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Dakrim's Tale
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Joined: 05 May 2006
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Location: Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say, I really was worried about Harutt being ill. I thought you were going in the direction of Dakrim coming back to find out that Harutt "had passed on." Leaving Dakrim to figure out "what now?". Since I liked the ole' coot, I am happy he is at least well enough to come along on Dakrim's quest.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dakrim’s Tale: Chapter 13 Part I (revised)

Unconsciously, Dakrim reached down to scratch his itching hoof as he tried to pay attention to Harutt’s update of Red Cloud Mesa while keeping his balance on the rolling kodo. He recalled earlier this morning when Sabinnia found a sharp splinter of metal stuck deep within his club hoof. She was able to remove it and heal the small wound, but despite the magical help, an insatiable itch had been constantly niggling at his attention all day. Unfortunately, there was no real way to satisfactorily scratch it. Dakrim realized that Harutt had stopped talking, so he looked over at his mentor, riding beside him. The older Tauren was looking at him, intently.

Harutt’s deep bass voice rumbled, “Hmmmm. You’re not listening to me at all, boy,” he accused. “What’s on your mind?” The warrior trainer sighed and looked ahead, where Lanka Farshot was running with the slender female troll healer, Sabinnia. “Ahhhh,” he continued. “I think I know why you’re distracted!” Harutt laughed.

Dakrim looked to where Harutt was motioning and saw Sabinnia. Blood rushed to his face as he tried to think of an answer to his mentor’s claim.

The elder Tauren laughed even harder.

Pretending not to hear the laughter, Dakrim focused on the surrounding countryside. Lush rain forests could be seen to both the east and west of the Gold Road. To change the subject, he asked, “I thought the Barrens was all desert?”

Regaining his composure, Harutt replied, “Once long ago, the Barrens was all covered with a dense rainforest, but something happened. Some say a colossal battle between the Gods wrecked certain areas of Azeroth. Others say differently. Regardless, rain stopped falling and the great trees all died.” Reaching for his aleskin, the older tauren continued, “The great rainforests have diminished to only occupy a small area surrounding the remnants of once great, now rapidly drying up lakes.” Harutt took a long pull, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Looking over at his young protégé, the old warrior trainer said quietly, “I lost many comrades while hunting near those lakes when I was younger.”

Something in Harutt’s mirthless voice stopped Dakrim from asking more. A long silence reigned over both of the warriors as the yellow blighted sands of the Barrens passed under the massive feet of their kodo. Finally Dakrim spoke again. “How much further is the Crossroads?”

The old bull cleared his throat. “Many years have passed since I roamed these lands. Some of the topography has changed, but I think we should arrive before sunset. If I’m not mistaken, the town lies beyond that range of hills,” he said, pointing with a long finger at some distant hills.

Dakrim grunted in acknowledgement, continuing to study the immediate landscape. After a few quiet moments, he looked over at Harrut. He was surprised to see the older Tauren slumped in the saddle, dozing. With a big sigh, the young bull looked back ahead at the running forms of Lanka and Sabrinia, wishing to talk more with his mentor, but knowing that he was probably still tired after their short rest the night before. Patiently he waited until those distant hills were approached and passed by. Harrut was right, The Crossroads lay right before them. Lanka and Sabinnia had already stopped at the outskirts of the town, conversing with a guard. Dakrim pulled his reins, guiding the kodo to be closer to Harutt’s. A slight touch on the arm was all that was needed to rouse the slumbering weapons master.

Catching up with the waiting hunter and healer, the riders dismounted and the four companions walked together into the main town of the Barrens.

The smells and sights of this bustling town were intoxicating, Dakrim thought. The sheer size of the huts here easily dwarfed anything he had seen before. Different races were everywhere. Sure there were a few representatives from each race in Camp Taurajo, but nothing on the scale such as here. Several squads of fearsome-looking orcs stood in formation in an open area near the town watchtower. Each warrior brandished differing weapons. The long pikes, spears, halberds, two-handed swords, maces, short swords, and other weapons Dakrim could not identify, all glittered in the hot sun. Continuing on, his fur bristled as they passed an open stall of those terrible smelling Forsaken. He vividly remembered their cold, uncaring demeanor, which was the exact opposite of the trolls meandering on the road and loitering around the shops. Up to this point in his life, all of the trolls that he had seen were rather simple in their appearance and manner, but here the trolls were outlandishly clothed, with their hair in an amazing amount of variety and colors. Some were even imitating a rainbow. He looked at Sabinnia, thinking how he actually preferred her simpler style, when she glanced up at him.

Smiling brightly, the healer troll said, “Now yous see da real trolls yah, mon.”

Lanka snorted nearby. “Yes, most colorful people, don’t you think, old man?” he joked, poking his elbow into Harutt’s side.

Harutt’s slurred, unintelligible reply drew everyone’s attention. The elder Tauren looked pale and unfocused.

Lanka stopped the party. Drawing open his pack, he took out a large flask, popping the cork and holding it to Harutt’s mouth. “Drink, old friend,” he whispered gently. The hunter’s eyes flicked over to Dakrim’s, sending a slight shake of the head.

Though worried, Dakrim understood Lanka’s message. He would wait until they were alone to discuss Harutt’s health.

The draught of liquid from the flask had an immediate effect. Harutt shook his head vigorously, smacking his mouth with obvious distaste. His previous lethargy and disorientation appeared gone.

Lanka steered the party to the largest of the buildings in the town. “Here’s the inn,” he announced. “Let’s go in for a little rest and some real food, shall we?”

Almost as large as Harutt, a very old tauren stood in the open doorway of the inn. “Greetings, travelers,” he said. “My name is Boorand Plainswind, the innkeeper.” He spread his giant hands open wide. “May the blessings of the Great Earth Mother be upon you.”

“Oh shut up, Plainswind, you old sow,” grumbled Harutt. “You sound like a fortune teller.”

Startled, the innkeeper stood up straighter. “I know that voice,” Plainswind said with a touch of excitement in his voice. “Come here, my old friend. My eyes are not so good anymore.”

Harutt stepped forward into the old Tauren’s arms and they embraced each other fiercely, giant hands slapping each other’s backs. “I had heard that you had passed on to our Great Earth Mother, Boorand,” Harutt said. “It pleases me that you have not.”

“As am I, dear Harutt,” the innkeeper replied. “Please, come in and rest from your journey.” The old tauren unsuccessfully tried to hide his grin with a big hand. “Now that I can see you, Harutt, I better get you seated before you fall down. I’m quite sure that I can’t pick you up and carry you anymore.”

Harutt scowled at everyone’s light laughter as the party followed the innkeeper inside.

Dawn was not yet on the horizon when Dakrim and Lanka left the Inn of the Crossroads to find the smithy. Many questions lay heavily on Dakrim’s mind, but he knew Lanka would reveal some answers when he was ready. The smithy lay at the far north end of the town, taking the pair past various shops, stalls, and holding pens. A few inhabitants of the town were already awake, milling about their business. A myriad of enticing smells from the bakery down the road wafted into Dakrim’s senses, awakening his stomach and mind. He remembered last night’s feast with the innkeeper, Boorand Plainswind, and his engrossing tales of adventures with a young Harutt. He loved every minute, every detail. Thinking about his mentor, how he struggled to stay awake during Plainswind’s stories and how obvious his health was failing, made the young bull depressed. He made a mental note to ask Sabinnia once he discussed the problem with Lanka. Perhaps she could do something for him, he hoped. Next to him, Lanka Farshot let out a shrill whistle.

“There she is!” the hunter exclaimed. He held his thick-leathered arm to the sky.

Dakrim looked to where Lanka was pointing, a large, cloud white bird was coming around a nearby chimney, contrasting brightly with the darkened sky. The bird swooped down to the hunter, pulling up with a great swish of her wings to land gracefully on the outstretched arm.

As they walked, Lanka made soft sounds with his mouth, almost humming to the owl. Strips of meat from a pouch at his waist disappeared quickly down her throat. On the northern edge of town, they came to a large, semi-open walled hut. A lone figure sat at an outside worktable. “There,” the hunter said, nodding with his shaggy head. “I know the orc at the table.” Lanka approached a rather smallish orc, sitting at an outdoor table, using a sharpening stone on a curved short sword. Rhythmic pounding came from inside the open-air hut, while flickering shadows from the central fire danced across everything. “Hail, Master Deatheye. Glory to your clan and the horde,” the hunter said.

Weaponsmith Nargal Deatheye looked up, setting his sharpening stone aside. He raised a heavily calloused hand and returned the greeting. “What can I do for you, young Farshot?” the orc asked, his beady eyes darting all over the two visitors.

“I have come for your fine arrows, noble orc,” Lanka said. He paused for a moment before adding, “And information.”

The orc stood up, pushing his stool away from the table. “Arrows I have, as many as you need.” The weaponsmith was indeed shorter than an average orc, not even coming up to Dakrim’s chest. Deatheye nodded, continuing, “And any information I can provide.” His eyes fixed on the younger, larger Tauren.

Lanka introduced Dakrim and gave a brief history of the finding of the axe, concluding with their reason of coming to the Crossroads. Lanka’s raised tone indicated a question, but the orc weaponsmith did not move or speak, only continued staring at Dakrim.

A moment passed before Deatheye’s bulbous eyes narrowed, “Show me the axe, young one,” he said simply.

Dakrim released the cinches to his weapon harness. Slowly he pulled it over his shoulder and with both hands, offered the axe to the orc.

Weaponsmith Deatheye’s jaw went slack and his eyes widened in surprise and awe. He reached for the axe, gingerly taking it from the Tauren’s hands as if it was an infant. His eyes closed as long fingers ran over the etched whorls and runes. Finally, after many quiet moments, the orc opened his eyes and spoke. His eyes glowed with a fierce intensity. “Young warrior,” he addressed Dakrim. “This axe was indeed orc made, but not by any smith of Azeroth. The power that lies within this weapon is from the old world. It is a mighty weapon, worthy of our noble ally,” he said, nodding gravely at the young Tauren. He replaced the axe in Dakrim’s outstretched hands. “I can tell you no more, as my familiarity with old world weapons is small.” Deatheye raised his head to look at the twinkling pre-dawn stars. “I was but a small child during the great migration,” he added wistfully.

Dakrim cleared his throat to speak. “Do you know of anyone who might know more?”

Weaponsmith Deatheye did not answer, but ducked under the low overhang of the hut and rummaged around some shelves.

Feeling exasperated at having come so far for no real information, Dakrim opened his mouth to speak, but was silenced by an iron-hard grip on his arm.

“Be patient,” Lanka said in a whispered voice.

The weaponsmith returned to his table, depositing several bundles of barbed arrows. “May your enemies find these arrows in their hearts,” the orc said gravely as he sat down and resumed sharpening the curved sword.

Lanka Farshot withdrew a small pouch of coin from his waist and set it down on the table. Bowing deeply, the hunter said, “Honor to the smith who provides a way to vanquish our enemies.” Lanka picked up the bundled arrows, untying a few and slid them into his shoulder quiver. The remainder he placed in his backpack. Lanka grabbed Dakrim’s arm again, making as to leave when the orc grunted and spoke again. “He has not been seen in many seasons.” Slowly and evenly the smith’s hand pushed the sharpening stone over the curves of the sword, honing an already fine edge.

Lanka smiled knowingly, nodding at Dakrim to continue.

“Who, Master Deatheye?” Dakrim asked, barely able to contain the excitement in his voice.

After a few more strokes, the orc continued, never looking away from his work. “Old Tragh. He lives on the summit of that mountain,” pointing to the east with the sword. “Master Tragh is from the old world,” he added.

Dakrim looked to the east, the approaching dawn gave just enough light to make out the outline of a nearby mountain range. He did not fully understand all that the orc said, but at least there was a direction to go now. He bowed deeply to the weaponsmith, wondering an appropriate response. Not knowing what else to say, he raised a hand and said, “Winds be at your back,” a traditional parting phrase of his race.

The orc grunted again, attention still on the edge of the blade.

Lanka led the younger tauren away, returning the direction of the inn. “I know the mountain of which he spoke,” the hunter said. “We should discuss this conversation with Harutt before making a plan.”

Dakrim agreed, but several questions remained floating in his mind. “Lanka,” he began, “What is this old world the orc spoke of?” Dakrim’s voice trailed off as his eyes absorbed the scene before them.

Bluish-white cascades of energy were forming in the sky towards the south, as was a great noise, sounding like a thousand winds wailing over the prairie. As the two Tauren watched, this energy cloud fell to the earth in long streams, shattering wood and stone structures alike. Great bolts of lightning fell from the dark sky, smashing anything in its path. Battle cries filled the air, south of their position.

“What’s happening, Lanka?” Dakrim asked excitedly. Other than the occasional violent spring storm up on Red Cloud Mesa, the young bull had never seen such a display. “Surely that can not be natural?” he queried.

Sliding his bow off his shoulder, the hunter pulled a string from a waist pouch, leaning on the bow to set the string. He looked at Dakrim, a growing concern in his eyes. “We’re under attack,” Lanka replied.

Last edited by Moorea on Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:38 pm    Post subject: looks around Reply with quote

no update yet. Sad


get a move on Smile

All kidding aside, I'm on the edge of my chair waiting for the next chapter(s). practically begging here and yes it's rather pathetic, I know.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry folks~ December was pure hellish and then I spent 3 weeks in Australia.....ohhhhhh what a wonderful country! I meant to write something during that time, but umm, you know how things go during vacations....good intentions go out the window.

Back in smoggy Hong Kong now and trying to get things back on track. I would have to say next update is now 85 percent done. I will try my best to finish over the weekend.

Thanks for the encouragement:)
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dakrim’s Tale: Chapter 13 Part II (revised)

An elegant, snowy white owl coasted downwards to land on the outstretched arm of Lanka Farshot. The hunter opened his eyes and looked at Dakrim. “Snowyn showed me a large force of mixed races, attacking from the south,” Lanka said. His voice became hard, “It is the Alliance.”

Dakrim knew what this meant. Even in the remoteness of Red Cloud Mesa, he had heard of the various races composing the so-called Alliance. They were destroyers of the earth, save perhaps the elves of night. Ruthless, cunning, and totally without honor were their general descriptions. “What should we do?” the young warrior asked.

“It appears that the invaders have not yet reached the center of town. Let’s get back to the inn and meet up with Harutt.” Lanka replied. He threw up his arm, releasing the pet owl into the air. “Run,” he commanded.

Dakrim took off, with the Tauren hunter trailing. A loud banging alarm was coming from the watchtower in the center of town while bleary-eyed orcs, trolls, tauren, and undead were emerging from their respective huts, clutching weapons of all sorts. Everyone was moving south, towards the gathering area in the middle of town. They soon reached the inn just as Harutt came bursting through the open door, two-handed sword drawn, looking tired and angry. The old innkeeper, Boorand Plainswind, came out next, wearing a scarred chain link vest with strange symbols on the chest, a pointed helmet on his head and clutching a long, wooden staff with metal tips on both ends. Sabinnia was next to the old bull, trying to help fasten the straps on the innkeeper’s armor.

“Harutt!” Dakrim called out excitedly as he ran up to his mentor. “The Alliance is attacking!” he said.

The weapons master groaned as he rolled his thick neck, popping the joints and sinews. “Yes, boy, we know,” he growled.

Inkeeper Plainswind interrupted, “Lets see what Commander Karrak has to say,” pointing to the orc on the other side of the open grounds, standing on a wagon, shouting orders at everyone.

Together, the four bulls and the troll healer joined the milling throng and listened to the commander’s battle orders. Scars criss-crossed the orc’s face, giving him a look of a being that had been put together from various other parts, but his voice was deep, powerful, and decisive. Karrak looked at each member of the crowd, quickly making decisions. Harutt, Lanka, and Boorand Plainswind were to join the Commander and the second wave of fighters to the main front. When his eyes fell on Dakrim, he hesitated. “You,” Commander Karrak said, pointing to Dakrim. “I want you to lead the reserve force. You are to remain here, guard the healers and wait for my signal to come to the front, if needed,” he ordered.

“But,” Dakrim sputtered out.

Commander Karrak jumped off the wagon, landing in front of Dakrim. “You are Horde!” he shouted, his voice menacing as he waved his plated fist under the young Tauren’s nose. “Do as you’re told!” He spun around, drawing his long axe and raising it overhead. “Move out!” he yelled, then led his group out at a quick run.

Lanka, Harutt, and old Plainswind held back. Harutt turned to Dakrim and placed his hand on the young bull’s shoulder. Gripping the leather jerkin, he shook the young warrior. “We must obey, boy,” he said roughly before his tone softened a bit. “This is an important assignment. The Alliance may have sent out flankers, in that case, it’s your job to stop them as well as protect the healers and the wounded.” Harutt gave the younger warrior one last shake. “I’m proud of you. We have more to discuss when this is over.” He raised his hand in salute. “May the Great Earthmother protect, guide, and watch you,” he said calmly.

Still upset, Dakrim could only raise his hand and mutter an appropriate response, his eyes cast downward.

Lanka walked by and gave the young warrior a silent salute as well.

Innkeeper Plainswind thrust his staff into the ground, a loud cracking sound erupted and lightning ran up the weapon and engulfed the old bull’s entire body. His voice sounded strange, coming through the sizzling electric field. “Good luck, young warrior,” he said to Dakrim. Turning to Harutt, “Come, old friend. It will be like the days of old.”

The three Tauren sauntered off, heading south towards the sounds of battle. As they disappeared around the bend, the first wave of wounded appeared.

Sabinnia placed her hand on Dakrim’s arm. “Sabinnia be glad yous staying to protect us,’ she whispered.

Dakrim turned to Sabinnia, her smiling face somehow melting his disappointment. “Bring the wounded to the inn,” he said, as calmly as he could muster to all the waiting nearby healers. He choked down angry bile as he watched the female troll direct the stretcher bearers and the walking wounded towards the inn. The young warrior looked around at the small group of defenders who were ordered to stay with him. Mostly a group of elderly, crippled or young, the old orc blacksmith, Master Deatheye, was among them.

Acting if they had not met earlier, the weaponsmith saluted the young Tauren and asked, “What are your orders, sir?”

The young warrior did a double-take. Surely this old veteran is not referring to me, he thought. Dakrim looked again to make sure the master weaponsmith was really looking at him. His mind racing for something to say, he opened his mouth and barked, trying his best to imitate Commander Karrak’s tone, “Divide into pairs and set up a patrol on the roads to the north and to the east.” The group just stood there, staring at him. He paused, unsure of what else to say as his gaze fell the face of the old weaponsmith. Seeing approval in the orc’s eyes, Dakrim felt encouraged to continue. “We should set up a perimeter to guard against a possible flanking sneak attack. If you spot any enemies, return to this guard tower and raise the alarm.”

The motley group of mixed races all saluted. Waving their weapons in the air, they yelled enthusiastically, “For the Horde!”

Dakrim felt his anger and disappointment at being left behind slip away. Even though there were only a dozen or so defenders standing before him, he felt an indescribable feeling, almost pleasure, from standing there.

Weaponsmith Deatheye nodded warmly at Dakrim, then turned to the small group. Quickly and efficiently he divided up the defenders into pairs and sent them away. After the last of them filed off to their assigned patrol route, Deatheye spoke. “Commander Karrak chose you for a reason, young Dakrim,” the orc said quietly. “Perhaps he saw something in you and trusted his instinct. This is an honor.”

The tauren nodded. “I think I understand,” he said. “I will not dishonor myself or the Horde.”

Deatheye grunted his approval. “Keep your eyes open around the buildings. Humans, gnomes, dwarves, and those infernal night elves are crafty beyond compare,” he said, spitting upon the ground. “They are beings without honor.” Pointing with his axe, the orc said, “I’ll stay here and guard the intersection, that way I can see clearly down both roads.”

The Tauren warrior nodded, giving the old orc a salute. To Dakrim’s surprise, the orc weaponsmith returned the salutation. “I’ll see if the healers need anything, then check out those eastern structures,” said Dakrim, smiling to himself as he left the orc at the road junction. The young bull was nearly to the doorway of the inn when a garbled cry for help behind him was cut short. Dakrim whirled around, readying his axe. Master Deatheye was on his knees, clutching his throat. Brightly colored blood sprayed out between the orc’s fingers as he tumbled forward into the dust, unmoving. A tall, muscular humanoid with dark, indigo skin and snow-white hair was standing over the prone orc, a jagged dagger in hand. The strange figure raised a hand and waved to an unseen target behind the nearby woodcutter’s shed. Several figures stepped into view. Dakrim recognized the humans and dwarves from his earlier experience this past summer. The taller, dark-skinned figures must be night-elves. The first night-elf looked up at Dakrim, his eyes glowed brightly. He raised the bloody dagger, pointing straight at the Tauren, then the night-elf suddenly faded away, as if he was never there. Dakrim hesitated, unsure of what to do while the dozen or so other figures ignored him, trotting off south towards the battlefront. He started to move towards the tower to ring the alarm when the air directly in front of him rippled and something small and strange appeared in a flash similar to lightning. It was a tiny creature, a female, judging by the long black hair and shape of its body. The little being looked perhaps like a baby human. She smiled sweetly up at Dakrim, a giggle coming out of her child-sized lips. Dakrim stared as she raised her small hands, the smile turning into a sneer. Bluish-white energy erupted from her open palms, shooting towards the Tauren. Dakrim found himself unable to move. A deathly cold encircled him – some kind of magical ice, he realized. With all his strength, he tried to lift the axe and smite the little creature, but it was no use, his limbs refused to move. The cold seeped through his leather jerkin, sapping strength and will.

Now backing up, the little female began weaving her arms, conjuring a dark globe of magical energy. She looked up at the immobile bull, a mask of pure hatred on her small face.

Dakrim felt, as well as heard a loud crack, and suddenly the ice began to shatter and fall away. Once it fell to the ground, the ice disappeared, unlike real frozen matter. The young bull shook his shaggy head, shards of ice flying off. He still felt so cold, but at least he could sluggishly move forward to the magic wielder. He opened his mouth to vent his anger, when triple beams of dark energy shot out from the small humanoid’s conjured ball. Dakrim had never felt such pain before. It felt as if every part of his body was being torn apart. More beams shot into his body, sending his muscles into spasms. He howled in pain as he fell to the ground, no longer able to stand.

The little being moved closer, sending more streams of magical energy into the helpless tauren’s body. Her high-pitched giggle became louder with the anticipation of killing her enemy.

Dakrim rolled on the ground, trying to get away from the pain. His axe was gone, dropped somewhere in the dust. All he could think of doing was to get away, get away from this pain, when the shrill laughter and hissing sound of the magical missles abruptly stopped. He looked up to see a familiar face, standing over the small humanoid, a foot firmly placed on her back.

“Gnomes be nasty little tings, mon,” Sabinnia laughed. “But dere heads be soft like melon, yah!” The troll healer slid the handle of her mace back into a belt loop. She grinned at the Tauren, her sharp, white teeth flashing.

Dakrim gasped for air. “Trap,” he managed to say as the female troll stepped closer. “More enemies… to the rear.” He raised a hand and pointed to the south towards the main battle.

Sabinnia stopped. “Dere be more of dem? Let Sabinnia sound dat alarm, mon,” she said quickly, turning to face the tower on the other side of the road. “Yous wait here, yah,” she added.

Dakrim took great gulps of air, trying to will his heart to slow down and for his aching body to relax. The magically inflicted pain had stopped, but his body still felt as if it had been ripped apart. He looked at the retreating form of the female troll, when she suddenly stopped. Something was wrong. A red stain appeared on the back of her white robe. Dakrim shook his head, refocusing his eyes. The night-elf that had slain the weaponsmaster was standing in front of Sabinnia, very close to the troll as if whispering in her ear.

The purple skinned humanoid pushed and Sabinnia fell to the ground, the handle of a dagger protruding from her chest. The night-elf made a derisive, haughty sound as he pulled another dagger from his belt.
Dakrim did not remember getting up; it was so hard to breath, to move. Somehow he found himself running towards the night-elf, roaring as loud as he could.

The enemy rogue shifted into a crouching position, a wide grin crossing his face, white teeth contrasting sharply with dark skin.

Unbridled anger filled every fiber of his being as the tauren’s left hand reached down to draw out his long dagger. Still several steps away, Dakrim vaulted into the air, stabbing the blade out in front towards the hated target. The young warrior’s blade sliced through empty air, momentum forcing the warrior to stumble and fall forward into the dust. The night elf had vanished.

Laughter rang from the empty air, seeming to come from all angles at once.

Dakrim scrambled to his feet, his winded chest heaving. His blind anger drained from his body when he realized with dismay that the blade had broken off in the fall. Casting aside the useless hilt, the bull realized that he was running out of time to sound the alarm. He started to run towards the ramp when a sharp pain lanced across his left arm. The severed flesh on his arm burned, as if on fire.

The night elf appeared, his dagger heading straight for the tauren’s midsection.

The young warrior twisted his torso as the dagger barely grazed his stomach in passing, slicing through his leather jerkin but missing any flesh. Dakrim swung his right arm at the rogue, hoping to connect with his head, but the night elf ducked, blindingly fast. Again the dagger came towards him and the tauren was forced to jump back. Something was wrong, Dakrim realized. An unnatural warmth was creeping up and down his left arm, radiating outwards from the wound. His arm was becoming unresponsive, sluggish in responding to his thoughts.

The dark-skinned elf laughed, his white locks of hair shaking. Long fingers stretched out towards the tauren, beckoning him to come.

Dakrim spat at the rogue as he crouched down, his leg muscles bunching up and straining with unreleased power. Looking straight into the night elf’s luminous eyes, the young warrior jumped again into the air, but brought the full force of his fall onto his over-sized club hoof, channeling all his rage and strength into this ancient fighting skill. The ground immediately surrounding both of them shook violently, deep cracks appearing as the earth split apart. The rogue’s laughter was cut short as he fell to his knees, swaying with the shaking ground, dagger still clutched in an unsteady grasp. Dakrim did not wait for the night elf’s recovery. He lashed out with the same club hoof, connecting solidly with the enemy’s chest. Air whooshed out of the night elf’s lungs as he was propelled backwards, landing flat on his back, the dagger knocked away. Not taking another chance, the tauren warrior leaped forward to kick the dark elf again, but the enemy rolled backwards and up onto his feet in one smooth motion.

Huge eyes, brighter than the setting sun, squinted at the bull-man as the night elf’s face contorted into a mask of hate and pain. He clutched his chest in agony, sucking in great gasps of air.

The numbing feeling in Dakrim’s arm was getting stronger, and now he could feel the sensation moving into his chest. His left arm was almost useless, hanging weakly by his side. Realizing that his fiercely pumping heart was carrying the poison faster throughout his body, Dakrim began to despair. Must sound the alarm, he repeated to himself. Great Earthmother help me, he implored. A sense of calmness suddenly flooded through his heart, banishing any dark thoughts of failure. “I will not fail,” he whispered, his words escaping in the wind. Gritting his teeth, the young bull lowered his horns and charged.

The night elf took a step forward then jumped, driving his hard leather soled boot into the top of the onrushing tauren’s head. The lithe humanoid rebounded from the bone-jarring collision, flipping through the air to tuck and roll back onto his feet again. With a self-congratulatory smirk on his face, the night elf turned around, expecting to see the tauren once again eating dust. His bright eyes widened in shock as his body was lifted into the air and slammed into the ground. The rogue felt several bones in his ribcage crack upon impact, once again all the air in his lungs expunged. A shadow crossed the sun over him as he lay gasping for air, eyes streaming with tears. The shadow grew larger, covering his whole impaired vision. A burst of exploding pain, and then he neither saw nor felt any more.

Dakrim stood over the fallen night elf, body quivering and shaking as the numbing poison both relaxed and alarmed him at the same time. He wanted to roar in triumph over such a powerful foe, to shout ancient battle cries in victory, but somehow the body was unwilling. A wave of exhaustion washed over him, his eyes fluttering. Nausea crept in, making him waver on his feet. “NO!” he tried to yell, but his tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth, his jaw didn’t want to open. “I will not fail!” he roared through his unresponsive mouth. He pushed through the restraining force of the poison’s effects and forced his legs to move forward to the watchtower. Painfully slow at first, but gradually picking up speed, Dakrim’s legs carried him towards his goal. Reaching the bottom ramp of the tower, he stumbled and almost fell, but managed to grasp a support pole with his barely functioning right hand. He could not feel his hooves or legs anymore. Wobbling unsteadily, he placed one hoof in front of another, climbing the long ramp up. The sounds of the ongoing battle seemed so distant now, his ears shutting out everything except the beating of his own heart. Keep going, he told himself. “Almost there,” he mumbled. The winding ramp of the watchtower seemed endless. Dakrim wasn’t even sure if his legs were still moving, though he could see that he was progressing forward. Reaching the second level and the last circular ramp to the top, the warrior felt himself falling. Bright stars crossed his eyesight as his face smacked into the thick wood planking. The sharp pain reinvigorated his sleepy brain; he strained, pushing himself upon his hands and knees. “I WILL NOT FAIL!” he roared, blood spraying from his mouth. Snorting and groaning with the effort, he crawled up the last turn of the ramp. The bell hung tauntingly up from the roof’s rafters. Dakrim growled as he plunged his head into a support pole, trying to knock off the overpowering urge to sleep. Blood trickled into his eyes; he welcomed the pain. Wrapping his numb arms around the pole, the young tauren tried to pull himself up to reach the alarm bell. Slowly he slid up the pole, finally, but unsteadily standing almost upright. With one last surge of strength, he forced his right hand upwards and punched the bell.

A clear, loud clang shot through the air of the Crossroads, a reverberating echo following after.

Dakrim slid down the pole, his body crumbling to the floor of the watchtower. He could still hear his heartbeat, growing fainter by the second, just like the echo of the alarm bell. His last conscious thought was of a certain female troll, he could recall the face, but his mind couldn’t divulge a name. A faint smile crossed his features as he succumbed to the poison induced sleep.

Low murmuring voices brought Dakrim back into the conscious realm. He slowly opened his eyes, feeling lethargic from a long sleep. He was in a darkened room, lying on a soft bed. Familiar voices floated on the smoky air. Joints and muscles aching, the young warrior gingerly pushed himself upright and sat on the edge of the bed. A tight bandage was attached to his left arm, where the rogue sliced him with the poisoned dagger. Dakrim waited a moment for his head to clear before standing up. He looked around and realized that he was inside Crossroads Inn. He smiled with relief when his eyes found his axe, propped against the wall opposite his bed. On the other side of the darkened common room, Dakrim could make out three large shapes, sitting on chairs around the central fire pit. He willed his sore body forward, towards their familiar voices.

“Hail, young Dakrim!” Innkeeper Plainswind said, seeing the warrior approach. He stood up from his chair as he spoke again. “Come, join us, Hero of the Horde.”

Harutt Thundershorn and Lanka Farshot, their backs facing the new arrival, also stood up and turned to greet the young tauren.
The elder warrior rushed forward, wrapping his big arms around Dakrim. “My boy! The Great Earth Mother be praised!” he said hoarsely. “Come, sit down, before you fall down!” He guided his young protégé to his own seat, pushing him gently down. He grabbed Lanka’s chair and pulled it closer to Dakrim’s. “We have much to discuss, youngling,” he said, his voice as rough as gravel.

Pulling up another chair, Lanka gave Harutt a wry look. “I think our youngling is now a full-fledged warrior, old man,” the hunter said seriously. “That was no mindless beast he defeated, you know.”

“Aye, old friend,” Innkeeper Plainswind agreed, shuffling off to a nearby table. “Night elf rogues are most cunning opponents, as you well know.” The white haired tauren returned, wordlessly giving Dakrim a large bowl of some thick, savory stew and a tankard of ale.

Harutt looked at the two older tauren, big eyes blinking, before he turned back to Dakrim with a big grin on his grizzled, salt and pepper colored face. “Yes, both of them are right.” He placed a large hand on the younger warrior’s shoulder. “Your timely warning saved our rear flank from an ambush. Commander Karrak was most pleased that one so young as your self defeated such an experienced foe.” The old weapons master suddenly bent over in pain, hard coughing interrupting his speech.

Lanka jumped up and grabbed a nearby aleskin, passing it to the elder warrior, who drained it in large, quick gulps. The hunter’s eyes flashed as he spoke to Dakrim, “The battle was hard fought, but in the end, the Horde was victorious.”

“All thanks to our Great Earth Mother,” Innkeeper Plainswind added. “She protected us all, young Dakrim.”

Dakrim drained his tankard and cleared his throat to speak. “What about survivors?” he asked, his heart heavy with the anticipated news. Hesitatingly, he said, “Did….”

Harutt interrupted with a belch. “Yes, the Great Earth Mother even saved your little troll.” His voice sounded terrible, like grating rocks.

The innkeeper added, “She was seriously injured, but someone got to her in time. She has a strong will, that she does,” he chuckled. He pointed to the other end of the large common room. “Your friend is over there, resting with the other wounded.

Feeling lightheaded from the good news, Dakrim bowed his head, silently giving thanks again to the Great Earth Mother.

Lanka stood up and said, “I’m sure we all would like to hear young Dakrim’s tale of his victorious battle with the night elf, but we should all get some rest.”

“Yes, yes,” Innkeeper Plainswind concurred. “At dawn, there will be an execution ceremony for our prisoners,” he added. “I won’t be able to wake up if I don’t get this old body to rest,” he chuckled.

Harutt snorted at the innkeeper’s comments, waving a big hand away. “You’ll outlive us all, you old buzzard,” the weapons master taunted.

The innkeeper merely smiled, unaffected. “Sleep well, my friends. There’s more in the stewpot over there if you desire, young warrior.”
Dakrim rose up, placing his empty bowl on the serving table. He bowed, a little unsteadily, to the innkeeper and to his mentor, Harutt, before turning to the area where Plainswind had indicated. He weaved through the maze of temporary beds, careful to step lightly as to not disturb the wounded. Dakrim found Sabinnia next to the far wall, resting peacefully. Slowly he sank to his knees beside her cot. He held his breath as he brushed some long, black hair off her face. The young bull stayed there for a long time, gazing at the female troll and wondering about his confusing emotions. He almost jumped when a green-skinned hand slid out from underneath the blanket and touched his face.

“Hey bull mon, yous ok, yeah?” Sabinnia asked in a tiny voice.

Dakrim took her outstretched hand into his own. “Yes, Sabinnia,” he whispered. “Is there anything I can get for you?”

The female troll priest pulled the tauren’s big hand to her face where she pressed her lips to the back of his hand. “Yes mon. Yous can keep safe for Sabinnia,” she replied. The troll pulled his hand down over her heart, close to the bandaged wound. “Da bull mon be here, yeah,” she added quietly. Her eyes welled up, small rivulets forming on either side of her face.

Warmth flooded through Dakrim’s body as he stretched out his other hand, gently wiping away the troll’s tears. “Sabinnia,” he began, his voice barely above a whisper. “The Great Earth Mother be my witness,” he paused, his heart feeling as if to burst out of his chest. “I feel the same,” he concluded. Dakrim brought her hand to his lips and imitated her gesture. He stayed by her side as her smile slipped away into a peaceful slumber.

The crackling of a burning log brought Dakrim out of his deep thoughts. Rising, he made his way back to his sleeping area. Loud, rhythmic breathing next to him signaled that Harutt was in a deep sleep. Groaning as he lowered his aching body onto the bed, Dakrim rolled around until he was comfortable. Directly in his line of sight was the sputtering torch next to the open doorway of the inn. The dancing flames were a lullaby to his weary eyes. Slowly, he began to drift off when a shape materialized in the doorway. For a moment, Dakrim thought he could see his uncle. Flickering torchlight revealed a sneer of hatred on Uncle Lakish’s proud features. The young tauren shook his head, trying to open his heavy eyelids and bring his eyesight into focus, but there was nothing there; the doorway was empty. Most peculiar he thought briefly as he laid his shaggy head back down. Visions of unblemished green skin, the color of deep emeralds, filled his mind as he drifted asleep.

Last edited by Moorea on Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:32 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pleased. Though never satisfied.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dakrim’s Tale: Chapter 14

The smell of last night’s burnt corpses still hung on the dawn wind that ruffled Dakrim’s fur. Rolling bass drumbeats shook the earth beneath his hooves. All eyes were centered on the crest of the small hill where the Commander Karrak was extolling the highlights of the battle between the Alliance invaders the previous day. Numerous shouts went up among the crowd as the orc leader spoke. As exciting as hearing the battle tales were, Dakrim’s attention was truthfully diverted elsewhere. He found it difficult to not worry about Sabinnia, still resting in the inn. Something was different now in their relationship and he did not fully understand how he should react. Blushing, the young tauren could not deny the obvious attraction to the female troll, but then again, she was of a completely different race. How is this possible he wondered again and again. The shouting around him grew louder and suddenly his mentor, Harutt, was slapping him on the back. Caught off balance, the young warrior almost fell over.

“They’re cheering for you, boy!” Harutt exclaimed, sliding his great sword out of its sheath and raising it into the air.

Dakrim looked up to see everyone facing him, a sea of weapons glinting in the early morning light.

Commander Karrak was barking out a story of how a young tauren warrior defeated a much more experienced night elf foe with his bare hands. He punctuated his story with chopping motions from his axe. The assembled horde members roared in approval.

Blood rushing to his head, Dakrim unclasped his axe and waved it high. He joined in the throng’s clamor, “For The Horde!” Exhilarated, the young tauren returned Commander Karrak’s salute before turning to look at his mentor.

Harutt was beaming, a gigantic grin splitting his weathered face. The old weapons master stepped closer and wrapped an arm around Dakrim’s shoulders. “You have made me proud, boy. So proud.” Harutt stopped, his voice choking off. He cleared his throat and continued, “There is something I want to discuss with you when we return to the inn.” He gave Dakrim another good shake with his arm. “Oh, look over there. The Alliance dogs are being brought out,” he said, pointing with his sword.

Dakrim watched as several heavily armed guards marched the prisoners up to the crest of the hill. There were five Alliance members, hands bound with stout rope and tied to each other. Heavy chains were attached to their feet. Two were male humans, one male dwarf, one male night elf and the last prisoner was the little female humanoid that had attacked Dakrim with magic. A low growl escaped his lips as the guards lined them all up, facing the entire population of the Crossroads. Dakrim looked at Harutt and asked, “What race is that little one of?”

“She is a gnome,” the weaponsmaster said distastefully. They are a despicable race, full of intrigue and dark dealings.”

“Gnome…,” Dakrim replied, rolling the unfamiliar sound across his tongue. “It was she who used some sort of magic on me,” the younger tauren said. “She would have killed me if not for Sabinnia.”

Harutt looked directly at the young warrior and winked. “Aye, that troll is a good one. The Great Earth Mother must have sent her to watch over you,” he chuckled. “She keeps saving your life.”

Dakrim nodded, agreeing with his mentor. “Look,” he said.

Commander Karrak had been yelling out the reasons why the Horde must always be ready, must always be diligent and valiant in facing such dishonorable foes. “Death to the Alliance!” he roared.

The crowd began chanting the Commander’s call.

Dakrim watched as the Commander stepped up behind the first male human. Newly risen sunlight flashed on the orc’s axe blade, severing the human from his head. Only a heartbeat later, the second human experienced the same fate. Both bodies fell over, their blood pouring out, only to disappear – soaked up in the bone-dry red soil of the Barrens. Within seconds, the spilt blood was almost indistinguishable from the surrounding red ground.

The orc commander waved his axe and the crowd erupted again, cheering the execution forward.

Dakrim watched, entranced by the scene unfolding before him. From childhood he had been taught to hate the Alliance, and after yesterday’s experience, it was easy to understand why. Everything he had been taught about them appeared to be true. But there was something…something not right here. He looked over at Harutt and was surprised to see the old tauren studying him.

Harutt opened his mouth to speak. “What did you expect them to do with the prisoners? This is the only way to deal with the Alliance, my boy,” he said, loud enough for only Dakrim to hear.

“Perhaps,” the younger warrior said, cringing as he watched Commander Karrak dispense the same treatment to the dwarf and the night elf. Dakrim looked back at the weaponsmaster. “I don’t know, but is this honorable? They are defenseless. To slay your enemies in battle is one thing, but this, this is …” his voice trailed off. “I would rather die with a weapon in my grasp rather than chained like a beast of the field,” he said finally.

The elder tauren spoke again. “This is a merciful death, my boy. If we were captured by the Alliance, they would not show us the same.” Together they watched the last prisoner, her little hands held up in supplication. The orc leader, guards, and almost everyone else filled the air with raucous laughter. Her end finally came, swift and abrupt, just like the others. After a few half-hearted cheers, Harutt shook his head and led the younger tauren through the crowd back to the inn.

It was cool in the early morning. The sun had not yet breeched the horizon. An entire palette of pinks and oranges filled the sky in front of him until stopped by the deeper colors of night to the west. Other than a few singing birds, the only sound that Dakrim could hear was the pounding of his own hooves. It felt good, stretching his legs and running again. Even the familiar heaviness of his club hoof did not bother him much. If anything, the more he ran, the more he felt as if both hooves were normal. His faint limp seemed to correct itself as he found a comfortable, steady gait. The mountain that the old weaponsmith indicated was to the northeast. Innkeeper Plainswind suggested to just follow the easterly road until the mountain is due north and then cut across the open plain. Always best to avoid leaving the roads, he cautioned. Though he already missed his companions, he did feel a particular thrill at going to see the old orc up on the mountain alone. It had not been easy to convince everyone to allow this, everyone except Sabinnia was against it in the beginning. Still weak in bed, she had argued with Harutt and Lanka that this was something the younger warrior needed to do alone. He warmed at the thought of how well she knew what was in his heart. Despite fears of lingering Alliance forces creeping about and the totally unknown dangers on the mountain, everyone reluctantly agreed in the end.

Dakrim ran a hand over the smooth hardness of his new armor. He admired the suppleness, the way it moved with his body and he was still astounded at how light it was. Harutt assured him that although it was not heavy plate, this enchanted chainmail would protect him from all but the heaviest blows. The young tauren mentally reviewed yesterday’s ceremony as the landscape passed by. He could almost not believe it, except for the tight bandage around his right palm. After returning to the inn, Harutt had made the announcement. He wanted Dakrim to be formally adopted into his own house, to become his only son and heir.

Sharp knives were given to each of the tauren warriors. A quick slice across the palm and they grasped hands, their blood intermingling. Old Boorand Plainswind invoked the Great Earth Mother to watch over the newborn family, to give them blessings of health and long life.

Tears flowed freely down the young tauren’s face as the recollection continued; Harutt, absolutely bursting with pride, explained to everyone how this little calf had conquered his heart and as they were both orphans, it seemed fitting that they formally have this union. As a token of his fatherly love, Harutt presented him with the silvery chainmail that he was wearing now.

Lanka had presented him with a new dagger, forged of bronze. The hunter explained that an enchantment of sharpness had been permanently laid upon the weapon. It was so sharp that the young tauren had barely run his finger across the blade’s edge when a line of blood appeared.

And all during their little ceremony, Dakrim could see Sabinnia, still bedridden, watching and smiling at him.

A keen, wailing cry echoed across the plain, startling the young tauren to stop and listen. Recognizing the sound as similar to the Scytheclaw reptiles they had encountered a few days ago, Dakrim scanned the horizon, but saw nothing. He wasn’t even really sure from which direction the sound came from. Remembering their cleverness, the young warrior decided to go ahead and leave the road since he was almost perpendicular to the mountain. Long grasses brushed against his legs, sometimes reaching as high as mid-calf. He saw many tracks of a variety of beasts, but nothing except the waving grass moved in his eyes.

The young sun had long banished the last vestiges of darkness from the sky as the mountain loomed up in the tauren’s vision. Dakrim paused at the base, stretching his neck upwards. Fluffy clouds billowed around the mountain, obscuring the summit. After taking a long pull from his water skin, the young warrior bowed his head to pray to the Great Earth Mother. So it begins, he told himself.

He discovered a faint walking path meandering up the mountain at first, easy to follow. Occasionally, Dakrim ran across the tall bird-like creatures feeding peacefully on the grassy slopes. None of which paid anymore than a glance at his passing. By mid-day, the tauren was well above the desolate plains of the Barrens, but seemed no closer to that impenetrable layer of clouds guarding the upper section of the mountain. The warrior decided that he needed to leave the path. This path seemed to go around, not up. Selecting one particular ridge that appeared to be straighter than the rest, Dakrim began to climb.

The afternoon sun was beginning to set as the tauren warrior reached the level of the clouds. A fierce wind blew up here. Tendrils of damp mist swirled around his body, chilling his already sweat soaked clothes and fur. A sense of urgency instilled Dakrim to climb faster, despite the danger. He did not want to climb in total darkness or spend the night on this exposed mountainside. The young tauren’s hoof slipped on a wet rock and a shower of loose rocks fell noisily downwards. A loud chuckle floated down through the mist, startling the warrior into almost slipping again.

“Well, you certainly make enough noise coming up here, don’t you?” said a deep voice with a strange accent.

Dakrim looked up to see the hazy outline of a hunched over figure, appearing to float in the mist, only a few lengths above him. Raising a hand in greeting, “Hail, Master Tragh. Peace be unto you,” the warrior said gravely. The misty figure stood silent, except for the wind whipping his cloak about his legs. After what seemed to be an eternity of just waiting to Dakrim, the figure finally spoke.

“Come, darkness is falling and my bones ache in this weather,” said the figure. “You can tell me inside why you are here.”

Dakrim pulled himself up and over the final ridgeline. The mist parted to reveal a long, relatively flat summit area. The dark cloaked figure was already fading into the thick air. Hurrying after him, they approached what appeared to be an open burrow in the side of the mountain. The walls of natural rock and earth, as well as the wooden support beams in the ceiling were blackened with age and use from the now dark fire pit. The hunched over orc did not slow down or offer any explanation. He wordlessly passed the cold forge, anvil and rows of tools on cluttered workbenches to draw back a heavy leather curtain in the back of the smithy. He stepped in and held it open for the tauren. The doorway opened into a large room, part natural and the rest hewn out of the rocky earth. The room was sparsely decorated, consisting only of a rough plank table, a couple of similarly made chairs, and a bed fitted into the side of the wall.

“Dinner should be about ready,” the orc said, gesturing to a black iron pot hanging over an open fireplace on one wall. A funnel, cleverly chipped into the rock, siphoned off the smoke to escape in a ceiling crevice. The smell of meat immediately made the tauren’s stomach grumble loudly. Chuckling again, the orc turned around to face his visitor and pushed back the hood of his cloak. Though his voice sounded young and strong, the orc was incredibly old. The leathery face, framed by long gray hair, looked at his young visitor with deep, knowing eyes. “Now, my young visitor, what brings you up to old Tragh?” he asked.

Dakrim bowed his head for a moment before answering, “I was told that you may know something about this.” Reaching behind to unlatch the straps, the tauren warrior pulled out the large battleaxe. He offered it to the old orc with both hands. Tragh stared at the weapon, mouth agape. Slowly he reached for the axe with shaking hands. Dakrim could see that his hands were bent and deformed with age and hard work, the fingers unable to properly straighten out.

His voice thickened with emotion. “Where…where did you get this?” he asked. Gingerly he picked up the weapon and brought it closer to his face.

“It was found in the possession of the chief of the Bristlebacks in Brambleblade Ravine, near Red Cloud Mesa, many years ago by Harutt Thundershorn,” Dakrim paused, smiling to himself. “My father,” he finished. The old orc’s eyes never left the axe, calloused hands tracing the designs. “The weapon lay unused for many years until it was presented to me at the beginning of this spring season.” The tauren was going to say more, but stopped as he realized that the old orc was not really listening. Master Tragh was trembling. Laying the axe down reverently onto the table, he shuffled over to the fire and picked up the pot. Setting it aside, he looked directly at the tauren.

“Did it reveal itself to you?” he asked in a hushed voice.

Dakrim nodded. “Flame erupts from the axe blade, and somehow it seems to restore itself to my hand if it is thrown.” The tauren shook his wooly head. “I can’t explain how,” he answered. The young warrior could see a host of different emotions displayed across the old orc’s face. “I was told down in the Crossroads that you, Master Tragh, forged this axe.” Dakrim paused again, sensing that Tragh wanted to speak. The old orc looked at him for several, drawn out moments before moving to pick up the axe again. He held it out in front of himself, blade resting in one gnarled hand and the shaft in the other.

“Young warrior,” Master Tragh began with a serious voice. “This weapon is named, ‘Shak’tar,’ in the old tongue.” Seeing the tauren’s blank look, the orc added, “In the common language it means, ‘The Burning One.’” It was forged by my father, long, long ago before the foul magics of the Scourge stole us away from the ancient homeworld and forced us to fight, here on this world.” A feverish look came over the old orc. “I watched my father create Shak’tar.” Emphasizing with a cutting motion of one hand, Tragh continued, “He shed his own blood, mixing it with the hot steel during the tempering to infuse this weapon with his soul; the burning soul of a warrior.” Both Tragh’s hands and voice began trembling again. “My father was slain during the war with the Scourge. The axe was not recovered after the battle. I searched and searched, but it was gone.” His voice choking up, “Finally, I grew tired and exiled myself here.” The old orc stopped, overcome by emotion.

Dakrim reached out and gently pushed the axe towards the orc. “Then it belongs to you, Master Tragh,” he said firmly.

“No!” the old orc rumbled, surprising the young warrior with the power of his voice. “Shak’tar revealed itself unto you. This means you are the master.” He laid the axe onto Dakrim’s palms, then reached up to place both gnarled hands on the tauren’s shoulders. “The spirit of my father lives on in that weapon, young one. Anyone may hold it, but only one may command. No, my heart is at peace knowing that my father’s weapon has found someone worthy to wield it.”

Dakrim stepped back, away from the old orc and bowed low to hide his watery eyes. Struggling to keep his voice from cracking, he said, “I will carry it with honor, Master Tragh.” He looked up to see the gray haired orc’s eyes closed, head nodding in agreement.

Finally opening his eyes and moving over to the cooking pot, “Come, let’s eat while it’s still hot,” Tragh smiled, his old fangs yellowed with age. “You can tell me of your adventures.”

Dakrim arose from his makeshift bed on the floor of Master Tragh’s humble burrow. It was completely dark inside except for the faint outline of light coming from beyond the leather door flap. The young tauren moved as quietly as possible to the doorway and pulled back the heavy leather. Brilliant sunshine flooded the open smithy, causing Dakrim to squint as he made his way around the workbenches and out into the open air. The previous day’s heavy clouds were gone, allowing him to see the entire surrounding area. A crisp, light wind ruffled his short braids and fur as he savored the sunshine and fresh air. To the west, the Crossroads could even be made out; the large structures starkly contrasting the surrounding empty, rust colored plains. Turning back into the burrow, Dakrim stopped in the doorway. Something caught his attention. Shafts of light shone past him into the underground room, illuminating the old orc, still lying on his bed. His chest was still. Slowly, the tauren warrior approached the prone figure. A sliver of light fell across Master Tragh’s peaceful face. Sighing, Dakrim bowed his head in respect, then tidied up the room as best as he could.

Taking his possessions outside, the young tauren collected a pair of stout hammers from the outside smithy and placed them next to the body of the master. He took the cloak from across the back of a chair and covered the elderly orc entirely. Bowing again as he left the room, he fastened the straps of the leather door flap tightly. The young tauren looked around the smithy. Unfinished weapons lay stacked against a wall. The bellows hung loosely from their clamps, waiting to be pumped again. Piles of coal lay in a corner, ready to be burned. He picked up a pair of tongs, noticing that rust had overcome the tool, then set it back onto the workbench. He knew what must be done. Stepping out of the smithy, the young warrior hefted his axe to his shoulder. Reverently, Dakrim knelt down on both knees and prayed to his Great Earth Mother. The growing sunshine warmed his fur and his heart. Rising up, he swung Shak’tar horizontally as hard as he could, cleaving one of the support beams for the smithy. Rubble and clouds of dust flew up from the now half submerged work area. The next swing took out another beam, causing the entire roof to collapse. The wind carried away the dust, leaving only what looked like a fresh landslide. Satisfied, Dakrim raised a hand in farewell before securing his possessions and beginning the long journey back down to the Crossroads.

Last edited by Moorea on Mon May 19, 2008 11:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry folks, been busy the past month moving to a new home. I'm working as fast as I can on the story though as I'll be in graduate school in the next school year so I want to finish before that hammer falls.

Chapter 15 should be done by the end of the week:)
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dakrim’s Tale: Chapter 15

The embers in the fire pit of the Crossroads' Inn were dying. No one spoke; all eyes were on Harutt Thundershorn as his huge frame shook from the effort to suppress the coughing fit. The warm, happy feeling in the pit of Dakrim’s stomach had grown cold at that sound. It took several draughts from that medicinal flask to silence the elder tauren warrior’s affliction. By that time, concern had driven the rest of his journey’s tale out of mind. Dakrim looked at his other friends around the fire. Lanka Farshot gazed with sadness into the coals. Boorand Plainswind, his old eyes filled with worry, returned Dakrim’s gaze. Dakrim stood up abruptly and said, “Come father, let us retire. Tomorrow we can finish my story.” He moved over to Harutt and gently began to pull his arm up.

The old tauren shrugged off his adopted son’s hand. “I don’t need help getting to bed,” Harutt growled, his voiced laced with anger born from embarrassment.

Dakrim backed away quickly, unsure of what to do. He looked at Lanka, who only shrugged. Watching his father’s retreating back, the young tauren sat back down.

Swaying, the elder warrior inched over to his nearby bunk. Without saying anything else, Harutt lay down and began snoring. The great room of the inn was silent for a spell, except for the sounds of slumber and the occasional cracking and popping of the settling fire.

Innkeeper Plainswind stood up next, groaning as he stretched to his full height. “Ahhh, my young friends, the Great Earth Mother is calling me to her bosom,” he said, waving his hand in farewell. The grayed innkeeper shuffled off to retire.

Lanka and Dakrim sat in silence for some time. The glowing remains of the once roaring fire were now losing their luster. Only the flickering flames of a few wall-mounted torches dimly illuminated the large common room. The tauren hunter reached out and placed a heavily callused hand on Dakrim’s arm. With a great sigh, he said, “You know he is dying.”

The young tauren warrior gave a barely perceptible nod. “I’ve suspected, but he has never really told me anything,” Dakrim replied with a bitter tone. “Despite drinking that concoction for years, he has grown noticeably weaker,” he stated, his voice becoming increasingly desperate. Looking directly at the hunter, he asked, “Why won’t anyone talk to me about it?”

Lanka Farshot released his grip on the younger tauren’s arm and shook his shaggy head in refusal. “I don’t know for sure,” he said quietly. “But Shaman Meela told me a long time ago that a combination of age plus multitudes of old wounds are responsible,” the hunter explained. Seeing Dakrim’s questioning look, he continued, “Harutt is much older than you think, young one. He was already a well renowned veteran of many battles when even my own father was young.” Releasing a sigh, the hunter stood up and looked down at the younger warrior. “The great Earth Mother will gather him to her and reward his good life, my young friend,” Lanka said with conviction. He took a step before turning to say in a sad, heavy voice, “Soon, I think,” then continued on, his footsteps as soft as a whisper.

Dakrim stared for a long time at the faint lines of yellowish red among the darker splotches in the fire pit, the hunter’s words thundering around inside his head. An occasional cinder rose up into the air before briefly dying out. The fire pit became cool before the young warrior moved again.

Loud yelling, reverberating throughout the Crossroads, woke Dakrim almost instantly. He was on his feet, rubbing his weary eyes as Commander Karrak burst into the common room of the inn.

“Plainswind!” the orc bellowed. “Gather your tauren friends and come to the command tower!” Without even waiting for a reply, the leader of the local militia stormed back outside.

Innkeeper Boorand Plainswind, his usual calm demeanor now somewhat ruffled, hastily waved to Dakrim and Lanka to move outside. He went over to Harutt, who was sitting on the side of his bed, holding his head in his large hands. “Come, my friend,” he urged, “Karrak is not one who enjoys waiting. Something terrible must have happened for him to be so agitated.”

Outside, in the large gathering space by the inn, soldiers and other denizens of the Crossroads were busily following orders barked out by Commander Karrak and other officers. To Dakrim, it looked as if preparations were being made for war. A group of orcs was digging ferociously around the command tower, building a taller defensive ring. Several tall trolls and members of other races were mending holes in the wood and sod block wall that extended around the more vulnerable sections of town. Others were gathering and distributing supplies. No one seemed to be unoccupied. Commander Karrak waved to the small party of tauren, beckoning all of them closer. He raised a hand to silence their questions.

“Last night, a routine patrol was attacked, further north of town,” the orc commander stated. “Skirmishes between my patrols and gangs of centaur or thistlebacks are not uncommon, but never in the history of our race upon this continent have both the centaur and those foul pigs joined forces.” Anger seemed to dance like an open flame in the commander’s red eyes as he paused to let the full implication of his statement sink in. “Yes, it has been confirmed. Our two common enemies have joined forces,” he said fiercely. Pulling a short, rude bone tube out his pocket, he raised it up for the party of tauren to see. “Here is the proof,” he said, shaking the tube. “The patrol fought off their attackers and found this, dropped in the struggle. Inside is a cowardly compact, an agreement signed between our enemies to join up and crush all of us. Apparently that group was guarding the courier, but to whom or where was the destination is unknown.”

Inkeeper Plainswind spoke up. “Commander Karrak, we all stand ready to serve the Horde,” he said. “What are your orders for us?”

The orc leader glared at each of the tauren. Though shorter in height, the commander’s impressive physical stature somehow made himself seem equal, if not taller than those around him. “There is more, my brothers,” he said in a markedly hushed voice. He stopped to look at each of them again. Only after making eye contact did he continue. “I have known or know each of you to be valiant fighters and loyal members of Horde.” His voice lowered even more into a menacing growl. “A third race was involved in the attack on my patrol last night. The patrol leader reported that this third opponent seemed to even be the leader of that rabble bunch.” Karrak spat on the ground with distaste. “A traitor!” he hissed. “That band of centaur and thistlebacks were led by what appeared to be a tauren!”

Open shock and amazement reigned among the tauren listeners. Almost all raised their voices in protest, declaring that there must be a mistake, there must be some error, this is impossible, etc. Their debate over the validity of this report grew louder. Everyone was talking at the same time, all except one. Dakrim stood completely still, his mind racing as his heart was sinking down into his boots. The brief image of his uncle Lakish standing in the doorway of the inn a few nights ago returned to his mind. “Could it be?” he whispered to himself, a growing sense of fear adding more weight to his sinking heart. He was debating whether or not to tell the others when Karrak raised his hands and called for silence.

“I do not know how this happened,” he said with a heavy voice, “but we need to take action now. I will not order any of you to do this, but I will ask. Thunderbluff and all of Mulgore needs to be warned and mobilized. Who will volunteer for this?” he asked, intense eyes gazing at them all.

Harutt Thundershorn stepped up immediately. “Commander Karrak,” he began. Gesturing to Lanka and Dakrim, he continued, “We all will go, sir.”

Bowing slightly, approval tinged the commander’s reply. “I knew I could count on you, revered warrior. You have served long and well, Harutt. I know you will succeed again.” Looking at the gray haired innkeeper, the orc shook his head. “Of course, you must stay, friend Plainswind. Your services are too essential here.” Looking back at all of them, he said, “Now go, prepare yourselves and return to me here within the hour.”

As the party hastened back to the inn, Harutt grabbed Dakrim’s arm. “I know what you are thinking, my son. Though I wish it otherwise, your troll may not come with us.”

Caught by surprise, Dakrim opened his mouth to reply, but was interrupted by the innkeeper.

“Young Dakrim,” Plainswind began, “your troll friend suffered a grievous wound. She is recovering, but any hard traveling will reverse her condition.” He placed a hand upon the young warrior’s shoulder. “Do not fear. I will take good care of her,” he added.

Upset over the circumstances, but unable to deny the logic of their argument, Dakrim nodded and ran forward to the inn. He could hear the innkeeper, his father and Lanka behind him talking about the “traitor” as he entered the large building. Making his way to the rear, where the most injured of the previous attack lay resting, Dakrim found the female troll asleep. Thrusting all thoughts of the mission aside, the young tauren knelt down next to her bed and gently brushed the ebony hair away from her face. Taking her hand into both of his own, Dakrim bowed his head and prayed to the Great Earth Mother.

Her eyes still closed, Sabinnia asked, “Why all dat noise eh?” When no reply came forward, she opened her ruby colored eyes. “What be happening mon?” she asked, concerned.

“I must leave,” Dakrim replied in a slow, husky voice. “The centaur and thistlebacks have formed an alliance.” He paused as the troll hissed in surprise, sucking in air between her teeth. “Lanka, my father, and I are to go warn the tauren of Mulgore.” The young tauren started again, but closed his mouth suddenly when Sabinnia reached out with her other hand to touch his face. Scratching the fur under his chin and ears, the female troll hummed. Her voice was deep, rich, and soothing. Dakrim involuntarily shuddered as she caressed him. His voice barely above a whisper, “Sabinnia, I …,” he said, before the emerald green skinned hand pressed against his lips.

“Shhhh, mon,” the healer cooed. “Sabinnia can’t go, yah,” she said softly. Her fingers tugged his ear, pulling his body down closer to her. “Yous come back to Sabinnia, ok?” she said, more as a statement, not a question. With her free arm, she wrapped it around the thick neck of the tauren and pressed her face against the side of his.

Dakrim’s body shook from the effort to control his emotions. One of his big hands moved up to stroke her silky, black as night hair. He did not want to leave her. The melodic humming relaxed and calmed him. A few moments later, the tauren extricated himself from her embrace and pulled away, the fur on the side of his face where she was close was damp from her tears. He stood up over her, their eyes locked on each other. “I will come back for you,” he said, breaking the silence.

Sabinnia nodded her head, her bright eyes glistening. “Yes,” she replied.

Dakrim turned and hurried over to gather his belongings. Embarrassed at himself, he roughly wiped away the moisture around his eyes.

Once again Dakrim tried to adjust the small shoulder bag given to him by Commander Karrak, containing a sealed scroll for the leaders of Thunderbluff. The strap was just too short. It either rubbed uncomfortably under his arm or bounced off his chest into his face as the mighty kodo lumbered north. Sliding it near his armpit again, the young tauren tried to ignore the chafing and shook the reins harder. Lanka Farshot was in the lead, pushing the huge beasts as fast as they would go. The young warrior glanced backwards at Harutt, his newly adopted father. The old warrior trainer was obviously enjoying the ride, a big grin breaking his aged, furry face. Noticing his son was watching, the elder tauren raised a hand and waved. Dakrim laughed in return and saluted back. Despite the sadness in his heart at leaving Sabinnia behind, he had to admit; this hard, fast ride was exhilarating.

The weather was clear and warm, the early autumn sun not yet directly overhead. Before they set out, Lanka explained that he was going to take them over the mountains on a secret trail, instead of making the multiple day journey back up north to go through the Mulgore pass. This trail, though it meant abandoning their kodo, would save a considerable amount of time cutting directly across the mountain range separating the Barrens and Mulgore. The exit lay only a day and a half’s full run from Thunderbluff. The hunter explained that they would reach the entrance to the secret trail by nightfall, then it would take almost two days to cross the mountains.

The sunlight stretched into long shadows by the time the riders entered the outskirts of the oasis that had been shimmering like a green jewel in the sand for some time now. Lanka raised his hand and slowed the group down. “We’re not stopping, Dakrim,” he said, sensing the young warrior’s question. “We eat in the saddle, but sparingly because there is still much riding ahead and the sun is long."

A grunt from the rear caused the others to turn. “I don’t remember any of this,” an annoyed Harutt stated. “You know where we are, don’t you, hunter?”

Lanka snorted derisively. “Yes, old one. I know perfectly where we are,” he said. “This is the only way to the secret pass, unless we ride around the oasis and caverns. “So…,” he began.

“Ok, Ok,” Harutt harrumphed, “I understand,” he said. “But I still don’t like it,” the old warrior muttered, loud enough to be heard by all. “We are totally exposed.”

“Don’t worry, Harutt,” Lanka chided. “My pet is watching from above,” he motioned with a hand. “She will alert me if any centaur or other dangers approach.”

Harutt’s muttering continued, “Just a stupid bird.”

To avoid the old familiar arguing between the two friends, Dakrim interrupted. “What is this place?” he asked.

The old warrior snorted loudly, but said nothing.

Lanka turned his head again to Dakrim. “This is the Lushwater Oasis. Centaur roam these tropical woods.” He put away his water flask before continuing. “That range of small hills over there contains what is known as the Wailing Caverns, a very dangerous place,” he said. “Don’t worry, the man-horses usually stay within their trees. If we ride slowly as to not make so much noise,” he said sourly, looking pointedly at the elder tauren in the rear. “We may slip right on by,” he finished. He led the party on, closer to the steep foothills, skirting the edge of the dense palm trees.

Dakrim chewed his trail rations, deep in thought over Lanka’s words. He was drinking from his water flask when a loud squawk broke the silence. The hunter hissed, raising a hand to stop everyone. Dakrim began wrapping the flask strings around the saddle pommel as an arrow flew out from the thick foliage and struck the flask, pinning it to the thick leather harness. Shocked as water splattered his leg, the young warrior involuntarily yelped. More arrows began whistling out of the dark shadows. The tauren hunter roared in outrage as an arrow grazed his arm and all of the kodo bellowed in protest to the stinging arrows.

“Ride!” Lanka commanded. “The pass is close, follow the hills until you see the large, dead tree that marks the entrance.” Lanka whistled while pulling his long rifle from its saddle holster.

An angry Harutt, yanking an arrow out of his chest armor, bright red blood spilling from the small puncture, yelled for Dakrim to go.

The young warrior’s kodo was already moving, trying to escape from the hail of arrows, many protruding from its thick hide. Bucking wildly, Dakrim struggled to regain control of the mount as it began jumping into the air, crashing back down to the ground and nearly dislodging the young rider.

Being a more experience rider, Harutt had an easier time forcing his kodo to ignore the biting arrows and give chase to the young warrior’s out of control mount.

Multiple booms echoed between the hedging hills and the dense oasis, contrasting with the sharp shrills of Snowyn, Lanka’s pet owl, and the harsh cries of angry centaur.

Springing from their hiding places, over two dozen centaur howled as they galloped in pursuit. Small armbows twanged as they let loose a storm of arrows onto their fleeing prey. Others released long spears as they ran.

The tauren hunter returned fire, twisting in his saddle to get a better shot. Though reloading his rifle while under a full gallop was extremely difficult, a couple centaur had already fallen behind, a testament to the aim of the hunter. Meanwhile, Snoywn swooped into the crowd of pursuers, sharp talons aiming for centaur eyes. Her piercing shriek momentarily confused the attacking centaur, some dropping their weapons in order to cover their ears. Lanka reached into his saddlebag and pulled out a small, oval shaped metal contraption. He depressed a locking mechanism on the side and dropped it on the ground as his massive kodo thundered away from the crowd of pursuers. A wall of flame burst into life, roaring above the heads of the man-horsemen. Several foolhardy centaur tried jumping through, their bodies sparking into flames as the fire greedily consumed their body hair and long flowing manes. Lanka Farshot howled in defiance as he used his natural affinity with animals to urge his kodo to run faster.

Dakrim was using all of his strength just to hold onto the wildly bucking kodo. He had dropped the reins in the effort to just stay on the beast, losing his only chance to regain control.

Skillfully guiding his own kodo up behind his son’s wild mount, Harutt quickly saw that there was not much chance for the younger tauren to subdue the panicked animal. Cupping his hands together to his mouth, Harutt began yelling for him to jump.

The younger tauren loosened his grip on the saddle harness, where he sailed off the back end of the great beast when it jumped again. Dakrim landed with a resounding thud on his back, the loose gravel of the sloped hill giving way under his bulk. Painfully he skidded down a bit as Harutt pulled up on his mount.

“Get on!” the old warrior commanded, stretching out his hand.

“But my pack is still on it!” Dakrim replied, pointing to the braying kodo, still jumping and bucking away from them.

“Never mind that now, just get on, boy!” his father yelled back.

Dakrim checked to make sure the scroll case and his axe were still firmly attached before he reached up to take his father’s hand. Lanka came rumbling up right along side them just as Dakrim settled in behind Harutt.

“The tree is just right there,” yelled the tauren hunter, pointing at a dead tree only a few paces away. “Abandon your kodo, Harutt, they can’t go up the trail!” he added as he grabbed his saddle bag and slid off the backside of his kodo. Lanka whooped as he slapped the rump of the beast with his rifle, startling it to run away.

The younger tauren obeyed, pushing himself off the rear of the beast. Dakrim trotted over next to the hunter, who was kicking a wall of cleverly placed debris aside from a rut in the side of the hill.

Harutt grunted in acknowledgement, sliding off his mount while unsheathing his great two-handed sword at the same time. “Dakrim, grab my…” began Harutt before choking off into a howl of pain. The spooked kodo reared up and bolted.

Dakrim turned around to see Harutt, the bloody tip of a spear sticking clear through the left side of his lower abdomen. The old warrior, bellowing from the pain, dropped his sword and fell to his knees. In shock, the young tauren rushed to the side of his adopted father, oblivious to the hail of arrows and spears whizzing through the air.

Looking up at Dakrim, the gray haired tauren growled, “Go back! Run, my son! RUN!”

But the younger tauren ignored his words, crouching down next to him and laying his hands on the deeply embedded spear.

Harutt struck out with a heavy fist, backhanding Dakrim on the side of his head, sending the young warrior reeling. “I said go! There’s nothing you can do for me now,” he yelled. Looking over to the hunter, blood dribbled out of his mouth as he yelled again. “Lanka, get the boy out of here, you must warn our people!”

With a grim face akin to granite, the hunter stepped over and grasped the near catatonic younger warrior’s arm, dragging him up and pushing him towards the entrance of a shallow canyon path.

Sobbing in denial, Dakrim tried to wriggle out of the hunter’s grasp, but shock robbed him of his strength. “Harutt…Father…NO!” he wailed as Lanka gave him a mighty push into the narrow entranceway. Half stumbling along, almost blind from his tears, the young warrior allowed himself to be propelled by the hunter.

“Faster, Dakrim! The centaur can still follow us! We must hurry!” he yelled. Reaching into his pack, he pulled out two more traps. Releasing the locks, he dropped them onto the stony path in their wake.

A semi-circle of spears formed up around the kneeling tauren. The centaur began laughing and congratulating themselves for bringing down a mighty opponent. An argument arose over whose spear was stuck through the helpless tauren. Their laughter increased as they watched the prey grasp the spear and push it against his body, trying to force it to break. Panting from the effort and pain, the large tauren snapped the wooden spear, then hissed with agony as he slid the two broken halves from his torso. Multi-colored liquid gushed out in the absence of the spear, releasing the build-up of blood and other body fluids. The centaur leader signaled to close in and finish off the prey. Multiple spears were lowered as the man-horses stepped cautiously forward. The tauren reached over to grasp the huge sword. Slowly rising from the dust, the old warrior pulled himself up straight to his imposing height and glared at the centaur facing him. He smiled menacingly, bloody teeth bright in the setting sunlight.

Lanka stopped pushing the sobbing young warrior for a brief moment when they both heard the roar of a familiar voice. Loud echoes of anger, pain and battle resounded through the narrow canyon walls that led the two fleeing tauren ever upwards. Pushing Dakrim forward again, Lanka prayed fervently to the Great Earth Mother for the soul of his best friend. He begged her to comfort his young friend, nay, to comfort them all. Several minutes later, twin blasts from the contained explosive traps shook the walls of the mountain, loose stone cascaded down around them. A massive wave of sound and dust hit the pair as the wind rushed up the canyon past them, choking off their cries. As the dust settled, Lanka looked back down the trail. His own tears freely flowed, mixing with dust and grit and nearly blinding him. Reluctantly, he reached down and helped a prone Dakrim to his feet. “Let’s go, my friend,” Lanka said quietly, his voice full of emotion.

Last edited by Moorea on Mon May 19, 2008 11:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fat squirrel

Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 347
Location: A splendid place with a delightful selection of delectable dishes.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is the only thing keeping me on this siteright now.

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Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 2074
Location: Belgium ... innocuous but intrepid!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I find it a damn shame I just can't find the time to read up on it, because it has always been damn good Very Happy. Keep this story updated and I might just gather my lazy bones and kick myself into riding the way down from chapter 8 or something ^^.
the sun may melt the rain
may rinse the sky may sink
the clouds may meet the dirt
may drop your heart may heal

feelings of love you love
fluttering hearts you hate
revealing souls you love
breaking spirits you hate that

the sun...
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Fat squirrel

Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 347
Location: A splendid place with a delightful selection of delectable dishes.

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this dead?

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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 383
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nope, just revising the chapter:) ALMOST done...on the last segment today actually.

I wasn't happy with the original flow....but I moved to a new shoebox (home) across town so I've been a bit busy the past few weeks packing and now unpacking.

Great news is that next week is the last week of my regular class lessons...after that until the middle of July, I don't teach:) Just some testing, planning and crap like I'll have alot more free time at school to write...which is where I do most of my writing.

Hang on Squirrly!!! I think you'll find the next chapter interesting Very Happy
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