Battle in Ghouls Swamp

by Ben Billups

For fuck sake, Im tired. Its been sixteen days since weve gotten to this damn swamp and weve been fighting ghouls for the entire fortnight. This aint no place for dwarf. I raise my axe overhead and split one of the small gray skinned bastards like fire wood. Wound up getting its green blood all over my face and beard as another three of the hell spawns come out from hidden caves and another, younger, dwarf named Norrick from my squad steps up and dismembers them with some flashy sword swings. Hes barely growing a beard and already can be of some use in battle. I think his fancy foot work dont mean much of nothing if the attack can only fall three of the vermin. Call me old fashion, but leave dancing for a smart enemy. A ghoul dont need no more than a few good swings. Theyre too dumb to dodge anyways.

Me and forty other men continue attacking throughout the night with only the glowing orange eyes of our prey and several torchlights giving us any vision for battle. The full moon wouldve been a great source of light if it werent for the damn over cast of the last three days. One of the beasts came upon me and I drove the pummel of my axe into its leather gray skinned face. It falls to the muddy floor before its kin come up and begin to devour the corpses, even as we fight. Disgusting runts. All they do is consume and kill. Im not one for mercy and if they want to destroy our kingdom, then theyll need some real fighters. We keep fighting on until dawn breaks and the out poor of the ghouls turns into a retreat the closer the sun appears over the horizon.

Everyone cheers and slaps mugs of mead together for another successful night. Only three deaths on our side for the entire time we were here. Cant be helped. Were the only force defending the south end besides this ghoul infested swamps. With a war stirring up north, the gray bastards began to rise and attack some of the small villages. We only hope the mother of this ghoul horde appears soon. I cant wait to engage that monster and mount its head on a wall once this tour is over.

After a few hours of sleep and visits from a few of the appreciating wenches from a nearby village, the next night soon began and this time things grew exciting. The mud floor trembled and bulged as maybe a hundred of the buggers burst from the ground along with four of ghoul mothers stalking out slowly. They were uglier than their litter. Their sunken in green eyes glowed and their faces were like that of a fish and horse crushed together as something unnatural. Their lengthy bodies were still skinny, but I knew better. Those slender forms were nothing but muscle wrapped in skin. And each of them stood nearly as tall as three dwarves.

We quickly charge at the buggers. Arrows and axes flew about as mud splashed around. Their claws and fangs only met our shields and maces in the clash. After I fell a good thirty of the buggers, I came upon one of the mothers. The creature swings at me and my instincts tell me to move. And I was right to listen as the blow struck only ground and spread the water out with a powerful sound of its slap to follow. Oh, my eyes went wide when I realized these monsters werent nothing to take lightly. This time I swing at the legs and the creature collapses with a cry of pain. I move to cut off its head but another one of the damn beasts moves in to attack me.

It gives a wide swing and I barely stretch my torso to the side before its claws rip through my chain mail and leather armor and still manage to claw me hip. The blow sends my hide flying into a cluster of their young ones, who try to bite and claw at me. Oh but I was mad at this point. My fury rose as did I and I charged again at the creatures. The two ghoul mothers began to make their way to me as well. One running and the other crawling and roaring in fury.

The horde mother swings another wide arch at me once again, but this time I expect it and roll under the strike. I bring my axe up and cut half way into the creatures neck. It falls with me axe head lodged in its scrawny neck. Might as well have been trying to fall a tree with one chop. The next one comes at me and with the broken handle in my grasp, I move passed the cripples flailing and jam the handle through its skull. I kill the creature for sure, but then I find myself defending against the smaller pups with fists versus claws.

The scrap goes on for a few minutes before I find the boy Norrick at my side with an extra hammer that he hands me. The two of use begin to tear through our prey as limbs are severed from his cuts and bones crumble from my blows. This time the ghouls dont retreat. With their mothers dead, their minds only held ravenous hunger and blood lust. We kill the remaining pests and stand our ground with half the night still to come. After an hour of guarding and scouting, we find ourselves alone with the sounds of howl hoots returning to fill the frigid air. Soon we begin to cheer and return to camp as we ended the pests on the seventeenth night.

After the sun is high in the air, we count thirteen-hundred of the vile creatures that had attack us. I dont really care as I stroll out to the swamp with another fresh axe and finish chopping away at my prize ghoul head. Once the chopping was done, I sit down on a nearby log and grin at the horse faced bastard that nearly took me life. Good trophy for all the trouble Id say.

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