Ég fann gamla smásögu sem ég skrifaði fyrir nokkrum árum þegar ég var að taka til í gömlu dóti á harða diskinum. Sagan birtist í netblaði sem hét Total Power, og er nú dautt. Einhverjir gamlingjar (ha Siggi?) muna kanski eftir því.

Mér datt í huga að skella henni hér inn ef einhver skildi hafa gaman af því. Sagan var skrifuð af mér kvöldið fyrir stóran bardaga þar sem álfarnir mínir lentu í hættulegum óvinaher…

The moments before the battle
The musings of a High-Elf prince

“I'm going to die here today. All alone in this unimportant jungle in this wretched country. I will never set foot on my beautiful Ulthuan again. There is but one thing left to do. One final battle to fight. One hopeless battle to fight. It has been a good life. What a disappointing way for ending it all.”

Prince Lathilar was standing with his personal bodyguards, surrounded by what was left of his army on the hill, attempting to get a good look on what was to be the battlefield. The sun should have been there, slowly climbing the horizon but although it probably was, the young prince could not be sure. The weather had been horrible the night before. After a hot and humid day in the jungle he had expected the evening shower to last only a short while. Instead the rain continued and dark clouds piled up overhead. The storm had lasted the entire night but blessedly the rain had stopped in the middle of the night. The battlefield was luckily free of mud or ponds, all water vaporising quickly in the jungle heat.

It seemed like only yesterday when he first set foot on these shores. His army was vast, spirits were high and everybody was confident their mission would be a quick success. The only thing to do was to get a small gold plaque from the pyramid in the jungle and get back to Ulthuan as soon as possible. It all seemed so simple back then. After marching through the jungle for days they had finally seen the pyramid. They had not seen any of the reptilian inhabitants until after they entered the city surrounding the temple. Then out of nowhere they were swarmed by hundreds of the reptiles led by a big toad-like thing carried around in a palanquin by it's servants.

The army put up a valiant fight and with a lightning fast charge the sword masters managed to escort the great mage lord Kymrel Moonflower into the pyramid. They seemed to be in there for an eternity, the rest of the army was about to retreat from the city when they emerged again. Moonflower's standard dropped thrice, signalling to Lathilar that the mission was a success. The army withdrew from battle and strangely enough the reptiles did not pursue. Not about to question his luck Prince Lathilar led his army on a march through the jungle back to the shore.

The price paid for the plaque of gold was immense. Scores of elves had been killed, the archers had nearly been wiped out by the strange, flying lizards and their dropping rocks and the spearmen had taken heavy casualties defending the pyramid entrance while the sword masters retrieved the plaque. The entire silver helm cavalry unit had been lost after being forced to retreat through muddy grounds and the Caledorians had almost been lost to. Next time the young prince would know better than to bring heavy cavalry to a jungle attack.

But then there was not likely there would be a next time, the prince reflected. They had only a day left to march before getting to the coast when the reaver knights spotted the first sign of the army. At first, reports were contradicting, but after a few more scouting groups had been dispatched the truth was known. There were not one, but two armies blocking the way. Neither was as big as the elven force but they did outnumber it counted together.

Such foul alliance had never been seen. An army of dark elves allying with the undead, led by a terrible vampire. How those two forces managed to agree on this joint attack was beyond Lathilar’s understanding, but seeing the fallen elves made him wander if everything was all right at the elven outpost. Or perhaps the evil cousins were only after the plaque, as Moonflower suggested. How they managed to get the vampire and it's restless dead to join their expedition they would probably never know.

This would not have been to bad. His army might be tired after the march, they might have lost many good elfs but they still had a fight left in them. Prince Lathilar had called the war council that same evening, the armies being camped only a few miles apart. The plan was to break through and get to the shore. Any delay might get the reptiles a chance to rally their forces and join the fight. Things did not look to bad back then.

Then in the morning the rat-men came. No one knew where they came from or how they managed to get so close to the army without being spotted but here they were anyway. They came when the armies were deploying on the ridge and their arrival was clearly as much a surprise for the dark alliance as it was for the elves. To Lathilar's horror the rat men then took up positions next to the evil alliance, willingly risking a flank to the dark elves and undead, obviously allying with them for the battle with their actions.

There was no time to alter the plans. No time to respond in any way to this new threat. The elfs would just have to stick to the plan and pray that Asurian and Isha were with them today. They had been through rough time together and they would get through this time to.

Just when Prince Lathilar was about to signal the advance a scout rode into the battlefield from the jungle. He had not cleared the distance to the prince when he knew what the messenger was going to say. It was to late. They were being flanked by the reptiles. As the messenger's horse reared in front of him, prince Lathilar saw the big toad like thing from the pyramid city and knew this would be to much. They were outnumbered more than two-to one, outflanked and without a hope. Even the lion guard, the Cracians assigned as his bodyguard by his father the Phoenix King were demoralized by the appearance of the reptiles. This was going to be a bad day. A very bad day.

“I am going to die here today” Prince Lathilar thought again. But perhaps it was a good day to die. Today they would show those bastards elfish courage. They would not go quietly, no elf would be taken alive. The prince summoned the unit leaders immediately for an emergency council and hastily explained the battle plan. He saw that they knew they were doomed but he also knew that no elf would die running, no elven life would be taken without a payment in blood.

“Do not be afraid elf-thing” a voice in the prince's head said. His eyes were drawn to the big toad-like creature on the palanquin. “We One elf-thing” echoed in his head. “We fight One elf-thing.” After the echoes of the toad-creature's mental voice had died out Prince Lathilar saw that the entire reptilian army was moving up to his army’s flank. Every elf watched his banner. Every elf listened, waiting for the sound of the lion-guard’s horn. Every eye in the opposing army and every ear waited for the prince’s signal. Will the elves and the reptiles fight?

With a reassuring smile the prince called for the standard and horn blower. The standard dipped thrice and the horn sounded three long, deep blows. The unit leaders hurried to their units and the elven army opened one of its flanks to the lizards.

“Perhaps this will not be such a bad day after all,” Prince Lathilar, third son of Finubar the Phoenix King said to his bodyguard, Daril the lion tamer. The horn sang out and all the standards of all units were dipped to acknowledge the rule of the Phoenix King, all but the Caledorian one, as was their arrogant custom.

The horn blower sounded the advance.