The mud stained water flowed over the palm of her hand like some brown quicksilver. Odd as it was, to see liquid dance in the air swilling around and spilling to the ground from a female hand of stealth. “There is no refill here, these contaminated waters can not be drunk” Trill murmured to herself. Neither her thirst will be quenched, nor her rasping throat will be soothed from these waters. It is a dry day indeed.
She was acutely aware of the presence of the Orc guard patrolling these circular walkways. Their foul stench alone is enough to alert her of their proximity. She should move on. Perhaps creep further away from the entrance to the castle. Dethfist Castle, a pockmark on the landscape proclaiming Orc domination of this area. Whilst from afar the castle itself looks a building of impressive size and menace, close to the horned banks of its moat, it looks dreary, brown as the muddied sands of this wasteland of Zek. An area stripped of all merit by the heavy clubfeet of the Orcan army that fight, scuff and tread all over it.
There is a prize sought after in these Dethfist outskirts. These dim-witted Orcs keep their treasures locked up tight, but they do not have the imagination nor the ingenuity to then hide their prized chests. They see it befitting to post more guards around such booty. They have the men to spare, they do not have the intelligence to spare. Today, Trill will harvest the fruits of the Orc labourers. She will have their treasure.
Trill skirts the periphery of a simple Orcan camp. No more than a scorched sheet thrown over crudely whittled staves. There are two Orc guardsmen lolling about, brokenly grunting to each other in their hateful native tongue. She cannot make out what they say, they seem very much without wit or humour, their snarls and barks are like the monitor lizard skin scraped over putrefied bark of a tree. She notices one of them is well armed, at the hip. He has a sharp hand-scythe that has blackened blood stains forming a crown along the sharpened edge. This weapon could inflict a deep wound if swung with enough brute force. The other slightly smaller Orc seemed to have no weapon on his person at all. Which seemed very odd. All Orcan guards must be armed, especially if on patrol or guarding trinkets of worth. Still, it is a good day to have the misfortunes of the Orcs fall at the hands of this Teir’Dal songstress.
Without as much as a whisper of air, Trill launched herself from behind the makeshift tent, vaulting out of her state of stealthed cloaking, landing squarely behind the armed Orc guard. She arrived as softly as a floating feather, her falchion sunk slowly and surgically into the shoulder of the Orc. So sharp an incision, it seemed as if he didn’t notice the violation of his body, until the blade made contact with bone. Trill lifted her second blade from the base of the Orc’s spine up into his thoracic space. This swift pincer movement of scalpel sharp blades, had the Orc pinned in pain. He flinched heavy to the left, a repetitive jerking motion, obviously inspired by the severing of a motor nerve near his spine. He howled breathlessly, guttural and startled. He made for his circular blade at his side. Trill however was hyper aware, she hums ancient tunes of alertness and they seem to make her catch all movement and action at a slowed pace. Finishing the scissor movement of her blades, she spots him going for his weapon, and quickly rakes her falchion down to sever the belt around his waist, dropping his weapon to the ground with a heart stopping “clang”. Trill heel-stomps on the back of the Orc’s knee, in order to knock him to the floor, preparing him for the killing blow. He dutifully collapses to his haunches, dazed and prostrate. Trill notices the other Orc has now mobilised and is grabbing for what looks like a double bladed halberd. “I have time” she thinks. Trill jabs her falchion downward into the top of the worshipping Orc’s skull, rooting him to the floor. His face relaxes, his tongue is loose and unfurls over his teeth. Blood tainted spittle oozes from his mouth and drips onto the muddy floor forming jewelled beads of death. Whipping her Spatha in a sawing motion across the Orc’s neck, she decapitates him where he knelt. His body folds forward and hits the dirt with a damp “thud”. His head still attached to her Falchion, she flicks her wrist grudgingly and the head slides off the bloodied blade and lands between the headless corpses thighs. A befitting end to a useless brute claiming to be a warrior.
She sensed the swing, the blade almost sang a song as it twirled through the air, “could he have not attempted a more silent strike?” she sniggered. “I could have heard that attack from the dockside in Zek”. As if in dance, Trill drops to her left knee, as the halberd blade performed a remarkably wide arc above her head. A quick slash across the legs of the advancing orc inflicted enough pain to distract him from another wild swing. As if from the depths of her soul, Trill began resonating a most powerful lyric, an ancient chant that crescendo’s into a most unpleasant scream. It started at a baseline much below the normal range of Trills voice, as if her vocal chords had been replaced with a man’s. She was now a deep baritone, and in no time whatsoever, the range had hit soprano and beyond, this was no ordinary song within the confines of most mortals vocal prowess. This was from the ancients themselves, channelled through a rather attractive Teir’Dal mouthpiece. Ear splittingly shrill, the orc was stunned, he floundered about a little, trying to shake the buzz he’d just been hit with. Trill brought the scream to a whisper, and finished with a few words chattered spritely at the end. She delivered the words “el kissa kl’eril cretok” which roughly translates to “die swiftly useless orc”. The Orc, now settled again, takes another swing at Trill, she flicks her top half to the right and the halberd sings another windy song of missed opportunity, as if his weapon was cursing his ineptitude at striking. Using his momentum gained on the swing, she pushes the orc to the ground, not an easy feat for a small Teir’Dal female, however, with her strengthening tunes behind her, and a hooked foot around the Orc’s leg, he was mainly off balance anyway. Trill lands on top of him, using her blades for leverage, as they are jammed againt his Halberd shaft. She turns her wrists forward and both her falchion and spatha start cutting into the flesh around his shoulders. His Armour seemed to part before the blades with surprising ease. Unexpectedly, he shunted her to the side with his arched knees. Trill rolled several times wafting great clouds of dust about her as she alternately dug into the dirt and tossed it with her blades. “That orc has some spirit” she mused. The Orc lunged at her as she lay on the ground, it was a half hearted move, he could hardly walk but a step or two, pain vexing him heavy. Trill expertly flipped over to her feet, lither than any feline form. The Orc missed her yet again. She raised her spatha high, and grimaced, showing her pearly white teeth as an animal would, almost as a taunt to the Orc to try again. A taunt the Orc was happy to ignore. He stood there quivering with pain, using his Halberd as a resting post, breathing heavily and laboured. As if startled his head shot up, fixed on Trill’s face. His eyes were wide open, and in a state of panic. His body was trembling uncontrollably. He started a howl, an Orcish wail of pain. And it was silent. He collapsed dead to the floor. Trill smirked knowingly. “Never underestimate the delayed power of the ancient Lanet’s Scream of Excruciating Pain” she thought smugly.
Looking around, the area was free of any prying Orc eyes, for the moment. She quickly frisked the Orc corpses and found what she was looking for. A key. A blood encrusted key, hopefully destined to open that treasure chest they guarded so poorly. She hurried to the container, with anticipation. With greed. She sensed there was a mechanism of trickery protecting the chest, a device of some sort that had been placed over it to deal suffering to anyone who tries to open it. “Good, there must be something worth stealing in here, if the Orc’s had an engineer create a trap for it” Trill mumbled. Using her nimble fingers and chanting a song of focus, she managed to disarm the poison mechanism without triggering it. As she turned the large key in the lock, a comforting click followed by silence, assured her she’d found the correct key. She tucked the blades of her falchion and spatha into the corners of the chest’s hood and started lifting the heavy and rather crudely decorated lid. A glow streamed out of the gap, giving off a bright green corona, she lifted it more and the light intensified. She could just make out a….
heavy blow to the back of Trill’s head, she blacked out for an instant, her vision impaired, the view danced as if she’d drunk more dwarven ale than she could handle. The chests lid slammed shut with a crack, that jolted Trill awake once more. She’d been hit again, she couldn’t move. An Orc had his clubfoot spread over the back of her legs. If she did not muster enough strength and focus to move, this would be her resting place. Another blow would crack her skull cleanly open, and the Orcs would revel in scooping her intelligent soaked grey matter into their greedy mouths. Her last chance. She expelled all the air she could from her lungs dealing a Wail of Woe, an ancient song used to interrupt fighters and wizards alike. It played on their mental anguish, dancing a merry jig of confusion. She could hear the Orcs pause, and then stumble after the wave from the wail hit them. Her legs were free for a second, and she curled herself up and rolled sideways away from the bludgeoning Orc. Still dizzy herself she looked up to see the menace on her back. She was startled and shaken to see at least five bloodorcs from the Gorynn tribe, all coming to their senses and focussing their snarling faces upon her. Bloodorcs are deep claret in colour and are one of the fiercest branches of the Orc blood line. They often wear no armour as a sign of their bloodlust and to display their bright red threatening skintones. How had she not noticed them? Or even hear them? They are not renowned for stealth or subtlety. Perhaps her greed had clouded her senses for a while? It is now a dark day indeed, for she has to dispatch all five to get to her quarry and she has already taken too many blows to the head. Quick thinking is required. Fast reactions and resonant songs.
Laying a Lanet’s Excrutiating Scream on what looks like their leader, she lands a cheap shot on him, to stun him enough whilst she readies herself to deal with the others. Four red Orcs run at her. She tangles with the first, blocking his axe with her spatha, another to her right, chops down with a sickle, caught tidily with her falchion. Her focus is now on the third Orc rushing in wielding a large spiked mace, she twitters out a bar or two of Verlien’s Keen of Woe, enough to slow his tread and keep him at bay for a second or two more. But the fourth Orc has already landed a body blow to her side. Her armour took most of the shock however, it does knock the wind out of her, and lays a pregnant pause in her next choral onslaught. Withdrawing down to her knees, she opens hers voice box wide and lets out a gutteral caterwaul in the form of a Dissonant Rhythm. Injecting pain into the minds of the whole group like a heated knife melts Freeportian butter. A funeral chant is quickly placed on the fifth Orc as he enters the affray, and his eyes open wide, his mouth gapes open like he has seen his own death. He flees the battle momentarily. The Orc leader has now gathered himself once again, and bludgeons Trill’s shoulder with his mallet, missing her head, thankfully. Trill recoils downwards again, trying to fall with the blow to prevent any bone damage. She sweeps the floor with her blades, arms flailing counter to each other, so that all the Orcs in the current proximity get two hacks across the lower legs, they fall either backwards or down to their knees. Trill squirms into position to deliver two killing blows simultaneously. The spatha is twirled in a circular fashion about an Orc at her left, his neck is opened and his head lolls off to the side still attached. Meanwhile without focussing on the event, Trill pokes the falchion upward to her right, skewering an Orc through the throat into his skull, his eyes tip upwards and his life bleeds away from him. Taking stock, “Two down, one fled - but will return soon, and a leader who is most skilled with the mallet” thought Trill. Once again recoiling from the situation, there is an Orc at her front, roaring with berserker rage, his spittle dots her face most unpleasantly. She blocks his strike down with her spatha, but his blow is hard and forceful enough, that she is knocked backwards, sparks flying from the swords connection. The Orc is clearly going to jump on top of her body and dig his blade into her exposed neck, taking away her ability to sing again, and bringing a swift death upon her. Fuelled by this abhorrent thought she bursts out a quick line from Luda’s Fiendish Howl, it is enough to shake the Orc on his descent, enough of a break to raise her falchion and embed it into his groin on his way down. She takes great pleasure in killing Orc’s in this most embarrassing way. The Orc falls further onto her blade and she has to release it and roll out. The falchion bursts through the Orc and juts out from his back as he hits the ground flat on his ugly red face. He is whimpering softly and bleeding into the dirt.
The Orc Leader is now upon her. His strength is enough to restrain her movement, her arms clamped tight against her waist, spatha waggling like a loose limb. The Leader is gnawing at her neck with his teeth, she can feel the sharp needle points digging in and scraping her skin, she’d be massively gored if it wasn’t for the small links of her armour providing a barrier to the bite. Her torso is being crushed, slowly, but methodically, every slight exhale of breath allowing the Leader to tighten his grip on her. Trill kicks wildly with her legs but the leader has restrained victims before, he has learned well from the various constrictor snakes that lurk in the desert. She cannot get a sound out to help her situation. Muted and vulnerable. The bloodorc that fled in fear has regained some confidence now and is heading their way, he seems insistent that he administers the final blow. Trill’s strength is being sapped, anoxia is taking hold, her tunes of prowess and boosting have faded and are but memories drifting over the hazed mist of the moat. With a last desperate surge of willpower, her head spinning through lack of oxygen, Trill manages to lash out with her feet and knock the advancing Orc off balance enough that he stumbles and shoulder charges the Leader, all three collapsing to the floor. Trill is now sandwiched between two angry Orcs, although the Leaders grip has slackened slightly due to the shock of the fall. Trill manages a short burst of song, enough to stagger the heavy Orc on top into rolling off her. But this release gives the Leader time to tighten up again, to tighten as hard as he can, Trill feels her grip on reality shift a moment, she starts to darken around the corners of her vision, the Orc Leader bites down on her again, and the mail of her armour gives way, he’s in, he tastes her flesh ravenously, an embrace of death. As Trill faints in and out of consciousness, she hears the Leader barking commands to his soldier, presumably ordering him to slay her carefully, since she was laying across his chest in his vice like grasp. The surviving bloodorc straddles the Leader and Trill, he holds a crude blade under her chin, and prepares to swipe it quickly to bleed her from the throat. As the rough edge makes its first tear into her delicate blue flesh, she sees her father’s corpse on the floor of her Freeportian house. She see’s his spirit leave the body and come over to her, a mere cherubic girl, her fathers spirit wraps his arms around her with whispering silence, and suddenly she feels she can let go now. Her time has come. Her fathers spirit weeps, his tears bathe her face. She can breathe again….
The drips on her face where not tears from her slain fathers spirit, but they were spillage of red hot blood. Blood from the Orc standing over her. Except that Orc had gone, his corpse was at the side of her, his head was cleaved in two, down the middle. The Leaders grip on her relaxed slowly, in a controlled measured way. She took the deepest intake of breath she could and kicked herself over to the side. The Leaders body was vibrating, struggling to live. She looked up and saw the most welcome and beautiful sight she has ever seen. It was one of the Watchmen from the Watchguard of her guild Femme Divinity. The men who protect and serve the Divine Sisterhood. Not only was it a watchman, but it was the leader of the Watchguard, her Champion. His name is Varixx. He had a strangling grip around the Orc Leaders throat and he did not seem to want to let go. The Orc Leader was gurgling in his own frantic spittle, trying to grasp a breath to live. She saw Varixx’s sword embedded deep within the Orc Leaders shoulder. Varixx must have pinned him there so he could exact revenge, by killing the Leader in the very same way the Orc was trying to slay Trill. Trill dragged herself up and dusted herself off, weakened by the ordeal, but attempted to regain her Divine manner in front of the Champion. “I’m glad you came Varixx, you have impeccable timing” she said gratefully. “We are at your service, My Lady” said Varixx, as he releases the dead Orc Leaders neck and recovers his sword and his composure. He bows very low in respect.