Wyndshof looks immediately worried when the alarm call goes up, but his expression quickly flattens and he issues a curt order. "Up lances!" he commands the walking soldiers among the company, drawing his own longsword and moving toward the front of the wagon train.
The horse sounds continue to approach, and those at the lead can hear the jingling of metal accompanying the dull thud of hooves on earth. Then, the forms of two riders break the horizon, silhouetted among the trees by the pale light of dawn--men in armor, not gnolls. They come to a halt as they catch sight of the company, and one of them calls out, "Who goes there?"
The sergeant's wrinkled brow relaxes and he responds to the challenge. "Iron Hearts, the 7th Company of Westgard," he calls out loudly, clearly relieved to be speaking to fellow soldiers. "We have many wounded from a gnoll attack last night, and must hasten to the watchtower." The back-lit scout raises a fist in salute and answers back, "March on, then, you are but half a mile from our walls. We will announce your approach." He and his fellow rider turn and gallop over the crest of the hill and out of sight into the forest.