Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Grim IV

"He needs to get up and move around, dammit!" Grim shoved the flap to Dax's hut aside and entered.
    "Hello Grim. What can I do for you? Dax sat on an old tree stump, reading a piece of parchment he had unfurled in his hand.
    "Kruzz is as stubborn as a rock. Hell, he's a mountain. How am I supposed to get him back on his feet if he ignores me, sits there, does nothing and ends up yelling at me, telling me to leave." Grim paced back and forth in the small hut, gesturing wildly with his hands.
    Dax sighed and rolled up the parchment. "You must understand that the brood is still going through a period of shock. I agree, he should be moving around. It's not good for his muscles to be still all the time, making it harder for him to move once he does, but that's his choice. For now we must give him time."
    "Brood. You always call him that. He killed that huge beast, he's a grunt now and he should act like one." Grim's fist slammed down on a wooden chest. The pine split from the impact. He barely felt it.
    Dax stared at his broken chest with surprise. "I understand that you're upset and want to help him. You're letting your anger out to compensate the frustration of not getting through to him. Let's go outside and talk where you can't break anymore of my things."
    "I don't want to talk to you anymore. All you do is talk. Talk, talk, talk. You never get anything done." Grim turned and stormed out of the hut. He needed to cool off. He was seething with anger the way when battle rage was upon him.
    He didn't realize it immediately, but he was on his way to Worg's hut, his elder. Some deep anchored feeling of trustworthy guidance must have led him there. Every Orc grew up knowing that the elder was the wisest grunt in the settlement. If you had something troubling you, you could always turn to him.
    Yargol was guarding the hut and stood menacingly in front of the flap. He held out his hand for Grim to stop and usually he would have. Any other day he would have respected the elder's privacy and the guards task to protect the elder, but not today.
    Grim slapped Yargol's hand aside and backhandedly knocked his fist in his face. Yargol stumbled out of the way not knowing what hit him. Stepping through the flap, Grim found himself standing behind Traglok who was having an audience with Elder Worg.
    Both turned around as Yargol dashed through the flap shouting, spear poised at Grim's throat. Yargol's eyes darted from Grim to Worg. Worg's surprised look turned sour, tusks raised. He shook his head and pointed for Yargol to leave. He did so grudgingly, fire burning in his eyes as he watched Grim before leaving the hut.
    "Grim. What do we owe this surprise visit to?" Worg sounded tired. The disappointing look he had given Grim at his interruption had faded to drooping tusks and heavy jowls. He was old and he looked it.
    Grim wondered if he had been right to come here. From the look of him Worg didn't have it in him to give advice. The attack on his settlement had rattled the old grunt and Kruzz's injury had given him the rest. He was broken.
    "I came..." Grim didn't know what he had come for. Advice? For what? Worg wasn't handling Kruzz's situation any better than he was.
    "It doesn't matter what you came for. It matters that you're here." Traglok interrupted. "Grim, you and I have had our differences, but at heart we're both warriors."
    Grim wasn't too sure about Traglok being much of a warrior, but he was glad that he had spoken, giving him more time to think.
    "Worg, when we left our settlement at the Blacktop Mountains you pronounced me as our leader in battle. So far we've only run. I can't take it any longer. We need to fight back. Those bloody humans killed our mothers and our broods. I say it's time that we get our revenge."
    Worg shook his head back and forth gently. If it was possible, he looked even older than before. "Go. Do what you must. Less than a week ago I would have stopped you. I would have told you what to do and you would have listened, but not anymore. I don't have the energy to stop you. Lead those that will follow you and get your revenge, Traglok. I will not stand in your way."
    Worg sat down on the ground, cross-legged, defeated.
    Traglok grinned and turned to Grim. "Are you with me? We could use a fighter like you." After the attack on their home Traglok had said pretty much the opposite. They had fought about who should lead the Clan in an attack. Grim had been enraged, full of fury and had wanted to avenge those he had seen slain, immediately.
    Now though, he was relieved that Traglok had been given command. He wouldn't want that burden on his shoulders. Telling others to do horrible things in war wasn't easy, but being told to do so by your commander didn't make doing them any easier. Grim's anger had almost put him in a position of command, something he had been running from over the last few years.
    His thoughts about Kruzz still had his blood boiling and the prospect of crushing some human skulls was tempting, but reason won out. Grim would not let his anger drag him back to a place where he didn't want to be? "I don't think so, Traglok."
    Traglok shrugged and exited the tent, leaving Grim and Worg alone. "So if you didn't come here to support him, then why did you come?" Worg patted the ground, beckoning Grim to take a seat.
    With reason came some sort of peace. He still felt the frustration, but the uncontrollable rage had dissolved. He still wasn't sure if the old grunt would be able to help him, but where was the harm in letting him try? Grim could think of none and sat down. "I'm troubled, Elder."
    "Aren't we all? Is it the young grunt that's gnawing on your conscience the way he is on mine?" Worg's lips twitched into a sad smile as Grim nodded. "Life throws many obstacles in our way and we must find the best solution to each problem. I've lived for a long time and I've overcome many rivers and boulders in my path, but how to deal with a grunt that does not want to get better. That's new for me too."
    Grim's tusks sank. As expected, he would find no answers here. He shifted and started to get up, but was stopped by Worg's hand on his knee.
    "It's new for the both of us and together we will find a way. It can take some time, but with dedication we will get Kruzz back on his feet. I don't know how, but by Nature's Will, I know that we'll succeed."

2 comments:

  1. Forgive the lateness, but it's been a very busy couple of weeks.

    This is an interesting chapter, because so many different characters come to the forefront. Dax is always great to see, and his difference is always appreciated. Grim is difficult to empathize with, but you do a better job here than in some cases in the past. His thinking process is natural - everyone's felt helpless when someone else seems to need, but not want, help. It humanizes Grim, so that's good.

    Traglok is a foil to that, of course, strong and bull-headed, so basically old Grim - it shows how much Grim has changed. Good comparison.

    Not sure what to think of Worg. I don't know much of him, and seeing him so down in the dumps doesn't do as much for me as I thought it might have if I was more invested in that particular character. But this chapter was mainly about Grim, and I'd say you succeeded there.

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    1. I thought as much. Usually I wait for your comment before posting something new, but since you were busy I plowed onward without you. Lucky for you, that gave you the chance to read two posts in one sitting. ;)

      Hmmm, how to respond. I'm glad you think I succeeded with Grim's portrayal in this post, he's on a road to character development, so to speak. I have bits and pieces of his past worked out and I'm trying to let them flow into his chapters at a slow pace. The important thing is that he's growing as a character, which you seem to agree with.

      Worg... is complicated. Don't want to give anything away by saying too much, but since he isn't one of the point-of-view characters you obviously don't get much in-depth character development. That's led to him being a quite weak character and I'm thinking of ways to rectify that.

      Always a pleasure reading your comments. Thanks! ;)

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