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Author Topic: Long way from home [Mazoga/Open]  (Read 182 times)

Wyn

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Long way from home [Mazoga/Open]
« on: September 13, 2017, 04:53:23 AM »
Though the vagrant girl rarely strayed far from her hellish “homeland”, there were times when her self-proclaimed duties had caused her to venture into the neighboring lands. She had been hopping the mountainous border with impunity for almost four years now, smuggling out both her own kin and anything of value she could filch from the uruk camps. Though she barely interacted with the people of Gondor’s towns and villages beyond trading off her stolen wares and begging them to take in the bedraggled refugees she brought to their doorsteps, she had already found them a great deal more pleasant than Mordor’s residents (not that that was a difficult feat to accomplish). There were days when it was so tempting to simply leave Mordor behind her for good. Maybe one day she could find a village to join herself. She’d hunt and scout for them, and finally have the home she’d been deprived of for so long.

...Or maybe pigs would fly and orcs would all become pacifists.

What right did she had to hide away in some mountain village while there were still slaves to free and uruk to harass? The girl’s self-proclaimed “duties” may have been idiotic at best and suicidal at worst, but somehow, they almost helped her cope. So long as she had an enemy, even if that enemy was one she could never hope to defeat, then she had a reason to keep going. Sure, drawing your will to live from pure hatred probably wasn’t the healthiest of mindsets, but she had never expected to live very long anyways.

Even now, outside of Mordor, she had remained vigilant for opportunities to make a nuisance of herself. She had found the warg-tracks in the soft mud of a stream-fed marsh, nestled between softly-rolling hills.To one whose survival had depended on remaining alert to her environment, the prints had been like a slap in the face. What was a warg doing here, so close to the farmlands and orchards of Men? To make matters worse, as she began to follow the trail she had once come across boot prints in another patch of soft ground. A feral warg on its own was dangerous enough, almost certainly here to prey on livestock or the farmers themselves, but a warg with an orc onboard suggested a more sinister purpose. Was this a scout? The outrunner for a raiding party? Whatever their intent, Wyn wasn’t about to make her trek back to Mordor without getting to the bottom of this.

Fighting the brute and his beast would almost certainly be out of the question--Wyn didn’t pretend for a second that she had any chance of slaying them with nothing more than a measly pair of glorified butcher’s knives and a glare. But perhaps she could keep tabs on them from a distance, warn any nearby towns in case the orc was hoping to take them by surprise.

Within the scattered forest she was currently tracking them through, the prints themselves had become harder to see in the dry soil, but there were still plenty of indicators that something large and shaggy had passed through: a tuft of fur caught in a briar tangle here, the scrape of blunt claws against the dirt there. How close she was to her quarry, she wasn’t sure, but her steps were quick and quiet, and her eyes constantly darted from the ground to the terrain ahead. Furthermore, she had paused at the treeline to mask her scent as best she could, rubbing her limbs down with handfuls of loam and leaves scooped off the forest floor. An unpleasant tactic, maybe, but past experience had taught her that orcish noses were just as keen as those of their beasts. At any rate, it wasn't the nastiest thing she had ever used to disguise her smell. She hadn’t seen much sign of the uruk she suspected was riding the beast since entering the woods, but whatever they were doing here, she would make sure they didn’t have the opportunity to carry it out.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 05:04:33 AM by Wyn »

Mazoga

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Re: Long way from home [Mazoga/Open]
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 05:20:51 AM »
The Warg and Rider kept to the forested lines. It was easier to move around without bringing any attention. So far West from Mount Gundabad brought the risk of Rangers and that was something that Mazoga had wished to avoid.

They'd been travelling hard, eating up distance to get closer towards her mapped target. It was a world apart.

The land was rich, soft earth compared to the hard packed dirt and rocks further East. Life sprang up with little help from the farmers who merely kept everything organized to maximize harvests. Breaking a ridge as the sun finally set and amber eyes looked over the verdant hills. Such bounty bred softer people, but that was no reason to disrupt the balance of things.

War would come soon enough and most of this would burn. The thought brought the Orcess no joy. She knew hunger and knew what it provoked even the softest of people to do. Snaga, slaves, that had been pathetically meek became killers over moldy bread when hunger gnawed at them long enough. Sneering softly at the thought.

No, she was not much like her kin.

Bralfot had taken down a boar only a few hours back and stripped the meat from the bones. Leaving them behind with deep fang marks for his chewing. She dropped from his back and moved towards a merry little stream, crouching to drink her fill and refill her own water skeins with it. More splashed over her scarred flesh to refresh her as she rocked back onto her heels.

Rustling in the underbrush had her head snapping up. A hand out to Bralfot in a command to stay low. Laughter erupted in the wake of fast footfall as a small group of children broke out with fishing poles and baskets. Mazoga quietly backed away and towards the tree line once more. Children's eyes trained on the water and each other and not spying the clear threat of her until she was gone from view entirely.

She watched for a few moments as they shared the poles and revealed the baskets to be filled to bursting with luncheon things. Mazoga merely watched before turning back towards Bralfot and gave hand signal to follow. Leaving behind what may have been a feast for an Orc with less of a conscience.

It sometimes rankled her that she was so different than many. Azog would have set his warg on them for feasting and laughed at their paltry efforts to defend the other. Mazoga could not. There was no honor found in the slaughter of children or those untrained for combat. There was no reason to blood the land when the only provocation to be seen was the strange trilling of laughter.

Strange to her, anyway.

Bralfot shouldered into her and she grinned and pushed back harshly. Their strength was matched and the playful back and forth was a game they often played as they traveled side by side when she was not riding. Grabbing the Warg's head in a lock witha  broad and tusked filled grin and wrenched to try to put the beast on it's side. The snarling and growling was coming from both before Mazoga gave pause.

Bralfot also froze and both turned eyes, ears and flared nostrils to the woods surrounding.

There had been no sound to alert them or any scent in the air. Still, you did not survive Mount Gundabad to majority without some sense of when you were being watched. Bralfot's growl held none of the playfulness it had just moments ago.

Mazoga slid the arrows from the saddle quiver and notched it in a swift move. Her voice like hard gravel being ground together. Words spoken in Westron. "Show self or die." Had the children spotted her and followed? Doubtful they would be able to shadow her so quietly.

Wyn

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Re: Long way from home [Mazoga/Open]
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 04:03:48 AM »
The growling that erupted from further up the trail caused Wyn freeze in place, eyes immediately darting about to scan her surroundings. She knew a warg's snarl when she heard it, and that had been far too close for comfort. The girl ducked behind a nearby tree, pressing her back to the bark opposite the direction she guessed the sound had come from. A dagger was drawn from its sheath and held close in preparation to stab, but when no enemy revealed themselves, she dared a cautious peak around the tree-trunk. Was it directed at her, or had the beast been growling at something else? They didn't vocalize like that without reason, and if there was someone else out here, they might be in trouble. Frightened though she was, she wasn't about to hide here if someone else was being attacked.

The girl forced herself to step out from behind the tree, her stance low and her weapon at the ready, and began to creep forward. She had been closer to her quarry than she had realized, for upon peering through a tangle of briars, she caught sight of pale fur and dark armor. Her worries that the warg had a rider were confirmed, although she was having trouble discerning the reason for the warg's growls. There were no human cries to be heard, and no corpse lay at their feet. Instead, they--Wyn's eyes narrowed in confusion as she stared from her hidden position--appeared to be...playing? It seemed ridiculous, but though the orc appeared to be grappling with the beast, neither had the deadly intent about them she was used to seeing. They were just...roughousing, like a pair of siblings.

Though silent and mostly scentless, the warg must have somehow discerned they weren't alone, for it suddenly stiffened and stood up, the growls taking on a much more dire tone. The orc reacted almost immediately, following his companion's gaze before drawing an arrow and readying their bow. Wyn's second shock of the day came when the orc spoke. Instead of the bestial grunts and rasps she had come to associate with Black Speech, the brute spoke out in clear, if heavily-accented, Westron. Stranger still was the voice itself, unlike any orc's she had ever heard. It almost sounded feminine, if such a thing was possible for uruk, not unlike her own raspy voice (though a great deal deeper).

The orc stood his (her???) ground, demanding that whoever was out there show themselves. Wyn's first impulse, then, was to remain exactly where she was. The orc wasn't looking directly at her, indicating she wasn't sure where the interloper was. In the dappled shadows of the forest, her mottled greyish-green cloak did a fine job of hiding her form. The orc's eyes were accurate enough, however, that she would almost certainly notice if Wyn were to move. The girl could only hunker down and stare, heart pounding in her chest, as she tried desperately to think of some way to make it out alive.

It was unlike an orc to give warning, rather than just send their beast in to drag her out. This entire situation was strange in so many ways, but past experiences had taught her that an orc was an orc, and the only good orc was a dead orc. "Mercy" wasn't a word in their vocabulary. "And how do I know you won't kill me anyway, uruk?" she finally called out, remaining crouched-down and (hopefully) hidden from view. Speaking would give away her position, but she was not about to stand up and expose herself while that orc still had an arrow ready.

Mazoga

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Re: Long way from home [Mazoga/Open]
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2017, 05:19:30 AM »
Mazoga had hoped that it was not one of the children she could still lightly hear at the edge of her enhanced hearing. At the replying voice, it was clear that it was not. Uruk. Whoever was hiding at least knew enough to know the word for Orc in the tongue of Black Speech. Not many did, many just called them Orc.

They were afraid that she would kill them whether they showed or not. Mazoga could not fault the logic there. Whoever it was was close and well hidden. It took training to stay still like they were. Training or experience enough in keeping one's self still.

Bralfot was still snarling low in his chest, clearly unhappy at having whatever was out there threatening their moment of fun. Mazoga slowly let the string go lax before removing the arrow entirely from the bow and slid it back into the quiver.

The voice had come from downwind and Mazoga and Bralfot both focused in that direction. <<Fighting will only draw the little ones fishing. I won't kill a child unless my hand is forced. If you force my hand in this, it won't go easy for you, human.>> Black Speech was the easier language for her to explain exactly the goings on of the situation. There was a reason Bralfot wasn't howling or snarling at full volume. There was a reason she wasn't shouting or roaring out. She didn't want to draw the children by curiosity.

Mazoga wasn't entirely sure if this human spoke her language, but it was worth a shot. If they didn't, she would try to explain in Westron, but many of the words she didn't know. It was frustrating speaking in a broken tongue, but she worked with what she had.

<<It's not smart to trail a Warg Rider, human and I don't think there are more of you hidden in the wood. What did you think to do? Even if my warg was not with me, one human cannot take a fully armed orc.>>

OOC: I know it's short, but I figure they will have a nice little chat. <3

Wyn

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Re: Long way from home [Mazoga/Open]
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 04:54:08 AM »
As she had expected, her voice caused both orc and warg to look in her direction, though they seemed unsure where she was exactly. Wyn dared not moved a muscle as the orc seemed to consider her words. Then, she did the last thing Wyn had expected--she loosened the bowstring and the returned the arrow to its quiver.

Now this was a first--an orc capable of acting with at least some semblance of civility. Despite her surprise, she remained where she was for a moment longer, unsure if the display of neutrality was only a trick to draw her out of hiding.

The next words the she-orc spoke were in her own tongue, and Wyn quickly racked her brain for a translation. Mordor orcs tended to give the slaves orders in a pidgin mix of Westron and Black Speech, and she had listened in on plenty of orcish conversations, but her grasp of the language was rusty at best. According to what she could glean, there were children fishing nearby. The orc expressed reluctance, of all things, at having to kill them--this day was getting stranger and stranger.

If she was telling the truth, however, that changed things. Wyn may not have given a damn about her own wellbeing, but that of others, especially youths, was a different story.

Taking a quiet, steadying breath, the girl slowly rose to her feet and stepped out of the underbrush she had been concealed in, staring down the orc and her lupine companion as a rabbit might watch a pack of wolves. The orc further questioned her motives, correctly guessing that she was alone and had little chance in a full-out fight. The Gundabad clearly had the upper hand, yet at least for the time being, she seemed willing to take a relatively-peaceful route.

Wyn snorted quietly at the observation, all the while sizing her up. Now that she had a better look at her, she noted a concerning similarity in build and coloring to the glaive-wielding shadow-flinging psychopath she had recently crossed paths with. There were different strains of Corrupt, she knew that much, though Mordor was mostly home to just common uruk and the occasional goblin. <<"Not that stupid.">> she responded in a broken rendition of Black Speech, unsure for the moment which language the orc preferred. <<"Would be following you. Watch. Warn villages nearby so you can't to ambush.">> The last phrase was spoken with a hint of challenge, though she had a feeling she had gotten the pronunciation wrong. Mimicking such a guttural language with a human voicebox was no easy task.

<<"You look strange, sound strange, act strange. Not like most orc.">> Not an insult, but rather an observation, almost spoken like a question. <<"You are orc, yes?">> Assuming she wasn't about to be mauled now that she had revealed herself, she found herself growing intensely curious as to just who this person (gods, it was strange to think of orcs as people) was.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 04:55:05 AM by Wyn »

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