"Captain Bron. What are our orders, sir?"
Bron looked at the Orc settlement in the distance. Atop his horse he had a clear view. Wooden huts and leather tents were scattered in a large area. It didn't seem like the Orcs had much structure, but it was a settlement nonetheless. His men camped behind a hill, out of the sight. They were waiting for the commander's orders.
Bron held the official document in his hand. The commander's order to attack the settlement. He gave no reason, he didn't have to. He was the commander. But Bron knew why they were here. Why they were supposed to attack.
Behind the settlement loomed the Blacktop Mountains. Many resources could be extracted from them. Coal, iron and more metals, but most importantly: gold. Gold. That's what this was about. That's why Bron would have to give the order to attack women and children. All the male Orcs will have gone to the mines by now. The settlement would be defenseless. Well, not completely defenseless. They were Orcs after all. Even their females and children would put up a fight. Bron would have to keep that in mind when he and his men attacked. Orcs were dangerous, no matter what age or gender.
The soldier next to him cleared his throat. "Captain?"
Bron sighed. It was time. "Prepare the men for the attack. Commander's orders!"
"Yes, sir!" The soldier left to perform his duties.
It wouldn't take long. Bron had heard some of the men tell rumors that they were just here to scout the terrain. That the King wouldn't want to start a war with the Orcs. But most thought the King a reckless fool. They thought they were here to do just that. And they were right.
In less than ten minutes his battalion of about one hundred men was ready. He raised his arm and let it drop, signalling the attack. A horn blew. He and his ten scouts dashed ahead on their horses. The rest came running after them, shouting and screaming. The settlement was sure to hear them, but there wouldn't be much they could do. They were outnumbered and his men were well trained. It wouldn't take long to slaughter them.
Bron rode into the fray, sword in hand. A female Orc came running out of one of the wooden huts. She charged at him with a spear, screaming.
Bron had thought it might be morally difficult to kill these women, but in the face of danger his instincts kicked in. He deflected her spear with a swing of his sword and as the momentum of her charge brought her closer, his backstroke cut her down.
Immediately, another female came at him. He cut her down as well. His scouts were spreading out, doing the same. The fastest of the men on foot were starting to pour into the settlement. The rest followed.
There was movement to his right and he turned to attack. It was an Orc child, a boy. Bron hesitated. Females that attacked him were one thing, children were another. The boy looked shocked and confused. A man atop a horse, towering over him. With Orc blood spattered on his armor and more dripping from his sword. The kid must have been scared.
It was Bron's duty to slay him. He had his orders. But still he hesitated. Until the child's shock turned into rage. The boy jumped to grab a fallen spear. Bron had no choice and raised his bloody sword.