"Trogdor?" Realization crossed his face. "It's... you! It's really you!"
"I could say the same to you!" Trogdor replied, standing up. "It's been so long... I didn't even know if you were alive."
"I never would have thought we would meet each other on the field of battle," Trogdor's father said, stepping back to look at him again. "I saw you slay that assassin, but I didn't recognize you. That was well done, by the way."
"Thank you. And thank you for saving me."
"If I'd known it was you, that warrior would have had twice the arrows in his chest."
"So," his father continued, "Your first real battle. And you survived. Not a high percentage of new fighters do that, much less kill an experienced assassin. A most auspicious beginning, son."
Trogdor was elated at his father's praise. Not only did it mean a lot coming from him, but Trogdor had thought that, after killing only one Fury fighter, and then being powerless before the Nordein warrior, he hadn't done too well. The thought came to Trogdor that perhaps, in this cruel and bloody war, survival was a rarity and to be cherished above all else.
Later, when the Alliance forces had regrouped and cleared away the aftermath, the elf captain approached Trogdor and his father.
"Ah, Richard, good to see we're both in one piece. And you, Trogdor, was it? Good to see you still breathing as well."
"Same to you," Richard said. "And you won't believe this, but Trogdor here is actually my son!"
"Really? Then I can see how you lived through this, if you have any of your father's spirit in you. He has survived the most disastrous of battles and never failed to bring down several Fury warriors in every clash."
"Hah, you flatter me. Back to business, though. Are we going through with the assault on the relic?"
"Yes. Get your division ready to move out. The Fury probably expected to annihilate us with their ambush. They won't be ready for a full-on assault on the altar. Trogdor, I hate to break up your reunion, but you need to come with me. A division has to stay together."
"I understand," Trogdor replied. He turned to his father. "Farewell, until next we meet."
"Farewell, son. Do me a favor and stay alive, alright?"
The Alliance moved out.
The sun sparkled off the armor of the ranks of fighters and defenders. Trogdor's elven division followed behind, in front of the mages and priests. Ricard's force made up the rearguard. They marched through the dust. The clouds parted, shining more sunlight on the army. It was if the goddess herself walked with them, giving them her blessing.
The altar came into view. The Fury force was arrayed in front of it. Upon seeing the Alliance, the Nordein front lines let out a terrifying battle roar. The Vail joined in from behind, shouting curses in ancient languages. The Alliance remained silent, marching onward toward their foe. The commander raised his hand. The company halted.
Vultures descended upon the cliff to watch the preparing of their feast.
Trogdor began to sweat. A glistening bead rolled down his face and dripped off his chin. He watched it fall.
It almost audibly hit the ground. Then, the armies charged.
Spells and arrows flew overhead as the front lines closed. The warriors swung their axes. The fighters hacked with their swords. Guardians and defenders smashed in helmets with their clubs and maces. A group of assassins broke out to the Alliance's right.
"Intercept them!" The elf captain's clear voice rang above the din of battle. Trogdor and the other elves broke out to face the Vail. The assassins contorted themselves trying to dodge arrows. Many fell. The rangers and assassins clashed. Throats were slashed, gashes were opened, organs were punctured. As soon as a fighter felled a foe, another killed him from nearby.
Steel flashed in Trogdor's eyes. He sidestepped and lashed out with his dagger. The Vail fell, bleeding. Another assassin attacked. Trogdor caught the foot aimed at his chest, and drew his blade across the Vail's calf. He screamed in pain. Trogdor took advantage of the opportunity, and stabbed him in the throat. Trogdor didn't see the next one coming, and was tackled to the ground. Fighting instinct took over. He brought his knees up as he fell, and kicked the Vail off. Trogdor sprang to his feet, and kicked the assassin in the head before he could do the same. There was a crack, and the Vail's broken neck drooped uselessly.
The impact in his spine took Trogdor's breath away. He fell on his face. He felt the weight of the assassin stooping for the final blow...