Hey guys, I wrote this Orc fluff because I'm exited with starting my new Fantasy Orcs army. Its a short story I spent some time writing because Its been raining like crazy over here... Hope you enjoy.
From the Ashes
Rain was rapidly falling from the thundering grey heavens as the villagers at the foot of the Grey Mountains went about their daily routines. Although none of the men or women down in the valley wanted to go out into the weather and risk illness the life of a peasant was hard, and the risks were required for one to live.
The village was not small, perhaps a small town in fact. It must have been home to hundreds, maybe over a thousand people. The homes farther from the mountains were shabby and poor, the ones closer the village center were fair and well built, belonging to the wealthier townsfolk. The entire thing was surrounded by a thin wooden wall, drenched dark brown from the constant rain. To the north the scenery was dominated by the mighty Grey Mountains, the border of Brettonia and the Empire. South and west were plains that seemed to roll on endlessly, dotted by random groups of trees, while to the east was a large forest that stalked up into the mountains. Here lumbermen worked hard to produce the primary income for their village and to aid the noble lord who lived in his castle miles away.
It was hard to believe that it was a summer day, indeed it had been cold rainy weather for near three days now and the peasants were growing sick of it. Some elders said the weather was an ill omen but they were simply ignored. The town watch went about its regular duties, scanning the terrain for enemies from wooden watch towers at each wall junction. Many were at the local town inn celebrating a popular visitors birthday, a Knight from the village itself. Older farmers were out making sure the fields weren't drowning and that the cattle and other beasts were well while groups of young boys ran through the rainy streets, fighting one another with wooden swords. The thunder had been fierce for days and each strike sent a feeling of excitement to each villager, like the roaring of a primal god. Perhaps had the storm not been so loud the villagers may have realized something was wrong.
Noise could usually be heard echoing from the forest lumber mills; the sounds of chopping, shouting and trees falling. The storm had deafened it for days and it had become normal for the town not to hear the men toiling at work, but this time they were not working.
Blake, one of the men from the town was crawling on his belly and grunting in pain. Sheer horror covered his features as he crawled from the place where he and his friends had been working for close to a month. He was an older man, in his forties but was healthy and fit with dark well kept hair and a short black beard. Tears were swelling in his eyes as he crawled closer and closer to the town that was at least a hundred metres away, his son was there… would be turning nine soon. Suddenly Blake felt something grasp his foot, it was strong – inhumanly strong and finally Blake let out a cry of anguish as the thing holding him started dragging him back, his home started sinking into the distance.
Blake finally turned and looked at the monster dragging him back to the lumber mill, the other men were dead. Their insides were out and their blood coated the grass. The entire attack had been fast and all the workers had been deaf to it. The monster let out a laugh as it saw Blake staring at the mutilated remnants of his friends in horror, it let out an inhumanly deep guttural laugh and spoke something in a foul evil tongue that Blake could not make out.
Some of the other beasts saw their comrade pulling the human and barked and snarled at the one dragging Blake, probably telling him to finish the kill. The beast smiled, yellowish fangs jutting from its wide arcing mouth. It let go of Blake's leg, instead its hands grabbed the mans torso – they were so big that they covered his entire chest and grasped around to his back. With a grunt of force the Orc threw the man through the air and Blake landed face first into the blood slick grass. Blake quickly but clumsily rose to hit feet trying to regain his center of balance and spinning in circles to look at the entire mob of Orcs that surrounded him. When his vision settled he glared at them all.
About thirty Orcs stood around him, looking at the human with the same curiosity that he was returning to them. They were each green skinned; the flesh was strangely hairless but seemingly tough. Each of them was huge and Blake couldn't help but be intimidated by their sheer size. Blake was six feet tall and each Orc stood at his height or more, however he could see the tops of their shoulders hunching behind their heads and knew they all walked in a stooped figure. Upright they must have been a solid foot taller than their posture gave way. Their muscles were just as gargantuan as their frame, each bulge the size of a human head that covered the beast's bodies from head to toe. Their legs were short and their arms were long, almost scrapping the floor, and they ended in massive clawed hands. The Orcs heads were big and ugly, the lower jaws were elongated and looked strange even on these beasts. Finally Blake's eyes rested upon the eyes of one of theirs; they were small and shielded by their oversized brows but they shone crimson with murderous intent.
Blake stood staring at the Orc in front of him for a while until he heard one of the creatures talking behind him. Blake turned and the Orc that had dragged and tossed him stood there, surrounded by its mates. Its crown was topped with a top-knot and it wore shabby armour, mostly fur or chain mail that may have once been able to cover a man whole yet upon an Orc was barely covering its chest. The green-skin held two enormous weapons, crudely shaped into the form of a sword but twisted and oversized by far. The green-skin spoke something crude and guttural to Blake and tossed one of the weapons to his feet before taking a more aggressive posture and staring at the human with that all too familiar murderous intent in it's eyes. Blake was no fool, it was all too obvious, and he snarled back at the beast as he bent down to pick up the weapon.
When Blake rose he clutched the massive metal sword with both hands using all his strength simply to hold it up, how the hell could they hold such a thing so easily he thought. The Orcs snickered and laughed as they watched the human struggle with their weapon and he heard a few of them refer to the thing as a “choppa”. Blake was ready however, before he settled down he was a military man and served the Brettonian army with distinction, even gaining some fame from his Lord who awarded him for his strategic insight and battle skill with a home in the very town he knew would soon be attacked. Blake had fought beastmen, he had killed five Gors in his younger days and it was no small feat. The Orcs and Gors were very similar physically except Gors stood upright and Orcs were heavier set. Blake knew he would die, and that he would never see his home or his son again but he would kill this beast… and avenge the murder of his friends.
The Orc let out a blood curling roar and started stampeding towards Blake, who quickly adopted a posture he donned for use with great weapons. Within a heartbeat Blake stepped out of the way, narrowly avoiding decapitation, but his strike was true and all the surrounding Orcs were dumb founded as their comrades left arm gracefully fell from his frame. Blake smiled at the shocked Orcs expresion but was not prepared for what followed, instead of falling in pain or collapsing from blood loss the Orc went berserk. It roared in pure fury and Blake felt his spine tingle and his heart rate quicken. The beast stood up to its full height in rage, Blake was paralyzed with fear as the monster ran into him and smashed him to the ground. Blake's final moments of life were his skull being endlessly punched by the Orc until his head caved in.
“Oi, Skargut, you git, need a hand!?” the mob broke out into laughter and mocked their injured comrade. Skargut was barely calm and he rose up looking for his arm.
“Zoggin umie runt, tricked me I tell ya! He was supposed to stand still!” snarled Skargut.
“Stupid git, da boss said kill em fast… dats what ya get fer not listening,” came a voice from behind the gathered mob.
Gruvva, the leader of this particular mob walked up to his boyz. Gruvva was noticeably larger than any of the other Orc boyz, standing about six and half feet tall. He was large enough to take command of a group of the smaller Orcs and push them about while at the same time the tribes big 'uns bullied him and the Black Orcs bullied them. One thing was certain in Orc society, that everyone could bully the Goblins. Even now Skargut was snapping at some nearby goblins, kicking them and telling them to stitch his arm back on. The rest of the mob rallied to their boss who was looking up the mountain where his tribe had lived for the past ten years, tearing itself apart.
Once the Wolf Skull tribe had been large and powerful, gathering over five thousand greenskins to its banner. They had launched raids on the nearby Brettonians and Dwarf colonists in the Grey Mountains. During these wars the tribe switched between three warbosses. The victories against the humans had been about even with the losses but the Orcs could never overcome their most hated enemy: the Dwarfs. Finally the last great warboss led the entire tribe to a huge war against the dwarfs and on the foot hills of the Grey Mountains the entire tribe was crushed and forced to flee. Since then they had been too divided and several lesser bosses took fragments of the tribe for themselves. After ten years one of them had managed to re-conquer the remnants of the Wolf Skulls. Now was the time for vengeance, the humans and the dwarfs would die by Orc hands and a Waaagh would begin. Gruvva had been a young Orc back then with nothing but his choppa and a pair of pants, but now he had a mob of thirty boys to command within the tribe and he had grown.
Gruvva was knocked from his train of murderous thought when he realized that more and more green skins were emerging from the forest and gathering around the lumber mill. Dozens of Goblins ran through his legs and boyz from rival mobs caste threatening glares at Gruvva and his grunts, jealous no doubt that they were first in the fight. The boar boyz were no where to be seen and Gruvva guessed they had to go the long way down the mountain because of the size of their mounts.
“Gruvva, you stuntie lover,” snarled a voice from amidst the gathering Orcs. From the various mobs emerged one of the other mob bosses, an Orc named Rugok who Gruvva had long had a grudge with. Rugok blamed Gruvva for stealing his favourite weapon but Gruvva had seen him break it while hitting an Iron Breaker years back. Since then the two were constantly at each others throats.
“You think you'ze better than us cos the boss sent you in first?” said Rugok.
“Naw, I think I'm better just cos It's true,” smirked Gruvva.
Rugoks temper flared instantly and he quickly grasped the axe-like choppa resting on his back. Rugoks mob quickly formed up to their boss just as Gruvva's boyz did for him. In truth the other Orcs didn't care about their bosses scuffle but it was a good excuse to get into a fight with the warboss taking it out on the mob bosses rather than the whole mob.
“I'll show ya who's better,” roared Rugok. “Kill 'em all bo-”
“You better stop right dere runts.” The voice that cut in was low, even for an Orc, and resounded with power. Both mobs stopped but all the surrounding green skins were upset, there would be no entertainment it seemed… not for a while at least.
Gruvva glared in the direction of the voice and it belonged to the biggest Orc he ever had seen in his life. Warboss Gorkil stood with his retinue of big 'uns the largest and most well equipped Orcs of the tribe. The warboss must have been some seven and a half feet tall, maybe even eight, with the big 'uns a few inches or more larger than Gruvva himself. The entire lot were equipped with chainmail and plate and armed with wicked axes and blades. Trophies of human heads, hands and weapons adorned their forms and they walked up to the head of the mob, everyone moving out of their way from sheer intimidation.
The Warboss gazed out at the town and with a ferocious roar he lowered his axe in the town's direction. As one the entire horde received their orders and the tribe started to emerge from the forest. The greenskins were footslogging steadily towards to town and already they could hear the faint sound of screams and watched as shapes ran across the weak wooden wall. The frail gate was closed but the Warboss laughed, he would break through the gate himself.
The rain had intensified and the lightning flashes were lighting up the quickly darkening landscape as the sun was setting. It didn't take long for the first arrows to hit home and a few of the Orcs collapsed, arrows sticking into their chests or heads. More and more volleys of arrows hit home and the Goblins were already in a state of panic, the warboss ignored them he had chosen this town on purpose because there was something inside he wanted. Finally after seven or eight volleys the Orcs hit the wall protecting the town, it had been a long run and many of the boys needed breathers. Gruvva was already looking for the warboss who he knew was their ticket into the human settlement. It didn't take long for the boss to be seen, already his enormous axes were smashing into the weak gate sending chips of wood flying all about. Finally as the gate started to crumble a group of the boys gathered up and charged with all of their might, they successfully sent the gate smashing down in a hail of splinters but were quickly cut down by the men at arms on the other side.
The Warboss stood by the gates and motioned for Gruvva to go in with his mob, again Gruvva and his boyz eagerly ran into the breach and smashed into the humans guarding the gate. For all their weak bodies the humans were faster than the Orcs and before Gruvva could get a single kill in one of the halberds from a row behind landed into his shoulder and sent the Orc crashing to the floor. Gruvva roared in aggravation for being hit in such a way and tossed the man in front of him to the side, throwing himself at his attacker and smashing the humans throat with a single punch.
With the boyz firmly in the fighting the warboss ran in delivering death to a score of men with each swing of his weapon, his big 'uns following suit. However for each kill the warboss was not pleased, he looked left and right and over the ranks of the terrified men at arms. Finally he smiled as he saw a knight atop a horse gazing back at him from the center of town. The man was well built for a human, muscular and strong and he was devoid of fear. His armour looked strong, even for an Orc to break, and he held a strangely glowing sword in his hand. The Warboss and his mob were making short work of the first men at arms unit and finally the bewildered men fled leaving dozens of dead men and orcs in their wake. The knight had dismounted assembled two units of fifty men at arms and ordered a charge, this time the humans and Orcs charged together and the lines smashed. Orcs and men fought ferociously as Goblins climbed up to the walls to backstab the archers that had still been firing into the horde.
The fighting had raged for over fifteen minutes and the warboss was aggravated, the humans were so weak that he was beating them with simple back hands. He wanted to fight the Knight; he knew they were good at fighting from personal experience. Plus the glowing sword he held seemed spectacularly killy.
Gruvva found the knight first, right after one of his boys and watched as the human blocked the Orcs attacks with his shield and proceed to easily cut the Orc in half, the glowing weapon he held slicing through flesh and armour as easily as paper. Gruvva and another boy threw themselves at the knight who dodged Gruvvas lunge and cut his left leg from the knee down. The other Orc hit the human who spun and threw the Orc off his back, and proceeded to quickly cut off the greenskins head.
As darkness settled the lightning flashes were some of the only sources of illumination in the nightmarish battle. The ranks and formations were broken and men were fighting green skins out in the streets. Some Orcs had broken through the human forces and were already ransacking homes. The knight was surrounded by a dozen slain greenskins and twenty brave men at arms rallied to him while the rest fought across the settlement. With a flash of lightning the warboss saw his quarry and roared.
The mans glowing orange sword illuminated some of his armour and that of the men near him, Orcs were attracted to it like moths to a flame but many ended up impaled on spears or halberds. Then a single bolt of lightning illuminated the warboss who had emerged from the nights darkness and swung his blades at the dumb struck humans. Three men were gutted, their blood and gore drenching their comrades who gazed up into the illuminated shape of the hulking killing machine.
The Knight blocked one of the warbosses strikes and the Orc warlord smirked, he had found his fight. One of the men at arms managed to strike the warboss in the leg, but that only made him mad and the warlord spun around cleaving the man in twain from groin to neck. The Knight made use of this time and proceeded to cut into the warlords right arm. Gorkil spun back around and sent a knee that caught the knight in the back. The hit didn't do much other than toss away the knight and numb up the warbosses knee. Some of the Orc boyz entered the fray, attacking the men at arms while the boss fought the knight. The two leaders duelled for ten full minutes with the warboss gradually driving the human back to the main gate, though by this time all the greenskins were inside - fighting the defenders or attacking homes. Goblins who were picking through the corpses at the gate fled at the sight of the two fighters. The warboss was confused, never had he seen a human fight this well. He had heard tales of knights with such battle skills called Grail Knights, this must have been one of them he guessed.
The two paused and stood there for some time, rain falling upon each one as they caught their breathes. Just as they rose their weapons again a thundering sound was heard outside the gates and before either could tell what it was a mob of Orc boar boys charged in through the gates shouting and cheering, the boss of the lot smashed into the Grail Knight and sent the bewildered warrior flying to the warbosses feet. While he was down the warlord put his foot onto the knights sword arm and smirked.
“Green skinned barbarian, you believe this to be a victory? Attacking innocent women and children? When the Lords hear of your crime today you will meet a true army of Brettonia: a hundred knights, a thousand men, and you will die!” snarled the Grail Knight.
The Warboss knelt down to the struggling man while positioning his choppa over the humans back for a downward strike.
“I'm hoping on it, 'umie.” He smirked.
Without a moments hesitation the massive weapon crunched into the Knights armour breaking it and twisting the metal, the knight gagged and coughed out blood before his head hit the dirt. The Orc Warlord rose and howled his first true victory since reuniting the tribe, soon he would face all his hated enemies and where his predecesors had failed he would cut them down.