AOH – Chapter 101

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CHAPTER 101: ORC HORDE

‘Hoouh we finally arrived.’ Velamina exclaimed. Behind her is the caravan and two dwarves.

Many have happened since they got down from the mountain.

Too many have happened. Velamina look at one of the dwarves and she look at it with a disgusting expression.

‘His fault’ she muttered under her breath.

Arial enter around the stairwell that leads to tunnels, wide tunnels until they arrived here. Taigns is what dwarves called their underground settlement.

No one knows why but it seems dwarves like living underground. From what Vigrun tell Arial, every taigns is connected with each other by the Ara’l Shar roads.

A deep road under the earth, underground. Arial could not help but connect dwarves to a mole or a badger.

Each taigns is named after prominent houses of dwarves. Most of these Houses no longer exist, a remnant of the past.

They have lived under here for ages even boasting during the Age of Gods, that if the First Generation unleashes their spear, the dwarves will survive.

Well, since the First Generation never did unleash it on Anvali, no one will ever know whether their boasting is actually true.

No one seem to know why they chose underground as their settlement. Arial see the taigns as fortresses.

Surely if one decides to invade the dwarven lands they will find themselves sieging an impenetrable, connected and well supplied fortress he thought to himself.

‘Orgehren’ Arial ask as they arrived at Sar Ve’rol. Even Arial is slightly annoyed at this one dwarve

‘Yes, my lord?’ ‘The dwarves have how many taigns?’

‘They have 7, Arial’ Velamina answered

‘The lord is asking me Elf!’

‘Which means the lord is obviously drunk like you Orgeheren.’

‘Drunk? Me?’

‘Yes, like you. Because I’m sure the lord will not ask such question to someone so drunk that he would mistake a bedroom as bathroom.’

‘You are still angry about that?’

‘Of course I am.’ She yelled.

‘Enough!’ And that shut them up

‘7 taigns huh?’

Then Orgehren eager to please quickly speaks up.

‘Milord there is the Sar Ve’rol, Varazamar, Ara’l Shar, Car Gor’lit, Ragarak, Sa Da’an, and Sal’ Run. Sar Ve’rol is the center of smithing knowledge which is why I guide you here milord to try smithing the scale and combine it with mithril.’ He said enthusiastically, no doubt wanting recognition.

Arial still remember their journey here. Orgheren seems like a nice mercenary and capable soldier but when we move in a small group Arial could see why so many complain about him.

He likes to drink.

Really, really like to drink. And when he drinks he got drunk. And when he got drunk, we will always get in trouble afterwards.

How many times they have to delay their journey because of him, Arial has lost count and his patience is wearing thin.

The dwarves keep explaining.

‘Varazamar is Our Capital deep in the hearts of the Tunneling roads. Ara’l Shar is the hidden city of ancient knowledge only a few can enter. Usually scholars of Sal’ Run can enter but other than that entrance is invitation only.’

‘How about the rest of them?’ Arial asked. He may be annoyed but he will not waste opportunity not to learn about the dwarves.

Arial doesn’t want to spend so much time here. He just wants to craft the dragon scale and then they will go to the Orc land.

Though he must stop at Arakath first to send his loot.

And he could not wait to get rid of Orgheren. His chattering and drunkenness even drove the Orcs and the Elves to rescind his offer.

For all in Arial life, he has never met another person as annoying as Orgheren.

‘Well, Car Gor’lit is the fortress for the Dwarven Elite Guard. Ragarak is the glittering city as the silver veins and gold veins around the taigns ran so deep it made the entire taigns sparkle. It located deep in the Roads. Sa Da’an is a trade post near the surface to trade with the Kobolds and the other races and Sal’ Run is the City of Ancestors.’ Orgehren quickly explained

‘Humph’ Velamina snorted.

‘That is good.’ I said nodding. At least I know the taigns.

When I return I will send my traders to each of the thaign to open a trade post. No I shake my head.

Better to put some traders as intermediaries as administrators rather than asking them to work under here.

It all seems gloomy. I don’t think human could live under here for long and not suffer from lack of sunlight.

‘Velamina’

‘Yes, Arial’

‘Want to go exploring?’

‘Lets’ That day Arial and Velamina explore the taigns of Sar Verol.

‘Wait us in the taverns’ Arial ordered after he saw some tavern. Orgeheren nodded. So is Vighrun

*********************************************************************

‘Did we lose him?’ Arial asked velamina

‘Yes, I guess.’

Arial then went to one of the smithy on the other side of the district and he could see dwarves working actively hammering blades and armours.

Arial have learn that Orgheren really want the dragon scale and truthfully Arial could not trust Orgheren.

The Orc he can trust, so is the Kobolds but Dwarves and Dark elves? He would think twice. Orgeheren is a drunkard.

Arial regretted hiring him now. Most of the other has resigned because of him. Then before entering the smithy outside the Dwarven Smith he asks a question to Velamina.

‘I have a proposition for you Velamina. Would you like to travel with me to each lands of the Arakath?’ Her eyes widen on his offer.

Velamina hold Arial hand and Arial felt a little bit uncomfortable.

‘With you? Braving dangers? Fighting monster? An adventure which is no doubt dangerous? Of course’ she said delighted.

‘But how will you settle the caravan? Even now we only have Vighrun and Orgheren. Fera and the rest all have resigned. Fera because of his clan troubles, the others because they can’t stand Orgheren attitude.’

Velamina addressing Arial concern and summarizing his problem in a neat way. Arial nodded.

‘I guess we have to forget visiting the Elves Forest as I need to go straight to the Capital. My traders must be there and we can dump the caravan on them and ask them to send it to my castle in Arrandy.’

‘I have no problem with skipping my place but I do have a share right? On the caravan I mean? After all you did not fell that beast by yourself’ Velamina said.

‘Of course you will have your share’ Arial smile and shakes his head. She is cunning, this one.

‘Good.’ Then after concluding their plan Arial enter the smithy.

‘Can you make an armour out of this?’ Arial said. First they looked at him with wonder.

‘Human? This far on Anvali?’ he said looking at Arial with an amused expression.

‘Ye…yes.’ Arial reply.

‘Odd’ he said.

‘You said an armour? Armour from what?’ The smith asks. Then from the bag Arial took the items and shows it to the dwarves

‘WHAT THE! This is dragon scales!’

‘Yes. Make armour out of it. Braces, shoulder pads, boots, anything that can help in battle. Gold is not a problem.’

Then Velamina laid her bag.

‘Use this to join it.’ And once again the dwarf is shocked. Mithril metal.

‘This is unbelievable’ he could not hide his astonishments.

‘Can you do it?’

He seemed to be contemplating.

‘I can. Give me a week.’ Then he told me how it would cost and I agree with his price and we shake our hands and the deal is made

‘Fine’ I said.

Then returning to our appointed meeting place I informed Orgehren that I will go explore the remaining regions with Velamina and give Vigrun and Orgeheren their pay as promised.

He grumbled but after I give them the gold they quickly agree.

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THE ORCHISH PLAINS

‘Is there any more monsters?’

‘No’ Velamina said looking Arial with her sparkling eyes. Hundreds of hideous monster corpse lay around the area.

Heads filled the battlefield.

2 weeks ago, after Arial sent his caravan to one of his trader on the outskirt of the Capital he and Velamina went to the land of the Orcs.

There is this some kind of Wolf that has two head that kept attacking them when they enter the plains.

They took the wrong path and got ambushed.

It took Arial and Velamina about half an hour to dispatch them all. It was vast of grassy plains as they looked around, resting under some shades of some tree around it.

From what Velamina told Arial it seems the Orc is like a tribal communities and serve as a military force for the Kingdoms.

As the Kingdom provides them with gold and other resources, they provide the Kingdom with their strong warriors.

‘Let us rest.’ Arial said and Velamina nodded.

It is not that hard to kill the wolf but they attack in large pack.

And it’s not like he can eat the wolf.

Velamina said they are poisoned. Fortunately, Arial has already resupplied during his last visit to the capital.

‘The wind is breezy’ Velamina said. Arial nodded enjoying the wind. Both of them is enjoying the view, Velamina beside him laying her head on Arial shoulder.

Arial just let her.

They have been together in many journeys since they left the dragon lair.

At first he shrugged when Velamina shows her affection but day by day, the loneliness and the fact that Velamina doesn’t give up make Arial waver.

This much is fine he said to himself.

The sound of the grass and the vast of green in front of them make them feel calm again.

“Want some water?” Velamina said uncorking the flask. She handed it to him and Arial receive it.

He took a sip. It looks like a peaceful scene, with two lovers looking on the horizon of the expansive plains, enjoying the dancing grass and the smooth wind that relieve them from the heat of the morning sun.

But if anyone could see behind them, it will be like a scene of carnage, filled with the bloodied corpse of the wolf.

‘This is like the land of the kobolds’ Velamina said.

‘They have grassy plains to which they used to train their horses and honed their swordsmanship’ Velamina said.

“Is that so?”

“Hmm” Velamina reply coyly

‘Where is the nearest clan?’ Arial ask.

‘A few more miles, hemven’

She said, as she intertwines her hand with Arial. Arial didn’t shy away. These days Arial took pleasure in learning the Elveha, the Elven language.

Hemven means human.

Then from the distance, a Chares is seen riding towards us.

‘Is it him?’

‘Yes, it looks like Fera. But honestly I don’t know. To me they all look the same, Arial.’ Chares is the horse look alike.

That is what Arial decide to treat them. To him, chares is a horse. Just it is bigger. It is bigger than a horse and stronger.

This all started when Arial went to the outskirt of the Capital with Velamina to send their loot after leaving Orgeheren and Vighrun.

Fera send a letter to Mikael informing there is a battle between clans and ask for support even though such act is never been done before.

Rarely there is a change in Kings.

In King of Arakath maybe, but in King of the races, there has always been never a conflict that borders on war.

Mikael and Azrael could hardly interfere when the army backbone is the Orc but they see how important it is for the Orc clans to have stability.

If not, the stability that the new administration just achieve might crumble if this war between clan is not prevented.

Arial hearing this also understand what it means for him.

Arrandy could hardly send its traders or humans to facilitate integration and understanding if there is a war in Anvali.

The reason of the war that the clans have waged is simple.

After the betrayal of Gruk Vor in the conspiracy, many of the clans protested when Koer from the Vor clan is once again elected as the king of Orcs and they began fighting against each other.

Arial volunteered to go and assess the situation.

Mikael who knew that Arial have fought with a dragon and won have no doubt of Arial combat ability and promises that if the situation is resolved Arakath will be grateful for Arial effort for helping an ally.

This is why Arial and Velamina is here.

‘You have arrived Fera.’

‘Lord Arial, Velamina’ he greeted us and he bow slightly though not to me but to Velamina. Behind him a 10 unit of Orc is waiting his order.

An Aratai. Arial mused.

Arial is joining the Vor clan to protect them from the attack of the other Orc or to find some common ground but Fera insist that the other clan is asking for war and demand that the Vor clan relinquish the right of the King.

‘Anyway Fera, first brought me to the stronghold and then we’ll resume our talk.’

‘Yes of course’ the Orc said and he grunted and one of his subordinate give Arial his horse.

Arial could see that his subordinate is interested in the scenery behind Arial. A painting of blood and carnage.

Arial jump on the horse and Velamina jump on the back, holding tightly at Arial waits.

‘Hold tight’ and then they are off.

*******************************************************************

They have arrived and they could see thousands of orc on the outside of the stronghold, hundreds of camps.

The famous Orc horde.

As Vor clan they have the most warriors under them and the greatest experience in fighting.

Such sight is expected.

But when the rest of the other clan unites, even their clan is in danger. The capital could not interfere without any justification.

Each land governs according to their own law.

And while the capital has certain powers over the regions, internal affairs of their race is their business.

To Arial it seems like an ineffective way to rule a government. They are separated by walls, culture and geography.

It is like a racial conflict begging to happen someday.

But maybe his opinion is unneeded. After all he does not truly understand the culture of the Dark Lands.

The capital could not interfere unless it involves other race and only then can the Capital step up.

He could hear the murmuring and whispers.

‘Human’ they whisper.

With Fera as his guide Arial enter the stronghold and greeted by Koer Vor on one of the war camp around this area.

Arial do not understand the Orc land. Do they have certain regions or does the Land encompass everything?

Are they communal and have no idea of personal property like the Goblins or minimal rights like the dwarves who live in a caste society?

What he knows is this. This is the area that Vor clan protects.

‘Lord Arial, we meet again.’

‘Yes.’

They have known each other when they sign the treaty.

‘To think we meet in such circumstances.’

‘True’ Arial reply.

Then even before Arial could sit down the horn is being sound.

‘We are being attacked again’ Koer exclaimed.

Again?

‘Ready the men. I will personally enter the battle this time.’ Koer said. And quickly the stronghold begun being alive with activities.

‘What should we do Arial?’ Velamina asked

‘Hmm, I guess we can join them or we can watch from the sidelines.’

‘Let’s join them.’

‘I was thinking the same thing.’

While Koer took time to address his soldier Arial jumps into one of the horses with Velamina behind him and rush outside to meet the enemies.

The moment they reach outside they could see about 2000 Orcs with their horses riding fiercely to attack the stronghold.

Arial on horseback rushed to the enemy and sheathe his Enochian blade and slice one of the Orcs and the Orc got cut up in two.

‘Humans!’ one of them exclaimed.

But these Orc are not stupid. One of the Orc commanders yelled and suddenly the cavalry division began opening a path ignoring Arial and heading straight to the stronghold.

They are methodical Arial mused.

They would rather lose a few troops then lose their goal. Instead of fighting me and halt their ride better they just ignore me.

And that make Arial heart boils a little.

Velamina we need to do some damage for them to slow down I yelled and she undertansd.

She follows them from behind and hack any Orc that fall behind from the ride. Arial on the other hand began showing his strength.

‘HYARRHH’ he yelled and he releases a slicing attack.

30 people died because of the wide arc combined with his internal energy that resulted in a large area of effect towards the Orc armies.

‘WHAT!’

‘WHO IS THAT HUMAN!’ They began seeing Arial as a threat. Since they ignored him the damage inflicted on the Orc is more severe.

Then from the stronghold about a thousand Orc ride to battle and Arial use that confusion to inflict more damage.

He was slicing, stabbing and slashing from the back while the momentum of the enemy is stopped by Koer elite guard.

Then like the wind the Commander of the enemies yelled again and they once again retreated. This left Arial with a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

‘They retreat?’

And he finally understands. A guerrilla attack. That is why Koer said again. They have been hit before.

As Arial thought.

They may not have fancy buildings like the Capital but there is no doubt of the Orc tactical brilliance.

They are trained in warfare. Thinking about it as a military commander himself, it is the logical conclusion.

Using sabotage and ambush, attacking several fronts.

Dispersal is often suitable for the weaker side, in fact if he ever lead an army of few people even he would come up with such ideas.

To attack in a concentrated force when you are weak, would only make your troop an easier target.

Then Koer summon his man back again, exhausted and frustrated. He must have repelled the same attack countless of time before.

Velamina ride to Arial.

‘What do we do now?’ she asked

‘It is important that I know the geography and the surrounding of these area for me to help Koer.’

Mikael has given him the edict and ask me to aid the Orc.

Of course he could reject at the time and after all Mikael thought Arial would reject it which is why it comes as a surprise when Arial accept.

We then return back to the stronghold.

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