DemonWars Saga Volume 2: Mortalis - Ascendance - Transcendence - Immortalis (The DemonWars Saga)

DemonWars Saga Volume 2: Mortalis - Ascendance - Transcendence - Immortalis (The DemonWars Saga) by R.A. Salvatore

Book: DemonWars Saga Volume 2: Mortalis - Ascendance - Transcendence - Immortalis (The DemonWars Saga) by R.A. Salvatore Read Free Book Online
Authors: R.A. Salvatore
goblins, no ragtag band, howled and pressed even farther.
    Midalis and his front riders plunged into the goblin line, swords slashing, spears piercing goblin chests. But the goblins swarmed around them in a rush as strong as the tide, filling every channel, every opening. One man was pulled down from his mount, a host of ugly creatures falling over him, slashing and stabbing; another had his horse slashed out from under him and died before he even hit the ground.
    The archers in the second rank kept firing their bows, most behind at the pursuit from the hillock; but within moments, they, too, found themselves hard-pressed, with many using their bows as clubs, smashing goblin heads.
    On the field, Prince Midalis knew it; on the wall, Abbot Agronguerre, his magical energy expended, knew it. St. Belfour was doomed. The Prince of Honce-the-Bear was doomed. The Vanguard army would soon be shattered and the region would know only blackness.
    Another mountain of shadow flowed through the forest, another legion of goblins, the Prince assumed, and he could only wonder in blank amazement at how many had come to destroy his homeland.
    Out of the trees came the forms, screaming and howling, a primal, feral cry that sent shivers through the spines of all who heard it, that froze the battle for a long, horrifying moment.
    Wearing browns and greens that rendered them practically invisible, the barbarian horde swarmed onto the field. The front line came on fast but stopped almost as one, pivoting, then launching heavy stones from the ends of swinging chains into the closest goblin ranks, opening holes, knocking monsters back into their wicked kin.
    Again came that unified war cry, drowning all other sounds, bringing shivers to the goblins and hope to Midalis and his valiant men. And through the ranks of the hammer throwers stormed Andacanavar, his mighty claymore cleaving down goblins three at a swing. Like a gigantic wedge, the hardy Alpinadoran barbarians of Tol Hengor drove on.
    “Fight on!” Midalis cried, but this time, hope replaced resignation. Now for the first time, the goblins seemed unnerved. The Prince seized the moment to pull his cavalry back together, to begin the determined march that would get his vulnerablearchers to the abbey’s front gate.
    He signaled to Agronguerre on the wall, and took hope that the wise old man would understand his intent and begin calling to his monks to secure the portal.
    With sheer determination, Midalis got there, the horsemen shielding the running archers from monstrous goblin spears, the monks pulling wide the doors and battling those few goblins nearby until the archers could get inside.
    The battle threatened to disintegrate into chaos again, except that the barbarians, the great warriors of the north, followed Andacanavar with fanatical bravery, keeping fast their lines of defense as the mighty ranger plowed on. Midalis and his horsemen would have been overwhelmed right there at the wall, goblins coming at them from every angle, but then the ranger broke through, his elven-forged claymore cutting a goblin in half at the waist right as the Prince raised his own sword to strike at the creature.
    Before Midalis could begin to thank Andacanavar, he stabbed his sword into the ground before him and gave a howl, lifting his arms above his head and putting his fingertips together, his arms mirroring the barbarians’ wedge formation. Then Andacanavar slid the fingers of his right hand down to his left elbow, and the right line of the formation followed the command, turning with practiced efficiency, so that Andacanavar was now the trailing man on the new right flank, and Bruinhelde, the man who had taken the rear position on the initial left flank, was now the spearhead.
    Prince Midalis understood the beautiful maneuver, the brilliant pivot, and knew the role that his men must now play. He swung away from the mighty ranger, charging his horse along his ranks, then, when he reached the midpoint,

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