A Whisper After Midnight: Book III of the Northern Crusade
Under the influences of the Dae’shan, Harnin methodically transforms Delranan into a kingdom of depravity and murder. His agents pursue the rebellion, driving them all to new acts of violence and desperation. Bahr and his band of heroes departs fabled Venheim in search of the Blud Hamr: the sole weapon capable of halting the dark gods’ aggression for good. The city of Trennaron is far to the south and in order to reach it the heroes must travel through the Dwarf lands of Drimmen Delf where they stumble upon a civil war. Hope fades as the heroes begin to realize how difficult their task is.
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A cry erupted from the back ranks, cut off abruptly with a gurgle of blood. The captain spun and bellowed an animalistic fury unlike any Mahn or Raste had ever heard.
“Ambush! Behind us!”
Brute force a favored weapon, the Goblin captain bellowed an attack. He watched helplessly as the first rank of Goblins was skewered on a wall of short spears popping up from deep snowbanks. Confused, he hesitated. That hesitation proved his undoing. Spears joined the arrows and Goblins fell by droves. Screams and cries of pain sang amongst the thin pines. Mahn froze and watched in muted shock as what had seemed a certain death situation turned into something else. He’d never seen the like.
What remained of the Goblin ranks crashed into the spear wall with a thunderous sound. Lines of Pell Darga warriors emerged from the trees in measured step. Garbed in various pelts, the short mountain warriors hacked and slew the Goblins. Their dark brown skin in contrast with the grey Goblins, the Pell were equally cunning and murderous. They killed with prejudice, slaughtering the invaders without thought. The battle quickly turned into a rout. Not a single Goblin survived.
Mahn finally found the strength to rise. Mouth agape, he stared at the dark blood strewn recklessly across the fresh snows. Once, such a scene would have appalled him. Six months of desperate combat left him largely immune to such scenes. Each new battle stole another piece of his soul and made him less human. He looked down on the bodies with as much detachment as the gods provided. For that he was glad.
Splattered in blood, the Pell warrior shouldered his spear and stopped before the scout. “I am Gol Mad. We have followed these,” he gestured with a sneer to the corpses, “for three days. More come.”