A Day Like Any Other, part 3

"The barren ground between the trees and the orcish road was a charnel house in sight and the heavy  slaughterhouse scent filling the air thick enough to choke on.  Dead orcs and barbarians alike lay sprawled  across each other where they'd fallen, some literally leaning against each other where they had died before  falling into the very foe who'd killed them.  Some of the orcs only had the smallest of scratches with not  nearly enough of their blood spilled to leave them cold.  The Tribe of Mork's poisons did their work well.

The woman crouched at the edge of the battlefield gave the fallen from both sides a dismissive, rude  gesture.  The leader of this group had no excuse for having died here.  The woman crouched patiently behind  her voiced the obvious question.  "How could they be dead?  They had demons but are still dead.  How?"

The woman she addressed curled a lip in disdain.  "He was overconfident and foolish.  Orcs are godless  fools.  They are godless fools who have survived.  They are strong despite the lack of faith they have."

She moved over the rough ground, stepping across bodies silently, her subordinate following close behind  with near the same amount of stealth.  They stopped when they reached what was left of the raiding party's  leader, his head an unidentifiable pulp, only the talisman on his belt allowing them to identify the once- proud man.

"Gharven had a weakness for his brother.  It is good that he sent him to find glory or death."  She took  the talisman from the fallen warrior's belt, examining it closely while her companion watched.  "It is good  that he found death if this is how foolish he was."

Her companion tensed at the woman's laugh, her voice cutting sharp in the otherwise quiet clearing.  "I  think Gharven would be unhappy at your tone."

The words were barely free from her lips before she found a blade against her throat, pressed firmly enough  to just barely start to cut skin as she hissed in shock.  "Gharven is no fool.  His brother was.  Gharven  has no need of fools.  The Tribe of Mork has no need of fools.  A fool questions letting a fool die.  Are  you questioning?"

She did not wait for an answer, lowering the weapon as soon as her words were done so that her subordinate  could gasp for breath.  "Gharven will want to know."

The two women turned back towards the trees, jogging with a tireless stamina that both took for granted."

by Brian Nelms

A Day Like Any Other, part 2
Simple Diplomacy >