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The Lone Hunt
My orc name, Skaldish, was given to me by my tribal leader Himkash. Being five feet nine I wasn’t pushed around a lot in my village and soon I became apprenticed to a well known leather tanner at the age of eighteen. But now they are all gone killed, killed by the wolf pack. Their wolf leader is Shamrag. What I remember is, I was sleeping peacefully in my tent when screams tore through the darkness. I quickly jumped out of bed and grabbed my favored weapon, my spear which I had named Slavring. Then pulled a round shield off a shelf and strapped it to my back. I ran outside and immediately saw two warriors mauled by a wolf. As I pulled up to another warrior about to be attacked by three wolves, I ran one through with my spear and kicked another in the leg. The last one jumped at me and threw me back. I slammed head first into the ground, as I groped around blindly for my spear a rock hit me in the back of the head, most likely an inaccurate shot. I woke up to find everything destroyed and I was alone.
I set my journal down as night was falling around the land. I laid down on a tattered blanket I had found strewn across the ground. A small noise awoke me suddenly a figure loomed out of a bush in a crouched position. As it raised a weapon I sprang forward and crashed into the figure’s chest. He sat down heavily and I realized it was another orc.
“Hooragh”, I cried for this was the greeting of my orc tribe. After a moment he yelled back “Hooragh”. I recognized his voice, one of my best friends in the tribe.
“Gorv how did you survive.” He replied with a grunt, I knew that it hadn’t been easy.
“First off it probably wasn’t what you think. For some strange reason the wolves left after only six of us were alive.”
“What happened to the other five?” I asked quickly.
“Will you just let me get to that.” He said exasperated. “Unfortunately they all died of the wounds they received from the wolves. I escaped with a scratch across my back.” After he had finished I explained what had happened to me during the ambush, then suggested we sleep through the rest of the night.
We woke later than I had expected; looking at the position of the sun I assumed it was around midday. We ate a small lunch and then found tracks heading north to a small range of hills a few leagues away. When we reached the base of the back end of the hills we found a sheer drop-off where we stopped abruptly.
Turning to me Gorv said, “Well looks like were going to camp here and search around for more tracks tomorrow. The sun’s starting to sink and it doesn’t look like we can go much further.”
“You can go ahead but I want to have a quick look east and west of our camp then I’ll come back.” I replied. I turned around and started walking along the cliff edge. Only after a couple of minutes I found what I was searching for. Bits of misplaced rocks scattered to the side by running wolves. I ran back to Gorv and told him about the tracks I had found. Finding the tracks again we raced towards the setting sun hopefully finding a way down into the valley. Just before we wouldn’t have been able to see anything we found a trail leading down to the bottom of the cliff.
“Alright now we can camp here.” Gorv said. I set a blanket down and Gorv did the same on my left. Gorv used the wood in his pack to start a fire, while I carrying the provisions set out a good sized dinner. We talked while we ate.
“So when do you expect we catch up to those animals.”
“To tell you the truth Gorv I don’t really know.”
“Well how did you know what to do when we lost the trail back at the top of the cliffs.”
“Mostly just experience hunting animals I guess.” After I finished my meal I went to where I had set my blanket down and laid there on the verge of sleep. Early next morning I rose to a much unexpected surprise, a female orc was moving some of our food around. She had her back turned to me and had a knife in her belt. Probably a scavenger nothing I can‘t handle. I reached for my spear as I grasped it Gorv rushed forward and knocked me down. Traitor! After all I’d done for him and after all these years of being his friend. I felt like wringing his neck.
“Knowing you all these years you probably feel like wringing my neck but that won’t happen after I explain who she is and what she’s doing. Or better yet why don’t you tell him yourself.”
She turned towards me and started speaking, “My name is Elva and those wolves you are tracking attacked and killed my tribe farther to the north than here. I ran when I first saw them, I was so frightened. Anyway I can’t fight much.” My jaw dropped. “But I can shoot a bow.” I then noticed the quiver and short bow she had by her side.
Gorv jumped in before I could say anything, “ Now we just need to come up with a plan that would get rid of the wolves. If you hadn’t noticed there’s three of us and a little over a score of them.” Gorv said.
Elva replied, “I was thinking since the wolves live up in the caves of these cliff’s.”
I interrupted, “You know where they live why didn’t you say anything.”
“If you hadn’t noticed, Skaldish, I just did.” Elva said coldly. “Anyway I was about to say we could hole them up in there while I shoot some to even the odds down a bit.” Both Gorv and I knew why that wouldn’t work, so I decided to explain.
“The wolves would rush us right away and then definitely overpower us.” She glared at me and I knew she didn’t like to be proven wrong. I figured out why after that thought. “You were the leader of your tribe weren’t you?” I asked.
“Yes, I was.” She answered.
“But if you were the tribal leader than why did you just abandon your tribe to those wolves.”
“I didn’t-” she started to say but was cut short by a low growl. A wolf had appeared behind us and we whipped around to meet it. Not only one but the whole pack, we aren’t prepared for this, I thought. The wolf ran forward and I sidestepped easily stabbing it through its side as it tried to snap my leg off with its gaping jaws. Gorv rushed in front of Elva who had her bow drawn and already had killed one already. Six wolves had already gotten behind us and now were encircling us towards the back of the cliff.
I had an idea, “Quickly get to the trail that led us down here, but Elva you get up first. Once you reach it start shooting at them and start heading up the trail slowly.” I tried to hold off the wolves to buy my friends some time and even managed to kill another as it came into the range of my spear. I glanced backwards and saw them reach the trail, as the wolves saw me distracted they rushed forward the lead wolf was brought down by an arrow and two others stumbled over the body while the rest ran by it.
I turned and ran full speed to my friends, Gorv had started throwing chunks of rocks that slowed them down long enough for me to reach the bottom of the trail. Elva had shot two more while I had been running along with the one Gorv had killed. I saw a more apprehensive look in the wolves eyes when they saw their pack weakening. My idea had worked I yelled to Elva to shoot the leader Shamrag she took careful aim and shot him through the skull. With that the wolves dispersed and I realized they would fight for who would become the new leader. Elva shot two more as they were leaving, and I realized that without my friends I would have never been able to survive the fight with the wolf pack and for that I was grateful.
It turned I didn’t want to stay with the newly wedded Gorv and Elva. I decided I’d try becoming a bounty hunter in the capital city Jorfast. I started making enough money when I became recognized for my work. Having killed the wolf tribe I could finally sleep without a guilty conscience for my tribe that had been killed.