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Fallen Joy

Act, and Witches will act.

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Kana was adamant of how she wanted to take out the men, and she was right there being only eight of them in the camp. Feeling the magic from the Matriarch reach her own tips, she would feel the tingle of it tickle the tips of her fingers. Sending another caress of the earth to her, she would hope that it was reassuring that she will be rescued soon.

“She is alive, the one who summoned me has touched me.”

Pulling her hands from the earth, she would stand up. Looking at the arrows and the hound, she really couldn’t think of much else that can be used to take the men out. Battle magic took a lot of energy, and with what little magic she had already done it would soon take a toll on her body.

“Alright! Kana, we do it your way.”

Turning to return to her horse, she would take its head lightly into her arms whispering into its ears. Patting the thick muscle of its neck, she would move to give it a soft slap on its rear sending it off into the darkness. Namiko had in mind not to leave another horse around for the men to possibly use to escape them.

Rolling her shoulders lightly she could feel the silk strap that held the massive oriental fan on her back, she knew that it might be used in this attempt to rescue the woman who beckoned her to help with something that was on the verge of turning the world dark.

Returning to Kana’s side, she would feel her hands clasp tightly into fists as they rest at her sides. “Lead the way, friend.” Closing her eyes tightly she would breathe in a deep breath, feeling it fill her lungs to capacity. You can do this. You MUST do this. Feeling her fingers loosen from their tight grasp, she felt a light feeling over take her body. Whispering in the darkness, she was ready. “Blessed be.”

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"Alright, we do it your way!"

For the first time, Kana gave Namiko a grin—so brutally out of place that the deep frown lines upon her hard skin seemed on the verge of cracking. This breed of orcs only smiled at one thing; the thought of murder and conquer. Swinging her bow from her back, she nodded to the witch.

"Lead the way, friend."

Kana paused, tightening her eyes as her curved smile fell back into a frown. It was as if Namiko said a derogatory remark to her. Orc didn't have friends, and to think of a witch befriending an orc was unsettling. They were soldiers. Grunts. Slaves. Not friends. She ground her tusks together and looked away from the witch.

"Blessed be."

Another tinge of discomfort.

"We lead away. You save,” was all she said. There a long pause for a moment, Kana clearly tense throughout it. "Stay alive." She suddenly added.

Then she placed her hand on the head of the lupine beast. For a moment her eyes seemed to illuminate a hair brighter, as did the eyes of the mutt. What happened in that brief moment was unknown, but in the next the two rushed off across the dimly moonlit pedals towards the camp site. The black coating of the hound and dark jade skin of the orc served as curtains that fell over them in the night.

~ ~ ~

Back at the site, four men sat around the campfire. They had the disgruntled look of mercenaries, dirtied and scarred from a life on the road and scuffles with their targets. The thick leather pads of hide on their shoulders, torso, and thighs were clawed and bruised from the beasts they likely specialized in. Another couple men were standing by the three bodies. The slender pale form of the Matriarch was placed on her side, at in the middle of the two captured orcs—one orc was massive in size and hid her even when on his back, and the other a replica of Kana save for her black hair. Around the Matriarch’s neck was a golden chain leading to a circular amulet that harnessed an amethyst colored jewel. The purple glowed brightly between her breasts. The last two men flanked the camp.

“This one is stirring again,” one of the men said, his eyes anxious and fixated on the larger of the two orcs. This was the Bodyguard, large and imposing orc with a fourth of a ton of muscle layering his physique. He grunted and twitched, breath deep like a bull and as terrifying as a demon even if he was paralyzed from poison. His lids drifted into an half open state, carmine eyes landing uncannily onto the mercenary and making his heart freeze with fear.

“Damn it, this guy is not worth this shit. Give me the bag, now.”

Before anything could be done, a low growl in the wind immediately silenced everyone. The men around the campfire stood up, swords armed. Silence followed for a moment, the reach of the fire’s light dying in the blue fields. Then the growl was there again, lingering in the cold breeze that shivered the pedals.

Then suddenly a tongue lashed out from the darkness, striking like whip and lashing around the necks of the gaurd. The man grasped as the tongue yanked him down into the dirt, released, and flung back. The man on the ground slapped his hands to his neck, his coughing turning to agonized yells. His nails raked at flesh that turned alarmingly red under the slime and began to erode with small ulcerations. The flesh eating bacteria within the saliva was corrosive against normal flesh.

The hound leaped into view as the man crawled away, growling fiercely and drool leaking from its ebony muzzle to the ground. As its adrenaline rose, the salivation became intense, ready to eat away at the flesh it often devoured. Meat was tough in the world of the orcs. The beast barked once and more men charged it. Two reached first, the hound dodging one of the swings of the swords and biting into the calf of its owner. The yells enhanced it aggression and it thrashed its head. One of the unoccupied heads threw its tongue to the second, slapping him across the face with a force that nearly knocked him off balance.

The others rushed at the hound, but the descend of an arrow bee-lining from the opposite direction halted one of them by sinking deep into the nape of a neck. With precision on his carotid accurate, the man immediately dropped and drew the attention of the others. Kana presence was suddenly at their rears, drawing another arrow shooting it into an arm.  She grinned and turned tail, running back from the camp. Likewise, the hound released its hostage and ran off.

“Fuck!” One of the men yelled. “Go, go! After them! Kill them!”

Two of the men retreated to canisters, frantically rinsing the saliva from their bodies. It helped but left them bleeding and burning. Two more set off after Kana and one went after the hound. One dead, bleeding out on the ground from the arrow in his neck, one injured in the leg, also rinsing it frantically, and the one giving commands (leader?) remained. The leader clenched a sack at his waistline, his the other hand tightening on his sword. The rest was on Namiko.

In the confusion, no one remember to poison The Bodyguard again, whose hand began to twitch.

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“Stay Alive”

 Those two words echoed through Namiko’s mind as she watched as Kana disappeared into the darkness with the orc hound moving with her. Sliding the strap of the massive oriental fan she wore on her back on her shoulders, tugging it with her right hand to ensure she wouldn’t lose it. With the earth moving to her will at the last moment she used her magic, she could feel that the orcs that were with the matriarch too were under the poison that had affected Kana. Pausing before she started for the camp, she fought the urge to use magic again to release them.

Running off into the darkness towards the camp, she could hear the orc hound making its first strike at the men. The saliva of the beast was immensely acidic to the human flesh, leaving the men who came into contact to rush towards water to clean it off of themselves. Namiko slowed her pace as she did her best to stay in the shadows of the night, the petals of the blue flowers brushed against her ankles as she moved in towards the two orcs that were around the Matriarch.

Kneeling down near the waterline of the lake on the side of the camp, she would set her right hand into the water. Chanting words of another language, the water would start to stream out from the lake towards the captured. Leaving it up to the purification of water to help clear the orcs, she stood up sliding the massive fan from her back into her hands. Keeping the fan folded in her hands, she would make her attempt to get closer to the group.

“Mother protect Kana, protect the others… blessed be”

Her words would be whispered into the dark, as she kept her body low as she moved. Coming into the camp through the back, she caught sight of the large orcs on the ground, their silhouettes easily made out by the fire light that bounced off of environment around them. Quickly moving to the side of the large orc male, she noticed his fingers twitching. The female orc next to the male looked just like Kana, and a human woman laid in the middle of the two with an amulet glowing around her neck.

While Namiko knelt by the group the water she coaxed from the lake moved through the group, touching their skin moving to purify the poison that plagued their bodies. Touching the woman who laid in the middle between the Orcs, her hand lightly touching her shoulder. Speaking softly, she would let her fingers brush the skin leaving a tingling effect from her energy. “I am here.”

 

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With the three of the men busy easing their wounds and the leader looking adamantly into the night for signs of his companions, Namiko’s approach to the orcs and the Matriarch was stealthy enough to go unnoticed. The Matriarch laid motionless, her breath steady and soft. She appeared to be floating in the blackened river that was her locks. The presence of her sister drew her eyes to an open; they were misted and clouded, indicating their blindness. Even though her energy was sapped and the world was aphotic, the shine of her sister came though. Namiko's beautiful spindles of the arcane, as gorgeous of the northern skies and brighter than galaxies, made the Matriarch feel fueled with relief.

She couldn’t say anything but her weary eyes softened with greeting and gratitude. Namiko touched the orcs and the water washed over their bodies. Their breaths grunted instinctively and they shifted. Then Namiko touched the Matriarch. Something different happened.

As their skin made contact, the Matriarch’s skin cool, smooth, and firm like marble under her touch, the amulet upon her chest heavily brightened. The amethyst burst nearly twice its original shine, drawing the immediate attention of the men.  Simultaneously, a gravitational pull transpired. As if a thousand hands suddenly reached and to grab and pull Namiko down into their grasp, the amulet tried to steal her energy—her thoughts, her magic, her very will to stand—much like it did the Matriarch.

“Stop her!” the leader yelled rushing over to the scene himself. Depending on if Namiko was too groggy to respond, he closed the distance sooner than his mates, lifting his sword to cleave down towards her knelt height and nape of her neck.

Whether Namiko could defend herself was irreverent in the moment, for a black bulk rose between the distance and barricaded the cleave. The sound of sword hitting rock clinked as the leader’s blade planted against the forearm of the Bodyguard. Though Kana’s sister was still groaning and regaining herself, the Bodyguard was already on the way to recovery and thanks to Namiko he was back much quicker. The sight of him awaking froze the remaining mercenaries on the spot.

His carmine glowered at leader like the devil himself. In a panic, the man frantically shoved his hand into the pouch on his waistline. The Bodyguard narrowed his eyes and forced his arm down with an incredible strength, the blade barely sinking an inch before cranking back and forcing itself from the leader’s head. Consequently, the orcs arm slammed into the top of the wielder’s skull. 

He fell onto the ground, unconsciousness.

The other three men, skin raw on the face, leg, and neck them respectively, were discouraged. The Bodyguard rose, standing ominously and standing at his full eight feet, looked at them with a dare to approach. They looked at the sack at the The Bodyguard’s massive feet. They knew they only managed to deal with the Bodyguard previously because they caught him by surprise with the poison. Even then, he nearly crushed one of them between his hands. The Bodyguard released a beastly roar, drool flinging from his hog tusks and his bloody eyes seeming aflame. The very oscillations from his voice rattled the atmosphere.     

The men backed up, and then ran.  

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Her touch upon the Matriarch gave the amulet the energy it so desired, flaring a much brighter shine of life it seemed to gravitate towards Namiko. The overwhelming feeling of the energy that was being drawn into the amulet gave way to one thought ‘let go of her,’ forcing her hand to drop away from the Matriarch the feeling of the pull started to fade.

Hearing the sound of the men scattering towards her and the orcs, she couldn’t move fast enough to get out of the way of the sword coming down towards her. The groggy feeling overwhelmed her still, although with her no longer touching her to be sister, she started to feel it clearing away.

The sound of the blade hitting rock above her startled her more, knowing it would have most likely been her neck if she hadn’t purified the orcs first. Moving away from the massive male orc while he dealt with the man threatening their lives, Namiko pulled her massive oriental fan into her arms. With the very intimidating roar of the Orc the other men ran off, leaving their unconscious friend to lay in the dirt at the feet of the male orc.

Sliding her arm through the sash that held her fan, it would find it’s resting place upon her back. Falling back to sit on her butt in the dirt, she would stare at the amulet that now drew a much dimmer glow around the neck of her fellow witch.

“That needs to find itself locked away..” Wondering where Kana and the hound had ended up in the darkness, Namiko felt some relief that her life was spared by the companion of the witch who laid in a puddle of her black hair.

“Remove the amulet!” Namiko would speak up in a voice that was more commanding with a sense of urgency. “You must remove the amulet! Crush it if you can!” She was speaking to the large bodyguard orc who had just gracefully defended her life without a second thought.

Pushing her hands into the dirt she would move to get her body off of the earth floor, brushing her hands on her covered thighs. Unsure of how the amulet would affect the orc, she hoped he could remove that terrible artifact around the woman’s neck.

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Huffing with a grunt as he glared where the runaway mercenaries disappeared, The Bodyguard almost seemed to ignore the witch at first. When he did turned this large head, that glowering fierce gaze was set upon her.  He seemed to be deciding for a half moment if he should smash in her crown too, but then continued his gaze to the Matriarch. That fierce gaze softened but only mildly. He didn’t say anything, but he stared at the amulet shining on her breasts.

He reached a hand over intrepidly, or perhaps carelessly, and grabbed the amulet tightly. Though it was completely hidden by the orc's massive hand, the amulet did not seem to shine brighter. His bicep veins bulged as he tightened his grip. As per Namiko's words, he was trying to crush it. For a long moment, nothing happened.

…..

The Bodyguard growled in frustration and leaned down closer to the Matriarch. He planted a knee down and gripped the chain of the item between his two fingers. Instead of trying to crush it, he pulled on the links.  It worked; the amulet broke from its links and its glow diminished greatly. The orc opened his hand and looked at the amulet, not even bent, within his palm. He seemed hurt by his lack of ability and threw it to the ground before turning back to the Matriarch.

“Mmmm…” she mumbled. The white witch slowly sat up on her thighs, feeling as if a boulder suddenly lifted from her body despite her muscles still aching and head pounding. Bringing her slender white hand to her forehead, she was still for a moment to associate herself with the body she felt was temporarily robbed of. The arcane was returning within her; she felt it in her unique vision and it was likewise seen within her eyes. Though originally just clouded like the elderly, mist now churned within her optics. It slithered beyond the orifices as if air breathed from her invisible pupils. Within the pearl and white swirls, tiny flashes like lightning thrived. She stared at Namiko with those eyes.

“Thank you, sister.” She filled the distance between them and hugged her gently. “Thank you.”

She parted from her, slowly rising to her feet. She had a few inches on Namiko, tall for a woman but short amongst the orcs. Weakness still plagued her, but she forced her legs to steal.

“Tera,” she said and the female twin of Kana was on her feet. The orc seemed rather frustrated herself, likely with her predicament. She had been searching around the camp with her carmine eyes when the Matriarch addressed her. She grunted to acknowledge it.

“Tie this one up…There will be questions for him then he awakens.” She said this in orc, her deep yet feminine voice holding an accent signature of her life with them.

Tera narrowed her eyes a bit and approached the unconscious man, grabbing him by the collar and dragging him closer to the fire. She tied his wrists and ankles with some of the mercenary supplies left over in the camp. The Matriarch then placed her hand on The Bodyguard.

“Check on hounds and buffos.”

 

The Bodyguard turned and walked towards area of the campsite where the drugged hounds and large steeds were tethered. The Matriarch then returned her attention on Namiko.

“They ambushed the orcs with bombs of blue pollen. The same scent is coming from there,” she motioned her hand towards the sack of an unknown substance. “I heard there was an occasional poison wind in the Blue Hills, but the orcs are typically strong against such things. These were very concentrated. It knocked out Kana, Tera, and the hounds almost immediately and severely weakened the other. I was also hit, but I'm more tolerant…I tried to bewitch them but one of them forced that,” She pointed to void in her vision, which must have been the amulet. “Into my chest.”

She sighed deep, running  the hand on her forhead back through her hair. How many days were lost to this?

“Tell me, how many days have passed since we spoke at your home?”

Edited by Fallen Joy

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Watching as the massive bodyguard glared at her for a moment, he would reach down to try and crush the amulet that rested around the Matriarchs neck. Watching as nothing seemed to happen to the amulet itself, he was able to snap the chain and remove it from the other witch’s neck.

Watching as she seemed to wake up from a daze, sitting up and soon hugging Namiko. Surprised by the gentle gesture, she would bring her arms around the woman for a brief moment before the hug ended. “You are most welcome. Kana is out in the darkness somewhere, she helped me free all of you.”

Turning to look out into the darkness, she would then look down at the amulet. They couldn’t risk leaving it where they stood, it had to be taken with to lower the risk of anyone else getting their hands on such a device.  

Listening to her speak to the other orc in their language, she was really impressed that she could speak it. From her understanding it was difficult language to learn, and very few knew it. “Just the one day since you’ve contacted me, I took to my horse to come find you after your image disappeared suddenly.”

Getting to her feet, she stared down at the amulet. Taking a sash that was tied to her waist off, she would reach down to pick up the amulet hoping that it not having contact to her skin would keep it from sucking the magic from her body.

“We need to lock this up..”

If she was able to keep in contact with the amulet, she would wrap it tightly in the sash to stash in her saddle bags. Turning to the darkness, she would whistle in such a way to catch the attention of her well trained horse. Waiting for the beast to return to her side, she would wonder who could have forged such a type of amulet such as the one they had among them. 

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“Kana alive?”

The rough voice came from Tera, who finished tying up their prisoner and approached the witches with curiosity upon her hardened face. The Matriarch sent her a single sharp look and the orc frowned before backing off. Instead she turned her attention to the blossomed fields. She stared there for a moment before going to the weaponry near one of the tents and recruiting a long spear made of a metal shaft rooting a great blade of sharpened bone. The style was very similar to her sister's, save for brandishing a great polearm of bone as opposed to arrowheads. She twisted the weaponry skillfully across her hands and then returned it to its rightful place between her shoulder blades. After that, she returned to looking towards the fields.  

“Kana is vigorous enough to find her own way back.” The Matriarch said smoothly.  “It is their duty to protect me, and now you. They view mercy and gratitude as weakness; it’s best not to show it.”

She released a slow sigh of mist whilst looking up towards the moon. “Only a day..” she repeated. “That’s good.”

It meant they hadn’t lost much time...but a day within only few still took much of the time she had left to stop their premonition from coming true. It was possible this was also apart of the fates. Now that she had found the witch the spirits had guided her to, The Matriarch wasn’t sure what was next in their journey. She glanced over to Namiko who had approached the amulet. Her blind vision recognized the artifact as a hole in the threads of light she saw. It was like a blackened abyss reaching with greedy licentious hands for Namiko’s presence. It seemed that actual skin contact was needed for the detrimental effects to manifest. The shine of the amulet seemed almost mute on the ground, but as Namiko got closer it brightened longingly for her. The Matriarch saw this as a greater pull in the void. She walked over as well.

“Yes, we do. But even moreso, we need to know where this came from.” Curiously, with both the witches were near, it blushed even more.  The Matriarch couldn't see what Namiko did to hold it, but her eyes smiled at the innovativeness of it nonetheless.

“It appears to respond to us…” she paused and thought. “But not the orcs…I imagine the mercenaries handled it effortlessly as well.”

She paused again for another thought.

“It must respond only to magic folk. Meaning these mercenaries were either implausibly lucky to have it in their possession...or were given it by someone looking to steal magic.”

As the words left her scarlet lips, her equally red anger rose and crackled. She sharply looked towards the direction of the leader’s ugly energy threads, the aggression in her eyes much the like orcs she commanded. “It’s time for answers.”

She approached the body, was silent for a long moment, and then said something in orc. Tera grunted mildly and approached the man, kicking him hard in the side.

The man gasped and his eyes shot open, wind knocked from his gut and forcing him to wake. There was a great knot on his scalp where the Bodyguard knocked him and small streams of crimson likewise matted his hair. The man squinted through what must have been a throbbing headache, looking up at them.

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While wrapping the amulet up in the silk cloth that was tied to her waist, she would watch as it seemed to reach out towards the two of them. It longed for the touch of their magic, with only the touch of flesh to bring it to the stone which sat enchanted for the touch of their arts.

“You’re right, it only seems to react to us. Whomever had this made or made it themselves had to have an immense amount of magic. Although how did they transport it without it too taking their own magic?”

Watching as Tera kicked the unconscious man on the ground, he quickly awoke and responded to the violence that was being given to him. They needed answers and fast, in the pit of her stomach Namiko knew that the spirits had lead the Matriarch to her for a reason, a dire one.

Having chosen to follow her knew found sister, to rescue her, she was now in for the long run of whatever the fates held for her. Taking a step back from them she would bring her hands to her mouth, as she would let out a specific whistle. Dropping her hands to her side, she would wait for her horse to return to her side.

Waiting for the beast to return to her, she held the wrapped amulet tightly feeling the presence inside that wished to drain her of all the supernatural powers she was born with.

Moving closer to the group once more, she watched as the man looked up at them with hate in his eyes. He had fight in the look he gave them, even though his head was splitting with the headache he was recently given by the bodyguard.

“Who gave you this amulet?” Holding out the wrapped amulet out of reach of the man, she would watch as he looked at the silk wrap and back to her and the others. Pulling the amulet back into her body, she heard the loyal horse return to the camp that once was filled with their enemies. Breaking away from them for a moment, she would walk to the horse taking hold if it’s reins. Walking the beast back to the group, she would find the saddle bag that would house the amulet for the next bout of travels.

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The Matriarch watched Namiko carefully, her misted eyes swirling within her optics and crimsons lips pressed firmly together. Her gaze was unfocused due to her blindness, but she was unmistakably imbibing her presence. So this was the witch the spirits sent towards her. As noted earlier, she had great potential. Her energy held the grace of the sea and the calmness of the earth. The fan upon her back suggested exquisite ability as splendid to watch as it was frightening to face. She was surprised Luna had not sensed her earlier. The seer herself did not know her role in the story of this premonition, but it must have been pertinent.  

“An amulet of this splendor,” she said mistily, “Likely had favor to its creator or was transported through these foot soldiers. Mules…as it were.”

The imprisoned man spat bitterly to the ground at her words. “Fuck you, ya magic shitting bitch. I ain’t telling you nuthin.” Despite his crude bravado, or perhaps foolishness, the man hunched his soldiers and curled back towards the fire apprehensively when the Bodyguard took a single menacing step forward.

But this was nothing compared to the gaze of the white witch. The Matriarch's hues became saturated with dudgeon; anger literally fuming through the boundaries of her irises and storming with violent aggression. Her lack of focus but insane stare off into space made it all the more intimidating. It was good that Namiko turned away to greet her horse, for while her back was turned the sudden pierce of the man’s agonized yell rattled the night.

Submerged deep within his shin was the blade of the Matriarch's sword, retrieved by the returning Bodyguard and piercing the ground underneath his calf. It marinated the earth it in red only briefly before bolts rushed from the metal and enveloped the man's entire body in electricity. The shock lasted only for five seconds before it stopped and he was left tearing, grasping, and heaving.

The Matriarch’s hand fell back to her side, fingertips calmly brushing against the sides of her thighs. She said nothing, but released a slow exhale. The witch in all her graceful wintry beauty, held the cold and fiercely violent tendencies of the orcs she commanded. Normally her sister witches did not witness this side of her, but under the circumstances of their meeting, she held very loose reins of self control. The heat from the blade's voltage charred and cauterized the pierce, ceasing the spill of blood.

“Who gave you the amulet,” she repeated Namiko’s words.

“Okay…” the man breathed through his pained panting. “Okay…We were hired by a group of rouge elves…They..they wanted us to find individuals of great magic.”

The Matriarch’s eye narrowed. “How?”

“I don’t kn—AHH!”

The Matriarch touched the handle of the blade with her index finger and volts ran through it again, submitting the mercenary to a second great wave of torture. When she lifted her finger, the man took a whole ten seconds to recover.

“What?” she said lowly.

“The..the…” he could barely speak at first, needing to swallow the drool accumulating in his mouth. “The amulet steals magic from those that have it, and glows when close. We can follow its pull. They said if it dun kill ‘em, they have enough potential to bring back.”

“Back to where?”

“Dougton.”

She had a location.

“Who are these elves?”

“I don—NO! I don’t know!” He lifted his hands in plea as the Matriarch rose her hand again towards the sword. “I swear! We’re just mercenaries! We were just hired! Don’t…I swear.”

The Matriarch paused for a moment long enough to make the man sweat, and then lowered her hand. The man placed his hands to the ground, hunching over in lassitude but relief.

“Is there anything else?”

The man was silent in thought, only breathing heavily over the crackles of flame. “They…they said we would be contributing to a new world. I didn’t ask what they meant. I only wanted the money.”

The Matriarch’s aggression rose. This man was nothing but a money hungry mule, not caring for anything beyond his own personal gain. She hated individuals that brushed off the suffering of others for product. She had been a slave her entire life—its what fueled her behavior. He was no different than her ex-owners.

“Tell me…” she said slowly. “How many did you kill with this amulet before finding me?”

The man hesitated. “Listen…I was just makin’ a living…”

The Matriarch frowned deeply. “Turn your eyes away, sister. This is nothing for you to see.”

The Bodyguard came from behind her, removing the sword and grabbing the man by the head, lifting his suddenly thrashing body. The man’s muffled screams came from between the orc’s fingers as The Bodyguard walked to the outskirts of the torch light. It need not be described what the gargantuan orc did to the poor soul, but he did not survive. And he did suffer.

The Matriarch closed her eyes and exhaled softly. Her vindictive emotions settled with a hard swallow. She turned her body towards Namiko. “I’m sorry you had to witness that, but this is beyond both of us.” She closed her eyes and sighed deep. "Dougton..." What sorcery was occurring there?
 

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Leading her horse back to the others, Namiko heard the Matriarch questioning the man. The pain he was feeling was enough to get him to answer her questions, a location had been given up. The culprits were elven, and they were doing something big with their ways of capturing the magic from people like herself.

Looking away with the ending of the man, she had seen a part of the Matriarch she felt might have to be seen with what they were dealing with. Namiko wasn’t a stranger to death, but it had been a long time since she had witnessed someone’s life being taken.

Turning into her horse, she would guide her hands to the saddle bags that were attached to the horse. Placing the covered amulet into the left saddle bag, she would tighten the strap as she closed it. Moving back to the head of her horse, feeling the soft fur under her hands as she patted him gently.

“Dougton?” Moving away from her horse to stand near the Matriarch, she would look down to the dead man. Turning her eyes towards her, she would look deep into her blind orbs. “What do we do next?” Loosely holding onto the reins of the horse, it would stay far from the dead man.

Unsure of what she got herself into, she had to prepare herself for more possible death. A fight would be coming her way she felt, but she wasn’t sure what key part she played.

 

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A veil of ebony lashes descended low upon the witch's clouded eyes and her once even and maintained flow of breath suddenly heightened between those carmine lips. As the intensity of the night drew towards a silence, the storm of exhaustion purloined her calm and before the Matriarch could answer Namiko's question, the strength vanished from her legs. She flew down in a wave of raven locks, landing on her thighs and bracing her torso with palms that oscillated with slumberous struggle to her armored shoulders. The amulet had spent the majority of the passing day draining her energy, it was miraculous she was capable of lasting till then. The sheer will and anger of the transpiring events has empowered her to release the bit of magic she did, but now that was doused. With the danger temporarily gone, she had nothing else to hold. Tera looked over her shoulder, and made a small turn towards the Matriarch but the of dust under her feet reached the witch was the orc was backhanded by a fearsome stare her in direction. Thinning the frown of her lips, Tera looked back towards the field. When the Matriarch engaged Namiko, all the roughness in her face melted away.

"Forgive me."

The witch closed her eyes and breathed, ignoring the rising bitter taste of almost looking so weak in front of the other orcs. Such displays she was strongly against, but her façade buried under the over taxing conditions she had endured. If Namiko tried to help her, she held a hand to stop her, smiling in gratitude but shaking her head.

“I only require rest.” She whispered through her heavy breaths. “We will settle here for the night then journey to Dougton. We must investigate the town and see if we can discover our enemy.” She paused to allow her breasts to heave with much needed oxygen. “And…we will also search more into my premonition at sunrise.”

She rose her hand and touched Namiko’s. As their skin kissed with her own hard and cold exterior against the tenderness and warmth of her sister, the spirits in the very air celebrated the union with an embrace of wind around them. The bond of the coven surrounded the Matriarch as it did all the witches, and their combined voices channeled in the currents with melodic vim.

“You were my first quest, and with you I might be able to unlock more mysteries of the future.”

As if Namiko were a queen, the Matriarch brought her hand close and softly kissed the knuckle. Her lips were cold and deep with rose, but she left no print on the skin then she pulled back. She then released her hand and the wind settled. That’s when the timely Bodyguard returned. He reached for the Matriarch with his right hand, as his left was still dripping with blood, and his arm was so massive that he swooped her up easily like a cradled child.

“The orcs will take guard…” She sighed long and deep before placing another smile on her face. “Until dawn, my sister…” Her eyes closed. She released the last of her fight and fell into a slumber. Another night would be lost, but she had no choice.

As the Bodyguard began to take the Matriarch towards one of the now unoccupied tents, a rough grunt came from Tera. The she-orc was fixated at the waving grass and flora of the blue fields. Her rough featured scrunched into an even more ugly grimace and she began to pace along the outskirts of the camp.

“Where Kana…” she muttered under her breath.

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Listening to the Matriarch closely, she noticed as she started to lose her strength. Falling to her knees, Namiko tried to reach out to her to help but was stopped. Although her help might have been accepted in another time, this wasn’t one for it. Nodding her head to the woman who sought her out based on a vision, she felt her skin touch hers as their hands met.

The very touch of her skin against her own felt like lightning rushing through the skin, the very energy she felt brought a deeper feeling to her own heart. They truly needed her for something beyond her imagination, Namiko chose to jump in head first it seemed. Kissing her hand, Namiko felt a smile pour over her lips as she drank in her words.

“I understand, rest well.” The orcs were to take watch while they slept in their stolen tents, the men who were so bold to attack them were long since gone. Watching as the Matriarch was heaved away in the large male orcs arms into an empty tent, she would turn towards Tera who appeared somewhat worried about her sister Kana.

Walking closer to Tera, she would also peer out into the darkness hoping to see her partner who pushed through with courage to save her group. “She is very strong, she will return.” Turning away from Tera and the darkness, she too would retire to an empty tent.

Finding a cot and some blankets, she would tuck herself away for the night awaiting dawn to grace them with her warmth.

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Tera visibly flinched at Namiko’s words, turning towards her with bitterness and confusion. She pressed her thick lips together into a frown and stared intensely with those carmine eyes, but didn’t say anything. Like Kana, Tera found it strange when a witch showed sincerity. Not only was compassion something not practiced amongst themselves, the leader of the coven spent most of the beginning chapters of their slavery making it absolutely miserable. It was to establish dominance. Tera distrustfully grunted when Namiko strolled away, then looked back towards the fields. She crossed her bulk arms tightly and hunched her shoulders with impatience.

As the night drifted and the moon arched through the black cascade of sky, sleep would not come easily for the witches. When they touched and that unspoken connection was made as the Matriarch’s lips compressed upon Namiko smooth hand, it allowed the land of dreams to bring them together.

The dream would manifest with Namiko standing alone in utter darkness, not a sound or sight allowed in her void. But then suddenly everything began to crack. As if she stood surrounded by hatching shells, crepitations and matching fissures transpired, permeated in cerulean light. Attempting to break into her void were a thousand screaming souls, voices cold and despaired. Then the floor vanished into world of imagery, and the witch would find herself elevating above distant land.

She floated amongst ebony clouds; cloud that broke and scattered into the cerulean light of tormented souls. Below was a circle of seven hooded figures rising their gloved hands to the skies and chanting with iniquitous glee. The witch would not only see the terror, but feel it inside her. It was as if sorrow gravitated to the center of her being, sourced by the souls around her begging for help.

Then if she were to glance up, she'd see that the cracks met at a center where smoke began to simmer and gurgle. Then with terrifying abruptness, the smoke transformed into a descending claw of a vengeful god, reaching for her, hungry to snuff out her existence….

The dream ended.

The Matriarch shot her eyes open and her body forward in the cot, breathing heavily and panicked as the vision abruptly came to an end. It was the same as before, but stressed the urgency of her mission. Little did she know, Namiko had shared it too that night.

Red-Dawn-Blue-Lilies.jpgWhen Namiko awoke and left her tent, she’d find the Matriarch standing in the light of the sunrise. Her body was mildly shadowed in the morning light, but still glimmered from amber hues reflecting off her metallic armor. A gentle breeze lifted her hair and settled it slow upon her back. The dawn was beautiful, shedding an aura upon the Blue Hills that made dew upon pedals sparkle like sapphires. Whether or not the blind witch could appreciate the scene was a wonder. However, the solemn and disturbed expression upon her porcelain face suggested her thoughts were someplace with much less pulchritude.   

The orcs had not slept that night. The Bodyguard set near the tent the Matriarch had slumbered, his crimson eyes half closed but the brilliant light clearly reflecting off his irises like blood. Tera was in the exact same position in which Namiko had left her, arms crossed and staring into the blue fields. Several more hounds now rested throughout the campsite and the cattle like beast gazed nearby. Kana, who had returned that night, was sitting down amongst the slumbering hounds and sharpening the bony heads of her arrows.

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Namiko had finally settled her body into a comfortable position in the leftover cot, wrapped in the blankets that were left untouched by whoever was supposed to be in the tent. The will of sleep had taken hold of her, but it would leave her restless and sweaty.

The dream would manifest with Namiko standing alone in utter darkness, not a sound or sight allowed in her void. But then suddenly everything began to crack. As if she stood surrounded by hatching shells, crepitations and matching fissures transpired, permeated in cerulean light. Attempting to break into her void were a thousand screaming souls, voices cold and despaired. Then the floor vanished into world of imagery, and the witch would find herself elevating above distant land.

She floated amongst ebony clouds; cloud that broke and scattered into the cerulean light of tormented souls. Below was a circle of seven hooded figures rising their gloved hands to the skies and chanting with iniquitous glee. The witch would not only see the terror, but feel it inside her. It was as if sorrow gravitated to the center of her being, sourced by the souls around her begging for help.

Then if she were to glance up, she'd see that the cracks met at a center where smoke began to simmer and gurgle. Then with terrifying abruptness, the smoke transformed into a descending claw of a vengeful god, reaching for her, hungry to snuff out her existence….

The dream ended.

Waking from this dream had her drenched in sweat, her body shook to the cold that was created through the expiration of body temperature. Throwing off the blankets that were left on her body, she would clutch her left hand to her chest, while she held herself up with her right. Staring at the opening of the tent, she wasn’t quite back in reality as her mind played over the visions that graced her.

Sucking in a deep breath, she would hold it for a moment. Letting the soft warmth of her breath leave in a rush, she moved to step through the opening of her tent in one full movement off the cot. Paying no mind to the orcs that sat about the camp, she saw the Matriarch standing watching the sunrise. Closing the space between them, Namiko would stand behind her to the right of her shoulder.

“Soothing to see the sun rise once more..” Her thoughts would go back to the dark void of her dreams, of what monster that came for them. “I wished for peaceful sleep, all I got were visions of darkness or treachery.. of the impending doom..” She cared not that she shared openly with her, they had formed a bond last night with the touch of her lips to Namiko’s hand.

 

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