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Author Topic: The Frozen Wastes  (Read 2880 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« on: October 07, 2007, 01:09:00 AM »

Denrykmar Shialt-eck-Gorrin surveyed the horizon.  A grim expression covered his otherwise handsome face, while his piercing blue eyes saw the dark shadow that approached from the west.  This was bad, he thought.  The shadow that held his interest was nothing short of disaster; a large orc army.  Very mobile by the look of it.  This was so very bad.  Remusiat was less than 10 strals from here.  How did they get this close and not be spotted?

Denrykmar turned and swung himself back up onto the saddle of his big stallion, Zekar.  He reached down and patted the animal’s big strong neck.  “What do you say we get a little better look?”  He kicked his heels into the big Kor’och fey Mologh’s flanks and the horse jumped forward, racing across the frozen surface of the plain, living up to his name, which was the name of the north wind that blew across the plain in winter, bringing with it the great storms that deposited heavy snows.

They skirted to the south to where the orc army was advancing.  He did not want to go to north, as that would leave him trapped between the orcs and the sea.  Not where he wanted him or Zekar to be.  At least to the south, he had miles of open plain to retreat to should the need arise.

As he rode along, he watched the orc army.  As he knew they were doing the same to him.  Out here, there was nary a place to hide, so he kept a reasonable distance between himself and them.  From what he could see, there must be close to 3000 orcs there.  This, however, did not worry him.  What did worry him was the fact that these orcs were very prepared.  There was a long baggage train behind the main body, replete with huge stores of provisions.  But the most amazing thing he saw was siege towers being dragged along, by teams of horses, oxen, and other animals that he did not recognize.  This was something he had never heard of before in orc tactics.

He needed to get back to Remusiat and warn them.  This was going to be a dangerous time.  He knew that a large portion of the army was far out east, both patrolling the borders, and putting down unrest in the province of Kordos.  And the navy was out to see, so the Strykers would not be part of the army, those men who were the marines would be on ship, patrolling the seas, and guarding the fishing vessels that would be working non stop while the seas were open.  They would need to get in as much fish as possible, not just for the cities provisions, but for trade, as they would be sent south.  This of course, meant that the army in the city was even smaller.  Remusiat would be lucky to have 1000 armed warriors.

He felt Zekar slow, and he looked to the south.  A small band of orcs was approaching fast, carried on the backs of wargs.  He had been so intent on seeing what he could of the main body of orcs that he had not noticed this band.    They were too close, within bowshot, he noticed as the first arrow whistled past him.  He drew back on the reins, and spun the big horse about.   What he had to report was far too important to let himself get killed now.
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Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2007, 01:08:58 AM »

Kellian Sorrel lay on his belly, looking ahead to where the orc army was gathered, traveling in a westerly direction.  He had been trailing this army for two days now, since he had first come across the large swath of cleared and trampled snow and ice that was left in its wake, but this was the first time he had gotten close enough to see it.  It filled him with dread.  They couldn't be more than 7 or 8 strals from Remusiat.

A little over 3000 strong he would estimate, and equipped with seige towers.  He shuddered.  They meant business.  He would need to hurry in order to pass the army and get to Remusiat in time to gather the troops.  Dillaboo, his icesnout mount would need to make very good time.

As if reacting to her master's thoughts, Dillaboo let forth a loud snort, and pawed at the ground restlessly. 

Kellian turned his head and shot a scowl toward the creature with the pug-like snout, from whence it derived its name of icesnout.  "Shhh, quiet, Dilli.  Lay down!"  He stared hard at the creature, and his voice was strong, if still being no more than a whisper.  Handling an icesnout was a very intense job, as these creatures were very dangerous to those it did not consider its master.  He was the only master Dilli had ever known, or ever would know.  Once an icesnout took a master, it would never take another.  And only the females could even be trained, the males were just too wild.  But, being an Icesnout Scout was a mark of honour, in the army, and Kellian was filled with pride to be one.

When the icesnout failed to follow his orders and lay down, Kellian felt his anger rise.  He had no time for Dilli to be in one of her moods.  He climbed to his knees and scurried back to her and grabbed the collar that served as the only tack on the creature for him to use as riding gear.  He pulled hard at it, trying to force the creature down, but Dilli was stubborn.  What was her problem?  "Get down, damn you.  Smarten up!"  He pulled again, but to no avail.  He noticed her eyes were focused off to the left, and he heard a noise.  He turned to look, but a shadow crossed his vision. 

Then everything went black.
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Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Gundioc Mallister
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 04:34:26 PM »

Expanses of jagged and rocky ground, speckled here and there with copses of tree and shrub, met every blank stare Gundioc threw at the landscape surrounding Remusiat. Injera’s luminance still did not penetrate the solemnity of the clouds, and the brothers rode, without birdsong or bawdy tune to guide them.

Ahead, Mathis shivered slightly, a small plume of breath rising, momentarily visible. So, it was cold. Gundioc could not feel it, his fingers wrapped tightly about his second skin of ale, the dull plodding of his and his brother’s mounts the only thing keeping him focused enough to actually pull the drink to his lips. Reporting to some child! He wiped the quickly-cooling liquid from his chin, licking the back of his hand, not in the mood to squander anything. He didn’t like it, but Mathis had already explained to him twice the benefit of their situation.

“Dogs’ work!” Gundioc snarled, unable to contain his silent brooding any longer. He had gone nearly a stral without Mathis having to tell him to shut up, and kicked his horse, until he rode alongside Mathis, producing another skin, this one filled with wine, and holding it out to Mathis, who accepted it after some time, hoping to let silence quell Gundioc’s ranting.

“I mean, we come all the way up from the buggering Imliths! He aren’t even with us! And we’s supposed to train him! How’re we going to be about that if he ain’t even here?! And that runt of a drelldung, I’ll give his head a good thrashing, I’ll!” Gundioc’s speech was obviously deteriorating slightly, considering he had spent the past couple hours with his lips wrapped about either tankard or skin. “And that bar wench had best be ready, loins aspread, waiting. I’d ask you to join, but I’s sure that she only fancied the one of us.” Gundioc smiled, thumping his chest and letting out a belch.

“Where is these buggering orcs?!” his smile was replaced with a grimace of dissatisfaction and annoyance. “We’ve been at least five strals, at least!” Gundioc discarded his empty skin and replaced it quickly with another, suckling loudly as foam drooped from the corners of his mouth to be lost amidst the folds of his meaty face.
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He who makes a beast of himself
gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2007, 03:22:34 AM »

Red eyes scanned the brilliant glare of the frozen wasteland.  With a grunt to his compatriots, the creature watched in satisfaction as the two humans approached their hiding spot in a small area of rock outcroppings.  It got its bow ready, noting that the other four did likewise.  They waited impatiently as the two men neared, riding horses.  Checking his sword in its scabbard, the orc returned his gaze to the two.  Just a bit more.....

With a growl that rose in crescendo to a loud war cry, the orc let loose his arrow, and grabbed for another.  The other orcs followed suit, and once a few arrows had been fired, they rushed out, swords drawn, ready to finish the job.  It would be their first taste of battle, this small roving party of scouts that were some three strals south of the main army.  Still, killing two foolish humans would be good for them, when they returned to the main army, the heads of these two in a sack.
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Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Mathis Mallister
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 10:39:10 PM »

Mathis wondered if The Wison's Breath's only bottle of wine still rested on the bedside as Gundioc passed him an auxiliary skin, but didn't ask about it as He would rage either way. It would be marginally worse if he discovered the bottle remained and Gundioc had been holding out on him through nearly a week of forcing himself to select either a imbecile's inferior intoxication or somewhat more civilized sobriety. The third option of course was that somewhere on his walk back to the waterfront he had found another source. That thought would keep him collected for a short while, as he imbibed the occasional swallow and listened to Gundioc prattle on without boundary.

Later, in great pain, Mathis would curse himself for his folly. He thought himself prepared, sitting astride his powerful Kor’och fey Mologh, wrapped in reinforced mail and rich warg fur, bearing the sword his ancestor had used to begin a legacy that would last a thousand years, but still too great a fool a grab anything that could be used as a shield. He heard the bow before the arrow found him, and could have brought a barrier up to protect himself had he thought to find one, but without the luxury, the warning only allowed him a moment to pull hard on the reigns and turn his face away from the direction the faint twang and fainter whir had came from.

Had the arrow been a common one, Mathis likely would not have felt the impact at all - the road to the rush had already been tread upon, and soon the supernatural numbing so familiar to warriors would take hold - but it was not. The tip was a jagged mess of edges, but still extraordinarily narrow, an orcish innovation well-known even in the south, designed to shatter on impact and tear skin to shreds. Even adrenaline and thick mail could not spare the Mallister every sensation, and though only the outermost hint of an edge actually pierced him through the chain coat he bore, the serrated spines sent out with the shaft's fracture slipped through at several points, all treated with foul fluids and poisons that would trouble him far more than any arrow ever could alone.

As the other shafts found whatever marks they would, Mathis let out a grunt, more in the aforementioned frustration at himself than pain - that would come later. Damage done, he called out to Gundioc, "They is over there, shooting at us you bloody oaf!" and drove his spurs into Ghelgath's flanks. If laughter was not on his face, as it would be with his brother's in moments undoubtedly, it was certainly in his heart if a sword was in his hand.
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take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone
this is all I have lived for, this is all I have known
Gundioc Mallister
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2007, 12:29:11 PM »

Gundioc’s diatribe of the futility and utter ridiculousness of this mission and its intricacies, or lack thereof, finally came to a halt. A brief respite, which Mathis undoubtedly was thankful for. Gundioc lifted his ale skin to soothe his aching and now-dry lips and mouth, the long-windedness of his arguments wasting enough air to send a ship from Remusiat to Naurooth, and perhaps halfway back again.

The scent of the skin had not even begun to pluck at the frozen hairs in his nostrils before the thing exploded violently, the whirring of an arrow the only evidence of any culprit at all. Gundioc sat in obfuscation, looking through tears of amber pouring from his face, before two more arrows plummeted upon the giant, striking harmlessly at his leathered torso, the loud plinks of their failure finally bringing him back from his previous speechlessness over spilt ale.

A great, gutteral gurgling was projected from his fleshy throat as he screamed the pain the alcohol caused his eyes away. The ringing of his cry pervaded the landscape for more than a few blinks, a choir of pain and cruelty, calling back to Gundioc that he was a big, fat idiot. He pawed at his face with meaty fists before his normal verbosity returned and he was able to further his opinion of the situation with more than just animalistic bellowing.

“Who shoots a man’s drink, honestly?!” he lamented, sending now frozen drops of ale flying from his face in rage as he shook himself of the cold liquid seeping into his person. His head snapped about, searching for his attackers until Mathis rather impolitely disclosed their location. Gundioc licked his sore lips and peeled them over thick, white teeth in a grin he only used for killing and women. Only five? That’s so silly! They best have coin on them to pay for my drink!

Horse and man careened forward, the sharp prodding of Gundioc’s heels were heavily laden with his will to propel the horse forward fast enough to catch his brother. A task both he and his animal knew would be impossible. “At least save some for me, you filthy oppurtunist! No fair that they shot a man’s drink!” he called to Mathis, watching his brother ride down one the beasts. He hefted his mace, his warhammer a too unwieldy of a weapon to be useful whilst mounted, and descended upon the nearest orc. “Ha ha!” his laughter wasn’t so much as to intimidate his soon-to-be-dead foe, as it was to express his happiness at its plight
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He who makes a beast of himself
gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2007, 03:33:38 AM »

The lead orc grunted in satisfaction, as his arrow found its mark, hitting the lead human in the upper body.  It was a fine shot; better than the others, which seemed to miss, but not by much.  Now it was time to end his vulgar life.  He ran at the lead man, his sword raised to deliver a killing blow.  With a viciousness found only among feral beasts, the orc swung the weapon's blade at the man's leg.  A debilitating wound was as good as a death blow.  Bring the man off his beast, then it would be easier to finish him.

A second orc was rushing at the second of the humans.  This one was especially ugly, even among human kind, he thought to himself.  Suddenly his blood froze as the human began charging towards him, a mace held at a dangerous angle.  His bravery left him, and he came to a skidding halt on the ice and snow.  He glanced behind him to see where the other three warriors were, but to his dismay, they were all going after the human that had been hit by the arrow.  Take down the one who appeared easiest first, was the logic here.  This did not bode well for him.  Turning, he began to run back toward the rest of the group as fast as his legs would carry him.
Logged

Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Gundioc Mallister
The Bear
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Human, Erpheronian


« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007, 05:50:12 AM »

The once silent wastes had now erupted in noise. Gundioc’s heart pounded, more-so from keeping his horse under control than from being attacked, the hooves of his animal left great, dirtied wounds in the cold ground as he urged it onward, faster and faster. He shook his face, his cheeks audibly slapping against his teeth and his smile opened wide to reveal a grotesque tongue, slithering over lip and whisker, as he dropped his high-held instrument of death suddenly and with such force that the there could be no question as to the fleeing orc’s death. The sound of his mace connecting with that creature’s head rivaled even the hoof-falls of his mount and his grin turned slightly downward. Buggering drelldung! If all these vermin fight as well as that poor excuse for meat that was just felled, I shall not enjoy this half so much.

Gundioc turned his mount towards Mathis, who was being assailed by the remaining orcs. Of course! Go after the smaller one! “Cretins and cowards, the lot!” he screamed, and wiping the thickening blood from his mace onto his tunic, he charged forward once more, preparing another blow, which landed with an equally sickening crunch to match the first. His smile had left him now. This was no fun. He looked to Mathis, unable to grasp if his brother was injured or not, but saw that he still fought with two of the beasts. That left... Gundioc attempted to quickly tally his foes. Math was never and would never be a strength for him however, and suddenly his horse bucked wildly, the stinging bite of a sword from the final orc fresh on its flank.

Gundioc grasped wildly for the reigns, attempting to regain balance, but seeing his foe come round his right side, he forsook his mount and half-leapt, half-fell towards the orc. His girth, as well as the added weight of spirit and weapon, was plenty to bring both he and his confused opponent to the ground. Having left the warmth of his mount, the cold of this new arena seeped into his cloth and being. The two rolled about for some time, each losing their weapons to the environment, but eventually Gundioc was dispatched with a sharp kick to the groin. He yelped and barked an unintelligible string of curses at his attacker, cradling his sore area with one hand and pulling his warhammer free with his other.

The orc wasted little time. It scuttled away from Gundioc with vigor only a rat could manage and sifted through dirt and snow to acquire its sword. The cold metal tickling its fingers, it snarled in victory and turned towards Gundioc, who had begun hefting his hammer skyward, readying himself to strike at the orc’s feet. He still knelt, clutching at his groin. The orc grinned ferally and swung with all its might toward the giant’s face.

Cold metal contacted with bloated cheek most viciously, making such a slapping noise that the whole waste seemed to quiet in attentiveness. Gundioc winced and his vision blurred, his head jerking away from the blow momentarily as the pain began to settle, his hammer falling from his grip. His eyes focused once more and he saw that the orc held the blade wrong. It had slapped him with the flat of it! The orc looked just as befuddled as he, unable to comprehend this most foolish of mistakes as quickly as Gundioc.

Laughter broke the spell and Gundioc tumbled forward, hitting the sword away with one armored hand, while delivering a blow to the orc’s face with the other. As soon as the sword was wrested away from the animal’s grip, he cast it aside and proceeded to pummel his opponent into non-existence. “Don’t even know how to use a sword! Teach you! Shoot my drink! I’ll rape your bloody neck hole when I’m done with you!” Torrents of curses and yells were emitted from his throat as he rendered the orc into a visceral stew with only his bear hands.

After some time, he grew tired and rose, using the orc’s various belongings that were not spattered in blood to wipe his hands and remembering Mathis, surveyed the scene about him. His brother sat atop his mount, alive and very much the victor of whatever had transpired between he and the others. Gundioc rubbed at his swelling jaw, which the cold of the air had helped slightly, and pulled an uninjured skin from his person. He let the skin droop from his mouth and managed to suckle upon it lightly as he limped toward his brother, massaging his wounds and smiling.
                     
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He who makes a beast of himself
gets rid of the pain of being a man.
Mathis Mallister
Righteous in Wrath
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2007, 09:05:39 AM »

The Ephord was a sturdy weapon, without the slim structure intended for piercing. The weapon was a slasher, and when necessary hacked better than any hatchet. It was in the latter function that he used it now. The furry little fellow had dropped or otherwise discarded his bow and charged Mathis with a sword, but was quick with the thing, leaving the Erpheronian little time to wonder how he had come across it. It went for his leg, dangling without defense over Ghelgath's side. Unbidden, the horse reared up and shifted, repositioning himself as he came down, and even attempted to kick at the subhuman assailant, but the orc at least avoided that much, too agile. Mathis bared his teeth in something that was both grin and snarl, challenging the orc to come at the other leg instead and see what might become of it.

The little fellow was dismayed by the failure of his plan, and decided against another charge forward, intending to send another arrow in his place. As if instantly called up from some abyss he produced his warbow once more, and within a breath had nocked another cruelly barbed arrow and sent it surging toward the horseman. But by this point, Mathis was no sitting target, and had managed to goad Ghelgath into action. Man and beast lurched forward, careening this way and that as they neared the orcish captain. Mathis never saw what happened to the arrow, assuming in seeing the approaching onslaught the orc had tensed or relaxed too soon and sent it off into the wastes to fall harmlessly amidst the snowflakes. The human's blade fell with a great deal more force however, cleaving the scoutmaster's head like a haunch of horsemeat, and leaving his corpse to freeze like one as well.

The wound he has taken plagued him more and more each moment, and he could feel the corruption that had taken root just under the surface of his skin. Mathis Mallister restrained the sudden urge to turn his blunted tipped blade on himself and dig the putrescence out of his chest, cast it on the ground next to the cursed stock of meat who had sent it forth to gnaw and corrode his being. His right hand let the reins fall and instead grabbed Ghelgath's hair directly, clenching tight, holding on for dear life as the two sat there, motionless above the fallen foe. Had the second orc attacked from range as well, it might have been all over, but the Children of the Flame carry with them the chaos of the element they emerged from, and that ultimate quality showed itself when it was needed most.

The orc charged up like its captain had at first, waving his iron shortsword about wildly and screaming words better unheard, better unsaid. Mathis parried the random blows, but only with great effort, the orc evidently aware that he faced a man whose strength was leaving him, intending to land a killing blow, but also endeavoring to make his foe strain greatly to defend himself if he could not. No matter where the orc directed his brutal bit of iron it was met with castle-forged Erpheronian steel. It's stratagem failing utterly, the orc relieved his frustration with a scream. He leaned in close to the human as he let his hate issue forth in a cascade of spittle. The roar expressed everything the mongrel despised in the Ch'ron-P'thok - how they hide in stone houses, their love of the horse and fear of the warg, their weakness and their corruption of the concept of  honor. With what remained of his strength, Mathis thrusted with the blunt-tipped blade, sending it down the throat of the wordy warrior. To his shame, Mathis was in no condition to offer a longwinded rebuttal.

It seemed that he lay there upon his steed for some time, long after the orc's last utterance, which had been something along the lines of "Dghis wighwy gwhurts ..." and it was certain he had expired. His eyes were at times open and at times not so open, but eventually he saw Gundioc trudging toward him, sucking on a skin, and did his best to straighten to a respectable posture. "I'm glad to see nothing marred your ugly face, brother." Mathis managed, and let the hand that had been covering his wound since he had lost his sword go slack. The sickly yellow puss that stained it spoke the rest for him, but he felt the need to add: "Could you ..." He coughed harshly. "Could you hand me our sword?  I'm afraid Wighwy here mistook it for his offspring. And that bow there ..." Another. "There as well? I'll be ... collecting every weapon that draws my blood from this day forth."
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take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone
this is all I have lived for, this is all I have known
Gundioc Mallister
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007, 09:09:19 AM »

Gundioc did not respond to his brother at first, only releasing his grip on the skin and letting it dangle from wormy lips while he reached into the viscous and sweaty folds of his tunic to produced another, tossing it upward to Mathis. It struck him dumbly in the chest, he did not even attempt to catch it, and slid lazily down his torso, finally coming to rest between his legs.

Gundioc’s teeth bit at the opening of his leather-bound wine as he turned, and placing a foot upon the dead orc’s body, proceeded to wrench their father’s blade from its mouth. This he also tossed upward to his brother, who had begun to move slightly more since putting a skin to his lips. The sword, now sticky with the bright red of its target, struck with a clang upon the saddle, splattering the giant’s fop-of-a-brother’s pretty garb, before Mathis reached frantically with his free hand to halt the weapon’s perilous descent. Glowering through pained eyes at the mountain of flesh which had its back turned to him, he began cleaning it and himself. Silent curses between winces of pain only made Gundioc smile, and he finally spat, or rather drooled, the skin from his mouth into his hand, where it still sloshed with remaining alcohol.

“Go bugger yourself,” he said, bending to grab the bow, the nearest listed weapon to him, “you can get t’others if you want, I’ll not be your dog.” Gundioc replaced the aleskin to his mouth and shouldered the bow, waddling away from his brother towards where his hammer lay, chilling amidst the snow. It seemed heavier as he hefted it over his shoulder and gave a spluttering whistle through his drink. His workhorse was really only a short distance away, but any distance was too great a distance in Gundioc’s mind. He waited impatiently for the animal’s arrival, made more ponderous by the slash upon its flank.

He swore through clenched teeth and spat the skin out for good, where it steamed, empty, upon the frozen ground. He swore much louder as he observed the wound, and slapped at the darkening blood. The horse whinnied in alarm and pain, but remained standing by the man, while he wiped his palm on its fur. A series of raucous and vile things left his mouth now, distraught over how he would have to kill the beast once back to Remusiat. The wound wasn’t crippling, nor even that severe, he had merely wanted a new mount for some time now, and this would prove to be a most opportune reason for ridding himself of the animal.

He bellied himself up onto the beast; grunting, grimacing, wincing and finally sighing as he was able to position his mass suitably in the saddle. His face had begun to throb now and he could feel his cheek creeping upward, infringing upon his vision as it swelled. He turned the horse about and trotted back towards Mathis, who remained, looking as if he’d spent a long night abed with winter as his mistress. His face was pale and his knuckles white as they clutched at the reigns of his horse and the sword of their father, which he’d only manage to half-clean. Gundioc scoffed at him and traded Mathis’ reigns for the bow on his back.

“I’ll not be carrying that around any longer, people shall think I’ve taken to loving men rather than women,” he jested, leading he and his brother’s horse away from the battlesite. Mathis had not answered him at all these past minutes, and were they normal siblings, with a normal relationship, Gundioc would have been worried, but these two were rather different, and upon seeing the grey-walled city pierce the whiteness of the wastes, Gundioc twisted about to address his brother, “I swear if you die, I’ll not spend a san to bury you.” He spat, and patted himself down for another aleskin, which promptly became a fixture of his bloated and reddening face. By Ava, if you die, I’ll never forgive you.
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He who makes a beast of himself
gets rid of the pain of being a man.
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