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Fate is inexorable

by Colren on Jan 18, 2016 at 11:50 AM}
As the Orc's sharp nailed hands tightened around my throat I knew my Luck had run out....

It had seemed like such a simple job , Locate one Boffo Goodbody , a missing hobbit from a recent caravan attack.
The Orcs had become more brazen of late ,pushing deeper into breeland , disturbing the Local farms and making off with livestock..."Nothing the local constable's couldn't handle" , they assured me "but some jobs need a proffessional swordsman eh?"

I was to find the missing Hobbit and deal with the Orcs , reports said they were a band of two or three , but they had a habit of vanishing when confronted. I was to track them back to the lair and make sure they didnt raid again.

The Horse cost more than a few silver coins , but hunting Orcs on foot was foolhardy , besides should "two or three" turn into a full warband I wanted to able to ride the hell out of there , thankfully Orcish Archers relied more on brute force than actual skill , so a fast moving target was usually safe enough.

I snuck out before first light , Sparrow was still asleep and truth be told I didn't want her to have to follow me this time. Most girls her age are still playing with dolls not swords , I made a mental note to try and resettle her again..perhaps she'd be happy in one of the smaller towns hereabouts? , I mused it to myself as the horse and I cantered out of the north gate.

The Caravan wreck was easy to find , as was the trail leading to the northwest , perhaps I'm being too harsh on the constables , but a child from gondor could track these brutes , fallen trickets , broken branches and more damning the bloodstains pink upon the dew wet grass. Also from the passage I could tell we were dealing with at least six Orcs all of them heavy set in good armour.
That gave me cause to pause.I'm a fair hand with my blade at the best of times , but six to one odds would make any warrior pall.
Still the hour was still early , it was possible they would be settling in for the day , less watchful and vunerable to a careful attack..with care and stealth I might just be able to free the captive at least and lead the constable's men back to the lair. I resolved to try .

I found the Cave the brutes were using as the first grey light of dawn lit the sky , well hidden in the brush back from the north road , they had picked the spot well. hitching my horse a good distance i snuck closer on foot gently parting the branches for a better view.
It seems Luck was with me for there was only a pair of them lurking in the grove , one of which seemed to have fallen asleep lent with his back against the tree , it was the work of mere moments to slip up and silently slit his throat , i don't think he even stirred from his slumber as he died.
Lowering the corpse slowly to the ground , I carefully drew my sword , the dawn light glinting on the old grey steel , She's an old blade but its been passed down through my family from father to son since the time of kings and a great comfort when all alone.

Slipping from cover I crept through the fallen bracken to where the second orc stood grumbling to himself , I never gave much stock in what these creatures have to say,but I confess the startled look and the half muttered "ere wot you about!?" as my warsword look his head was very satisfying.
The head , still wearing its expression of suprise bounced off into the bushes and the body stood for a moment spurting its foul black blood into the air before folding at the knees to lie twitching.

The Air was rent with a Cry of anger and I spun to my horror to spot a large Orc with a grossely distended belly emerging from the cave , crusted iron sword held in one meaty fist.
Behind him I could see three more waking dimly from slumber and reaching for weapons.

This was not good , swiftly I spun into a proper combat stance , feet spaced apart and sword held verticle to my head in both hands. I flashed the brute a smirk and spat casually on the corpse of his fellow whilst staring him in the eyes , a challenge the brute was too undisciplined to resist.

With a roar of hatred he leapt at me , cleaverlike sword slashing clumsily towards my un-helmeted head , faster than I thought he'd be , but still too slow. A quick twist of my body and flick of my sword and his arm , still grasping the cleaver , hit the ground. Another flick and his head sailed off to find the one I'd sent away earlier..perhaps they'd find something to talk about?

The remaining two slunk from the cave mouth and hissed threateningly at me. Smarter than the last one they struck in a pair each one assisting the others attacks till my arm grew weary from parrying and the sweat soaked my face..I flicked a hank of hair from my eyes and scowled. This had to end soon or they'd wear me down and have sport instead.
Suddenly there was an opening , a strike overextended and my counter thrust took him in the throat, ripping free just in time to parry his partner's attack. with one on one odds the battle soon turned in my favour once more and soon the last of them lay bleeding on the grass.

I groaned and suddenly all the pain of the wounds I hadn't even realised i'd taken , flooded in. nothing serious thankfully but the slow methodical growth of the stain at my hip would require tending..still not a bad price for....

The attack came from behind just as my tired mind registered there were only five bodies in the clearing. My chainmail took the force of the blow that struck my shoulder , but my sword went flying from my hand. Struggling to rise I turned in time to see the last orc snarling at the broken stump of a sword in his fist , it seems my steel mail was too much for his iron blade. It was small comfort as his foot kicked me onto my back and straddling my body he began to throttle the life from me.

Air!...the stench of the creature above me the desperate burning in my lungs , my hand scrabbling for my sword , a rock..anything...
A thin line of drool splattered on my forehead and I started to see spots..then all went black....

And damp...I could breath! but the stench and foul sticky fluid pouring onto my face from above was enough to make me gag , I struggled desperatly to rise and wiped the blackish blood from my eyes ...to see Sparrow.
My sword in her fist , face expressionless as always she simply looked down at me , head tilted to the side.

I looked to the side and saw the last creature , throat cut back to the spine ,twitching on the grass and lay back with a groan...

It seems I make my own luck....









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