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An Orc Hunt

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

“An Orc Hunt”

Writing prompt: Your character is hunting an orc.

Red and yellow leaves ski down slopes of gentle wind, slowly working together to blanket the grass and the young man sleeping on them. He lies so still that the forest fails to notice him. A pair of bunnies hop over him. A snail falls asleep on his travel pack. Mushrooms lean, resting on his side.

The scene, while not broken, is changed by the sound of hooves galloping towards him. The rabbits take their seats, watching safely from the side lines. The leaves turn to meet their new guest. The sun shines through the branches a bit more warmly.

A man dressed in simple worn garbs approaches on a farm horse.

“Sir, Keatoph,” He calls, waking his company. The young man rolls over and sits up, the sheath of his sword pushing into the ground.

“Again, Randolph. I’m not a knight.”

“Yes, sir- I mean, no, sir. Sorry… sir.” The gentleman on the ground sighs.

“What can I do for you?”

“An orc pack raided Clizman. Only one survived. He is travelling South through these woods. Can you help us?”

“If only one remains, you probably don’t need my help,” Keatoph answers quizzically.

“This one, he’s not like the others. He’s large and- and covered in blades.”

“Grifkar,” Keatoph grimaces. He snags his pack from the ground, snail and all. “Take the other men home.”

“We will aid you, sir.”

“Sadly, Randolph, if you come with me, I think you will find yourself aiding him. This is no mere orc you hunt. This is a Kalinbind.”

“A Kalinbind?”

“I’m glad you're listening,” Keatoph answers with a smile. “Can you tell me where he was last spotted?”

“Two of our own were found dead near the Keywash River fork.”

“Okay. Thank you, Randolph. Now go home.”

With this, the young man pivots south and west. He throws the hood of his poncho over his head and disappears into the forest line, in search of the Kalinbind orc.

Travelling on foot has its advantages. Especially if one is good at moving through the trees. For Keatoph, even as he runs, only the forest a few feet around him can feel his presence. The snail on his backpack, however, has crawled underneath its main flap to escape the jolting of each stride. He passes over rock and creeping jenny, crouches under oak and dogwood branches, and leaps across streams and ditches, seeking to get within the vicinity of his foe.

At Briar Pass, he slows, noticing some wet blood on the ground. Grifkar is close. Maybe, Grifkar is even here.

Briar Pass is an ancient monument, the palace garden of a former king. No one but the vines of the forest and the streams of the Keywash river have dared to tear the place down. Its history is too deep. It’s tragic ending, too near.

Keatoph passes between trees and stone statues, smelling the air and scanning the pavilion. The deep scents of fall, which find their warmth in the scenes accompanying them, are all around. However, there is also the stench of onions mixed with bad cheese lingering in the north air. The young warrior follows it.

He weaves around bushes and flowers, hoping to preserve the beauty of the place, and protect his covertness. When he reaches the marble steps leading up to the lilies by the river, he finds them cracked by streams of water running down them, and washed with blood. At the top of the steps stands Grifkar.

For a second, both are surprised by the fulfillment of their anticipations. They stare at each other. Grikar begins to laugh, tapping the blades fastened to each of his arms together. Keatoph slides one shoulder strap off of his backpack and reaches inside.

“Grifkar,” He addresses, his eyes burning with adrenaline and zeal, “You have broken Aeria law, time and time again. You have taken the lives of innocent men, women, and children. Now, I have been appointed to give you justice. If you would like a moment to ask God for His pardon, I will grant it to you,” he pulls out a silver bracer from his bag. It is lined with the head of a miniature crossbow and decorated with arrows. “Beyond that, all promises are off.” He tosses his bag gently into a small pile of leaves.

“Keatoph, you worm!” The Kalinbind menace garbles back. "I would sooner die than surrender to you!”

“This time,” the young warrior replies crisply, loading an arrow into his bracer bow. “You’re going to die either way.”

Grifkar screams a battlecry so violent, it feels as if the ground shakes. He turns his body toward the lily garden, and disappears from Keatoph’s sight.

“What a stupid creature,” Keatoph remarks to himself. He passes up the King’s steps to find his adversary. Water passes underneath his feet, loosening his stance. Our protagonist takes a deep breath in from his nose. The stench of onions and cheese is present again, but this time, it is all around. Keatoph turns to look at his bag. It is gone. “How could I let such smelly clumsy creatures sneak up on me?” he wonders.

“You can come out now!” Keatoph announces into the air around him. For a moment, nothing changes. Then, ghoulish and gargled laughter grows, as a pack of Kalinbind orcs rise from around the bushes. The color of their skin shifts back to grays and blacks as they seperate themselves from the background.

Keatoph counts seven including Grifkar. The bladed giant steps forward from the group and onto the marble steps. He steps down them till he is just out of sword's reach.

“The bracer,” he demands. His allies raise their weapons, anticipating their hunter’s response.

Our hero grabs the bracer with his opposite hand. All the while he stares at his enemy. He unstraps it from his forearm, keeping both hands near his sword. Pulling it free from his arm, he throws it back into the bushes of the pavilion.

“Get it,” Grifkar grunts to one of his men. He scurries off.

“You really could’ve used that extra man,” Keatoph tells him, pulling his sword free from its sheath. It shines as bright as ever, it’s dips contrasting it with a slate grey. Grikar chuckles at his prey.

“I’m going to miss this,” he informs the man.

“No, you won’t.”

With this remark, Keatoph swings his sword up and across at the giant beast. It clacks against the monoliths of steel sewn into the chest of Grifkar, cutting him only slightly.

“Okay,” Keatoph vocalizes, looking at the fruit of his actions.

Before he can try another maneuver, Grifkar throws his hands into the sky and swings them down at Keatoph. He blocks it with his sword. The force sends him sliding backwards across the watery marble.

Keatoph’s concern over the growing number of obstacles before him rises. He sees no solution, so instead he bides for time. He walks forward, and arcs his sword around his body, left, right, forward. His blade swings with such velocity that it looks to be more of a wheel than a beam. The young hero cuts at the arms, the chest, and even the neck, looking for an open area. Every piece of metal placed in Grifkar is strategic. It was molded with hooks to protect his body. It is deadly to touch and difficult to cut through.

Grifkar, cuts back. His arms thrust forward at Keatoph. Anywhere they hit that isn’t covered with armor is left bleeding. Each blow pushes him left, right, or stumbling down the stairs. All the while, his men laugh, cheer, and occasionally if Keatoph falls too far down the steps, push and poke at him.

His body quickly bruises under the weight of Grifkar’s massive blows. The sleeves of his shirt are all but ribbons. His chest plate is littered with scratches. His sword, however, holds fast. Keatoph gazes at it, formulating his next attack.

“Grifkar,” he scratches out of his throat, “I don’t usually do this. But, I’m giving you one last chance to surrender and do this the right way.”

“Your last words will be the laughing stock of the Kalinbind for generations.”

“Very well,” Keatoph answers. He draws his blade up, pointing the tip to the sky. It dazzles in the sunlight of the garden. Taking a deep breath in, he leans forward. He exhales, launching toward his foe. Two steps pass through his feet quicker than they can be processed. Then, Keatoph drops his hip, falling on his thigh, and slides. He cuts under the beast, hitting a spot no one, man, orc, dwarf, or troll, would cover in blades.

Suffice to say, the fight does not last very much longer. Neither is another fight started. Keatoph knows he can not take six Kalinbind at once. On their end, they do not want Grifkar to go out this way. None of them are keen on letting their alpha become the laughing stock of their people. They take their master. Keatoph takes his pack, his sword, and his life. They will both fight another day.

Read chapter two here.

If you enjoy fantasy and want to go on countless adventures of your own, check out Dragon Harvest! A fantasy world brewing with adventures.

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1 comentário

22 de out. de 2021

very enjoyable

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