Three orcs made it to the gate, but were dispatched before the archers, could fire off a shot. A single form stood among the three now lifeless bodies, I peered into the distance past the sight line of even the elves. Halflings are gifted with far sight and acute sense, I had trained mine until they were as perfect as they could be. As I focused on the figure I could see it was an elf. I could tell by his pose and the way that he held his weapons that he was a trained and seasoned warrior. He wiped his smooth elven swords on the grass, sheathed them, and began to walk towards us. I heard someone walk up behind and I turned, startling him. He seemed suprised that I had heard him coming. I didn't blame him. Elves were very light on their feet, and his footsteps were muffled even further by the grass underfoot. Gradually his his astonishment faded into a look of welcome and he said,
"Welcome halfling. Your aid was quite unexpected but most fortunate. I commend you for your valour, there are not many in Tenore who can claim to have stood against a troll, much less killed it." He paused a moment then said "How did you get here? I do not know your face and I doubt from your performance that you came with the orcs." I nodded and replied "I came over the wall back there." Again suprise flashed across his face but in a moment it was gone again replaced by a mask of calm, detached, passivity. He looked about to speak when a another voice laughed and spoke behind me.
"The halfling killed the troll?" I remained facing the half-elf and watched his face. Although he tried to control it his emotions were visible on his face, due no doubt to his human side. I saw grudging respect, and a little anger. I wasn't sure if this was due to the lack of credit he received or the fact that he hadn't killed the troll. I didn't pursue the matter. I turned and faced the elf behind me and said,
"Yes. I killed it. I was aided by him, but in the end my daggers gave the final blow. What of it? Do you doubt that someone like me could do a deed such as that?" I looked at the elf. I could read emotions quite well but this one wasn't attempting to hide the disbelief and amusement on his face. It stirred my rebelliousness.
"Do you wish to prove my skill in battle oh Graceful One?" I challenged. He laughed but stopped when he saw that I was serious. He studied me for a moment then nodded and said "Very well. I accept your challenge." I smiled mischievously, took a few steps back, and drew my daggers. This would be good.