Ch. 49.7 – Eli fought his way past the trolls who were still alive in the castle. Then he and the gnomes rushed to the door that led to the meadow.
The entire valley was filled with carnage and fighting. The noise was terrible, yet Eli heard something even louder. The ground shook beneath his feet. Memories of the last time he had experienced this flashed through his mind. “Back!” he called out. “Get back to the castle.”
The dragon swooped over the battle and roared. “Retreat!”
Eli raced up the lookout tower that intersected the stable yard wall and watched with the guards as the armies from the Five Kingdoms and their allies began to flee to both sides of the valley. Wave after wave of men and creatures crowded into the stable yard and then into the castle courtyard. Many carried their wounded and dead with them. Soldiers lined the edge of the meadow, swords in hand, clearly exhausted.
The trolls raised their swords and clubs into the air, shouting out their victory. Their cheering swelled.
The rumbling grew louder. The air darkened. The ground shook. Eli knew what to expect, but it still filled him with horror as the dirt-filled cloud became a swarming mass of green lizards who drove straight towards the trolls.
Eli understood the puzzled expressions of the trolls closest to the castle. They knew about the raths, but they also knew that the raths never attacked trolls. They always turned and ran, even when their traditional migration paths were blocked, even when their nurseries were destroyed – because they hated the taste of troll flesh.
The trolls watched the raths coming. A few brandished clubs, and a few more laughed nervously. It was only when those trolls closest to the raths were pulled down and devoured that the trolls realized their predicament. They turned to flee, but it was too late.
Eli ducked and covered his face with his shirt, coughing as the cloud of dirt enveloped them.
The shaking and rumbling faded into the distance. Eli stood up. The entire valley was an empty, plowed field.
For a long moment, there was silence. Then the people began to cheer.