THE LONE ELF
As orcs lit fires in the valley, Grumm Elf-Killer thought to himself. The Orc King was planning a raid on the Dwarf Kingdom of Aranord.
That evening in this very valley, his hordes had defeated the Barbarians in their stronghold in the middle of the Wilds. Grumm had been pleased with the orc army for the complete domination over the Barbarians, and the relatively quick fight. As a reward, he had given them permission to do what they wanted with the remaining Barbarian Prisoners. This would please his orcs, and keep them under his command. But also, very importantly, they would remain relatively silent, and he would be able to plot.
As Facion continued to walk round the valleys edge, watching the orcs he had been trekking for a ten-day. The elf kept his grip on his long sword and dagger, as he was aware Grumm was an exceptionally organized commander, and would have sent out patrols to guard against an attack from outer sources, perhaps rescue patrols for the humans. As if to agree with his line of thought, two chomping orcs, holding what suspiciously looked like human body parts, and chewing contentedly, walked up the mountain. Stepping into the shadow of the trees, the elf waited as the two orcs conversed as they made their way up the mountainside, where Facion had been watching the orcs from.
‘Good fight today?’
‘Human taste gud’
‘Yah, kill more human!’
What the orc had seemed so surprised at was the fact that his partner seemed to be lying on the ground, suspiciously unmoving.
The orc continued to turn around in blind confusion, until a cruelly edged blade appeared on his throat.
‘Yaf, no kill please, no kill’
For Façion, the esteemed orc-killer, even in the eyes of his elven kin, had a blade on the orcs throat, and the orc knew if the elf wished, he would be dead. Luckily for the orc, for the moment at least, killing this one seemed not to be on a list of ‘things to do’.
‘Are you from the camp of Grumm Orc-Killer?’ Facion asked this simple question, even though he already knew the answer, just to stop the orc’s annoying whimpers.
‘Yah’, the orc responded.
‘Do you know of any of his plans?’ Façion inquired sarcastically, to the orc.
‘Bbbbbits,’ the orc stammered, beginning to tremble again, as Façions blade cut ever deeper.
‘Where he is going next?’ he demanded.
‘Dwarf Kingdom’ the orc gasped as it began to sink under excruciating pain.
‘Of?’, Façion insisted.
‘Oh?’ replied Façion menacingly.
Facion had just run his sword through the orcs back, as he was no further use, he understood that from the terrified manner the orc was exuding, and he couldn’t let him go runnig back to Grumm with the tales of an orc killer. Leaping into a defensive posture, as he heard the snap of a twig in the distance, he prepared to run any orc coming near through. But then hearing the loud and contended noises exuding from the Orc camp, Façion decided that the orcs were not in a position of any alertness to any attacks, aside from the patrols, with one of their number decimated. He continued to walk round the valley, looking for the best position to strike at the orc camp, and looking for any obstacles that may prove difficult to his plan.
Circling the campsite one last time, he decided that the northerly option was the best for his needs, and what he had planned. Façion walked out of the area of the campsite, thinking a great number of things, but namely what he wanted to do to Grumm Elf-Killer, the murderer of his family and clan. This had occurred many years ago, but elfs could bear grudges for a very long time, especially as they could live for many centuries, and meet many foes- not many forgotten.
Walking down the mountainside, he saw a caravan heading towards the previously human, but now orcish settlement, completely unaware of what was now up ahead, and most likely waiting, with an open maw. He sprinted down the valley, hoping to gain a safer place to stay over the night, and to save the lives of the humans living in the caravans. Even as he lessened the distance between him and the caravan, he saw a party of orcs head towards the unsuspecting humans in the caravans. Facion knew he was lightly armed, but he was confident he could take out most of the orcs in one fell swoop, hopefully with some help from the caravans soldiers. As he got closer he recognized the orcs, they were not normal, but specially trained to kill. They carried threatening three pronged swords that could impale a man at four feet away. But as he neared the caravans, he heard distinctly awful sounds radiating from within the caravans, with numerous screams sending pangs of sorrow through his heart. Even though he stood almost no chance of success, he jumped into the orcs, immediately scattering them in all directions. He wrenched out his familiar blades, and stormed into the orcs, pummelling them left and right, with no hope of survival for the orcs. At least he had distracted them from their premeditated kill- the travellers, but to his disappointment and annoyance, the caravans turned tail and fled, instead of stopping, and sending warriors to help Façion with his fight against the orcs..
Continuing to take out his rage on the orcs as they folded to his skill with the sword and dirk, being impaled to the stomach, neck, and all unprotected body parts that Façion could lay weapon to. Even as the orcs began to flee in dismay- they had expected an easy fight against unprepared victims- not a frenzied elf with fantastic skill with blades. Façion persued the orcs, not prepared to let a group of orcs retreat and tell their leader about the killer elf living in the Wilds, and smoothly removed the rest- numbering about seven, with a few well placed dagger throws, and short stabs to the backs of the fleeing orcs.
Turning to look at the retreating caravan, as the blood seeped from the neck of the orcs, Façion viewed the travellers with dismay and disgust.
‘It’s amazing how cowardly some people can be,’ he thought, ‘only orcs, but yet they turn and flee as if the very hounds of hell were after them.’
Façion had been living in the Wilds for the best part of fifty years- nothing in term of a elf’s lifespan, as they could live forever, unless they were killed in battle, or of sorrow. Even so, Façion wished for some friend that he could talk and fight with, in these incredibly lonely times in the Wilds.
In the Forests of Arendale, his place of birth, and where he had lived for the first two hundred years of his life, until he reached adulthood. He had been regarded as the finest fighter ever seen for a millenium, especially for his youth, he seemed exceptionally mature and calm, essential traits for a elf-warrior. He was a formidable fighter with any form of weapon- scimitars, shortbows, spears, great swords, cross bows, the list goes on and on. But his preferred choice of weapon was the slice/stab variation of the Longsword/Dirk, also with this he carried a beech longbow, with a quiver of elven arrows- regarded as the most deadly arrows in Arachnale.
He walked back to his cave, a dejected elf, where he was living at that moment of time. He thought of many things, mostly back to the forests of Arendale, where he was wishing he could have been, instead of in the snowy wilds of Barkenyall, where the wind howls all year round, and very few trees grow, aside from the ever present Blue Spruce. Suddenly, he heard a loud noise, echoing from inside the valley. Had Grumm said or done something to annoy his massive army?
Grumm, being the ever thinking commander that he was, now knew about the caravan that had been coming towards the barbarian barricades. This was thanks to a watch on the ramparts viewing the road, but the watch had not seen the lone elf that destroyed the orcs who had been sent out to kill the travellers. He had decided that the fleeing caravans would head towards the Dwarven settlement of Zranord, warn the dwarves of the orcs, and ruin the offensive and the surprise in terms of the orcs. Now Grumm was standing on a pedestal, supervising the orcs as they packed. Cracking his whip with authority, he yelled at the orcs-
‘Work, you lazy slugs, work.’
‘Yes, master.’ the orcs grovelled back.
With a creaking of wheels the convoy started to move out of the camp and onto the roads leading to Zranord, and as most the orcs thought of death and destruction and plunder.
Façion watched the orcs with disgust as the disorganized group attempted to sneak up on the Dwarven Settlement and conquer it. They may have had a chance against stupid barbarians, but against the cunning dwarves they would be slaughtered. The Elf had previously decided that the caravan running away was an advantage for him – they would most likely warn the Dwarves and have the Dwarves send out a force to eliminate the orcs. Grumm, Facion had presumed, was aware of this, and now was sending out his army to eliminate the Dwarves before they had time to prepare. Façion decided on a new plan, this involved waiting for the Dwarves to attack the orcs, or vice versa, and then moving in to remove the world of one particularly evil orc.
Starting to run, Facion intended to run alongside the convoy until the battle began, not getting involved until then. When he was listening to the groans of the orcs, Façion had put on a mithril chainmail coat, a leather jerkin, leather bracers, boots, with particularly sharp spikes, and his long grey elven cloak. In terms of weapons, he had brought his runed adamantite longsword, one of the lightest in the Continent, two adamantite long knives, sheathed behind his quiver on his back, which was filled with 60 elven arrows, and finally his dirk strapped to his thigh. He also grabbed a packet of elven bread, and put it in a container on his belt.Continuing to run, he caught up with the final number of orcs leaving the valley. He jogged through the trees alongside the road about fifty metres away from the orcs, far enough so that he would fit in with the surroundings – surroundings which entailed metres of snow, which he was running on top of, and a few widespread trees.
The orc convoy consisted of Grumm, sitting on a giant warg in a |||, many thousands of orcs, and wargs. It was making a cacophony of noise, and Façion wondered how on earth they ever planned to sneak up on Znanord, the Great Dwarven Mines, which had remained undefeated in battle for over a hundred centuries.
As the retreating travellers` came over the hill, they saw the impressive entrance to Znanord. The surly dwarves look-outs saw the convoy arrive, and they sent out several surveyors on lizard-back to see what they wanted, and whether they were attempting to attack the Mines. After speaking with the humans, the dwarves decided to let the leader of the humans- Jarconafe, to speak with the Dwarf King Darkanziabar, who had lead the Dwarves for well over 10 centuries, and appeared to not want to stop leading them. For this fairly formal engagement between two leaders, he was wearing a wide golden band over his long hair, and rich red velvet robes. Jarconafe, because he had been travelling, was wearing stained leather, with a red cape, and breeches. He quickly instigated the conversation.
‘There are orcs in the Valley of Harinor, and we were attacked while heading towards Harinor, to visit my cousin. We quickly retreated and came here as fast as we could.’
‘You jest, surely?’
‘No, my lord, I speak the truth as surely as the sun comes after moon, and moon after sun.’
‘Were they leaving as you were attacked?’
‘Nay, they appeared to be resting, but as we left, we sent some of our scouts to see what was happening, and the orcs were only hours behind us.’
‘Yes, my liege.’
‘Ready the lizards,’ cried the dwarf king, ‘orcs are on there way!’
In a matter of instants, the beginning cavalry had assembled, and was waiting inside the gate, waiting for the moment to attack. The King had come to fight as well, for he was not bred to sit and watch the battle from a distance. He was wearing a adamantite helm, etched with gold, and inscribed with dwarf runes- ‘the wearer of this helm shall be mighty in battle, and never yield to his enemies’. He was also wearing a corselet of mithril, with gems decorating it around the neck and legs, a red velvet cape, and adamantite bracers. The dwarves wore full corslets, some of adamantite, most of iron, and other more common metals, with helms on their heads, and gauntlets on their arms. The lizard riders carried spears, with adamantite tips, and axes on their belts. Foot soldiers carried battle axes, maces or picks, some inscribed of power in battle, and similar inscriptions in dwarven runes. As the trumpet sounded, the gates opened, and the dwarves flooded out, hoping for a glorious and quick battle, but just pleased to fight against their sworn enemy, orcs.
The orcs had just gained the hill leading to Znanord, and suddenly saw the dwarves running full flight towards them, and their initial reaction was to run in the opposite direction, but some whippings from their commanders soon removed the insubordinance, and the orcs formed in to semi-organization, the archers at the back, and foot-soldiers in the front. Seconds before the dwarves reached them, the orcs charged as well, sending shockwaves through the ground as the two titans hit.
Façion had anticipated this and was crouched down to the side of the orcs, waiting, wraith-like, to strike at his enemies. The moment the two armies hit together, with a sound like the heavens crashing together, Façion was up, climbing into the nearest tree and drawing his bow, and put arrow after arrow into the orcs, almost every one making an orc drop to the ground. The orcs were wearing armour that would be almost insignificant towards the might of the dwarves and Façions arrows. It was mainly leather sown together, with bits of metal spread around on their bodies- mostly around the chest area. The weapons they carried were rusting, and generally made of iron, the weapons were mostly a cross between an axe and a sword, and used in whatever way that the orcs saw fit. As Façion continued to rain arrow after arrow into the hordes, he saw a chance to attack Grumm, what he had been waiting for and jumped down from the tree, letting the dwarves take care of the orcs in their organized and brutal fashion. Only a small number of dwarves had been taken down, out of the original thousand, and out of the five to six thousand orcs, a good two to three thousand had been decimated by the dwarves.
Running through the battle, cutting down orcs as he went, he reached Grumm, who was proving to be a major force in this battle. As Façion reached him, he drew his glowing sword and cried,
‘elf scum, come meet your doom.’
Ignoring this, Facion drew his blade and holding it two-handed stood still, waiting for Grumm to move. Grumm, as impatient as ever took two steps forward, and made a massive swipe at the elf, who nimbly pirouetted away, and continued to keep his distance. Again Grumm took a mighty step forward, and swiped sideways, which Façion smoothly jumped over, then taking the offensive, launching a sudden flurry of attacks which seemed to frighten Grumm and distract him, seeing this Façion attempted the double thrust low with his sword and knife, but then reversed the shot, and went for Grumms chest, which the mighty orc, wearing a corslet of mithril, only just managed to deflect. Suddenly with a mighty cry, Façions eyes went blood red, and he charged the orc, relying on his instincts to keep him alive, as he constantly went from low to high with his shots, giving no yield, nor taking the offensive, confusing Grumm almost completely as his eyes attempted to follow the blurring blades of the Elf, as Façion jumped into the air in a attempt to confuse him even more, Grumm guessed and slashed, cutting the side of Façions leg, and dropping him to the ground, seeing this, Grumm took one swipe to many at the elf, and as his blade swung towards the ground, Facion rolled closer to Grumm, and the blade stuck in the ground. As Facion sensed an end to the battle, he blindly swung his sword up, and found the break between chest and stomach plates, and dove his sword into the orc, cutting him from side to side. As Grumm stood, heavily breathing, after the elf had cut him through the midriff, and looked at Façion pleadingly as the elf swung his sword at Grumm, decapitating him instantly. Immediately a loud cry went up for the unknown elf from the dwarves, as they continued to hack at their dead, or soon to be enemies. The orcs immediately folded as they learnt of their leaders death, and most of them died at the hands of the dwarves, but a small number escaped to join their cousins in the Karadur Mountains.
Three hours later, and Facion was being celebrated as the hero of the moment, for Grumm had lead many a charge to the dwarven stronghold, and the king was glad to be rid of him. He had been given fresh clothes, the most expensive silk and velvet, and wore them proudly with his everpresent sword and dirk at his side. Now Façion finally had a place to live, as he was making great friends with Darkanziabar, the Dwarven King, and he had been offered a place on the Kings Council, which Façion refused, as he never could bear matters of state, but still, he had been offered a home, and friendship with these dwarves, possibly the most unlikely of companions, considering the relationship between the two species.
Also, Façion swore to himself that he would live with his kin again, one day soon.