Afternoon, Day 1
There hadn't been time for pleasantries with Lechtmann. Fighting erupted all along Varrock's northern wall, and, by mid-morning, had developed into a full-blown battle. There was no question about it now, Varrock considered itself under siege. By noon, the invaders had seized a whole stretch of wall, and it was all that the soldiers of Varrock could do to keep the enemy from taking the towers that would let them into the city itself.
Artur had rejoined his fellows a few hours ago. They had seen their share of combat, and many sported small cuts and bruises. Jormik was dead. He'd been hacked to pieces by an axe-wielding northerner.
They received water and food rations from Varrockian corpsmen in one of the towers, and now sat, resting. Thirty weary men, their swords and chainmail pitted with use. They could hear shouting and the clash of arms from outside. The noise was terrific. Nobody could have forgotten that there was a battle going on.
There was a plate-armoured man walking among the men resting in the tower, issuing orders. Some groups were to return to the city and help with defence preparations there. Others were to head for hotspots of fighting and reinforce defenders there. Artur and the other Lumbridgians in the tower were to reinforce the Breach.
That's what they were calling it now—the Breach. No more than two hundred feet of wall that was now in enemy hands. The Varrockians were already fighting desperately, as if the whole defence hinged on that one section of wall. Then again, Artur had seen Lechtmann fight as if the first ladder that hit the wall was the most important thing in the world. Artur figured that the Varrockians were fighting desperately the whole way because this was their home. There wasn't an inch of it that they wouldn't fight for.
Gathering up their swords and shields, the thirty men of the First Lumbridge Foot trooped out of the tower and into the chaos of battle.
The defence at the Breach had become frenzied. The northerners had almost reached one of the towers, and Artur and the other Lumbridgians arrived to find that a barricade had been set up inside it. Beyond that, Varrockians with spears and shields were holding off wild-looking northmen and vicious goblins while crossbowmen reloaded their weapons and gave support. The defence was taking its toll on the invaders, but even Artur could see that they were slowly giving ground. There were more crossbowmen in the tower, readying themselves behind the barricade. Artur saw Lechtmann, a bandage around his left thigh, loading his crossbow. Lechtmann grinned at him and said something that was lost in the noise.
Artur paused, while the other Lumbridgians hurried past. 'What?'
'Give them hell, I said,' Lechtmann shouted back.
The thirty Lumbridgians storming out of the tower took the invaders by surprise. Until now, they had been pressing the fifteen or so Varrockians on the parapet hard, and were winning the wall inch by inch. The goblins and savage northmen advanced with axes, clubs and swords, while those behind them loosed arrows from short bows, but they all faltered for one crucial moment as Artur and his twenty-nine companions charged into their ranks.
Still, they recovered quickly. Artur saw Traven and Errol fall, arrows piercing their chainmail. Pravis dropped off the wall with an arrow through his eye. Artur then lost sight of his companions as he slammed into the advancing invaders, and focused himself on surviving.
Artur blocked a goblin's club with his shield, pushed the greenskin's arm aside, and, using the momentum of his movement, ran his sword through its chest. Foul, brackish blood spilled out onto the parapet as he withdrew his weapon and parried an axe blow from a northman to his right. Without enough room to swing his sword properly, he smashed its pommel into the northman's jaw, stunning him long enough for one of the other Lumbridgians—Artur couldn't tell whom—to dispatch him.
An arrow buzzed past his face, and Artur flinched momentarily. The distraction saved him, as a mace swung through the space occupied by his head an instant earlier, and instead of caving his skull in, it glanced against his helm, smashing it off and knocking him to the ground. He rolled to the side by instinct as his attacker swung again, striking the parapet so close to him that Artur heard the clunking sound of the mace's iron head as it hit the stone. The movement made him lose hold of his shield, and Artur rolled again to avoid another blow. He thrust upward blindly, and was rewarded with a scream as warm blood washed over him, and the northman staggered and fell off the wall. Artur pushed himself up to his feet, and found himself facing another goblin, this one with a sword and shield. Without a shield of his own, Artur retreated a step, waiting for the goblin to attack first, hoping for it to make a mistake. The goblin advanced after him, and thrust at him from behind the cover of its shield. Artur parried the attack, putting his attacker off-balance for the instant it took Jeremin to gut it from behind.
Artur was about to thank him for the help, but a northman with an axe suddenly came at them and bisected Jeremin's head. Artur lunged at the northman with a yell, but his sword was knocked aside, and the northman closed in, landing a solid headbutt. Artur fell to the ground again, and lost hold of his sword. He kicked out and shattered the northman's knee, then leapt on top of him as he fell, screaming. He drew his dagger as the northman tried to throw him off, and stabbed downwards. The dagger gashed the northman's cheek as he rolled his head to the side, and Artur vaguely felt the man's fists slamming against his chainmail. He stabbed again, and this time, took off the man's ear. The man pumped his knee up into his groin, and Artur rolled off with a grunt of pain, tears welling in his eyes. He could feel open air under his head, and saw the northman, blood streaming down the side of his face, getting up to kick him over the edge.
A crossbow bolt punched into the man, knocking him sideways. Artur saw Lechtmann give him a thumbs-up from the doorway of the tower. Artur then picked himself up, ready to face the next enemy, but there was none. The remaining goblins and northmen were retreating to their scaling ladders and fleeing. Artur could hear horns blaring from somewhere beyond the wall.
Lechtmann came over and clapped him on the shoulder.
'They're retreating,' he said. 'For now.'