Rinranar and his four female battle friends watched Nightshade's rear guard. The five member team was now miles ahead of enemy lines watching and waiting. For this guard which consisted of skeletons and necromancers. Matron gave a quick speech to her veteran archers "Tell Rabbit her boyfriend is waiting" joked Venison. Rabbits face turned red at the mention of Bunyan. The skeletons wandered aimlessly occassionaly roaring at the sky. The necromancers continued summoning more and more fiends. Matron readied her bow and gave the order to her fireteam. "Draw" she whispered Rinranar readied his crossbow.
"Loose" shouted Matron, catching the rear guard by surprise. Arrows after arrows and bolts from the rangers repeating crossbow. Rained down upon their enemies the sound of bones crunching and the groans of wounded necromancers filling the marshland. Soon another trail of smoke joined the ranged warriors. With a dread howl the black shuck Glangroch joined the fray. His red eyes paralyzing those that gaves. Hot breath dissolving flesh and bone. Along with his fangs and claws that cut through armor like a knife cutting butter. "For...Bun...Yan" the black shuck grunted still in a frenzied state. Soon the rear cultist defenders numbers began to trickle down and down. Rinranar dug his sword into the spine of the cultist captain and with that. Skeletons finally and mercifully could be at peace. Least in this area Rabbit nodded and lit a single arrow on fire. Firing it into the air another soon followed behind. "Damn they move fast for dwarves" laughed Quail plucking salvageable arrows from the slain. Rabbit laughed while Matron and Venison just nodded.
His fury over temporarily the black shuck laid on his belly. After about a half hour the dwarf brothers soon joined them. While exhausted from their obvious forced march they looked stoic like all dwarves. Going over the battle plans yet again the dwarfs, humans, and diet hound all told of different strategies. They still had another reserves guard to deal with. Reports numbered that it was in the dozens if they dealt with this large band. Worst case the battle goes south Nightshade would have no reinforcements. Rinranar held such thoughts aside.
All of them marched double time and trekked quicker and quicker. Again they released a volley or bolts and arrows. Cooper for a dwarf was a great shot, his dwarf steel tiped bolts. Dug deep into a dark armored diet zealot throat. Glangroch, Brass, Zinc, and Magnesium joined the battle clad in heavy burdiorn armor and weilding viscious axes. Cutting down scores of cultists. Fireteam Matron moving closer and closer firing scores of arrows. Ranger cursed as he had run out of bolts and now would be forced to fight with his burdiorn short sword. Despite being short it was still sharp and deadly. Some of the cultists drank their foul drink and soon vanished. Then reappearded dangerously close to their foe. That proved a little difficult for the mortal allies. Glangroch however easily intercepted the trickery and killed with ease. Matron almost had one very close call as the dagger nearly slit her throat. However they heard a scream as the more vocal member of the team Venison touched her side bleeding heavily. That only inspired them to fight harder and harder. Rabbit was busy trying to stop the bleeding. "Dam..n..it fig..ht" Venison said faintly. Wiping her tears away Rabbit joined the fray again. Again finally the second reserve force was slain to the very last. No one cheered as they again rallied to their dying comrade. " .Please" the mortally wounded girl said coughing up blood. Like all warriors of Root Beer she smiled unkegging the cork and drinking one last drink. Matron, a tough and seasoned warrior, let her face show sadness for a brief second. Then picked up Venison and carried her for a proper burial. They all gave one last salute as respect and headed back towards the battlelines. "What about the loot Matron?" Copper inquired. It mainly consisted of scrolls and barrels of Diet Drink. "Raze it" Matron spat copper and Rinranar nodded and lit the torches
Beet and the landlady watched as both sides. Hurled insults and tossed or fired projectiles. The defenders of the forces of the just fought hard and nearly zealous fury. The sergeant seemed to notice the lack of reinforcements arriving. "They did it". "My husband chose the best archers". Purity said almost in a whisper Beet nodding. The cocktrices cluck with nervousness and excitement they could sense their role in this battle. While many of the diets fell from the skills and precision of garrison and mercenary forces. Dozens laid wounded or slain. Several brave herbalists dragged the wounded back to safety.
It seemed everyone was doing their part in this decisive battle. With the skirimishes over both hornblowers signalled for the charge. "Shieldwall" shouted Frosnapper. "Schiltron" shouted Lyre. A wall of shields was soon joined by a wall of spears and pikes. Pikes skewered, impaled, and slayed the skeleton and zombies. While the shield wall gave the cultist not a single inch. Mages and alchemists along with zero soda witches. Casted spells and curses which were met with counter curses from Nightshades witches. Frosnapper grabbed a javelin mid air and threw it back at a cultist. Bunyan was still at the vanguard lines waiting for the signal. Slowly but sureily the morale of the cultists dropped and they soon fled. Lyre waved the banner and the "cavalry charged". Beets lance impaling two cultists at once. The lance broken he unseathed his longsword and sliced more stragglers. Purity's cockatrick trampled the wounded it's beak crushing bones and even amputating some.
Corndog jumped from her mound and readied her twin axes. They soon felt a powerful presence. "A brave display churls but your saga ends here" the voice boomed from all sides. That proved too much for the peasant and town levies who fled. They had done their part now it was just the veterans for the rest of the fight. Some of the levies still fought and held firm. Such as Mayor Leonoth and his "bouncers'' Club and Crudgel. Leonoth was the mayor of the Cobbler district, the only one who voulenteered to join the fight. Skeletons and warriors clad in heavy black almost pitch black armor. Cultists with human skulls for masks joined their wicked maiden of death. Bunyan sooned joined the fray with the personal guards of the keep and the young Captain Lyre. Dini his trope casted charms, weakening the dread curse. Making some of the farmers regroup and fight. Another horned sounded and more warriors of the just entered the battlefield. It was the countess, her guards, temple guards, and mercenaries also joined the fray. Nightshade was unfazed as she casted a spell. That sent both her side and the defenders flying up in the air. Then brought them crashing down a quick death but far from painless. Foxglove casted curses at her former member Juno also joining her.
Chaos was all that could be described. The clashing of weapons, spells meeting curses, and groans from the wounded and dying filled the marshland. The countess despite being young fought with grace and fury. Her cockatrice knights of Birch killed many. Soon a towering figure began carving a path. Both witches nodded and soon the two champions met. "Bunyan it's an honor" mocked Nightshade. "Enough" was all the giant said. All sides soon watched as the leaders fought. Lumberyard his axe soaked up curse after curse. Indeed gracefully the woman was very agile, almost wraith-like. Nightshade attempted a dirty trick throwing her concealed throwing dagger. Using his hide bracers the giant was safe. This woman did not fight fair. Bunyan laughed to himself. Lumberyard came closer and closer to Nightshade. Soon another dirty trick using a mutli person curse. Five copies of Nightshade fought Bunyan. This was turning out to be his toughest fight. He soon heard a screech from his loyal bat friend Feeble flying with determination towards her master. Nightshade the real one screamed as the bat blinded her in both eyes. The giant had his own dirty tricks. However a stray curse hit his friend Feeble fell breathing heavy. Bunyan in a rage roared and hacked Nightshade's left arm clean off.
Her forces ran and with that the battle was one. "I will always haunt this world" Nightshade laughed before the giant removed her head from her shoulders. Before anyone could trample his loyal friend Bunyan scooped up Feeble. "Bring her to me," Juno seemed to say inside Bunyans mind. Giant's morale was soon distraught even more as the youngest witch Juno was dying. Bleeding from a wound he could tell they tried to stitch her back up. "I always loved organs'' the young witch joked. Like most of her kind death was not something they feared. "As a gift friend" she smiled, cutting her hand and pouring the drink. The energies left the girl's body and went inside the wounded bat.
Slowly Feeble returned to life as thanks Feeble sadly rubbed her head on the lifeless girls arm. Bunyan looked at the carnage, dozens of hounds, scores of cockatrices, and maybe hundreds at most laid slain. Foxglove rallied her zero soda and swore her "fealty" towards the countess. Bunyan saw Matron arrive carrying the body of Venison. Sergeant Beet was soon joining his landlord. Molly the old hound also gave her last breath and one final loud and defiant howl. Zenantha thankfully was unharmed though her gleaming silver armor. Was coated with grime, matter, and blood. She gave congrats though a serious tone to the giant. Dini said she no longer plagues this lifetime puzzling the tired and worn giant. "It matters not for us anyway" Dini said before attending to his wounded and fallen. Bunyan said hello to his old mercenaries from Birch Beer. Thankfully they suffered no losses or injuries. "Ever in Birch say hello" smiled Arnold. He soon saw two familiar yet it seemed so distant companions. The young alchemist Meadow and his oxen friend Blue. "New mascot" joked Blue even Feeble squeaked in what seemed like a laugh. Glangroch the black shuck also joined. An odd mix of adventures looked at one another.
Rinranar said that his giant recruit services had ended. And barrels of Birch Beer, Ginger Ale, and Root Beer. Along with gems and calories would be waiting. Inside a wagon and two fine horses. All gifts for his decisive role in ridding the land of Nightshade. He immediately said the gems would be given to the relief effort the Ginger and Root Beer disrupted among the brave. The ranger nodded and said that he wished Bunyan well. Bunyans band headed towards the wagon's location. Meadow said she would lead and they all wondered where their adventures would take them next.
*In some other era*
Gospatric rode with his horse and hunting hounds. The basssets picked up another scent and ran far deeper then they should've gone into the woods. A naked man with long black hair and an almost statue-like face laid faint. "Miles for god's sake help him," he told his sergeant and friend. He still had his pistol at the ready; this could be a trap. What was strange to the Duke of Granola was that his hounds growled at the helpless man. The man opened his eyes and saw the duke with his regal clothes and fine wig. "My good man what is your name". "Nightshade" the man laughed. "Diet please" the nearly formed Nightshade said. "You are a diet follower" Duke of Granola laughed. "You have no idea," Nightshade said in a whisper.
Well Bunyans journey's is over for now. It was fun to write and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Did you like the reincarnation trope at the end?