Miaed bristled in fear and anticipation; the trolls were nearing and she could foresee no way to beat the enemy. There was no hope. The troll army charged on: a wall of grey snarling faces ready to smash through any obstacle placed before them.

As the trolls neared the funnel of rocks, Miaed noticed the stranger hold up his hand. The troll horde stopped immediantly. The stranger with the cloak stepped forward, ahead of the enemy, his hands held high. Parley; the stranger wanted to speak.

Silence filled the air as everyone waited to hear the strangers words.

"There is no need for a battle on this day! Let this army pass, and none shall suffer this night." The command was spoken softly, but the authorative and deadly tone was not missed by any that heard.

Miaed stepped up ahead of her own army.

"We shall not move aside and let a tyrant pass through our lands. Though you may not cause harm across our land and the grove of light, you seek to destroy that which is beyond us; other worlds! I am afraid that you cannot pass! Leave now or feel our wrath!"

The army of trees roared its approval. Trees young and old stepped up beside miaed as one, screaming for the trolls to leave and begone from their beautiful land. Miaed smiled a sad smile. Words were all well and good, but to defend against the trolls may cost many of these people their lives, and possibly much more to others.

The stranger let out a merciless laugh, deep and cold.

"So be it."

The trolls charged once again, and the trees prepared for the headlong crash as the two forces met. The trolls ran with wreckless abandon, more berserkers than true warriors. They knocked one another aside, stumbling and tripping as they did, all to be the first to punch into the line of trees standing defensively ahead. 

Miaed shouted for all to be ready and told her allies in the air to fire upon, and attack the incoming trolls. The pegasuses and griffons swooped in, sharp claws swiping at the grey-skinned foes. Few felt the wounds as they were dealt, too focused upon the enemy as they were. Some trolls fell from the swipes, falling into their own kind and causing holdups in the charge.

The bats were no match for the trolls. They dove in, attempting to rake the trolls eyes, but only succeeded in being swatted away and killed. Miaed felt their loss like a blow to the heart. The sadness caused anger to well up, erupting in a furious hatred. Miaed let loose a long battle cry and charged into the incoming horde.

The rest of the trees followed her example, meeting the charging trolls. Bone and flesh met wood and leaf.

The battle had begun.

The End

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