"Clearly, we attack...." Musrin remarked as if offhandedly, staring at the surface of the Dwarven Wine in his cup. The purest silence in history greeted him in the center of the circled wagons. Some of the humans thought he might have been joking; some of the more cynical ones thought it was a trick to raise morale.... Irua closed her eyes and looked down to hide her dread; she knew he wasn't and wished to the Gods he were.
An older human man spoke contemptuously, "if you'd like to go out in a blaze of glory, just don't bring us down with you."
"Who's going down? We can't beat the goblins defensively without massive civilian casualties the numbers just don't add up. So we change the equation. Also, no one's ever done this before, they won't be expecting it at all."
"And now you want us to just ... give up whatever defenses we have and charge them head on?"
The goblin sentry never screamed and he never would again. To think they had jailed him for doing something similar and now he was pivotal to saving their lives from the goblins. Damn hypocrites: It's perfectly ok to sneak up on someone and kill them, but only when we say.... He was disappointed to find nothing of value on this sentry's corpse and simply left. They had agreed to free him and retroactively erase his sentence, but he had already served most of it and he frankly didn't care if the rest of them lived or died. The battle was over for him, but he had managed to do his good deed for the decade by making sure the others weren't detected before he fled far sooner than they would've liked.... It was a strange thing: killing in broad daylight, but then again that's when most of these green scaled bastards slept.... He looked back one last time as he left and thought they'd all be dead with or without him and it would be better without him dead too....
Elsewhere, Coler was possibly sick of drowning himself in misery or maybe he just got sick of hoping the deadweight of his finger on his crossbow would end his sorrows in some somber sleep. He couldn't quite let himself form the thoughts fully in his mind, but he knew it was true. No one told him to do anything as part of this big plan and he was furious at that fact. He still had uses beyond draining the rum stocks and had even listened to most of what Musrin said. He had put on his best armor and come completely alone after drenching his insides in rum for perhaps the last time. He hadn't quite had enough to drink, but didn't really care at this point.
He actually liked Musrin, perhaps even respected him as much as he was capable of that thought at the moment, but he was convinced the planned distraction just wasn't big enough. He would fix that. He would fix that a lot. He just smiled as he walked alone, directly up to the southern goblin camp entrance and he waved happily. Here was a single, heavily armed dwarf nicely walking up to a camp of dozens if not a hundred goblins and no one knew quite what to make of it.
The goblin guards just looked at each other and back at him for a while; he causally walked their way. Then finally, most would say out of astonishment, they called out to this strange dwarf and asked what his business was here. The steel clad figure just smiled softly and waved as he walked casually towards them, as if strolling in a park. His weapons were still stowed and sheathed. A small goblin gathering had grown to see if the grumblings could actually be true.
There were perhaps two (2) dozen goblins standing at their camp's southern edge just watching the lone dwarf stroll towards them casually, cordially even. About six of them aimed bows at him as he got within 20 feet. The dwarf stopped, seemed shocked, and chuckled heartily to say something. None of them could hear what he was saying but the dwarf sure seemed happy to be saying it and he calmly let his waving hand fall to his side. Strangely, the dwarf's mouth seemed to be moving as though he were speaking normally, but the sound simply didn't come loud enough that they could hear. They asked and demanded that he speak louder, each time he spoke exactly as before and none of them could understand him, they all leaned slightly closer each time. Finally curiosity got the better of one of them, who strode out to the strangely happy little dwarf, "What have you come to say? Speak louder." Again there were muffled words and a smile from the bearded dwarf.
The goblin came within arm's reach of the Dwarf, and the dwarf's arm thrust a knifepoint straight into the gap in his armor plates and the gap where a heart should be.... The goblin crowd looked on in shock wondering why in the hell the dwarf would go through all that for this. Coler pulled the curious little goblin's ear to his cheek and positively screamed what he had been smiling and whispering before, "I WANNA SEE WHAT YOUR INSIDES LOOK LIKE! ARE YOU AS UGLY ON THE INSIDE?! I BET YOU'RE NOT GODS DAMN PRETTY ON THE INSIDE! I'M GONNA SEE WHAT YOUR INSIDES LOOK LIKE!" He then charged forward, using the corpse as a large shield.
The goblin archers shot out of fear and their arrows simply sunk into the corpse Coler held in front of him as he charged. Astonished or not, the 23 goblins drew their weapons or found more arrows to aim. Carrying the corpse with one arm, Coler slung his first cross bow from his back in a wide arc over his head and onto the head of the first goblin. He then bent his elbow drawing his arm and the cross bow to him only to ram it into the face of another swordgoblin before pulling the trigger. He then threw the corpse at three of the frontmost goblins charging him. It slowed them just enough to let Coler grab another goblin hostage by her newly closed throat, but at the cost of her luckily slicing Coler in the left arm. She was his new shield and the second volley of arrows stuck out from her back. The dwarf had survived eyes in the darkness only to wish he hadn't; this was nothing.....
Still another goblin managed to land a speartip near Coler's right shoulder--far less deep than the goblin would've liked. Realizing he couldn't afford to have his hostage arm injured further, the Dwarf threw his first crossbow at the speargoblin, who now lay clutching the pool of crimson over his nose.
Coler made a point of stomping his steel high boot into the goblin's nose and the skull beneath it as he stepped still further forward. Two of the archers ran, presumably to get reinforcements.
The remaining archers tried to circle around the Dwarf, who threw his knife at the second closest goblin's chest; the blade sunk far too deep.... Coler threw the second corpse into the goblins again who were slowly learning that spreading out and surrounding him was a better tactic., but not before another speargoblin tried to impale the Dwarf. Coler grabbed the spear shaft with both hands and pulled its wielder's face into his elbow. This gave him a new spear, which he promptly threw into an archer's chest. He then rushed another one of the goblins, who were beginning to surround him and crushed his skull while drawing his last crossbow with the exact same wide, overhead arc he had used once before. They didn't learn quickly; and that goblin would never learn anything ever again....
Coler felt two stings in his side; the archers had hit him; he screamed and pivoted to shoot a bolt into one of their faces. He used the circular motion to ram the butt of his crossbow into another goblin, but the wound was unfortunately superficial. Searing pain came from where the arrows stung as some goblin hands twisted them into his flesh, while others grabbed anything they could to hold him down. There were at least 16 hands on him and probably more. One thing was certain, he was biting one of the hands and it would've tasted terrible if Coler could taste anything....
The dwarf felt his teeth breaking goblin fingers and goblin weapons trying to break through his steel plate and the leather armor under that. Thankfully, most of them didn't. Coler rolled catching the grappling mob off balance and letting him stab a sword into one of their necks. Their fumbling hands tried to undo his armor clasps, or maybe they were just attempting to hang on. He bent himself forward and bit another goblin's cheek, shaking his head vigorously and tearing away the flesh. A sharp pain in his side let him know where a spot in his armor had been opened and he rolled faster
A guttural voice shouted, "Hold him still and we'll shoot him again!" This was simply not in Coler's plan and thus it wasn't going to happen if he could help it. He could help it and did so by finally freeing an arm and drawing a his sword to slice open a goblin's stomach. That one was not gods damn pretty on the inside, but there were still six (6) more holding him. Another sting greeted the dwarf from his side and he kneed a goblin as his response, which was equal parts rage and annoyance.
The unfortunate former green scaled goblin holding his left leg was now firmly under Coler's armored steel boot being repeatedly stomped as a differently but equally dead goblin found a dwarf sword on, or rather in his mind. The next two arrows grazed off his armor as he grabbed still another goblin by the throat and began to crush his throat. The result was a sickening and desperate sound of trying and failing to breathe. Inspired by the idea and frustrated at the unfruitful results of repeated attempted stabbings, the goblins then decided to try and choke the Dwarf. This was a mistake many had made before and none had lived to tell about....
The dwarf simply stabbed the goblin on his back in the face, which he now knew exactly where to find due to the goblin straddling his shoulders from behind while trying to close off his windpipe. Both of the remaining archer's arrows harmlessly lodged in the Dwarf's armor. Seeing this the archers ran and the remaining goblins wrestling the Dwarf were soon dead.
Coler slowly stood and groaned in annoyance and pain at the 2 arrows sticking out of his armor and the 4 other arrows sticking through to him, even if only slightly. He looked around at the goblin encampment in disarray. He was somehow, regrettably still alive, and slowly becoming sober with arrowheads poking him. This might help Musrin's distraction but it surprisingly didn't give Coler the way to reunite with her that he was halfheartedly hoping for, or at least indifferent to at this point.
The Dwarf slowly realized that if he died this way it would be a slow and painful death, which was the last thing he wanted. He tended to sleep with his crossbow pointed under his chin leaving the deadweight of his finger on the trigger. That way it would be instant and less painful than a long drawn out death. He reluctantly slung his shield around in front of him from its place on his back. He mumbled something about thinking he'd be gone by now, and saw a group of a dozen or so armored goblins carrying maces marching towards him. He picked up one of his crossbows and reloaded it....
Musrin was at the same time pleasantly surprised and somewhat worried that there weren't more goblins in the western end of the camp. Nera's numbers were nearly always right and that meant the other might be somewhere he prayed they weren't....