-The unforgiven- -dream epilogue-

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nolot
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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 5:01 am

-The unforgiven- -dream epilogue-

Postby nolot » Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:10 pm

This is my 1st story please be kind and give suggestions :D

Nolot opened his eyes.

The sun blazed directly overhead. Nolot lifted a hand to shield himself from the light and, blinking, slowly rose to a standing position. The carpet of lush sward felt springy underfoot.

Before him stood a distant range of softly rolling hills. Above them, pure-white clouds drifted serenely across a sky of flawless blue. The landscape was verdant, uncorrupted.

Off to his right the view was dominated by the brim of an immense forest. On his left a shallow stream flowed down an incline before curving round a bend and out of sight.

It occurred to Nolot to wonder, in an abstract sort of way, what had happened to the night. And he had no idea where the other c might be. But these questions did no more than mildly stroke some small corner of his mind.

Then it seemed to him that he could hear other sounds beyond the tumbling water. Sounds resembling voices, and laughter, and the faint, rhythmic pounding of a drum. Their source was either in his head or at the brook's destination.

He followed the stream, walking in it, his boots crunching on the shingle washed smooth by its endless polishing. His sloshing descent inspired rustling in the undergrowth on either side as tiny furtive creatures darted from his path.

A pleasantly warm breeze caressed his face. The air was fresh and clean. It made him feel light-headed.

He reached the point where the rivulet turned. The voices were louder, more distinct, as he rounded the crook.

Before him was the mouth of a small valley. The stream ran on, snaking through a cluster of circular timber huts, roofed with straw. Set to one side was a long-house, decorated with embellished shields of a clan Nolot didn't recognise. War trophies hung there, too; broadswords, spears, the bleached skulls of sabrewolves. The air was perfumed with the fragrance of smoky kindling and roasting game.

There were tethered horses, roaming livestock, strutting fowl.

And orcs.

Males, females, hatchlings. They carried out chores, tended fires, hewed wood, or simply lounged, watching, talking, bragging. In the clearing outside the long-house a group of young tyros sparred with swords and staffs, the beating of a hide tambour harmonising their mock combat.

No one paid him any particular attention as he entered the settlement. All the orcs he saw bore weapons, as was only fitting for their kind, but despite this clan being unknown to him, Nolot didn't feel threatened. Just curious.

Someone came towards him. She strode with easy confidence, and made no move for the sword hanging in its scabbard at her belt. He judged her a head shorter than himself, though her flaming crimson headdress, shot through with streaks of gold, made up the height. Her back was straight, her build attractively muscular.

She showed no surprise at his presence. Indeed her expression was almost passive, or at least as passive as a face so strong and active could be. As she neared him, she smiled, openly and with warmth. He was aware of a faint stirring in his loins.

'Well met,' she said.

Reflecting on her comeliness, he did not immediately respond. When he replied, it was hesitantly. 'Well . . . met.'

'I don't know you.'

'Nor I you.'

She asked, 'What is your clan?'

He told her.

'It means nothing to me. But there are so many.'

Nolot glanced at the unfamiliar shields on the long-house. 'Your clan isn't known to me either.' He paused, captivated by her fetching eyes, before adding, 'Aren't you wary of greeting a stranger?'

She looked puzzled. 'Should I be? Is there a dispute between our clans?'

'Not that I know of.'

She flashed her appealing, sharpened yellow teeth again. 'Then there's no need for caution. Unless you come with evil intent.'

'No, I come in peace. But would you be as welcoming if I were a troll? Or a goblin? Or a dwarf of unknown allegiance?'

Her mystified look returned. 'Troll? Goblin? Dwarf? What are they?'

'You do not know of dwarves?'

She shook her head.

'Or gremlins, trolls, elves? Any of the elder races?'

'Elder races? No.'

'Or . . . humans?'

'I don't know what they are, but I'm sure there aren't any.'

'You mean there aren't any in these parts?'

'I mean that your words are lost on me. You're odd.' It was said without malice.

'And you speak in riddles,' he told her. 'Where are we in Bloodtusk that you do not know of the other elder races, or of humans?'

'You must have journeyed a long way, stranger, if your land has a name I've never heard of.'

He was taken aback. 'Are you telling me you don't even know what the world is called?'

'No. I'm telling you it isn't called Bloodtusk. At least, not here. And I've never known another on who spoke of us sharing it with these . . . elder races and . . . humans.'

'Orcs decide their own fate here? They make war as they choose? There are no humans or-'

She laughed. 'When was it otherwise?'

Nolot furrowed his craggy brow. 'Since before my father's father was hatched,' he muttered. 'Or so I thought.'

'Perhaps you've marched too long in the heat,' she offered gently.

He gazed up at the sun, and a realisation came to him. 'The heat . . . No chill wind blows.'

'Why should it? This isn't the cold season.'

'And the ice,' Nolot continued, ignoring her answer. haven't seen the advancing ice.'

'Where?'

'From the north, of course.'

Unexpectedly, she reached out and grasped his hand. 'Come.'

Even in his confusion he was aware that her touch was agreeably cool and clammy. He allowed her to lead him.

They followed the downward path of the stream until they left the village behind. Eventually they came to a place where the land fell away, and Nolot and the female stood on the edge of a granite cliff. Here the stream became a pool, slipping from its far lip as a waterfall, a foamy cascade that plunged to rocks far below in a greater valley.

The silver thread of a river emerged from somewhere at the foot of the cliff, slicing across olive plains that stretched endlessly in all directions. Only the tremendous forest to their right curbed the ocean of grassland. Vast herds of grazing beasts, too numerous to count, ranged further than Nolot could see. An orc might spend a lifetime hunting here and never want for prey.

The female pointed, dead ahead. 'North,' she said.

There were no encroaching glaciers, no looming slate sky. All he saw in that direction was more of the same; luxuriant foliage, an infinity of green, a thriving abundance of life.

Nolot experienced a strange emotion. He could not explain why, but he had a nagging sensation that all this was somehow familiar, as though he had seen these wondrous sights and breathed deep of this unsullied air before.

'Is this . . . Zal tor Mar?' He all but whispered the sacred word.

'Paradise?' She smiled enigmatically. 'Perhaps. If you choose to make it so.'

The alchemy of sunlight and airborne spray birthed an arcing rainbow. They silently marvelled at its multicoloured splendour.

And the soothing rush of water was balm to Nolot's troubled spirit.

He opened his eyes.

A Blood-raider grunt was pissing into the ashes of the fire.

Nolot snapped fully awake. 'What the fuck do you think you're doing, Private?' he bellowed.

The grunt scooted off like a scalded whelp, head down, fumbling at his breeches.

Still muzzy from the dream, or vision, or whatever it was, it took a moment for Nolot to realise that the sun had risen. It was past dawn.

'Gods!' he cursed, scrambling to his feet.

He checked his belt for the pouch, then quickly took in the scene. Two or three of the Blood-raiders were unsteadily exploring wakefulness, but the rest, including the lookouts he'd posted, lounged all over the compound.

Sprinting to the nearest huddle of sleeping figures, he laid about them with his boot. 'Up, you bastards' he roared. 'Up! Move yourselves!'

“Nolot!,' Suddenly Grun rushed in. 'We have to get back to Bloodtusk!.

Some rolled from the kicks. Several came alive with blades in their hands, ready for a fight, then cowered on recognising their tormentor. Zubax was among them, but less inclined to quail at his officer's rage. He scowled, returning his knife to its sheath with deliberate, insolent slowness.


To be continue!
Last edited by nolot on Sat Mar 01, 2003 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sundara
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Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 6:01 am
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Postby Sundara » Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:50 pm

I see you got some talent in writing stories as well. Looking foward to the next part! :)

P.S. didn't have much time to read stories until now, (briefly) I've meant to comment on some of them on this forum on what a job well done, very creative and good imagination from you people. I will try to catch up on some other stories from various talented story tellers too!! There is just so many, I don't think I can catch up on all :(

Keep up the good work! :)
When poverty comes knocking on your door, love escapes through the window.

-German Proverb-
Clan Blindhammer
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:01 am

Postby Clan Blindhammer » Fri Feb 28, 2003 11:52 pm

Silly goblin!
King Artikerus Blindhammer
---------------
Kiaransalee responds to your petition with 'I have no opinion, keeps me out of trouble.'
Malar responds to your petition with 'you die more than a morigroup'
Kossuth responds to your petition with 'please go away :P'
Rillifane responds to your petition with 'be the nance.... you are the nance... you are one with the nance...'
Nilan
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Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2001 6:01 am

Postby Nilan » Sat Mar 01, 2003 8:18 am

Nice story.

Very Enjoyable :)

Nilan

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