Friday, November 13, 2009

FELL DEEDS Chapter I: Ogre-Achievers

The red sun was creeping up over the Orodruin Mountains by the time Garl, Skretch, and Maubah returned to their brood. War drums thundered and the mountains came alive with proud roars of orc grunts, vanguards, and acolytes as the adventurers passed through the iron-clawed village gates.

The three young runts were pressed on both sides by throngs of their brothers and sisters. Grunts clapped meaty clawed hands on Garl's shoulder, vanguards shot burning arrows into the dark morning sky in praise of Skretch, and ceremonial sconces burned bright in honor of the new acolyte Maubah.

They were ushered before the throne of the Great Og, chieftain of their clan. He gazed down upon them with one great yellow eye, deep-set in a grim green face.

The runts dropped to their knees and Garl presented the beastly severed feet of an ogre. Behind them, dozens of orcs clambered onto huts, rocky outcroppings, and taller orcs to get a view of the ceremony. "For the Great Og," said Garl, holding the colossal feet over his head.

The barrel-chested Great Og glared down, but said nothing. All around them, proud roars subsided into an awkward silence. The Great Og's one remaining eye, old and all-knowing, scanned each of the runts in turn. "Where is the rest of him?" the chieftain growled.

Garl and Skretch looked at eachother and a murmur spread throughout the surrounding orqui. A black-hooded grunt stepped forward, brandishing a heavy iron axe. Two warg pups beside the Great Og's throne lifted their heads and licked their lips.

"Thrashed," said Maubah. All heads turned to the albino runt. His blood-red eyes darted from the Great Og to his black-hooded enforcer and the hungry warg pups before he continued, "Charred, bludgeoned, and scattered across half a dozen cave walls."

"Yes," continued Skretch, catching on, "He did not go down, uh...easily."

Garl met the Great Og's questioning gaze, "The ogre's feet were all of him that was left unspoiled. The only trophy worthy of the Great Og."

The monstrous chieftan barked what sounded like a laugh and a toothy grin split his battle-scarred face. His belly shook with laughter that echoed through the black, rocky crags around them and he nodded to the black-hooded grunt.

The heavy iron axe was brought high over the orc's black hood and came crashing down on the banquet table before them, splitting a roasted boar in twain, and sending fresh bloody juices into the air.

"The Great Og is proud and his new warriors are hungry!" called the Great Og, "LET THEM FEAST!"

All around the runts, now fully-fledged Orc Warriors, was bedlam and proud fury. The night air was filled with guttural howls and savage melodies. The sunrise spilled blood across the sky and war drums heralded the dawning of a new day.

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