Thinking himself victorious, the orc had made the mistake of turning his
on the fire. As he started to turn in response to Astra's yell, with the
her strength she cleaved his head from his body. Then she fainted.
With their leader, whom they had thought near invincible, dead, and having suffered heavy casualties, the surviving orcs turned and fled. The remaining dwarves, no more than ten of the original fifty, gathered around Astra's body, a new respect for her in their eyes. Tarin, who had been one of the survivors, supervised the careful removal of what was left of her burnt and tattered clothing and the application of healing salves to her skin. Her cuts mostly did not appear too serious, but since her skin was black in any case it was hard to tell just how extensive her burns were, so Tarin ensured that the salve was applied to every inch. Perhaps the most important quality of the salve was that it was an antiseptic. It would not be possible accurately to assess how serious Astra's condition was until (or unless) she came round, though her breathing seemed fairly strong.
10/3/1999 4:06:58 AM
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