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Author Topic: [Story] A Hunger for Home  (Read 2374 times)
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Dubh Amn
Heepa-Heepa


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« on: October 27, 2006, 06:26:01 PM »

My first Midnight story.  Enjoy, comments welcome!

Night.  He only sees night now, hunting them and living like them, making them his prey.

He works silently.  Orcs are heavy and hard to strip.  He could still taste his tears.  He had been crying since he consumed the halfling the Orc had been carrying.  He hadn't wanted to eat the withered hands, the ears, but he had been so hungry.

There wasn't much to eat in this part of the Lia Rudh Emyn.  Craggy hills and shrub forest in the grip of winter.  The game he tried to hunt would spook every time he came near. 

Now, he killed Orcs simply for their food.

Away from the thoughts, back to the work.  Snow hangs heavy on the boughs of the evergreen tree his squats under, working like a vulture over his carrion.  The heavy vardatch is discarded.  Too blunt, too heavy, too wrong for his work.  Sharp knives.   He had found them on an Elf.  The first one he had ever seen.  Pale and white and fragile like snow and very, very dead.  Yes, dead when he found it.

Stupid thrice-cursed Elves.  Too small.  Warm winter clothes that wouldn't fit his thigh.  Didn't know how to make clothes like a proper man.  Had to leave so much behind.

But these knives, those he kept.  So sharp, so perfect for the skinning. 

Steam rises from the corpse as he works, pulling the mane away from the scalp, from the spine, holding a piece of it in his mouth as he works to tug and cut and free.   Orcs don't need to wrap themselves in winter fur.  They don't feel cold, just like they don't feel love, or sorrow, or remorse or pity.  Just like they don't feel human

But you can wrap yourself in them.  Orc hide makes wonderful clothing, if you can stand the skinning.  And the mane is perfect for boots, for hats. 

Savage?  He thinks he is now.  In the snow.  The only man alive from his raiding party.  The Orc patrol had found them.  The patrol had killed almost all of them, leaving two alive.  They had wounded him and left him for dead.  They had run him straight through.  He could remember the feeling of being pierced, of bleeding, of dying.  Except he didn't die.  He had just passed out from the pain.  His friend, Ordred, had been left alive as well, pinned to the ground by a stake through his leg.  They had taken all of their weapons, except for Ordred's spear.  Cruel Orc joke.  Two wounded Dorns, one weapon.  They get to choose who feels the tender mercy of death and who is left to freeze alone and unable to crawl away. 

But they didn't count on a Dorn's toughness. 

Ordred had already broken by the time he awoke, coughing and curled up around the blade.  One look across the slaughter and Ordred started sobbing, feebly clutching his spear.  He had found the poultice carried among the bodies of his fellows, had pulled the blade free from his own body, stuffing the wounds with the leaves and grasses so he wouldn't bleed to death.  He had tried to comfort Ordred, then, tried to speak words of kindness and help.  But Ordred was strange.  The closer he got, the more he spoke, the harsher the sobs became until the man was screaming, horrible, fear filled, wracking screams.  Ordred screamed so loud and so long he had actually spit blood, torn his throat.  He hadn't had any choice. 

He took the spear and he drove it through his kinsmen.  Ordred died screaming, too.  He had hoped that the spear would silence his cries, give him a chance to greet death like a true Dorn.  But Ordred's last sound was the pathetic mewl of fear he would expect from a newborn.  And the eyes.. those cold eyes that had locked on him.. the look of complete terror and misery.  Ordred must have been out of his mind, to look at his brother-son that way. 

Then he had eaten Ordred.

He wasn't proud of it.  But he needed to heal.  He needed food.  The Orcs hadn't left him anything and he was too weak to hunt.  He was so hungry that he had been able to convince himself that the meat tasted sweet like the venison he had last shared with his fellows.

He had eaten, he had rested and he had started the long trek home.  Trailing the Orcs.  Following their paths.  Finding the slaughter of the Elves.  Killing the Orcs for their provisions. 

But it was worth it.  He was nearly home.  He could already smell his wife, feel her skin in his hands. 

They had chosen the wrong Dorn to leave alive.  They should have made sure he was dead.  They underestimated his drive, his ambition, his toughness.  They had run him through and here he was, skinning them, tearing at them, savaging them like animals.

That was the most clever part of his ruse.

Tearing at them with his hands and teeth, covering the sword wounds with bite marks and claws, making them think something else was hunting them, playing on a sense of fear.  They are close to the Elven woods, the Veradeen - the Orcs had slain a party of those pale and beautiful people.  What better way to throw off your quarry than to make them think that some angry and invisible Elven monster was slowly killing them?

He finished with the body, dumping it by the tree.  He makes careful scratches in the bark with his knives, making it look like claw marks, trying to throw them off even further.

It had been a long ruse, but it was over.  As he lopes through forest paths, he can begin to smell his village in the air.  Smoke and meat and dried swordgrass and salt.  He'll gather a new hunting party once his wounds fully heal.  He'll lead them out and show them the Orcs the true strength of the Dorn.  The Orcs will feel their own mercy, their own tactics used against them.  Soon, he'll make every Orc in this valley pay.

Soon.

Once he finds food and eases the need in his belly, the way the Orc- food couldn't, he'll make them all pay. 
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 12:17:27 PM by Nifelhein » Logged

"Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts." - Cicero
Nifelhein
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2006, 07:14:30 PM »

Praises come in cookies her,e take some taint for you evil stuff. Wink
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"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects."
 - Attributed to Herman Melville.
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