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TOPIC OF THE MONTH:
BATTLE OF MUSTANG HILL
It was a showdown that started just before sunset; a showdown that was between two men just as much as it was between two armies. The Duke, better known as Sir John of the Wain by outsiders, was here seeking revenge for the death of his nephew. The one he blamed was known as Frenzkix, leader of the Flat Nose goblins. Frenzkix was on the opposite ridge, staring back at the Duke, hatred still easily visible in his eyes despite the distance between the two. He hated all humans, for humans have taken over the territory he believes to rightfully belong to the goblins.
And so the opponents were ready to face each other. To them, it was one on one, despite the fact that each had over a hundred men waiting patiently behind them for the order to attack. And so they waited, and waited, and waited more as their two leaders continued their "stare-down" waiting to see who would break eye contact first.
Sir John was the first to avert his eyes, but only because a force of goblins came charging at their right flank. The attack was almost a complete surprise, and many of the Cimmarons didn't have enough time to turn their large arquebuses to face the onrushing enemy. The lighter infantry, armed with the wheellocks and newer flintlocks, did manage to get a few shots off before the wall of goblins was upon them.
The Cimmarons fought bravely. Armed with sabres and protected by leather armour, they never gave up against the goblins in similar armour carrying spears and axes. The humans even used their legacies against the foul creatures, shooting various magical attacks at them. But the goblins had such powers as well. Many of them were Afflicted, deformed in grotesque ways due to their lack of cinnabryl or caring priests to look after them. This only helped make them more savage and brutal then the non-cursed goblins. Yet the humans held their ground, killing five goblins for every one of them that fell. Still, the goblins kept coming.
Sir John turned his forces to face this onslaught, and that's when Frenzkix lead his charge. The main force of goblins was on the way, and the Cimmarons were not prepared to deal with them. So the Duke lead a group of his 20 best men to meet Frenzkix half way before his forces could effectively surround the Duke's men. The Duke and his men dismounted from their horse atop a rocky knoll and bravely decided to stop the goblins or die trying. Soon, the knoll was completely hidden in a cloud of smoke from the constant firing of their smokepowder weapons, yet goblins bodies could be seen lying at the foot of the hill. It is said that once out of ammunition, the Duke started to fight them bare-handed, determined to not let this hill - Mustang Hill - fall. He had to give his men time to turn and face Frenzkix. Yet his 20 men had been cut down to half that number, and it soon looked like they would fall as well.
But then, everything turned around. The goblins charging up the hill stopped and ran back down. The Duke couldn't see what they were up to because of all the smoke blocking his view, but he could hear the goblins rallying together, preparing for a charge. He thought it would end soon enough. And the goblins charged.
Yet no goblin came up Mustang Hill. Sir John could hear them battle another foe that had arrived at the foot of the hill. His men had finally taken care of the flanking goblins and rushed to his rescue. And then the smoke cleared. John could see that his men were still busy fighting the goblins back at their original rallying point. What he saw below amazed him!
A force of gnolls had attacked the goblins from behind. It was a small group of them, probably just a wandering patrol, but they had attacked anyway, risking their lives to help the humans facing certain death at the hands of the goblins. John ordered his surviving men down the hill to help the gnolls.
And there he faced Frenzkix, the one he chose to be his personal foe. The two once more stared at each other, ignoring the deadly battle taking place all around them. Then the goblin made a mad rush at the Duke, but in one quick motion, a sabre slash ended that goblins life.
Soon, the gnolls and the Duke were victorious. They then proceeded to return and help the main force still harassed by goblins. Without a proper leader to give them commands, the goblins were eventually slaughtered and driven away.
Although but one battle, it accomplished a few things. First, the Flat Nose goblins were decimated and will not bother anyone for years to come. Second, the Duke and eight other surviving men and women became heroes for their heroic stand atop Mustang Hill - a stand which undoubtedly save everyone's lives. Finally, the Duke came to respect his gnoll saviours, and his now one of the assertive supporters of their new barony.
By Emily of Theeds