I awoke from my slumber to a shining light in my eye. The tavern in which my room was located stood in a village not too far from where I first set off into my journey from my comfy little cottage house. Jardon and I, Kaleb, ran into each other some years back over a family dispute. Today I had woken up from the room that I rented for myself and now await for my colossal friend to awaken from his slumber as well. After a while of using the conveniences which the tavern had provided us, Jardon soon came knocking on my door with his battle axe leaning off his shoulder and all.
I was always impressed with Jardon’s choice of weaponry. His axe had the components of, well, an axe, and a hammer with a handle made by the finest craftsmanship. I, on the other hand, simply wielded a war hammer and a hand axe. Both slung off my crisscrossed holster which made an X on my back. One slot held my hammer and the other my axe. I made sure to have my crossbow readily equipped in my hand. Each of my weapons were engraved with the same symbol; a mace with a boot on it which was the symbol that praised my fellow Dwarflings’ lord, Marmathello. I hold it an honor to serve as cleric to our lord and savior Marmathello.
As I admire the size of my friend, as it surely is what has protected us from trouble in the past, he motions for me to grab my stuff so that we may continue our journey. Perhaps we will appease our own objectives by the end of it.
After three days of long rest at the town’s tavern, Jardon and myself are refreshed and ready to complete our journey by any means necessary. I long to free my cousins from captivity while Jardon tagged along in the hopes of punishing those who captured my family; they’ve had a reputation for raiding villages. They’re mistake was to have slaughtered Jardon’s dearest sister, Ellie. According to Jardon, their heartlessness will not go unchecked.
For a long while, the path we chose as we entered the forest was idle. This was until I heard a sharp whip through the air that sounded much like an arrow...and so it was. The arrow landed with a quick thud to my right in between Jardon and I. At that moment, our heads rose from the arrow on the ground to each other.
Another two would have impaled both of us had we not sprinted to the cover of bushes to our left and right of our path. The raiders reveal themselves; two Orcs with crossbows supplied by bolts. With my crossbow readied, I shoot with the hopes of blinding the Orc closest to me. I could’ve been successful had it not been for the slip of my finger due to my haste and it was now caught in the bone right below his eye socket. The Orc I just shot was not pleased and readied another bolt towards me while the Orc next to him readied his own bolt towards Jardon as Jardon had already frenzied uncontrollably toward the unharmed Orc. In a panic, I cast a protective barrier on Jardon except it wasn’t the strongest one so any damage done to him would still harm him. I would take half of the damage for him. I assumed this was a good idea since they couldn't act quickly with the constant reloading of their crossbows. Therefore, there wouldn't be much damage done to Jardon anyway. I was mistaken. Jardon manages to grab the Orc by the neck and slam him to the ground but the Orc I injured pulls out a hand axe from his holster. I immediately pull out my own hand axe and let it fly towards the Orc’s wrist. As the orc recoils for a final death blow on Jardon, my hand axe manages to slice through bone. He lets out a roar which I had assumed was from pain but actually turned out to be anger. With his only available arm, he grabs the back of Jardon’s neck and sends him flying in my direction. The weight of him was unbearable and I heard a crunch from my arm from when I attempted to keep myself from hitting the ground too hard. As Jardon was stunned and unable to move, the least injured Orc swung his hammer into Jardon’s chest. A disturbing crack came from Jardon’s chest. These Orcs have proved that they’d matched my fellow traveler and he now lay unconscious on top of me while I, reliant on my magic to compensate for my strength, could not move. Being the youngest of my cousins, I was merely a cleric in training. The Orc who I’d handicapped slowly walked up to me with a satisfied grin as he was the one with my battle axe in hand and I was at a disadvantage.
“Finish him quickly,” says the second Orc.
“Don’t tell me what to do.”
The handless Orc swing back for a critical blow. Then, by amazing chance, my mind was able to recall the ‘Command’ spell I had trouble learning in my earliest days as a Cleric in training. I had not yet perfected my technique and the average concentration to successfully perform the enchantment took up to at least 1 minute. All I could think was to attempt to fit a minute’s worth of concentration into 5 seconds. I closed my eyes and blocked all sound. I let my mind flow with memories of enchantment as I willed my command to reach both Orcs.
“By the lord’s will of the Hill dwarfs, you will do as I command!” I released with the breath I had left.
Both froze in place and simultaneously faced themselves in my direction.
“End him with the axe in your hand.” The Orc with the axe let out a battle cry that was unhinged and proceeded to jump onto his Orc friend, slicing the axe in and out of open flesh one after the other. He stared mindlessly at his butchered friend.
He lifts up his bloodied axe and slices his own throat open. He falls to the ground next to me and I watched as the life drained from his eyes. I grimaced as I pushed Jardon off inch by inch. Thankfully I didn’t attempt to do this during battle. The Orcs would definitely have seen the chance to finish me off during my struggle. Before our trip I constructed a paste that could awaken the unconscious and this is what I did for Jardon. He stirred a bit. Slowly but surely he regained his senses. He let out a roar of laughter.
“Good job, my friend,” he bellowed as he firmly pounded my back in a congratulatory fashion.
“I must create a splint for my arm.”
“Take one of your elixirs! You deserve it.”
“I won’t take any until I’m sure we’ll find more. That is...if we have the fortune of finding a merchant’s shop. It’s not like the ingredients are easy to find. I must keep these in case we reach my cousins. Who knows what condition we’ll find them in.”
Jardon shrugs his shoulders and off we go again after I fastened two sticks with twine to support my arm.