Reply To: The Claws of Gunilla – the Sen Valley Encounter

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“So, gentlemen,” said Colonel Normand, “everyone clear?” He raised his eyes from the map spread out on the trestle table and regarded his officers. In the cold early morning light, he could make out a mixture of excitement, confidence and, yes, apprehension. “It is always so,” he thought to himself. “First time against Orcs for most of these commanders. They damn well should be afraid.”
Aloud, he said: “Remember. We’re blocking their path. They have to go through us; we can sit tight. So we bombard them all the way to our position, then Liburnius?” The cavalry officer stiffened to attention. “You and Brovern pick your moment. I want them hit so hard the Titans will wake. All right: go to your companies and may Ronnic show us the way.”
A quiet voice next to Normand said: “Not ideal.”
Normand did not need to look: Thadalf, his friend of many, many High Moons, confidant, advisor and – when needed – battlefield Thaumaturge, had slipped past his personal guard to stand at his shoulder. The Colonel grunted in agreement. “You know me,” he said. “I’ve not time for the heroics of a fight like this.”
“We’re outnumbered.”
“Yes. Well: maybe not – who can be sure? But we don’t have the edge.”
A different voice said: “We might, Colonel.”
Thormand turned, and his first thought was: “How in Hell had something so big got so close and I hadn’t heard it?”
The red griffen, seeming to sense the drama of its entrance, spread its magnificent wings wide and raised a proud, noble head. The tall, simply-clad man standing in front of the beast bowed.
“Augun ThunderHand,” said Thormand. For the first time in days, he broke into a grin. “The 87th bids you welcome.”