Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mexta II

The battle had been short, if one could even call it a battle. It was closer to a massacre than anything else. Mexta had been the leader of the assault. The day before she had ridden up and shot an arrow at one of the farmers. Today they had killed any who didn't flee.
     When would they have a real fight? Why did the king not send his armies to stop them? It had started as simple revenge, but their elder had ordered them to continue their raids. The humans had attacked a fellow clan without provocation and the Orcs would not let that stand. Let the humans feel their wrath and face what they have brought on themselves. If they wanted to fight the Orcs, then they would get a fight they would never forget.
     But so far none of their raids had been worth remembering. Mexta enjoyed the slaughter, she reveled in it. However, if there was no fear of death, no challenge in defeating the enemy, then what was the point?
     Her thoughts turned back to the giant. Now he would have been a challenge, until the rage faded from his eyes. His lust for vengeance had been satisfied by killing Grodun. After that he would not fight anymore. He had become content.
     "Mexta! Don't clean your axe yet. A rider is approaching." Draykon, one of the younger grunts, shouted to her.
     She wasn't going to clean it yet anyway. As leader of the assault it would be her duty to treat with the enemy. Whoever it may be. "Watch my back!" Mexta strode towards the oncoming rider, great axe in hand. Blood dripped off its edges, sure to intimidate the rider.
     To her surprise it wasn't a human. It was an Elf. He brought his horse to a halt and looked at Mexta, eyebrows raised. He saw her axe and the blood, then his eyes widened as he looked behind her, where smoke was rising form the burning buildings. He looked back at her with cold disdain in his gaze.
     "What have you done? Speak, Orc!" He raised his chin and looked down upon Mexta from atop his horse. His sharp nose and the tips of his ears were clearly defined against the setting sun.
     "Leave off, Elf! The humans attacked one of our settlements. They asked for this. We are only giving them back in turn what they gave us." Mexta would have loved nothing more than to yank the creature off his horse by his long silvery hair, but her elder would probably frown upon that.
     "These humans have surely done no such things. They were peaceful men and women. We treated with them regularly. They weren't like others that have settled here. They were good." His words were harsh in the Orc tongue, though his facial expression was one of sorrow, not anger.
     "Hah!" Mexta snorted with derision. "These were different you say! Hah! All humans are the same. Their king ordered to attack a clan. If you attack one clan, then you attack all the clans. So instead of attacking one village, we are attacking all the villages. That's what they asked for."
     "You speak of a full out war. War effects us all. The Elves won't just idly stand by. We will have to interfere."
     "Oh, you want to interfere, do you?" Mexta hefted her axe. It was a large weapon, double bladed. With enough force she could cut rider and horse in half with one swing.
     "I will have to inform the Druids." He eyed her axe. His hand twitched for only a moment, but he did not grab his sword. Instead he turned his horse to ride away.
     "You do that. But remember who started this. We were attacked unprovoked." She shouted after him as he rode off.
     This was an interesting turn of events. She wondered what Gwarr, their elder, would say to this. The Elves and Orcs hadn't fought each other in decades. The Great War was over a century ago. Was this the beginning of another? And who would come out on top?
     "He's awake and shouting again." Draykon came up to her, stopping her mind from wandering.
"Then I better give him a visit." Mexta smiled, lifting her axe onto her shoulder. The Elf was gone and Gwarr would have to wait until they returned to their settlement anyway.
     She took her time walking back to the camp. She could hear him yelling more than fifty feet away from her tent. She sat down by a fire and took some meat off the spit. She ate her share peacefully, ignoring his shouting. When she was done she got up and cut some meat off the spit for him.
     When she finally entered her tent he stopped yelling. She leaned her bloody great axe against a box with her belongings. The giant was tied up to the pole holding up the tent. "I brought you some food. Is that what you were shouting for?" Speaking in the human's tongue still bothered her, but she was getting used to it.
     "I'm thirsty, too." The giant growled.
     Mexta threw the meat on his lap and untied his hands. She wasn't worried about him trying to attack her, that was the whole problem. She knew he was a fighter at heart, but the fight had left him ever since he avenged his wife's death. He rubbed his wrists and started eating the meat.
     She sat down on her box and lifted her axe. Now the time had come to clean it. "This is human blood. I killed many today. Don't you want to avenge their deaths as well?" When the raid had ended, the giant had dropped his weapon and asked them to kill him. But Orcs honored those that fought bravely and had proven strength. Killing him without a weapon in hand would have been honorless. For him and the Orc who killed him.
     Ever since that first raid, Mexta had pulled him after her. Going from one village to the next. Every day she tried to provoke him to fight, but he would not listen. All he did was eat, drink, walk and sleep. She was starting to lose her respect for him, but she still knew that deep within him there was a fighter.
     The giant did not rise to the bait. He just kept on eating while she cleaned the blood of his fellow humans off her weapon. When he asked for water again, she gave it to him. One of these days he would have to stand up and fight. And when that happened she wanted to be the one to slay him. One of these days.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bron II

Bron and his men had received new orders from the commander. The Orc's had abandoned the mines and with some scouting done Bron was sure that they had left no traps or any other kind of dangers. The camp was moving in and started building some houses for miners to settle in. The only problem was fresh water. The closest source for that was the former Orc settlement.
     There was however a note in the commander's orders that spoke of some kind of spring in the mountains. Bron was supposed to make up a scouting party whose sole purpose it was to find the spring. If they found that, then their water troubles would be over. He decided to make up three scouting parties instead. That way they could cover more ground.
     "Captain Bron! The scouting parties have been assembled and are in search of the spring." A soldier came to stand next to him.
     "Alright. Back to your post!"
     Bron began his tour of the camp, checking if everything was in order. His arm was still in a sling, ribs and head still bandaged. He must look pretty fatigued, but he kept his back straight and his men greeted him with respect as he passed.
     He thought back to the fight and to how fortunate he had been. The Orc had been on top of him and could have killed him easily, but he was still alive. He got lucky. That was all. It could have been over just as easily.
     Bron wasn't so much worried about his own life. It was the things he would miss. The people who he would never see again. Who would never see him. Mary, Alexander and Gregory. Alexander was almost a grown man now. He would probably join the military soon, like his father. He would be able to watch out over his mother and little brother, if anything were to happen to Bron. He was was sure of it.
     However, he wouldn't want the boy to step in his shoes too soon. He was alive. That's all that mattered. He just hoped he could get some time on leave soon to see his family. Just in case. It had been a close call. He would really like to see them all again.
     A rider came galloping up the road. One of his scouts from the camp's perimeter. He was in a hurry. Bron tensed. Were the Orcs coming back to take what was theirs? Was it too late for him to see his family again?
     "Captain Bron! There's news from the capital."
     "Let's hear it!" The tension left his body. They weren't under attack. He'd prepared his men for the possibility of an assault, but if the Orcs came in force, he didn't know if they could put up much of a fight. Many of his men were still wounded like himself.
     The scout unrolled a piece of parchment. "Dire news has reached the capital from several villages on the northern borders of the kingdom. They have been raided by Orcs. Most inhabitants have been killed. Men, women and children"
     Bron had been expecting this news, just not so soon. The Orcs were out for retribution. Doing to them what they had done to the Orcs. They were just doing more of it. His actions had truly just been the beginning.
     "What are the King's orders? Have you word from the commander? Something must be done to protect the other villages." His family lived in Freshire, a village in the east. They were safe for now, but who knew for how much longer?
     "It doesn't say, but I've heard rumors of a special battalion being trained to fight these beasts."
     Good! It seemed the chancellor had listened. Bron wondered how the new trainees would fair. They better do well, because war was coming.