Prince Graeme snarled as the first bolts of lightning began to fall from the heavens, smiting into the line of men. He thrust the scepter forward, a shout in his throat as the lightning exploded well above the heads of the men, showering their burnished helms with harmless sparks.
"Banner Captains, all men hold position! Hold Position!" he shouted as he stopped another bolt of lightning. He was starting to feel the effort of directing the essence, making him both burning alive, and bone weary. Below he watched as the militias from the fortress advanced, showering the ogres with arrows, and making a good dent in the orcish lines. THen, they raised stout wooden shields, and armed with the metal weapons the scout had warned him of, slaughtered the militia to the last man and horse.
The weight of the battle had shifted against the human forces. He was silently thankful that the militia commander, though sacrificing his life and that of his men revealed the newfound cunning of the ogres. He raised the scepter, the imperial banner, and house banner snapped in the wind as he shouted in the eldritch tongue the words of power.
There was a deep rumbling as the motes of essence boiled from the scepter, shooting into the ground like burrowing serpents. Only another sorcerer could haven seen such displays, but to those who could it was breath-taking. The ground heaved and great stone spikes five feet tall rose from the ground. It was not a palisade of stone, but rather a thicket of stone spikes as thick as a man's leg. The ogres would be hard pressed to simply smash through the barrier, but it would undoubtedly slow them down, and disrupt their shield lines. The crossbowmen would be able to land good hits, if not lethal hits against the exposed limbs of the ogres.
"Defensive positions!" he shouted, sliding the scepter into a sheath and drawing his own sword. He raised the blade and the men cheered. Secretly he hoped he would not share the same fate as the commander of the militias had. "Pikes forward, archers take any shot you can! HOLD THE LINE! HOLD THE LINE!" he shouted as the ogres following their new leader crashed into the barrier.
Some of the ogres, driven by bloodlust (TM) were skewered on the stone spikes, others tried to break through them, but caught crossbow bolts in the arms, legs, and in the gut. The wounded ogres were quickly assaulted by the pikemen, who three of four men would converge on a wounded ogre, thrusting at the neck, and armpit would incapacitate and kill the beast and fall back to the line in short order. The fighting was intense as the ogres finally broke a way through the stone barriers, though through a pile of their own dead.
"Where are you?" Prince Graeme growled as his men began to buckle under the weight of the ogre assault. As if in answer, a clear note floated across the vale, at first thin and ephemeral, but becoming more solid. The Grey Legion. Graeme laughed.
Captain, and cousin, Mosen rode at the head of the charge, nearly 1000 strong, the heavy cavalry bore down in the flank of the ogres. Baird, Graemes precocious little brother had told him this would happen, down to the specific details. The snot was unsettling, but his ability to see the future had been quite advantageous. Lances ready the horse of the Imperial mercenaries smashed into the ogres, individual ogres were slaughtered as the band passed them, and those who stood in groups took the heaviest of the hits. Mosen lost his lance through the chest of an ogre, but lost his horse as one of the beasts shattered its leg with a well thrust spearshaft. Suddenly dismounted, Mosen had a second to roll onto his feet before taking the head of the spear through his solar plexus.