Part 35: Day 79: Defense of Einartoft (Day 3)
On the third day, we fight.
Right after I sunk all that Renown into him, too.
You snap back to attention when you realize nearly the entire army of varl are staring in your direction. Iver walks past, shuffling slowly with an enormous axe in his remaining hand. He heads toward the bridge.
"Iver!" you yell, but he doesn't reply, plunging his axe into the nearest dredge before kicking it over the side of the bridge. "Come on!" he screams at the black horde. Cursing, you rush to his side in battle.
Krumr's in bad shape, and Fasolt's dead. On the other hand, Iver's back in action.
Our foes are a Stoneguard, a Stoneguard Defender, two Enraged Grunts, a Slag Slinger Veteran, and a Slag Slinger Marksman.
Losing one arm hasn't done much to stop Iver being badass. What it has done, though, is unspend all of his promotion points - I can redistribute them after this battle, but for now, he's effectively Rank 1. Most troubling is his 1 Exertion.
Wearing down strength is very important right now. Iver's my only real tank, and he only has 12 Armor - and a lot of these enemies have high Break.
Ekkill can't reach any enemies this turn, but he can double shield wall with Tryggvi and Iver. Iver and Ekkill are now both up to 13 Armor.
As predicted, the enemy is going to be piling on Armor damage at Iver.
This is embarrassing, but I actually forgot to position Oddleif at the start of this fight, so she's way off in the corner.
Unlike Iver and Ekkill, Tryggvi is a fairly vulnerable target at a mere 10 Armor.
Now, my army is facing off against a 16-Armor monster here.
Which is why I brought Rook along.
Just like yesterday, the enemy seems to be focusing on Tryggvi. He's my weakest team member, I suppose.
Eyvind gets a very solid lightning strike in. That's a lot of enemy power shut down.
No enemy has especially high Strength on this team, so I don't mind getting early kills. Let's rush these bastards down!
Tryggvi Impales a Grunt, pushing it away and hurting it enough that it can't easily get past his Armor, while also positioning himself so that the Stoneguard can't get to him on its turn.
Following that up, Ekkill Barkley slams it with Guts, doing 1 damage for the initial hit, 1 damage for the space he pushes it, and 1 damage from Impale. An excellent combo.
Oh good, Tryggvi is in even more danger than he already was.
Oddleif reaches the front line, sending a shockwave of Armor damage through that cluster of dredge. Tryggvi takes another single point of Strength damage, dropping him to 7/5.
Rook continues to do what Rook does, although that was the last of his Willpower.
Okay, as much as I'd love to keep throwing down lightning, Tryggvi is in need of rescuing. Eyvind uses his next turn bringing him back up to 9 Armor.
In moving into attack position, the Grunt takes another point of damage from Impale. Quite a well-spent action, that was.
Iver doesn't quite seal the kill. He could have, if his Exertion was up to snuff.
Okay, this is sort of fine, I think. Ekkill doesn't really need Strength.
Tryggvi burns his last point of will for another Impale. Unfortunately, a slinger moves into position behind the target, meaning it can't be moved. Oh, well.
So instead of using Guts again, Ekkill just cuts the Stoneguard's Strength in half.
Tryggvi is down to 1 Strength. I don't think I can save him.
Oddleif cuts down the last enemy with meaningful Strength numbers.
A lucky break for Tryggvi!
Rook takes out the enemy who can reach Tryggvi, and the enemy turn instead goes to the Stoneguard, who cracks Ekkill's Armor a little.
Killing everything that can reach Tryg as fast as I can here.
Lucky break number 2!
Another one down, another Stoneguard turn wasted poking at Ekkill.
Tryg scores a kill with Impale. Now, if he can get lucky with one more deflect...
...and he doesn't have to! The enemy wastes its last turn as the pillage begins.
"Enough of this," groans Iver, who seems to have snapped out of his daze. "This is getting us nowhere!" You follow as he climbs the stairs and throws open the doors of the great hall.
You swear you catch a note of trepidation in the king's voice.
Again, this? I'll be damned if that bridge falls during my reign!
You'll let our whole race die?
We'll all be gone someday, Yngvar. I need not tell you. There are no more varl being made tomorrow... or a thousand years from now. We are it. And I will not destroy what we have made! Would you leave no trace of us when we are gone? As if we never existed?!
I know this, but yours is one voice of many. I know that the varl are equal. The days of kendr are over. I ask these varl, all there is left in the world, to follow me, and live another day. Who do you think they will choose?
The weight of the air in the great hall becomes so thick it nearly suffocates you. The silence continues for ages.
Go on. Take the mender, destroy the bridge. Do it and leave. Take whoever would join you, and do not return to my city. The alliance of man and varl is through.
Iver is almost out the door before Jorundr has finished his sentence.
Before long, the masonry is a shattered mess and begins to give under its own weight. Varl and dredge alike race to escape the collapse. When the dust clears, there's a gulf between you and the furious dredge. They won't be crossing this way.
"You've gotten what you wanted," says Jorundr. "Now leave. If I ever see man or mender again it will be too soon."
Eyvind tells you, "Juno will be waiting in Sigrholm." Despite the end of the immediate threat, many varl choose to join Iver instead of following Jorundr. You depart with a long caravan at your heels.