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Vilmah

Small world through small eyes

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((Flashback stories! Interaction is cool open, as long as they match the timeframe.))

She'd been watching the blademaster's sword dance for hours. Isshnryu was caught in the heat of the moment, his long ponytail swinging about like ribbon in a breeze, even though Durotar had no wind and it was his constant fluid grace that made his hair sway. Vilmah had never met a blademaster before today, and his stance impressed her. He wasn't heavilly armored, like most warriors. Rather, he considered spaulders too bulky, and greaves too heavy. Isshnryu wore sandals and light mail overtop leather, which made his less than impressive frame just a bit bulkier. Still, he was small compared to his peers.

It was his size comparison which caught Vilmah's eye. The warrior trainer had told the innitiates of Vilmah's age that they would recieve a special guest today, and instead of their usual training, he would give them a lecture. Isshnryu, however, saw it fit to instead teach them about his weapon mastery. He used a long thin sword with only one edge, but weilded it masterfully. As if dancing, he swung his blade before the recruits and taught them that there could be beauty on the battlefield.

"Remember that patience is key," he reminded them. The orc walked past the innitiates, who stood lined up in two rows in front and behind him. "Do not falter when you swing. Your heart must be linked with your blade. Your sword is an extension of your forearm, like so."

Isshnryu held the blade aloft, and Vilmah could see what he meant. He did not bend his wrist. His forearm flowed into the sword like it was a part of his arm. Increadible.

"There are some amongst you who would try to weild the blade as I do. It is not an easy path," he continued. "I am not here to tell you that my way is best. Rather, I am here to show you that you need not be exactly the same as every other warrior in the Horde. There are options."

The blademaster continued to teach them his style. Vilmah didn't consider herself proficient with a blade, she was more prone to weilding axes. However, the lesson was still interesting. It was nice to see that size wasn't always what mattered most.

"Honor on the battlefield, do not forget," Isshnryu said, bringing Vilmah out of her daze. "We must honor the fallen, reguardless of which side they are on. The furies respect our causes. Defiling a corpse by leaving it to rot, or stealing bodyparts like some occursed troll.. they do nothing but belittle our spirit. Do not let your soul be lessoned by being the barbaric creatures we have been accused of being. We are a proud race. Bury the dead, burn them. Honor them. This is the only to retain your honor, as a warrior."

The other orcs passed looks towards one another. It was obvious that Isshnryu was losing his audience. The warrior trainers dismissed them, and the blademaster was forced to sigh in defeat. Who would listen? Despite his history, his skill, what orc of this generation would bother to honor a fallen enemy? Isshnryu sheathed his blade and sat, removing a bundle of wrapped cloth from his bag. He caught a pair of eyes on him. "..and who are you, girl?"

"Vilmah, sir," she answered. Approaching her elder, she looked timid and frightened, but wide-eyed and excited as well. "Vilmah Bloodborne."

Isshnryu's eyes trailed over her form. She was small, smaller than he'd been at her age, which he assumed was somewhere around thirteen by the looks of the other recruits. "Were you satisfied with my lecture, Vilmah Bloodborne?"

"Oh yes, sir," she answered earnestly. "Especially when you explained your concept of honor on the battlefield, sir."

"You are pusillanimous," he replied, unimpressed. "And easilly intimidated. I see that clearly."

Vilmah shyed away. "My apologies, sir."

"Why then are you a warrior?"

She opened her mouth to answer, but couldn't find the words. After some thought, she shook her head. "I suppose because I wasn't good at anything else."

Isshnryu studied her again. It was Vilmah's face that caught his attention, and her form that held him. She was called "Vilmah", a commoner's name, nothing of any great value. Her face, however, could easilly have fetched great sums of money had she decided to capitalize on her femeninity. That combined with her small child-like body was profitable indeed for a war-torn Horde's men. Indeed, this -was- still a child. He wondered how innocent she really was, to have wanted to become a warrior. "What weapons do you specialize in?"

"I preffer axes, sir," she answered. "The two-handed variety, especially."

Brutish. She wanted to be brutish. He could see her trying too hard, and it was laughable, this tiny thing with hardly any muscle at all, swinging about a gigantic weapon in some vain attempt to look fierce. "You should use smaller weapons, for those little hands of yours."

"Yes sir."

Was that a blush on those cheeks? Yes. She was impressed by him. Isshnyru was no fool, women loved to be complimented, and this whelp was no exception. However, small hands were no compliment. It was his attention to her that she found herself being surprised with. He made her out to be special, for a moment. "Hold out those hands."

She did as he asked, and from his wraped cloth, Isshnryu produced a ball of rice. Breaking it in two, he gave her half. "..rice?"

"Glutenous rice. Sticky rice," he said with a nod. "Try it."

Vilmah took a bite, leaving a grain on her lips. Isshnryu found himself lingering on that white grain as it floated on her full lips, their underside a punk blush color that faded into brownish green. He caught himself staring as the tip of her tongue brushed against those lips, sweeping the grain into her mouth. "..thank you! That was lovely."

"Yes," the blademaster said, rising from his seat. "Good. Return to your studies, Vilmah Bloodborne. Be a strong warrior, be honorable. I expect you not to let me down."

She shook her head, "No sir. I will not let you down," and saluted.

Isshnryu left her, sitting in the same position that she sat in while his sun-damaged eyes roved over her thighs and calves. Such an innocent warrior, a young thing, the perfect tool for battle if she weilded her skills properly. However, combined with that naive nature and timid personality, he doubted she would live past her first year as a warrior. Isshnryu felt guilty, but was glad for it.

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" Tempest! Stop yer lolligaggin! We gots places tah be. " Lupa growled from her raptor's back. No name.. just raptor. He was a means of transport, nothing more.

Behind her, digging in the red Durotar sand at a boar den entrance, the huge black worg whined his frustration. He was hungry, and Lupa was out of fresh meat. The dried jerky she carried would sacrely satisfy his considerable hunger.

" Iffen you come, ah promis ah will get you some fresh meat in Orgrimmar." The worg snorted and trotted after his mistress.

The tall troll huntress with the snowy white hair and greenish blue skin made a leisurely pace towards the gates of Orgrimmar. There in a sandy clearing she passed a group of warrior initates, going through their exercises. Lupa paused a bit to watch their weapons drills.

One slight female orc caught her attention. She seemed to be out of place among the large burly orcs and the tall lanky Darkspears she saw among the students.

The warrior masters seemed to be demonstrating some sword techniques. Lupa was impressed with the skill of the master in the center of that group of students. Not that she knew much about sword play, Lupa was an axe wielder out of preference. She liked the feel of two sturdy axes in her hands, almost as much as she loved her bow.

Tempest growled his impatience. " Hmm.. ok..ok.. best get you fed befoe you decahd ta eat wun of dem younglings.."

Turning her raptor around, Lupa continued her way into Orgrimmar.

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Vilmah heard the growl of a wolf, and the trotting of a raptor. She looked away from the demonstration for a moment to see a tall white-haired troll go past their group, her skin a bluish green. Green? A green troll? How very odd. She decided to research later why a troll would have green skin, even though there was no real reason to. What was it about trolls she always found so interesting?

"Dassa pretteh set o' legs raht der'," murmured one of the Darkspear warriors beside her, eyeing the white-haired troll lady as she went past them.

Vilmah sighed. They -were- pretty legs.

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The verdant landscape was only just waking up, mist still clinging to the trees and birds singing sleepily. Spiderwebs filled with dew glittered among scattered branches, their makers likely cursing the cool damp air for daring to ruin their stealthily laid traps. The adults of the small troll city of Zul'Mashar were giving thier morning greetings, stretching and preparing to break their fast while giving irritated glances at the empty places where children should have been-- the youth were entirely too energetic, to be up and about at this hour. All in all, a peaceful morning.

Until it was shattered by a vicious battle-cry, heralding the war of the day.

"BANZAI, BITCHES!"

The huddle of green-skinned children scattered like startled birds under the hail of stones. Up in the tree, out of immediate retaliation the mottled grey form of Muir Marinus crowed with delight. First blood was his! He hurled a few more rocks down at the few larger children who were trying to return fire. The little punks deserved it.

By now they were mobilizing, gathering the rocks he'd thrown as well as a few of their own. Muir tossed them a rude gesture with a grin, then darted off into the trees. The other children bullied him for his differences; his mottled pelt, his smaller size and more delicate bones. Muir never took the abuse without a fight. Those very differences made it easier for him to wage geurilla warfare on his kin.

He swung down from a tree with a hint of the jungle-grace that the Mossflayer lacked, and started off in a sprint, cackling. Now, to lead the band of hoodlums to the mud slicks, and--

"Oof!"

Muir was held back by a sudden grip on his jerkin, letting him slide to the ground in a confused and breathless daze.

"Couldn't even wait until after breakfast to start trouble today, brother mine?"

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She hated the way Ami looked at her, Khiskiva smirked at the other girl, who's blood-stained face was always full of rage at her peers, especially Khiskiva. Together they had been sharpening their axes, waiting outside of Zum'rah's quarters as the priest did his daily rituals.

"He's going to choose me, you stupid half-bred bitch," Ami said with a sneer.

Khiskiva cackled. "Why would he do that? You're about as interesting as spit."

Ami snarled and rose her axe. "You have a lot of nerve, trying to tell me who's interesting and who's not! You can't even properly weild an axe! All you do is carve dolls, like some kind of monkey human."

"Tsk, your insults are as pathetic as your flat chest," Khiskiva replied dryly. "Now why don't you go wash your face. You dishonor Zum'rah, coming here like a stray dog."

Ami wasn't the brightest girl in the world, but she knew when to clean herself. She stood and walked away, just as a large dry hand settled on Khiskiva's shoulder. "You make enemies well, sister."

"Thank you, Xiarki," Khiskiva replied, standing.

Xiarki embraces his sister, his hands pressing firmly against the flesh on her hips and waist. She was a prize in his hands.. the muscle of a Darkspear, the skin of a Sandfury. They were only half-siblings, after all. Perhaps he would let her...

"Khis!"

Her eyes brightened at the sound of her name. She and Xiarki turned to see Zum'rah, aged and scheming with a grinning face, calling for his apprentice. "Yes, sir?"

"Come, child. I have need of you."

She gladly went to Zum'rah. Xiarki watched with contempt.

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"Ghaahwaa Baackunk! " said Grrn't . He pointed to the sack of rocks. Trogg-man nodded and shuffled over to the sack. He hefted the smelly burlap sac over one shoulder and followed the trogg back towards the cave. They needed tools, and these were the best rocks for making hand axes and slug squishers.

Entering the cave, Trogg-man was hit with the wave of stench that emanated from its depths. Not that he minded much. He had grown accustomed to it.

" Wwhooorrooaaahh! " shouted Grrn't, announcing his presence to the tribe. Immediately the two were surrounded by a half dozen smelly, grimy troggs. " Ghahahaha.. waaa..!!" they exclaimed. Happy to see such a rich haul of rocks. Trogg-man didn't even have time to drop the sac before large, gnarled hands grabbed the sac from off his shoulder. A half dozen troggs then set to fighting over the choice pieces of rock. Grrn't smacked a couple on the head with his wooden club.

" MaahaagwaraH!!" said Grrn't. Then he scooped up a few of the largest, choicest rocks and shoved them into Trogg-man's arms. He then shoved Trogg-man forward, guiding him deeper into the cave.

They passed little alcoves here and there, lined with filthy skins and crude earthenware. The habitations of individual trogg families. Deep down the arrived at Grrn't's alcove. A trogg rushed out to greet them.

" Bhahbabalooo!!!" exclaimed Brrrp'th. Grrn't's wife. She looked pleased, with her balding head bobbing and beard whiskers twitching. The two embraced and smacked each other on the face.

Trogg- man felt the love..

Brrrp'th led the two to a large skin mat, where three wooden planks were piled high with steaming cave slug stew. With relish Grrn't dove into the green mound face first, as is proper. He slurped up the juicy meat with his bulbous lips. Beside him Brrp'th followed suit. Trogg-man did his best to be polite and mimicked the two, but couldnt get himself sufficiently grimy to his embarassment. They didnt seem to notice the slight.

Dinner soon turned amorous for the two troggs as they started playfully smearing cave slug over each other. " Ahahahahaoooo?" said Grrn't with a sly wink to Brrrp'th. She smiled alluringly, showing her three yellow teeth. Soon she turned and faced the cave wall. Grrn't tossed aside his remaining stew and went to join his wife.

Trogg-man excused himself and went to find a more private corner of the alcove to give the two their privacy. He found one about 4 feet away.

He lay down, carefull to not squish the bedbugs. Soon he drifted off to sleep. His dreams started again as the always did.

" Run Wes! To the lake! Don't look back!"

" Father!!!... the dead things enveloped him, dragged him down under their mass. Wesley ran.. into the cold water.. then swimming.."

The dream shifted suddenly. There was light.. blinding white light..

" Wesley. It is soon time. You must leave soon....."

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Lupa reigned in her raptor before the butcher shop in Orgrimmar. Motioning for Tempest to wait, despite his obvious drooling at the smells coming from within, she entered and bought several stacks of ham steaks. Emerging from the shop she tossed him one, which was snapped up out of the air and practially inhaled. She tossed him another, which was eaten in a more leisurely way.

" There you are Lupa. We have all been waiting on you." said a deep baritone voice from behind her.

Turning Lupa saw the companions she had come to meet; Swifthoof, the tauren druid and owner of the voice that had hailed her. Beside him on a brown riding wolf sat Torg , her leader and friend. The orc had his best armour and weaponry at the ready. Ever at his side, Oola sat her undead mount fairly glowing with holy light. Behind them all, a shadowy figure. Mounted on another undead mount, he seemed to almost fade into the background. His particular forte.. Brinthus. master of the stun lock. Sneaky bastard extraordinaire.

" Ah am raht on tahm. No sooner, no later. Its you folk who insist on comin way too earleh, then gettin bored and cold stiff with the waitin." said Lupa with a grin. This was their team. One of the core squads of Citadel.

" You have everything you need Lupes?" asked Torg. He was always the methodical one. Ever prepared to a fault. " We are heading far afield this day. A special mission. One you in particular are sure to enjoy."

That caught Lupa's attention. " Oh? An what do this mission be?" asked Lupa, mounting her raptor.

" We have been commisioned to assault the Sandfury city of Zul'Farrak. To rescue some prisoners being held, and to slay a witch doctor. There is a curse on that city. Blooddrinkers, and more. Whispers tell of a demi-god. Monstrous. We shall see. " said Torg.

Sandfury! Ancient hated enemies. Lupa felt her trollish blood grow hot with anticipation. She grinned at Torg, flashing her polished tusks.

" Well, we best be headin out den. Sun is risin high and mah blood with it. Dere be Sandfureh ta slay. ".....

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Malakim stumbled out of his hut, he had drank a little too much the night before. He could feel the alcohol still having effect on his body as he wobbled about the sandy ruins. He shook it off, it wasn't the first time he regretted a decision from the night before, and it would not likely be his last.

He wandered about the "Town" throwing rocks for the basilisks to chase after, it was stupid that they chased after rocks and some people found it childish for Malakim to still do this, but he couldn't help it. Something about a big plated lizard running around always made him laugh.

However, it was a short lived amusement and he continued on to where he really enjoyed to spend his time... The holding cells.

The tribe had recently gone on a raid and that meant there would be new "Friends" to play with in the cages. He slowly walked up to where the cages were and greeted the jailer for today, briefly exchanging small talk before picking out who he would torment today. There in the back huddled towards the back of a cage was a small goblin. With a small grin Malakim approached the cage and pressed his face against the bars, the goblin unsure of the intentions of the troll looked at him shyly.

"Come over here little one, I won't hurt you. I am a nice troll unlike all these other brutes." He turned and winked at the jailer, this was going to be fun indeed. The goblin leaned forward only slightly wondering if he could trust the troll or not. Malakim's smile grew bigger and he reached into his pack to pull out some food, a small roasted quail, and held it out in front of him for the goblin to take.

The goblin sniffed at the quail at first it had be two days since he had any food and the quail smelled like heaven. Malakim dangled the quail in front of the cage waiting on the goblin, "Come now little one, it is really good." The goblin's stomach growled loudly and he could no longer take it he reached out of the cage to grab the offering from the troll.

Dropping the quail Malakim grabbed the goblin's hand and held it up to his face. The goblin's eyes grew large as he saw the troll lick his hand. A loud scream was heard throughout the camp when Malakim sank his teeth into the goblin's flesh and bite off his finger.

The goblin managed to wiggle free of the troll's grasp and held his mutilated hand close to his body as the troll eyed him and smiled, letting a small stream of blood flow out of his mouth. Turning back to the guard, Malakim laughed, "I never get tired of that."

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She spent the day with Zum'rah. The priest's sickly hands were like ice, so strange in their desert home. After some time with him and his ceremonial preparations, the older troll leaned in close to his apprentice and spoke in breathy low growls. "You know.. I can teach you to be like me."

"Like you?" She asked. Khiskiva was ambitious.. but she was no priest. "How?"

Zum'rah grinned, his teeth like jagged rocks over a blackened tongue. "Samedi can not be fooled.. but he can be delayed. You see, with me, you can live forever."

"..forever?"

The two trolls stared at eachother. Khis could feel the power in her mentor's words. Living forever.. why not bless them all with it, then? Because she was different. Special. His chosen. The old troll caressed Khiskiva's young face. "Yes.. now go. Return tomorrow. I will teach you to live forever."

She left his home, but it didn't feel right. To live forever was.. sacrelige. How could he make such an offer? Xiarti smiled at her from the front of their sandstone house. "How did it go?"

"Fine," she replied casually.

Xiarti rose from his seat in the sand and put his arms around his sister. "I've heard things about him.. you know, he's a lecherous old man. He might try to--"

"He's my elder, I'll do what must be done."

Her brother frowned. "I am your elder too. Does that mean I should get whatever I need from you?"

"Of course," Khiskiva said with a shrug. "You're my brother. I would do anything for you."

Xiarki could feel his blood boil with hatred and lust. It wasn't unheard of for family members to interact physically with one another.. but to do so was still quite taboo. At this point, however, he didn't much care. Khiskiva was a traditional girl, she was submissive to men above her station. Her brother grabbed her by the waist with his huge hands, and tossed the smaller troll over his shoulder. "Good."

Khiskiva didn't know how to respond. He was her brother, after all.

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Malakim walked away from the holding cells, still enjoying the after taste of the goblins finger, nothing quite had the right mixture of salt and flavor like that of goblin flesh. He thought about continuing his walk around the area wondering what everyone else was up to today. He was quite bored at the moment, and boredom usually led to destruction in some form for Malakim.

That's when he saw her, some overzealous troll taking a smaller female over his shoulder. He had an idea of what that meant, he couldn't say he wouldn't do the same thing, but he also thought why should that fool get all the fun?

This day seemed to be full of promise, he slowly walked up behind the little duo and poked the male troll in the back, and awaited him to turn around.

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Xiarki looked around, irritated with the intrusion. He smirked and held tighter still to Khiskiva, who drummed her fingers boredly on her brother's back. "Something you need, then?" He asked impatiently.

Khiskiva's hair covered her face, the long red tresses falling past her brother's waist. She was curious as to who would stop her brother, an accomplished mage. "Who's there?"

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Malakim smiled at the larger troll completely ignoring the smaller captive. Licking his lips clean of the remainder of the blood still present, he opened his mouth as if to speak but instead thrust his fist into the face of the mage and laughed.

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Xiarki reeled back, holding his bloodied nose and dropping Khiskiva unceremoniously into the ground. She took a moment to compose herself before turning to see her brother blast a fireball at the other male, his light robes swirling about his arms from the heat. "You're just intent on irritating me aren't you, fool!"

Khiskiva sighed, and watched. Like any fourteen year old girl, she admired Malakim's muscular build.

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The first series of guards fell silently and swiftly. They inched their way deeper into the bowels of the Sandfury city. Before them was a courtyard.

"Patrol.." signed Torg. We all too up position. Lupa could sense the approach of two trolls. As they rounded the stone wall the team was hiding behind Torg attacked. His initial charge stunned the one troll who had the misfortune of being his primary target. The other whirled and took one step towards his partner. One step only, before she was smacked in the back of the head by Brinthus.

Leaving the woman reeling, he set to work with his knives on the troll Torg was engaging. The troll was just beginning to falter under that combined assault when his partner recovered from the sap. Immediatly she was forced to defend herself from a snarling mass of frenzied worg. Tempest was fired up. Lupa's bow sang, once, twice, soon three arrow shafts quivvered from the center of the woman's chest. She fell in a heap.

" Not bad shootin iffen ah do say so mahself eh Oola?" Lupa turned to face her friend. But instead of Oola standing there, a forlorn frog looked up and croaked its indignation. Beyond the frog stood a Sandfury witch doctor, his hand still smouldering with arcane energies. Immediately Lupa sent up the alarm and shot the mystic with a concussion shot. Reeling from the impact, he could do little but watch as Brinthus leapt at him and opened up his abdomen. His viscera spilling out, the mystic dropped into a puddle of his own blood.

In a puff of smoke Oola returned to her humanoid form. The string of curses that came from her lips almost made Torg blush. Lupa smiled at his discomfort. He was a proper orc after all.

Moving ito the courtyard the team encountered their first real challenge, an armed contingent of Sandfury guards with pet basilisks on leashes. The battle lasted a few minutes but seemed to be hours. Lupa at one point had to drop her bow to come to Oola's aid as a pair of soldiers managed to dash past Torg, Brinthus and Swifthoof in cat form and set to work on her. Her shield protected her until Lupa was able to fly into them, axes swinging. She wingclipped one and sunk her offhand axe deep into another. It bought the time needed for Swifthoof to rush in and tear into one. Tempest joined him and soon the two trolls found themselves being mangled by teeth and claws. Gathering up her bow Lupa sent arrows flying into the two.

When the dust settled, no sandfury remained alive in the courtyard. However from deep within the city an alarm gong sounded. So much for secrecy...

(( Ahhh.. this briings back sweet memories.. :D ))

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The fireball seared into his flesh revealing a cascade of blood and tissue. The troll didn't even blink at the pain, he enjoyed it, it was the marks of battle that consumed him. Malakim stood continuing his laugh, "Nothing personal, I am just bored today and you looked to be a weakling so I felt the need to teach you that females belong to the strong."

The troll reached behind him to pull out a pair of fighting claws that he slipped on over his blood soaked hands. "If that weak control of fire is all that you possess then you will be broken in little time at all." With those words the Malakim rushed the mage with the claws aimed at his throat.

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"That's right, show him who's stronger Xiarki!" Khiskiva shouted. In truth, she was interested to see who would win, be it her brother or the other one. Xiarki wasn't exactly the smartest boy in the world, but she respected his station and wouldn't deny him.

However, this other troll actually fought for what he wanted. That was interesting, and exciting.

"I'll deal with you later, 'kiva," Xiarki said irritably, blinking away from Malakim only a moment after the claws grazed his throat. Blood freely ran from the sizable gash. "Gah! How dare you!!"

Weaving his hands through a spell, the mage fired a series of arcane explosions at Malakim. He would have continued, had it not been for the alarm that he heard soon after.

"We're under attack!! Everyone, to your stations!"

Khiskiva looked up fearfully.

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Surrounded by arcane energies Malakim could feel each blast eat away at him bit by bit, he couldn't find the mage through the magical haze that was flowing freely. He could feel the anger and rage building up within himself it clouded his thoughts his mind focused solely on destroying his opponent now.

The darkness had begun to overtake him, he heard the alarms going off but cared nothing of that now. If the guards couldn't handle an attack then they deserved to die for their failures. Evidently, the mage, this Xiarki cared for the alarms and gave pause to his attack.

Malakim yelled at the other troll, "Giving up so soon?"

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"Don't be stupid!" Xiarki shouted at Malakim, running towards the courtyard. "We've got to protect the city!"

The mage ran off in a flourish of dusty robes, his short red hair shining with sweat in the sunlight. Khiskiva stood from her place, and watched him go. She raised a hand and shouted at him. "Be careful, brother!" Looking at Malakim, she shifted from one foot to the other, trying not to panic from the excitement surrounding them. "A-aren't you going to go and help them??"

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Malakim growled in anger, he wanted to finish he wanted his fight. He smashed his fists into the ground as a dark shadow evaporated from the troll's form...

"You are right, girl fetch my arrows and meet me at the wall."

He ran off for the front lines, he would see his share of blood today.

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The sounds of growing commotion came from within the city. Torg brought the team up to a slope leading up to the top of the encircling wall. " We have to avoid the main streets. Here, climb the wall. We'll see if we cant work our way around the patrols."

Scaling the wall was easy. It was wide enough for them to walk safely without fear of falling. The team moved deeper into the city. Below them they could see the occasional patrol run by, back towards the direction of the courtyard they had just left. Each time they hunkered down to avoid detection.

There! In front of them was their first objective. The pool of the demi-god. There were only a few guards stationed around the pool, most having taken off to answer the alarm summons. Torg nodded at Lupa, who notched an arrow and inhaled deeply... exhale... inhale... slow exhale... HOLD! RELEASE!.

The arrow flew true and skewered one of the guards through the skull. His companion whirled to see where the attack came from. Too late as Brinthus was already on him. The team jumped down, Swifthoof dashed towards the troll and joined Brinthus in dicing the fellow up.

" Oola.. the hammer.. everyone else.. behind me. " ordered Torg. Oola took the Hammer of Zul that they had obtained from Lupa's homeland and rang the gong that summoned the demi-god. Ghaz'rilla. the waters of the pool churned as the giant hydra emerged. Torg readied his sword and sheild and set to work. The battle was not long. Under the coordinated attack, and Oola's heals the avatar of the demi-god fell with a crash.

" Thats one task done." said Torg after they took stock. " Now, the prisoners."

Working their way in towards the center of town where the prisoners were kept was more difficult. They ran into frequent patrols. With each encounter the risk of their presence grew. There could be no survivors to run off and alert the Sandfurys to their whereabouts.

They emerged into the wide open square before the central ziggurat. There atop the ziggurat were the cages that held the prisoners. There were may trolls in the square, mostly at the south end away from the steps of the ziggurat. It would be a mad dash to the top, a swift release , then ... battle most fierce.

"Ready?" asked Torg. They all nodded. This was going to be intense....

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Khiskiva nodded and obediently made her way to the armory, where she picked up two bundles of arrows. Running as fast as she could, Khiskiva made her way to the wall and looked around for Malakim. There were other Sanfuries there, dozens. They crowded the young girl, making it nearly impossible for her to see. Finally, she spotted him in the distance, and ran to him. "Hey! I-I have your arrows!"

She slid on her knees behind him, holding them protectively in her arms.

"Here!"

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Malakim lifted the girl to her feet and took the arrows from her, placing them in his quiver he breathed in the air. It was hard to make out anything amongst the crowd of the trolls. He stood silent for a minute with his eyes closed trying to pick out what didn't belong, his head began to wander back and forth as if in some trance. Finally his eyes snapped open, "I know where they are going, hide girl you won't be able to stop them." With that he took off in the direction of the cages.

"I wonder if that goblin will be happy to see me again? Either way these intruders owe me blood for what they stopped."

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