This is an account about a skirmish from the Kalenish raids on Wesmarch during the War of the Crowns. What makes this so interesting is that is a Kalenish account, by a veteran in a noble household and overheard and recorded by a traveling minstrel.
"War!" you say? You wish to show the Romen their place? You wonder why us "old women" don't want war? Let ME tell you why, whelp.
When I was only a few more winters than you are now, our tywysogion called on us to raid the Romen. Since the Elves of Dunatar Forest were neutral and just trying to keep out of the flames, we had no support to protect us from the King's murdering imps. They had begun to interfere with supplying our raiding parties over the frontier, and I was in a force sent to track them down and bring them to heel.
A few weeks prior, Arglwydd Gyllydd had attacked a Dwarven trader, and we had just got the news that the Dwarves were mobilizing their militias for the Marquis of Wesmarch, instead of just being the King's weapon smiths.
We were still running a warm camp, because we hadn't reached the hunting grounds of the murdering imps yet, and it was black as pitch because it was a moonless night under the canopy of the Dunatar Forest.
I remember waking in the night to an odd sound. I got up to investigate, and I could not find our sentry. I saw an odd shape by a bush near where his post would have been. I found his body, eyes glassy with his throat slit. My torchlight illuminated small foot prints like a child would leave around his body.
I looked out into the trees and saw a black mass and I knew what the dull thump-clank sound that I was hearing actually was- the sound of heavily armored troops marching.
Most people know that Dwarves can see in the dark, but most people don’t realize what that really means. They carry no torches, and they need no lamps. They don't really care if the moon is full or if it isn’t in the sky. They can see you perfectly well, but YOU cannot see them.
I panicked and raised the alarm, and that is when everything went straight to Tumo. The Dwarves, knowing that they were discovered, all began shouting in Dwarvish and bashing their shields and swords together. It was the sound of madness! The whole camp sprang up, bleary-eyed and confused. We were surrounded. They had completely encircled us during the night with a wall of iron shields, that had trapped us just like we were the targets of a boar hunt. As the rest of the camp stumbled out of their tents, the dull "thunk" of crossbow quarrels began to sound around us and men fell, left and right, from the bolts. All through this, the circle of shields was inevitably tightening. They killed everyone. I only survived by climbing an oak and hiding as quietly possible.
When the sun rose, there was nothing left but parts of the bodies of my comrades, the mounts of the murdering imps having fed well. The Dwarves continued their march to Arglwydd Gyllydd’s broch, apparently taking the murdering imps with them.
So call me a coward, but it it comes to war with the Romen, then everyone has already lost, and Dwarven shouts and the clanking of armor will forever haunt my dreams. The Romen don't know their place? They have proven that their place is on the other side of that frontier- and they are welcome to it.