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Messages - Tarkah

The Campfire / Reprieve
July 02, 2019, 12:03:48 AM

The sun was setting on another day in Zuldazar, coloring the mists and low clouds in blazing ruddy hues and striking reflections from the sides of the great pyramid that made the enormous structure appear as if it was glowing with a bright inner light.

Down among the various stalls, huts and tents that formed the shanty town that sprawled on the lowest terrace of the city the traders and crafters were closing up shop and preparing to head back to their homes and enjoy an evening’s rest. Or, well… ‘Shanty town’ to the eyes of the native zandalari at least.
To Atar’ka, the heavy wooden beams that made up the frames of the structures here and the thick, rich cloth that draped them was far removed from what she would consider squalid. She was inside one such storage tent, putting materials and tools back in their correct places to await the next day when they would be needed, and ancestors but she had been in houses that felt more flimsy. As she closed the lid on the now full storage chest she stretched her back and rolled her neck to try and relax them a little before pushing the heavy flap to the side and stepping outside to find somewhere to sit and quietly watch the city.

She still felt strange being here, out of place, but she supposed that the Horde’s alliance with the people of this city as well as the recent upheaval of the city's invasion had lowered many barriers and allowed the presence of people like her outside enclosed areas. Some of the zandalari had even been happy to accept her as an extra pair of hands and allowed her to watch and learn from them. To them, she was probably just another Horde face who had showed up on their streets. She didn’t see a point in contradicting them. For allowing her this chance, she had to give the Horde at least some credit, though she kept well clear of any soldiers she saw moving around the city.

Looking around from the stairs leading to the higher tiers where she’d found herself a seat, she could see across the bridges towards the Zocalo where she assumed the Red Blades were still camped, though she was too far away to see any figures. Or perhaps they had moved out again? She would have to find out at some point. If it meant keeping her distance to the war however, she was happy enough to leave it be for a while longer.
Staring out into the middle distance as she felt her thoughts drift, she snuck her hand into her satchel to retrieve a stone the size of her palm which she idly started to flip end over end.
The stone was mostly smooth, with no stains or cuts on it other than a large three-pointed mark carved into it which had been filled in with red. A well-kept item to be sure, and clearly designed with a purpose in mind, but more so from being tucked away safe and unused than from being used carefully.
If they had indeed left already she could ask them and find out. She could… But not yet.
Pushing the stone and the thoughts back in her satchel again, she scanned the surrounding terrace in an effort to try and spot her companion instead.

Rosha was somewhere nearby, she assumed, either busy with worrying at whatever her latest foray into the surrounding tents and stalls had landed the inquisitive wolf with or she was chasing after the small lizards that seemed to infest the entire city, stealing whatever they could fit in their tiny jaws. The other day, she could have sworn she saw some of them run around with items looking uncannily like weapons held up between them…

She had become as used to the wolf’s absence these days as she was to her company, which had been a strange realisation when it hit her. She hadn’t realised how used she had gotten to Rosha sticking to her like a shadow, at times to a point where she was grateful to have out-of-reach spots to retreat to, and now the lack of a presence at her knee could feel oddly lonely at times. She didn’t mind though, as it would have been impossible to get through any of the work she was currently doing with her companion bumping into her or jumping at loud noises as she once would have. She was glad to see that their work together had payed of, and that Rosha was cured of her stunted confidence and leaping at the chance to explore and sate her curiosity on her own. Perhaps the many hours of saddle and riding training had played their part in the changes as well. Trust had come easily once they both stopped keeping such close tabs on each other, and counted on the other to take care of themself.

Spotting a flash of gray fur on the far side of the terrace, she decided her rest was up and got back on her feet. As she started to head over in that direction she couldn’t help but wonder just what she would find her companion’s catch of the day to be, and if she would have to deal with any trouble because of it. She would rather they could head out on the roads outside the city than exchange glares and grudgingly spend her evening mending or replacing something for a furious owner.

The Campfire / A strange new world - Irkha's story
June 04, 2019, 04:32:38 PM
Silence never seemed to settle in this place.
Not that it ever does in a place of life and wilderness, but here was somehow different.
The swamps were dark, infested with shadows were the boughs of the mangrove trees bowed low over the murky waters and the precarious bits of land making up what few usable paths still existed.
So much of it was filled with decay, and in many parts lurking death. There was almost a feeling of the land itself lying in wait for the unwary, to pull you down and smother you, much like the things that hid in the deeper waters.
You expected silence in a place like this, as there seemed to be precious little alive to even make any sound.
But the invasive buzzing of insects, the strange echoes and cries that carried across the water-logged lands from somewhere deeper in the swamps, too distorted by distance to pin-point, together with the occasional sound of something unseen slipping into a murky pool hinted at the true nature of this place.

But despite that, she liked it here. She knew Father would have liked it as well, but those were memories she tried hard not to touch on. Instead she focused on the reason she found herself here in the first place.
They had told her to watch, to find things to watch. So she did.
Gladly, in fact. It was a good reason to be away from them and left to huddle in the shadows instead.
She liked shadows. Where you had shadows you had good nooks to call yours. In most cases, at least.
They had told her to watch. They hadn’t told her they wanted to know what she saw.

Besides, there was enough to do with simply staying alive to worry about what they might or might not want. She might like it here, but the swamp didn’t like anyone. She was fairly sure of that.
Already, she had learned to stay away from any water. It wasn’t worth drinking in the first place, and even less worth loosing body parts over. Which made surviving that much harder, although there was no shortage of things to eat. So long as you ate the right things.
And the less said about the pale people that made their home here the better. They were different from the ones she remembered from home, taller and stronger, but if anything they looked even more dangerous.

That was then, and this was now.
The time between those two points were a blur at best. A blur that she was now trying to trace her way back through as she peered out from within the tent where she had been resting for over a day now at the ruins that surrounded them. She could see the orcs, and others, go about their business around camp. She still wasn’t sure what to think of them, as many of them made her uneasy. They looked wrong, most of those she had seen at least, and their manners were...strange.
Still, they had freed her and fed her. She was glad to be alive.
And not just her alone. A sudden flash of white against the dark and drab surroundings showed where a familiar figure moved around camp with the others. Skint.
She knew next to nothing of the white orc, but their shared time in captivity had formed a strong bond of its very own kind. The frail orc would have stood out anywhere, and even more so in this place. Just like she had done on that cart…

...which she had been following since earlier that day, when the footfalls of the beasts pulling the cart and the creaking of its wooden frame had alerted her to its presence. She didn’t know who any of the three figures riding it were, and what their business might be, but it was a strange enough sight to make her follow it.
After all, she was supposed to be watching for things and this was too curious to pass up.
The two figures sitting towards the front were from the tall people of the lands to the south, but otherwise didn’t attract her attention too much.
The one in the back of the cart however was an orc, but who’s white hair and pale looks were unlike any Irkha had seen previously.
She was watching from the top of a nearby tree when the cart abruptly lurched to a halt and listed to the side as one of its wheels got caught and sank into the mud. Spotting the figures emerging from their hiding places all around, Irkha breathed in sharply through her teeth. Sure enough, this was a trap and not an accident!
Thoughts racing as she weighed her options soon gave her the obvious answer: She couldn’t just sit and watch.
Descending the tree and racing across the ground brought her up behind on of the ambushers who crumpled from a stab to the side, another flopped to the ground from a cut across the lower calf. If she could distract them enough to break their circle, perhaps there would be a chance to escape!
She kept moving, not daring to stay in one spot for a second more than she had to. But the third figure she approached must have noticed her anyway, as it turned on her and lashed out with its spear. She tried to force her way closer, but the spear came for her once again.
She broke away, looking for somewhere else to run… when something cracked hard against the side of her head and then again just above her neck.
Color exploded across her vision and she tried to move, but her body wasn’t listening. Instead she could only watch as the ground rushed up to meet her before everything went black.

The time in the cage was just a vague memory to her, more impressions and feelings than actual images. The pain of the bindings eating into her wrists and ankles. The bars closed in around her and the bruising and pain as she tried in vain to squirm and force her way out between them. The feeling of someone crammed in close together with her. She had felt naked and cold, exposed and horrified as she realised that they had taken her furs away. Father’s furs.
She was glad now to not have been alone in there...

She woke with a start, staring around wildly before she remembered where she was. Still in the tent, still wrapped in the borrowed furs, still replaying the memories.
The furs smelled of their owner, but a night spent wrapped up in them had gone some way towards making them feel at least a little familiar. She hadn’t spoken to any of the orcs of this strange group since the night of their rescue but the one who had helped and fed them, Zi’tani, felt like someone she could trust and so Irkha trusted her smell by extension.
She was kind, and she looked...right, unlike many of the others.

She knew she had to leave the tent eventually. If nothing else to find food. But for now she just wanted time to catch up with the world around her, even if just a little. The rest would just have to wait a little longer.

The Campfire / Gone hunting
October 11, 2018, 09:13:25 PM
A small story taking place at the outset of the ritual hunt in Kavara's honor undertaken by the clan's glorious and skilled hunters!  >:(
...And also by at least one orc who doesn't have the first clue how to hunt in the first place, but who resolves to give it a shot anyway.  :-[

The evening sun was well on its way to set as she left the rocky cliffs above Razor Hill behind her and headed west, its last light touching of the reddish dust and rock formations and making the landscape glow in earthy warm colors.
The others must be far ahead already, most likely out on the Barren plains themselves as they all had wolves to carry them. There was no use even attempting to catch up to them, and no point in doing so even if she could.
They would be pursuing their own prey, planning their own hunts with no other pack needed apart from their beast companions.
A plan and a companion...two things she was utterly without, never mind the actual skill at the hunting craft.
Running at a light sprint in order to cover as much ground as possible while there was still light in the sky to go by and vaulting the smaller of the pools of stagnant water that dotted the ground between her and the river ahead, she found herself questioning the wisdom of her choice to be here. Despite the thur'ruk's words on all orcs being born hunters and how the spirits would look favorably on honest effort and a will to do better, her old ingrained thoughts on skill and craft insisted that surely a poor attempt with no results would in some way be an insult to them. But, she reproved herself, it would be far worse to turn back now. Giving up, proving that she lacked will...
She cut of her own line of thought with a snarl and directed more effort towards her legs instead. Up until a few months ago, she might have backed down and made excuses. But not now. It was time to prove that to herself if nothing else. Prove that mastery was not a requirement to learn.

The river was coming into view up ahead, the wooden bridge spanning it only visible as a dark outline in the dusk but still enough of a landmark to use as a heading. Normally, her first thought would have been to stop at the small encampment on the far side of the river and set out again in the morning, but that was no longer an option.
Luckily, she could expect to find enough trees along the river and the cliffs leading up to the plains whos crowns would serve well enough as a camp for one night. As her boots met the timber of the bridge she slowed to a halt, taking the time to catch her breath and check her pace as to not appear in the encampment at a full run and arouse attention. Striding up and down the curved spine of the bridge and through the mostly sleeping outpost she set out to find her camp for the night. As expected, she was not long in finding a tree tall and wide enough to accomodate her and she soon found herself nestled into the crook of its boughs where she once again turned her thoughts to the day ahead.

No companion, no plan, no skill of craft... The only thing in her power to change was how she chose to approach the attempt, how she planned to achieve anything in the days to come. That meants focusing on what options she had and what was in front of her. A smirk found its way onto her face at the thought. That at least, she was good at.
She had no bow which, Ancestors help her, would have been no help even if she had one. Unless the prey had a very specific sense of humour and would laugh itself to death as she fumbled her shots.
She had no spear to either throw or hound prey with the advantage of distance on her side.
And she had no illusions of sneaking up on prey unnoticed or setting a trap.
The dagger at her belt was the only tool or weapon she had and she would have to find a way to make it count.
That left deciding what prey she would seek to corner and attempt to bring down. Thinking about the different beasts she knew made their home on the plains, she was left with few enough options there as well. Hyenas, lions and raptors would all have no trouble besting a lone orc with a blade, let alone rip out her throat or tear off her face.

A soft thread on the dry grass below her abruptly tore her from her thoughts as she tensed up, trying both to not give herself away and to catch a glimpse of what was moving below. The tree blocker her view however, and she had little choice but to remain still until the owner of the steps had moved away far enough to not be heard any more.
Letting herself relax and slide back into her previous lines of thinking however, a very simple realisation dawned on her.
If a dagger and patience was all she had, there would be no use to go out there and seek prey that would outclass or outrun her.
All she had to do was wait for the prey to come to her instead, and make the most of her chance. She remained awake for a while longer, listening to the nightly sounds of the plains and watching the stars above before rest caught up with her.

I found myself writing this in a way very different to how I've approached writing previously, so feedback is very appreciated to gauge how it turned out!
I haven't written anything in a long while, which might have something to do with the random change in approach, but its one I found to be much more comfortable compared to previous attempts.

   Self view:

Atar'ka's opinion of herself has gone from inflated heights to a self-reproaching low.
After leading a life as a big fish in a small pond with a correspondingly lofty ego, she had a run-in with reality when she started venturing into the bigger world outside in a series of setbacks and hard lessons.
Having met the clan through coincidence and chance she found herself strongly drawn to their unity and sheer other-ness to the life she'd known, but the realisations of her shortcomings turned to a deep distrust of her current self and resentment of the orc she had been and she soon found herself secluding herself from the other orcs to wrestle with her own mind instead.

After finally admitting her thoughts out loud and seeking the aid of other orcs around her, she is now set on a path of self-improvement to find out who she is and what her place in the world and the clan might actually be.

Atar'ka finds herself leading a life that is linked to, but not spent as a part of, the Red Blades. She is aware that she is considered a part of them, though the exact nature of how she fits in and what manner of part she plays remain far from clear to her.

She sees herself as a person that has enough to do with her own worries and dealings most of the time, but who is happy to help those who need a hand or two. Or in some cases, where she decides that they need help without perhaps knowing it themselves.

   Views on others:

Kozgugore Feraleye
Spoiler: show

Feraleye has impressed Atar'ka firmly as a chieftain through his ability to lead his clan instead of ruling it, which in her mind is one of the most significant virtues you can come across.

Kyrazha Throatrender
Spoiler: show

As the clan has grown and her own feelings of estrangedness has grown with it, Kyrazha remains one of the few orcs Atar'ka feels that she can speak with and even trust, despite them sharing little in the ways of common ground.

That said, their very different manners has a tendency to wrong-foot Atar'ka and get in the way of conversation.

The Campfire / Re: A matter of confidence
May 06, 2018, 06:08:38 PM
Quote from: Okiba on May 06, 2018, 10:56:03 AM
The trick is probably to write right after an event/plot/occurrence so that it's not only fresh in your mind but you can then actually divulge tangible information.

Indeed, it does tend to get pretty abstract after just a couple of days.
Though I keep having a feeling that I want to shy away from being a narrator-voice who has perfect information. Which is weird, since half the point of stories IS to divulge "hidden" information to the reader. But I keep thinking it would be horribad to just write said information straight-up, and end up erring too far in the other direction towards too vague instead -.-
Which is why I would like to try a proper flashback piece or a description of a fight or some such, where you HAVE to just put information plainly. Otherwise it fails as a text.

*overthinking intensifies*

Either way, big thanks for the feedback both of you!
The Campfire / A matter of confidence
May 05, 2018, 08:45:34 PM
The plains lay silent, wrapped in a cover of night under a starry sky.
A wind was blowing in across the land, rustling the trees around the scattered oasis, a wind that for once wasn't filled with heat and dust but instead carried faint traces of the spring that was breaking in the more fertile lands to the south.

On the topmost level of the watchtower overlooking the Crossroads, Atar'ka exhaled and watched the pale cloud of smoke drift away northwards on the wind. This was the fifth night that she had come here since the great and final battle with the usurper Worza, now that she had the time and more so the freedom to do so at will. The tower no longer held a captive orc and her guards nor was it at risk to be the target of unnatural infiltration attempts, which finally made it hers again to use as a place to sort out her thoughts. And ancestors knew there was enough of those for her liking...

The clan's month-long meddling in the kolkar clans' civil war had been a welcome distraction, something to focus her attention on and leave the thinking for later. After all, there is no time to let yourself sink into thoughts when you have pressing  things such as flailing hooves or thrusting spear-tips to keep your focus on.
Pushing them aside did not make the questions and doubts disappear however, which by now had piled up to form a loosely balanced heap in her mind. Trying to remove any one pebble from the pile threatened to upset the tenuous balance and set it all tumbling down to bury her unless she found the right one to remove first. In short, she had no ancestors-damned idea where to begin, and so she found herself coming back up to the tower for another bout with her own thoughts again and again.

Having something to focus on helped with the thinking, even if the small smouldering glow from the rolled-up leaves pinched in her hand was far from what she would have prefered. Nothing was as good for staring into as flames or hot coals, but setting a campfire at the top of a watchtower was simply not an option.
She would have to find at least some answer soon though, sort out her mind, or a sneaking suspicion told her that the accursed pile would collapse all on its own regardless. But being stuck in indecisiveness frustrated her, and the frustration was getting in the way of sorting out her mind. She felt trapped, which did nothing to help matters.

Leaning forward to look down at the sleeping outpost and exhale at least some of the frustration in a sigh-like snarl, she made a decision.
It was time to look for answers outside her own skull for once.

Perhaps not the most informative or riveting read, since I find it difficult to avoid being vague about details and exact reasons when writing about on-going things for whatever reason, even in inner monologue :S Perhaps time for a flashback-piece...
I mostly wrote this piece as a way to help myself figure out a thought-process that I'm currently trying to navigate Atar'ka through, but as has often been said before:  "More stories!" so I uploaded it.

I'm still struggling with increasing the overall length of what I write, but for what its worth I'd be happy for any and all feedback!
The Campfire / Re: An Offering
December 21, 2017, 10:38:09 AM
That's a really lovely piece, with a great atmopshere!
The Campfire / Re: Ancestor of Old
December 15, 2017, 11:41:48 AM
What really tickles me about this is how his textwall speeches are made up.
You have all the bombastic, over the top self-aggrandizement, but then you come across the things like:





Where you can more or less see him fold his arms and nod oh-so importantly to himself xD The humour-contrast is hilarious.
The Campfire / Re: A wandering orc's tale/s
December 15, 2017, 02:27:09 AM

The night sky was vast, its dome stretching far far into every direction that she turned to look, with nothing to obscure it or block her vision. And the stars...
Untold numbers of them shining down with cold pure white-blue light, more of them than she ever remembered having see. It was beautiful.
This must be what Old Nights looked like, long ago when the world was young and wild. Which world however, she was less sure of. But whether it was their ruined home or the one that they had come to call home in its stead, the certainty of what she was seeing was there in her mind. The certainty that only dreams bring.

And yet...
She knew that it was no dream. She was wide awake. And she knew that there was no sky, only the stone of the cave's roof and walls. A vision, then..?
She was no shaman or seer and what she knew about such things was easily measured, and would amount to pitifully little, but what else could it be? She had no memory of ever seeing a moon like the one that had dominated the sky with its radiant glow, nor any memory of the silver-coated wolf that had sat beneath it as she howled.
She had noticed little at the time while the battle still raged, but had overheard enough since then to realise that many, if not all of them, had seen and heard it as well. It couldn't have lasted more than a moment, but the vision had invigorated them, given them strength to overcome the cult's trap, and saved them from death.

Atar'ka slowly opened her eyes to look at another sky, with other stars, both of which were familiar enough and that she knew well to be real. But if she would close her eyes again, she knew she could will the memory of the vision into view once more. She expected it to fade with time into something less vivid, and leave mostly questions behind. Always questions…
The curse of someone more used to thinking with their hands.

This one however, she had vowed to leave unanswered.
Questions was not what you owed, when you were snatched from the jaws of death.
It was gratitude.
The Campfire / Re: A wandering orc's tale/s
December 15, 2017, 02:26:36 AM
Part 4, Razor Hill

Atar'ka turned her head, trying to get a good look at the reflection of herself in the bowl of water where it sat balanced on a bench. The wound, hidden now by a matted patch of hair, had bled freely and soaked her hair and covered her face with a red mask. Which was no wonder, the blow itself had been enough to daze and dissorient her during the battle and the blood-loss had left her light-headed as they made their way away from the ruined farm.
She was grateful to be reminded again of her thick skull, which had kept her alive several times before. But she needed to be wiser, more careful, than this. There was no second skin to protect her from the enemy's blade anymore, no shield to stop the blows. She had left those behind when they lost their use and became a burden.

No shield will save you when you are alone and exposed.
No skin of iron will protect you when you are outnumbered and slow.

She had been forced to learn this, and forced to adapt.
But now! How different the battle had been, and how familiar.
The chaos, the press of orcs, the cries of battle...
This was what she remembered but had needed to forget. This was a time to bring back forgotten tools!
A night of being reminded it seemed, which she gratefully accepted.

The grin that had crept up on her during these thoughts faded into a scowl however, when she thought of the reasons for the battle, and of the outcome. Closing her eyes as she wiped away more of the blood with a soaked piece of cloth, she thought back on the night's events.
Their mysterious enemy, who brazenly had come to meet them in disguise only to then fall on their backs in an ambush...
The chaos that followed, and the death and injuries caused by the stampeding kodo...
And almost more mysteriously, the sudden appearance of Kozgugore Feraleye and his narrow escape from death in the burning farm...

The tribe had carried their chieftain and other wounded into the inn when they reached Razor Hill, gathering close together to guard and to mend. They had been tense during the hunt for answers, but now…
If Feraleye went to his forebears this night, the tension would snap, and ancestors knew what would happen. It was for that reason that she had gone down into the burrow instead, after she had gathered water and cloth. Better that she saw to her own wounds when they had enough death and blood among their own. Better that she kept away from where it was not her place to intrude.

Come morning Feraleye would either be alive, and no doubt share the answers he had promised them when he had the strength to speak. Or he would be dead and the answers gone with him.
For now, all that any of them could do was rest and wait.
The Campfire / Re: A wandering orc's tale/s
December 15, 2017, 02:26:05 AM
Part 3, The Crossroads

The sun was at its zenith, making its way across the sky as it shone down on the Barrens.
Above the camp at the Crossroads, Atar'ka had found a herself some calm atop the watch tower overlooking the surrounding plains.
Sitting on the edge of the wooden platform with her right leg pulled up to act as a rest for her arm, she had a complete view of the camp and those who occupied it.
Not that she watched them very closely. Her reason for coming here had been to clear her head and to order her thoughts. She still swore that she could taste the foul mist from the peak at the back of her throat, even if a night's rest had rid her of the sluggishness that had gripped her thoughts during the night before.
The wind up here would clear her thoughts, and the small keg of ale she had brought up wth her would aid in getting them moving again.
Ale was good for thinking. Much like fire, it gave you something to stare at and focus on while your thoughts worked in peace. The only thing to best them both was work, where her hands did all the thinking for themselves, leaving the thought to fully do as they pleased in the meantime.

Spotting a red-colored figure emerge from the inn below and squinting for a closer look, she recognised it as Bloodpaw, the one the tribe called Rrosh-tul. Thinking back to their talk from the night before made her huff out a dry laugh.
After what had happened the last time she thought to tell anyone about voices and visits from spirits, she had been hesitant to speak up about the voices she had heard in the fog. Being mocked and labeled as mad once had been enough. But Bloodpaw and the shamans had swept aside her attempt at secrecy and been eager to listen. With the other tales among the orcs about what had been seen or heard during their climb, it was clear enough that they needed to gather whatever clues they could. The thought made her bark out another few laughs at herself.
How foolish...
Hiding clues, when they had so few already? She should know better.

Finding her mug empty, she leaned back with a grunt-like sigh as she reached for the keg.
She would stay a while longer, drink and think. Then it was time for words once again, now that they had the luxury of choosing their next move. Whatever the outcome, they had a new destination at least, and now only needed to decide how to reach it.
The Campfire / Re: A wandering orc's tale/s
December 15, 2017, 02:25:35 AM
Part 2, The Barrens

They had gone in a circle.
Looking out from the roof of the abandoned burrow and across the familiar dusty plains the the Barrens, Atar'ka wasn't sure whether to laugh or curse at that fact. Their journey to the abandoned camp in Stonetalon, and their following stay there, had seen more than a week pass since they set out and now they found themselves back almost where they had started out!

Almost, at least. They had come here of all places.
Glancing back over her shoulder and down the stairs into the shade of the burrow, she couldn't help but to scowl. The same accursed burrow as the last time she had gone chasing answers and vague clues on the plains. Was this fate, or some sort of joke?
At least this time, she wasn't forced to stay holed up inside and lick her wounds, waiting for strength to return.

"Useless thoughts..." she muttered and faced outwards again, looking around the makeshift camp that had sprung up as the tribe settled in. That was then, and this was now. Similar perhaps, but so much different as well.
The Red Blades were gathered in various groups, busying themselves, and she was impressed at their refusal to sit and brood. The one called Halftusk was staging spars in front of the gutted burrow, while the shamans had gathered of to one side, no doubt to discuss their findings from the mine. She had heard their brief retelling of what they had found, but she knew nothing beyond that.

Still...demons? Though if that was what they faced, much became clear. Clearer, at least. The assassins, their fanatical zeal, the summoning... All of it sounded just like every other rumour or tale of cult filth and their doings that she had heard before.
At this rate, she wouldn't have been surprised to find Morkhana among the number of their hidden enemy. If she -was- it would have explained much...but no. That one was as dead as the assassin they had burned last night. Whatever foes lurked behind all these questions was a new threat altogether. That much at least had become clear so far.

And now, they would go to seek new answers with the centaur. She had never had anything to do with the clans of the plains, and wondered if they could be bargained with like the ones further south, among the Needles.
Not that it mattered.
The Red Blades seemed to have caught the scent now, and she much doubted if they would settle for anything other than finding their chieftain.
Nor would she. He still owed a lot of answers, after all.
The Campfire / Re: A wandering orc's tale/s
December 15, 2017, 02:24:57 AM
Part 1, Stonetalon

The midday sun shone down on the mountains and valleys of Stonetalon, finding its way into the many scattered nooks and corners of the region.
In one of these, a considerable number of orcs had been stirring since late morning, replacing the frantic activity of the pre-dawn hours with the more sedate tasks of camp life.
Wounds had been seen to,  the bodies of the night's attackers had been burnt, and scouts and guards had been sent out to make sure of the camp's safety. Most of the orcs had tried to find a few more hours worth of rest, however, before the day would wait for them no longer.

Atar'ka had found herself a place by one of the less busy cooking-fires that had been lit around the camp, working her way through a meal of water and dried meat as she thought back on the recent days. For the umpteenth time since it appeared in her hand, she was looking over the letter that had started all of this.

" You are in danger."
" See to your blood kin should you have any."
" I have enclosed a map that shall lead you to a desolate camp in the Stonetalon Mountains. Meet me there."

This and more it had said, along with the name of an orc she did not know nor had ever heard spoken before. Since then however, she had become familiar enough with Kozgugore Feraleye. By name if not in person at least, since the mysterious chieftain had yet to appear before them.
-He alone- had yet to appear. His warnings seemed to have brought the orcs of an entire scattered tribe together as well as reached the hands of complete strangers, like herself.
The nature of the threat he claimed held its hand over them was also still unknown, even if the thin red wheal across her throat was tangible enough proof that it was real.

Could this Feraleye possibly know about Hamok, or was the ancestors-cursed spirit with its mockings and threats only one of several hidden foes?
Many times now had she asked herself that question, and the doubts whether she was right to be here or if she was wasting time better spent elsewhere was wearing her patience thin. Coming here had gained them nothing.  Until last night's attack, that is. An enemy had revealed itself, and now she would have answers. It was for that reason that she had chosen to follow the tribe after all, these Red Blades, when she had chance upon them out on the plains. Answers would serve her better than to carry the warning to others, only to then wait for the unknown to strike.

And now they found themselves in this camp, waiting to know more. A different camp to the ones she had known through the years.
Not the purposeful and practical war camp, filled with soot and work and bellowed orders.
And far, far from the camp of a warband, filled with in-fighting and posturing for the eye and favor of a self-styled "chieftain".
It was more like the campfires of a group of wanderers that she had grown used to in more recent times, only on a much larger scale. And yet there -was- order and purpose,  the tribe looking to what appeared natural or past leaders as orcs were split up in groups and put to use in different tasks.

She had come here poorly prepared, with barely a weapon to wield and little enough in the way of armor or supplies other than what she could snatch up as she set out.
She had little enough idea of what was moving against them, or how to face it.
She was alone and surrounded by orcs who still were strangers to her, with no clear purpose or role among them.

And yet, she felt more at home here than she had done in a long time.
With these orcs she would find a purpose, she would find her answers.
And remain a stranger no longer.
The Campfire / A wandering orc's tale/s
December 15, 2017, 02:23:59 AM
Advance warning, this is several stories in one thread!
I will probably try to collect most things that I write here in this one topic for the sake of keeping the total number of topics to a reasonable amount.
The starting point is the outset of the reboot campaign, and covers what happened during it from one orc's point of view. And also whatever ends up happening afterwards!
The Campfire / Re: Stealing Away
December 15, 2017, 02:03:44 AM
@ Kargnar     It kinda seemed appropriate, aye ;)

@ Okiba        Don't worry xD And I will, I will, jeeeez <3

@ Rhonya     Happy to hear!