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Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Into Danger's Den - Part 1

Kobold by Vadis
A shadow moves quickly in the dark, in the shade of moonlight. It also moves cautiously and stealthily, so no enemy might spot him and it can attack them in a surprise. Then Robert the Orcbane, the hunter arrives in front of the cave in the West Harper Hills. He hides and tries to recall his plan again before going in for a surprise attack.

No guards at the front… Suppose the map is right. But I never know, right? I must be ready for all risks and possibilities. Maybe they have already expected a hunter to come and prepared an ambush. A’bong was a veteran captain. I was only a scout. I have no idea what kind of ambushes they will be preparing and how to tackle them. I only participated in one war – so I only know standard ones and no orcish types. Pity Hulferd has resigned, he must be able to give me a few more pointers. Ah, throw away those negative thoughts. I must overcome this by myself – if I ever want to improve. Vadis, help me.

Then he clasps his hand and prays like a true Vadisian devout, and then he kisses the ring on his left little finger. He’s now ready.
Okay, here goes nothing.

Robert enters the narrow cave with a torch in his left hand and his trusted Kiliji in his right hand. He walks along, and sees some light from afar. Now he is convinced that someone is indeed there and camps inside the cave.

I’m in luck. They’re here – or whatever it is.

He walks on, and the cave is getting wider with stalactites and stalagmites on his way – he’s going underground. He sees some torches hung on the cavern posts, and draws the conclusion that the orc can lead his gang as well as humans do and he becomes more alert.

As he walks on, he smells something strange. And the air around him moves like a soft breeze. He raises his kiliji. Suddenly two pairs of eyes are shown on his left and right, and two kobolds pounce on him. Calmly, without looking, Robert moves right and slashes his kiliji to the upper right, and cuts through the kobold on his right on its gut. Kobold blood showers and splatters on his hair and armor. He successfully avoids the kobold on his left. Without wasting any time, he attacks the kobold. The kobold blocks Robert’s attacks with its sword – but Robert’s attack is getting quicker and comes from different angles and variants, the kobold gets overwhelmed and finally Robert pierces its chest. Before it dies, the kobold lets out a loud, long howl as an alarm to warn its comrades.

Robert thinks, So much for the surprise. I better think of another plan quick.

He thinks as he runs on forward, hoping to reach A’bong and the remaining six kobolds before they even realize what the alarm means. But it’s still a long way to the center and Robert hears angry kobold barking sounds not far from there. So he decides to drop the plan and head back. On the way, an idea comes into him.

Why don’t I use their tactic against them? Hiding behind the dark parts will be good. I’ll use my ‘concentration’ and attack them in the dark.

Robert deliberately puts off the torches – except the ones near the narrow exit - and hides behind a post just like the kobolds did. Then the six kobolds arrive, running in frenzy. They realize that two of their comrades have been slain, by sniffing the blood and the kobold carcasses. And they howl in fury, especially the two female kobolds – because all the males are their mates. Robert sees that this is a perfect opportunity to attack – but he retracts himself as he hears a loud yell.

‘HALT! On guard, you hound ‘n bitches! Something’s odd here!’

Robert sees A’bong the orcish captain’s silhouette appears from the light of the torch from the exit and from A’bong’s rear. Then A’bong roars again.

‘Ghr’oak*)! You morons! Can’t you see? The infiltrator is trying to ambush us! He put out the torches!’

(* Ghr’oak = A hole in your gorged flesh! – A very rude Orcish sarcasm)

The kobolds only yelp and bark in reply, obeying their master and leader.

‘This one is good, better than the gorged guts trying to kill us these three months!
You bitch! Go to the center and bring us some torches! And the rest of you, spread! Proceed with caution! The infiltrator is still around here! Hiding!’

Gorged guts? Robert thinks. This orc probably eats humans, or at least the kobolds do.

Orcs are usually well-versed with Aurelian Common Speech as well as their own harsh language that mostly sounds like grunts and growls, but they always speak in harsh slangs and sarcasms, and only believe that they can only control or lead others by power and out of fear. Female orcs only choose those who are fearsome and strong (because no orc is fair – as a matter of fact). No wonder male orcs sometimes kill each other to get the female and to show who’s the strongest. And A’bong is indeed an example of an orc idol because his brutality is more terrible than his rude talks.

Back to the tension at hand. Robert thinks hard to free himself. Now he begins to think that he should’ve chosen to be an assassin or learn the methods of stealth-killing, or be a sorcerer with mass-killing skills, but martial art is what he does best. No regrets, then. A swordsman is a swordsman. Then a kobold sniffs near his hiding place. Robert is tensed. Then in split seconds his wits fly fast and without thinking twice he carries on with his new plan and attacks the kobold near him without looking; only using his other senses.

He successfully slashes the kobold diagonally on the torso, and the kobold wails before it dies. A’bong and the other kobolds hear the wail, and run to the source. Then Robert avoids the kobold in front of him and runs to the exit. But the large kobold lunges with its claws, slashing Robert’s left arm, leaving three scratch marks on the wound. Robert is in pain – but as usual he only grimaces – never screams. Clutching his bleeding left arm, Robert runs into the narrow part of the cave, and waits midway.

Then he hears loud barking and sees the large kobold entering the narrow passage, and its two fellow kobolds also enter with him. As they are racing to reach Robert, the three kobolds jam each other on the narrow passage which width can only support one person. Robert uses this opportunity by slashing into the large kobold, splitting it in half with his incredibly sharp kiliji.

Then he charges onto the second kobold and decapitates it. The last one, the female kobold springs onto Robert with a greater speed than the male, and sinks its teeth on Robert’s chest only to find that its teeth only goes into the thick leather armor and only scratch Robert’s chest a bit.

Robert sees this opportunity and thrusts his kiliji into the female kobold’s gut, killing it at once. Then he pushes the dead kobold away and pats his reliable armor, as though thanking Vadis for the one who sold him this good quality armor.

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