The Full Fury Of Battle
Sigvaldi ran to the top of The Inner Hill to await the arrival of the Jotuns. What he saw coming towards him from the valley below shocked him ! He did not think it possible for these Giants to appear meaner, uglier, and more menacing than when he had first seen them as he manned their first defensive line, but these creatures that were coming up out of the valley were much more terrifying ! Sigvaldi did not watch them for long, but instead quickly fell back into the forest to warn his warriors to be ready.
Steinthor, Torfi, and Viglund had their men positioned among the trees ready with sharp axes to cut the ropes that would release the huge logs. The three leaders would signal their warriors once they felt the Jotuns had reached the arc radius of the swinging timbers. A short distance away other warriors stood defiantly behind the deeply dug pits, with their shields up, and their swords drawn, to lure the Giants into the camouflaged pits, and to their deaths on the sharpened stakes that awaited them below.
The Jotuns did not break stride when they reached the top of the inner hill, nor did they slow down as they entered the forest. Many were howling like wild animals as they swung their stone weapons out in front of them menacingly. And the one who led them was the most ferocious looking of them all !
Sigvaldi, who stood in front of the furthest pit from the village, and was closest to his leaders, gave the signal to cut the ropes as soon as the Jotuns were in the targeted zone. Steinthor, Torfi, and Viglund gave their commander a tight fist hand signal to signify that they were ready, and then turned back to signal their warriors.
One by one the logs were cut loose. The heavy wooden battering rams swung across the forest in a wide menacing arc, but time after time they missed their target. The Jotuns were simply moving too fast for the warriors to accurately predict when to cut the ropes, and free the swinging timbers. Only two of the Jotuns were struck by the heavy logs . The Giant Am was badly wounded in the shoulder, and Nal was killed when he stumbled trying to avoid one log, and was subsequently hit in the head by another. The sound of the Jotun's skull crushing reminded Sigvaldi of a walnut being smashed, and made him wince with disgust.
Sigvaldi's heart sank into his bowels as he watched the Jotuns skillfully dodge the swinging logs as they moved ever forward. The Chieftain of Tofte was amazed at the dexterity that these Giant beings could maintain while running at such speeds. To Sigvaldi's dismay he realized that if the death pits were as ineffective as the swinging logs then all was lost !
Atla laughed as a large tree section swung past him. The log did not come close to hitting him, and once it continued past him he simply moved forward, and when it returned it swung harmlessly behind him.
" Stupid humans ! They know so little about how to wage war ! " Atla yelled to his warriors.
Shortly thereafter and just past the singing logs, Atla and his warriors approached a line of humans in their front. These puny Midgardians stood proudly with their shields held out in front of them, and their swords at the ready.
" Stupid humans ! " Atla repeated with a laugh.
As they converged on the Midgardians Atla watched with a broad grin as Hala was about to strike down the first of these insects who dared to stand before them. Then, suddenly, Hala was gone ! Atla stopped dead in his tracks, and scanned the entire battlefield. Everywhere he looked his warriors were simply disappearing !
" What kind of black magic is this ! ? " the Jotun commander screamed.
Then Atla caught sight of another one of his warriors, the one called Bakrauf, as he was about to slay a human. He too vanished ! But as Atla watched he noticed two hands appear on the ground in front of the human. In horror the Jotun leader watched as the Midgardian chopped at these hands with his sword, and what was happening suddenly became very clear to Atla.
" Stop ! STOP RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE !! " Atla screamed to his remaining warriors.
The Jotuns obeyed their commander almost immediately, and did not move.
" They have dug pits and covered them so that we will fall into these holes ! Use your weapons to feel around in front of you before moving forward ! " Atla told his warriors.
As the Jotuns slowly began to make their way around the pits Sigvaldi ordered his warriors to fall back. The ones who had cut the timbers free could not make it to Sigvaldi's position behind the pits and were killed. Many of them being literally pulled apart by the Giants. A few of the warriors at the pits tried to help their comrades, but died in their valiant effort to save them. The rest fell back as quickly as they could to the edge of the forest where the nets were ready and waiting for the Jotuns.
From her position at the edge of the village Geirny could hear the roar of the Jotuns as they entered the forest. Then she heard the unmistakable screams of both humans and Jotuns in their death throes. Soon these Giants would reach her position, which was their last line of defense, and the battle would be decided one way or another. As she trembled in fear of what was about to happen all Geirny could think of was Sigvaldi. If she was to die she hoped that he at least would live !
- End Chapter 10
- Next : Chapter 11 : The Final Defense
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ) , © Copyright, 2016.