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Gone hunting

Started by Tarkah, October 11, 2018, 09:13:25 PM

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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.