+++SHELTER FROM THE STORM+++
Giana shaded her eyes, frowning. Beside her Marco continued to clear weeds, muttering something about cold syrah, slices of orange, and cool shade.
“Marco … who’s that?” She tapped her son on the shoulder to catch his attention. With a groan, he stood up, peering over towards the cliff edge.
“I don’t know …” he said slowly. “It could be Edri? Didn’t he say he was going to spend the morning collecting gull eggs?”
“I don’t know … He’s vain but even he wouldn’t go gulling in his restday finery… And I would swear he has a spyglass. Edri doesn’t have a …”
She trailed off, suddenly afraid. Marco swore; his mother was too worried to chastise him.
“Oh Zemress preserve us … that’s not Edri …”
Her son was already moving. He grabbed the adze they had brought with them for breaking up stubborn clods of earth and ran full pelt towards the distant figure. His heart pounding, his aching limbs flooded with adrenaline and fear, he covered the distance in less than a minute. Behind him he could hear his mother shouting, but he was too focused on the desperate need to kill the spy as quickly as possible. Every child on the Isle knew that if the orcs found them …
As he grew close, the orc hurled a javelin in his direction, its lips pulling back in a vicious snarl to reveal half a dozen gold teeth. He threw himselfinto a roll, his tired back and thighs howling in pain, and the javelin passed over him with barely an inch to spare. He stumbled slightly, but kept running.
The orc drew it’s curved blade, and then he was on it.
Marco swung wildly, the orc ducked under his blow and slashed across his belly. The young man managed to twist aside to avoid the worst of the blow … then buried the adze in the orc’s face. The beast fell back, screeching. Edri leapt on it, pulling his knife, and stabbed the thing repeatedly in the chest, belly and throat until it stopped moving.
Panting, he tried to pull the adze free but it was lodged in the orcs skull. His stomach twisted, and it took all his strength not to vomit his breakfast onto the grass at the top of the cliff. He could hear his mother shouting something behind him, but his blood was ringing in his ears and he could not make out her words.
The first arrow hit him in the shoulder. he stared at it for a moment, frowning, then crumpled to his knees. As his vision darkened, he could see two more orcs down the cliff path, one of them nocking another arrow. Beyond them, he could make out a shallow rowboat and another four or five orcs - making preparations to leave, waving their arms excitedly. As the second arrow stuck him in the chest, and he fell back, he realised what his mother had been trying to warn him.
Orcs. They never, never travel alone …
Our first Winds of Fortune for the Summer event! The Grendel have finally discovered the people of the Isle of Zemress, and are preparing to move in, destroy their community, and carry every single one of them away in chains to the saltmines of Dubhtraig.
An opportunity exists to stymie the Grendel, but it will not be easy … and you can learn about it here → https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Shelter_from_the_storm
I’m expecting several more Winds of Fortune over the course of tonight. and then a handful more tomorrow. We’re running later than we might havve liked, I’m afraid, and some of these WoF are a little complicated, but there should be time to get a grasp on them.
As always, there’s a master list (https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/381YE_Summer_Solstice_winds_of_fortune) tagged with the kind of people who might be especially interested in each Wind of Fortune.
The photograph is apparently a shot of Majorca, which I have lifted from Wikipedia (sladky [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
#Lotsoflittleboatsindeed, #Intoeachlifesomerainmustfall, #Someharddecisionsahead