Tales of the Border Wars: The River Nortek battle. This is the second installment of the Border Wars Series. This story which is not complete at the moment contains descriptions of battle and violence.

The detachment was on the south bank of the River Nortek. They could see the buildings and the other side burning. The Goblins were massing for the next wave attack.

First Lieutenant Cree Milner had been trained and raised in the beliefs of epic battle and being a hero. So when it was recommended the North Bank of the river should be abandoned.

He was indignent. "Abandon the north side to those inferiors! Certainly NOT!" So he heroically took the majority of the brigade to the north side. He led them heroically toward the Iron woods.

And the brigade was heroically slaughtered. There was fewer then 100 left alive. They waited for the charge that they knew would over run their positions and end their lives.

The howl from the woods told one and all that the Goblins were on their way. Rheneck looked on with pity and disgust. "Lousy way for good men to die!"

A voice from behind him said "Careful my Rheneck keep talking to yourself, and people might think that your saddle is starting to slip."

Lian Halimar was his second in command, and oldest friend. "How about our crew?" he asked "Are we ready?"

Halimar nodded "The ballistae are standing by. So are our archers."

Rheneck looked back to the little village that they were trying to defend. "Civilians gone?"

"Yeah" Halimar said "They should be well on the way to the fortress by now. Only ones left are the militia. And of course us." Rheneck just grunted, and resumed watching the battle that was starting to take place.

Watch Master Draum came running up "Skipper." He said "There's a cavalry detachment from Altair just rode in." As he spoke the horse men rode up and their leader Solaria dismounted. "Well met Rheneck, Halimar." Rheneck smiled "Well met, my lady." Gesturing to the fight that was taking place in the distance. "Ringside seats to stupidity?"

Solaria spat on the ground "Do I have to guess the architect of this madness?"

Halimar laughed 'Do you really need too?" they all looked up as First Lieutenant Cree Milner the young man who wanted to be hero was dragged to the ruins of the square by three Goblins.

"He always wanted to be a hero." Rheneck observed, as one of the Goblins took a sword and removed Milner's heroic head from his shoulders and stuck it on a pole.

"Now he's a dead hero." Solaria said flatly. The sounds of the fighting died down on the north bank as the Goblins started to look toward the south bank and its defenders.

"I think the party's about to start." Solaria said.

Rheneck just looked to the north shore and waited.

The wait was not a long one. The Goblins had been building rafts to which they could for the river with and now they dragged them to the shore and started across.

Watch Master Draum looked to Rheneck who nodded as the defenders quickly rolled the ballistae into position. "Ready to fire, Sir!" he shouted. Solaria's horsemen had deployed along the wall next to the river. The remainder of Rheneck's platoon also deployed. And now they waited.

Out of the corner of his eye, Halimar caught movement down by the left flank. What they were survivors from the brigade. There were just eight of them left. They threw themselves soaking and exausted behind the barricades.

Halimar asked "Any more?" The nearest man, a corporal. Just stared at him. "No sir, no one. The rest are either dead or wishing they were about now. The Goblins were getting their stewpots ready." Nothing more was said.

Rheneck gestured toward the warehouse where the platoon had set up their headquarters "Head back there." He ordered "Get stocked up. Things are going to get busy in a quick hurry."

The Corporal blankly nodded and led his survivors back to the rear.

The ballistae sent their first salvos off toward the opposite bank, with crashes and screams from the other side the first salvo did their damage. The first rafts were destroyed and most of their occupants killed. This set the Goblins off into a rage, howling and cursing in their language.

Joining the officers at the wall was Belladora Thiruin, squad leader of the archers. "We're all set." She said looking over on the opposite shore." Did we piss them off?" she said with a happy voice.

Rheneck just grunted. "We have for the moment. But that won't last for long.' Belladora did not reply, she just moved to the wall for a better look.

She watched as the Goblin leader tried to rally his troops for another attack.

She just stared at the gesticulation Goblin on the far side. Solaria walked over to her. "What do you think?" she asked.

Belladora looked to her fellow Elf and grinned "Yes, I think he's lived long enough." And took her bow off her shoulder, and drew an arrow. Watch Master Draum joined them. "Awful long range, my lady." He observed. Belladora smiled to him. 'You have no faith, Watch Master." And let the shot fly.

On the other bank, the Goblin shaman was exhorting his force to destroy their enemy on the other side of the river. He had raised his arms skyward to finish his call to arms when there was a sudden hiss, then a thud in the air and the shaman his arms still upward in triumph, fell forward to the ground dead, Belladora arrow sticking in his back.

The screams of rage could be heard on the south bank. "That got their attention." Halimar said as he sent another barrage from the ballistae... Suddenly from the rear was the sound of weapons being beaten on shields. The sound grew louder and closer. Solaria, Halimar and Belladora looked around in amazement.

"Dwarfs?" Solaria said. Gesturing with delight toward the rear. The Dwarfs marched into the square. A full company of Dwarfs. 200 strong had arrived. Their leader and his officers marched up to Rheneck.

"Thorin of the clan war hammer, and well met" he said

"Rheneck, commander of the 10th foot, and well met." Looking to Thorin's command. "You came at an opportune moment. Our friends over on the other bank and getting ready to strike."

Looking to the river. "Hmm." Thorin said. "Even with my men, we seem to be a little out numbered here." Considering the situation "Do you think the Gobi's will surrender?"

Solaria replied to this. "Not likely, Sir Dwarf they're not that smart."

"Pity, the poor critters on the other side don't have a clue in Hel." With that he threw back his head and laughed. "Now let's go shame the devils."

To be continued