Poldaran smiled as she began to ascend the stairs. She had learned much this night; had seen the true depth of human spirit, the courage and determination that was the life blood of the mortal races. People refusing to give in, not because they have hope that reinforcements are coming, nor because they have no hope of escape, but because it simply was not in their nature to yield.
These people were simple farmers, armed only with crude farm implements, but they refused to yield their homes to the never ending tide of the undead.
She had been sent here originally to check on the status of the village because the higher ups in Valiance Keep were worried about the lack of ore shipments from the mine. What she found was a town fighting heroically to save itself from the dead. She offered assistance to the town's leader, Gerald Green, but he instead asked that she look into the fate of the small garrison sent to investigate the mine. He had felt, and the small group of villagers with him agreed, that getting Valiance Keep the metal it needed to forge weapons for its own defense was the higher priority.
Poldaran was taken aback by their selflessness. She did as he asked and investigated the mine, finding out that it had been overrun by the dead and most of its men had been killed by plagued grain. She brought the news to the townsfolk, and they sent a couple men with her into the mine again to retrieve the last load of ore from the mine so it could be sent down the track to Valiance Keep.
Hilda Stoneforge, the Dwarven blacksmith in Valiance Keep, was as astonished by their actions as Poldaran had been. Wiping a tear from her eye, she had ordered the two men empty the cart. "We cannot let the civilians lose their lands if they're willing to fight for them. We might not have the troops to spare, but we can send them weapons," she said. She pointed at a couple racks of weapons she and the other smiths had finished. "These were earmarked for new recruits, but I'll be able to cover those with the ore that you've brought me. I'll have these men load up the cart and deliver the weapons to Gerald. You go let him know that they're on the way."
Poldaran wiped a tear from her eye as she remembered the look of gratitude on Gerald's face. "Farshire has a fighting chance now, Poldaran. That's all we could've asked for and you've made it possible." He thought for a moment. "All we need now is a rallying point. I'll have my men deliver the weapons to our town hall. Go and ring the town hall bell so any survivors know to rally there." A fiery determination shone in his eyes. "It's time to show the Scourge what we're made of."
Poldaran's slender fingers gently gripped the coarse rope of the town hall's bell and she pulled with all her might. The bell rang with a roaring echo. Despite the sound inside, she could hear one of Gerald's men, Gamlen, shouting outside. "To the town hall, everyone! We've brought you weapons! Arm yourselves and beat the Scourge back!" She rang the bell again and hurried downstairs.
There was no mistaking the look of gratitude on the faces of everyone rushing inside. Poldaran knew at that moment, that no matter what she had to do in this war, no matter what lines she might have to cross in order to fight her foes, no matter what destruction she had to sew upon the land, that this one night, she had done something good. It was all she could do not to cry.
"Scourge incoming!" someone shouted. Apparently the undead had also been drawn to the sound of the tolling bell.
Gerald Green held a spear high. "Come, friends, let us show them that they will not take our lands lightly!" Poldaran's hands burst into flames. "You mean to fight with us?" he asked her. The mage nodded, unsure whether she could keep her voice steady as she spoke. "Splendid! Let's make this a battle to remember!"
The fight lasted through the night. Thanks to the light mail and shields that the men and women of Farshire now wore, the worst injury sustained that night was little more than a flesh wound, though they held back more than four times their number in ghouls and zombies.
Poldaran sat upon the steps of the Town Hall, exhausted from the night's fighting. Gerald Green approached her. "Thanks once again for aiding us, Poldaran. The people of Farshire will always remember you."