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Thread: (M) Blood Line CH3: The Bloody Truth (Kris X Siks)

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    Default (M) Blood Line CH3: The Bloody Truth (Kris X Siks)

    Chapter 1

    Chapter 2


    The King's Road to Ebonrock- a week later


    The land northwest of Excelsior is lush forests and green fertile farmland. As far as the eye could see it was evident the wealth and power of the Human Kingdom were great. Truly worth all the renown and influence the King and his family had earned through their long reign. But like any great land their borders come to an end and the unstoppable beauty of nature takes back over.

    Once you step from the stone road you fall into the wild no-man's land where the claims of Human Lords and Dwarven Elders are often in dispute with each other. Settled in courts, or in the dueling fields, luckily very little open combat comes from the disagreements. Though not unheard of it still pays for travelers to keep close attention on their surroundings. It was just before dawn and a small smouldering fire was slowly being brought back to life by Dire. Sabin and Guk-Guk have barely left each other's sides since they left the Human capital. They both missed Galmied terribly and the old Orc was happy to let them comfort each other. Right now they were cuddling in Sabin's bedroll next to the fire snoozing quietly in each other's arms. The former merc let out a quiet laugh once the fire was back to full, tossing a few hefty logs into the reborn blaze he stood up and left the two females to sleep a bit longer. There was a stream a short walk away and the Orc could use a quick wash, his people were an interesting breed. They didn't get dirty often, they sweated sure, but their bodies are generally hairless and all the dirt and such just kind of sloshed off with a dry towel.

    But he liked feeling the cool water on his skin and scrubbing some of the road dirt off. Bringing just his sword he moved to the creek. The grass was slick with dew, and he partially walked partially slid down the small slope nearly sailing into the water before he wanted to. But using the sword as an anchor he saved himself and stripped down leaving his pants and boots besides the large saber in the grass. He didn't have any soap, but as he slipped into the water using some rough grass to scrub himself clean with.

    -Back at camp-

    Guk-Guk mumbled softly the front of Sabin's shirt was in her mouth. Sometime in the night her surrogate mother's blouse had replaced Lil-Bone's arm in the child mouth. It left her mouth very dry and soon it woke the child up and caused her to cough gently. Rolling her back to the Dark Elf, the half-breed looked tiredly around yawning cutely.
    "Where Ganpa go?" She asked herself wiggling free of Sabin's still sleeping form and crawling across to her little backpack for her water skin. It was made of a yellow leather and she had attached some flowers and shiny stones to it for decoration.

    She let out a full-body shiver as her exposed skin was assaulted by the cold. On the road Saba and Ganpa had told her to dress warmly at all times even when sleeping. But the morning was colder than normal even through the fur-lined pants and jacket she was wearing. Once she reached her bag she quickly slid her cold toes into her boots and wrapped her bear skin cape around her shoulders lifting the water skin to her lips and drinking deep. She swished the cold liquid around her cheeks for a bit before she spat it back at the road. That washed the cotton off her tongue, now she just needed a normal drink. She took another swig, but stopped halfway as she began to hear music in the air. At first it was soft, but soon it grew steadily louder as if someone was walking towards them playing it. She swallowed the water and gently placed the waterskin down her head tilting lightly trying to pinpoint the music.

    Picking up Bonk-Bonk and stuffing Lil' Bone down the front of her jacket so just his little head was poking out. The girl began following the enchanting sound as if under some kind of spell. She knew Mama Saba and Ganpa would be mad at her for wandering off, but she simply needed to know where the music was coming from. She reached the road and decided it was coming from the East, back towards Excelsior. Her little heart quivered as she stepped onto the stone road by herself, she took one more glance back at the still sleeping Sabin then shouldered her impressive little hammer and puffed out her developing chest. If she was gonna be a tough independent warrior like Mama Saba, she'd need to learn to handle mysteries herself! Taking up a steady confident stride the girl followed the music.

    After what she'd guess would be a five minute walk Guk-Guk found the source of the enchanting music. A beautiful pink skinned, woman who kind of looked like Miss Shani was seated by her own large fire strumming gently along her lute. Guk-Guk could tell she was a Bard, they came to Sŕmhach a lot on their ways around the highlands. Being able to play music always astonished the little girl, she tried a few times, but her hands and claws were too tough and sharp. Eventually the Bards got annoyed with her always accidentally cutting their strings. So like many of the kids in the small village she just sat on the floor around them and listened to their songs and stories while the grown-ups tossed coins into a jar or hat for the Bard's tips.

    There weren't any bushes to hide in so Guk-Guk simply hefted her hammer and watched from the road trying to look tough. The woman didn't notice the girl at first, but as she finished her song and opened her eyes she looked at the Goblin girl and smiled.
    "Well hello there little cutie."

    Guk-Guk still trying to look tough thumped her narrow chest proudly.
    "I'm no cutie, I'm Guk-Guk, fierce Goblin Berserker like Ganpa Dire!"

    The woman let out a merry ringing laugh placing her lute down and sitting forward watching the girl amused.
    "Oh really! I didn't know there was a single Goblin berseker around here let alone two! I bet your Ganpa is proud of you being a warrior like him!"

    Guk-Guk pouted a little.
    "No I'm Goblin, Ganpa is Orc. Him big and scary! What is your name?"

    The woman giggled again covering her mouth. It wasn't often she met people on these roads this early, it generally why she liked traveling so early. But never had she met a little Goblin child walking alone claiming to be a warrior and having an Orc as a Grandfather.
    "I'm Aziara Nightsong the Tiefling what are you doing walking around this early by yourself Guk-Guk?"

    Guk-Guk tried to wrap her mouth around the woman's name.
    "Az....Azi...Azziia Ni...sung? And Guk-Guk follow music, it nice, but you might wake up Mama Saba. She been sad since Uncle Gemmy got stolen by evil witch and she needs her sleep. You wake Guk-Guk, you wake Mama Saba."

    The girl continued to amuse Aziara and now the girl had a mother and a grandfather she has left, most likely without telling them first. These roads were dangerous at any time of day, and as formidable as the girl's hammer looked it would probably be best if she kept an eye on her until her family came looking for her.
    "You can call me Az, hey why don't you come join me. I have some sweet meat here, and you look quiet hungry my little warrior."

    Guk-Guk's eyes narrowed and she gripped her hammer more firmly. Both Mama and Ganpa had grilled it into her mind never accept things from strangers no matter what they looked like. She has heard of Az's race too, Tieflings were uncommon visitors to Sŕmhach, but many of the townsfolk trusted them even less than they did Guk-Guk and Papa Bone. They were half-demons or something, and while Guk had never seen a Demon she's heard about them and Papa said they're tough to chew and always taste burnt. She shook her head staying on the road.
    "No Mama said never trust strangers, she Assassins she know these things."

    The woman laughed nodding her head and holding her hands up. At the least she might be able to keep the girl from wandering off more.
    "Very well, but at least get off the road, horses and carriages can come thundering down this road at anytime. I'm sure your Ganpa and Mama wouldn't want you to get squashed would they? Is your Mama a Goblin or an Orc?"

    The girl tried to think of a good reason to say no, she even partially opened her mouth to speak. But no idea came so she did as the pink woman bid and stepped up onto the grass and sat down a few feet from it watching the Bard closely as if her question was silly. As far as Guk-Guk knew or cared her mama was world famous and everyone should know what she is.
    "Heh no! Mama Saba Dark Elf, and Uncle Gemmy Snow Elf, he's bigger than Ganpa, but blue and less scary."

    Az chuckled lightly picking up her things and going to join the girl on the grass being sure to keep eight feet between them so the child wouldn't get scared off.
    "Really, and may I ask how a tough Goblin Berserker like you gets an Orc for a Grandpa, a Dark Elf for a mother, and a Snow Elf for an Uncle?" In her many travels she's heard of some pretty wild half-breeds and mixed offspring, but what little Guk-Guk was describing sounded more fiction than fact. Maybe she was an orphan and was making things up? If so that was a very sad truth, and maybe she could convince the girl to journey with her to the Dwarf mining town of Shatterspear where she could hopefully find a home for the kid.

    Guk-Guk placed her hammer in her lap and pulled Lil' Bone out of her jacket and made him sit on the hammerhead so he could watch the Tiefling, she even made the stuffed toy cross it's arms before she crossed her own. "Well only Ganpa Dire is really related to me, I'm half-Goblin, half-Orc. But Mama Saba and Uncle Gemmy adopted me and let Ganpa come along to help them save the world!"

    Az chuckled laying her cheek in her hand.
    "Well that makes sense, I bet they love you tons right?"

    Guk-Guk nodded.
    "Duh, they save Guk-Guk from evil Elf Witch...well them and Papa Bone."

    Another relative, Az could only imagine what "Papa Bone" was.
    "An evil Elf witch huh, sounds like a story I heard as a girl. And let me guess Papa Bone is a... Lizardman?"

    Guk-Guk laughed at the woman's guess.
    "No, Papa Bone is...Papa Bone! I don't really know what race he is. I think Ganpa called him an...O...Ogre."

    The Bard's eyes shot open in surprise. An Ogre? They weren't exactly known for being good parents especially to other races. More often than not Az heard they eat children. But she had the girl talking and staying in one place. She just hoped the Mother or Grandfather showed up to collect the girl and not the father.
    "Wow you have quite the family Guk-Guk, and who is your little friend there?" She pointed to the stuff toy who had slumped over onto it's side with the arms still crossed.

    The Goblin sighed as she looked at her toy shaking her head at his sillyness.
    "That's Lil' Bone, he not much a morning person. But he be sad if I leave him allalone, Papa made him to look like him so I could always have my Papa around to protect me." She reached up and grabbed Lil'Bone tucking him back into her jacket and tucking his little head some inside so he could go back to sleep.

    Az couldn't break the smile off her face at this charming little girl. The woman picked up her lute and began strumming it.
    "Well how about I play him a little lullaby so he can go to sleep better? Think he'll like that?"

    The girl nodded slowly kissing the toy's head before moving it so the spot where he'd have an ear was aimed at the Tiefling.
    "Yea, he would just real quiet still don't want Mama to wake up, okkies?"

    Aziara nodded and began strumming a very soft song. Her lips moving with the words Between the here, between the now, it was a lovely song and little Guk-Guk even felt herself beginning to fall back asleep as the beautiful woman played.
    Last edited by Kris; 01-06-2019 at 05:51 PM. Reason: adding in the chapters lists


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    Deep in the dark the light grows.

    The hammer hit the iron, and flares sparked in the dimly lit cavern. A male's voice sang softly, using the beats of the metallic sound as a rhythm into which his melody followed, a mix of beauty and rough hoarseness that turned the sound into a form of an art.

    Sabin always liked to sneak in on her father isolated chamber and watch him crafting. She used to amuse herself with the thought, that this may be the reason her mother was so captured by him. This made her expression changed from excitement into that of a grief. She knew the others didn't see their relationship with keen eyes. She heard them argue constantly. How he wished her mother to take more men in her harem-That she will fulfill the duty expected from a matriarch- and her mother would smile and answer that she has never stopped giving herself to the people.

    Which was somewhat true. Sabin's mother was constantly busy and hardly had time to take care of her children. It was usually the priestesses, or the older brother and sisters that took care of the little ones.

    "What are you doing here, moon child?", her father stopped singing but did not cease from hitting with the hammer.

    "Mother said she will spend time with me today... but then Sister Lilialch took her away..."

    "Lady Galathea is a busy woman, moon".

    "I know father, I just---"

    The male dark elf stopped working, removing his heavy gloves and eyes cover. He turned to sit by a far table and tap on the chair beside him for the girl to follow and join him. Sabin did so, "You know the lady love you greatly, yes?"

    Sabin sighed.

    "Well, she does. She is trying so hard for everyone's sake and you mostly..."

    "I know father"

    The man kissed her on her forehead, and then he got up and walked some distance only to return with a small box. He handed it to the child.

    "What is it?"

    "Go on, open it".

    Sabin removed the lid, uncovering a sparkling sight. It was a marvelous crescent adorned with small silver and tiny diamonds, "Isn't it mother's necklace?", Sabin asked.

    "A similar, yes, a twin", He nodded proudly, "There are only two like these in the whole world now. The one your mother is wearing, which I gave her the day we exchanged oaths, and now this- She specifically asked me to craft this for you"

    "Mother asked that? for me?"

    The elf nodded with a smile.

    "She knows how much you miss her, and how little of a time she has for you these days. She hopes this will ease you a bit", he helped Sabin to wear it, giving her the time to admire the beauty of the emblem as her fingers trailed over the moon shaped pendent.

    "The moon guides in the darkness. So during your hardest of hours, look at it, and think kindly of her, or anyone else you care deeply for... I'm sure this will be of comfort".

    Sabin gave him a sad smile. This was clearly not going to take away the feeling of longing for a time she wanted to spend with her mother, but it was something still, "Thank you", she said softly.


    ***

    Sabin woke up slowly. The heaviness of her growing belly was still not fully visible but she felt the weight of the responsibility needed of her in order to protect her precious love child. Her fingers reached for her neck, guided by old instinct of comfort, searching for her silver moon pendent. It was missing, of course, given to the man she desired to see so much, and whom too, was far away from reach. Her fingers traced the icicle scar on her chest, hoping that somewhere in another place, Galmied will feel her yearning.

    It was still early in the morning, but she needed to relief herself and pee- a growing habit which increased drastically over the passing days. Of course, before she could make a walk for the bushes she noticed that both Guk-Guk and Dire were missing. She learned to trust the Orc a great deal, and by so her immediate worry was directed to her foster child.

    "Guk-Guk?!", she looked around, trying to study the clues. It was hard though. Ever since she started the path of this merry family bunch, she became much less calculated and more emotional. Truth be told, her caring heart always made her be less of the assassin that she could have been, but right now, she was so hormonal, emotional, and hysteric to even think properly.

    "GUK-GUK?!".

    What kind of a mother was she, losing a child like this, what a stupid behavior. She should have kept a better watch. She almost gave in to tears when she noticed that Guk-Guk's doll was also missing. Which meant the child was clearly leaving by her own will. That was a bit of a comfort, but not a great one.

    Once she calmed a bit, she found the trail of Guk-Guk's boots and started to follow, eventually reaching a clearing deep in the wood. Music sneaked into her ears and she followed it with more interest. She then reached the place both the tiefling bard and halfling child were at.

    "GUK-GUK!", Sabin cried, surprised of the height of her own voice, "How many times did I tell you?! Do not leave without telling anyone, you scared me to death!".

    Seeing as the woman didn't flinch from Sabin's voice, she realized the tiefling girl meant no harm, "Thank you for keeping her here and safe", Sabin nodded. She still didn't trust the intention of the woman, or the woman herself, but she had to show manners regardless.

    Sabin then hugged the young girl and looked her in the eyes. There was a sadness reflecting from her silver glowing gaze, "Don't make me worry like this... I thought I lost you!".

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    Guk-Guk had found herself rather enjoying Az's music. Even humming and tapping her fingers against Bonk-Bonk in time with the lovely almost magic music coming from the Tiefling's lute. The spell was broken with Sabin's almost panicked sounding voice, she jumped a little and a deep blush filled her face. She looked down ashamedly even as Sabin hugged her and looked in her face.
    "I'm sorry Mama Saba, I couldn't help it I heard Ms. Nihsong's music and was gonna tell her to stop so it wouldn't wake you. You don't sleep as well without Uncle Gemmy around anymore."

    Aziara stopped playing and stood up slinging her lute over her shoulder bowing slightly in apology. So the kid wasn't lying about having a Dark Elf mother. How interesting, the pink woman waited until things had calmed down before speaking. "I'm sorry Ms. Saba, I didn't think I was playing that loudly especially from so far away. I'm Aziara Nightsong at your service, and might I add you have a very sweet daughter." Az was doing her best to be polite, she recognized an expectant mother when she saw one, but she also recognized an assassin even a pregnant one. Bard have something of a sordid reputation, and the Tiefling was sure she might have a bounty on her head that anyone could call upon.


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    Sabin wasn't sure how to feel about being called "Saba" by anyone other than Guk-Guk but she decided to let it slide, "Don't worry, Aziara, you did nothing wrong. This is no man's land and you are to play as your heart wishes to… I just wish a certain young girl was more… careful…", she looked at Guk-Guk who played with her fingers and avoided eye contact.

    Now that she was calmer, she turned to study the lovely individual before her eyes. There was something about her that just reminded her of someone. Or something. But she couldn't quite place the pieces together in her head to find the answer.

    Never the less, if Dire was going back to an empty camp he was probably going to get worried, or if he was in any trouble it was best to search for him now too.

    "We should head back though", she said grabbing Guk-Guk's hand, "Sorry for disturbing you".


    ***


    "So why all the secrecy?", asked the pretty elven.

    "It shall be told soon enough, my lady".

    It been some time since Y'gol last been seen, as if his whole presence been wiped clean from the world. But this was not good enough- Not for Denika anyway. The thoughts of revenge burned like ill flames, and did not let her mind find any silent. What's more, she too, bore a growing fruit within her.

    So she made her way in the darkness, following the cultist as he guided her further. It was rather easy to convince her to come too. All he had to do was to mention the name of the Ogre at the right time and in the right moment.

    Even Denika found it somewhat strange that she simply followed blindly. Maybe it was the bad ale, or lack of company, but Denika was itching to hear him out.

    Dark elves seemed to have special effect on her… or maybe this particular cultuist was far more mystical than she gave him credit for.

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    Default Guk-Guk is a bad girl co-op.

    Guk-Guk still wouldn’t look at Sabin as she was taken away. She waved at Az then bowed her head and kept pace with the Dark Elf. “Bye-bye, Ms. Nighsung. Sorry I got you in trouble.” The Tiefling gave the little girl a sad smile and waved. “It’s ok my little Goblin berserker, I’m sorry too. Be sure to tell your Gandpa hello for me.” The little Goblin smiled at the pink lady as she and Sabin turned the corner and were out of view.

    A little way down the road Guk-Guk glanced up at Sabin a little frown still on her face.
    “Mama Saba, gonna punish Guk-Guk?”

    “I have not decided yet!”Sabin said held her hand tightly. They continued to march further in silent before the Dark Elf sighed. She moved forward and beside Guk-Guk and gave her a hug, “I was so worried. Please, I don’t want to lose you too…”, she let go and looked up to her, “Even if I’m sleeping, wake me up! Talk to me, I don’t want you to wander away without telling anyone!”

    Guk-Guk wasn’t used to being yelled at. Even if it sounded like Sabin wasn’t yelling to a child it was all the same. The girl never had to tell someone where she was going before, Papa Bone was never worried about her like this. “B-but you’ve been so sad and tired since Uncle Gemmy left. Guk-Guk thought it best to let you sleep and go ask Ms. Nighsung to be quiet. Guk never had to ask permission to try and help someone ‘afore. When I was with Papa Bone, I used to go tell the wolves to be quiet alla the time when Papa Bone sleepy. He never worried like this before.” The little girl looked at Sabin questioningly. “Why would I be worried now? Guk-Guk had hammer and Lil’ Bone, she be safe.”

    “NO!”, Sabin said, surprised at the high tune she used. She sighed and started to speak in lower voice, “I don’t want you to wander off without telling anyone. I know you are strong, but I request you to obey, Guk-Guk”.

    Sabin found herself dropping her gaze and holding herself from crying, “I’m not as strong as your papa. I’m not as confident as him. If danger occurred I may not be quick enough to save you. Papa Bone and you also lived in an area with not a lot of dangerous people. Sŕmhach is a special place that knows some semblance of peace. That is not how the rest of the world works…there’s far more danger out here than just wolves or bandits. Please my child, don’t run off like that without myself or Grandpa Dire knowing. We don’t want to lose you.”

    The Goblin girl frowned again and looked back down at the ground. She didn’t understand it still, but she could tell it was upsetting Mama Saba, and simply nodded.
    Last edited by SikstaSlathalin; 05-07-2018 at 01:17 AM.


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    Somewhere else...

    The male Elf walking side by side with Denika remained silent as he led the pretty woman deeper into the catacombs under T'saroth’s old cathedral hidden among the dunes of Ophier. Like the rest of the bandit town the cathedral was more than it was on the surface. It belonged to an ancient unknown religion and has more often than not been used as a base of trade and the central hub for criminal activity for Thieves and Assassins Guild since the desert oasis was founded a few millennia ago.

    Right now a new group has taken over the study sandstone building, whispers of a new religion being practiced by cloaked shadowy figures that are seen slipping out of the dark underground in the dead of night. T'saroth knows when to keep its mouth shut and her people have seen enough shadowy deals lurking through the ancient streets to know to leave this cult alone.

    Now though a young man named Ebony had contacted and led Denika from her home on the southern end of Avelar to the front door of the Molad Clan’s outpost to meet with the enigmatic Sable. One of the few male Dark Elves she has seen outside of the Dark Elf clans, she hoped they were as sensual and willing as their female counterparts. Ever since she found out she was pregnant with Galmied’s child her hormones have been wild and her desires for sensual attention and sex have been growing everyday.

    The two Elves stopped at the bottom of the winding staircase and Ebony signaled for her to stop before he vanished under a heavy curtain. The woman could hear the sounds of his boots echoing on the old stone before they got too far ahead for her to hear.

    “Such secrecy”, Denika said, grinning, “I can’t wait to see if this justify all of the plans ahead! You said you may help me with Y’gol. Speak up then, and linger not in the darkness, if you are a handsome devil”.

    A slight chuckle was heard from the shadows beyond the curtain. But a hand appeared on Denika’s shoulder before a tall Dark Elf male walked past her. “I can help you Lady Lestaff, but secrecy is needed for my group and our actions. Come follow me please.” He smiled and led her past the curtain, a flash of magic danced across his fingers and torches lit up the entire corridor. It was very long and lined with many different doors, each with a seperate Elven symbol branded upon the door. The man led her to the door marked with twin crossed blades facing upwards and opened it beckoning her inside.

    Denika followed a small whistle escaping her lips, “What are you up to? How long did it take you to build all that?”. It was clear this place was run by a very organized group. Symbols everywhere, and they all seemed to be gathered for a cause. But she wondered if this was all truly to beat the Ogre, or maybe the ogre was a mean for an end, a side plot to get something bigger from her. And if so, why her of all people?

    The Dark Elf man simply smiled.
    “We didn’t build this place, just took it over.” They entered what looked like a smithy, forges lined the walls and weapons hung from hooks and racks. “As for what we’re up to, let’s just say it’s a good cause for now.” He led the High Elf through the Forge and into a small room of some kind, it looked to be a supply room of some kind, but there was also a table with various maps and plans laid out upon it. The male walked up to the table and pointed to a map marked “creatures of interest for materiels.” Denika saw Dragonkin, Dolg Gramar, Trolls, and various other large species marked down with separate colored pencils marks. And near the Dwarven Lands was a single black named named Y’gol. “We have done our best to track the Ogre, his weapons are a rare type of metal and his skin itself is an oddity we would like to exploit. Ogres are a rare species so anyone we find we like to keep our eyes on.” He quickly rolled up the map and held it to Denika. “We can help you catch him, but first you must help us Lady Lestaff.” He gave the pregnant woman a roguish smile the silver of his eyes glinting in the dim lights of the forge.

    “Help you?”, she said while picking the map and scanning her eyes over it, “Materiels you say? You want to use their resources or…”, she looked at him as she narrowed her eyes, “Do you wish to use them as test subject?”

    Sable simply winked leaning back and crossing his arms over his chest. “That’s up to our leadership, I’m just the retrieval expert.” There was something more behind his words and his quirked smile, but Denika knew the way Dark Elves like their secrets. She’d let Dark Ones have them for now. “So be it, so what do you require of me?”

    Sable nodded towards the end of the table with a small bundled wrapped in what looked like black Dragon skin. “Nothing too strenuous, we would like to tap your resources in tracking and capturing. I’ve heard word your Queen has given you some time off, and it’s good for a pregnant woman to keep active for the first few months. We ask permission to set up a small outpost near your estate and use it and maybe some of your personal serfs to hunt our creatures of interest. And we would like you to accept that jewel as payment for inconveniencing your house”

    The woman smiled and picked up the small bundle. She studied it in her hands then unwrapped the soft scaly leather. Inside was a large black gem hung on a simple braided thread of gold. The former general could feel the magic coming off it. She would be sure to look into this bauble later, rewrapping it she nodded to the man and slipped it into the folds of her dress. She thought to ask how he knew so much about her recent release from military service or her pregnancy. But the Dark Ones have their ways and the Golden Ones loved to play with them. “Hmm very well Master Sable, as long as your group is discreet and don’t damage my lands or my people you may set up an outpost. I even have an old servants’ quarters near the lake you can use.”

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    Default The co-ops continue

    Sabin and Guk-Guk returned to their little camp to see a freshly cleaned Dire looking very unbothered by the female’s sudden disappearance. When he got back from the creek he assumed the two had gone off for a little walk somewhere. He gave them a rough smile just glancing up from the three fish he was cleaning and preparing for breakfast. He grunted lightly pointing at the trouts. “Freshly caught and juicy.” Was all he said before looking back down at his work.

    Sabin calmed down, but she kept a wary eye on her adopted daughter. Guk-Guk on the other hand just sat quietly by the fire trying to grasp what made Sabin so mad at her. It was an awkward silence and it wasn’t lost on the old Orc in their company, but he thought it best to not reopen what seemed to be a closed subject. So the trio just ate their breakfast in peace and packed up camp, getting back on the road for the Dwarven Lands.

    Sabin was tired, but she didn’t let the others know. Yet knowing the Orc, she guessed Dire was probably aware, but as always kept his mouth sealed. She thanked him for that. She didn’t want to feel like she was slowing them down. While she has hardly in the more difficult state of her pregnancy, Sabin could feel herself growing heavier and slower. She was also filled with unneeded worries. Soon however the air of the new surrounding was able to make her forget, even for a little bit, her thoughts.

    A beautiful scenery has revealed itself to them; Open meadow land, perfect for herding goats and sheeps, and for growing healthy crops.

    It was midday and the group had just stopped for their lunch when Dire’s ear twitched and he slowly reached for his blowpipe. His head moved ever so slightly to the trees of the grove around them, his nose and ears twitching slightly with keen alertness. He then motioned for Sabin to draw her weapon and hold Guk-Guk close. The little girl was confused, but she was still reeling from getting yelled at this morning so she slipped into Sabin’s lap holding Lil’Bone close. And Dire quickly slid into the thick trees while loading a knock-out dart into his pipe.

    Picking up her small knife Guk-Guk whispered to Sabin.
    “Mama Saba, are we in trouble again?”

    “Hopefully not”, Sabin whispered back, the two daggers already held in her hands, “But one cannot be too sure”, Sabin then moved forward, shielding the small half goblin, “Who is here? Show yourself!”

    There was silence for a few minutes, even the wind seemed to halt. Guk-Guk wrapped her narrow arm around Sabin’s hips holding her little knife close and to the side like Sabin does the tip pointing out. Guk-Guk was about to say something again when she heard Grandpa Dire let out a deep roar and then there was the sound of a struggle in the bushes to the left. A few seconds later a small quilled creature and a large chicken wearing armor was thrown out into the grass two darts sticking out of their backs. Dire followed shaking his head.
    “Spies.”

    Guk-Guk saw the adorable little warrior and squealed dropping her knife and going right over to the Hedgehog warrior. “He is so cute! He just like Lil’Bone!”

    “Who or what is it?”, Sabin was surprised, yet unlike her foster daughter, she didn’t let her guard down, despite the cute appearance of the creatures. She quickly grabbed Guk-Guk’s hand and pulled the eager little girl back. “Stay back Guk-Guk, we don’t know anything about the creature.”

    The child pouted, but let her Mama pull her back behind her while she and Dire inspected the Hedgehog and it’s...battle chicken?

    Dire plucked his darts from the two prisoners and slid them back into the holster at his hip.
    “I don’t know, but I doubt it’s alone.”


    “And now you’ve angered them!”, Sabin said, unsure how to proceed, “You think they are hostile?”, Sabin circled around the bodies, “I wonder if bigger ones will follow suit as well…”


    Dire growled pulling out his dart gun.
    “I do smell more, but it’s distant. I think this one was the only one who found us.”

    Guk-Guk gasped noticing the little warrior and his chicken beginning to stir. She tugged Sabin’s sleeve.
    “Mama Saba he’s waking up!”

    As soon as the rodent’s eyes shot open he pulled a whistle from his waist and blew hard into it. The ear piercing scream of the small tool made the Orc’s and Goblin’s sensitive ears ring and it caused them to drop their weapons and cover them. Soon more whistles answered the first and the Hedgehog and it’s chicken bolted back into the brush still blowing the whistle.

    Dire groaned glaring after the noisy little beast.
    “Oh great.” He growled picking up his blow dart gun and moving besides Sabin and Guk-Guk.

    The sound was terrible for Sabin too, but not to the point of breaking down, she placed her weapon forward, watching as dozen more peculiars riders stormed forward, and they all started move around them, forcing them into their circle. Sabin hissed for a moment before noticing a bigger rider.

    “A goblin?”, she asked as tilted her head. This one had a different shade of skin than Guk-Guk, and was taller. It was a pure Goblin and not an hybrid, like her foster daughter, it also appeared to be less brutal, a thing which was more associated with Orcs. Still it carried a wicked looking war pick in its hand. It was a male and he was missing his right eye, but that didn’t stop him from glaring at the trio with his left one.

    “What do you want?”, the Dark Elf cried. She knew the little rodents would hardly make for a proper fight, but the Goblin might prove to be more trouble. However, as she narrowed her eyes she watched the horse it was riding on, which was not a battle mare. It was a simple one, made for travelling.

    A second rider then joined in, this one was riding a horse of a different color, which seemed more groomed. This rider, another goblin, was clearly a female. She eyed them all, but a small screeching sound escaped her lips when she noticed Guk-Guk, “Iks-Iks!”, she rejoiced, calling to the other Goblin, “You see what I see?”, the sight of the little girl seemed to bring a smile which was full of pointy teeth, “She looks so much like Ci-Ci!”

    Iks-Iks, the male Goblin hmmed softly jumping off his horse and walked closer, or as close as the blue skinned Orc and Dark Elf would let him. He studied the confused little girl then nodded, his voice rough and kind of gravely. “Hmm red eyes and different color green aside indeed she does Kri-Kri.” He slung his war-pick across his back and looked up at Dire and Sabin. While he is a pure Goblin he’s still a head shorter than the Dark Elf and half a body length short than the Orc, still he held a certain level of commanding presence. “What is your name girl?” He asked, possibly more roughly than he intended because Guk-Guk-shrunk back hugging Sabin’s waist and hiding a little. She’d never met another Goblin since she left Balrefire and the last one she saw was her mother before she was killed. But Papa Bone told her about them and Missus Brickheart told her some too, she expected this Iks-Iks to blow himself up any second.

    “You’re scaring her!”, Kri-Kri protested, “Be kind!”

    Sabin stared at Dire who was too amazed by the name they just mentioned, “What is your connection to the goblin known as Ci-Ci?”

    Kri-Kri laughed, “Family o’course!”, she said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, “Why are you here in our lands, and who is this child?”

    Dire grunted picking Guk-Guk up and above the odd male slipping his pipe back into his holster.
    “This is Guk-Guk, I’m her Grandfather Dire of Blacklake, and this is her mother Sabin Togar.”

    “You are lying! You are lying!”, The female Goblin protested as she grunted like an angry ox, “It is clear she has Orc blood, but she is Goblin, not Elf!”, she got off her horse and moved forward.

    Guk-Guk growled and shouted back at Kri-Kri. “Hey you be nice! Mama Saba, best mama ever! No matter she Elf or Goblin!” She began to squirm in Dire’s grip intent on showing this mean lady some manners.

    There was a sigh from the back of the small hunting party and a coyote’s yip.
    “Yeah I know Decker, Goblins are nuts.” Soon another kind of beast rode up this one astride a large shaggy looking coyote. It was a Redkin, a nomadic race of tinkers and trap makers that can give even Goblin’s a run for their money. “Take a breath Kri-Kri, adoptions are a thing ya know.”

    Iks-Iks gripped his woman’s chest and pulled her back from the Orc and Elf. “You watch your mouth Rikki, we of the underfolk don’t like surfacers stealing our children.”

    Rikki sighed waving the bristling Hedgehog warriors down and putting himself between the hosts and the travellers.
    “Sorry about that, Goblins are really big on traditional family. I’m Rikki, head of the Slagen Merchant Caravan Guards. Those two bright rays of sunshine are Kri-Kri and Iks-Iks Slagen, merchants out of Shinestone.”

    “I didn’t steal your child!”, Sabin said with anger, “I am taking care of Guk-Guk!”, She moved forward towards the Goblins.

    The Redkin held his furry paws up and motioned for the woman to calm down.
    “Whoa there lady relax, the last thing you want is to fight with the employers of a Lohem-Gibor Tribe. They’re warriors from birth to death and never surrender.” He motioned to the diminutive Hedgehog warriors, who had doubled in number since the Goblins first showed up and many of them were already brandishing their razor like weapons and quills standing up on end in anticipation. One made a more forward but a quick growl from Decker, who was a natural predator of the Lohem made the small warrior step back in line with his comrades. “Now everyone calm the fuck down!” He shouted looking around at everyone, Guk-Guk held a hand over her mouth. “Mama Saba he say bad word!” She pointed at Rikki accusingly.

    Sabin tried to fight the urge to smile, “Now now, Sir Rikki, you cannot speak like that in front of a child”, She looked at the two Goblins, “We are tasked with finding a person. A gobliness by the name of Ci-Ci, we are told she is Guk-Guk’s aunt, the sister of the girl’s mother Jik-Jik”.

    Rikki snorted and rolled his eyes going back to his coyote who grunted and snuffled lightly. He patted the tan colored canine then looked back at the Goblins.
    “Cover her ears next time. Kri-Kri, Iks-Iks, shall I go get Ci-Ci or do you just wanna bring them all back to camp and find her themselves?”
    Iks-Iks set his woman back on her horse and patted her leg before looking back at Sabin and Guk-Guk. He didn’t trust Elves be they Dark or no, but a Goblin child even a half breed should be raised by family. They knew Ci-Ci had a sister, but he couldn’t remember the last time Ci-Ci even saw Jik-Jik. Kri-Kri snorted lightly then clicked her tongue and began riding back to camp without saying a word. The male hmmed and jerked his head back through the trees.
    “Bring them, but keep the Lohem right on their heels got it Rikki?”

    The Redkin nodded and hopped up onto Decker’s back and barked something in the language of the strange Hedgehog people and like the trained warriors they are they snapped to attention and fell into line behind Decker their Battle Chickens clucking lightly as they walked away in a single line. He clicked his tongue and motioned for the trio to follow. “Come on, Ci-Ci is back at our main camp by Crystal Lake on the other side of the forest here.”


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  8. #8
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    Crystal Lake in the forest side

    While the journey itself was not long, both Sabin and Guk-Guk needed to stop from time to time to get some rest. Dire understood that the little half goblin needed rest for her small feet were not as agile, and besides she was a child and unused to long distance travel.

    He then eyed Sabin.

    Where it any other circumstances she would have probably walked for hours, maybe days, without taking such long breaks. But she was growing heavier by the day, and it seems as though the child was taking much of her power. He would have dismiss it as something normal, but the old Orc couldn’t ponder on the possibility that the union between the ice and dark elf, awakened something new and powerful within them. But the child of such union was probably destined for greatness. Maybe already born with the gifts of the magic art.

    Or maybe it was all simple Dire being old and overthinking.

    Sabin drank from the water bottle slowly, rubbing her belly and wiping the sweat off her face and neck. It wasn’t a particular hot day, but to her it felt like she was walking in the desert. Guk-Guk was helpful, and made sure to get her wet towels from time to time, but the two simple did not exchange more than few words. Sabin knew she would have to take the time to explain more to her, and maybe make peace to her. The girl was probably still not at ease and she couldn’t have blame her. Regardless, she was not going to back down from her rules and boundaries. After all she really loved and cared for Guk-Guk as though she was her own, and for that she was not willing to risk the little half goblin getting into trouble and being hurt.

    Sabin touched her scar brand and smiled to herself. She wished her mate Galmied all the health, while considering what will happen next. While it was going to be sad parting from Guk-Guk, she knew that keeping her around at this stage was not the right decision. Guk-Guk had her family, and Sabin still needed to avenge hers.

    “Mama Saba, we go! Grandpa said we need to go now”

    “Yes, of course!”, Sabin said, as if awakening from a dream. She reached out her hand and the little half goblin grabbed it, helping her back to her feet. It was not long afterward that their reached their destination.

    ***



    The Redkin nodded and hopped up onto Decker’s back and barked something in the language of the strange Hedgehog people and like the trained warriors they are they snapped to attention and fell into line behind Decker their Battle Chickens clucking lightly as they walked away in a single line. He clicked his tongue and motioned for the trio to follow. “Come on, Ci-Ci is back at our main camp by Crystal Lake on the other side of the forest here.”

    Sabin held Guk-Guk close and Dire kept himself between the girls and this new group. They didn’t seem overly dangerous, but Goblins are an unpredictable race and while Redkin are generally neutral, the Lohem are very aggressive and can only be put off warring for so long before they need to fight something. The main camp came into view as they creasted a low green hill, the caravan was large or at least had a very spread out camp, more Lohem were around the perimeter and more Redkin were building quick improvised defenses around where the Tribal Hedgehogs were patrolling. While Goblins made up the bulk of the caravan’s occupants, Dire, Sabin, and Guk-Guk saw a few other races drifting between the tents and wheeled carts. A couple of humans, some Dwarves, and even a couple of Dark Elves, but they mostly stayed around their own circles of fires watching the rest of the camp.

    Guk-Guk tugged Sabin’s arm pointing to the Elves.
    “Mama Saba you know them?”

    Sabin shook her head. Despite the fact they were of the same race, she was not familiar with them. Their shade of color was very different than any of those who lived underground with her, “I am not familiar with them”, she said and without even realizing embrace her adopted child, “You be careful around them, okay my daughter? Dark elves are not to be trusted easily”.

    And yet. It was very rare to see a huge pack of them living above surface. It was worth to inspect them, but first they had they needed to find Ci-Ci.

    Guk-Guk nodded holding onto Sabin tightly.
    “Yes Mama.”

    With Dire still in the lead the group followed the Goblins, Redkin, and Lohem right into the center of the caravan to a double decker carriage that looked more like a mobile thrift store than anyone’s home. Rikki motioned for them to have a seat by the firepit while Kri-Kri and Iks-Iks babbled on in the Goblin tongue going out to look for Ci-Ci.

    “Ci-Ci likes to be on her own for the most part, and only really trusts Kri-Kri and Iks-Iks to come find her. Shouldn’t be too long a wait.” He waved the Lohem off them sat down on a log heling Decker out of his harness and saddle.

    “Would it be unusual for a Goblin to keep to herself? I always thought of them as loners”, Sabin asked looking at Dire.

    Both Dire and Rikki nodded, but Dire answered.
    “Yes on their own Goblins are loners but it’s more for survival than by choice. They are small as you saw and the pure ones, even fully grown like Kri-Kri and Iks-Iks aren’t all that strong maybe as powerful as a large human child or teenager.”

    Rikki nodded pouring some water out for his coyote.
    “That’s the case for most small in stature races like Goblins and Redkin.”

    Guk-Guk hmmed scooting deeper into Sabin’s lap still nervous about being around all these new people.
    “But Guk-Guk is strong like big human man, and Mister Brickheart is as strong as Uncle Gemmy.”

    Dire smiled ruffling the child’s hair.
    “You are part Orc Guk-Guk, we are among the strongest races on Eisignol. And Mister Brickheart is a Dwarf they are very strong too.”

    Rikki chuckled pulling his leather armor off and fanned himself sometimes it sucks having fur.
    “Yea anyway, when Goblins are in a group they always stick close to the others. Like sometimes even sleeping in the same hut with six others.”

    Guk-Guk hmmed again nuzzling Sabin’s chest. She was feeling very tired from all the walking.
    “That why Dark Elves live in groups Mama?”

    “Dark elves mostly rely on group because of cultural choices. They are very organized union, because that’s the way the our society works and to be an outcast is worse than death. Even banished ones would gather others forsaken and band together to form a new pact because it feels more natural that way- but in truth Dark Elves tends to be much stronger on their own- having no heirecy or a matriarch to calm them, they can be worse than savages- no wonder people often claim we having the same ancient forbearers as Orcs”, Sabin looked at Dire and gave a little apologizing gaze, “No offense, of course”.

    Sabin looked at the Redkin, “Dark Elves may not be as strong, but they are very sly. No one knows how they do it, but they seem to have it as a second nature instinct.”

    Rikki nodded lifting up his compact bow to begin undoing it. “I know all about Dark Elves lady don’t you worry.” It was subtle but slight twinge and hatred slithered under the Redkin’s words. But before Sabin could respond Guk-Guk let out a big yawn and hugged Sabin tighter. “I’m tired Mama is there some place Guk-Guk can sleep?”

    That comment of the Redkin did not pass by easily. It was hard not to miss the small glare he gave at the group of the gathered Dark Elves, but her daughter, as always, comes first, “Yes, of course!”, Sabin looked at the midget, “Sir Rikki, please, could you show us to the door of Ci-Ci resident?”


    Rikki shook his head.
    “Its way at the far end of the camp, you’d be more tired walking there. Try the Dark Elf camp it’s closer and maybe you all can exchange gifts or something.” The rough little beastman said before grabbing up his gear and whistling for some nearby Lohem to escort them before wandering off to his own small tent besides the big carriage.

    Dire’s eyes narrowed, but like Sabin he didn’t wish to start a scene in front of Guk-Guk.
    “Very well.” He stood and helped Sabin up who was now cradling the sleepy Guk-Guk in her arms.

    The girl mewled gently.
    “Why he so mean Mama?”

    “Shh my child”, Sabin said, as she carried the girl, eyeing Dire. He knew what she meant with that expression. It was the equivalent to “We need to talk soon”. She walked for the direction of the elves and was about to greet them when she noticed there was no female among their group. It scared her a little, but she still proceed.

    “Alecham Ashelom”.

    She nodded carefully.

    They ignored her at first until another one joined them and then they started to gossip between themselves. At last one of dark elves stepped forward with a deep bow, “What would a child of the night be doing with those savages…. Orc and…? A goblin?”, he then studied her, “And that belly…”, the Dark Elf eyed Dire, “Are you heavy with a child of a lesser race? We are not too bothered of course, but it is odd for a silver eyes to be acting so careless”.

    Sabin was happy that the Elves were speaking in their own language for she didn’t want Guk-Guk to know of the insults they used when they talk about her, and somewhat hoped that Dire did not understood it either.

    “They are my friends, and she is my foster daughter, which I have brought back to her family. Regardless, my own family situation is none of your business, and I will not have you refer to them as lesser beings. Now I invoke the right of hospitality. Your sister is in labors, and asking a shelter… will you refuse me?”

    The other males chuckled.

    “Big sister, obviously you noticed, didn’t you?”, said another Elf, but he quickly got an elbow hitting his ribs.

    “Silence!”, another one hissed.

    “Of course I have noticed the lack of our sisters among your ranks. You are obviously outcasts, but surely have not fallen from such high grace as to refuse to host us!”.

    The “leader” of the group smiled. This woman showed no hint of fear. Walking right into a wolf’s den like this meant trouble for sure.

    “So be it, but we take no responsibility for your safety, or comfort”.

    “We are your guests!”

    “This is not the land of the night, sister, heed our warning and leave us, but if you so wish to force yourself upon us, we shall give no guarantee for your life”

    “You are surprisingly chatty, why is that?”

    The Elf looked back at his brothers and then turned his gaze to her, “Were it anyone else we would have shooed them long ago or maybe accepted then robbed them blind, but having a sister here is rare case, and bravery is awarded with honesty. Besides we do not lie about our customs and actions, we were cast out for a reason, but we are still maintain some dignity, at least this particular group does.”

    “So you do admit to be of the fallen?”

    “Yes, but I will give you a fair warning, do not stay here…”

    Sabin thought for a moment. This did not make any sense. Why would a fallen brother give her a warning unless…

    She recalled the explanation she had just given Guk-Guk. About outcasts joining together to maintain some idea of their lost society. This appeared to be the case. “I see… you joined the others, as you refused the idea of being alone, but you do not agree with your whole group’s ideology?”

    “We were outcasted for a reason, and yes we choose to accept what the others thought in general, but I do not agree with all of their ideas. I have no right to speak of the others as they accepted me regardless.”

    The Dark Elf moved closer to Sabin, “You won’t back away from your decision?”

    She nodded.

    “So be it. I will personally be your host and you will stay in my hut. But dare not leave, for I will not be able to protect any of you, if you do”, he eyed the Orc and then the little dozing goblin, “She is very pretty”.

    “She is a minor”

    “It matters not… And you… also…”

    He took a deep breath, “Follow me, but do not leave until the next morning.”

    Dire kept his tongue still, though he knew the language. If he wasn’t with a child this arrogant Elf would be missing both his arms right now. This was a bad idea, but hopefully the Caravan masters would find them soon and they could move on to Ci-Ci’s home and begin the process of asking her to take care of Guk-Guk.
    “What is your name Outcast?” He asked roughly tapping the holster of his blow pipe.

    The man sneered looking over his shoulder at the old Orc.
    “Ebony, now come Sa'nua will tend to you.”

    “Sa’nua? That’s his name?”, Sabin’s eyes widen in surprise as she looked at Dire who nodded. He obviously understood the meaning. It was a dire insult which meant “hated one” as a title, usually used for bastards or criminals… mostly for unwanted child… but for the title to be an actual name said a lot about the parents of this particular person...


    Ebony led the trio towards the center of the Dark Elf encampment. Soon a large tent adorned with some warped symbols denoting leadership came into view. They used to mean female power, but he had changed them into the masculine form.

    A young boy, the same age as Guk-Guk walked from the tent, his eyes downcast and obvious signs of abuse about his body, a black eye, a slight limp in his walk, and numerous healed cuts and healing bruises. As they drew closer the boy looked to be of mixed heritage. Dark Elf and Human by the looks of his smaller pointed ears and more periwinkle colored skin. He was holding a bowl of food and goblet of wine, he gave a weak smile at the stern faced Dark Elf male.”Welcome back father.” Ebony glared at the kid. “Do not speak unless I say you can Sa’nua!” The boy winced and nodded weakly looking down again offering the food and drink to the man. He scoffed. “Give it the our sister and her “friend” they will be resting here for a few hours. Go lay out some furs by the fire!” The half breed nodded handing the stuff to Dire and vanishing back into the tent. Ebony watched the boy go with scorn in his eyes then turned to the three. “You can stay until dusk or until the Goblins come collect you, but not a minute later do you understand?”

    Dire nodded and placed his hand on Sabin’s shoulder moving her towards the tent while noticing the emotional state Sabin was in the minute she looked upon the child.

    “He is not much older than her-”

    “Not now…”, Dire whispered.

    “We can’t just--”

    “Not now”.

    It was not their familiar environment, true, and slaves or other type of abusive lord to their minions or children was familiar to Sabin. Hell she even somewhat accepted it back during the first time she met with Galmied, and if not for the pain she saw in his eyes she might not have struggled as hard, but she had never witnessed a child this hurt. Guk-Guk may have been wounded both mind and soul, but she came to know her after she healed some, while this child, was clearly still chained with his pain, and like Galmied, had a name which clearly indicated of this.

    “I will not leave without him, Dire”, she said while the both of them walked inside.

    Guk-Guk, although tired, was also disturbed by the child and seemed to have regain some of her energy back. Before she could speak however, Sabin held her close, “Don’t worry, I won’t let him stay here a minute longer” And with that Sabin put the half goblin to rest, and once she made she the child was asleep, she planned her next move.

    Dire however, was already standing blocking her path, “You can’t, in your state”.

    Dire knew, without saying, that the Dark Elf woman wanted to look around and try to get more information by herself.

    “At least get him here, please?”, she said, referring to the boy, to which Dire nodded, leaving the tent for a moment and returning with the child. He then made sure he was in the clear before he slipped away to get some information, “Be careful!”, the pregnant woman called after him.

    ***

    “Do you need anything, sister?”, the boy asked, looking somewhat puzzled.

    “No, no”, Sabin said, smiling, her silver eyes glittering, “Come here, she said, tapping for him to sit by her side.

    “Da, won’t like it, sister”.

    “Your… father... is not here”, Sabin smiled as she placed a finger upon her lips, “And I won’t tell him either, it’s a promise”.

    The child still looked unsure, until he noticed the sleeping Guk-Guk, “Da says they green ones are disgusting… But she is not… nor are the couple… and Auntie Ci-Ci… she is kind… and pretty…”, The child moved closer and bent beside the sleeping girl, “She kinda looks like Ci-Ci… but a little smaller…”

    “Well that is obvious, her mother was a Goblin, like Ci-Ci and her father was an Orc, so different parents…”

    The boy fell silent. It was in the moment when he finally set down by the fire, “So it is okay? For a child to have different parents?”

    “Of course, you cannot control who you fall in love with.”

    The boy was silent once more, “But if you are child of the night, you cannot. That would be grave sin against the God of Chaos, right?”

    It’s been sometime since Sabin heard of this name. Rarely called upon, he is considered a very evil and merciless god in the folklore of the Dark Elves. No one in their right mind even mentions him, as it was him who seeded the roots of hatred between the twin goddess of the moon, and was later locked away.

    But seeing as this camp of males was trying very hard to remove anything that resembled a matriarchal control, it made sense for them to choose the Chaos God as a patron. But sense or not, it still chilled Sabin to the bone to hear about him. She moved closer to the child, studying him. His skin was too pale. Too pale for Dark Elf standard that is, and because of it, she had reason to believe that this child had to be a human hybrid for sure. No other mix of races gave this kind of pallet. But why would they breed with humans? And on top of that, why would they keep such a child among them? He was obviously unwanted… unless…

    “Do you remember your mother, child?”, Sabin asked.

    “Ma? Da doesn’t speak of her.” He frowned deeply looking at his lap in shame. “Said I killed her. Said that because of that I need to suffer. She hates me. She watches me with disgust from Lord Nathnar’s side.”

    “No mother ever hates her child”

    “Da says she does.” The child looked away and Sabin found herself suddenly hugging the him.

    “What are you doing?!” He nearly cried at the gesture which was very unfamiliar to him, and as much as he tried to shake her off, Sabin held on to him tight like a snake, until he finally gave in, and just stayed frozen within her embrace.

    “Do you want to stay here, boy?”

    He remained silent.

    “I can take you with me, far away from here?”

    The boy looked up to her, “But Da will be angry. And Anutie Ci-Ci will be sad if I don’t visit her by the end of the week. She likes to make food. She doesn’t cook well, but I like it”.

    “Do you want to stay with Ci-Ci?”

    The boy considered this for a moment.

    “I can’t, Da will come and get me. Da will be angry and hit me. He can even tried to hit Auntie Ci-Ci, but the chickens warriors stopped him. So he couldn’t then, he was very angry that day. That’s how this happened.” He lifted the leg of his pants and showed Sabin his heavily damaged right leg splinted with two wooden poles. “I don’t like it when he hits me, but that day was the worst.”

    “Of course you don’t!”, Sabin said kissing the top of the boy’s head, “I will take you away from here. To Ci-Ci. And then we can all move away from here… Would that be good?”

    The boy was still silent. Sabin slowly let go and he in turn just stayed there, as if paralyzed by a spell.

    “Da said mom was pretty. I think he liked her”

    “I’m sure he did. And I’m sure she would have loved you too”.

    The boy finally gave in into silent sob. Sabin knew he was crying by the movement of his shoulders, which appeared so gentle, like they were about to break at any moment. She got up and moved around to sit by his side. As she brushed aside his mess of black hair, which no one took properly care of, apparently, aside from some clumsy cutting jobs, which she guessed was Ci-Ci working at trying to make him look decent, she noticed that his eyes were a mix of gold and silver.

    It all became clear now. This Ebony person must have been a royal of one of the clan.And instead of fulfilling his task, he ended up being with a human female, which probably caused him to be outcasted. Giving birth to an elven child must have been hard and the woman probably died in labors. Ebony, who was still connected to his lover, had trouble accepting him. He kept the child, but still beat him nearly to death to relieve his own pain.

    Which, as much as it was understandable was still inexcusable.

    Well, this child seemed to have know where Ci-Ci lived. Which was a vital information. Once Dire came back they will take the boy to her, and encourage the Goblins and the Lohem to evict those evil Dark Elves, so both Guk-Guk and this child will be safe.

    Sabin wondered if this was the reason the Redkin insisted on not helping them to begin with, so they could locate this boy and save him without involving his cruel Clan directly… And if so… was there something else going on beneath the surface that he needed them to learn of?

    Or maybe it was all wide conclusions and the Redkin was simply a jerk?

    Either way, it was growing late and Dire was still missing. She knew the Orc could take care of himself, and wondered if now was the time to simply opt away with Guk-Guk and this kid, or wait for Dire to return. She was still worried, being surrounded by male Dark Elves who were outcasted was a scary thought, even for one born and raised within the night clan, and she didn’t want to put any of them at danger.

    At the same time, no Dark Elf will go back on his word, and it is likely that if Ebony planned something he will not do so until tomorrow and it could be a risk to get her and the kids outside in her state, while Dire has yet to return.

    She kept looking outside impatient, as time was drawing on, the child still studying Guk-Guk while she did so.

    The young boy kept watching Guk-Guk, there weren’t a lot of kids his age in the caravan and none of them girls. This green girl looked cute and nice, but Da always said no one would care for him or love him. So he simply looked away from Guk-Guk fidgeting with the hem of his short ratty vest. Him and Sabin stayed in silence for a bit before the alarm horns began blasting all around the camp and made the boy nearly jump out of his skin and fall over onto of Guk-Guk who woke with a start and tossed the boy away. She frantically looked around and climbed into Sabin’s lap.
    “Mama! Where are we! And why boy jump on me?”

    Before the woman could answer though Dire poked his heads back in smiling softly.
    “The caravan just got another guest.” He smiled down at Guk-Guk. “Bring the little one.”

    “Another guest?”, Sabin’s eyes widen, what could possibly make such a tumult, but she quickly realized what was the answer, “Don’t tell me… HE’S HERE?!”, she asked surprised, the image of the huge ogre appearing in her mind. It was so unlikely and yet…

    Dire nodded to Sabin.
    “Yes him.”

    Sabin grabbed the young Elf’s hands and looked into his eyes, “I know we have just met child, but we need to go… I would implore you to muster all your courage… and follow me… would you do so… would you trust me?”.

    Sa’nua was still mesmerized by the sound of havoc and screams, that he nearly didn’t notice Sabin’s voice until it reached him. When she held him, he looked up to her, and something about her made him simply nod and follow softly.

    “Good”, she kissed the top of his head, “Can you show us the way to Ci-Ci’s place?”

    Guk-Guk looked on confused.
    “Why we runnin’ Mama who’s here?”

    Sa’nua was just as confused as Guk-Guk, but he was more confused at someone actually being nice to him than the caravan getting a guest. That sort of thing happened a lot, and the alarms and such always went off when someone new approached.

    “You will see soon, my daughter!”, Sabin couldn’t find the words yet. She realized that if Y’gol was here things were about to get messy.

    The group walked outside, Sa’nua taking the lead as he marked them to follow him into a different path, “Da isn’t aware of this path, it’s a secret way to Auntie!”, the small dark elf started to rush forward.

  9. #9
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    Leading the way the young Half Elf did his best to dip around the tents and stalls from the caravan. Everyone was too busy bustling around the campfires and moving off towards to the perimeters to see who or what was causing the disturbance.

    Guk-Guk toddled along besides Sabin, but she was watching the young boy they had just pulled from his father's tent. He looked to be young, but also very scared, like some of the boys the Shadow Men had.

    Boys were usually used to do work or fight in the Shadow Men's homes. Girls had...other jobs, but while she was sore and sometimes bruised up at the end of the day the boys always looked like that. She remembers one boy, he lived in the house for a full year and the little boy never didn't have a black eye. And at the year's end he was being carried outside to a black horse carriage and for the kids the black horse meant you were never coming back.

    It saddened the little girl a great deal and she hoped Sa'nua would live through it. But as they were reaching the outskirts of camp and Ci-Ci's tent was in sight a huge figure emerged from the camp and Guk-Guk squealed with joy. "Papa Bone!" Breaking from Sabin's hand the little girl ran up and jumped right into Y'gol's large clawed hands.
    Last edited by SikstaSlathalin; 07-08-2018 at 06:13 PM.


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  10. #10
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    While Dire had a pleased expression, Sabin didn't know what to make of the sudden appearance of the hulk. She stood without moving, and soon felt the reach of small hands around her hips.

    It was Sa’nua- the little boy was terrified. But he soon realized what he has done and with shameful expression dropped and his gaze and let go of her body. Sabin smiled as she bent down to reach his height and hugged him. Again the boy was confused. Sabin could guess he was never allowed a close comfort.

    "It's okay!", she told him, "Y'gol won't hurt us... not without a reason...", at least that's what Sabin hoped.

    "I see you've all made it in one piece", it was Redkin.

    Dire sneered at him and Sabin hissed, "You could have just led us here, why have you put us through all this ordeal?".

    "It was a test... I didn't trust you yet... and congratulations... you passed", he said, pointing at the little boy.

    Sabin added one and one, "You knew of him?"

    "Everyone knew of him... the only question was how to remove him from his abusive father, long enough for us to find another hiding for the boy... Ci-Ci loves him, but his wretched of father always comes to take him back, and he always gets a new beating mark as a reward... But it seems it all played well. Speaking of which, is this Nimrod of a giant here your pet? if so can you please move him away, the group is restless... and the goblins are itchy..."

    "He is not our pet... but you are right... I should see to him...", Sabin nodded, "I will talk to him, and then will you please let us see Ci-Ci?"

    The coyote looking creature nodded.

    Sabin carefully let go of the young dark elf, "It's all right, I'll be right back", and as she got up, she looked at the Ogre, who, was holding Guk-Guk with affection. He did noticed her and let his cub down.

    Sabin moved forward, "Hello, Y'gol". It was strange, how in short time, this demon has changed. Still, Sabin was still somewhat uneasy around him, "What brings you to these parts?", she asked.

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