Private Tales To Err is Human

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
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Volker frowned, but it seemed he didn’t have any choice but to trust her. “Ashlanders. That is what you call yourselves? I admit I do not know much of the orc clans. My relatives have killed a few. My father fought in the Ring of Teeth against one. But that tells me very little about your kind. I was not expecting altruism, considering the way you have fought.” He told her, settling into a more comfortable seated position.

“You are matriarchal then? You are clearly survivors.” He touched the bear pelts. “The cats who threatened me when you found me...pets? Guardians?”
 

Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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Of course, other orcs at times proved a troublesome bunch. The blackrocks were closest to their kin.
Mabess let out a deeper rumble of a laugh. "Now... A woman leading does not instantly suggest of matruatchy, only the best suited and most followed become leaders here."

"The felines are indeed our companions, they called ash leopards and ridden like a man rides a horse."
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
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"Have you become best suited by guile or strength?" Volker asked her. "Your clan is kinder than what I have been taught. But I am also used to being underestimated." He definitely didn't think much of the cats. He didn't like them, and animals tended not to like him. Animals could sense madness in a man. Horses shied from him and dogs snarled. It was like they could smell the magic on him. "I do not get along well with your leopards." He muttered with a shake of his head. "Animals do not like us."

He studied her for a moment. "You clearly have not heard of me or mine. How is it you are so accepting?" He'd fully expected to get thrown out on his ears. If not because of the way he'd treated the shaman, then by reputation alone. Volkers were known to be vicious combatants, and his father had earned a reputation as an incredibly violent creature. Following directly on the heels of a legacy of violence, crime, and torture didn't give one the best start in life.
 

Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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"Indeed I was for both accounty...And on the lepards. Aye I see, though thank their hunter's instinct for finding you."
Volker could've frozen to death in the frigid mountains.

"Likewise you judged us on the mountain." Mabess briefly recalled the shortlived moment, wondering if Volker still remember Ubabe's words.

"We were once slaves under Megala the red, a blight orc king and slaver. Our people were never truly free untill they traveled to these lands, where we govern ourselves. And we never wished to have others live like us..." She chuckled. "Of course, as long as they have not threathned us. And what about you and your... 'us of the many' you speak of."
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
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Volker looked at her strangely. They had been slaves once as well? He took a deep breath. "Slavery is something that I will always suffer under the yoke of, myself and my mother both. My freedom is nothing but an illusion. He calls, and I must obey." he said quietly. "You are blessed to govern yourselves and live lives that are worth living. Never take it for granted, for in an instant it can all be taken away from you."

To him, it was a deep wound. His family had made the mistake, long ago, of taking a deal to live forever. The undead fae who had tricked them into a life of killing had not lied...they all lived forever. Trapped in the skull of their latest ancestor, and forced to continue the cycle of madness and death. They only had freedoms as long as their master deemed it necessary. Some, like Aluid, had lived their entire lives underground in Witherhold. Others, like Rheinhard, had been allowed to wander as reward for willing subservience.

He shook his head. "Some of us have only stayed in the Well a few generations. Others, so long that they no longer remember what grass feels like, or the scent of rain, or how to run. It fades, like cloth left out in the sun. I am condemned to the same fate." He told her honestly.
 

Mabess

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»What is this, 'well', is it an amalgam of multiple people?«
»I assume if a way to break this 'well' was ethical, one would have already found it.« Mabess began to assume, though Volker wasn't entirely free on giving away key information.
 

Volker

The Man of a Thousand Souls
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Volker shook his head. “The Well is the place where the souls of my ancestors are trapped. They are meant to serve the living host as advisors and tutors. Nestor has been researching the spell since he arrived, and has not borne any results.” He said quietly. “Most of them wish to move on, to return to the leys as souls are meant to when death happens. Not sit in an endless void where the only things to do are fight and kill one another.”
 

Mabess

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»A terrible fate to pass onto the future,« Mabess shrugged slowly, shaking her head left and right. »I can only say that the witches of the west may be of use, to give you...Nestor, help. If you could find one witty enough to be feared by the lesser gods. «
That answer even gave Mabess a bad aftertaste.
One usually didn't deal with witches and their cursed ways, for they asked for horrid prices in return.
 

Volker

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Volker shook his head, and looked at her with a frown on his face. “I would have thought a slave would understand that a leash tightens when one begins looking for ways to pick the lock.” He said coldly. “My master views my memories. He will view this. He will view you. It is likely mentioning this will earn me stripes on my back, or my leg being broken again. Or he will punish my mother. It may already be happening. I move freely, but it is at his entertainment and will.”

Volker fell silent, worrying. There was once again the need to leave, to escape, to hate sitting still and fear punishment for doing so. He looked around for something to aid him in standing. There had to be a way to at least get on one foot.
 

Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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Mabess let out a vicious smile as she leaned forward. It was a look of determination. »How have the Ashlanders broken free, they killed their king after breaking his limbs. killed nearly all of his sons and laid waste to his land. Only then were we free, only then we were free to leave. We would have still been slaves otherwise.«

Of course, Mabess thought it nonsense, wouldn't he, whoever this master was, already know of Nestor's plan then?
She leaned back, crossing over her arms, her expression turning serious in a mere moment. »Then our deal stands as it is.«
 

Volker

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Volker eyed her. “I would kill him if I had the opportunity. I face a king alone who can stop me with a word.” He said simply. “The Ashlanders had an easier situation to simply kill the man. I will keep our deal as we have decided. Until then I am willing to rest here and promise you not to harm anyone. I do need assurance my knives will be kept near.”

He sighed. Perhaps he could make a better situation out of this. He had always wanted to be away from Oor for a longer amount of time. He looked at Mabess. “Is there a way I can aid you in the meantime?”

Mabess
 

Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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»If two stones were alike, you'd only have one, « Mabess slowly leaned back, smiling. Soon enough she'd heft her weight up untill she once more towered like the bulwark she was. »Don't bite Gorgoya's neck and listen to her, that's the best way you can help. «
Lastly she smirked, before letting him to his own devices for now.
The older she-orc should be back soon enough.
 

Volker

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Volker sighed and watched Mabess go. He’d have to have a little bit more tolerance for the older one. He settled back, closed his eyes, and let himself sink.

Nestor was nowhere to be seen. Likely either reviewing his conversation with Mabess, or off on his own devices. Volker was never quite sure what he did, other than study the Well itself. By the noises coming from the Arena door, his father was fighting with Aluid. Again. Crazy mixed with someone who needed something to prove wasn’t a good mixture.

Volker pulled down the memory of breaking his leg and frowned. He needed to work on his balance in shifting shale. Learn how to read the mountains better. He settled down and reviewed it, watching himself move incorrectly and trying to study the movements before and after.

He pulled himself out after a few hours, one eye cracking open to see if anyone had returned.

Mabess
 

Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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Activity in camp soon diminished. One would think hunter gatheres would always be on foot. Quite on the contrary. In the middle of the day, most have afforded themselves a well deserved rest, regardless of their position.
Including the playful cries of children have gone silent.

Only one was still on her feet.
It was Gorsgoya was of course.
She entered without even making a sound. Her eyes glanced once at Volker. Was he awake? He was still in bed, probably pretending to sleep shereckoned. For now she would pay him no mind.

She carried a bushel of herbs on her side in a basket woven of animal tendons and young willow twigs, which have aged and paled from the wear and tear of many years. Still, it upheld well.
She must have been outside gathering herbs. Mountain herbs, rich in scent, some smelling like heaven, others like horse manure, truly a mixed batch, but overall it was pleasant.

»I reckon you're about as hungry as a wolf now, here's some a good leg, « Wheezed the old lady as she placed a bowl by his side. Perhaps it was not worthwile to keep Volker to himself for now. everyonen needs to eat and it's better when it's warm.
The bowl mainly contained a leg. It was of a reasonable size for a meal to last a day, but the origin of the leg from foot to butt was unknown, at least it came from a hoofed beast.
Some rootstock was in the bowl as well, including a golden trumpet mushroom, slightly friend, both edibles. Gorgoya was sure that the human diet was not exclusively carnivore, but leafy matter wasn't that easily accessible in this time of the year.
And what else did humans eat? The mountain folk occasionally milked animals, absolutely disgusting.
The old she orc briefly wondered before she gagged. Milk is for children.

Regardless, she had work to do.
The mountain herbs almost flew through the whole room as she dumped them on her working desk. If the smell before was slight, now it was absolutely everywhere.
 

Volker

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Volker didn’t have to sight Gorsgoya, the woman announced herself in a flurry of smells. It was always strange how certain things could tug at him even from inside the Well. Smells twisting down at him like droplets of ink in water. He sat up a bit and looked at her, more specifically her basket. The herbs smelled strongly; some musty, some foul, others pleasantly fragrant. The basket they were in was quite old; the tendons needed replacing and some of the willow twigs as well. It was a good basket, clearly, and well-used. He did owe her an apology for the threat. Hm.

Volker tucked into his food like a starving animal. He ate the mushrooms first, and downed the rootstock. The meat he carefully pulled apart, and ate around the tendon carefully. Lower legs of hoofed beasts had great tendons, that would have been softened by cooking. Theyd harden back up again, they just needed to be washed and carefully arranged. Perhaps braided to give them strength.

Volker sucked the tendon clean, setting aside the meat and bones for later, and began braiding it. He split it with his teeth, and eyed her basket. He had enough to replace the worst of the tendons. “Give me your basket.” He told her, after he’d sufficiently cleaned and braided the tendon.

Mabess
 
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Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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Gorsgoya gave him an awkward look, but hey, it wasn't like he's gonna, rip apart a basked or something.
She turned it upside down so the rest of the foliage would go onto the table, even patted the backside with three firm strikes so thel ast of the debris would leave the woven container.
» Here, « she handed it to him before returning to her duty. On the way back she, even though it was a small room, very small, something like four steps worth, she only really reached for some other containers like pots and jars that were strung about the room.
Most Ashlanders lived light, but Gorsgoya's room was filled with ritualistic knick knacks.
 

Volker

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Thankfully she didn’t argue. Volker looked over the basket. It did need repairing. He lifted it to his mouth and gently picked the tendons that were fraying with his teeth. Once he’d wetted and removed them, he put them in his mouth to soften them. The top of the basket, like most, was the worst. He used the older tendon to wrap the top of the basket, using his strong hands to repurpose the tendon and make a rim that would last much longer and protect the willow branches. He added his braid to the area that had begun to fray, making both an aesthetic improvement with the braid, and strengthening the entire basket.

It would need a full repair in a few seasons, but it would last much longer now. He nodded in approval. “Let that dry.” He told her, offering her the basket back. “It will be much stronger now.”

Volker watched her with the herbs. Not just for himself, but for Nestor. “Which did you use on my leg, and why?”

Mabess
 
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Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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She was grinding herbs in a mortar, where they let out a grassy, perhaps musky scent. A little oil here, a little oil there

Gorgoya rose a grow, turning around. »Oh, you fixed it, hee,« her voice was quite lofty, and not only that, it looked quite improved.
She picked it up and placed it on the side of the workplace where it'd remain for it's time.

She would have actually pinched his cheek, already motioning with her arm to grab him. But she stopped with her hand in the air before going back to her station, only wheezing: »Well, thank you! «
 

Volker

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Volker watched her for a moment. What herbs was she grinding together? He was actually curious, given that he was going to be on this mountain for quite a while. He shifted, able to drag his wounded leg a few feet to get a good idea of what she was doing. He watched quietly, learning.

He did pick up a branch of the herbs and sniffed at it. “Why do you gather these?” He asked, lifting up the sprig to indicate it. “I am not familiar with the plants on these mountains. Perhaps I should be.”
 

Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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Gorsgoya let out a wheezy cackle, »I'm making winter paste for later, and then I'll use some to make you a new salve.« She leaned back. »You seeee, a shaman ought to be on top of her responsibilities. «
Gorgoya turned to the side so Volker may observe her at the work. Currently, she added a jagged-leafed, rubbery leaf to the mortar to grind.
 

Volker

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“What is winter paste?” Volker asked, watching her. He tilted his head as she added the leaf. He occasionally leaned forward to ask the identity of the different herbs, but was otherwise quiet. He looked at his leg. “When do you think I will be able to stand?”
 

Mabess

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She crushed foliage and added some fluids, it seemed complex at first but it didn't end up to be as many ingredients.
»Ah you see, it's the base for many other balms, it includes spine-mint, rosemary oil, some mountain tobacco and horse chestnut among other things Ashlander secrets of all things. « And of course, she wheezed, »alcohol, but we get that from trading.«

Gorsgoya rose her head, scratching her left ear. »Two months Three if you misbehave!« She began to wheeze again before finally setting down her mortar and scooping the paste on her left hand and walking over to his leg, listing the cloth.
»Mountain paste can also be used raw like this.«
 

Volker

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Volker listened. “Rosemary for circulation.” He muttered. It sounded very similar to what Nestor made. He tilted his head and watched the way she applied the paste. Two to three months. It would be a long time, but not as long as he thought.

Mabess
 

Mabess

Mother, Clanswoman, Chieftain of the Stormcallers
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The old she-orc lifted the pelt by the affected leg, gazing at Volker and setting the paste down.
»Ye, yes,« she wheezed. »It'll help you, though,« she warned as she slowly began pulling up the sleeve.
The paste, if Volker wouldn't do a fuss, would be applied.
It's thickish, slightly gritty and half-smooth texture felt very cold against the skin, but as Gorsgoya massaged it into the leg, it felt warmer.
 

Volker

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Volker was a bit uneasy about letting the orcess touch him, and tensed a bit when she massaged the affected limb. It felt better after her touch, and now that he knew the purpose behind it, he felt better.

He rested for a few weeks before attempting to stand. He didn’t like staying still and just being fed like some sort of pet, but he didn’t have much choice or say in the matter. Two weeks later his leg couldn’t take any weight, but he couldn’t sit there any longer. He managed to stand and walk outside the room, either hopping with a hand on the wall or gingerly limping.

Mabess