim! Fire!!!"
Nearly 5,000 arrows rained down upon the goblins, a hail of arrows so thick that they blotted out the sun itself. Screams of pain and death came from the goblins. Darrick watched his arrow go right through the skull of a goblin. The goblins stopped marching and raised their bows, nocking arrows and aiming slightly above the wall.
Arrows pelted the wall and bounced off or sailed over in many places. In some places, however, the arrows found their marks. The man on the right of Darrick screamed, an arrow protruding from his gut, and tumbled over the wall. Hundreds of men fell off the wall, their screams echoing in Darrick's skull.
Darrick faintly heard the language of magic being spoken nearby. He was surprised to find that several hundred wizards had positioned themselves along the walls and were preparing to cast spells upon the goblins.
Lances of pure light shot from the fingertips of the wizards and coalesced into a huge ball of energy. The ball of energy began to shoot towards the goblins, and, with a gargantuan explosion, slammed into them full force. Darrick was forced to shield his eyes from the intense light, lest he be blinded by it.
Darrick opened his eyes and looked at the goblin army once more. Nearly six thousand charred corpses were all that remained of the center of the goblin army. The surviving goblins quicklyt turned around and began to run away from the battlefield. They ran just out of arrow range and began to set up camp. It appeared that they were going to lay siege to Argave.
To be continued...
(This message has been edited by moderator (edited 11-07-2002).)