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It's been awhile since I even attempted to work on this. I just need more time to write and I will be golden. Enjoy!

The five companions quickly regrouped after defeating the attempted ambush. Bodies littered the green forest. Sounds of retreating orcs faded in the distance. Eliwood took a quick look at his friends, most of them seemed unharmed. Darralon’s glorious golden plate mail was splotched with blood and definitely had some new dents. The wild red hair and crazy smile on the young elf’s face comforted the ranger.

He looked to the experienced Bladesinger who nodded his readiness to continue. His gaze moved right and settled on the two drow. Rowina had a gnash in her leather armor and he zeroed in on the tear. The area around it was stained red with blood. The leather tore and folded inwards, telling him that it hit her with some force. An arrow, and his guess was confirmed by the look in Rowina’s eye. The female gritted her teeth in determination and answered his unasked question.

Next to her was Revan who stood easily, waiting for something else to happen. Not one drop of blood had touched him yet the ranger mage knew how much fighting the mysterious psionic powered drow had done.

“How are we on resources?” Eliwood asked them.

Before any of them could answer Revan tensed and his kukri appeared in his hands. The ranger’s keen ears heard the soft rumble as it started to become thunderous. He twirled around and the others drew their weapons as a small group of fierce looking orcs charged down a small hill towards them.

Eliwood cursed as he swiftly drew and knocked his bow in one smooth movement. The others moved around him, Darralon and Averros on his right and the two drow on his left. He took a second to measure the distance between them and let fly a magically imbued arrow into the lead orc.

As it left his bow he knocked a normal arrow and watched his first disintegrate in mid-flight and spin into a lightning bolt. The bolt of lightning streaked towards the lead orc with a thunderous roar and Eliwood just watched as the large muscled warrior swung his red bladed cutlass into the lightning, splitting it in half and dissipating the magic.

His amazement was mirrored by the gasps of his companions. Eliwood heard Revan curse as he let two arrows fly less than a second apart and threw his bow down, drawing his brilliant house sword making a shrill sound as if the blade was happy.

The five orcs screamed and howled with anticipation as Narl defeated the magical attack. Two more arrows followed, both hitting the same orc in opposite shoulders. The warrior merely grunted in his bloodlust and none of them slowed their charge. Narl saw the ranger draw his blade and locked onto who his target was.

The two groups met in a loud clash of steel that rang in the ears of every combatant. Narl swiped horizontally at his foe with his wickedly sharp cutlass. The ranger’s shining mithral blade came from down low and turned his slash upwards. As the swords clashed sparks flew and Narl saw the elf sidestep to the right, twirling his blade around. The experienced orc saw the strike coming and reversed the flow of his blade, parrying the ranger’s blade putting the elf off balance.

The stocky orc moved in and stabbed. Surprisingly the elf managed to lunch backwards and recover his footing. Narl came in again with measured strikes trying to gage his opponent’s prowess. Eliwood parried and danced, cursing his luck that this particular opponent was all but immune to magical attacks. He moved to parry a strike but noticed too late it was a feint. Deceptively quick the cunning orc warrior brought his blade back reversing his flow and striking from a different angle.

* * * *

Rowina sang another song of healing on herself as her bulky foe licked his white tusks, enjoying that he had drawn blood first. He swung with a viciously spiked mace and the small drow rolled underneath the blow coming up behind the large orc. She slashed with her short elven blade and it ripped through his scale mail drawing a hiss of pain. The enraged orc whirled around with a powerful backhand that had the priestess reeling back.
Her opponent stalked forward swinging powerfully and relentlessly. The priestess sang while moving back, giving ground freely. The orc growled and pulled back for a powerful swing and Rowina screamed as divine energy channeled through her. A gout of flame erupted from her hand and engulfed the surprised brute.

The dazed warrior staggered back, smoking. He fell backwards with a grunt of pain and Rowina turned to help her lover. As a drow she had seen some miraculous melee combat but Revan took her breath away. He dodged a powerful swing with a two handed sword and came in, both daggers drawing lines of red across the orcs hip. The drow kept running as the orc turned, trying to keep his foe in front of him. Revan stopped and saw the large sword coming at him. Crossing his daggers he parried the blade from underneath and pushed the larger blade up.

Without missing a beat the drow disengaged from the parry by pushing the sword off to his right. A small jump propelled the dark elf up and he brought his curved dagger across, drawing a long line of dark blood from wrist to elbow.
The orc roared and shouldered the smaller combatant who accepted the blow with a grunt and backpedaled. Revan turned and took off running. The enraged warrior screamed in defiance and rushed after him. The drow’s keen ears told him his foe had taken the bait. Without slowing he pivoted on his right foot and turned back onto his foe who’s blade was not ready to defend.

Revan attacked furiously, slicing his opponent across his chest and arms, trying to find weak points in his foe’s plate mail. As the orc recovered he roared and punched outwards, making the dark elf dodge to the left where the warriors blade was already coming down. His brain screamed out the danger and Rowina gasped.

Once again the drow warrior was one step ahead. The blade hit nothing but air as Revan disappeared and reappeared causing a small popping noise. His daggers came from opposite directions, cutting into his foe’s neck with a disgusting gurgle. The orc dropped his blade and weakly tried to grasp at his fatal wound. Revan twisted and pulled his kukri from his dying opponent and jumped back, dodging the blood splatter.

* * * *

Averros jumped back from a powerful strike and beside his Darralon stabbed with the speed of a serpent. The large orc growled in pain and gripped the blade with his bare hand, tearing it away from him. The other orc took advantage of Darralon’s bold move and tried to cleave his head off. But Averros was already moving, he spun clockwise and rolled against his young friend’s back and his elven blade turned away the rusty sword.

The same orc stabbed at the experienced Bladesinger who rolled to his right in between Darralon and the warrior who wielded a wicked spiked club. As he came up Darralon jumped back from a strike and parried another attack. Averros finished his spell and blue unerring missiles pounded into the club holder. The other orc stepped forward and began a barrage of attack routines that had Darralon backpedaling and desperately parrying. Averros attacked the second orc who parried but didn’t expect the quick trip maneuver the Bladesinger executed. The orc fell flat on his face and scrambled to get up but Averros had already moved past him to help Darralon.

The dual wielding orc spun and twirled with angry blood lust. He stabbed down and Darralon jumped back while twirling his blade over his opponents defeating a clever double attack. Before his opponent could retract his spear Darralon stepped down, snapping it. His opponent roared and saliva sprayed everywhere. He swung with all his might and Darralon gripped his sword with two hands again, solidly parrying the attack. Sparks flew and loud metal screeched in protest as the young elf’s arm’s numbed from the force of the blow. Still, he held and the orc continued to put pressure on it.

His opponent grabbed his own blade with both hands and the swords slid alongside each other until their pommels locked. Darralon gritted his teeth in concentration and the heavily muscled orc grunted with effort. The orc suddenly summoned enough strength to push Darralon backward who accepted it and jumped away.

Darralon took measured breathes while his opponent heaved and stared at him with grudging respect. The heavily muscled orc was clearly surprised with Darralon’s strength. The half elf moved suddenly and jumped up, swinging his sword downwards with both hands. The orc reacted quickly, bringing the flat of his blade to bear. The young Bladesinger struck again and again, relentlessly causing sparks to fly and Clarg never thought he would stop.

Out of nowhere, Darralon felt red hot pain in his shoulder and he fell forward, dropping his heavy elven blade. Clarg looked up to see one of his comrades, smoking and looking like he had fell into a cooking pit. His spiked mace was dripping red but he was smiling. But the other elf wiped the smile off his face while shouting the last syllable of his spell.

A blue ray of shining cold blasted into the orcs chest. The brute’s feet lifted clear off the ground and he flew back with a squeal of pain. Clarg looked at the battlefield, seeing his brothers dying and losing. Before his very eyes he saw a cursed drow brutally double stab a fellow warrior elite in the neck. Only he and Narl still stood against the elves. If he stayed he would die.

Averros saw the orc sneak up on Darralon but it was too late. His cry had died in his throat as soon as he saw the young elf go down. He rushed forward, readying his blade when the orc suddenly took off running. The veteran Bladesinger watched the cowardly orc run away in full fear for just a moment before he fell down to aid Darralon.

Elven blood stained his glorious golden plate mail, his shoulder bled freely. The younger elf moaned and Averros sighed in relief. It wasn’t a vital hit, he had been worried the orc had struck the lad in the head.

“Don’t worry my friend, Rowina can help,” he stated as he gently rolled the young half elf over. Darralon hissed in pain then began to laugh as he saw his teacher above him.

“Did we win?” the prodigy son of Tethrin asked with a grimace.


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The following comments are for "Twilight Shadows 21"
by HavocTheDemon

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