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Cursed_Royalty

NC-17 An Adventure in Ildrana

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Miran sighed softly as he looked out to the pier he had been ordered to find by his employer, his eyes looking to medium sized looking vessel, noting its single-mast construction was fairly shoddy, and right away he regretted taking the job. He was to go out and catch a mermaid. Any other mercenary would’ve laughed at the old man when he said that and would’ve walked away, but the half-Orc was too proud and too poor to refuse such a lucrative offer, even if the mermaids hadn’t been sighted in over two hundred years. Miran rubbed his large hands through his tightly bound hair he had done up in a ponytail, the sides of his head shaved clean, and his lightly scarred face displaying years of abuse, but he wasn’t like most Orcs. His skin was a pale tanned brown shade, much like the hide of a young colt’s brown hair.

He remembered the old man’s words rather clearly, his voice shaking, but he caught every word, “Take my boat, fetch my granddaughter a beautiful birthday present; a mermaid, and I will make you a very wealthy man. He despised having to be reduced to such a simple task as being a fisherman, but as he sat in the boat, unfurled the sail and felt it lurch forward Miran felt his confidence soaring. He had always been a land bound person, living high on the mountains with the rest of his tribe, but on the sea he could feel a certain power beneath him, and that brought a smirk to his stubble covered face. At least if he didn’t catch a mermaid, his benefactor had paid gave him his boat and more than enough rum in the hold to last him three days.

 

When Miran had reached the point in the ocean where the seas seemed calmest he cast out the net, threw out a fishing pole, and yawned out loudly into the open sea air. This would be his easiest job as mercenary, and with any luck, it would be his last. He began to daydream under the warm Ildranan sun, smiling as he began to wonder if Sola was smiling on his face, but simply began to think about what he would do with his 3,000 gold coin reward waiting for him when he returned with the mermaid.

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Auait thrust her strong dark purple tail fading into a soft lilac and tipped in pure white and golden sand colored speckles. Huge excited blue eyes stared eagerly towards the surface as she kept pulling more speed from her being. Large flushed pink lips spread into an exploding smile as she broke the water's top and threw her entire self into the air, flying just like the birds did. A large bare set of breasts perked and bounced in the adoring sun's gaze. Long, wet, black hair arched and flailed in the air while her arms spread wide in and always failed to capture the sky in her arms. Auait took in a deep breath as her body spun and twirled happily in the salty sea air.

 

Her body took on gravity's will and soon fell back into the ocean where she drifted down slowly from the surface and watched the light as it bounced through the ripples and an occasional wave. Happiness disappeared from the bright pink lips, her arms falling behind her in a kind of empty defeat. She felt so free beyond the surface, where the birds chose to land on her waters and lift off at choice. Why was she restricted to such one side of the world. There was more to understand and it upset her that everyone was so content living as if there was nothing but the sea floor and what it contained. Was no one curious as to why the land walkers had devices that defied the water? Why they dropped nets into their waters for their need to eat? The elders were always hushing her, driving away her questions and filling her upset each and every time. Eventually they were going to regret it, and today was that day.

 

 

The purple tailed mermaid picked up her lifeless gait and began fluttering through the water with a desire, purpose and a choice. She was going to gather answers and understanding. There was going to be knowledge in her generation, as there had been none nearly two hundred years since a lore that barely had a story. Only that, she knew at least, land dwellers and those of the sea had shook hands in friendship, trade, companionship even. She would do that, shake the hand of a land dweller, trade with them, find companionship with one! If the lore was not wrong, it could and would be done.

 

Breaking the surface and then diving back into it she made good time and distance from the darker depths of the sea until she was in sight of an object that did not belong on top of the water like a sea bird. She began to swim slowly in its direction with wide curious eyes. It had been months since she had seen the wooden devices anywhere out this far.

 

Once she had closed the gap between not knowing what the small wooden boat carried and then seeing what it did her entire being froze. Her chest heaved slowly, feeling a thrill fly to the tip of her fin and then race back and stab her in her lower back. Auait caught her breath and tried to steady the racing feeling that made her so giddy in excitement, and then the fear that followed. She was within a distance of that boat that she could be taken from her home, these salty waters, and into a hell that was described by the elders. Auait had to choose chance or remain boxed in and falling deeper and deeper into the fantasy she wrote for herself every day. “What is it going to be?†She murmured to herself as she swam quietly, slowly to the boats edge.

 

Carefully she looked up to find a dry collection of hair hanging over the edge of the boat. Her orbs were as bright as the sea as she eyed the sight. A pale, wet left hand came up and grasped the side of the boat to stabilize her as she brought up her right hand and touched the dry land walkers hair. Auait let out a soft gasp, trying to bottle in her excitement and emotion. She had touched his hair! Her first real contact with a land walker! Sure he had not really consented but, but, she had done it!

 

Auait grew too brave too fast as she swam to the other side of the boat and threw both of her hands on the edge of the wooden construction. Just touching his hair had thrown her into an interested and confused frenzy. She had no skill with mounting a boat or climbing onto odd structures above the water. So it was only a matter of time before she would need to slide back into the waters. That much she had told herself as she lifted out of the water, her large pale breasts pressing up against the edge of the boat until she was able to heave herself above its edge and each one slide over elegantly into view.

 

The sight before her left her confused and greatly interested. Elders had never described anything of what she was looking at. What . . . was it? Auait had such a curious dumb look on her face as she remained perched with only her chest spilling into the boat. She really wanted to stop and ask it, but, it seemed it was not as interested in her in a calm manner as she was in him. For the moment he was awake their eyes married one another for only several moments before he began his chosen actions.

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It had been only a short while after stowing the sails and sitting on the Starboard railing of the small vessel, that he had already broken into the hold, stealing a few of the finer bottles of alcohol that he had ever seen; including a bottle of Durgan Rock Whiskey from before the last great Orcish raid on the Dwarven fort which had ceased all production of the deliciously intoxicating beverage. His strong jaw grew slack after the first few sips of the fine liquor, almost bearing his jagged Orcish teeth, and his body growing steadily hot yet relaxed as he felt the waves of the ocean a bit more now.

His fishing quickly grew into dozing, which quickly developed into a simple waiting game with the nets. He could feel his eye lids already drooping even after having played his fifth game of “Ogre’s Clubsâ€; which was not meant to be played with only one player and his own attempts to amuse himself were quickly dwindling into a mixture of more liquor and more sitting. Thankfully though, despite the rare labels he was drinking, his mind remained fairly sober.

Still, Miran began to remove his armor one piece at a time, leaving himself only in his white cotton dressing tunic, a pair of half-torn leggings that reached his knees, and a pair of linen bandages wrapped around each foot. His muscular body bulged ever so slightly even against the large fitting tunic, a clear display of his race’s peak physical conditions and requirements.

His amber eyes glanced over a few scars on his legs, knowing more were to be found just under his clothes, but the sound of the bell on the end of his fishing pole finally rang, allowing him to real in a tiny salmon that would not even be a full bite when he cooked it below deck.

He quickly gave up the idea of fishing for his meal, instead relying on the food that the old man had stored in the hold, and sat against the railing of the Starboard side. His hand rubbing idly at his chest as his lungs filled more and more with the salty sea air.

He must’ve dozed off, the sun had moved, but he was sure that the oceans churning below the hull were not what had woken him. He slowly rubbed his eyes, looking about the deck of the small vessel before finally spotting the one thing that was definitely a new addition to the ship that had not been there when he set sail; a pair of rather succulently large breasts that would make even a serving wench jealous and a pair of sparkling blue eyes. Their eyes were locked; he had never expected to see a woman so beautiful, especially out here in the middle of the ocean. He must’ve drank more than he thought, surely he was just hallucinating, but as he slowly crawled over to her he tried to keep as calm and collected as he could.

Miran had no real plan with what he was going to do, surely she was a mermaid unless some girl stowed away on the ship, but it was much too small for anyone to have snuck by him even while he was dozing on the deck’s railing. He slowly lifted a hand towards the woman, wanting to even just touch the girl to reassure him that he wasn’t just having a dream.

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Auait eyes grew startled as he neared her. He moved so slow and seemed as transfixed as she was. She pulled back from the boats edge a little when his figure out stretched a limb in her direction.

 

The Orc stopped his outstretched hand, eying her before he softly cleared his throat and tried to speak but his voice only came out in a half-nervous shake and half-questioning tone, "Are you... A Merfolk?"

 

Miran almost died from surprise, he was set, rich beyond his wildest dreams, and the beautiful creature had practically flopped onto the deck on her own! He laughed as he shook his head before returning his gaze to hers, "Oh thank the Old Ones... You aren't a hallucination... Come! Sit on the deck with me, you look uncomfortable trying to hold yourself up on the railing."

 

She shook her head. "What are you?" Auait asked in return to his inquiry about her.

 

He looked at her with a bit of confusion at the question before nodding, the merfolk had not been seen in almost two hundred years so naturally the Orcs had not come down from the mountains yet when they were on land, and he answered her as plainly as he could, "I'm a mountain dweller, a member of the Orcish people, a son of the Kad'an Clan, son of Urgat and Higran, I am Miran."

 

"Mountain?" She repeated the word slightly confused. "Orcish? I do not know what that is." She admitted as her face squinted in the sudden bright ray of light that invaded her vision. After the glare had passed she leaned back over the boats edge a little, her tail curling up behind her and peeking above the boats edge. "Why are you here?"

 

He almost groaned at his own stupidity, trying to think of how best to explain both a mountain and the Orcish people to someone who had never walked on land, and only heaved a heavy sigh of contemplative thought before he heard her last question, "I-I am fishing? Did you not see the nets?"

 

He technically was not lying, but he didn't want to tell her what he was fishing for exactly.

 

Her head shook again. "I only saw the wooden boat. " She said keeping her attention on him. "Why would you choose to leave your mountains?" Auait questioned him, maybe it would lead to understanding for her and how to choose to leave her native waters someday.

 

He thought on the question a moment, wondering what it really was that made him leave the mountain, but then settled on an answer, "I left to see the world, in the Mountains I would've only see the same mountains and caves, and why did you choose to talk to me? Your people have not been seen in ages."

 

Her eyes began to wander after he asked the question. She could not focus on him and talk about it easily. For the strangest reason talking to a land dweller about her people and their choice to become reclusive upset her too much to share in great detail like him. “Because I never have.†Auait replied simply, her eyes falling back on him as her tail continued to fidget in a slightly nervous fashion. “They have chosen that. I did not.†Was her answer to a sad fact she wished was untrue. “If I enter your boat, you will not harm me?†The mermaid asked him with a genuine stare, waiting for an answer.

 

Miran nodded as he slowly stood up on the deck of the boat with a large smile on his face, bearing his sharp toothed grin inadvertently as he held out a hand to her, "Of course! You're more than welcome on my ship, it would be an honor to host such an amazing visitor such as yourself."

 

He wouldn't dream of hurting her, after all, she was his meal ticket, his one means of actually making a fortune for himself, and that meant that he would need to keep her as protected as a newborn human babe.

 

Taking his hand she grasped his dry, rough one with her soft wet one. He hauled her in easy enough, sliding the long fish tail of dark purple, lilac and white with the sand colored speckles. Sitting up against the side of the boat she curled her tail up against her and watched the Orc named Miran as he situated himself. He considered her an honored guest? The elders had never held such a story in her mind where the land dwellers found honor in their kind anymore. Why would he? Auait pushed several dry strands of hair behind her shoulder as her fingers still clung to the side of the boat apprehensive of her host.

 

 

Miran glanced around the boat as she still gazed at him as though he would attack her, he began to realize his error in his own words as he looked to her with another smaller, less toothy smile, "Would you care for a drink? Perhaps something to eat? Maybe something... To wear?"

 

He had not expected the merfolk to be so unassuming when it came to their nakedness, he even began to blush as he looked to the blue sky, averting his gaze out of manners alone. If Orcs were one thing, it was respectful, even when tearing you limb from limb, they respected the person.

 

Auait shook her head to him, her eyes still watching how he walked, moved, spoke, everything. Just watching him was enough for her at the moment, and keeping her guard up. “If you would just talk to me about anything, I would be so grateful.†The mermaid said earnestly. “I don't know anything about your lands or its people. I only know paranoid stories meant to keep us away from your beaches.†Auait explained to him sadly. He seemed to not believe her offer and pushed a cup into her hand and made the motion to partake in its contents. Afraid yet curious of the horrid smelling drink she drank it in a single gulp, not realizing her error. Auait dropped the cup by her side reeling in the sting and harshness of what he had given her. She clutched the side of the boat a little more fiercely. “What the depths was that!†Auait hissed as she pressed her chest up against the boat, face twisting in all kinds of emotion and confusion.

 

He smiled as he poured another cup of the extremely potent rum from the bottle before taking a large gulp of the drink straight from the open mouth of the glass container, he almost chuckled at the sudden surprise and contortions the poor teetotaler went through, "It's rum! It's a celebratory drink that we give to honored guests, and since you're are my guest, we drink in your honor!"

 

He smiled as he began to talk about meaningless dribble about the mountains, recounting old stories from the clan's chieftain that he had heard as a boy, but he hoped that she would continue drinking despite the strong liquor and her obvious lack of experience with alcohol.

 

Auait listened to him talk about things that only sounded like a well woven story. He made it sound like there was a world within a world at this point. She only lived in part of it, he had seen a lot of it if not all of it. There was immense envy for what he had been given. Several more horrid drinks were pushed into her hand, he wanted celebration and she only felt odd motion and balance eventually failing to keep her clinging to the boat side. At this point she was quite literally a fish out of water and could not recall the last few words he spoke before her lids closed and she fell against the deck of the ship and fell asleep.

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When the mermaid had finally dozed off into an inebriated sleep, Marin could only heavy a heavy sigh as he looked up to see the sun already beginning to set, and after finding a length of rope to bind the woman’s hands as he tucked her arms under her fin he set out unfurling his sail. He had the small boat turned about before he looked down the naked body of his new key to a better life, beginning to feel sorry for the creature as she shivered with the steadily cooling night, and after a quick search in the cabin of the small vessel and produced a large blanket, wrapping the mermaid up in it before manning the wheel and heading towards his port of origin.

It wasn’t long before the midnight hour came around, so too did the sight of the land on the horizon before he found the port he was looking for and quickly tied the boat to the wooden dock. Hefting the girl onto his back, carrying her over one shoulder as he made his way through the dark streets and to the house of the old man who had hired him, and finally finding his door with a candle on in one of the rooms on the second floor. It was a welcome sight as he wrapped his knuckles against the door and begged the pardon of the servant who greeted him in his night shirt. The servant led him up to his master’s room, opening the door and announcing him before leaving them to their business.

 

The old man looked incredulously to the young Orc, wondering how it had taken him so little time to find what he had searched his whole life for, eyeing him suspiciously before he patted the woman’s head and questioned Marin, “Is… Is she really a… A mermaid?â€

Marin flashed a sharp-toothed grin as he nodded, carrying the bundled up body to the bed and setting her on the feather mattress before looking to his employer with all the pride he could muster before he threw the blanket off of her body and bowed to the man.

A long quiet moment passed, the room’s only sound was the crackling of the fire in the hearth, but then the room filled with the old man’s voice filled with rage, “Do you take me for a fool?!â€
 

Marin stood shocked as he flashed his gaze to the mermaid only to see that her legs were as normal as any human girls, his eyes going wide with amazement as he tossed his gaze between the old man and the now naked girl’s rather normal legs, his voice sputtering with denial, “N-No! You don’t understand! Sh-Sh-She had a tail! Fins! She came out of the water!â€

The old man shook his head and waved his hand at the Orc with a grunting slur of insults to the tan-skinned Orc’s heritage. Marin hung his head low as the old man growled at him, “You take that whore and you get out of here, I don’t want to see you ever again, I’m not paying you.â€

Marin bowed low and hefted the body back onto his shoulder, carrying her down into the dark streets, out of the city, and then propped her against a tree after setting up what little of a camp he could. Morning would come soon; he would wake the woman up and demand answers of her. He wanted to know how she had come into legs, whether she was an actual mermaid or not, and he wanted to know what she would do now. As he watched her sleep, he felt a bit guilt at having made her drink so much, and he wondered if she would understand that he had only meant to make a bit of coin.

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

The old man chuckled softly as he shook his head when the Orc had left; a real mermaid had lain on his bed. He had believed the young Orc when he said that she was a mermaid, he had no reason not to, but he could tell she was special, and he knew that he couldn’t have the Orc walking around with the knowledge that the first Mermaid seen in two hundred years was being held prisoner by an old man for his own sadistic means. A quick toss of some magic dust into the fireplace and a shadowy figure stood before the elderly human who simply gave the thing an order, “Follow the Orc, kill him when the girl wakes up, and bring the girl to me.â€

As quickly as the shadow had appeared, so too did it vanish into a cloud of smoke, the old man left playing with his solid gold signet ring idly as he chuckled, “To think that old Lord Daleson would have the first Mermaid to be seen by mortals in over two centuries to do with as he pleases.â€

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Her forehead throbbed with such hate against her being. Auait's eyes narrowed tightly as she felt the light increase the pain her her head. The entirety of her body curled up against herself, two independent movements shifted under the covers, which startled her. Auait's hazy blue eyes grew wide, startled by what could be aiming to do ill to her. She pulled back the covers to find her scaled lower body gone, no fins but land walker apendages. Auait let out a high pitched scream of fear, terror and lack of understanding. Scooting away from herself into the Orc named Miran she shrieked again and fell into a shaken, crazed withdrawn figure.

 

Miran jolted awake at the sound of the woman's shrieks, his own hand reaching out to pull her close to make sure that she wasn't being kidnapped, but instead he was surprised to find her pressed up against him for a moment before she jumped away. The Orc quickl tried to calm her, holding up his hands in a peaceful gesture as he spoke softly, "Calm down, it's okay, I can explain everything."

 

He temporarily forgot the questions of why she had fins or whether or not she was real mermaid.

 

Her eyes were wild and confused. “Then explain!†She shrieked at him. “Explain what you did to change me to be like you with out my consent! Explain!†She yelled with more presence and authority than she had had being a curious, unknowing mermaid.

 

He opened his eyes almost as wide as she had hers, his mouth barely opening to say a word before he shot back, "I'd like to ask you the same thing! You changed right when I needed you the most!"

 

He stopped his words, but they were too late as he sat back a bit on his knees, "I'm sorry I made you drink so much..."

 

She looked at him in such upset confusion. There was no way to figure if she was in a twisted dream or he was earnest and then the words out of his mouth! What the depth was she to think about that! “Made me?†She cried frantically. “What is going on? Please tell me.†Tears had finally fallen from her large blue orbs. “Why did you do this to me? What have I done?â€

 

Miran gently placed a hand at her shoulder, hoping to calm her even more as he shook his head at her endless stream of questions, "You've done nothing wrong, it's my fault, I treated you badly."

 

He felt so ashamed as he saw her tears streaming down her face, but he couldn't think of anything to do or say in order to calm her. He could only rub at his black haired scalp with a sigh before looking away into the night sky.

 

Her chest heaved roughly as she tried to communicate with him. “You did? How?†She still understood nothing.

 

He looked into her eyes and could only feel more strain as he answered her, "I tried to sell you to an old man, but when your legs changed, he thought I tried to scam him... So, I guess that means you are stuck with me till I can figure out how to turn you back into a mermaid or till I can find out what to do with you."

 

He thought on that for a moment before he added on, "But, I won't hurt you, I promise on the souls of my ancestors I will not harm you."

 

Auait's head shook at him angrily. “You had everything in your right mind to hand me over to something that could and would. So you're just as horrid as it.†The mermaid accused as she leaned against a tree and tried to climb it for support, though having legs for the first time she was unskilled and unable. She fell to the ground torn into many emotions, feeling her entire self perish each labored breath. There was no way for her to help herself. The only form of help was the one that had drug her to his dry lands.

 

Marin sighed softly before extending his hand to the woman and stood up, he wanted to make things right, especially since now he felt responsible for everything that had happened so far, and all truth he was responsible, but he wanted to make things right. He looked down to her with his soft amber eyes still weary with sleep stared into her blue eyed gaze as he smiled softly, "I want to make it up to you, I want show you everything this world has to offer."

 

Auait looked up at him, sobbing puffy red eyes and nose. “Why would you wish to do that. I was your ticket to happiness.†She said angrily.

 

"Ticket or not... You are the first mermaid to see land in over 200 years, and all you've seen so far is that you were almost sold into slavery... I should have put a better example forward for you to judge Ildrana by other than just brutes only looking for money," he half heard his own father's voice through his words, but he knew that it was his feelings. He was upset that he wasn't already rich beyond his wildest dreams, but he also knew that he had to do the right thing, not the most profitable thing.

 

He found her something unique and respectable. Felt a need to repay a debt he himself had caused. Auait understood his grief but it did not change how upset and distraught he had driven her. “How do you even think so greedily and then the next moment act out in kindness to what you've sentenced to damnation!†Auait said still gravely upset. She kept away from him, scooting a farther distance from his outstretched hand. “Maybe you should share your harsh smelly drink with me again so that I don't have a choice in any matter ever again!†Auait was so angry and distraught. She had never acted in violence or extreme hate against someone until he had decided her worth in his world of the land walkers.

 

Auait found, tried to find, comfort in herself as she pulled away from the conflicted land walker. He seemed to say well and or offer kindness. Yet it tore more from her in one instance than she had desired. She simply desired to be back, moping about her waters where she was at least able to recoup and move on. Here she was forced into a situation of possibly never coming out of what she had been thrown into. All because of this single land walker.

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It was far too dark, far too late at night, and there was far too little reward to be had for following an Orc, especially to a member of the infamous Shadow Dancers Guild. Still, Rufus Madriss was bound to Lord Daleson till his debt to the old man was repaid, and with the act of simply following the Orc netting him a sizable chunk of his repayment, he was more than eager to oblige. Sadly though, his skills were lacking as even the Orc almost vanished out from underneath him, but he kept a close watch.  Madriss had followed the Orc out of the city to a small open area in the forest just beyond the gates, his mind filtering through his instructions despite their simplicity, “Follow the Orc, check. Kill the orc when the girl wakes up, right. Bring the girl to him, Easy to remember.â€

The Shadow Dancer was a rather clumsy fellow to say the least, the exact reason why he was indebted to the old Lord Daleson in the first place since he had been thwarted in an attempt on the very man’s life. Lord Daleson easily quashed any attempt at his murder by simply forgetting to drink his own tea, when Madriss had poisoned the beverage, bringing it up to Lord Daleson, he handed the cup to him with a smile on his face, but Daleson set it on his bedside table and went to sleep. Madriss, being a less than intelligent assassin took a sip of the tea from Daleson’s cup, checking to see if the man could tell that it was poisoned, only to pass out from his own poison.

Madriss waited, watching as the Orc went about setting up camp, a fire, and even falling asleep while still being under the Shadow Dancer’s gaze, but soon, after the campsite went quiet, Madriss began to doze off. His dark blue irises struggling to keep his eyelids open, his sandy blonde hair beginning to feel more and more comfortable by the moment, and despite being almost twenty feet up in a tree just above his targets he fell fast asleep. The only sound that woke the would be assassin up was the shriek of the girl’s voice, causing him to roll off of the tree’s limb, barely managing to catch his hand on the bark as he struggled to keep himself from falling right between the Orc and his girl. He could do nothing but listen to their conversation as Madriss tried to pull himself back onto the branch.

_______________________________________________________

 

Miran looked to the woman, unable to actually prove that he was sorry for his actions, while of course he was torn between wealth and kindness, he honestly did want to help her, and seeing as how she was just a normal human without her tail, she was as worthless as any other Human. He grimaced at his Grandfather’s prejudices burrowing out of his memories, he had not thought ill of another race since he had first gone out into the world to make his fortune, two traits he could thank his Human mother for, and he could only shake the thought of his Grandfather’s words echoing in his mind. Miran was quickly growing tired, the moon was already high in the night sky and making it’s way down, but as he began to speak again, hoping to convince his “mermaid†to stay with him at least till they discovered how to change her back, a loud snap from above caught his attention as a rather darkly dressed, hooded man dropped between them.

 

Miran eyed the man suspiciously, his hand reaching for his war axe slowly, but he let it hover over the handle at his hip when the man grabbed at his daggers, flashing the twin blades to the orc before lunging toward him. Miran moved fast, barely managing to dodge the first strike as it slid inches from his chest, and his hand shot from his hip to above his head,  his waraxe raised high as it made it’s decent and just barely missed the darkly clothed man. The fight was rather fast paced for a nighttime brawl between an Orcish son of the Clans and a clumsy member of the Shadow Dancers Guild.

Miran quickly moved between the man and Auait, hoping to protect her as he raised his axe in one hand again and brought it down right at his opponents head, but only a second too late as the man rolled to one side before making his charge. A heated battle ensued as the two fought tooth and nail, Miran using his war axe and fists interchangeably as he slammed his clenched fist down hard on the man’s jaw, quickly moving to strike with his axe, but missed the hit as the man fell back onto his backside. The man charging towards him with both blades drawn made Miran go on the defensive, now dealing with moving about the small campsite rather than trying to out power the man through brute force. Miran stepped forward and cut a swathing strike into the man’s shoulder , causing him to howl as the blood from the wound began to come out.

Blades flashed and clanged as Miran did his best to work his strength as close to the man’s speed as he could, but when the dagger caught the Orc’s temple, smashing him with the pommel, the shadowy man grabbed the girl around the waist, hefted her up onto his shoulder, and ran off into the night as Miran lay motionless for a time.

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Madriss grinned wickedly after he  had bested the Orc, stealing the girl, and getting away with a crime so devious and easy that he would be able to easily milk the story for a good month or two. He laughed to himself, he was rather happy that it had worked out this way, not many average people could say they killed an Orc, nor that they had done it by themselves, but Madriss was far from average.
 

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