Chapter 47 - Seeds of the Sower
The men rushed headlong into the woods, carrying buckets, shovels and rakes. They hoped that between magic and hard work they could extinguish the flames. The tree man led the way and as he went, he called to the trees. The trees responded and while they couldn’t fight the fire, they did move out of the way of the men and leave them a clear path.
By the time they reached the fire, the situation was dire. The flames were spread out over a quarter-mile section of woods and the wind had begun to pick up. There was no sign of the orks, but there was a chanting coming from somewhere. The men began working as quickly as possible, trying to make a firebreak and to save as many of the trees as they could. There was flame everywhere and the smoke was thick and black, making it hard to breath and even harder to see.
Ron and Steve were working on a slope, trying to remove the trees there before the wind could take them. The tree man tried to call to the trees but his grief was so great that he could not concentrate. The two were forced to begin cutting, or in Ron’s case, simply ripping, the trees down in earnest. Elsewhere, the men were stretched out in a thin line working hard to put out the fires.
Mark gestured and suddenly a huge section of flames was extinguished leaving behind only a thick black cloud of smoke. It was at that moment that disaster struck. The orks suddenly swept down on them from above, charging down the slope at the Donohue brothers. The two of them were shocked at first and were quickly overwhelmed by their attackers. Though they fought valiantly, both were dead before anyone could do anything to save them.
Elsewhere on the field, things began to look grim. A second line of fires started, trapping the men between the two walls of flame. Unable to flee, they became easy targets for the forty or so Orkish bowmen who now took to the field. Within moments, the humans were forced to surrender. The only one who escaped was Tim; none of the orks could match the elf’s skill in the wilds and he made it back to the inn just in time to warn the group there that the orks were coming.
As the humans worked frantically to prepare for the upcoming battle, things looked pretty grim. Except for King Mark, all their warriors and most of their leaders had been killed or captured in the battle. For his part, King Mark knew there was only one chance left, but he had no idea how to use it. He had thought that when, and if, the time came to use the Ring of Hallovia, he would be able to ask his wizards for advice. Instead, he was alone and would have to make his preparations himself. After a few minutes thought, he decided the best thing to do was to keep it simple.
"I wish these orks had never come here" he said, and he prayed that the ring would work and that his wish would be granted. He knew that wishes were a tricky thing, but he hoped that his simple words would make things work correctly.
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