Battle had anointed the hulking half orc in a swathe of claret red gore. A savage visage growling, with equally savage words.
“You need not die, only kneel.”
The incensed humans’ face convulsed into a mural of disgruntled barking and howling, his words as waves against the cliff , finding only the deaf ears of a gnarled grey mass, the half-orc that stood, staunchly opposed to him.
The spittle and froth, spilling from captains mouth conveyed what his word’s could not.
The gaunt grey Half-Orc understood him perfectly.
He had chosen,
he had chosen death.
The dull grey eyes of the half-orc offered no insight to his fractured state, his muscles knotted, the laboured breathing of his chest, his senses deafened and drowned out by the constant, thunderous pounding of blood through his veins. An unyielding heart, the rhythm, the pulse, the hammer, the anvil.
The flail bristles, willing puppet to it’s master, woken with life, it announces it’s hunger with the rattle of the chain, a sinister flourish that signals a cacophony of violence.
Both fighters, drained and fatigued, ogre clubs, giant kin, spears, arrows, blade broken bone, pilfered lung, all roads have led here.
Atop this wall, under the judgement of the dawn.
A duel. Strog, Captain of Goldenfield, empowered by pride, fervour and hate, brings scimitar against Korotir, Half-Orc of the Ulgen tribe, the exile of Goldenfield, who hauls flail and shield and the great weight, of righteous grudge.
The humanoid forms clash in a relentless melee, impacting and smashing into one another. Silhouetted armoured shapes, veritable walls of steel and flesh atop the city wall. Heavy and sudden they lunge at one another, both as fast, both as vicious. Mauling beasts tearing blood and flesh from one another. Paying one another wounding favours.
In the steel maelstrom Korotir’s shield sends Strog toppling but there is no ground to be taken, no forward line. There is only here. Blood and stone for a bed as he hits the floor.
The air stinks with blood
And to inhale is to taste, to drink of death,
so thick is the crimson fog that paints the two, marking them as members of a fatalistic cabal.
Strog knows this as well as the half-orc and demands his body obey. He cannot fault, muscles burn and wane as instincts flay them with the desire to survive. No sooner does he hit the floor is he back to his feet his scimitar flying, baying to drink of the muddled blood of the creature he so despises.
The whirling, desperate strike finds purchase, the blade cutting and gorging into the chain-mail of his enemy, digging deep and ripping inward. The wound wrenches forth an agonized grunt from the red soaked half-orc.
The half-orc who is deafened again, entombed with the sole company of his flagging heart, it’s hollow drumming, harbinger of the coming end. Time dwindles, begins its entropic crawl. The taste of crisp air betrays him, the memories of the great blue maw, the endless skies of the north. The quiet the tranquility.
But that place is far away and this is here.
Atop this wall under the judgement of the dawn.
Dreams of tranquility are shattered and sundered with a heavy crack, a guttural chortle. The flail sways almost as if it muses, a smiling face rendered black and red, chunks of steel and flesh smeared across it’s lips.
Strogs stomach lies open, the waterfall of blood and bile painted by the rising Sun.
If violence can take,deplete and drown a man it is dominance that fills the form, a goblet running over, a font of rage and refusal.
Korotir fuelled by the eternal fires of conquest sends his flail and shield rattling to the floor, lumbering swaying, adrenaline and agony coalesce to propel him forward like broken marionette.
There remains a grudge to be buried.
Tight is the hand that wraps around Strog’s throat. Taut is the arm that raises him into the air. Hot is the sun that gives it’s gaze and victorious is the warrior that discards the broken body of his foe,
to be fallen,
On the precipice of death there is a clarity.
Atarah, battle sister,young, righteous and honourable. In arms against all odds no other more fitting in the shield wall.
Titan, equal parts wretched and wild, vicious and swift of wit, an honesty of violence that you can take to the grave.
Envar, stoic, efficient, ruthlessly dependable. A true soldier, a guardian.
Natalia, bloodied and broken herself, yet still a serene , a guiding light, to be followed unto the dark .
We are adventures and this is what we do.