Private Tales To Kill a Mocking Orc

Lagakh

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It was no small task to track or pursue along the scree of a hill-slope. Sharp granite flagstones, intermixed with loose cobble and coarse gravel, made for a poor imprint. Footing was difficult, movement was labored, and the scent had precious few things to which it could adhere. It was like trying to find water in the dry heat of the desert. Or ale in a tavern without coin.

Laga had spotted prints along the Eastern line of the Spine, dodging less than gracefully through rocky outcroppings and steep walls of grey stone scarred with spiraling fossilized remains. From that, the incline plummeted to a gradual balance of nubbin desert lands and the occasional spotting of grasses and outstretched boulders. The passing of the sun had made it cold, scents were difficult to pick up, but sound carried like a monstrous roar to match every crack or shudder.

It was salted meat, she had decided. No one would have been foolish enough to start up a fire at this time of night. The smell alone, not even taking into consideration the light produced, would have attracted all forms of hopeful company. Mountain beasts, reach trolls, scavengers and brigands. This place existed closer to Molthal than she cared, but a trail was a trail. Guided by Nykios, hopefully, she wasn’t likely to turn away from her path.

She lost her footing coming down the hill, adorned in dark furs and linens that helped to obscure her presence. She clumsily scurried to lunge back behind a boulder as quickly and nimbly as possible. Letting out a breath, as if she had been holding it all along, eyes of coal peered around to get a bit of a view. That smell of industry was something that no reach or tributary could wash away, like a cloud of smoke and cinder had followed them from the Irontown all the way down the plateau. But the smell of salted meat sure did a good job of distracting her.

Her stomach growled a noise of pleading and she rubbed at it, hoping that would soothe the beast for a moment. She had eaten just fine on her journey but the presence of seasonings, the aptitude to use them, were things she couldn’t seem to muster. Try as she might, this raiding party had something she wanted. And just as she was about to naively move out and introduce herself, something stayed her hand and blocked out the noise of abdominal grumbling.

Blight Orcs and a Hill Giant...

Her expression grew cold as she watched from a distance, the lot of them sitting brazenly in the sand and gnawing on bits of cured meat. Groaning and slobbering and drooling. Behind them, a ring of dwarf slaves huddled together to stay warm and were washed in the cold embrace of moonlight. Appearing to be entirely composed of women and children, Laga silently scoffed at the idea that these raiders couldn’t even manage smiths of the forge. She must have caught their raiding party coming back from a nearby Dwarven City, though which of the cities was hard to tell. Kor Gorum was on the other side of the mountains and Belgrath was simply too far South.

Desperation overcame her, burdened with feelings of salvation and vengeance that intertwined to make for a particularly impatient disposition. Breathing in slowly, she apprehensively bide her time.

Hath Charosh
 
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Hath Charosh

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Lagakh did not go unnoticed. Fortunately it wasn't the blight orcs who had caught sight of her coming along the trail. On the far side of the raiding party, several metres above, the cool blue light of great Lessat barely sketched out the silhouette of Hath's head. At first he had assumed it was another one of the blight orcs returning. That would have concerned him; he thought he had counted their numbers accurately. From the ridge above he was waiting for the right time to sneak past the group and continue along the path.

Hath was clad in more furs than was typical of the orcs at this time of year. He was a native of the Abaressai Savannah and and still trying to get used to the climate. Scabhair had travelled west for some business in Alliria whilst he had remained with the Ashlanders. However, he couldn't stay in one place for very long before his feet wanted to take him somewhere new. It had always been the way for him. Even staying in Penteth Charosh for two months of winter eventually felt stifling.

The spine was a great ridge that split the land in two. His interest had been pique by what could lie on the other side. To have the world bisected by great wall and the other half obscured from view was too tempting. Not yet ready to attempt the climb, the Ashlanders had shown him one of the passes through. After catching sight of the verdent landscape spread to the horizon he had doubled back.

Twenty miles back some dwarves had caught sight of him. They had fired crossbow bolts and screamed obscenities. It had been a even more aggressive than he would typically expect and the reason was in front of him, blocking his path. They were showing remarkable restrain to keep to their dried meats. Dwarf leg was quite tasty as long as you took the time to braise it.
 
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Lagakh

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If there were other Orcs in these mountains, besides Laga and the blighted stain of existence that rested down in the flatter toe slope, the battle mage hardly made notice of it. Instead, she was chewing incessantly on her thumb nail as she weighed her options. It was clear to her that an outright assault was a surefire way to end up in a heap of trouble and she assumed survival wasn't likely in that circumstance.

But she couldn't let them escape, taking more slaves back to Molthal to fuel the smoke plumes. And she couldn't live in a world where she coexisted with Blight Orcs, not when she knew what they were capable of. They were an outright insult to the natural world and demanded her attention. But what that attention would be, it needed a more thorough consideration.

Of course, Laga wasn't in the mood to think things through. Instead, she pulled the bone knife from the small of her back and cut a deep slit in the meat of her thumb. Wincing at the irritating wound, she stepped to face the boulder that stood between her and the raiding party. Tracing a circle as large as her, she began to work on the image of a border against the stone.

It was an intricate design that she made quick work of, all things considered. Putting on a serious thinking face, she painted out blood inscriptions that detailed iconongraphy of an eclipsed Lessat and the words that described the gift of sight, bestowed upon the world by Astra and the conversations she had with Drakos. The complex interactions between the astral and natural world would guide her this night.

As the Rune began to take form against the stone, the hue of the blood shifted from red to black. And then, it took upon it a soft glow that seemed to defy the physics of light. As if the stone had its skin flayed clean, revealing roiling blood of purple beneath, it cast no light except in direct line of sight.

Laga pressed her hands against the center and began a slow incantation.

Hath Charosh
 
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Hath Charosh

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What the fuck are they doing with that rock? Hath thought, lips actually miming some of the words. There weren't enough building blocks of knowledge to construct a bridge to ant sensible, logical conclusion.

Hath was still alive because he knew how to survive in the wilds. When he didn't know what something was he would assume that it was dangerous and it had served him well enough so far. His lessons were etched into his behaviour as they were his skin.

His fingers slowly wrapped around the reassuring weight of his bow. He had already strung it, quickly in the manner that always irritated his clan's bowyer. Inch by alow inch he worked back from the lip of the ridge he had been peering over. If the situation was more complicated then he would take a day's delay to circle wide around the group of orcs from the Blightlands.
 
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Lagakh

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For a brief moment, she was pretty sure this wasn't going to work. Maybe she got the emblems wrong. The image of the serpent dragon, out of the four, seemed to be in a poor form. Perhaps it was a bit too limp for the incantation, maybe not quite enough bends to justify its placement. Though the way it twirled around the strung bow and arrow, the ideology of Astra, was some of Laga''s best work.

Her hand moved to the third image at the bottom of the circle, the southern tip of an encapsulated circle with borders that were seemingly rotating against the stone. It was a constellation, more dots than stars, that showed the figure of a man. And between them all, a mesomorph who donned an ornate armor. Her hand finally moved to the figure as the revolutions of the circle moved so quickly, her auburn hair fluttered softly away from it.

Clouds moved about aimlessly in the dark sky, passing over the reflection of Lessat, and patterned the surface of the foothills with etchings of the nimbus outlines. Time seemed to come to a halt in the sky above them, what grass stood around the boulders began to whither, and flagstones and pebbles moved under shuddering phantasmic vibrations.

What light the moon provided was not only suddenly gone, but the absence was far more pronounced than what could be considered normal. Like the Pantheon had dumped a pale of tar atop the spine, pitch removed all definition from the world as the blight orcs, the hill giant, and the even the slaves found their eyesight rendered entirely useless. Where they couldn't see, Laga breathed in and felt the natural powers of light flow through her, illuminating her vision in brightened tones of wine and mulberry.

"That'll do..." She whispered as she stepped out from the boulder, smacking the knuckles of her fists together. The scarred runes across her skin resonated as she tapped into the blood divination that counted Nykios above all others. She felt his energy then, coursing through her muscles, as she screamed out. "Alright you fucks! Give me all of your salted meats..." Her stomach growled, pronounced by her unrepentant tapping of the natural energies. "Or there'll be hell to pay." She started her initial charge.

Hath Charosh
 
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Hath Charosh

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The colour and definition seemed to bleed out of the world. Hath turned his gaze to the heavens, but Lessat had not been covered. The sea of stars still shone. He tried to blink away whatever had crept into his vision, but it had no effect.

The cadence of his pulse kicked higher. The hairs across the back of his neck stood on end. Magic.

Whilst the darkness bled into the periphery of his vision and it had become difficult to pick out shapes down below he could still see the newcomer rounding the boulders. A distinctly feminine voice rang out in clear orcish. Perhaps he had expected some battle cry or further curse. Instead she demanded their meats.

The urge to run was strong, but fear also acted to keep him rooted to the spot. A handful of arrows clattered to the rocks beside him. Where they might be launched he still didn't know.
 
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Steel tipped arrows, pocked with specks of orange and red rust, whizzed angrily above her head, clanking and deflecting off the boulders that stood higher in the foothills. She understood that it was nearly impossible to see but this sort of piss poor accuracy rivaled her own inabilities. Turning to look at the trajectory, her enhanced vision narrowed as she spotted the distinct impression of an object on top of a large stone. Her first inclination was to hope that a recent traveler had taken to balancing rocks to pass time. She was sure that was a thing.

But she quickly realized that the rock was a bit more bulbous on the top, didn't have the right tone, and had a shoulder attached. Grinding her teeth, she angrily turned back to the Blight Orcs, assuming that she was now between two separate parties.

Laga growled as she bent over and pulled up a large stone from the ground, hoisting it to her chest. With a grunt that her enemies no doubt heard, Laga lunged forward like a clumsy child, jumping over roadside puddles, and loosed the stone. Sailing with unexpected accuracy, the object hit one of the Orcs, bringing him to the ground and caving in his matte black chest armor.

“We are under attack!” The hill giant roared as he tripped over the dead orc, shaking the ground around him and kicking the metal encrusted corpse away like a stubborn brambly vine. “It is but a woman!” A smaller orc screamed out, his sonorous voice was as scratchy as it was irritating.

“Not just one!” Laga bellowed as she charged, trying to deepen her voice to make it seem like there was more than one of her. Or maybe it was a call to aid for the figure in hiding.


The declaration came coupled with a smack of the bone club, sweeping the legs of one of the quiet Blight Orcs as she raced by. He wasn't quiet anymore, crying out with a high pitched squeal that would have shook even the stillest of the sprawling hills.

Hath Charosh
 
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Hath Charosh

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From his vantage point Hath was able to finally get a picture of what was happening. Another orc, likely from one of the mountain tribes from her appearance and accent, was now trying to disable the blight orcs. Given the way they swung wildly and called out to each other, what he had felt must have been some kind of spell.

Unsure of what to do now he left an arrow nocked on his bow. The hill giant patted the ground until he found what he had been searching for. His club was a gnarled length of wood. Probably an entire tree from the size of it. Drawing himself to one knee, the giant swung it in the direction of the voice. Unfortunately there was a blight orc between them. With a sickening snap of bones it was launched into the air bouncing over several jagged rocks before slamming into a boulder. He didn't move.

Even a blind hill giant was a deadly opponent. Even the hardened steel arrow heads Pern had could not cut deep into its gnarled muscles. As it turned his way he drew quickly to his cheek and released. The arrow cut clean through his cheek and embedded in his jaw. The roar that followed sent a tremble running down his spine.
 
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Lagakh

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She exhaled the hot air of exertion, blowing some of the loose strands of auburn from her glistening face. One of the Blight Orcs had caught her. Maybe it was the sound of movement or Nykios forbid, her smell. Really didn't matter, didn't change the toothy expression he had or the way his smile ran from ear to ear, wrinkling up the rest of his face like a fermented fruit.

He patted the steel club against one of his hands, threateningly clinking metal cudgel against rusty gauntlet. Laga charged forward, the bone club held out and to her right side. At her last opportunity, she sidestepped a downward swing and hit the Blight Orc across the side of his ribs. He grunted, dropping his weapon from the momentum, and stumbled back. But she didn't relent, striding forward and waiting for him to stop. Lunging forward, she delivered a swift kick to his groin. And for safe measure, and maybe a bit of satisfaction, she gave him another kick.

Just over top, one of the Orcs flew like a bloodied pup, smacked aside by the pack alpha. Her eyes followed only briefly before tracing the origin, a Hill Giant on the cusp of a rampage. The whistle of the arrow was a soft sound, compared to the many guttural noises skittering across the field. Seeing the Giant stagger back from the arrow, Laga didn't waste any time. She was on borrowed power and it would be gone soon enough. She needed to finish this.

Rolling forward as the groin-kicked Orc fell breathlessly to the ground, clutching himself, Laga came within striking distance of the Hill Giant and raised her club skyward with intended menace. Taking a deep breath, she white-knuckled the club with both hands and brought it downward with all her strength.


Her target was clear. The Hill Giant's big toe. And when she felt it crack and heard the skin pop, heard the Giant scream, she lifted the club and brought it back down again. For a moment, she felt like one from the great forests, felling a monstrous tree that had lived for far too long.
 
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Hath Charosh

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Oh, don't get so close to it... Hath could only think to himself. One wrong move next to a hill giant and you were dead. One hand could snap an arm. Two hands could crush a ribcage. Their strength seemed to scale to their size, unlike mountain trolls which seemed abnormally powerful for their size. It wasn't a great relief as they carried so much weight behind each strike that it didn't really matter.

The giant had one hand around the shaft of his arrow, the other swinging around for his assailant. Hath was glad the arrow had stuck deep, even if he had been aiming for an eye. He imagined a half sized arrow stuck on his own jawbone would be incredibly painful.

Another arrow was knocked. This time a bodkin head. He strsughtened out the ruffled fletchings and sighted another blight orc in heavy armour walking cautiously away from the sound of the giant. The armour around his torso looked thick, so Hath put his arrow through the mail across his thighs. Poor quality armour. A flimsy sheet of holes to the arrow now stuck deep.

Hath assumed that if she was being so bold that the curse would last a little longer. It was an opportunity. Food and weapons for a small risk. One could never have enough knives.

He skidded down the rocky slope a few metres from his vantage point, axe in hand. He didn't have a shield, but he did have a short sword and knife at his belt. He had his eyes on a discarded shield. In their sight came back he'd rather have some protection.
 
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The Hill Giant wailed with a surprising volume and force, blasting Laga with an unsuspecting pressure as he stumbled backwards. The world seemed to rumble as he landed in a puff of dirt, sending the ring of slaves scattering towards the foothills.

It suddenly occurred to the Battlemage that she had all but forgotten that the slaves even existed. It was justified, the heat of the moment required her focus and she had little time for things that couldn't defend themselves.

Shifting back to the task at hand she decided she wasn't entirely determined to kill the giant. At least, not enough to mount and scale him, finding a means to deal out the final blow. That seemed a recipe for disaster. He could sweep her, grab her by the legs and fling her, or grab her and crush her body with relative ease. The thought of such a thing would have turned her stomach if she didn't have more pressing issues to sort out.

She turned as a Blight Orc fell to the ground, clutching his thigh and the thick arrow piercing through the meat. Eyes of coal, glowing a faint hue of amethyst, turned to the sound of cobble shifting in the dark. Mountain orc coming to play…

She hadn't figured out this individuals motivation just yet. If they were here for the salted meat, thinking they could wipe out the Blight Orcs and leave the exhausted Mage for easy pickings, they'd have another thing coming.

And that thing was a bone club to the crown.

Turning, she moved back to the groin-kicked orc and smashed his head in with the bloodied bone club. Looking back up from the spasming orcish corpse, she watched as the Hill Giant turned over and began crawling away from the carnage.

“Wrong direction, Giant…” She muttered, certain she could hear him crying. Maybe this giant wasn't as old as she thought.
 
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Seeing the giant down and crawling gave Hath a burst of hope. There wasn't enough terrain to escape a giant at full pace around them so having it out of the picture now was a relief. Barely breaking his run, Hath scooped up a wooden shield. Ignoring the blight orc with an arrow shaft protruding from a thigh, he charged the last standing orc.

The blight orc turned towards him. Hath assumed some of his sight had returned because he set his stance and raised his sword. Whilst Hath didn't carry a shield or armour on the road he felt much more content carrying some form of protection. Yet instead of using it for defence he swung the steel-rimmed edge of the shield into the blight orc's face.

Runes flared into life along the head of his axe as he swung it. It struck padded mail and only broke a few links, but the force of the blow would have done some damage. Hath didn't let up. A broken nose from the heavy shield was just as blinding as the magic so Hath kept up the attack. The next swing of the axe bit deep into the orc's arm. The last one found the gap in the armour between shoulder and helm.

Hath walked towards the orc trying to remove the arrow. He used the shield to defend himself as the desperate creature swung its sword from one knee. Over and over he tempted it to swing at him until it was exhausted. One overhead chop cracked a skull and Hath could see no more resistance. At least he hoped not.

Covered by a spray of dark arterial blood Hath walked slowly towards the shaman, keeping an eye on the giant. He passed his axe to hold in his left along with the shield and brought a fist to the left side of his chest in greeting. His olive skin might have caught just enough light to show that he wasn't of the mountain tribes but from the savannas far to the east. Despite the non-threstening pose he still drew himself up to his full height to look imposing. He still didn't have any real clue as to what had started the skirmish.
 
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Lagakh

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The one with the arrow seemed to be the last Blight Orc left that was putting up any sort of fight. The slaves were standing around the foothills where Laga had originally sat and perched, their movement restricted by heavy stones dragged by the ankle. It seemed, based on the light provided by the receding shadows, that the children were exhausted. Maybe the journey had been longer than Laga had initially guessed.

Eyeing the olive skinned Orc suspiciously, the fire died in the Battlemage's eyes as the clouds took back to movement across the gaze of Lessat. Breathing heavily, she knelt over the encampment and ruffled through a bag of reinforced linen, dyed red. Pulling the draw string out, she snatched out a piece of cured meat and stuck it in her mouth.

It had been so long since she had salt, she was surprised how much she needed.

"You here for the meat?" She asked, her tone clearly accusing. The sound of the whimpering Giant could be heard in the illuminated night, dragging his body through the sand. "Don't test me..." She lifted up the bloody bone club towards the man, lying through her sharp teeth. She was exhausted and the use of her own blood for the rune had depleted her beyond what she could have expected. "Well...speak up, Mountain Orc." Claws lifted towards the meat and ripped it as she proceeded to chew loudly.

Frustrated by her own weakness, she propped the business end of the club against the ground and tried her best to stealthily lean against it.
 
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Hath Charosh

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"Why would I want their salted meat?" he asked. "There are good dwarves there..." he raised his axe and pointed it towards the group. There was a absolutely no note of humour in his voice, despite it actually being a joke. He would eat dwarves, quite happily, but he didn't go out if his way to do so. There was also the matter of their kin he had seen on the road. Didn't really want to have them tracking him back to the Ashlander tribe.

"Just wanted to go that way," he said. His axe moved just a few inches to indicate the path. "Did you pick a fight with a squad of blight orcs and their hill giant...for the meat?" he asked incredulously. Hath never spoke quickly. There was always a slow cadence to his voice and a pause between each sentiment as he considered his words.
 
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Lagakh

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These were stupid questions. Salted meat on the Eastern line of the Spine, this far from any cities or mines or water. A gift from Nykios. Dwarves were well known for their gaminess and despite what logic would tell most hunters, the flavor of beer rarely made it into the meat. Laga had figured that out the hard way, when desperate times called for desperate measures.

This whole explanation was starting to sound a bit too convenient for Laga's exhausted liking. "No!" She blurted out impatiently, as if the answer was evident from the start. Obviously the salted meat wasn't the only reason she attacked this raiding party. "I just have a problem with Blight Orcs...and Nosy Orcs..." She lifted the bone club, menacingly, feeling the enervation coursing harshly through her arms.

If there were any movable parts on the club, it would have been rattling from all the intimidation efforts she was putting into the conversation. It didn't help that the night was still dark, despite Lessat's best efforts. Taking a step forward towards the Olive Orc, Laga grimaced and her knees shook.

"They picked a fight...with me...by existing." She growled as she swung the club at him, though even she knew there was no ass to it. Her aim was for the shield but it was hard to hit it when it was moving so wobbly. And when there were two of them.
 
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His expression darkened. Lip curled back just far enough to expose more of his tusks.

"Do not..." wave that thing at me again. The shaman was already swinging at his shield. The lazily swung club struck the shield, but Hath wasn't interested in backing down.

The axe remained by his side but he dropped his shoulder into the shield and drove forwards until he was driving it into her. He used short, driving steps to try and push her back.

"Keep the meat and get out my way," he growled from the other side of the hastily painted wooden circle.
 
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Lagakh

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If she had time to really assess the situation, she might have guessed how this was going to go. But there wasn't time for that, the heat of the moment was still coursing through her. She had just beaten several enemies of the natural world, had just sent a giant crawling for his life, and had freed several slaves who were now cowering in the dark.

The salted meat was really just frosting on the mountain.

The push was almost comical for how much affect it had on the battlemage, sending her to the ground with a thump after rolling her ankle on a conveniently placed rock. The club rolled to her side as she released her grip on, trying her best to catch herself before hitting the ground.

"Ow..." She grunted, rubbing some sweat out of her eye with a rune covered forearm. "You Ashlander?" She managed, eyes of coal looking up towards the figure. He may have not been outright hulking compared to most Orcs, but he was big compared to her.

 
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"Well...you swung your club at me..." was as close as an apology as she was going to get.

It was obvious that the name of the disparate tribe of tribes caught his attention. Mabess seemed to be the lynchpin of a number of tribes, many held together by blood ties with her directly.

"I am of Charosh, of the fiarach," he said, providing the name of his tribe and where they lived (the savanna). "I am..."

He head turned to follow the sound of wood scraping on wood. A quarrel being placed in the groove of a fully wound crossbow.

"Fuck."

Hath swung up his shield just in time. The blight orc's bolt thudded into his shield. The tip protruded through a splintered hole just above his forearm. He looked over the lip of the shield. The wounded orc looked dismayed, knowing that there wasn't time to reload his crossbow.
 
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"You are fuck?" She stated incredulously, looking over in the direction of his attention. The metal sharpened arrow tip cut through the shield, protruding somewhere at chest level and just by the fact that Charosh hadn't fallen over yet, it could be assumed that it stopped before doing any real damage.

At least he knew how to use a shield. Though it seemed they had concluded that he wasn't Ashlander, meaning he was quite far from home. It was no small journey from the Savannah to the Spine. Admittedly, with her upbringing near the Gulf of Ryt, it seemed their homes were closer in respect to natural conditions than she might have imagined.

Using her club to crutch herself upward, she stood at Charosh's side. The Blight Orc was struggling with the crossbow, experienced with shooting but not much beyond that. She looked down at her other hand, still clutching the piece of dried meat. "I'll give you some dried..." Her gaze narrowed as she shook the meat in front of them. "Uhh, whatever this is...if you kill him."

The volume of her voice lowered with each word, as if she wanted this end to be a surprise for the Blight Orc. They still had a giant and some slaves to sort out, not to mention there was apparently a path that this Savannah Orc needed to get back on. So much to do, so little time and energy.
 
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It didn't matter what words she had just spoken. The tone was enough to convince him that she wasn't going to strike him across the back of his head when he turned. Hath set off at a gentle jog but his long legs made short work of the ground between them.

There was a calm resignation on the face of the blight orc. That must have been something common to the way both species viewed the world: death was natural and inevitable. There was no point howling at its unfairness when the moment came.

The orc threw up the body of the half-wound crossbow to defend himself. Hath planted his leading foot and change the angle of his swing. His axe bit deep into the gut of the blight orc. There was a soft, wet sound as he yanked it free and flicked a stream of black blood across the floor. The second swing came down on the head, cracking a skull with a loud crack.

With a foot on the chest of the twitching orc, Hath pulled his axe free with both hands. He pointed it towards the giant, that now had both hands over his head, and gave the shaman a questioning look.
 
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Lagakh

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While she may have never admitted it, Charosh had a sort of gait and form with that ax that was admirable. Like he had descended from the Shaman artists but when asked to carry the stroke, he chose a weapon over common tools. It wasn't in her to think of the poetry of the engagement, because such a thing was beyond her. But the spray of blood, the indifference, the wet thud of sharpened metal piercing through plate and skin alike, she found it mesmerizing.

Or maybe that was simply the draining affect of the magic, siphoning away her focus. Proceeding forward as the Blight Orc fell, Charosh pulling his ax from the impacted skull with a sickening crack, Laga eyed the Hill Giant. A small smirk pulled at the corners of her mouth, embellishing the small tusks.

"You speak common?" She said quietly, there was no reason left to be loud. The Giant paused and opened his mouth, the first sound resonated out with the force of a bellow. Like boulders colliding against one another, deep in a forest valley. Laga had no ability to understand the words, far removed from Orcish and Common alike. Narrowing her eyes, she slowly patted the bloodied end of the club against her open palm. Taking the cue, the sheepish Giant coiled his hand into a large fist and coughed into it.

"I...I do." He said with a voice layered in smoke and ash, coupled with the sound of a sirens whistle as air blew out through the arrow hole in his cheek.
"Good." Laga responded sternly. In the light of Lessat, she could see that he was young and clearly impressionable. "Should he kill you?" Laga threw a thumb, emerging from the meat clutched in her fist, towards Charosh. Fortunately for both of them, the Giant nervously shook his head and whimpered.

An odd Hill Giant by all measurements.
 
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Hath Charosh

Orc
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Hath had never imagined he would see the day when a hill giant cowered at the thread of meeting him in battle. Even wounded and perhaps even with broken bones a serious fighter of such stature should have been able to despatch the two orcs with relative ease.

The giant spat out blood. Working that arrow head out of the jaw must have been amazingly painful. Assuming the head wasn't still lodged in bone. That was quite actually a distinct possibility.

Hath started to clear the head of his axe as he walked back. The runes had faded to a very dull forest green now. He had not once needed to sharpen it. He had needed it on few occasions when he had been with his tribe. Spear and bow were the weapons of the hunter. Since that time he had been forced to do so time after time. He was becoming quite good at killing other people.

"Mercy!" cried a dwarven woman at the sound of a language she understood. Hath assumed it was a woman from the voice. Hard to tell through the beard and winter clothing.
 
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Lagakh

Shadowreaver
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The runes had not escaped her notice, though it was difficult to perceive with vision granted by the shunting of the moon. Now though, in the clear night sky lit with white, the fading nature of the axes green glow gave her pause. A pause that might have wrongfully emphasized her consideration of the Hill Giants life who, as far as Laga was concerned, was a wellspring for strong runic magic and nothing more. "Don't move, Giant..."

"It's Gorra..." The Hill Giant spoke with lowered gaze, lifting his hand to his swollen face. Laga didn't respond, instead quietly stalking behind the larger Orc has he retreated back. Her gaze shifted to the Dwarf and for a moment, Laga considered throwing a rock at her to get her to quiet down. Obviously they were going to get mercy, assuming she could keep Charosh from roasting one of them over a fire.

"Hey..." She uttered quietly as she rounded the hopefully well-fed Orc, trying to stop him. "Uhh..." She assumed this was where she should either apologize for presuming poorly of him or thank him for helping her out. While she wouldn't admit it, things wouldn't have gone well had he decided to stick back at the toe slope.

Neither thanks nor apology escaped her lips, where her eyes hinted at a scowl and her lips showed the slightest trace of a smirk. "I am Lagakh Morgkhul, of the Shadowreaver clan. I..."

"Mercy, please!" The words came out from a child, huddled behind the woman.

Anger flared in the Shaman's expression, shifting back to Charosh. "Did you carve that yourself?" She pointed the stick of meat at the ax, her curiosity for the runes was obvious.
 
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Hath Charosh

Orc
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386
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"Hath, of the Charosh." He had already told her the second part but he repeated it now they were greeting each other properly.

He gave a shake of his head and twisted the axe so that she had a better view. Hath wasn't about to hand it over to a stranger. The firm grip on the haft and the placement of his feet betrayed the thought that went through his mind. That orcs who were closed than two complete strangers had killed one another for weapons of exceptional quality.

"Was forged by dwarves. Long time ago."
 
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Lagakh

Shadowreaver
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Hath of Charosh. So he did have a first name.

Her gaze drifted down to the ax, held guarded at the figure's side. Laga smiled, inwardly, at the way he protected it like a wounded animal. While she didn't hold her bone club in the same manner, she figured it was an issue of supply. For her, powerful runes were simply a matter of creation.

"Must be powerful." She stated firmly, taking in what details she could see. Without touching it, she couldn't make out the implementation or complexity of the runes, but the material seemed to not have suffered. That meant whatever dwarf made this item, they knew what they were doing. She wondered if they were still alive, still around to share their knowledge. There was so very few Runic Masters left in the world.

"Not all Runes last forever." As if something occurred to her in the brief moments of the exchange, she looked past Hath and towards a satchel. Moving beyond him, she knelt down and pulled the bag to her. Rummaging about, she pulled out what appeared to be a piece of meat wrapped in parchment or papyrus. Giving it a sniff, Laga nodded and presented it to the Orc. "One dead orc, one parcel of...maybe bovine."
 
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