His men were weary. The shieldwalls had clashed three times now and the bodies of the slain lay in grotesque poses where they fell, bloodied and broken in the snow. Magnus and his men had been taken by surprise at the fierce defense from the townsfolk and he could sense their nervousness. He knew that things would get worse if they stayed here any longer as he could see more men rushing from the town gate to help drive off the raiders. He began ordering his men back slowly so as not to disorder their formation.
For another hour they weathered repeated attacks from their foe, each time beating them back, but at the loss of more men. The river came into view finally and his ships were already prepared for departure, forewarned by a runner sent three hours earlier. The enemy sensing their prey might escape, pressed forward again but his men fought back ferociously, desperate to reach the safety of the boats. Magnus shouted to his men to hold the line but the enemy outnumbered them now and they were tired with battle. It always went the same way in any battle. All it took was one man in the battle line to break and desperate men would follow like lemmings. And so it went this time, but Magnus had never been on the side to break before.
The panic hit instantly and before he could act the shieldwall dissolved as his men ran for the boats some three hundred yards away. As he turned back toward the enemy he saw the flash of an enemy warrior’s helmet and the shadow of his shield as the man crashed into him, throwing him to the ground. What Magnus didn’t see was the spear pierce his armour and run him through. He heard the shaft snap as his foe fell forward over him. The warrior jumped up and carried on running after the fleeing raiders. Magus groaned as the rest of the enemy ran past him, assuming he could be finished off later. Magnus watched as his men were chased down, men he had lived and fought with for years. Tears slipped down his face and the pain in his gut was overtaken by the pain in his heart. And in that pain he found rage.
Magnus rose from the mud and blood, picking up his sword as he staggered forward. He roared at the enemy, a roar of pain and rage. So loud was his cry that the enemy paused and turned from their pursuit. Magus limped is blood-soaked body toward them. He would make them pay for his men’s deaths this day. He saw the remnants of his crews scrambling aboard the longships, the small pause in the enemy’s pursuit just enough to allow the survivors the time they needed to escape. He smiled, roared and summoning the last of his strength as the enemy spearmen approached, he raised his sword and charged.
This pack contains Magnus Grimface.
Miniature supplied unpainted and will need some assembly. Spears, banners and base not supplied.