Southern Battlefields

  • The song of battle sang in Rika’s heart. She rode the adrenaline wave like she always did, teetering on the edge of reason.

    Rika stepped around the tree and swung. The bugbear had engaged the easterner, and had little time to register surprise. His arm came off at the shoulder, and then Rika spun and beheaded him with the reverse side of the axe.

    At the far edge of her vision, another bugbear muttered some odd prayer. The sky darkened, and shards of ice rained down impacting her shield and back. Rika grunted in surprise. The white elf charged.

    Rika knew it was the wrong thing to do. Though she saw life simpler than many, she understood battle. The bugbear was too far away. Rika’s companions were too strung out. But the white elf reached him, and Rika knew that while he was the best flanker she had seen, standing toe to toe was not his forte.

    Rika heart still sang. The song of battle called. She could almost hear Uthgar’s voice edging her on.

    Rika ran forward and plowed into the bugbear. He went down quickly at their onslaught. But before its head even touched the forest floor, they came. Many dark forms charged quickly through the forest. The remaining bugbears had heard the call of battle too.

    Rika glanced over her shoulder. If they broke through, they were done for. She engaged the one with the large age. Other bugbears joined in. The Easterner caught up and joined her, fighting at her side.
    Shield blocked axe. Rika ducked and swung. The Easterner’s blade flashed, spraying blood. The battle was going in their favor. Uthgar’s rage carried her.

    …and then it didn’t.

    The whisper in her mind, the dark prayer told her to stop. She didn’t want to listen to it, but she did. She stood there in front of the one with the large axe, unable to raise her shield. The axe came. There was a flash of light, and then all she saw was darkness.


    She awoke on a hard floor. She remembered hearing the nature god’s insistent calling, but that was it. Then as she regained her senses, she remembered the battle.

    There would be no stone left at the site of it. This time instead, it was her blood. Her blood that soaked the forest floor would serve as its own shrine to her presence at the battle. It would mark a point where she was defeated, but rose later to stand again. She prayed fervently, that Uthgar would accept that.

    Later that evening on a hill in Norwick, a somewhat inebriated Rika struck her axe loudly to her shield and screamed defiantly into the wind. This Uthgardt warrior still stood, and she wanted the Nars to know it.