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The Runaway Bride, original Orsimeri version

Started by Rial
Post #34304

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The Runaway Bride

original Orsimeri version by Rial

“Who are you? What do you want?”, came a harsh voice over the high palisade as Rogash approached the gates of Grozragbur. The wall was in a sorry state, brittle from age and poorly maintained. She could see the gatekeeper through a gap between two stakes. Grey hair edged his creased face and he was slightly hunchbacked.
“I’m Rogash gra-Yugar of Lushguraz,” she shouted back, “Here to marry chieftain Lorgul gro-Bugdurz, as he and my father agreed to.”
“Alright, then.” The gatekeeper vanished from view and a moment later the gates slowly swung open, revealing the stronghold of Grozragbur. Rogash gave the gatekeeper a nod and entered.

Grozragbur consistet of but one short street running along a cliff wall. Hovels lined it on both sides and at the end stood a great hut. While it looked better than all the other houses, it still paled in comparsion to even the simpler dwellings in the stronghold Rogash had grown up in.
“Arbak is my name, son of Yashod,” the gatekeeper announced proudly. His posture had straightened somewhat since Rogash had told him who she was. “Let me escort you to the chief, he’ll be pleased to know you’re here, alright.”

As the two followed the road up to the chieftain’s house, more and more orcs came out of their huts to catch a glimpse of their chieftain’s future first wife. Lorgul had challenged and killed his father only two months ago and now needed to marry to strengthen his position as chieftain. Somehow he had managed to persuade Rogash’s father to give him one of his daughters as a first wife. Having no lack of children, Sholbur gro-Oshur, in a fit of uncharacteristic generosity, promised Rogash to the much smaller and weaker stronghold of Grozragbur.

Rogash stopped at what seemed to be the forge of Grozragbur. Like the rest of the stronghold, it was small and not well maintained. An orc stood there, leaning against a shack, watching the flames in the furnace as they danced.
“Are you the smith here?” she asked in a rather harsh tone. One glance at the various goods laid out on a table had been enough to to show her his lack of skill.
“That’s Urgerd,” answered Arbak, “He’s the chief’s eldest brother. Not one for much talking.”
Rogash picked up an iron sword. The balance was acceptable, but as she ran her thumb over the flat side of the blade she could feel the impurities of the metal. With a disapproving grunt, she broke it upon her knee.
“You can’t call this a weapon. An apprentice could do better work.”
“Oh, don’t you worry about weapons,” Arbak tried to calm her, “We get all weapons and armor from Mr. Greenfield, alright. He’s a merchant from a nearby town and trades his goods for our grain, and of that we have more than enough,” he said, as if it was something to be proud of.
The sound of the sword snapping had finally caused the smith to look up. He examined Rogash with poorly hidden interest. It was not the women herself that intrigued him though, but the suit of armor she was wearing and the large axe strapped to her back. She had made all of it herself, in the traditional Orcish way. It’s quality surpassed Urgerd’s creations by far. Rogash saw a hint of regret in the smith’s face. Maybe he still remembered a time when Grozragbur had been true to it’s Orcish heritage.

“He’ll be in there, alright,” Arbak said as he and Rogash reached the house at the end of the street, “Greenfield came by this morning. He and the chief are close friends, y’know. Been in there all morning,” and he knocked.
When the door opened, a broad-shouldered orc half a head smaller than Rogash stepped out. Like hers, his hair was cut short into dark stubble. When he saw her, he seemed surprised at first, then it dawned on him just who she was and a grin spread across his face.
“Alright, chief,” said Arbak, even though there was no need for it, “Look who just arrived. The lady Rogash gra-Yugar of Lushguraz it is.”
Rogash didn’t like to be called a lady. Ladies wore constricting dresses, had all work done for them and couldn’t even lift an axe with their spindly arms.
“Rogash!” Lorgul bellowed and embraced her with his strong arms. He was attractive enough in Rogash’s eyes, the first good thing about Grozragbur. But she didn’t want to get her hopes up just now. Not wanting to appear to friendly, she just said, “I’m glad I finally arrived.”
Behind the chieftain, a man had stepped out of the hut. He was no orc, but a breton. His skin was pale and his hair and sideburns auburn of color. This had to be the merchant Arbak had told her about.
“Come and see, Edmynd,” Lorgul said, “This is the woman I just told you about. Isn’t she perfect?”
“Yes, yes she is,” the man answered with a smile, but Rogash could see in his eyes that he didn’t mean it. It didn’t surprise her. Human folk had a very perverse idea of how women were supposed to be like.
“Did you come by horse, my lady?” Edmynd Greenfield asked, more out of courtesy than honest concern, “Lushguraz is at least a week’s ride away, my friend Lorgul told me.”
“I walked,” Rogash answered, “A strong chieftain deserves a strong bride.”
Again Lorgul broke into loud laughter.
“A strong bride indeed, walking all the way from Lushguraz to Grozragbur. And all that in armor at that. You and me together, imagine the children we’ll have in a few ye-”
“But a strong bride,” Rogash interjected, “also deserves a strong husband. I have seen Grozragbur now, Lorgul, and I don’t like it. You are orcs in name only. If the people are weak, how much stronger can their chieftain be?”
She could see the grins vanishing from the men’s faces. Greenfield turned away and gazed into the distance, as if to spare his friend from being humiliated before him.
“All right, then,” said Lorgul finally, breaking the awkward silence, “I admit, Grozragbur isn’t the strongest stronghold there is. And maybe I’m not the best husband there is. I offer you this, Rogash: Give me a chance to prove my strength to you. Anything you want. I will do it and you will see that I’m good enough to marry a women like you.” Rogash nodded in agreement.
“Then I propose a fight. You against me. That way, I can get the best meassure of you and see if you are worthy of me and if you are the man I want to be the father of my children.”
This caught Lorgul off guard, but he recovered quickly and agreed.
“We duel tomorrow, then,” he said, “Today you should rest. I don’t want to fight you while you are still weary from your travels.”
“We duel now. I do not wish to stay here longer than I must.”
“As you wish, then,” he went back into his hut, “I’ll get my armor.”

When Lorgul emerged again, he was clad in breeches of hardened leather, a steel chestplate with golden ornamentations along the edges and a steel helmet, open faced, with a broad nose guard. In his left hand, the chieftain held a steel shield, adorneded in the same ways as the chestplate, and in is right he held an axe, also made of steel. Rogash felt the bit of hope for Grozragbur she had left vanish. Lorgul didn’t even use Orcish smithing to fight for this marriage.
By now, news of the duel had spread through the stronghold and everyone had come to watch. Rogash could feel their excitement. It wasn’t in anticipation of a good fight, though. It was the fear in all of them, be it conscious or subconscious, to loose the last chance to find back to their Orcish roots. But Rogash wouldn’t marry Lorgul out of pity. If she did, she’d be no less a traitor to Malacath than the people of Grozragbur.
“Are you ready?” Lorgul called out and Rogash, having unbuckled her long-shafted axe while he had been donning his armor, nodded.
“All right, then. I’ll prove to you how good a husband I am.”
Lorgul approached Rogash cautiously with his shield raised and axe held ready. Rogash attacked first, bashing the shaft of her axe against the shield. Lorgul tried to hit her right away, but she blocked his axe with the iron spike that was the pommel of her weapon. Seeing that the chieftain hat let his shield wander away too far, Rogash tried to bring the head of her axe behind it, but Lorgul adjusted himself quickly enough to block her and counterattacked. With both of them being to close to each other, Rogash couldn’t use her blade effectively. Quickly, she spun her weapon around, swapping grips, and pommeled Lorgul in the chest. He gasped and staggered backwards, a dent in his chestplate from the pommel’s spike.
Rogash used the room gained to swing her axe in a wide arc at Lorgul. The blade bit deep into the steel of his shield, but not deep enough to punch through.
“How do I do, my love?” Lorgul dared to ask from behind his shield while she wrenched her axe out of it. Rogash would have liked to throw a tantrum, yelling at him how he was a disgrace to his ancestors and a failure as an orc, how his stronghold was a worthless speck of dirt long since lost to Malacath, how he even came think that he had any chance to marry a woman like her, but forgetting herself in a combat situation wouldn’t end well, even against an enemy as pathetic as Lorgul.
After blocking another of his clumsy strikes, she finnally hissed “Could be worse,” through clenched teeth, holding back everything else. Judging by the grin on his face, the chieftain actually took it as a compliment and attacked with renewed vigour.
With his axe held high, he threw himself at Rogash, but he was slow and she could easily step aside, leaving only a foot in Lorgul’s path ao that he stumbled and fell. Rogash didn’t wait for him to get back up and rolled him onto his back with a kick in his side. Then she raised her axe high to deliver the final blow.

“All right, all right then, I yield,” Lorgul proclaimed, a happy grin forming upon his face. “You beat me fair and square, excellent fighter that you are,” he said as he took off his helmet and stood up to address his people, disregarding the scornful glare Rogash threw at him. One did not simply yield and be proud of it.
“People of Grozragbur,” Lorgul gro-Bugdurz yelled with his arms spread wide, “Tonight, we shall celebrate. Tonight, I and the fierce Rogash gra-Yugar will become married! With both our strength combined, Grozragbur will rise again and become the jewel of orcdom, the glitter of joy in our lord Malacath’s eye!” and the people of Grozragbur cheered at him.
Rogash was almost foaming with fury. Lorgul did not dare assume she had judged him worthy, did he?
“Lorgul!” she called out from behind the chieftain and he turned towards her. With a wet crunch, the blade of her axe buried itself in Lorgul’s face. The orc’s armor produced a clattering thud as he collapsed onto the ground, his grin slowly fading into the unconcerned mien of the dead. His would-have-been-bride let her gaze wander over the crowd, now eerily silent. She saw shock and disbelieve written upon their faces. Edmynd Greenfield had gone as pale as snow and his lower lip was quivering. Not one of them gave her angry looks, nor cried out in outrage over how she had broken the pact her father and Lorgul had sealed. There were no orcs left in Grozragbur, and Rogash alone would not be able to make it worthy again of Malacath’s patronage.

“I’m done here,” said Rogash, more to herself than to the people assembled before her. She shouldered her axe and walked through the crowd and out of the gates. No one tried to stop her.

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The following 3 users Like Rial's post:
Horizon Seeker, Nidali, Triskele
Post #34338

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Ebonheart Pact
Harsh, cruel, and merciless.

Just as Malacath intended!

I like the contrast between traditional orc views and orcs who have picked up a more human culture. The disapproval Rogash had over each piece of the stronghold was quite entertaining to read!

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Post #34986

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Daggerfall Covenant
An Orc-story, praise the Divine! Nicely written!

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Post #35061

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(February 5th 2013, 09:46 AM)Horizon Seeker Wrote: I like the contrast between traditional orc views and orcs who have picked up a more human culture. The disapproval Rogash had over each piece of the stronghold was quite entertaining to read!

I made the mistake of describing Rogash's home stronghold as having several houses. Orc strongholds only have one big longhouse were everyone lives in. Maybe I'll correct it one day, when I write more on Rogash.

(February 6th 2013, 02:08 PM)Triskele Wrote: An Orc-story, praise the Divine!

Surely you mean Malacath, don't you?

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