Orcs of the Red Blade


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The Campfire / Some Dreams Do Come True- Skint
« on: April 10, 2020, 12:51:18 AM »
Sitting on the pier was a slender figure. White of skin, white of hair, sticking out like a sore thumb in her surroundings. Even though she wore a light garb of green clothes, she almost shone in the light of the moons shining down on her. Almost ethereal, almost looking like a spirit herself.
Meri had taken some distance from Nakobu for now, while she was working on a few beads and small trophies to add to the necklace she made for him before. Things made from the talbuk they hunted yesterday. Together.

To Meri’s surprise, they’d both actually come out of the hunt mainly unhurt. Nakobu had a nasty bruise on his shoulder from a hoof hitting him, but that was all. Meri herself hadn’t been hurt at all.
Thinking back on it made her smile, her hand holding a knife, carving away at a piece of bone. They’d actually done it. So many clan orcs worried they wouldn’t manage, that they’d get hurt, Tagrok even saying he’d stay awake so they could call for him if needed.
And it hadn’t been needed. Meri and Nakobu had shown the clan and the spirits, they could hunt together, without any magic, bringing down their chosen prey.

Once, her former clan also thought Meri would never find someone. Would never do a hunt. They didn’t even allow her an om’riggor.
Meri winced a little at remembering this, looking out over the pond she was sitting at, down into the water, at her own reflection…

“Hah! So here you’re hiding, Skint! Mother was asking for you. Why she still does, no one knows.” The voice cut through the silence like a knife. Meri turned her head. She’d been washing some clothes in the river next to her clans camp, but apparently her brother had found her. Not that he acknowledged he was related to her. The shame.
She turned to see a large, brown skinned male in his prime. He was some five years older than her eight years at the time, muscle upon muscle, the pride of the family, the rising champion of the clan. Like her father now. His son was his pride and joy, his everything.
Hotur came striding towards her, his skin glistening a little from the sweat caused by the midday sun beaming down on his back.
Meri stood up, the wet shirt she was washing in her small hands. “I’ll b-be t-there soon, H-Hotur..” she said in a small voice, shrinking back a little as he came even closer.
“You better, she needs help with the beast we just hunted.” Hotur looked down on her, eyes narrowed as he looked down at her. His beady eyes moved to something hanging around her neck, a pretty, multicoloured shell she had found earlier that day on the beach, crafted into a necklace for her by her mother.
“What in spirits name are you wearing, Skint? Who did you steal that from?”
“W-what..? No one! I f-found it…” she protested, dropping the shirt and moving her hands to cover the shell. She started to tremble a little.
Hotur snorted. His hand moved. Meri didn’t even get time to respond before the back of his hand hit her face with a crack and she smacked on the ground, nearly ending up in the water. With a whimper she curled up, a hand on her cheek.
Hotur stomped towards her, leaning down. His hot breath tickled her ear as he spoke. “Liar. Always a liar, pale orc. You don’t deserve something so pretty.” His hand closed around the shell and ripped the necklace from her neck, turning it in his hand to inspect it.
“I’m sure Saggah will like this. A good gift for a strong mate. She’ll be mine one day.” Hotur turned around, starting to walk away.
“Not like you’ll ever know how that is. A mate. Phah! Who’d ever even lay eyes on –you-! A curse, that’s what you are. A curse on this family.”
And with those words, Hotur left her alone, her necklace in his hand.
Meri didn’t cry. She didn’t tell anyone what happened, even her mother who clearly saw the enormous bruise on her cheek when Meri eventually came to help her. She only smeared some salve on it and gave the small girl a hug before setting her to work.
Meri never asked about mates. About the customs. The hunt, the rituals. She wasn’t worth it, her entire clan always said. Who could love an abomination?

Meri blinked some of the tears away that now rolled over her cheek, her carving paused for a short moment. That had been her life, not even too long ago.
She looked over her shoulder, watching Nakobu move around the small abandoned village, busy with his own things. Meri couldn’t suppress a smile now, looking at him.
There was someone who had laid eyes on her, the first day he met her. Who had given her hope, a chance, and his trust. And eventually, he’d given her his heart.
Hotur was long dead. Her father and mother, dead. They’d never see their Skint getting mated to someone.
The only one she mourned for, was her mother. It would ‘ve been nice if she could’ve been here…
Meri wiped her arm over her eyes as Nakobu looked her way, worry on his face. She merely gave him a wide smile and a wave. It seemed to have eased his worries, for he waved back and continued carrying meat into the other hut, to smoke it.

Just a few days. Just a few  more days and she’d be mated to the one love she never thought she’d find.
Sometimes dreams do come true.

The Campfire / Journal of a Varog'gor
« on: February 10, 2020, 09:40:10 PM »
((A few small write ups I used as IC 'catchup' for our path of cunning events past weekend!))

Clan Redblade Journal, by Varog'gor Kyrazha Throatrender.
Wednesday, fifth day of month two.
Location: Krasarang Wilds, a small abandoned island close to the Cradle of Chi-ji.

In case of us not returning, I have decided to keep this small journal. Maybe someone will find it and send it back home, or at least will be warned of the dangers we might run into in the coming days.
Tonight we said farewell to those back in Razor Hill. Even though most was said already yesterday. Kargnar and Gul'rok made us packs of armor, simple weapons. Everything is light and black colored, it's pretty impressive what they made in the short time span they had. They really thought about freedom of movement and things having to be quiet. I'll distribute these packs tomorrow morning, so orcs can take out of them what they want to use.
We also have a crate of vials with light infused oil. I'm not sure how much it will help against void when it's on our weapons, but I figured it was worth a try. I'll need to remember to give everyone a few vials equally.
Right now we're on a small island, not much cover. I can hear the sound of wings, endlessly so, all around us. I presume they're mantid, but it's rather dark. They're not on the island at the very least, we walked all around it, but it's empty.
Something hangs in the air, like .. a current. Like how it feels right before a big lightning storm, heavy air, almost tingly. It's very unsettling.
I hope Vraxxar has some more clues on where we should be able to find Srelok, so we can prepare during the day and set off in the darkness of the night.
Also. I need to remember to smack some orcs when we get back. They apparently stuffed things into my pack that I didn't pack myself. Who'd take a plushie along to a thing like this?

Clan Redblade Journal, by Varog’gor Kyrazha Throatrender.
Thursday, sixth day of month two.
Location: Krasarang Wilds, a shallow cave behind a waterfall, north.

We found him.

We started on the small island, the air still heavy with the noise of wings, just out of reach. I knew Razaron Madeye and Nar’thak Strongarm were still in Pandaria. Or should be, hopefully safe still, so I reached out over the spirit link to them. Madeye answered, he was even pretty nearby, as luck would have it. He managed to find us.
Having distributed the vials, we set ready to leave.
It wasn’t easy. My back was already killing me, but the swimming across dark waters and climbing over branches and roots and through bushes didn’t help much. Yet, I couldn’t complain. Will not complain. This is my duty and I will bear it, pain or no pain.

Urzoga scanned the buildings of the Cradle. Just corpses, nothing else. No living, only the dead littering the inside.
We went north, closer to the temple, a place Wildmark had once visited Srelok, apparently.
The noise there, deafening. Wings. Mantid, everywhere. The temple is lost. Going in there means death.
We ran into a few but with some quick teamwork we dispatched of them.
Sidenote, don’t make Gashuk angry, he has a very nasty way of dissecting a body with portals. I won’t soon forget that sight.

Further north, animal footprints. We found Ruby, Sreloks raptor. She’s wounded, some void addled things even, but Urzoga calmed her and she lead us further to the waterfall.

We’re there now. We can speak freely, the noise of the water drowns out our voices from outside. Srelok is alive and awake, but malnourished.
Another small worry is the voices people are hearing. I expected it, coming here, but the reactions are worse than I thought. We need to be careful, also with one another.

The plan tomorrow is to talk to Srelok and see what we can find out about where Azguh might be. I don’t think he’ll leave without us at least knowing of her fate. And I can’t blame him. Wouldn’t we all do such for the one we love most?

Clan Redblade Journal, by Varog’gor Kyrazha Throatrender.
Friday, Seventh day of month two.
Location: Krasarang Wilds, a shallow cave behind a waterfall, north.

We didn’t make as much progress as I’d have liked. It’s starting to get dangerous out here, not only physically, but most of all mentally. A few got wounded tonight and we’re very much risking infections.
But let me start at the beginning.

Srelok wanted us to go to the place he last saw Azguh, a bunch of ruins not far from here, where she was supposedly helping others to escape from the temple.
The walk there was a risk, it involved many open spaces we had to cross. The ruins are Mogu ruins. We ran into two of them, the first one easily dispatched, but the second one gave us issues.
In the dark and in my confused state (The continued droning of the mantid wings is driving me nuts by now) I accidentally shot Varog’gor Madeye in the leg, actually breaking the bone underneath.
He managed to mend it partly, but it was a stupid accident which shouldn’t have happened at a time like this.
Binding two shorter ropes together from Urzoga and me, we managed to find a good place at the ruins to enter and used the rope to get up.
People were hearing the whispers again. Razaron even tried to attack Vraxxar in the back at one point.
This place is slowly driving us all crazy.
We found Xynu, Azguhs warpstalker. But the beast was purple, glowing with void corruption. Next to him a Mogu.
The battle wasn’t very long, but it was intense. My arm got burned with void magic. Others got hurt as well, yet luckily nothing life threatening.
Vraxxar managed to dispatch of Xynu before he could do too much damage. Seeing a loved companion like that fall in such a way after being so twisted and horribly corrupted by foul magic rose an anger in me. Both me and Shelar.

I managed to get behind the Mogu and kill it from up close before it even knew what was happening. It was weakened greatly already, luckily.

We burned the corpse of what once was Xynu and chose to go back to the cave behind the waterfall to lick our wounds and think up our next step.
Right now Srelok and Urzoga are out scouting, so hopefully they’ll have more news when they return.

It’s time to see how a void flesh burn reacts to being doused in light infused oil. I’ll have to either thank Nakobu or inform him it’s not recommendable. We’ll see.

Clan Redblade Journal, by Varog’gor Kyrazha Throatrender.
Saturday, Eigth day of month two.
Location: Durotar, Razor Hill.

We made it home. Barely. It was very close.

The night was very restless, I hardly slept myself. Mainly due to the others who continuously kept waking up, Razaron even walking away, Vraxxar screaming, fleeing into the bush before I could even stop them.
What surprised me most was Gashuk, who suddenly woke up, ripped open a portal out of nowhere and simply left without returning.

In the morning, Vraxxar was still missing. We waited until evening, but still no sign of him.
Tagrok appeared to be very confused, hugging his dagger of cunning. I offered one of our amulets to him. A last resort, they block out all outside and inside mind influences, but seeing we were using the link so much instead of talking, it would’ve also left him deaf to any orders. He refused.

There was one more place Srelok wanted to check. A cave, a little bit beyond the ruins we went to yesterday. If we couldn’t find her there, we’d be forced to leave without knowing of her fate. This place was getting too dangerous, especially now the one who was supposed to get us out had fled.
I’ll have a word about that with him later still, once I feel well enough.
We found Vraxxar. The road to the cave was eerily quiet and empty. We found him in the grass close to the cave, unresponsive to everything we tried. Alive, though.
I stayed outside. I’m not too proud of this moment, but I couldn’t risk it. I’d risked enough already. Trakmar would never forgive me if I’d gone into that void infested cave knowing even the air probably was filled with void residue.

So I watched over Vraxxar, while the others scouted the cave. They found her, but we were too late. She was already lost. Taken by the void, they were forced to kill her, grant her mercy.
The look on Sreloks face as Tagrok came walking out of the cave, carrying the wrapped up body of Sreloks mate in his arms, is a look I won’t soon forget.
I fear that pain, but I know it’s inevitable.

Not having any other way to go, we went north, to one of the nearby villages, hoping someone would still be left there to help us. We got extremely lucky, walking right into a evacuation organised by a group of pandaren mages who were gathering and portalling refugees to safety. They were surprised to see us coming out of the Wilds.

We’re back home now. Razor Hill. Yet, my mind is still there, even though I can hear Trakmar breathe beside me as I write this. I’m afraid most of us will need a while to recover. And I don’t mean physically.

The Campfire / Spark of Light (Skint)
« on: January 04, 2020, 08:26:08 PM »
“Hmph. Very well. Prove you have the stomach to walk the true path and I’ll let you kill those orcs. You got five others in ya cell. Kill them.”

The words so easily spoken by him chilled me to the core, even thinking back on it. The fear in the eyes of those Goblins in the cage with me, when I turned to look at them. One even dashed in front of another one, clearly trying to protect her from me. His mate, perhaps? Did they really think I was going to kill them?
It must’ve been clear on my face that I had no intention to do so, because the shadowy figure speaking to me didn’t believe me either when I said I wanted them alive, that they were much more useful to me that way.
One good thing, he didn’t return my bindings before walking away. Now I could stand and move around a bit, stretching my legs and looking around.

It was dark in here, barely enough light coming through to see anything. My hands found the bars of the cage and I felt them, before leaning against them a little. My cagemates stayed on the other side now, huddled together.
No surprise, seeing I just told our captor I’d twist their souls and make them obedient slaves. At least I bought them some time, even if they feared me now. It wasn’t ideal though, in a days time or so, he’d expect results and I doubted I could convince these terrified Goblins to play along with me and try trick him, but it was the only idea I had.

I feared for the clan. They’d probably come try and find me and the captives, not knowing what they were going to run into… Not much I could do from in here though.
My inspection of the bars didn’t result in much, besides my hands now feeling half frozen. The metal was too sturdy. I had tried the link as well earlier, but all that resulted in was a massive headache. Clearly spiritual things didn’t work too well in a void infested cave.
Sitting down again, I blew some breath on my cold hands. I eyed over the wounds that I still had. They’d stopped bleeding, but they stung and I was afraid frostbite would set in. There were several, crisscrossing my arms, even one just below my neck and one in my side. I couldn’t use the light in here, there was no chance I’d be able to call on it now. Plus, he’d notice and would probably come running back to bind my hands again.
So there was just one option left. Void could heal.. I had seen it done. It wasn’t nice, it wasn’t painless and it’d probably be a risk as well using it here in this place, but I didn’t want to be weakened too much by my wounds.

Inhaling deeply, I focused. Drawing on the power here was easy. It was everywhere. I just had to be really careful not to plunge too deep.
Darkness,  pressing feeling on my mind. Something, someone. Voices… Luring, powerful. I had to ignore them. Keep my head straight. Which was easier said than done.

You were beaten. Cast aside. Ignored. They wanted to kill you. You are an outcast, even now. Don’t you see? Different. Weak.

Were these my own thoughts..?
Pain erupted as my hand covered one of the wounds with the shadow held in my hand. Forcefully, the flesh started to pull together. It’d leave some nasty scars. I clenched my teeth, not wanting to cry out, tears appearing in the corners of my eyes as I pushed through with the shadowmending.

See, how it helps you. How good it feels to wield the power. Don’t you agree?

They were there, in the back of my mind. As long as I kept this connection, they’d be there. Louder, due to the dark force surrounding me in the entire cave. 
I fixed wound after wound, shutting myself out to the ever present voices, so alluring. But I promised Nakobu I’d never give in to them. A balance had to be kept. He had faith in me. More so than anyone else I’d ever known. He trusted me to keep the balance.
So for now I simply pictured the ball of light in my mind. Not calling it into being, but I kept it in my thoughts, a small spark in the midst of the darkness surrounding me while the last of my wounds closed into a messy, ragged scar. The pain would linger for hours, I knew. But it was better this way.

Thinking of Nakobu brought a different pain. He’d be so worried, probably freaking out, knowing him. Perhaps I could at least send him a sign… a sign I was still alive, and myself.
I held up one of my hands, palm up. Slowly, a figure formed on it. Small, delicate wings much larger than the slender body they were attached to. Barely visible legs and feelers, twitching. With a few flaps of the wings, the small butterfly rose and flew out of the cage, into the darkness of the cave, barely visible. Hopefully it’d reach Nakobu first, before anyone else noticed it and destroyed it.

Sitting back, I sighed. Exhaustion crawled up inside me. Combined with the pain, it was hard to resist lying down and curling up. So that is what I did, trying to find the most warm position, alone. My cagemates wouldn’t look at me. They knew I could use the very power they feared, that held them stuck now. That they would be sacrificed to, when he’d find out I had lied about corrupting their minds to show he could trust me to want to side with him…

Darkness. Pain… loneliness. But, that spark of light. Hope. They’d come for me. I had to believe they would… or else my mind was already lost.

Outside, a small and fragile shadowy butterfly braved the odds and made its way towards its demise, the brightest source of Light it could find in the town.

The Campfire / Full Circle
« on: November 17, 2019, 12:24:10 AM »
All I saw were tiny bright dots. Little pinpricks of light on a black surface, nothing else besides a small, bright little cork with a feather on it.
Suddenly the darkness rippled, distorting the image of the stars reflected in the dark water. I reeled up my line and pulled up the dark shape of a squirming fish.
Without any further ado I smacked the fish with a rock on the head and put it on a small pile of already dead fish next to me, before putting another worm on the hook and returning the line into the water.
As it settled again, the reflections returned. I stared at them, before looking up, peering ahead into the trees.
Nightly sounds I hadn’t heard in a long time surrounded me. Some birds, small bugs. The yowling of a large cat further away. Home, in a way still. This place would never really leave me. The good times, and the bad, all memories in my head now. So much had happened since I left here years ago, but now they all came back to me.

A hand reaching out for me. I was clinging on, barely. The noise, deafening, water surging below me, rocks falling down around me. The world had fallen from under me. The rock I was holding was slipping… my hands were slipping, my nails breaking because I was gripping on so tight. Three fingers wrapped themselves around my wrist and pulled me up, into the safety of two strong, slightly fur covered arms.

I looked back at the hut. It was still standing, surprisingly so. Maybe it was too close to Grom’gol for any Trolls comfort, so they left it alone. I was glad for it, it was good being back here.

Morning. I opened my eyes, sitting up and was greeted by something very furry and orange in my face, nearly knocking me back on the floor. Lians massive head bumped itself against my own, a deep rumbling coming from his chest. Laughter sounded from outside and someone walked in, slightly stooped over with a plate in his hand. Green hair surrounding his head, full of twigs and feathers. He handed me the plate with baked eggs and mushrooms. “’Ea’as!” he exclaimed in a cheerful tone, pressing the plate in my hands.

The place had looked abandoned when Tagrok, Tahara and I had reached it. No traces of anyone, no scents. He hadn’t come by in a long time, or I’d have known. It saddened me. I’d wanted to give him the news. But I hadn’t been able to find him at all the past years. I hoped he was somewhere safe and happy, or that at least he died in a good way, if he was dead. I owed him so much.

Running. Running so fast through the jungle, breathing hard. He was so close, I wasn’t going to make it-.. And out of nowhere, a green blast flew straight past my cheek and hit my attacker in the face behind me. He went down with a scream as the green light spread over him and somehow smothered the red haired Troll. I fell on my hands and knees, exhausted, right before the Troll who had just saved my life, once again. He laid a gentle hand on my shoulder while the screams of the dying troll faded behind me.

So many memories. Not all with him alone. But also with Trakmar, others of the clan. And now we were here once more, though only three of us now. I’d promised Tahara I’d show her where I had grown up. And now the clan was back in their homelands, I had decided now was a good time to keep to that promise and travel away for a little while.
Even if it was also due to another reason, for which I had brought Tagrok. It wouldn’t be easy for him, I knew that… Nor for me.
I scratched at the bandage Tahara had put around my leg, sighing softly. I was still nauseous too. But I had to scout, I had to look and find, prepare…

Reeling in my empty line, I stood up and gathered the fish in my arms. The smell didn’t do much for my appetite, but Tahara had wanted fish for dinner, so she’d have them. I placed them near the hut and started a small fire before gutting and cleaning the fish. Tagrok was scouting. Tahara was unpacking and preparing her bed in the hut.
I still had some time for myself.

Something small and furry pressed itself against my leg. A paw that looked way too big to go with the body it belonged to moved to snatch up some of the fish innards.
“’Ello, Vesa.” My hand reached to stroke the dark orange tiger fur while he stole a piece of fish and ran off with it. He’d grown a lot already since we had rescued him.
Funny how we’d come full circle. Back here, with a small tiger cub. Just no Qa’ajn. But a different kind of family now, which was also good.

After preparing the fish, I laid them on the rock table and snuck away, bow in hand. Tahara would find the fish eventually.
Time to hunt.

The Campfire / Passing On
« on: October 15, 2019, 02:59:59 PM »
((This happens the days Skint and Nakobu stayed a bit longer in Garadar, last week!))

The quiet was unnerving. Garadar had been so full. First Kosh’harg, the town playing host to all members of the Horde. Then we returned with many freed slaves a little while after, plus the clan itself was staying a few days more.
Now, some of the freed slaves had left to find their own path in live. Some still remained, settling in between the mag’har, getting used to daily life of a free orc.
The clan was gone for a few days now as well, ahead to the swamps. I’d seen them leave.
Nakobu was still with me, choosing to remain behind as well for a few days more. There was some business I had to take care of first.

I was sitting outside my tent when she came. A small figure, something you’d see moving from the corner of your eyes but if you turned your head, it’d be gone. I smiled. I had been waiting for this moment.
Very carefully, I loosened the bell from my belt and took out the cloth stuffing. I looked down at the beautiful item, running my finger over the rune.


Softly, I rang the bell. Once. And waited.
It didn’t take her long. In a moment she was in front of me, as if out of nowhere, reaching her small hands for the bell. She couldn’t touch it of course, but through the days I had spent with her, I learned she liked to pretend. So I held the bell for her, indulging in her fantasy.
The bell made her more clear to me. Drew her in, strengthening her hold with our world for a small while. Nakobu couldn’t see her. She’d been around him often, looking curiously at his clothes, his belt, pretending to pull on his beard and run away, silently giggling. I couldn’t hear her, but she made things clear to me by writing letters in the air.

Apparently her mother had taught her to read and write. Her mother, who was in Garadar now. Neza’s spirit had already appeared to me before we’d gone to Blade’s Edge, but as if by luck, we freed her mother shortly after. It had come to me to tell Tinith that her daughter had died, though. Nerves had been building a knot in my stomach though. It was all still so new to me after drinking the potion. Never before had I been in this position, having to tell someone their child was dead and I could see her.
I had told her a few days ago. She was hurt, of course. Shocked. Losing her child after being prisoner for so long, it was hard to accept. Yet, we’d come to an agreement. I would help her, I would aid Neza in finding peace. Moving on.

Neza moved around me, smiling, touching my cheek, my hair. I didn’t feel anything, of course.
“Hello, N-Neza. I have something p-planned for today. Will you come with me?” I spoke softly, looking at the ever moving shadows and wispy waves of smoke that made up the form of the small girl. She was most clear when she stood still, but she didn’t do that often.

Neza nodded at me, holding her hand out. I stuffed the bell again, hanging it back on my belt before pretending to grab her hand, just holding air. It was enough for her. I lead her towards one of the huts in the town, where Tinith was waiting for us inside.
Neza had seen her mother before of course, but she always turned very sad and usually disappeared not long after. I looked down at the girl.
“We’re going to see your mother. And I w-will talk to her.. for you. Do you think you can do that, N-neza?”
The orc girl nodded back up at me, but she looked sad either way.
I walked into the hut, greeting Tinith with a smile. “G-goodmorning,” I said softly while from the corners of my eyes, I saw Neza reluctantly following me inside.
Tinith turned around and looked me straight in the eyes. I tried to keep her gaze but I couldn’t, and looked away. Her brown eyes, always so full of hope whenever someone came in, hoping for good news from me. I’d have to break her heart, again.
“Goodmorning, Skint. Is there news? Do you want anything to eat?” she was already moving to grab me some food, but I shook my head a little in response.

“Tinith-.. w-we need to talk. I think I figured out how Neza d-died.”

The talk didn’t take long. Neza was there, standing in front of her mother, her hands positioned on her mothers lap as she was sitting on one of the crude chairs. Tinith looked confused and above all, angry. She was looking at me, not able to see her daughter.

I nodded.
“That’s what I understand from her. She’s afraid to talk of it, but she keeps pointing west and indicating something large. T-the only thing west of here is still the old ogre c-camp. Maybe she can lead us there, but I d-don’t think she’ll go without you.”
My eyes focused on the small form of Neza now, who had turned to look at me. She nodded silently to me before darting over and making the movement to grab my hand again. I looked back up towards Tinith. She was looking at my hand, half open as if holding something. She’d probably followed my gaze, which for her was staring at nothing. A look of longing was in her eyes and she smiled sadly before nodding in determination.

“Let’s go then.” She turned on her heels, grabbing a crude axe from the table behind her.

We made our way out of Garadar, Neza leading us. She was running back and forth, looking at a flower, a nice tree, dancing around her mother. But when we got more and more close to the Ogre camp, she stuck to her mother’s legs more and more, leading me by pointing the way.
Tinith spoke a few times during the walk. Asking me what Neza was doing. How we communicated. She never once doubted that I could see her. Never once asked me where or how I’d gotten these particular skills or how skilled I actually was with them. Which reassured me as well in turn.

Closer to the camp, we found it abandoned. Perhaps the large crowd of Kosh’harg and then the returning slaves had the Ogres move for a bit, so nearby Garadar wasn’t entirely safe of course for them to be. There were still some signs that there had been things here recently. Campfires not entirely washed away by rain yet, bundles in the huts, animal carcasses left behind. We stepped carefully either way.

Neza pretended to take my hand and lead me on into one of the larger huts. It was empty.
“Here? But there is nothing here…” Tiniths voice was soft, sad.
A noise made us all turn and the light in the hut dimmed as something massive stood in the doorway, blocking the sun from shining inside. Tinith instantly moved to stand in front of me, axe raised in both her hands. “Stay behind me, Skint!” She yelled as the Ogre stepped into the room, peering at us with beady little eyes.
“What you doing in my hut! I claimed, me, strongest!” he roared and without hesitation, attacked, holding a huge mace in one hand that was about twice my size.

I backed off. I had no weapons, nothing. But looking at Tinith standing there, I felt I had to do something. She was so weak still, so skinny from her long imprisonment, standing there with her axe lifted, her mouth a snarl as she avoided the massive mace coming down on the point where she’d been standing moments before. She was beautiful, so strong, so determined. But she couldn’t do this alone. I looked around, Neza nowhere to be seen.
Tinith managed to wound the ogre, a slash across the leg, but it only made him more mad. Roaring, he smashed the mace into one of the walls before bringing it down to Tinith again, smacking her to the side.
Damnit. I couldn’t just stand here doing nothing! But what could I do? My powers were gone. I’d broken the deal, I’d given back what I had. The Light-.. no, it didn’t work for me. Ever since that day, I had nearly entirely lost my faith in it.
Yet, there had been one thing I had done before.
Nodding to myself, I stepped forwards. The ogre was reaching for a hand to Tinith now, probably to try and end her.
“No! Come here then, you f-fat blob!” I cried, moving into the middle of the room. He turned, eyeing me with those emotionless eyes. And the club raised up…

I reached. Deep inside, something I had felt before. Something that had felt so good at the time. But also dangerous. A dark, spiky edge. I remembered. Auchindoun, the necromancer. How I had attacked it, not with soul magic but with something loosely connected to it, something tempting…
I reached for it again and let it burst forth from my hands. The club came down, but inches away from my face, it suddenly got blasted back by a dark, purple explosion.
It hit the ogre right in the face, making him fall. Tinith, looking surprised but alert, had just stood up again and wasted no time, jumping in with her axe to hack it straight into the fallen ogres neck.

She turned, and looked at me, eyes wide. She was silent, but I could see the surprise on her bloody face. What had I just done?
I could hardly answer that myself. There was no trace of the magic I’d used on my hands. Besides a light exhaustion and the fact it had just-.. felt good. So good..

Suddenly there was Neza, in front of me. She was pointing to the corner of the hut. Tinith walked up to me. Her nose looked broken, blood pouring down her face, but besides that she looked surprisingly fine. “Are you alright, Skint? I don’t know what you did, but.. Be careful.”
It was an odd warning and I just looked confused a moment before turning.
“Neza is pointing to here…” I changed the subject, walking to the corner. There, we found a bundle of furs, cloth and-..

Bones. Small bones, curled up in the corner. Neza looked down and tried to pick something up from them, something stuck in the skeletal hand, but when she couldn’t, she slowly faded from view, crying silently.
Tinith reached down, tears streaking her bloody face. “This-.. this was mine…” she spoke softly, lifting an amulet from the small hand. A carved bone circle with a hole in it, decorated with faded paint. Small wolves playing.
“I lost this the day I was taken, I remember.. Oh Neza, did you follow me? Did you try to find me…”
I didn’t know what to say. Tinith let out a wail, so full of anger, hurt and sorrow that I flinched. But after a moment she calmed.
“We’ll take her home. Give her the pyre she deserved all that time ago already, at the ancestral grounds.” Determined again, she very carefully wrapped the bones in one of the furs.
I couldn’t help but be amazed at her inner strength. Her determination, even after all the pain and loss and hurt, she didn’t give up, didn't break down.
“Let’s g-go back then…”

The ceremony was beautiful. I was asked to be there by Tinith. Some of the former slaves were there, supporting the female. One of the elder Shaman of Garadar lead the ritual. Neza was standing beside her mother through it all, her little arms around her mother’s legs. For a moment I saw Tiniths hand move to rest on Neza’s head, just an instant.
Maybe a trick of the light…
Neza turned. She gave me a smile and a small wave, before she walked away, towards the shining mountain of Oshu’gun, fading from view.

The day came that me and Nakobu had to follow the clan. We couldn’t stay any longer. I hadn’t told him yet what had happened, though I saw his worried looks often and how he had to hold himself back from asking. I needed some time to think it over first.
Tinith came to say goodbye, pressing the amulet in my hand.
“You helped me. And her. Thank you, Skint… I want you to have this. Maybe one day you can give it to your own daughter, if she is to come in the future. I have none to pass it on to anymore.” She spoke softly, with a small sad smile. I nodded quietly in return, keeping the amulet in my hands and later hung it around my neck.

They were still there. Flashes, shimmerings in the corners of my eyes. Many of them. I closed my eyes most of the way. Nakobu had told me there were paths coming up ahead I really did not want to see.
Not yet, at least. Maybe one day I’ll be strong enough.
To handle all of it.

The Campfire / A New Chapter
« on: September 24, 2019, 02:12:32 PM »

She hadn’t slept, at all. The sun shone harshly on the tent, making all of the inside looking like a mix of blue and purple due to the fabric it was made of. Skint turned on her side, looking at the sleeping form of Nakobu next to her. His face was at ease, his breathing slow.
Things had gone so fast. So much had happened since the clan had rescued her and she had gotten the offer to stay. It had never occurred to her she might find someone so like minded, so utterly selfless, someone who would worry so much and care so much for her.
Skint reached with a hand to brush a lock of dark hair away from his brown skinned face, her own hand so pale in comparison to him, almost glowing.
Two opposites but still so much the same.

With a soft sigh Skint sat up, using her hands to try and force her hair into somewhat of a presentable mass, but as usual the massive bunch of curls just did what it wanted to do, going literally everywhere. Maybe she should ask Zi’tani to crop it down a little soon and make it a bit more manageable again.
The headache that had been plaguing her the entire night was still there. It was a throbbing behind her eyes, automatically making her squint in pain. It had taken a few hours after having gone into the tent before she had dared to open her eyes. What was she even afraid of? That a spirit would barge into the tent? It could’ve done so before too, only she wouldn’t have seen it.

But now she would, if the potion had done what it said in the ancient scroll that it’d do. It was the first step on a new road, a long path of learning. But she was ready. Ready to leave the memories behind of what had happened to her in Zandalar and after. Ready to turn a new chapter, together with Nakobu. He’d help her.

Yet, Skint was still afraid to go outside of the tent. Nakobu had asked that she’d wake him when going outside the first time but for some reason she felt that she had to take this small step alone. He was already supposed to go with Morghka later and leave her in town, she wouldn’t have him miss out on learning more about himself only because he felt she needed him more.
So, heavily squinting into the harsh morning sunlight, Skint opened the tentflap and crawled her way outside. It took a few moments for her eyes to adjust. The headache increased, the pounding behind her eyes picking up again but she remained where she was. Just in the entrance of the tent, looking around.

Nothing had changed. At least nothing new that she could see. Relief flooded through her, but also a heavy feeling settled in her stomach. Had it even worked? How would she know?
Skint exhaled slowly through her nose and turned her head-… And closed her eyes right away with a soft outcry.
Oshu’gun. She’d been looking at Oshu’gun. But she shouldn’t even be able to see it from this distance! Yet it was burned on her inner eyelid. Bright, shining, like a beacon even from where she was. Slowly, very slowly she opened her eyes again, just a slit first and slightly more every second.
The entire air around it shimmered. It was beautiful. More beautiful than she’d ever seen before. It didn’t even look like the same mountain she had visited yesterday.

Skint couldn’t make out any details from this distance, besides the bright, bright beautiful light coming from the mountain. Is this what the spirits saw it like, after they left their physical form behind? No wonder they were attracted to it, if so. She could barely take her eyes off it herself now.
With a small smile she tore her gaze away from the brightness, looking around the town again. Everything seemed normal. Everything seemed calm.
Relieved, Skint crawled back into the tent to curl up against Nakobu once again. Maybe she could get a few hours of sleep before he’d have to leave. But at least she could let him go without her now without worrying too much.

Now just hoping he didn’t run into any trouble himself later… Auchindoun. A part of her wondered how that would look like now. But another part told her she wasn’t ready yet for that step.
Not yet. It was good she wasn’t going along. But one day, Skint would go look.
Skint closed her eyes, finally relaxing, even though the headache was still there. It didn’t take long before she drifted off to sleep.

Only to just miss a small, silent shadow passing by the entrance of the tent…

The Campfire / Re: Stalker and Striker
« on: August 27, 2019, 02:42:05 PM »
The sounds of the jungle. So calming, so familiar. Yet, this jungle sounded different than where I grew up. It was hard to place my finger on it what exactly differed, but it did. Maybe the animals, maybe the lack of Trolls, or maybe a combination of both of that.
Still, it felt like coming home again, riding back into the jungle. Uurekh was less happy with the heat but he handled it well. The sun was barely up, yet noise erupted all around me.
A jungle never sleeps.

We made it back to camp without much fuss. I let Uurekh do his own thing while I made my way to where Timur was with my new charge.
A tiger cub. When I heard the cry coming from beneath the dead ones, I had known it was a tiger. I had known I had to get it out before we accidentally burned it with the others. Something about it sparked a memory from long ago.
Qa’ajn, pressing a small cub in my arms, telling me he was my responsibility now. Those big, orange eyes looking at me. He barely fit in my arms, but my ‘father’ trusted me with him either way. It was the start of a long, deep bond that I still felt on this day, even though Lian had been gone for quite a while now.
It made me sad to think about him, even now still. And I don’t think that would ever fade. It didn’t need to, I was at peace with it as well.

As I reached the place where Timur hid himself with the small cub, a little bush outcrop, I was met with a rather unique sight.
The cub was awake, curled up against Timurs side, blinking weakly in the ray of sunlight that fell right on his head. Timur was asleep, I could almost feel the exhaustion coming from him. He’d probably stayed up all night to watch the cat.
Another memory. Lian, lying curled up, his eyes focused on something furry in front of him. A small wolf pup between his paws, runt of the litter. The tiger was old, tired, his muzzle turning white, but something about the puppy had awoken a new youth in him and he cared for Timur as if he was his own offspring. Like a somewhat grumpy grandpa, showing him the ropes and putting up with Timurs unending ear tugging and enthusiasm.
It was odd how some things always seemed to come back, a never ending circle.

I slung my supply bag over my shoulder and picked up the small cub with my one functional hand, very gently so not to wake Timur. Finding a secluded spot, I placed the cub on my lap and the bag beside me. It was a bit of a challenge with only one hand and a suddenly very awake tiger trying to climb off my lap to explore, but eventually I managed. I had a very rough, thick piece of cloth rolled into a cone, filled with wolf milk.
I had been very lucky going to Warsong Hold during the night. They had two female wolves nursing litters, one of which a few pups had died at birth, so she had too much milk and was friendly enough to the handler to let him take some for me. It wouldn’t keep well long in this heat here and I wasn’t even sure if he still needed the milk, but after seeing his rather malnourished state I just wanted to give him a good chance. Mothersmilk was full of good things, more so than I could give him right now with anything else.

It was messy business to get the little one to understand he had to suck on the end of the cone for the milk to come through the cloth. Once he figured it out though, we were both covered in the stuff, but he was drinking very, very greedily.
I watched the small cat drink his fill in silence. My stomach still had this sort of odd lump of happiness inside of it. Even with the issues going on right now with my bloodsister, Tagrok, Trakmar and the rest of the clan… I felt happy. Happier than I’d been in a long time. That would change soon, I knew. One way or the other. Maybe I would tell Tahara soon, just to give her another reason to fight on and not give up.
But for now I simply enjoyed the feeling, looking forward to the good things ahead while trying not to linger too much on the bad ones that were most certainly sneaking up on me.

When the cub had drank enough, I brought him to the water, taking a bath together with him. I also washed out the cloth and buried the rest of the milk in the skin into a shady spot in the sand, maybe that would at least help keep it cool for today and a later feeding.

He already looked better, I concluded, looking down at the small wet cub sitting on the edge of the sand, peering somewhat apprehensively at a small frog that was leaping by.
“I guess ya’ll just need a name now, don’t ya, buddy.. Let’s see. Vessalia was ‘er name, no? So caring, but so tragic. Maybe ‘Ar’kuna be rig’t and it’d be nice ta continue ‘er legacy,” I spoke to him. Not that he paid much attention to me with that frog distracting him.
“Wat do ya t’ink about Vesa, ‘mm? Nice and s’ort. Easy ta remember. Vesa.”
The cub let out a soft meow now, trying to give the frog a whack with his paw, which looked way too big for him still. He missed.
I laughed, shaking my head a little. “Vesa fits ya fine.”
At that moment Timur chose to wake up and he came running towards us, tripping in the sand in his haste and rolling over a few times before he ended up in the water. He quickly stood up, pretending nothing had happened, snorting out some water. Which only made me laugh even harder. He looked very insulted.

“Vesa will be a nice addition to the pack. We’ll teach him well, Stalker.”

“My pack of misfits, ‘mm? Guess ya be rig’t.”
I nodded, to no one.

The Campfire / Stalker and Striker
« on: August 11, 2019, 02:27:26 PM »
“She is like you, Stalker. Like us.”

“And yet so different..”

A hand reached to gently stroke Tahara’s hair away from her face. A hand with more claws than nails. A hand that had ended so many lives already, that had shed so much blood, but still it had times of gentleness as well.
Kyrazha looked down on the females face for a moment longer before getting up, stretching out. She took off her shoulder armor, releasing the knots and clasps and let it fall on the ground before she did a few quick stretches and walked outside of the cave Tahara had made her home.

“It was good of you to choose her for our pack.”

Kyrazha couldn’t supress a small, amused snort as she looked up at the night sky, stars littering the black carpet above her.
“Of course you would say that, Striker. Though, why her? Why her in particular? You’ve never spoken out about anyone else yet,” Kyrazha softly mumbled.

“She is strong. A strong soul. Maybe you do not see it, Stalker, but I do. Try see her through my eyes, next time you train with her. Maybe you will see as well, and understand.”

The voice gently faded away from her mind and Kyrazha understood the talk was over. Yet the presence was still comfortably close. Always close.
She looked back at the cave a moment. Her sister. A bloodsister, one she never had before. One that knew the truth, but still had so much from her own mind hidden to herself and to others. So troubled.
It actually made Kyrazha angry, to think about what they’d done to her sister in the past. She usually never took up the subject with Tahara, or if she mentioned it, it was casual and not in depth, more a passing comment.
But to see her only sister struggle so much with her own mind, it made her mad. Mad she couldn’t really help either, besides just being there for her and helping her through the pain, the moment the ward cracked a bit again.
It didn’t make it any easier that Kyrazha had to split her time between several things now. Trakmar was still a big worry, a pair of heavy hands on her shoulders that kept weighing her down. Her sister. The clan as a whole, a very big part of her responsibility, as she was partly responsible for their safety.
The Horde, slowly crumbling in on itself. It would become a danger eventually, she knew it was going to happen. The clan was approaching a crossroads, once again, ever so slowly.

The presence came closer again.
“Sniff the air, Stalker. Your worries are drowning you. Come.”

And suddenly, there was only one thing on her mind, as Kyrazha turned her head again to look outside. The world was full of muted colors, scents. Things to hunt, things to eat. Food for the pack. Food her sister so needed right now. There was only one urge left in her now, one thing to do, all the other worries pressed to the back of her mind as she started to run, not even taking her weapons from the cave. They were not needed. She –was- the weapon.

“Let’s go hunt, Shelar.”

Off Topic / Re: Reminiscing!
« on: August 06, 2019, 03:09:02 PM »
I certainly still remember you, Morgy! ;)
And indeed, as said above, your name still often comes by in stories or things where the older members talk about previous orcs IC! <3
We're still going strong, and I hope we'll be going strong for a long while still! :D

The Campfire / Paying Respects (Skint story)
« on: July 17, 2019, 05:31:43 PM »
Nagrand. Such a familiar place, but also not. There were a lot of differences, but also many similarities between this world and the one I grew up on. The biggest of course being the sorry state of this one.
I walked slowly, one foot in front of the other, my robe fluttering around my legs as I did so. There was a slight breeze on the air, blowing through my wet, white hair. The bath down the river had been nice, a safe place to wash off all the dirt gathered the days before. Not only the dirt though, but also part of the worries about what happened back in Auchindoun. Watching the filth being taken by the water also left me feeling lighter a bit about what we saw there.

The road was quiet, not very well travelled, besides sometimes a mag’har passing by on wolfback. I didn’t mind. I took my time for the walk, looking around as I followed the road down to Oshu’gun. My destiny wasn’t Oshu’gun though, but the burial grounds before them. The Ancestral grounds.
My arms were full of wildflowers I picked up along the way. I didn’t have anything else to give to them.
Not that these were the graves of ‘my’ ancestors. Yet, I felt a kinship to them all the same. My gaze travelled up to look at the sky, watching the nether magic flow across it in purple waves on the air. This world, ripped apart by magic.
My world, perhaps enduring the same fate right now? It was a different magic, but from what I’d heard, the Burning Legion took over this world by force, with Fel.
And the Lightbound did the same, but.. with Light.

I shook my head, glancing back down to look at where I was going. It was no use thinking about Draenor, we were never returning there either way. We’d probably never learn what happened there.
Which is why this little trip was so important to me. Maybe some closure. Not the same ancestors, but once we were the same world, albeit in a different dimension. This was the closest I was going to get.

As I rounded the corner and walked up the soft grass to the ancestral grounds, I smiled a little. It was peaceful here. Not as big as the grounds I had so often visited as a child, but the same feeling hung in the air. A feeling of peace, sadness, but also joy. A life that had ended, a life celebrated.
Slowly I walked across the grounds, laying a few flowers by every pyre.
The last few days had been an eye opener for me. Even here, I felt it more. The presence of the dead, the departed, the souls. Not only the slight lingering essence of those having passed on, but also those who wouldn’t let go, who still wandered the in between.
Since having my fetish complete and delving deeper into the magic that was granted to me, I had felt them. Especially down in Auchindoun. Maybe Nakobu hadn’t heard them, but the ones tortured by the necromancer.. I had felt it and heard their silent screams. Their pain, their anger, their hurt. I felt it and when I released them, it faded, but it only made my own anger so much stronger.
Strong enough for me to have actually claimed the necromancers soul for myself to offer to Bwonsamdi later, where I almost lost myself in my anger. Where I delved into something deeper, something I had found familiar, but I couldn’t place my thumb on it…

I bend down to put a bowl upright again at one of the pyres that wasn’t in use. I placed a flower inside of it anyway. I felt like I knew what I wanted to do… my path to take. I wanted to aid these souls. Any soul. Aid the mind, the inner workings that made a person a person.
I could now, but with a price. And that was a price I couldn’t keep paying. A price that also had involved others, and I didn’t want that. One of these days, I’d have to break my deal.
I was really grateful for Nakobu for helping me so much. But he was also so overly worried about me. Worried I’d hurt myself. I’d get into trouble. I mean, I did, but still.
A sigh escaped my lips, I sat myself down on a patch of grass, placing the left over flowers beside me. I cared a lot about him. And to my surprise, when I had admitted it to him, he said returned my feelings. He’d shown that again and again the past while. Taking these risks for me, taking me into Auchindoun and into Outlands. I felt like I was building up a debt to him I couldn’t repay.

Yet he was still here. I glanced down at the bracelet around my wrist. Worried even now probably, while I was alone here. What had I done to deserve such a male? Not that we were formally bonded yet, and to be fair, the thought actually scared me because I’d never even thought about finding someone for me, ever. But he was here. And we’d agreed to take it slow, at our own pace. Which was fine with me, I was too nervous every time anyway. This trip was helping, though. Spending time together, talking…

And I knew I had to mess it up again soon. I knew the Loa of Death would be mad at me, no matter what I’d do to try and lessen the blow by giving him a few souls anyway. It was only the question what he’d do.

Shaking my head again, I shoved that thought aside. Not today. Today I was here, in Nagrand-but-not-my-Nagrand, paying my respects to spirits long gone. Tomorrow would be a new day, a free day, where we’d only have to return in the evening. No trips. Nothing we had to do.
I smiled to myself, standing up again. Better not stay away too long and make Nakobu worry about nothing.

My stomach growled as my feet found the path again. I hope he had dinner prepared already. I felt I could eat a whole Talbuk.

Game Related / Re: [Competition] Clan War Banner!
« on: July 04, 2019, 01:18:29 PM »
I don't have tiiiime aaaa  :'(

Game Related / Re: Character Self View and View of Others, Part 2!
« on: June 18, 2019, 04:43:58 PM »

Self View:

Skint is uncertain about most things still. Having gone from a clan that didn't accept her to the Lightbound that only used her, to getting captured by Blood Trolls and getting freed again by the Red Blade... It has made her really confused, so far. The acceptance of the clan despite her weakness. So many willing to help her.
Yet, she was so uncertain about her use of the Light and an unexpected alternative almost literally came falling from the sky for her.
The power wasn't even gradually given, no. She was granted with a full spectrum of energy she doesn't know yet how to handle well. Luck was with her though the few times she reluctantly helped a few clan orcs with her newfound power, after one of the Elders asked her for help.
The one thing she is certain about right now is her fast growing bond with Nakobu, seeing him a bit as the anchor keeping her grounded now in this world and with her powers.
She doesn't trust herself truly, nor the power she wields now entirely, but she's willing to learn.

Views of others:

Spoiler: show
 A very unexpected but welcome bond is growing between them. Skint is so happy that he was there since she was freed. One of the first who tried to make her comfortable, to talk with her and calm her down. Things only grew closer from there. She knows they only just met a few weeks ago and they agreed to get to know each other better coming time before taking any further steps. For now she's just really happy he's there and helps her adjust to a clan life she's never known before.

Spoiler: show
 Her nameless cagemate for a week or more. Not being able to speak to each other during that time and never having met before, but only having each other for warmth and company in that horrid place. It forged a bond Skint cannot deny. They got out together and finally have some time to talk, to hopefully get over and accept what happened to them both. She cares about Irkha, deeply, even though they're almost polar opposites.

Spoiler: show
 The first to earn her trust entirely. Zi'tani almost jumped to the task right away to get the two former prisoners some furs, food, water and clothes, even giving them her own tent to sleep in. Skint does not enjoy people touching her, but Zi'tani convinced her from the start it was alright, helping her clean and braid her unruly hair. She was the first Skint entrusted her feelings for Nakobu for (even though many others were teasing her with it already.)

Spoiler: show
 Still somewhat scary. Skint knows he keeps saying he's not, but she cannot shake the feeling of a deep anger and hurt lurking deep within him, which might bubble to the surface with the slightest provocation. She might be entirely wrong and actually hopes she is, but she's just extra nervous around him.

Spoiler: show
 Kroat scares her. Utterly. She avoids him as much as she can, his current mental state making her extremely uncomfortable. She fears he'll snap soon and hurt others.

Spoiler: show
 Skint didn't talk to Srelok much, but so far she's of opinion there is somehing more to him than she can see.

Spoiler: show
 Motherly, nice and clearly cares a lot about the clan, but Skint hasn't really spoken to her much alone, because usually Kargnar is nearby her!

Spoiler: show
 Intimidating. Very much so. Yet, one of the leaders of the clan, so she'll treat him with respect. His wasn't even particularly mean to her, but she sees the same reasoning and opinion in him that her old clan used to stick to regarding her physique and looks. She told him she'll prove him otherwise. Now to actually do that, though... 

Spoiler: show
 Wise. Old. But full of knowledge. And her tutor, which came as an absolute surprise. He was the first to tell her outright he wished to tutor her and offer her to become a part of the clan at the same time. She's curious about him, very much so, but also wary. Shadowmoon though... He knows a lot probably that she wants to know too!

Spoiler: show
 Helpful! And kind. He didn't ask any odd questions when she asked him for his help to get her something special, he just did it and even brought her more without her asking for it. She helped him with some problems while not even really knowing her powers yet and is really glad that it ended well and that she didn't screw that up.

Spoiler: show
 Can't be reasoned with, entirely stuck in his own beliefs even when the different truth is being dangled right in front of his face. Avoid when possible.

Spoiler: show
 One of the first to accept her trying to mend him and trusting her not to harm him while doing so. She's thankful for that. They have some things in common, even though they're also quite opposite, physically. Maybe one day she'll take up on his offer of teaching her how to handle a weapon properly.

Spoiler: show
 A Troll, but.. a sister. As she herself keeps saying. Skint is a little wary of her and her flirty ways, but she's been very honest as well about everything. There is a deep sadness behind that cheerful demeanor though. Skint hopes to see her more often, she's grown fond of the Troll!

Spoiler: show
 Weird, very weird. But also honest and she'll heed his warnings! Or.. will try to. Just won't follow his advice of smacking people in the face with a tree. 

Spoiler: show
 Her 'brother', as Sa'vashi so nicely pointed them out to be. Dhak seems very troubled, in a period of his life where he'll have to make some difficult choices soon. Skint really enjoys his company though, being able to talk to him without any judgement in the way. And they're somewhat in the same situation now, so she's able to openly talk to him about it, really enjoying the time spend with him and Nakobu. She hopes he comes back soon and is able o make the choices needed for himself.

((More to be added over time as Skint talks to more people and is more able to shape an opinion about them! So don't be sad if you're not in there yet ;) ))

Off Topic / Re: RL photos of yourself!
« on: June 14, 2019, 01:15:32 AM »

Yeah. No comment.

The Campfire / Re: Struggles Of a New World- Skint stories
« on: June 12, 2019, 04:29:22 PM »
Screaming. Screaming everywhere. A continued song of agony, pain, the never ending torture. The cries for help, for death, mercy, anything. It went on and on and on in the camp, from all sides.
It was an orchestra of pain, backed up by the noises of cruel laughter coming from the females as they cut open their still living victims. Never any rest from the noise, it was never quiet.
Skint had tried to block it out at first. Sitting in the cage with her hands bound behind her back, she didn’t have much room to move, unless she wanted to squash her cagemate, which she didn’t.
But blocking out the voices was impossible. The camp they were in was huge, she had realized that much. Walkways above, swarming with male servants doing their tasks to please their cruel mistresses. They were beaten into submission, made to believe that all they were good for in life was to serve the blood troll females. Skint had seen them tied to poles, beaten, stripped of their flesh but all they did was beg for more, trying to prove they were worthy.
It was sick.
It made her literally sick. And if that wasn’t enough, there was the smell. Rot. Rot everywhere, meat abandoned, sacrifices rotting in the water. Corrupted crawgs fighting over the biggest pieces, scattering intestines everywhere.
She had figured out the large ones were in charge. Huge, hulking females, barely dressed. Their voices carried far and they were ruthless even to their own females serving them. One mistake and you were done. How could anyone live like this?

It had been a few days now in the cage. They’d taken most of her and her cagemate’s clothes, leaving them with nothing more but scraps that barely covered them. After a few days in the filth of the cage, they’d also gotten very dirty with things she didn’t even want to think about. Wouldn’t think about. She hadn’t had any chance to talk to the female yet due to being gagged the entire time. Yet, there was a comfort in her presence. Sharing warmth at night, it made a big difference.
No one had paid and attention to them yet though, just letting them sit there. Until that day.
Skint was only half awake, having dozed off. Sleeping was difficult due to the cramped position she was in permanently, but someone can only go so long without it. She was roughly woken though when a hand clapped against the cage.
“Pretties, pretties, which one ta choose! Mistress needs ta know, oh so pretty, so delicious.”
Now very much awake, Skint looked up at where the voice came from. A male, crooked back, covered in warpaint and several necklaces around his neck decorated with bones and teeth. He opened the cage and without hesitating grabbed Skint around the neck, lifting her out effortlessly. She tried to struggle, but his grip was iron. Her cagemate couldn’t even do anything but helplessly watch as the cage was closed again.
“Struggle, oh yes, pale one, struggle. She’ll love dat! Pretty, so pretty..” he crooned almost lovingly while he mercilessly dragged her along, hand still around her neck. She could barely breathe, her legs dragging over the ground.
She was taken to one of the smaller huts. Skint only had a moment to see a bit of her surroundings before she was thrown forwards like a ragdoll, her head hitting against something solid. Pain exploded in her head, white flashes in front of her eyes blinding her. The gag was removed but she only coughed endlessly, curling up on her side on the floor.
“My. Not very impressive specimen. Ya be lucky ya be a female. Set her on the altar.” A voice spoke from beside her, a sneering voice, uncaring. She was picked up and placed on a cold surface, before footsteps moved out of the hut. She felt a certain wetness under her, and when she finally opened her eyes, she saw the blood.
And stared right in the face of Juza.
Her eyes widened and she tried to back off, but a strong hand held her in place. She couldn’t scream, her throat too dry.
Juza, dear sweet protective Juza. His head was lying on the side of the altar, on another small table. His eyes dead, unseeing. His face a mask of agony.
“Oh, ya knew him, sweetie? Hah! He held out long. But not long enough. Mistress wasn’t pleased.”
Skint finally turned to locate the source of the voice. And to look away from the cruel fate her friend had undergone, not wanting to look into those dead eyes a moment longer.
There was a certain slender grace to the female troll. Long limbs, curves and a wild edge, her graceful movements full of purpose, none wasted. She was covered in warpaint and blood, trinkets and piercings, ritual items and cloths hanging from her shoulders and around her waist.
A very deadly beauty.
Skint didn’t see her that way though. For her, she was fear. Pain. Terror.
“P-please-…” she managed to croak out, which only made the Blood Troll cackle while she laid out a few items on the altar. A knife, a bowl and what seemed to be a sort of doll, made of scraps of cloth.
“Already? Disappointing. I should kill ya right now. But, order is an order. Mistress wants to know,” she said, while picking up the knife and moving to the other end of the altar, near Skint her feet. “Now be a good girl and lie still.”

Not like she could do much else, still being bound. She couldn’t call on the Light like this. She couldn’t fight, she had no chance. None at all.
The knife was raised as the females three fingers gripped Skints ankle, positioning it over the bowl. One, two quick slices and blood was freely pouring into the bowl from two cuts in her calf. Skint tried to curl up even more, hissing in pain, trying to pull her leg out of the iron grip, but no it was no use.

“Lie still, I said.” A sharp tug and more pain, the female dug her nails into Skints ankle. “Just a bit more,” she whispered. When the bowl was nearly full, she finally let go, gathering her other items. Dipping her fingers in the blood, she drew something on the altar first. Icons.. runes?
The female started to chant, holding some sort of item above the runes, shaking it back and forth. Feathers were tied to it, little bones.
When this was done, she grabbed the doll and covered that in the blood too, placing it in the middle of the rune circle. More chanting.
Skint wasn’t really paying attention anymore now, merely focusing on shuffling more out of the way on the altar. She wasn’t stopped now, the Blood Troll too busy with her little ritual, or she just didn’t care. Not like there was anywhere Skint could go in her state, in the middle of the huge camp.
“My, my… Now –dis- be interesting. More den ya seem, aint ya?” the female laughed. Whatever she’d seen in Skints blood, it was apparently amusing.
“Ohh, she will love dis, oh yes she will. It be faint, but it be dere. Traces of dat dirty light. Ya will be da perfect sacrifice for G’huun at da next ritual. Be proud! Be happy! Ya get ta be part of him!”
She raised her hands, dripping with Skints blood still and laughed. “Perfect!”
Next thing Skint knew, she was in front of her again, gripping the knife in her hand. Almost carefully now, the Blood Troll moved some of the remaining cloth away from Skints chest before placing the tip of the knife against her skin, right under her collar bone, above her heart.
Slowly and carefully she cut a mark there in the pale skin, red blood welling out. Skint didn’t make a sound. She wouldn’t give the female that, at least.
“Dere. Marked for da ritual. Mistress permits, ya’ll be da special offer. Relish in da thought. Ya death has special purpose. Not many get ta say dat.” Her voice almost sounded nice, which only made her even more scary for Skint, who was trembling all over now. Exhaustion, hunger, thirst, pain, fear… it was all too much.

The female almost tenderly gave Skint a few sips of water to drink before putting the gag bag on. She turned and barked out an order.

“Slave! Bring her back to the cage!”

Skint awoke with a start. For a few disorienting moments she panicked, but as her eyes focused more she realized she was where she’d gone earlier today. The Bwonsamdi shrine nearby camp. Her back was resting against it, a soft breeze playing with her hair.
It had become a place for her to think things over, still almost in sight of the camp and in shouting distance, but not close enough that orcs would walk over and bother her.
“G-guess I fell asleep..” she muttered softly to herself, rubbing her eyes. Not a surprise really, if she looked back to the past few days and all that happened.
She was really happy Nakobu had liked her gift, but Kroat had interrupted them before she had the chance to actually tell him what she had wanted to say in the first place.
Next time. Next time she’d tell him. Be direct, Sa’vashi had said. Maybe it was time to at least listen to a part of the Trolls advice.

The Campfire / Re: Struggles Of a New World- Skint stories
« on: June 04, 2019, 01:07:23 PM »
One day had passed. Only one day since she was freed, but for Skint it felt longer. There was this sudden freedom, no obligations, no more pain, no more hoping that the end would be quick.
She was sitting just outside the tent she and Irkha were allowed to use. It was dark around her, somewhere deep in the night. The only light she could see were the few torches in the camp, some campfires here and there from the clan-orcs and the odd glow that forever seemed to come from the temple in the distance.
Skint was tired, but she couldn’t seem to get more sleep than just a few hours every time she tried. She’d scare herself awake constantly, every little noise, Irkha accidentally turning in her sleep and bumping into her.
Irkha… A name even Skint hadn’t known until they were freed. She looked over her shoulder at the sleeping orc she shared the tent with. They’d never gotten the chance to speak, before. She felt such a kinship with this she-orc, though she didn’t know anything about her.
With a soft sigh Skint ran a hand through her hair, her thoughts dragging her back to that one day. Many orcs had asked about it already, but she had never given them the long answer. Only said enough words to make them stop asking.

The caravan made it deeper into the jungle, Skint once more sitting on the back. Perro was his normal silent self, peering with squinted eyes into the swamp around him, ever cautious. Juza on the other hand was entertaining himself by singing soft songs in Trollish, but even he had his weapon on his lap. The road was muddy, dangerous, he’d said.
All of a sudden the cart stopped, lurching to one side with a loud groaning noise of protesting wood. Skint instantly fell off, rolling into the mud with a surprised outcry. The two smaller direhorns that pulled the huge cart also cried out, they’d gotten stuck in their harness and were being pulled close to the ground on one side, with one side of the carts wheels sinking away in the mud.

Juza was on his feet, instantly. Perro was already trying to loosen the harness. “Damnit. Dis a trap! Be aware!” Juza called out, the large Troll squinting into the darkness.

It had indeed been a trap. Out of nowhere, odd looking trolls swarmed them. This was the first time Skint saw any. Pale skinned, like her, but these were painted. In blood. Red, black stripes, white skull faces, barely wearing anything but scraps of cloth and piercings and golden jewels.
She didn’t get to take a good look at them for long, within moments they’d surrounded the cart, whooping and cheering in high pitched noises, some slamming the butts of their spears on the ground, some slapping their hands on their thighs.
The direhorns went down first. Stuck to the cart, they were no match for the blood troll spears. Their screams of pain and panic were some of the worst Skint had heard, almost getting crushed herself under the cart as the beasts tried to get away, only getting themselves stuck even more. It didn’t take long.
Juza charged. Skint saw him actually take down one of the Blood trolls with his own spear, but there were way too many. She didn’t see his fate, as half a dozen Blood Trolls swarmed him. Perro was actually standing next to her now, almost protectively so, his spear in both his hands.
And they came. Skint barely had time to draw her own dagger. From the corner of her eyes, she saw a dark flash, a glimmer. One of the Trolls fell. And another. Perro roared a challenge, taking down one, two as well. Skint pressed herself to the back of the cart, not knowing what to do. She should fight!
As one of the Bloodtrolls came close to her, grinning, teeth dripping with blood. Skint closed her eyes. She envisioned a rat, in her mind. Multiple, a dozen, two dozen.. And believed. Willing them into existence. It didn’t take long for the screams to start, and as Skint opened her eyes, there was an entire blanket of shining, bright rats covering the Blood troll, ripping her apart piece by piece, gnawing and biting.
Maybe they did have a chance!
She noticed the same flashes as before and saw it were weapons. Two weapons from another orc, dark skinned, helping them. Who was that? And where had she come from?
Skint didn’t get long to ponder on it. There was a sudden exploding pain on the back of her head and everything went dark.

She woke with a groan, barely able to open her eyes. They were caked with dried blood. She tried to raise her hand to rub at them, but the only thing that happened is that she became aware of another sharp pain around her wrists. Ropes. Too tight, cutting into her skin. Her tongue felt swollen, dry, and she realised there was what felt like a piece of cloth in there, bound to prevent her from crying out.
Something warm was beside her. She heard it breathing.
Panic gripped her. Finally she managed to get one eye open, trying to stand up, back off, get away.. but her feet were stuck and she fell against something firm, unable to push herself any further away.
Flashes of light were visible in front of her eyes. Pain… But Skint willed herself to focus. It was the dark female from before. Also bound, but she wasn’t awake.

Skint tried to calm herself, taking in her surroundings with one eye. They were in a blood troll camp, that was for sure. Cages all around. A sort of altar in front, covered in blood and.. meat.
She didn’t focus long on that part, especially after she saw a very familiar spear on the ground next to the altar, the only thing still attached to it was a hand… Perro’s hand.
Skint squeezed her eyes shut, starting to shake. She just pressed herself closer to the only living thing nearby, the other female. At least she wasn’t alone…

With a deep sigh, Skint pushed her thoughts somewhere else. She didn’t want to think about this right now. Not now. She was free. Irkha was free… And these Orcs, this clan… They were odd. So nice, friendly, willing to help. She wasn’t used to being treated that way.
The one that had given them their tent to use. A motherly figure. Zi’tani. She’d fed Skint with a spoon, patiently and even cleaned and brushed and braided her hair. The touch had felt so weird. Only Skints own mother had ever braided her hair for her, long ago.
Then there was Nakobu. He was like her. But so calm, so wise. She was a little intimidated by him, but also weirdly drawn towards him. He had such a positive outlook, reacted so calmly to everything, was willing to listen to her and reassure her. He’d understood her anxiety. He had so openly spoken about his past. So positive about the clan, even though one of the males had simply walked up to him and rudely asked him why he was still there, that he didn’t like him.
That was one she'd avoid, for sure. But Nakobu felt... safe.
There had been others, but names were all a blur to her, faces… unclear. She was constantly nervous, skittish. Unknowingly had clawed her own arm open, her stutter worse than ever. She was ashamed of herself. Embarrassed. But she also knew she couldn’t do this without some help.
The road to recovery had only just begun.

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