Stepping Out of the Shadows, Part 4

“Rally to me!” Danyelle’s voice rang out over the clang of sword on shield. She tried to cover her frustration, but it seeped through anyway.

Her five companions were all good fighters, but novices to the war. They were mostly from Bree-land and the Shire, and none had traveled much.

The three men, two hobbits and dwarf should have made quick work out of the small band of goblins, but the fight was turning out to be a lot harder than it needed to be. Danyelle stood at the forefront, where she could direct her companions best.

Unfortunately, it seemed that rather than working together, each member of the company was fighting a different opponent, or wasn’t watching out for the others.

She swung her sword in a wide arc, cutting down two goblins at once.

“Bruiser!” Danyelle’s voice carried over the din of battle.

Kevan raised his paired swords and swung at the largest of the goblins, just as Mikel turned his arrows loose on the same one.

Smiling to herself, Danyelle stood in the center of the fight, her back to a halfling whose javelin and shield were almost as tall as she, keeping an eye on her companions. She called out targets and shouted words of encouragement to her fellows.

Arrows and lightning rained down on the goblins, picking off the stragglers and those who tried to flee.

The raggedy band of goblins was no match for the companions, but the fight was not over as quickly as Danyelle wanted. Still, there were bright spots among the band.

Maerleene proved to be a stalwart warden, her cries carrying across the field to friends and foes alike. The group’s other hobbit ranged among the goblins, jumping out where she was needed the most, then fading into the shadows before her next strike.

Throughout the fight, a stout dwarf chanted ancient words of power, his runestones glowing white-hot, with lightning sparking from his fingertips.

The six of them had been together as a company for only a short while. The hobbits Maerleene and Vonda Blackfoot were sisters Danyelle met while she was passing through Stock in the Shire. The three of them traveled for a while when they encountered Bari Stormbringer, a dwarven rune-keeper, in Gondamon. The hunter Mikel joined up with the company outside of Esteldín, and they picked up Kevan and his swords as they traveled across Eregion.

Later that evening, with the sun setting over Echad Dúnann, the companions recounted their earlier fight, critiquing themselves and each other, so the next time they wouldn’t repeat their missteps.

As they journeyed through Moria, the group coalesced into a seasoned adventuring party. Danyelle learned how bring out the best in each of her fellows. The others learned to depend on one another and anticipate what each was going to do next.

By the time they ventured into Sammath Gûl, the six of them were fighting not as six individuals, but as one. Danyelle stood in the thick of the action, always ready to lead the charge.

“I swear by all that is holy, Mikel, if you step in one more bone pile, I am going to break your bow in two!” Bari cursed, mostly good-naturedly.

“Quiet!” Danyelle admonished them both.

The fellowship stood over the corpses of the Angmarim who were unfortunate enough to be in their path. However, not all of the inhabitants of the Necromancer’s fortress of Dol Guldur were still among the living.

“Let’s go over this again,” Danyelle said.

“The shade likes fire attacks,” Maerleene recited the advice they had picked up from the elves in Helethir. “He will try to burn us all at once. Stay together to give him as small a target as possible, or we’ll be peeling your skin off the walls . . .”

The others listened, asking questions about strategy, and then steeled themselves for the fight.

Danyelle’s pulse raced with excitement and apprehension. She drew out the battle standard that she carried since striking out from Angelos and Mirabella’s house. Its edges were frayed, tattered and singed. She did her best to sew up the tears and patch the holes. Once a bright white, the banner had faded and dirtied over time. But there was no mistaking the broad wingspan of the eagle, its head held high and talons extended to strike.

She drew the ancient sword Calebril had left for her and looked around to her companions, who all nodded grimly.

With a shout, she charged in to face Urchír, her friends on her heels. Mikel’s arrows whistled around them. Kevan’s raging blades sang as they cut though the air. Lightning sparked from Bari’s fingertips. The sisters charged into the battle, Maerleene’s shrill cries a stark contrast to Vonda’s unnerving silence.

And Danyelle Osgood smiled. The triumphant smile of one who dared to stare down the shadows and bring light into the darkness.

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About Vræden

I was suckered into playing an MMO by some friends and have been stuck around ever since. My "main" is a minstrel on the Elendilmir server, but I'm a pretty casual player who likes a good raid every now and then. My healing skills are spectacularly average, and I am known as the Elf Queen of Lousy Healing to my friends. I like long walks on the beach, puppies and mowing down orcs by the dozen. If you see me in-game, say hi or send me a tell. You can also email me or follow me on the Twitter.

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2 Responses to “Stepping Out of the Shadows, Part 4”

  1. susan Says:

    ahhhhhh, when grouping goes well its the buttah lol


  2. Narnian Says:

    Nice. That fight went better than the first twenty times I did it!


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