The surprises that we suspected were remaining among the new Tundra Orc forces are not as great as what we have previously reported. We have seen several new types of units, but they do not have shocking new abilities with ice, but rather more ways of showing their tendency toward greater force combined with lesser skill.
Some of their common units are a type of Berserker: in battle they work themselves into a frenzy, attacking as fiercely as many Champions. But their frenzy does make them less focused, and easier for trained opponents to dodge or parry.
Even more frightening are their Crushers, who are large and armed with nastily spiked flails. They wield the flail with such force that when they hit, few can survive the blow, but when they miss it swings around to wound themselves. Either way, it's not pretty. Although they do sometimes even kill themselves, I would hate to fight one face to face.
Then there is Ugg, who might be a Champion-level Smasher. He is certainly as slow to dodge as they are, but he is an enormous brute who fights as hard as any two of his more common comrades.
That app-- -
[The scroll above is wrapped inside another scroll, which reads as follows:]
I am sorry to tell you that two of your scouts are dead, killed by Orcs. I was working in my farm when they came tearing out of the forest as if the very devil was after them. They saw me and cursed, and then told me to grab my family and run. I was so surprised I just stood like a lump, so they pushed me to the house and shouted that a squad of berserk Orcs was on their tail. That got me going!
While I rousted my wife and sons they scattered my cattle. Then one of them shoved this scroll at me. He said they would try to delay the Orcs, but if they did not make it I should send this to the person addressed. Just before we got to the woods on the far side of the farm we saw the Orcs appear. We hurried on through the woods to the town, which at my warning started preparing defenses.
One of my sons was missing, and I feared for his life. But he finally showed up and told us he stayed behind to watch from the woods. After my wife boxed his ears he said he had a tale to tell, which I think you would want to know.
He said the scouts did a masterful job of delaying the Orcs with their bows, and then with their swords. When the way seemed ready they started to retreat. But then a tall Orc came out of the forest and raised a staff he carried. Two Berserkers jumped after the scouts with wondrous new vigor and cut them down. But after that those Orcs clutched their chests in pain, and fell down dead themselves.
Then the remaining Orcs gathered up the dead, both the Orcs and the scouts, and laid them out neatly and reverently on a pyre that they built, and set it on fire. Then they gathered what provisions they could from our farm, and left the way they came.
My farm is pillaged, but it could be worse. Your men saved most of my cattle, and all my family. I will always be thankful they stopped to help us rather than leaving us in the Orcs' path. I am also grateful to this scribe who is writing my words and will take no payment for it. [It would be churlish of me to charge a neighbor in his hour of need, or to profit from him for the vital service of sending you this intelligence.] While such nobility of heart remains, I have hope during these troublesome times.