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Topics - Rhonya

The Campfire / What Comes After
September 21, 2021, 04:51:46 PM
Rhonya’s eyes moved to gaze over the sleeping faces in the hut, one by one taking in their appearances, listening to their slow breathing. Her lips parted slightly into a small smile as she watched them all.
She had begun building a few smaller huts right next to the big one. Sukeenah already had her own tent, but the cubs were growing so fast, the hut was certainly rather crowded. It was hard work, but she did it gladly.
The clan had moved on without her once more, but this time it had been by her own choice to remain behind. They would be fine without her, she was sure. Even so, a soft sigh escaped Rhonya and she shifted to stand up and move outside, the light breeze playing a little with the long tunic she was wearing.
It was dark, but out in the Barrens the stars were always there to lighten the night sky, so she could see well enough. Rhonya didn’t go far, merely a dozen meters or so before she sat down on a fallen log at the edge of the harpy woods.
The clan had been her life for many years now. Orcs lost, loved, found again, lost even more… At times the pain was almost too much to bear, but she’d always managed. Now however…
There was no one left for her to care about. Besides the Chieftain, her bloodbrother, she wasn’t that close anymore with any of the Orcs. Oh, some of it was her own fault, the past years actually her having been scared to bond again, as most of the times those bonds were ever so painfully ripped apart once more in one way or another.
Right here, she had everything. Her mate, her children, both her own blood and not.
Her memories of those she had loved and lost. Her herb garden and the people out in the Barrens here that came to her hut often enough with hurts or problems that she could aid with. Maybe it was time to settle down entirely, dig in her roots and grow.
Rhonya would visit, of course. Razor Hill wasn’t that far away, and hopefully the clan would keep using it as their anchor point for some relaxation.
But her path in the clan was over. As much as it hurt her.
The soft breeze blew through her long, long black hair, almost like a warm, calming caress over her cheek. She wasn’t alone. The spirits were with her, and she knew they were with the clan as well.
They’d be alright.

Crashing through the undergrowth came two grey feet, followed by the soft padding of a number of paws. One flash of orange and black, another of a muddy golden brown on the other side.
Breathe in, breathe out. Thundering down the hill in a billowing cloud of earth and foliage slapping her in the face, came Kyrazha, followed in her wake by a large but slender wolf and an enormous tiger. She doubled over for a moment after reaching the bottom of the hill, catching her breath. There was a wide grin on her sweaty face though, an almost unnatural blue-ish glint in her eyes.
“Let’s take a break, guys. Just a short drink.” she said softly before seating herself near a bush. Timur curled up around her back, his head resting on her lap. Vesa however, disappeared into a nearby bush, the rustling of the leaves betraying he was moving further away. He’d be back, she knew.
Taking a swig from her waterskin, Kyrazha closed her eyes a short moment.

This is what we were born to do, Stalker. Our pack. Our hunt.

I know, Striker. It feels good. Like home. But the clan…

You mean your oaths. They might conflict. But you are what you are, and you can’t fight it forever.

Kyrazha exhaled through her nose, opening her eyes again. Was this what was meant with the curse of the Varog’gor? Had it finally caught up with her, after years of serving the Chieftain faithfully, protecting him, willing to give her life for him? It should feel like failure. Like she broke her oaths to him.
But for some reason, she only felt something welling in her chest. A need for freedom, a need to go. There was no room for guilt. Only the feeling of the pack nearby. Her daughter, knowing she was safe and close by. Her bloodbrother and sister, she'd always be able to find them if needed. It was good, like this. She was home.
Timur made a soft, rumbling noise, almost as if he agreed with her in his own way.

Focus. Open your eyes and see. Feel. Hear.
Meri opened her eyes and kept her calm. She was standing barefoot on cold, grey rock. Around her rose ancient walls in a dome, the roof missing. Mist was creeping in, but it didn’t bother her. Her eyes looked almost entirely white, giving her an otherworldly, creepy look. At that point, she almost looked like a spirit herself, clad in white, her skin the ever pale grey color, her white mass of curly hair like a halo around her head. Behind her was an imposing figure of a Draenei, clad in long, flowing robes. His shape moved with the mist however, making it very clear he wasn’t a fully corporeal being.
Yet, he was there and he was visible.
Meri looked around with the white eyes. Arkaan was behind her, his presence like a burning in her back, a shining light in the corner of her vision. There were others. She was pulling them here, calling on them, hopefully able to finally grand at least a few of them peace.
She’d been training the past months with Arkaan, after making her will known to Nakobu. Meri wanted to learn more from the Draenei spirit, and she was only able to do so here, in the ruins of Auchindoun.
At this point she was no use to the Clan either way. Too uncertain, not able enough in her ways to safely help them and the spirits they might run into. Never had she been a center piece and never would she want to be. Her place was at Nakobu’s side, the only one who truly knew her and loved her, despite her shortcomings and mistakes.
And that feeling was mutual.
Slowly they gathered around her, blocking her from sight of anyone that might linger nearby, the mists thickening in the center of the ruins.
She’d set them free, one by one, as was the duty she put upon herself. As was in the power Arkaan was entrusting her with.
Deathspeaker, Spiritspeaker, Soulwarden, Soulwalker, Lightuser, Pale one… It didn’t matter how they called her. Meri would learn. And she would help them. She would help Nakobu find his place, wherever that may be. She would stay with him, and all would be well.

The mist closed. All was silent, all was white, all was still.
The Campfire / A Realm Unknown
February 28, 2021, 11:38:56 PM
The twisting magic swirled around and around, a noise like a wind howling in her ears. She had kept her eyes open for the first seconds but squeezed them shut quickly after, the twisting and turning combined with the flashes and sights making her nauseous. What was going on? Was this how it was supposed to go?
Kyrazha couldn’t hear the rest of the clan anymore. Something slammed against her, almost knocking her out. A second later she heard a loud snarl and felt fur brush against her, but when she opened her eyes it was all darkness. With a feeling as if she was being pulled inside out, a very sudden bright, blue light engulfed her and whatever had held her in its grip spat her out against something solid.

Heaving and gasping for breath, Kyrazha tried to get her bearing. However, her head was spinning, something wet and warm was running over her face and her head felt like it was about to split open.  So she lay there, breathing hard, just...feeling. There was something alike to grass under her, she could feel it with her hands. Odd smells penetrated her nose, but she couldn’t place them. One she knew. Blood. Her own blood.
There were sounds around her everywhere. Wildlife, the pattering of tiny paws, the sound of wind brushing through leaves.

Stand up, Stalker. We’re not alone.

Finally Kyrazha opened her eyes. Blotches of white and black danced through her vision and it took her a few seconds to be able to stand up. Even then, the world swirled around her. A low snarl sounded, coming from her own throat, a little too wolflike to be orc alone.

I feel you, Striker. You’re more clear than ever.

You’re in my realm now, little one. The spirit realm.

With a huff, Kyrazha focused, pushing the dark brown wolfmask that was on her head a little further back so it wasn’t blocking any of her sight. The world around her was dark, but the longer she looked, the clearer it got. Pinpricks of little glowing lights made themselves known around her, coming from the grass, oddly enough. As if that wasn’t weird enough, when Kyrazha looked up, she saw huge, twisted circular trees with bright, blue lights coming from them.
What was this place? Her back was close to one of the massive trees, pressing against it to help her keep her balance as she was still swaying unsteadily on her feet. So that was what she had gotten smacked into, coming here.
On her head she found a wound, right above her temple, hidden in the mass of red dreadlocks. It was still bleeding, but she wasn’t too worried about that.
She’d been warned she wasn’t alone. But looking around, Kyrazha didn’t see anyone. Or anything, for that matter. Grumbling, the grey she-orc reached for her bow that was luckily still on her back, together with her quiver and most of her arrows.

Up ahead.

Kyrazha stayed low to the ground. Anything in this strange land could be a threat. And she was alone, no sight of the rest of the clan here. Had something gone wrong in the ritual?
There was no time to dwell on it as a weird noise made itself known nearby. Kyrazha didn’t wait to see what it was, but moved in the other direction instead, away from it. She was in no condition to fight right now, unless she really couldn’t avoid it. The little lights in the plants threw her off a bit. Plants were not supposed to glow.

The world was strange, unknown. While being used to weird and unknown places, this one confused Kyrazha greatly. It took her a few hours to find a place where she could rest for a moment and felt relatively safe. Hidden between two roots of the large tree, she cleaned her head wound as well as she could with some water she’d taken from a small pond nearby. Even the water was strange, too clear, too clean. She had seen some traces of animals, but they appeared to be avoiding her as much as she was avoiding them. The only thing she’d seen were creatures like some kind of moths, high in the sky. She rested there, hidden from the strange world around her, alone.

A few days passed. Kyrazha found out there was enough wildlife here after all, if you knew where to look. Hunting wasn’t an issue, getting water was easy too. She had traveled further, but she had no idea where she was going.

No sign of the clan, at all. Nothing. No sign of Sharguul either. Where was everyone?
After a week, Kyrazha had determined there were towns here, of a sort. Or camps, was perhaps a better discription. Trees that walked, strange creatures with hooves and horns that certainly knew how to handle a weapon, but had kind, soft eyes. She kept out of their sight, though sometimes she felt as if she was being watched. But Striker was quiet, so she wasn’t too worried.

Another week of being alone. There were odd places here, patches of the woods that were dying, the places being tunneled by big, massive worms of a sort which most certainly did not look friendly. She was sure to stay away from those places. They felt utterly wrong to her.

More days passed, more days of fending for herself and surviving in this strange realm. She’d seen spirits, spirits of animals. But also the hooved creatures and a centaur variant, but wearing odd, wooden masks. The softness from their eyes was gone. She avoided them, too.

Until at one point something tugged at her. Something called to her. No, not to her. To Striker.
It was time to hunt.
Kyrazha found her quarry not too far away, in the camp she’d been keeping an eye on. The camp was crawling with the masked beings, which she had determined were not friendly, unlike their brethren who wore no masks. However, she was called to the edge on the other side, so she made her way quietly through the bushes until she reached the place. There was one hooved being, hunching over a dark shape…
Before Kyrazha could determine what it was, the being moved, its eyes focused right on her.
“You are mine!!” was all it snarled before it attacked, violently, jumping right into the bush Kyrazha was in. There was almost no time to respond as the dagger the creature was holding dug itself right into Kyrazha’s shoulder, pinning her to a piece of bark on the ground beneath her. She was stuck.
How had it known-?! No time. With an underhand movement Kyrazha pulled her own dagger from the bindings around her leg, kneeing the creature in the gut in the process before slashing out with the dagger. A lucky strike across the chest made the creature slump forwards enough for Kyrazha to bite at its throat and hold on until it stopped thrashing around.

Panting, covered in blood and stuck on the ground now with a corpse draped over her, Kyrazha snarled softly. Well wasn’t this wonderful.
With a snort she used her good arm to push the corpse to the side before grabbing the long, twisting daggers heft. Pulling it right out of her shoulder, she growled in pain, baring her teeth and clamping them together to stop herself from crying out. It wouldn’t do to get the entire camp on her head.
Looking around, she found some moss growing against the tree. A handful was enough to fill up the wound and plug the hole there, for now. It hurt like fel. She’d take care of it properly later.
First, that shape.
Moving over, Kyrazha became aware of a low snarl sounding. The creatures side heaving with its breathing. It didn’t look hurt, only dazed. As it lifted its head, Kyrazha knew why it had felt so familiar...
Wild knowing eyes met hers. She wasn't alone anymore after all.
The Campfire / Failure
February 16, 2021, 08:09:01 PM
The nights here were never really different from the days, all sense of time lost. So when Rhonya was sitting there on the edge of the camp, keeping her eyes on the two comatose orcs on the floor, she couldn’t help but slowly slipping towards sleep state herself. The monotone colors, no light changes, it made one zone out eventually. She was thinking about Rykana’s words, about trying harder and how she herself had responded. Exhaustion caught up with her before long and her eyes fully closed. Maybe she could take a nap, for a second…

The elven woods were as oppressing always. Some of the orcs loved them, but to Rhonya they were dark, secluded and slightly claustrophobic, the way the sky wasn’t even visible through the dense, dark tree tops.
The tribe was here on business, as usual. She had left Sadok and Sukeenah and the cubs in her hut in the Northern Barrens. There’d been some odd rumors coming from the woods, so the tribe had offered to investigate. Rhonya’s mate hadn’t felt up for it, so she’d gone without him. Which was fine, he could use some time with the children either way.
It was almost evening when the call came.

A voice, in her head. Sadoks voice.

“I love you. I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you I love you I love you iloveyouiloveyouiloveyouILOVEYOUILOVEYOUI--”

Rhonya was instantly alert. She reached back out to him, but there was no answer. Nothing. Instant fear gripped her heart as she dropped everything she was doing and yelled for Keren, her wolf. Sensing the urgency in her call, Keren ran towards her, unsaddled and all. Others of the tribe noticed Rhonya’s distress, but Rhonya wasn’t answering anyone.
One that followed her without question was Siyah’gosh, but Rhonya didn’t pay him any mind at first. She had to move. What was going on?

A green sky greeted her as Orc and Wolf ran as fast as Keren could go, Rhonya hanging on to the scruff of Kerens neck, clinging to her back. Rhonya looked up as they crossed the border to the Barrens. This sky wasn’t normal.
This thought was instantly supported by the feeling of the runic ward tattoo on her back activating. Which could only mean there was a high concentration of fel in the air.
Her hut wasn’t far. But the trip seemed to be taking hours, her ward burning on her back, sapping her energy to keep the fel from influencing her. There were.. things, in the sky. She paid them no heed.

Her breath caught as she rounded the corner into the patches of trees that surrounded her hut.
Or.. What was once her hut. Charred beams, the few remaining walls that were still standing were blackened and crumbling. The roof had collapsed and most of the furniture was burned and gone. The tattoo burned painfully now.
Without hesitation Rhonya threw herself off Kerens back, running towards the hut.
“Sadok?! Sukeenah! Skorm..?” She yelled, but there was no answer. She was trembling now, scenarios of her children and mate burning to death inside the hut in her mind. No. She had to focus.

Looking on the ground, the grass was blackened in a circle around the hut, as if something burning had fallen with great speed on the structure. But, in the grass, footsteps. Many of them. Both small and large, they made their way away from the hut.
So they’d escaped? Relief filled her. But why wasn’t Sadok answering her?

A soft sound could be heard from the hut. It was barely audible, a soft moan. Rhonya turned, her eyes going wide. She found a way inside the hut, climbing over fallen beams, burned up furniture, some threatening to fall on her as she shifted some things out of the way.
“Sadok!” She called out to her mate, before she saw him.

Only his torso was visible. One of the walls was pinning him on one side, a support beam had fallen over him on the other, crushing his legs. Blood streaked his face. One hand was stiffly held in a position as if he was holding something, but.. it was empty. On the floor nearby him she could see the ugly spiked mace they had kept in the hut for years. Mruth’gors scepter, the Scepter of the Shaman King.

He was still alive. Rhonya sped over towards him, tears filling her eyes. How was he even still alive? His face was charred, the wounds fatal, she could tell that right away. Yet, he breathed.

Their last moments were short. Some of the tribe arrived, but as they noted her distress and the fact they couldn’t help in any way, they left her alone. Only Siyah’gosh stayed, and talked to her.
Sadok would die. Nothing could change that. The beam on him was somehow the only thing still keeping him alive. If it was moved, he’d die instantly. But if they left him like this, he’d die a slow, agonizing death.
Sadok could hardly speak. But he noticed her there, her recognized her. He told her Sukeenah had escaped with the children. He mentioned the scepter, but his words were all jumbled up.
Rhonya was numbed. She held his hand, feeling… nothing. She couldn’t accept this…

In the end Siyah’gosh convinced her she couldn’t leave him like this, in his own way. She agreed… And the odd but honest orc slit his throat. Ended his suffering.
The image forever burned into Rhonya’s memory, never to forget, the pain never fading. If only she’d taken him along. If only she’d been there and not in the woods. If only she’d tried harder.
If only…

Images. Orcs, in her arms.
Her sister. Grogona. Someone found her corpse, brought it to the clan. In her arms, that trusted face, the spirit gone forever. Failed her.
Under her bloodied hands. A newblood...what was his name again? Kargush. Wounded in battle and she’d been too late. He died, her hands bloody on his chest, tears burning in her eyes. Failed him.
That burned face of her mate, making her promise to be strong… Failed him most of all.
Krogon, an arrow in his back, the poison spreading through his veins, the Chieftains knife kissing his throat and sending him to the Plains, under Rhonya’s hands. She’d failed him.
Makaroth. Blood brother. Warlock. Fallen from grace, seduced to return to his old ways, killed for betraying the tribe… failed him, her bond broken.

Failed them all. She didn’t try hard enough.

Nakobu, burning up right in front of her eyes. One moment he was there,  the next, he was gone. Failed him.
Thronk, getting carried over the edge, drowning, his suffering spared by an arrow-..failed him…

Failed them all. Their blood on her hands. She didn’t try hard enough. It was her fault. So many dead, because she failed, because she hadn’t been strong enough. Failure… failure…


She awoke with a start, touching her face. Something warm and wet was covering her cheeks. It took her a moment to realize she was crying. Her gaze found Nakobu’s form right away. She stumbled over to him, checking his pulse. He was alive… thank the spirits, he was alive.
Rhonya moved over to Thronk, doing the same. His heartbeat steady under her hand.

Wiping her face, Rhonya turned around, moving a little bit away from her clan. Rykana’s words echoing in her ears. “I did everything I could and it wasn't enough.”

Rykana had been talking about herself. But the words had hit home for Rhonya too, clearly. Her heart hurt.
These two were not dead. But they could’ve been, easily. She still wasn’t strong enough.
With a sigh Rhonya buried her face in her hands, hiding a little behind some of the bones. Steelheart, was her name. A name she often felt she didn’t deserve…
The darkness was absolute. There was nothing. No sounds, no smells, no light. Yet, there was something. A presence. Something there with her. Something approaching slowly, a light touch next to her ear, a brush over her cheek. And softly, a whisper. They had found her once again.

Meri shifted uncomfortably under the think blanket she was hiding under, curled up in a dark corner of the large Horde tent. The furs covered her from head to toe, blocking out all the light. She had retreated into herself for some much needed quiet, but it always found her when she did that. The Voids presence, never long behind as she tried to use it to block some of the chaos going on in her head. She had given in to it a few days ago, hopeful that it might give her some respite, but the scale had tipped too far.
It had taken Nakobu and the Light to bring her back to her usual balance. Something Meri did not want to repeat, because she had seen how much it had hurt him to actually use the Light on her in such a way. How it had shaken his very beliefs. So she pulled back, not giving in to those whispers this time, returning to the here and now.

The rest of the clan didn’t need to know her situation. Not more than they already did, at the very least. Right now she was only a burden, not functioning normally at all, despite her trying very hard. Nakobu had gone outside to discuss other things with the clan. He was still hurt. It wasn’t fair on him either, the fact she couldn’t even support him right now, as she should. He was her mate after all.

Meri slowly rose from the pile of blankets, reaching for the mug of cold water that was never far. Taking a few sips, the normal world came back to her slowly. Noises. Not only the camp around her, but voices. Pleas, cries of pain, despair. It was hard to untangle them into individual things, it was more a current passing by, hearing one thing only to have it whisked away and be replaced by three other voices. She knew they came from around her, and above her. The undead, tortured souls, the strange pressing sensation coming from that broken sky. The flashes, parts of beings ripped apart, but she could never focus fully on them.
It was never ending. This place was chaos.

If only Arkaan could visit her here. Often she held the bone in her hand that he had gifted her, thinking about their earlier talks, the lessons he had given her. The Draenei spirit was bound to Auchindoun however, so calling on him here probably wouldn’t work. If he even heard her through all this noise. Yet, knowing he and Nakobu always had faith in her, gave her some strength.

As she stood up and smoothed out her robe to go in search of some much needed food, she got some odd looks from the Argents passing by. They still didn’t understand. Some had tried to ask, but she send them away. They didn’t need to know either.
Reaching for her bag, she took out some of the dwindling supplies. A few potatoes, carrots, onions and other vegetables. She worked slowly, very slowly, concentrating hard to keep her attention on the preparations instead of getting drowned in everything in her head. It made her so tired…
The knife sliced through the potato easily. As she rose it to cut down again, she gasped. A pang of pain split through her head, making her cut into her finger instead of the potato, blood spreading over her cutting board. She didn’t notice it though.
A flash. Snow, swirling around. She felt Nakobu’s presence, for some reason. But also others of the clan. Echos of voices, worried, shocked. The half-blood calling out to the skies, to the spirits. She could hear him as clearly as if she’d been standing next to him.

Meri sat there, unseeing, eyes unfocused, blood slowly dripping from the cutting board on the ground. One of the Argents Crusade elves moved in her direction and worriedly gave her a shoulder a soft pat. “Miss? You're-.. You’re bleeding.”
No response, at all.
Looking uncertain, the Elf moved away to grab a few supplies to dress Meri’s wound, placing the now ruined food and board to the side, along with the bloody knife. Meri didn’t stir.

A river of souls. Flash. A city in the sky. What is it? Where is it?
Flash. A dwarf, alongside other deathwalkers. It didn’t make any sense.
Flash. Growling, a large, black wolf fighting for his life. Only there a mere second in her minds eye, but the image stuck with her.
Flash. An orc, dying. No, getting devoured, utterly. Next, another. Gone, no trace.

Meri hiccuped, finally snapping out of the trance. The elf was gone by now, her finger neatly bandaged, a soup simmering in her pot on her own small fire, the bloody potatoes cleared away. How long had she been out? What had she seen? They’d only been split second images and they’d come and gone so fast, she couldn’t make any sense of them.
A headache build up behind her eyes, fast and unrelenting, forcing her to hide back under the darkness of the furs in the corner, not too far from her little fire. The light hurt her eyes.
She heard others coming in eventually, but she didn’t move from her hiding spot. Meri couldn’t focus on the voices anyway, they all blurred together with the screams.

How long would she hold out, like this…? Meri didn’t know. But she wasn’t leaving. That was for certain.

The Campfire / Kosh'harg Dreams
September 19, 2020, 02:18:35 PM
Kosh’harg. A time of camaraderie, peace, celebration. Most of all, rest, a time to relax and simply enjoy each others company. Even more so for Srelok Grimtide now. He’d gotten so close to the edge a week ago that he was happy to be alive. Happy to even still be able to celebrate this festival with his clan, his family.
They were not done yet. There were still some things to do, but most of the danger had passed for now. For now, he could simply enjoy the celebrations.
Sinking back into his furs one evening, a smile on his lips as he fell asleep…

Pandaria. A land of hope and dreams since the Sha were defeated. They’d been living here for a while now, away from the clan. Not that she was really a part of them to begin with, but she noticed Srelok missing them often enough. He had a place there, a family, even so he’d chosen to go here instead with her. The outcast, the stranger. Being a half blood had never been easy. The clan accepted them well enough, but for many the feeling remained of being the odd one out either way.
The lands they’d seen were beautiful, recovering after everything that been done to them in the past years. It was a good time, together. Finally they had the time and chance to focus on each other, and only that.

Yet, things never stay the same.

It started in the Vale. Darkness fell over the land once again. But not a natural darkness. No, this was something else. A darkness so deep and corruptive that the land itself suffered, and everything inhabiting it as well.
A small seed was enough. They fled, but she felt her mind slowly starting to slip. Some moments she didn’t remember what she’d been doing just minutes before.
Slowly he watched her change. From that sharp, witty person to a hollow shell of what she’d been once. He tried to help her, desperate, his love, his life withering before his eyes. But it was all for naught.
She slipped through his fingers into madness, and there was no way to reverse it.

The cave. The ending of a bond made for life that lasted way too short. The last moments as she attacked all those dear to her, as they harmed her. Every wound he felt on himself, double as badly. Was it his fault it had come this far? They never should’ve gone to this place.
The life that faded from her eyes as she looked up to someone she didn’t know. Why hadn’t it been him? Why were the last arms she felt around herself not his, but a strangers?
Slipping, slipping, ever further into the dark.
Finally the voices were silenced, blessed quiet. No more promises, no more hurt. Yet she could still see the faces of them all. She’d still been in there, pushed away, but looking on as they came to murder her.

The silence didn’t last very long. A new noise made itself known, the world gone red. This should’ve been a new beginning. Panic gripped her in its ugly claws as she fell, kept falling. No! Where were the eternal plains? This wasn’t right!
Struggling, but to no avail. She was lost once again. From the frying pan into the fire, as one would say. This fire hurt more than anything else. She had no body to burn, so it burned her soul, her very essence.
Slipping, once again. How much time had passed? How much time of being in this agonizing pain, memories slowly fading away, burned away, until nothing was left…
Who was she again…? Faces swam in front of her mind, faces she’d once known, but who were strangers now.

Strangers. The last thing she saw again, before everything disappeared. Entirely. The pain, the noise...She.

Blessed silence.
The Campfire / Some Dreams Do Come True- Skint
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 â€"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
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)
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
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
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
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 / Stalker and Striker
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 â€"was- the weapon.

“Let’s go hunt, Shelar.”
The Campfire / Paying Respects (Skint story)
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.
Red Blade Records / Skint
June 03, 2019, 05:45:13 PM

Name: Skint
Alias: None yet
Rank: None yet
Age: 19
Gender: Female
Race: Mag'har Orc
Clan: Warsong
Class: Priest

Family: Nakobu (Mate) Hotur (Brother), Lughor (Father), Zogira (Mother).
Known Friends: Tahara, Tagrok, Zi'tani, others of the clan
Known Enemies: A certain loa...


This she-orc might stand out mostly because of her huge mane of hair. It's white, almost like a puffy cloud around her head. It consists of very tiny curls, reaching down over her shoulders and down her back. Little braids go from her forehead up to the top of her head to keep the mass of hair away from her face.
Her eyes are a very pale pink, standing out in a face that is rather gaunt. Her skin is also a very light hue, pale grey.
It's easy to see this female wasn't born with lucky looks, being more albino in colors.
Her frame isn't very impressive either, not much muscle mass and clearly she's had trouble getting enough food to remain healthy in her past, judging by her thin form.


Skint was born a Warsong in Nagrand, many years after the Iron Horde’s biggest threat had passed. She was born as one of twins, yet she drew the short straw. While her brother was a strong, healthy brown skinned baby, she came second. Thin, pale grey and already a thin fuzz of pure white hair on her head, her eyes not a normal baby blue color but a pale pink.
Traditional as the Warsong were, she was considered an omen of bad luck. Only her mother prevented her from being killed by birth, because she was a well-respected she-orc in their camp.
A name was bestowed on her, but everyone just called the pale she-orc Skint, as an insult name because of her pale skin.
Growing up wasn’t easy for Skint. Her father had rejected her entirely, he was too ashamed to admit she was his blood at all and he focused purely on her brother Hotur, who grew out to be a lean but muscled wolf rider in training during his teen years.
Her mother protected her child, but to many she was just an insult to the clan. Something that should’ve been drowned at birth. She was compared to the Pale Orcs that had roamed around the lands; cursed shaman, void addled creatures. Her mother couldn’t protect her against the glares, the food that she wasn’t given, the rocks the other children threw at her, the other orcs simply ignoring her in a lot of cases or treating her like a mangy dog. She wasn’t allowed near the wolves either, no promise of any future in her camp, for she was shunned from everything and by everyone. Not even her brother liked her. Only her mother taught her a few basic skills to make sure she’d survive at least outside of camp as well. In her solitude she actually looked more into the fate of the Pale Orcs she was compared with and the time where the warsong dark shaman used the void to twist the elements around Oshu’gun, making it a sort of study for herself and how the Shadowmoon also saw the void and their use of it.

So when the Lightbound became more prominent and Skint heard of them, young as she was, she saw a future. Somewhere to belong. People to accept her. She fled the Warsong, fled Nagrand and found the Draenei and the Lightbound Orcs. They didn’t care about her looks, her ‘weakness’, only that she followed them. They taught her the ways of the Light, the faith and acceptance. Skint finally felt at home, a place they didn’t judge her. They promised her a lot of things, but first the world had to be cleansed. At first, she saw no harm in it, never really being allowed near the frontlines, more of a support in the back.
But when the years passed and the Lightbound pushed their hold further and further, Skint began to see this was not right. That some orcs who joined didn’t do so out of free will. That they were being forced to aid in the slaughters that were committed now. This wasn’t what they promised her, not what she wanted.
Yet she was stuck, no way for her to leave.

Until that one day where she got the opportunity to flee. For some reason a fight had broken out on her side of the camp. She’d heard the rumours of a group of orcs and Draenei that were working against the Lightbound from within their own ranks, helping others to escape but Skint herself had never really dared to reach out to them, too afraid to get caught. She dressed herself in rags and took the chance when everyone was too busy dealing with the traitors and their distraction.
Gorgrond was a dangerous place, but she managed to reach the last standing camp of Orcs that were still resisting. Covered in mud, thin and with her odd appearance somewhat hidden by a dirty cloak and hood, she hid between the refugees and wounded of the camp. No one recognized her. They all let her be as she aided with the wounded. Not with her Light of course, but just by doing chores around the camp.
And then the day came of the last battle, the day the rumours travelled quickly about green orcs, about a way out. A last chance.
She squeezed herself between the others fleeing through the portal. And thus found her way to Orgrimmar and the Horde.

From there on Skint mainly kept her ‘powers’ hidden. She knew that many wouldn’t agree with her being a former Lightbound, even if she had chosen to leave. This however made her feel quite useless again, for she didn’t know anything else besides the Light. Some basic skills in first aid and being so slender made her focus more on her own speed, but she only knew a little how to handle a dagger.
When word reached her that the Horde needed more troops in Zandalar, she applied to be send out. Perhaps the Zandalari Trolls wouldn’t mind what powers she used, as she learned they were more open to following different beliefs, having those Loa themselves. And so she set out to strengthen the Horde forces on Zandalar, being put into caravan duty, helping Horde camps restock and care for the beasts.

Things you may know about this character:
-   Skint can use the Light pretty well, balancing it out with Void these days.
-   She knows what wrongs the Lightbound did and does not agree with it all, but she doesn’t think Light itself is to be blamed.
-   Her faith took a blow either way and she’s a little reluctant now to use Light as freely as she used to do.
-   She can’t stand being in full, hot sun for very long, her skin easily burning.
-   Her eyesight isn’t very good.
-   Skint doesn’t know if her parents and her brother survived. Nor does she know if they happened to come along to Azeroth, not having searched for them at least.

Things you may not know about this character:

-   Skint does know how to call on void as well, but she never dabbled much in it after she found the Light and the Lightbound.
-   She’s very interested in shamanism and the void together, knowing very well how bad it was for the elements and how corruptive. She does not agree with it being used together, but that doesn’t dim her interest in how it was done on her homeworld.
-   Skint also has a deep interest in learning how the Shadowmoon used their star and their soul magic, not really having gotten the opportunity yet to really speak to someone about it.

Another day, another struggle. What had they told her again? Oh, yes.

It’d be an easy job! All she had to do was take care of the beasts and make sure the right provisions were delivered at the right place. Even a simple thing like her should be able to do that, right?

Skint had let the insult slide, just responding with a soft sigh. She rather have them think her simple than getting their hate directed at herself. So she had just bowed her head and muttered a reply that could’ve meant basically anything. One of the large male orcs clapped her on the shoulder with a laugh, which almost made her topple over, before he put his hands around her slender waist. She wasn’t that much smaller than him in length, but she was a twig compared to him in bulk. Without another word the orc lifted her up on the supply cart, on top of a few sacks of grain.
“There you go, White. Do the Horde proud, eh?” another laugh sounded from the orcs around them at those words.

Skint send them a small smile and seconds later the cart started to move and slowly they left the grand city of the Zandalari, crossing a bridge decorated in gold. Even after having been here a few weeks now, Skint couldn’t get used to the sheer size of the city and all the glittering whenever the sun came out from the clouds. It actually hurt her eyes to look at it for too long.

“Don’t mind dem too much. Ya won’t see dem for a while now. Wat was ya name again?” The voice shook Skint from her thoughts. It was one of the two Trolls that were up front on the cart, directing the direhorns that pulled it on where to go. She turned her head, pushing the mass of white hair out of the way before she could see him, looking back at her. He himself had pale grey skin as well, but his hair was blue, golden rings decorating his tusks and ears. There was a smile on his face though, genuine and not mocking.
She found herself smiling back at him tentatively.
“Skint. My name is Skint.”

One of his eyebrows went up slightly, but he nodded to her before turning back to look at the dirt road ahead. “Odd name for an Orc, no? But never mind dat. Skint it be den. I’m Juza and dis be Perro.” He clapped his buddy on the shoulder, but the somewhat smaller male Troll only grunted in response.
“Perro aint too happy with dis trip, but dat’s wat ya get when ya get caught drunk during guard duty, Perro! Da boring jobs.” A hearty laugh sounded from Juza. At least someone was cheery.

“And dun ya worry about da job, Skint. We know wat we be doing. Ya just do wat dem told ya a do and we’ll get along fine!”

Later that evening, Skint had to confess, it wasn’t that bad. The beasts were resting, having had their food from her after being loosened from the cart. They were somewhere in Zuldazar still, the jungle having come alive around them when night fell. Nightly creatures skittering around, little fireflies visible near their campfire. Juza had given her a bowl of still mainly fresh fruits and nuts, sharing from the supplies they’d gotten for the trip.
She looked over at him, his form illuminated by the firelight. He was playing a simple wooden flute, while Perro was singing a Trollish song in a low tone. The two clearly often worked together. Skint somewhat felt the odd one out. But when was that something new?

She smiled though as she quietly ate from her food. Maybe it hadn’t been such a bad idea, coming here. The Trolls accepted her better than her own kind, so far. They mainly thought her interesting. An oddity, sure, but not in a negative way. They also didn’t treat her as a child, nor tried to constantly pat her on the head or hair, like so many orcs tended to do.
Even so, she’d been lucky no one of the Mag’har recognized her so far. Even if she’d been at the back in most of the battles, she stood out. Or perhaps they had simply taken one look at her frail form and decided she wasn’t a threat. Not that she thought she was one, but with her past…

For now, she was good. Safe, with these two. Perhaps she could build a new future here, on Azeroth.
The Campfire / Another Beautiful Day
April 02, 2019, 07:57:20 PM
The first rays of sunlight made their way over the horizon, making me squint my eyes due to the sudden brightness. I didn’t turn away though, merely closed my eyes and enjoyed the warmth of the morning sun on my face. Light snoring was heard from beside me. My hand found Timurs soft fur without looking, gently stroking the soft fuzz on his ears while he slept. Uurekh was lying curled up between the front paws of the wolf. It had been a good choice to find a companion for him after Lian had passed away. There was just some level of company, of comfort that I couldn’t give either of them. Especially now we needed to get used to one another again, shift the bond a little after the recent events.

A true daughter of the wild, like me.

The words filled my head and made me smile. I wasn’t sure I deserved such high praise, but those words had stuck with me the most. I woke up some mornings, my thoughts filled with hunting memories, running through the woods with my pack…

I opened my eyes, looking over my shoulder towards Razor Hill.
My pack. The burdens on my shoulders had never been higher than now. I had taken them up willingly of course, but it was going to take some getting used to. How times change…
The talk yesterday between me, Nakobu and Gaar’thok had made me think about all that again. How I had started on my own, so unfamiliar with anything outside my little bubble that I grew up in. My life had been Qa’ajn, Lian and the jungle. The Troll had done his best to teach me at least some things, but I had lacked greatly in social skills with others, especially Orcs. Never did I have the responsibility over anyone besides Lian while we grew up together. Never did I actually care for someone else besides my little family there.

My gaze travelled over some of the orcs that were waking up now and went on their morning duties or practices, my hand still gently stroking the soft fur of the wolf beside me. He was awake now, eyes open. Perhaps sensing my thoughts. He’d been picking up on them more and more lately, yet had pulled away again slightly recently. I didn’t blame him. We’d work on it, all of us together.

Trakmar had changed my life. I had told him multiple times, but I still wasn’t sure how aware he actually was of this fact. Kicked out of camp by a Varog’gor after I just found the Red Blades, Trakmar was the one to find me and convince me to come back with him. He was the one who taught me how to balance my own nature with the orc traditions and history. How not to lose myself, but to become a proper part of it anyway.
And now, I was a Varog’gor. Keeper of the code. Protector of the Chieftain and the clan as a whole. Risen to a position and responsibility I had never thought of reaching, when first meeting the Red Blades. There was no way back anymore now.
It had changed everything. It had changed… me.

Yet I had never doubted the choice to start training as Varog’gor. Even knowing most had ended up dead or insane during the clans history. The burden was a heavy one, after all.

I looked back towards the now slowly rising sun and pushed myself to my feet, stretching myself out. A stab of pain shot through my right shoulder as I did so, but I ignored it. The wound I had gotten in Felwood had still never really healed, a very wide ugly scar taking up most my shoulder now. Perhaps I should’ve found a proper healer for it after all. Maybe let someone take a look at it still…
“Time for morning run, Timur. Coming along?” I spoke softly to the wolf. He raised his ears and stood up to stand by my side. Uurekh lazily just rolled over again. Doubt I’d be able to get him moving for the next hour or so.

There were things I needed to arrange. Plans to be made, orcs to speak to. Not many in the clan had seen the other side of me, and hopefully it would stay that way. But if needed, I would step up and be the one to catch the blows, the target, the one for people to direct their hate to if things are not going as they want and someone needs to interfere. And I’d be ready to defend myself or anyone unjustly targeted by others.

Stalker and Striker. Hopefully only Stalker had to show herself to the world, be that in full or not. But Striker would be ready if needed, I could feel it.

I set off on a jog, the wolf by my side. It was promising to be another beautiful day.
The Campfire / Everything Good Comes To An End
January 15, 2019, 01:47:56 PM

Everything Good Comes To An End

Running paws behind me. A dangerous low growl sounded and urged me to keep running. Keeping still now could mean my death, his nose worked far better than mine. Trickles of sweat ran down my neck and back, making lines in the dark brown mud that covered most of my skin. I was in my element, this was my life. The jungle was alive around me, huge colourful birds squawking in indignity as I chased them from their hiding place by running through the bush they were in. As I rounded a sharp corner around a tree, I was suddenly grabbed by the back of my neck and part of my hair, sharp fingernails digging into my skin uncomfortably. I let out a surprised gasp.

“’Oo ‘a. ‘A nee’  ‘a’efu’, ‘ii’e ‘oo.” A deep voice sounded above me, speaking in such bad Orcish that he garbled all the words.
Yet, seven year old me understood them perfectly.
“I was bein’ careful, pap! And dun call me little, I be seven already!” I pouted up at him as he was still lifting me in the air, but on his face was nothing but amusement, a large, wide grin visible around his long tusks.
Behind me, something small, orange and black came tumbling from the bush, growling in a very threatening way. As threatening as a few months old tiger cub could be, that was.
My ‘pap’ lifted up the squirming tiger cub in his other hand and without another word, started to carry us both back to our little home. He wasn’t much of a talker, my dear Qa’ajn. He was a slender, wiry Troll with very spiky hair going everywhere. His power could be felt though if you were nearby him. His connection with the living things around him. I’d seen him do his magic many times, life and death, the entire circle of life that he served. I looked nothing like him, of course. My skin was grey, my hair red. And the biggest difference, I was an orc and not a Troll. It didn’t seem to matter to him though, he had taken me in as his own child all the same.

We reached our little hut without any incident, both me and the cub sulking all the way, not happy to have been interrupted in our play hunting. Qa’ajn placed us down on the wooden floorboard inside and gave us both a little piece of raw meat before he turned around again and went to work on the herb garden outside the hut.
My anger forgotten, I focused on my food instead, snuggling close to the little warm tiger body that was beside me. “Ya nearly ‘ad me dere, Lian.” I snickered before stuffing my face with meat. My speech was a lot better than Qa’ajns. He actually did teach me to pronounce things mainly right, he just didn’t care to do it himself much. Even though that meant he also taught me a very heavy accent.
Lian only responded with some loud and messy eating noises, but I could feel his affection towards me. We’d been together a few months now, after Qa’ajn had found him as a newborn, sleeping next to his mothers corpse and had brought him home to me.

Now, more than twenty years later, I was sitting against the huge bulk of the same tiger body. The scenery was different, not a warm humid jungle but a forest. I was different. A grown woman now, nearing thirty years if I had kept my counting right, part of a Clan of Orcs. So much had changed during that time, so much had happened. But he’d always been there at my side. My protector, my best friend, a piece of my heart. And now he was dying.
The years had taken a heavy toll on him. His breathing was laboured, his eyes closed. My hand moved to gently stroke the ever so soft fur of his ears and they twitched in response, but he didn’t wake up.
“O’, Lian… It be a cruel t’in’, time… We didn’t ‘ave enoug’ of it toget’er, ya and me. But it be time, no? I ‘ave ta let ya go..” The words were thick with pain, tears streaming down my cheeks. I wasn’t ready to let him go. But he was declining fast. He couldn’t hunt anymore. He nearly only slept and he was in pain. It wasn’t a life I wished for him, it wasn’t worthy of the strong proud tiger he’d been through his life.
My hands trembled as I grabbed a little piece of paper and some coal from my bag and started to write. I wasn’t good at writing and my trembling only made it all the worse, but I was sure Arhnum would understand the meaning of the words, even if they were all garbled up and smeared out.

A few days. Maybe. A few days to say goodbye to the one who’d been there from the start. A few days to say goodbye to part of myself. It wasn’t enough. But I didn’t have a choice.

Because I knew all good things have to come to an end sometime.

The Campfire / The Five Elemental Forces
June 26, 2018, 06:29:57 PM

Part one: Water

Giver of life, the water which is the blood of all creatures. Cleanser, washer of doubt. Do not anger, because the currents that hold so much life, can also take it in a heartbeat.

All ways to describe the element of Water. Yet, looking at the blue shape that once again moved away from her, Rhonya couldn’t help but be somewhat annoyed. They should’ve added: curious, a danger to itself, has a strong own will, stubborn, doesn’t listen.
The She-orc sighed as once again she ran after the little blob of water that she had to protect. It was shaped like a droplet, with two little arms and a head. It even had two little eyes made of water, which right now curiously looked over the edge of the chasm in the Barrens, not even noticing that it was steaming due to the heat that the lava below was causing to rise up into the air.
For a thing without legs, the elemental was surprisingly fast.

“Oh come on, little one! Look, you’ve just lost half of yourself. Do you â€"want- to disappear?” Rhonya spoke, while trying to urge the small thing further back from the edge, back onto the cooler plains of the Barren land. Thankfully it followed, though reluctantly. The little thing didn’t speak, but it appeared to understand Rhonya’s words now and again. Or perhaps it felt her emotions more, she couldn’t really tell.
Rhonya decided to take a little break. She and the little thing had walked all night and morning already past the Crossroads, only taking a few hours for some sleep. Rhonya didn’t really dare to sleep longer, afraid the tiny elemental would go off on its own and leave her behind. With a soft grunt she sat down on a rock in the shade. As the waveling moved in front of her, she opened her waterskin and poured it empty over the tiny thing. The change was immediate, the waveling grew visibly and actually appeared to enjoy the shower, its form oddly shifting for a moment as it absorbed the added water.
Not able to help herself, Rhonya chuckled softly at the happy elemental. “There, much better, isn’t it?“
Rhonya took some food for herself, sitting on the rock. As she chewed, she counted the waterskins she had left. Apparently she had greatly misjudged how much she’d needed to take with her. Her pack was mainly filled with waterskins, as much as she could’ve carried, but more than half was already gone. And she still had a long way to go…

Later they finally reached the end of the lava chasm. Rhonya had taken a short detour towards the Forgotten pools, but didn’t dare linger long or fill all of her waterskins in the lake there, she didn’t feel safe at all, alone out there. So she only filled a few and continued on.

They could’ve been faster, if it hadn’t been for the elemental which literally took every opportunity to curiously approach things it didn’t know yet. Including predators. Rhonya now sported a few open claw marks on her arms. She had bandaged them, because when she’d tried to call on waters aid to mend herself… it hadn’t answered. Typical. Here she was escorting one of theirs, but they refused to help her in turn. It had made her be even more careful though. She’d been lucky that the lion that had attacked the elemental and her had been an old one and she actually managed to kill it by tricking it and having it fall off the edge of the lava nearby. Not a very honourable end. She’d just muttered a small prayer to Fire to apologize and accept her ‘offering’ … and left it at that.
Rhonya wasn’t a fighter, she had trouble enough already with small prey, let alone a fully grown lion.

The she-orc turned to look at the small elemental, which was now bobbing up and down, circling her legs. It did that at times, mainly when she was standing or sitting still, as if it just couldn’t stop moving. With a soft sigh she poured another of the waterskins over the tiny creature, watching it grow slightly again as she did so. “You need more than I thought… And we’re not even past the worst part yet.” Saying that, she looked towards the small edge they would need to cross to get into Stonetalon. It went right past the heat of the lava far below. The water orb that was still following her as well floated somewhere behind her, unphased by anything. It didn’t get smaller. It just hung there and followed her.

Her back had started to hurt from carrying so much water. She was dusty and tired and thirsty, as she only had taken a few sips of the precious water herself so far. Maybe she could stock up in one of the towns in Stonetalon, but she rather avoided any settlements in fear of losing sight of the elemental. It already happened a few times that she thought she’d lost it when closing her eyes for only a few moments, losing it in a town might as well mean its end. No towns, she decided.
“Right.. Let’s go. No use in delaying. The sooner we get there, the sooner I can get some sleep. I don’t even dare lose sight of you anymore.” She said, while standing up.

It took them another while to actually get past the worst heat. Rhonya had been forced to stop a few times to pour some more water over the elemental before they could continue. As night started to fall again, they entered the slightly more cool Stonetalon Mountains. Exhaustion pressed heavily on the female now, but she didn’t want to stop. She only had a few waterskins left to get her and the waveling to their destination. Her throat was dry and her voice raspy as she spoke.
“Just a bit further, little one…”
Rhonya’s pace was slower now, her feet slightly dragging as she stubbornly continued. Almost as if feeling her exhaustion and that they were nearly there, the waveling kept close to her. Yet it took her another few hours to cross some of the mountains and finally, when she reached the top of one, she could look down on where they were headed.

The forest below them was burning. She could feel the heat from here, rising up into the air. The ground was blackened and cracked, trees fallen over. Rhonya frowned. The Elemental that had given her task had mentioned a fire spirit going wild, but she hadn’t expected it to be this bad. The heavy smoke was making her cough, so she backed off a little to take a rough cloth shawl from her pack to wrap it around her head. Normally she would’ve made it wet, but… There was only one waterskin left. Without hesitation she poured it over the tiny elemental instead.
“That’s all I have..” Even the few words made her cough again, not from smoke but because her throat was so dry. She hadn’t drank anything for hours now. Her legs and hands were shaking and her head felt like it was about to explode any moment, but she didn’t give up.
Slowly she started her way down towards the blackened, burned ground. The closer she got, the more weakened she felt, as if the heat was also sapping her life energy away. Looking down beside her she noticed the waveling shrinking slowly, but steadily. Damnit. They were so close…

Shielding the elemental with her own body as much as she could, Rhonya continued down. Almost there! She could feel her lips burst of dryness and heat, the sharp tinge and taste of blood filling her mouth. Suddenly she tripped, her foot catching on a loose rock. With a cry she tried to grasp something to hold on to, but it was all sand and loose, hot rocks. In a cloud of dust and ashes she disappeared until she smacked hard on the ground down below.

The last thing she saw before the black spots took over her vision was the tiny waveling bobbing around her once before it disappeared into the flames, followed by the watery blob that had been behind them all this time.
And then the world went black.

Seeing the former one is somewhat outdated, let's start anew with the recent people!

This thread is for fun, writing a character view. How would your character view themselves, and others of the clan that are close to them in one way or another? Of course you don't need to join in, no one will force you. ;)
But it's fun to see either way! Views can of course be both positive and negative, keep in mind this is an IC character view and nothing OOC!

As I did in the former topic too, I'll start off with my own character!

Rhonya Steelheart

Self view:

Rhonya has grown. Not only to others their eyes perhaps, but also to her own. Her oldest son is nearing seven years, a stark reminder of how long she's been with the clan as well, as he was born not too long after she started to travel with them.
She finds herself a little lost though between all the new faces in the clan now. So many treat her as if she's allknowing, which makes her proud to see but also very unsure. She, the oathbreaker, the rule breaker, almost taking up the same role of advicer as before. Rhonya isn't entirely sure she wants that.
Her bond with the elements keeps growing at least, something she likes. But it also makes her feel a little more distant from the others. A bit of a crossroads at this point, not sure whether she should step forwards again or is happy on the place she is right now, rankwise.

Rhonya's view on others:

Spoiler: "Kozgugore Feraleye" • show
A lot happened between Rhonya and Kozgugore through the years. Their bond, so strong, once broken but remade again. One of the things Rhonya is most happy about, looking back on the past year. Even though she doesn't get to talk to him much recently, with him distancing himself from the clan a lot, she values him greatly. Yet she worries about him too, as always. The weight of command on his shoulders for such a long time already, can't be easy.

Spoiler: "Gashuk Soulfury" • show
Bloodbrother once, then dead. Then Rhonya risked her entire life in the clan to get him back, to save his soul. And in doing that, she actually also partly saved her own. Gashuk was like a missing piece of a puzzle in her life, filling that spot perfectly and without effort now. She'd die for him, without any hesitation. Her mate for a while already now, he keeps her upright, grounded. Even though she's not too happy with his lust for magic sources still, it's a lot better than when he still used to be addicted to fel. 

Spoiler: "Kogra Windwatcher" • show
Her bloodsister. The one that stood by Rhonya through happy times and hardships, one of her biggest supports the past years. They're like two peas in a pod, almost always agree and disagree on the same things, work together without any effort. Even after being seperated for a while, they picked right up where they'd left as if no time had been in between. Rhonya loves her dearly and would do everything to see her remain happy and healthy. It's not even awkward to Rhonya that her once student is now above her, rankwise. It didn't change anything between them, the respect and unity is still there, stronger than ever. 

Spoiler: "Srelok Grimtide" • show
It took quite a while for Rhonya to warm up to Srelok, due to their past together. As her cousin, he kept reminding her a lot of his father, the one who raised Rhonya. However, through the years and times spent together, a deep bond of trust has grown between them both. He has the uncanny ability to always feel and know how she's feeling and how she's doing, though he doesn't do it on purpose, it annoys her at times. Nothing much that can be kept secret from Srelok. She's very proud of the effort and care he's shown to the others of the clan, though she also worries he might've given a bit too much of himself up for others. He keeps his distance now and that only adds to these worries. She misses him. Srelok is also somewhat like a father for Rhonya's cubs and those not hers that she cares for, watching over them a lot of times.

Spoiler: "Trakmar Beastbane" • show
An unlikely bloodbrother. She didn't expect this to happen, but it did, and now Rhonya is actually glad about it. Trakmar has always been a pillar for Rhonya in the clan. Albeit not always one she could lean on, but he was there through hard times and good times, a familiar face, someone with a hard outer shell but once she got to know him, she saw the softer side of him. A side he doesn't show much in public, but she's happy that he trusted her enough to show it to her in private. Also once a student, now Rhonya's tutor. What worries her now is his visible decline. He's started to mean even more to her, she does not want to lose him so soon after finally getting to know him better.

Spoiler: "Noshmarak Ironclaw" • show
Once an enemy and prisoner, now a Rrosh'tul and commander. He reminds Rhonya a little of Gridish, they both share a certain kind of humour when things are calm in camp, but can be utterly ruthless and serious when time calls for it. He's a good leader, the orcs follow him well. 

Spoiler: "Vraxxar Wildmark" • show
Rhonya has seen a lot more of Vraxxar recently, though she still feels she doesn't really know him that well. Helping him with a piece left of his past recently made her glad. He looks on his place. Varog'gor suits him, though Rhonya thinks he'll need to harden his heart a bit more to fully be able to carry what will be asked of him in his current position. He is too nice to some orcs in her eyes, not firm enough. It may come to bite him in the ass eventually.

Spoiler: "Kyrazha Throatrender" • show
Rhonya doesn't like Kyrazha very much. She still thinks Kyra is angry at her for the choices she and Sadok made a few years ago. Plus the fact Rhonya is now taking care of Kyra's and Sadoks children, which Kyrazha doesn't want anything to do with. Kyrazha acts bitter to her, often simply outright ignoring her when they do happen to run into one another. Rhonya's afraid the female will become angry when pushed too hard about these matters though, so she doesn't discuss them. Instead she just tells Trakmar about it, he knows better how to handle his mate.

Spoiler: "Atarka" • show
A strong but silent personality, as far as Rhonya has seen at least. Atar'ka comes across as intelligent, though more one to watch a while first before giving her opinion on anything. Rhonya is curious about her, what drives her, what brought her to the clan and what happened to her before she joined them? She will not push the matter though, Rhonya is patient enough to wait and observe a bit more and slowly prod Atar'ka at times for some more details, if she's willing to share them.

Spoiler: "Karnna Blackfeather" • show
Rhonya lost her trust for this female after she brought the clan in danger in several ways, plus the effort Rhonya had gone through before to have her cleansed with Light. Her warnings about the Shadow were thrown into the wind and came back to bite the entire clan in the ass, so Rhonya is certainly keeping an eye on Karnna now, not trusting her shadow magics and affinity with humans.

Spoiler: "Okiba" • show
Someone who made his way quickly in the clan, and in Rhonya's eyes a good addition. His ways are somewhat strange, but that's always been such with those taught in the ways of the pandaren. He's not scared to take up tasks himself and teach others, which Rhonya is happy about. She feels a little guilty still though that he got hurt and she couldn't mend him properly, which meant he left for quite a long time to seek help with the pandaren menders instead. Rhonya is certainly somewhat intrigued by him though and appriciates his company and advice.

Spoiler: "Narthak Strongarm" • show
A good friend, is one of the first things Rhonya thinks when she's asked about Nar'thak. She doesn't know him very well, but would love to learn more of his past and present. He's her fellow mender and she's actually really proud of him and the way he made himself useful and needed in the clan from the first day onwards. She feels she can safely let him mend the others as well, that he won't mess up. They have a pretty good teamwork going on as well when working on something together, she can do things with her shamanism that he can't do with his chi, and visa versa. He's very well on his way in the clan in her eyes, making himself trusted more and more.

Spoiler: "Razaron" • show
The most unlikely Varog'gor she's ever seen. Rhonya isn't entirely sure she trusts him in that position. But she trusts Kozgugore in not picking his Varog'gor wrongly, so she's willing to see where this is going with him. Rhonya likes Razaron, he does make her laugh and brings some well needed lighter hearted moments in the clan as well. And who knows, he might surprise her, knowing how ruthless he can also be sometimes.

Spoiler: "Tahara" • show
Rhonya hasn't spoken to this one that much yet. Somewhat standing out a little though as not your typical orc, but that's something Rhonya can admire, actually. Especially as she chose the path of Wisdom while probably everyone expected the she-orc to choose Strength. 

Spoiler: "Urzoga" • show
A tragic story, this one. Rhonya really felt for the woman when she heard what happened and how she found herself with the clan all of a sudden. Yet Rhonya isn't entirely sure what kind of support she can be for Urzoga, because the she-orc doesn't seem entirely certain herself which direction she wants to go. This makes Rhonya a bit uncertain about approaching her as well, not wanting to chase her away or make things even more complicated for Urzoga. But should she ever come to Rhonya for advice or just for a talk, she's very willing to offer a listening ear or even a shoulder to cry on.

Spoiler: "Grarshak" • show
Someone Rhon thought of pretty highly at first. He came across as knowning what he wanted, certain of his ways, those of the blademaster. But after she helped him getinto contact with Krogon, he only appeared to have lost his way all of a sudden. She kind of avoids him now a bit, he's only gotten mad at her the past times they spoke, mainly because of his very close minded view on Nakobu and how the clan treats him and his inability to see past what happened in the past. She's lost a big chunk of respect for him.

Spoiler: "Kargnar" • show
Her cousins Bloodbrother. Rhonya can't say she really knows much about Kargnar. He doesn't really strike her as the kind of orc that wishes to tell a lot about himself. To her, he kind of blends into the background, which isn't a bad thing perse, but for a Rrosh'tul, he doesn't really come across to her as a leader figure. Especially because he nearly killed another clanmember in a simple spar not too long ago, going for lethal blows and then came asking Rhonya if she could mend the dying orc. This really hit a wrong note in her eyes, even more so when he insisted one of the she-orcs was his lifemate, broke up with her the week after and got bonded with an other one not even a few weeks after that. Her respect for him has gotten quite low after those recent events, but she's willing to keep an open mind and see where he goes from here, now having his rank back again.

Spoiler: "Gaarthok" • show
So far Gaar'thok strikes Rhonya as someone she can talk to and trust to a degree. He's very interested in learning about the clan and its ways, the spirits and everything, which is a good thing in her eyes!

Spoiler: "Nakobu" • show
Her newblood. Reminds her so much of herself years ago. Starting on the wrong foot in the clan, being looked at with disgust and mistrust. She's taken him under her wing and will be there for him when needed, he's eager to learn at least!

People outside the clan:

Spoiler: "Belthran" • show
A very unlikely friend that Rhonya didn't expect would be able to get so close to her. She doesn't see him as often as she'd like, but she's fond of him. Belthran has given her some advice and insights from a very unique perspective and point of view, seeing he's a Forsaken and not part of the clan. Often he's hit the mark a bit too well for her liking, striking true on some pretty sensitive topics. He is the only Forsaken in all those years she's learned to trust, which is even more a very rare feat because he's a shadow priest, the thing Rhonya used to fear and dislike a lot.

The Campfire / The Road of Honour
April 11, 2018, 09:57:55 PM

The First Few Steps

“No Lian, ya need ta stay. Go stalk Nos’ for a few days or somet’in’. I’ll be fine.” I said to the tiger who was staring at me with his surprisingly intelligent orange eyes. They were clouding over slowly, his sight lessening, which made me sad to see. I ran my clawed hand over his head and gave his ear a teasing tug. He snapped his teeth at my fingers in an irritated manner, before the big cat just turned and walked away, his large paws puffing up little clouds of sandy dust on the dry ground.
I sighed softly. He was getting more clingy each day, more protective. I knew he felt it in his bones, he was losing strength. He wasn’t as fast anymore as he used to be in his younger days, slowly the large cat was losing the battle against time.

I couldn’t take him though on my little trip. It’d require a few days, at the least. The scouting I’d done before on this task was useless now, too much time had passed. Packs changed hierarchy, position, dens.. I’d have to find them anew, keep my eye on them for a little while.
Time to go, at the very least. I’d packed light, no weapons at all, merely wearing a loincloth and a chest wrap that kept my bust tightly against my chest so I wouldn’t be hindered. I only carried a very light bag with some dried meat and a waterskin. The first part of the journey was simple, it took me north of the crossroads. I kept mainly to the side of the road to avoid travellers and stayed in the darkness of the night until I reached the border with Ashenvale a while later.
The sun was slowly making its way into the sky when I arrived, but as I passed into the woods the darkness surrounded me once more, the massive trees blocking out a lot of the sunlight above. First stop, the little water pool close to the path. It only took me a few moments to cover myself in mud from head to toe. The brown together with the greyish green of my skin made for a perfect camouflage, plus it’d mask my scent.
Second stop, the shrine of Lo’gosh.

My focus was mainly on my surroundings. Elves still lived in these woods, though often if I kept away from their main bases and didn’t bother anything in the forest, they didn’t bother me. Yet, I better be safe than sorry, so I kept alert and on guard. It wasn’t very far away and on the way there I managed to surprise two rabbits and snap their necks, bringing them with me. The shrine itself hadn’t changed much even though it had been a while since I’d been there last. I left the rabbits in front of the abandoned stone structure.
I spoke slowly and in a low tone, concentrating on forming the words correctly, closing my eyes just a moment as I placed my hand on the shrine.
“Honoured Lo’gosh, please accept my offerings as payment for the right to hunt in these woods. I will take only one life, or if I fail, it will take mine. “
It was all I said and without waiting for any sign or answer, I turned and left the clearing.

Not much time later I’d found one of the wolf packs. Now the waiting game would begin. I’d stay out of sight in the trees, downwind so they wouldn’t smell me. And I’d watch. Observe, learn, choose.
With my eyes following the shapes down below, of which most were sleeping now, I started to recite the code of Honour in my head.
Might as well make good use of my time.