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by Del S

Chapter 1 (2007)
Chapter 2 (2007)
Chapter 3 (2007)
Chapter 4 (2007)
Chapter 5 (2007)
Chapter 6 (2007)
Chapter 7 (2007)
Chapter 8 (2007)

Chapter 8

Chapter 8: A New Dawn

As the sun rose, Chard awoke, sitting by the church door.

'How long was I asleep?' he asked Hooky.

'A couple of hours, sir. It's been quiet for a few.'

The officer stood up, and marched over to the walls. Piles of goblin dead still surrounded the defences.

'Have they maybe run off?' he asked. The Black Belt shook his head.

'It appears not. They should have broken on the second assault last night, but as you'll recall, they gave us two more.'

'Their numbers must now be low?'

'Yes. I'd wager if we can hold against the last, you might have won your private war, Chard.'

'It's neither mine nor private,' the captain responded. 'Sergeant Bourne, what's the crossbow situation?'

'As per your orders, sah, the last working ones have been put in the tower with the last arrows. Captain Bromhead is commanding the bowmen, and two of the wounded have offered to help keep the bows loaded.'

'Each man has at least three bows loaded and ready?'

'Afraid not, sah. Only 19 bows still intact. Strings have snapped on the rest. They have had a lot of use, sah.'

'It'll have to do, I suppose. That Black Mage able to cast anything yet?'

'Afraid not, sah. But it turns out he's handy with a bow himself.


Bromhead stood in the church tower, the last few dozen arrows and working crossbows sitting there alongside a half dozen archers.

'So, Bromhead, why did you join the military?' The Black Mage asked.

'Tradition, I suppose. My father, my grandfathers... All of them were in command for at least one famous Cornelian battle. True, Grandfather Hungerford, on my mother's side was at six and somehow lost seven, but we've generally won them. Even when we used the traditional rules.'

'Subtract your casualties from the enemy, if the number is positive...'

'Chase the bastards and make it a bigger number.'

'Ah,' The Black Mage realised. 'Traditional Cornelian rules for how to win a battle.'

'Anyway, I've been at three battles. And never even saw a corpse in one. First one at Thermolunderweear, Major Cocké-Uppe got us lost and we wound up trying to ambush a passing cart driver three weeks after the battle. At Glomb River Bridge, Major Malfunction wound up in charge after the General's wife made him go home to clean the dishes, and decided that since the bridge was the battlefield that if he blew it up, he'd win. At Hurtslots Forest, we attacked to discover that the logging season had cut down the army of Dryads we were meant to fight and burnt them as winter fuel. Apparently, the request for soldiers had lain unopened on the King's desk for the entire winter. I've spent most of my seven years in the army writing letters about training accidents my superiors couldn't be arsed to sign. This is number four, and it's the first one I've seen any action,' the Cornelian Officer mused,.

'It can get a bit hairy out there though. What you'll want now is a nice desk job I imagine. That's what I'd do if I got sod all killing. Especially if I was under Major Malfunction. Is he still a soldier?'

'Oh yes. General Malfunction now. In fact, he's in overall command of this campaign.'

'That doesn't surprise me for some reason...' the Mage muttered.

The hills echoed with the whoop of the next goblin attack then, and the men below raced to the walls.

'Oh well. Looks like it's another day in the office. ARCHERS, PREPARE BOWS!'


They charged at a ferocious speed. The entire remainder of Berkses horde. Like an oncoming storm, they raced towards the defenders, ignoring the casualties as they reached the range of the bows.

Unfortunately for the goblin warlord, he had also ignored that he was down to fifty goblins.

The defenders watched as the numbers dwindled, the berserk lord racing forth, ignoring the arrows striking him.

He leapt the outer wall. And then stopped. Every other goblin lay dead, and he now faced seventy five humans alone.

'Ah. Er, um... Kan I maybe interest yoo humies in some goblin fertaliza? Just bung it on yer flowers and when even da flies think it stinks yer roses come up a treat?

The archers in the tower shot his kneecaps. Chard walked forward and personally decapitated the warlord.

'Doo dee dee doo doo dee doo dee doo!'



A few hours later, it emerged that for 5000 goblins, the hundred defenders had lost only 15 soldiers during the battle. The goblin dead were piled up some distance from the walls, and though the pile was almost taller than the church, hundreds still littered the battlefield.

'...I just realised something, John,' Bromhead announced.

'What's that, Gonville? The futility of war? The suffering man can inflict on other life? You forgot to change socks this morning? Something else?'

'Something else. We, er, had no actual orders to stay here, as such, did we? Oh, and I did actually forget to change socks cos it may have escaped your attention that we were in the middle of a sodding battle.'

'Your point being?'

'Well... Really, all that had us stay was those four light warriors coming along and telling us Goblins were coming. We, er, really had no reason to stand and fight. Apart from the logical conclusion they might turn around and run into our country, but they seemed to be heading north...'

'You're right. We didn't,' Chard realised with horror. A messenger approached, his horse stamping carelessly on the Goblin corpses.

'Beg your pardon, sir, orders for the garrison at Orc's Drift regarding the incoming Goblins,' he said from the back of his horse.

'The ones we just defeated via wiping out all 5000 with losses of our own amounting to 15 plus a priest buried under a large pile of sandbags and a further six men killed prior to the battle?'

'...Yes, sir. I did not expect to find this sight, let me tell you. Why, when I left Islawhanda, we were getting slaughtered.'

'You came from Islawhanda? Why did it take you so long to arrive?'

'Got lost and stopped at a Burger King on the highway for a snack, sir, long queue and no Whoppers ready. Anyway, they, the orders, are as follows: "Captain Bromhead... Run like buggery, there's Goblins. Thousands of them. Would run the other way with remaining forces to draw Goblins away from your post but sadly there are Goblins in the way. P.S, cannot sign order to execute your cook now...", though I hear he got his teeth ripped out his arsehole, nasty way to go even for a man from the catering corps, sah. Anyway, letter carries on, "...this is my last bit of paper because I made a rude banner to tell the Goblins they smell, sorry. Doomedly, General E. Buggered." And that's it. It's true about the banner sir, a very nice one, even had a large diagram saying Goblins are gay.'

'...Retreat?' Chard said.

'Yes, sir.'

'...Our orders were to retreat?' Bromhead followed.

'Seems so, sir.'

Both Captains stared at the man for a few seconds, then each other, and came to a consensus.


'I say,' The White Mage asked. 'Can you chaps finish our bloody bridge now?'

'A bloody bridge ma'am? Certainly!' Chard beamed. 'I'll take charge, Bromhead, you go help them ready the wounded to leave tonight...'


As the victorious army marched back to Cornelia, Bromhead was curious about something.

'I say, Chard. How did you manage to clear the Goblin bodies away and build the bridge in eight hours?'

'What do you think I built the damn bridge with?'

'A tad unorthodox.'

'They ordered me to build a bridge, not kill 5000 goblins. I just managed to work the goblins into the order, that's all. They want a stronger bridge that won't rot away they can send someone else.'


At the Bridge

'I'm all for recycling, but Chard was just taking the piss here,' The White Mage said.

'This bridge is rotten, ho ho!' The Warrior joked, as they reached the opposite shore. But in the middle of the bridge, built from the goblin horde that had attacked Orc's Drift, the bodies stirred, and Berkses leapt up.

'Alright you humies, I'm comin' for revenge! I'm gonna knock youz all down!'

It was only then he appeared to realise most of his head was ninety feet away from the rest of his corpse, and he finally died.


The light warriors advanced to their adventure, saving the world and vowing to try and not mention the fact The Warrior had mostly fought like a girl throughout the whole battle of Orc's Drift, before all three males were kicked in the testicles and told girls could fight quite well actually by The White Mage.

Bromhead and Chard received promotions, medals, and a stark warning never to make the army look good again. Fifteen other men received medals and promotions.

No one bothered to dig the priest out from the pile of sandbags, but an act of the Gods promptly assisted him. Unfortunately, during Hurricane Peter, the pile of sandbags was whipped up and eventually fell in a volcano, along with the priest.

But the green tide was ready to return, if not at a moment's notice then at quite a rapid speed. They might stop on the way for something to eat or maybe wait to see the last few minutes of a programme on television or something, but they were ready to return.
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy I
Version 6
©1997–2018 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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