Stephan parried to his right bringing his left boot around to push the Red Blade goblin away so he could bring his blade around. The Red Blade stumbled, almost laughing, and it was enough for Taras to get a clean slice.
The young man was strong and not wholly untrained in sword work. The goblin’s head sprang from its shoulders in a fountain of blackish blood. The jaw as still moving as the severed head sailed over the battlements, striking an ascending Red Blade.
Darya, for her part, was a woman possessed. Her home was invaded. Her husband assailed. Her son fighting for his life. Her battle scream was something no one, including herself, had heard before and it somehow penetrated the goblins catching, momentarily, their attention. She bellowed as she struck with a mace an unfortunate Red Blade who seemed confused. The stinking creature collapsed in a heap.
In that fleeting moment of the scream, both Pyotr and Stephan delivered horrendous wounds to two of the goblins. One fell back–stone dead. The other turned and wretched over the battlements. Pyotr grabbed a leg, lifting and flinging the goblin over. Its squeals faded into the chaos below.
More goblins tumbled into the room. Their entry was such that they were fairly easy picking for the five defenders.
“Die you gobs!,” Stephan yelled in a gruff voice as he hacked off a sweaty Red Blade arm.
Hasan couldn’t match the fury of the Susykyn, who were defending their home. He eased away from the melee line, which was crowded with humans that cut and thrust as the goblins charged two by two through the narrow doorway. Hasan tried to support the best he could with his bow, focusing especially on the left side of the line, where Darya stood in her leather jerkin, virtually unarmoured. But, while no goblin penetrated the line, the elf’s contribution to that feat was minimal.
Miklos listened to the shouts of battle on the battlements and from below. “Stay at the window boy,” he advised. “Yell if you see any goblins exiting in a hurry. I shall aid the defense below.” He crossed the room and entered the balcony of the hall. Glancing down the first thing he saw was Maruc backing off from two goblins. Well I can even up those odds, thought Miklos. Miklos could think of nothing better than to lift one of the goblins off his feet —he could hang in the air for a while. Unpracticed with this spell, but otherwise confident of the theory, Miklos formed the word-thoughts and encapsulated the unfortunate creature. Losing traction, his feet peddled the air ineffectually as he drifted upwards. Failing, caught in the net of the levitation the goblin screeched in frustration as it waved its shield and scimitar uslessly. Miklos smiled—I have you for questioning later my little friend.
The table splintered. At last the goblins had broken through – not as many as he had thought but it mattered little, as they would all share the same fate, thought the dwarf.
Maruc’s eyes were drawn to the huge goblin and his right hand servant. These were obviously some sort of leadership element to the assault. He didn’t think twice, ignoring the two advancing goblins and Feldard’s potential reaction He threw his last remaining magic at them. Spreading the incantation lessened the chance of the spell taking effect but if he could stay just these two brutes for a few minutes it could turn the tide of events.
“Blessed Halav on your carven throne! I, Maruc your humble servant beseach thee to stay thy foes with your might. Let not these godless heathens divert thine holy purpose!”
Halav must have been listening. As the last sylable of his entreaty left his lips the lead goblin was lifted straight off his feet. Maruc’s jaw dropped. It wasn’t quite the result he expected. The goblin charging behind gaped in similar fascination as his companion rose before him. A few seconds passed, then the priest looked back just as the goblin lowered his gaze.
Their eyes locked.
They both shrugged.
They charged at each other. Maruc didn’t know if his hold incantation had landed until he saw the goblin drop to the ground, his movements frozen.
The dwarf, had held his ground and swung back his axe to cleave the obvious leader. But his swing met naught but air at the last moment, as an instant before the two were to meet the creature was stilled out of range. At the same time, one of the goblins moving towards Maruc lifted off the ground. Feldard took advantage of the situation and while they were unmoving, he stepped forward and beheaded one.
Only one lonely goblin footsoldier remained. His death chant pledge forgotten, the Red Blade turned and ran.
* * * * *
On the upper floors, the battle raged on. Stephan, Hasan, Taras and Darya had all sustained various wounds as the final battle continued. There were no more goblins coming. Those that remained were the last of the contingent, and thus they fought with ferocity.
Two more goblins fell. But, just as it seemed as if the tide was turning for the defenders, Taras caught an axe blade which pierced deep through his leather armor. He fell to the ground.