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Rude Awakening (Ashenvale Outpost pt. 1) - by Rhoach

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2004-05-23 03:14:13

Rhoach was dreaming. In his dream, his human foster father had grown to immense proportions, and was in the process of trying to crush Rhoach with his ironshod boots. There was a sound, as well, in the distance. It sounded like horns... horns... HORNS!

Rhoach sat up swiftly in his humble open air cot on the fringes of the skullcrusher encampment, reflexively drawing and brandishing double scimitars that had been laid at his sides during his slumber. By the gods, battle? Rhoach thought fervently to himself. And I haven't even had my afternoon piss.

A low ranking orc, a peon, like Rhoach, tore by, screaming something about 'elbzies' in the clan dialect Rhoach still wasn't totally comfortable with, even after years of learning it. A second later, the orc fell dead, an elven arrow suddenly protruding from his throat. Rhoach quickly scooted off and hid under his cot, clad only in his loincloth, glancing alertly left and right.

Rhoach's large trollish nose twitched. An elf was very close. He saw before he heard the soft leather boot silently press into the dirt, scarcely ten feet from his cot. A night elf, a male, knelt over the body of the fallen orc, making sure he was dead, then moved on to inspect Rhoach's cot. Rhoach cursed his habit of sleeping outside the usual cluster of the rank-and-file peons, making a mental note to remember the old adage of safety in numbers.

The boots of the elf stopped two feet away from Rhoach's face. The cot completely hid Rhoach's body, but something wasn't right. Rhoach could smell the elf's tenseness, its caution. Rhoach's nose twitched again, smelling... what was that smell? Rhoach's brain screamed an alarm as the scent was recognized, the scent of cold steel. The large, lithe troll rolled to the side just as an elvish blade came crashing down where Rhoach's heart had been seconds before. Instead of a fatal blow, the sword pierced Rhoach's shoulder. Rhoach grimaced in pain and hate as he reached out and seized the elf's booted foot.

Rhoach twisted and pulled. The blade was wrenched from Rhoach's shoulder as the elf was drug to the ground. The elf was yanked underneath the cot, where Rhoach would have a better chance of overpowering it. Rhoach and the elf grappled back and forth with the blade the elf held, but in the end, Rhoach's superior strength won out in the close quarters. Rhoach pinned the elf's hands while he bit deeply into the elf's neck. Purple blood gushed out in great gouts, letting the troll know that he had hit his target: the jugular. The elf's struggles quickly ceased, its body growing still within the space of a minute.

Rhoach studied the body in the dim confines of the space underneath the cot while he let his shoulder heal itself. Already, the trickle of blood from the wound had stopped, thanks to trollish regeneration. Rhoach felt grateful for his heritage at that moment, though he had cursed it many times before. In the sunlight shining through the gash in the cot the elf's sword had made, Rhoach recognized light armor, even for an elf, a bow, and only the small sword the elf had tried to end Rhoach's life with. Hm, Rhoach thought. A scout.

"Better get to others before main force arrives," Rhoach muttered to himself.

Risking a glance from underneath his cot, Rhoach spied Uglutz hurrying along a trail towards a tight cluster of Skullcrushers. Rhoach growled at the thought of the ridicule he suspected he would receive upon arriving almost completely naked at the gathering point, but there was no time to dress himself properly.

"Heh, not living with "oomies" anymore, Rhoach," he reminded himself.

Rhoach grabbed his scimitars and their scabbards, took one last glance around, and rolled out from under his cot. Stealthily making his way from tree to tree, he made his way towards the gathering of his fellow clan members, hoping that there'd be time soon to relieve himself. He still really had to piss.

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