Orcs of the Red Blade

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Author Topic: Betrayal in the past  (Read 197 times)


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Betrayal in the past
« on: May 13, 2020, 10:58:20 PM »

It had been a long season, but it was finally coming to an end. Tomorrow would be her final test to prove herself by controlling the earth element - she could only hope that the elements would listen to her calling and deem her worthy. She knew that if she failed she would have to do it all over again.

The moon was high on the sky when they returned to the orc village and the night was going to be a cold one. She could feel her mentor, Erzha looking at her as she turned away from the village and went up into one of the caves. She was to spend the night there communing with the elements. She’d had far more contact with the air element ever since she got hit by lightning in the middle of a summer storm as a child, their voices never stopping to talk to her. Making it all the more difficult to tune them out and connect to the others, but she had always had an inner stoicism that the earth element seemed to have appreciated. The climb up was a long and steep one, but she took one step in front of the other. During the steady climb upwards she’d think of Erzha’s warning that there would come a time when the other orcs would envy her, envy her connection with the elements. Some of them would pretend it was all nonsense, and they would be better without it, and others would openly sneer. She had definitively noticed a change in behaviour form her tribe after the lightning hit her. The other kids would refuse to play with her, accusing her of cheating. It had been painful and disoriating. But her blood-brother Kravnar and her mentor Erzha had gotten her through the challenges.

“I don’t want to disappoint them”, she says aloud to herself. Stopped for a moment to look down towards the village, now far below. She could barely see the huts now, and wouldn’t have been able to if it weren't for the cooking fires. One of the wolves howls to the moon in the night, the others shortly following suit.  Beware of him. The familiar voice told her. “Of him? Who?” Beware of him.  The voice persisted more loudly. Urakha ran the male names of her tribe through her mind, but none of them stuck out to be someone to be wary of. But doubt filled her, the voices had never lied to her or tried to lead her astray. Who would want her harmed? Weren’t we all past all of that? Maybe she’d misunderstood and there was someone outside her tribe she should be careful of, but who? She took a deep breath and shook her head, it didn’t matter right now, she had more important matter at hand. She had to get to the cave and get started.

The cave itself was quite large, it was a room filled with statues created by previous shamans performing this ritual. Some were of wolves, ravens, or great weapons while others would be of spesific people or of the image of an Earth elemental. Urakha took her time, inspected each of them by running her hands over them and letting herself be overwhelmed by the risidual energies left from the rituals. Some were so old and ancient there was barely any energy left.
”Asrolnat omdzor pukul siwaio aka, chumu pukul mothpraio aka.”, she bowed to the room and sat down in the middle, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath before starting her chant that would last through the entire night. Reaching out and connecting with the Earth elemental and spirit. Seeking it’s knowledge and friendship. It took hours before they had responded, testing her resolve. Once they did though the magic was amplified and the ground shook, she vaguely registered the sound of rocks tumbling down the mountain side as she worked in union with the Earth to create their statue together. When the first rays of sunlight came through the dark cave she stood up from the earth ground, the magic calming down and retreating as it finished forming the rock to a beautiful, intricate and detailed statue in honour of the bond between the elements and the shamans. With her back to the entrance, her focus on the work she was doing she didn’t notice the orc standing just outside watching her with disdain.

The ritual was over, Urakha stopped chanting and lowered her arms letting go of all the energy that she’d been controlling, directing and holding. This was the most dangerous time for a shaman, when she was utterly drained from the magical exertion. Too worn out to appreciate her work she was just glad it was over, and that she could now return to the tribe as an Earth Elementalist.

The hair at the back of her neck prickled as she turned around to see the Orc standing behind her. She grinned at him, thrilled that Kravnar had come up all this way to be there with her and share this moment. She barely had time to register the jealousy oozing off him as he stabbed her in the side. Shocked and weakened she didn’t have any strength to fight back, it happened too quickly. She stared at him as she succumbed to darkness.

The silence was unbearable, her body felt as she was buried beneath the mountain. Trapped and unable to move. Not that she wanted to move, she was so tired. So weak. But the silence drove her angry. Why wouldn’t the voices talk to her! Where was she? How did she get here? Rage threatened to overwhelm her, yet she couldn’t move. All she felt was miserable.

“I can’t promise you she will wake up. That poison had too much time to work on her before we found her. Regardless of what will become of her, you should be proud. She outdid herself, more so than anyone expected.” A voice spoke plainly. Urakha knew that voice, but she couldn’t quite place it. She tried to open her eyes and failed. She wanted to open her mouth to speak, yell, grunt - anything, but nothing happened. Again the fear and rage welled up in her, stronger than before, but even that couldn’t break through the paralysis she was in. There was nothing but darkness and immobility. “She’s strong. Stronger than you, than me. She will pull through. Work on her again”, Erzha’s voice cuts through Urakha’s anger and desperation. It had been a command. You’re right! Urakha wanted to scream I will pull through! Managing to finally control her voilent emotions she emptied her mind and started fighting her way back to health.

Weeks later she still couldn’t account much for those days she was captured within her own body and mind. Kravnar had vanished from the tribe, no one had seen him since the night she had gone up to the cave. Her accomplishment with the ritual were now tainted with the betrayal of Kravnar’s attack. If he had stayed within the tribe, she would have sworn it would have been someone else. Anyone but him. Their bond had been deep, she had thought. He had been her home. They’d been as close as one could be without being mated. So she didn’t understand, why this betrayal. Had he always wished for her death? It was bitter joy to know that he had failed. But the poison still was roaming through her body, and she couldn’t join in on the hunts with the rest of the tribe. Forced to watch them go out together and come back with or without their prey. Erzha had kept her training up, kept pushing her training with the water elemental. But the waters refused her, and Urakha’s mind and heart wasn’t in on it. All she could feel was a pit of emptiness.