After Kera relentlessly advised us of the danger that we are about to face, we decide that it is best to plan for a much longer hunt than we had previously thought. The current plan is to scout out the Orc for a full day before attempting to engage. Kiel, Kiri, and I are on recon duty as we are the best in our group at sneaking.
I am admittedly surprised to find that Kiel is adept at moving silently and tailing foes. When he boasted about his ability I decided to put his word to test. I told him to tail me as I walked down the street while on the lookout for him. He’s done rather well. I’ve already reached the goal, but I haven’t managed to see him once.
“How’s that?!” He excitedly yells out as he comes out of hiding
I nearly deck him from the fright he gives me by suddenly showing up like that. When I ask him questions about my trip to make sure he didn’t simply hide by the goal, he cockily answers them all correctly. As annoying as he is about it, it seems that his skills are no joke.
“We have provisions, a map, blankets, and bedrolls. Is there anything else that we may need?” I ask aloud to the group as I do my final check on our provisions before our departure
“A sense of danger? A shred of sympathy for those of us who aren’t insane? Final will an’ testaments?” Kera answers with a spiteful look
“Nothing else then? In that case, lets head out.” I say ignoring her
“You should really calm down Kera. We are just scoping him out for now.” Kiel says trying to comfort her
Sigh “Ya, I guess you’re right. How’re you so calm though? Thought you’d be freakin’ out by this point.” Kera responded in a defeated tone
“I don’t know really. It just feels way safer when the giant horrible powerful insane monsters can’t see me for once.” He responds with a pondering look
That… sounded like there was some pent-up aggression in there.
“Well, good thing for us, we have a good flocking bird to scout out the baddie. The not so insane of us can hang back until those of you in the ‘totally ready to be crushed by a stupidly powerful foe’ group call for us.” Kera says while trying to get Kiri to land on her finger
Like always, Kiri is especially cold to Kera. Instead, she lands on my shoulder and turns her head away. Kera doesn’t say anything about it, simply looking down in disappointment.
“Thanks for the bout of confidence,” I say as we begin our trip
We move a lot slower through the forest than I anticipated. Without properly laid paths, we are hindered by bramble, bushes, and uneven terrain. In all honesty, me and Mana seem to be the only ones heavily affected by it. The imps seem to be small enough to fit through most gaps. Kiel moves as naturally as if he were walking on a city street. Kera is riding again on that lion which seems to be pretty adept at moving through the forest. Gero doesn’t seem hindered, but he stays several steps behind me at any given point, so it’s hard to say.
Walking in this way we are out there for several hours before we reach the hunting grounds and several more before we actually see any results. When we reach the hunting grounds we split up and begin fanning out to cover the area. I decide to scope out a large clearing that runs through part of the forest. It’s quite vast and the tree line is very clearly visible on the other side. Eventually, I reach a spot where I can see most of the area and decide to rest there. It is a nice high spot that isn’t obstructed by trees at all. It would have been less useful to keep moving.
Thump thump thump
Eventually, I begin to hear the sound of large footsteps. As each one resonates through the forest I can hear countless bird begin to fly away in flocks. When the source comes into view, I cannot believe what I see. When I imagined an orc, I assumed it would be something roughly 8-10 feet tall that looks like a goblin, but with shorter ears and nose. Instead, the being that just stepped into the clearing is one so large that it rivals the trees in height, and looks like some kind of mix of a pig and a human. Another thing that shocks me is that I assumed it would be armored, at least, to a reasonable degree. Instead, it is completely naked. I turn and hide behind a tree, before pulling out Kera’s com-stone.
“Hey, Kera? Are you there? I found the orc.” I begin to say into the com-stone
“What’s up? You sound less confident than before. Did seeing it in person scare you off of this insane idea of yours?” She asks in a cocky mocking voice
“No… well, its just… Why is it naked? Is it on its way to go bathe?” I ask nervously
“What? Of course, it’s naked. If you were that big, how would you clothe yourself? Plus, it’s hide is thick and very cold resistant so it has no need for clothing.” She explains in a disappointed tone
Even while disappointed she doesn’t miss the opportunity to say it all in a matter of fact kind of way.
“Seriously?! Does that mean that we are going to have to fight that thing as-is?!” I let out in my surprise
I really don’t want to have to fight that thing in the nude. It’s distracting. Not to mention overall unpleasant. Maybe we should reconsider?
“Oi! Keep your voice down! Orc’s have-“
“KREEEEYAAAAAA!” Kera is suddenly interrupted by a weird screech in the direction of the orc
I turn to see that the orc has begun charging in my direction with a livid look on its face.
“Crap! I guess we are doing this!” I say drawing my sword