Medievia Mudslinger

June 17, 2000

Orc Grudge - By Degen

I woke up this morning with a little pain in my lower back after sleeping on the Hotel Medievia's lumpy bed, but this was a pleasure compared to sleeping on the forest floor. I gathered myself together and grabbed the equipment that I would need for a whole new day of death and adventure.

I liked to challenge the weak mercenaries of the city with their pathetic pleas for a job. They weren't worth one coin, so I didn't see the use in having them wander around and crowd the streets. I usually found one wandering about in the poor section; the residents of the area didn't care what goes on outside of their shabby tents.

After the morning's events, I walked around the Courtyard looking for lost items I could claim. I was a bit of a thief, but kept to my warrior ways. Occasionally I would pick up an item that belonged to one of the Heroes of the land, but I was quick to return it and make up an excuse. My boot fell upon scurrying rats as I made my way up and down the streets. I was looking for anything of value, often creating dead bodies that I could loot. My best bet would be the poor quarters and their dark alleys - a haven for bodies that weren't supposed to be found.

I walked down the crude section of the city, threatening some poor peasants as I went. Thieves weren't uncommon here, and most found my sword in their gut. A dead end met me as I turned a corner, and there sat a young boy with hole- ridden clothes begging passer-bys for food and money. I promptly shoved my hand in his face pushing him to the ground.

The alley was unusually quiet at the time, the only noise was the heavy pounding of my boots on the dirty ground. This was the only time I really was frightened, and I didn't get frightened very often. An empty wooden crate fell from a window after a rat nudged it to the ground; I followed with a jump that sent me crashing into a door. I stood up quickly and surveyed the room, which yielded nothing because it was pitch-black inside. Yet, I had an insistent feeling that something was there.

I was about to draw my sword when a crude looking axe came down out of the darkness, I quickly dodged the lobby attack and was swift in unsheathing my sword and launching my own attack. The next round of slices came from the side, which was deflected by my shield. Then I came in with a piercing blow aimed for the creature's stomach, but I underestimated his nimbleness as he easily set aside my pierce with his own crude looking shield. That was a stupid move on my part, I set him up with a perfect cut on my sword arm.

I played defense for a while, getting a couple of nicks here and there. I was able to hit him in the head with the hilt of my sword a couple of times, but it didn't seem to affect him. I went for another bash, coming in a little closer than I had hoped, then I realized what it was, an orc.

This fact scared me, he was way out of my league in experience, but we had the same skills. He had strength on his side, so I thought of some way to exploit it. He came at me again with his shield dropped, and wielding his axe with two hands. I stepped to the side allowing his axe to come straight down into nothing, and with a quick spin my foot found its way into his back. He stumbled over into the window just catching himself before falling out. Then I let him have it, hitting him with my shield and a clean slice across the back, and finishing by kicking him out the window.

After the long and hard battle, I wiped the sweat from my forehead and just basked in the satisfaction that I killed an orc. Although, when I looked out the window the pitiful orc was squirming and kicking in pain, so I decided to go put him out of his misery. When I reached the door I heard a low moan coming from the corner of the room. I drew my sword and carefully and quietly went in the direction of the moans. When I got close enough I saw the mark of a guardsman, a bronze breastplate. He was badly beaten and tied up.

He struggled to turn his head toward me and managed to say, "Here... take.. this!" At that time he handed me a map. "Take it to the..guards. Tell them . its a map to.. an orc.." Silence befell him and his body sunk to the floor.

I thought for a second holding the map. Well, I could take it to the authorities, or I could check out the place on the map. All he said was "orc", but orc what? I'll find out, tonight. I looked at the poor man's body again, then pried his breast plate off and placed it around myself, good fit. I would sneak out in the night when no one could see me.

The whole day went by slower than normal as I waited in anticipation for the night. The map had a picture of the Medievia City and east were some hills, which an X was marked. "X marks the spot," I whispered to myself with a grin.

The night fell and all was as should be in the city. I walked lightly through the streets making my way to the east gate. One guard stood watching people come and go, but I didn't want anyone to know I was leaving that night. I took a dead rat with me that I had killed earlier that day, this little rodent would help me elude the guard. The city guard was riding a horse, trotting along.

I approached the horse quietly, and then tossed the dead rat in front of it. The horse reared backward, right into my sword. With a loud neigh the horse and the guard rode off into the dark street. The mounted guard didn't even have time to think. With the gate clear and no one around except for the occasional beggar, I walked out into the night.

I decided to bring a torch instead of a lamp, I was traveling light, and the lantern would cost too much. I passed the Great Tree, which flickered a little in the night, pixies flying about. I lit my torch and proceeded to the location on the map.

It wasn't a long way from the city, about an hour's walk. I didn't see anything for a while, but then I spotted red flares on the ground a hundred yards away. I walked lightly to get a closer look; I started to crawl when I got close enough. Squinting I managed to see big creatures around a fire, a little bit bigger than a human, and some of them were up and dueling with each other. Their attitude was much the same as the orc I encountered. Yes, they were orcs.

I had seen enough, and I didn't want them to see me. I turned around and started crawling until I could reach a suitable spot to start running. As I turned, a sharp whistling noise went through the air, then again, and again. I looked next to me and saw what they were, arrows! On instinct my shield went up to cover my body and at the same time another arrow whistled its way into it. At this time I didn't care if they saw me, I stood up and ran. Arrows flew past me, just barely missing, as I flew through the woods.

I had been running for a couple of minutes and started getting tired, but I kept on running when I heard the vile beasts behind me. My escape seemed almost certain, then I became stationary as an arrow found its mark, searing into my leg. I dropped to the ground and rolled the rest of the way down the hill. Then blackness over took me as something hard hit me in the head, probably a tree but I couldn't remember.

A horrible stench awoke me from my unconscious slumber, it wasn't only the orcs themselves, but my breakfast as well. Fresh deer was my breakfast, fresh as in just killed and uncooked. I swallowed it down without chewing, I didn't want to taste the raw flesh. I wondered why they were feeding me and keeping me alive. Prisoner, but for what? There is no war.

I found out soon enough, the savage beings were in need of entertainment, and I was the entertainment. I was locked in a wooden cage with nothing on but a few clothes, my shield, and the breast plate I took off the guard. A circle was constructed of orcs standing close together, ready to push back any fleeing combatant. But they were standing very close together holding shields next to each other, like they were forming a barricade.

My cage was opened and I dropped out as they tipped it over, but I was quick to get my feet. I looked around for the orc that I would fight, most likely to the death. I looked at my opponent and almost laughed aloud, but I pretended like I was going to die. I didn't think that was going to happen against a rat, well, bigger than a regular rat and almost mutated. But I looked again as they unloaded four more, making five of these giant rats for me to face.

My sword was returned and I shoved into the battle. The creatures wasted no time in trying to destroy me. The closest one lunged at before I got my bearings, I threw up a block with my shield, but I was still rammed to the ground. Its nasty mouth opened and closed trying to get a bite on me, and the rat's nails kept scratching my legs. The ugly creature's mouth shut after my sword found its heart. It wailed and moaned not dieing yet until I sliced its throat, which speeded up the process.

After watching one of their own suffer and die at my blade, all four rats charged me. I thought quick and hopped over them landing on my back, not a good position to be in. A shadow flew over my head, and so my sword went vertical into the air, right as one of the rats landed on it. But still three more, I knew I could probably take them, so I thought ahead. While the creature was motionless and dead on top of me, my sword came out and sliced of its toe.

Another rat slammed into my back, I flew into the orcs who hit me with their shields and threw me back. I was getting tired, and my lust to beat these rats and orcs drove me into a fighting fury. The more clever of the three tried to sneak up behind me, I spun around and before the rat had time to react its head fell to the ground. Three down, two to go.

The remaining two came at me in unison; I kicked one in the chest and fell to the ground with the other one. My hilt nailed it in the head; he stopped moving. The other one tried to flee, ramming into the orcs and knocking them down, he almost succeeded but an arrow cut him down, three arrows to be exact. The unconscious one squirmed a bit, then steel ended its pain.

I looked around for any other challengers, but was relieved to find out there were none. I was scared out of my mind, and just wanted to return Medievia's lumpy hotel bed. The leader of the orcs, a little larger and better dressed than the rest, approached me with an angry grin on his face as he took my sword and threw it into the crowd of orcs behind him. I couldn't understand what he was saying, the orc tongue was so primitive, but I did understand his dagger coming up and slicing the left side of my face, from my chin up to my ear. I grabbed at it, blood trickling down my hand.

I spoke to him in pain and anger, "You feeble minded sons of whores don't think too much, or ya would of thought ahead as I did." I flashed him a grin of my own, then I jammed the toe that I sliced off the rat into the orc's throat - the sharp nail did its trick. He grabbed and choked, spitting blood and probably cursing, I couldn't understand him.

The leader's minions stood in awe and didn't move, they didn't dare challenge me, and a quick glance at the anxious archers sent them cowering. So, I ran, ran until I saw the flickering Great Tree and the warm welcoming gates of Medievia. I stumbled through the gates, my wounds now catching up with me.

I was resting in the hotel room and thinking about what had happened. The orcs were savage indeed, but they also taught me my lesson. There is never one best person, everyone is good and can be beaten, Iím just glad I wasn't beaten today. Lady Luck was on my side that night, and even with me when I defeated that orc in the city. I knew I couldn't of beat him if he hadn't fallen from the window, besides from luck though, maybe I was destined. Destined to find these orcs so I could learn of what was to become of me if I didn't change. I hate orcs, and will forever hold a grudge against them, probably more than a grudge, they were now my mortal enemies. Even though they helped me realize my potential, I still couldn't deny the fact that they don't care, I was their form of entertainment.

Now I sleep and see what fate lies ahead in the next day, and the next, and the next...