On a bright autumn morning, two figures stood upon a small knoll and surveyed the scene below. Ocean breezes, heavy with the scenes of tidal marshes bathed them in the rich aroma of the open sea. Freed for a moment from the confining helms they wore, their faces bore the unmistakable stamp of Elven kind.

That both were warriors was of no doubt for each was clad in raiment of war. Mail shirts and leggings, here and there showing the signs of battles hard won. Across the back of one was strapped a long and wicked looking blade of eastern design, known in the lands of Dereth as a tachi. The other, bore a smaller blade, but held in his hand a double curved shouyumi bow.

Below them, upon the plain, stood an ancient fortification of crumbling stone. Left behind when the Empyreans fled the ravages of the Othloi, it was now the home to a dangerous band of Mosswart and Drudge bandits. The new inhabitants of Dereth, struggling to establish a viable existence in their new homes had suffered greatly from the depredations of these creatures and the time had come to recapture this outpost.

"Lywnis, I fear that yonder fort may be to strongly held for us to assault this eve", noted Vanidar as his keen Elven eyesight picked out the many defenders of the fort.

"Uma", replied the other elf, "but I see only one sentry facing in our direction. Let us approach from the northwest side of the fort and perhaps we can take them by surprise."

Nimbly, the two elves, made their way down the small hill and circled to the left so as to approach the looming stone pile from the proper direction. Soon, even a human could have seen the head of the Mosswart sentry, who stared out over the walls blind to the two elves not 50 yards away.

Cautiously, Lywnis knocked and arrow, and drew a bead upon the sentry's head. While there was little honor in slaying by stealth, there was also little honor to be gained from dying a futile death at the hands of the foul creatures inhabiting the fort. Loosing the arrow, he heard the meaty thunk of a true shot, followed by a softer thud as the dead Mosswart dropped to the rampart.

Motioning for Vanidar to follow him around the now vacant wall and watch tower, Lywnis lead the pair to within sight of the fort's gates. There they paused, as for inside, illuminated by cook fires, could be seen a full score of various Drudges and bandits.

Suddenly from the east a trio of Edan adventurer's arrived, warriors all they approached oblivious the presence of the two Elves until they were greeted with a polite Vedui'. Being of true heart they returned the greeting and soon a loose alliance was formed. It seems these three were also bent on ridding the farmers and herders of Hebian-To and Shoushi of the fort's brigands.

There before the gate, 5 stood ready to do battle with 20, prayers were offered to Corellon, steel was drawn and the attack commenced. A feint was ordered to draw the creatures out from behind the walls, two of the Edan warriors rushed forward into the gates and returned with half a dozen mixed creatures training after them.

With a 'Gurth Gothrim Tel'Mithrim' Vanidar hurled himself into the fray while the air was filled with Lywnis' culinda. One of the Edan fell before a large Mosswart just as Lywnis send a shaft into the creatures shoulder, howling in rage in delivered a might blow to Lywnis but Vanidar left over the Edan's body and applied the killing stroke.

Suddenly, there was a pause and the initial sally of creatures was beaten back. That respite was short lived, however, and the denizens of the fort, enraged by the attack took up weapons and charged forth. Frenzied with bloodlust Drudges even lept from the wall in their haste to slay the invaders. In an eyeblink the hunters had become the hunted.

Twice the creatures were beaten back, but on the third rush, the two other Edan warriors were swept under the tide of blood and steel. Low on arrows Lywnis drew his blade and joined Vanidar in cutting down two Drudges who sought to block there escape.

Fleeing was a bitter pill, for the two elves knew that they had failed in their attempt to wrest the fort from the brigands. They would have to return, perhaps with the aid of Yoshida Tosho the itinerant wizard, and Ilustriel, Lywnis' A'mael and fell warrior in her own right, they would ultimately know victory.

OOC -- The above is a dramatic retelling of Vanidar's (Ravvager) and my attempt to storm a creature filled fortress in AC last night. It was quite enjoyable and factual right down to my shooting the mosswart off the fort's wall as we approached. All in all it was good fun.

LY