Meldrick's Tales, Chapter 9, The Orc King
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Meldrick the Elder
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Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:26 am
Chapter 9

The Orc King

St. Yorick's day was over and life in Edingtol was getting back to normal . . as normal as it could be while under the threat of Orcs and Ice Giants.

Meldrick found his way to the outdoor section of Lady Love's Couer Cafe, ordering his favorite chamomile tea and some of Lady love's special tea cookies. the day was cool, but Meldrick preferred sitting outside in the weather to sitting inside most shoppes. The breeze felt good on his face as he listened to the chattering of crows and the conversations of a few passerbys.

It seemed that with the new year, there were more worries of what it would bring. St. Yorick's Day seemed to lift the spirits of many, but it seemed to be a guarded celebration.

The Knights seemed to be on alert and distracted by their duties, ever since the Orcs had slipped by the gates and did a little damage to Edingtol. The real damage was to their pride as no one had been able to figure out how they had managed to get by them as they were ever-vigilant.

Meldrick listened as a couple walked by talking about moving to the East . . . to the City of Celthros, because of the protection the narrow mountain roads offered. They feared for their family, which was understandable, as the Orcs were a very formidible enemy. Their thirst for power was almost insatiable and they thrived on the fear of others.

He sat sipping his tea and eating his tea cookies, remembering a time when he had chanced to meet Mordrille, the King of the Southern Orcs.

The crows seemed to be gathering on a nearby tree as he started his tale.

-----------

Meldrick had been away from his tribe now for 2 years, having served time with the Calvary of the Laird of Eldor. It had been something he wanted to experience and when he separated, the Laird himself had wished him well; awarding him the Legion Cross for Bravery. The medal meant nothing to Meldrick as he had done what any other officer would have done . . . but the well-wishes of the Laird did mean something as he was one of the few in the Southern Regions that allowed elves to serve in his army; his kindness to Meldrick's people was legendary among the elves of Zantarni.

The Laird's final words still rang in his head as he rode southwardly, "Take care , my Friend and if ye ever find yer way in these lands again, ye shall always be welcomed in my House."

Meldrick smiled as he rode along on Rhoswen, his white mare. They had been together the whole time he was in the Laird's service. She was a magnificent horse, white with black stockings and a black star on her forehead.

"Well, my Lady, shall we make camp for the night?" As he asked, he started looking about for a place to make camp . . something a bit off the road, with a good view of the area.

As Rhoswen nodded her head, he spotted what looked to be a perfect place. He dismounted and led Rhoswen to the campsite, a heavily treed hill that was perfect.

He removed his saddle and gear and then took out Rhoswen's feed bag, filling it with his special blend of oats and dried apples. After placing it on her he went about setting up camp, gathering firewood and laying out his sleeping bag; then setting up his tea pot to heat up the water from his canteen.

Letting his small fire do its job, he pulled some jerky from his pack and sat back against his saddle and watched the setting of the sun.

When Rhoswen was finished with her meal, he removed the feed bag and fed her water from his own canteen, then turned back to his own tea. He sat down with a tin cup of chamomile, as the moon started it's trip in the night sky.

As he was just about to doze off, Rhoswen started. Meldrick went to her, to calm her and try to find out what it was that spooked her. As he moved to her, he noticed a strange odor in the air . . . an odor that every Elf on Zantarni knew well . . . Orc!!

"Easy Rhoswen, easy girl." he lightly patted her muzzle as he drew his sword and slowly moved in the direction that she was staring at.

Meldrick wondered what an Orc would be doing this far north, as they had seemed to have been content with controlling the Southern Lands east of Zantor. He hoped it wasn't a scout probing for invasion or raids.

Moving cautiously through the brush, he could tell now that it appeared to be a lone Orc as the odor wasn't as strong as it could have been if this was a raiding party. then he spotted him, laying in a small clearing and not moving.

Meldrick approached him cautiously. The Orc was laying on his belly, face down in a pool of blood. He could see that there were several wounds in his back and that the Orc was very young. Kneeling beside the body, looking for any signs of life, Meldrick saw that the blood was still slowly flowing . . . the youth was still alive!

He sheathed his sword and started to remove the Orc's armor, to get a better look at the wounds. The Orc tried to lift his dagger, which Meldrick easily knocked out of its weak hold. "Hold still, you are badly wounded."

Meldrick knew that Orcs, even wounded ones were not to be trusted, but he couldn't turn his back on this youth who clung to life so strongly. "I'm going to carry you back to my camp, to try to get a better look at those wounds.

The Orc moaned but could not form any words. Meldrick checked for other weapons, and put them in his belt as he lifted the severely wounded youth, who was heavier than he appeared.

Getting him back to his camp and laying him on his own sleeping bag, Meldrick set about removing the last of the youth's armor, then started to clean an look for the wounds. Whistling in surprise when he found that the youth had been stabbed over twenty times and still clung to life. Even an orc should have been dead after been stabbed so many times, if from nothing else, by the loss of blood alone.

He pulled his medical supplies from his pack, remembering the training that Mother Marla had given him. Taking a clean under-tunic, he ripped it into strips and cleaned each wound, packing it lightly with an herbal compote to fight infection. then he gently wrapped bandages around the young Orc's body. Twice during Meldrick's ministrations, the Orc tried to talk, to move; but in his weakened condition, Meldrick was able to easily hold him down.

Rhoswen seemed jittery with the nearness of the Orc. After realizing that there was no more that he could do for now. He covered the young Orc and moved to calm Rhoswen.

"It's all right, girl . . . he's badly wounded; rest easy tonight." He patted her muzzle and looked to the now-sleeping form, not feeling as confident as his words to Rhoswen sounded.

Making sure that Rhoswen was not hobbled, he climbed a nearby tree, so that he could watch both the camp and the road. He knew it would be a sleepless night for him and settled in for the duration.

The night passed quickly and as the sun came up, Meldrick slipped out of the tree and picked up his short crossbow and headed out to round up breakfast, after checking on both Rhoswen and the young Orc, who appeared to be sleeping fine.

Taking his canteens with him, in case he found water, he headed into the brush. Shortly after hitting the trail, he came to a spring and filled his canteens and was able to shoot two game hens, at the spring. Carrying them back to his camp, he heard a commotion. Dropping the hens, he loaded his crossbow on the fly and as he entered the campsite he saw the Orc on Rhoswen's back, trying to get her to move.

"So this is how you repay my kindness, you try to steal my horse like a common thief." he aimed the crossbow at the Orc, "Dismount or I will be forced to kill you!"

The young Orc looked at the elf before him and thought of his options. "I don't believe ye will kill me, Elf." He ran his hand on the bandages on his torso, "Not after doing so much to keep me alive."

Meldrick did not waiver as he stared at the Orc, amazed that he had the strength to be able to mount a horse. "Do not try me, Orc! Rhoswen is mine and I will not part with her, even if it means I have to undo all I did to try to save you." He whistled a short sharp three note whistle and Rhoswen responded by bucking.

In his weakened state, the young Orc had been taken by surprise and was thrown from Rhoswen's back, to land hard on the ground with an ooph as it knocked the breath out of him. Meldrick moved quickly and tied the Orc's hands and feet. "Stay put, Orc!" Then he moved to check on Rhoswen. There were a few scratches on her back, but nothing serious.

"You're lucky, Orc; if you had hurt Rhoswen, you would be dead where you sit." The Orc looked up at the Elf not saying anything.

Meldrick went back and picked up the hens and moved near the fire; his eyes on the Orc the whole time. As he cleaned and prepared the hens for cooking, the Orc said nothing, just stared at Meldrick and watching his every move.

Meldrick made a spit and set the hens for cooking, then moved over to the Orc, who tried to move a bit away from him. Meldrick sighed, "I just want to check the wounds."

The Orc backed a way from him. "The wounds will heal Elf." He looked down and then back into the Elf's eyes and softly said "Thanks to ye."

The young Orc paused for another moment, "I am yer enemy . . . why did ye not let me die or slay me yerself?"

Meldrick though for a moment, "After you tried to steal my horse, I have asked myself that very question." He looked back towards where he had found the injured Orc and then returned his gaze to him. "I could not let you die . . . not without trying to help. Mother Marla would not have approved of my letting you die."

The Orc listened to the Elf's words and asked, "Who be this Mother Marla, that ye speak of?"

Meldrick looked to the Orc, staring him straight in the eyes, "Mother Marla was my tribe's healer and the woman who took me in when my own parents died."

"Ahhh . . . ye be a healer's son . . .I understand." The Orc looked about as if the trees had ears, before continuing, "I am Mordrille, son of Mordor."

Meldrick recognized Mordor's name . . .Mordor, the King of the Souther Orc's. "I know of your father, He had signed the truce with the Laid of Eldor some 20 years ago. The Laird said that your father was an honorable King."

The young Orc looked at Meldrick, sitting up as straight as his bindings would allow, "My father be dead, killed by the same assassins that tried to kill me!"

Meldrick was shocked, King Mordor had been the one who had kept the peace between the Orcs and Eldor. He was torn between helping Mordrille and warning his Laird.

"Mordrille, I am Meldrick of the Gypsy Elves, formerly of service in the calvary of the Laird of Eldor. If I have your word that you will not try to steal my horse again, I will unbind you."

The Orc looked from Meldrick to his horse and back, "I give ye me word as the King of the Southern Orcs."

Meldrick nodded and moved to unbind the young Orc, "Are your followers near, Mordrille? Is there help nearby that can help you regain your birthright?"

Mordrille looked to the sky and then back to the Elf. "There be an outpost, about 30 miles from here. At the border that marks the Laird of Eldor's territory. They are loyal to my father, so they be loyal to me."

"Will they be enough of a force to help you regain what is yours?" Meldrick's thoughts were reeling , if Mordrille could not regain power, would the Orcs break the truce under their new regime...and who was responsible for the assassination. .

The young Orc thought for a moment, "By themselves they may not be enough, but when the people find I am alive and that Gheldan was responsible fer me father's death, the people will rise up and join me."

Meldrick nodded, he knew that there were never certainties in the world of politics, but he also knew that he must do what he can to help this young king. "If you feel good enough to ride, we can head there after we eat."

Mordrille nodded and they ate in silence, then quickly cleared camp. As Meldrick saddled Rhoswen, Mordrille went and retrieved his armor. He still moved a little tenderly as any man or elf would have been killed by those wounds.

Meldrick had handed back the weapons he had taken from the young Orc then mounted Rhoswen. He turned and offered a hand up to Mordrille who took it and joined him in the saddle. Meldrick closed his eyes and prayed to the gods their mission would be successful.

-----------

As they approached the gates of the Orc town, they were challenged by the sentry, "Who be ye and what business do ye have in the city of Garem?"

Meldrick looked up at the sentry and called, "I have news of the King of the Southern Orcs." Mordrille moved in the saddle behind him, not wanting to hide.

"King Gheldan has no use for the likes of ye, Elf!" the sentry called back.

"I do not mean the Usurper Gheldan, I speak of your King . . . King Mordrille!" Mordrille slid out of the saddle as the sentry replied.

"King Mordor and his son Mordrille are dead . . . killed by humans and elf!"

With that Mordrille stepped into the light, "It would seem that reports of me death be a bit premature."

The sentry paused a moment and then realized that he was truly looking at Mordrille . . ."Y-y-your M-m-majesty, Gheldan said ye be dead...." The sentry signalled for the gate to be opened.

Meldrick dismounted and walked through the gate a step behind Mordrille. The guards bowed before the young king and a sentry was dispatched to advise the city's commander, who was waiting at the top of the stairs.

As he recognized that it was indeed Mordrille, he rushed down the steps and knelt before the boy-king, removing his sword and offering it to the young Orc.
"Yer Majesty, I am yers to command, I beg yer forgiveness fer believing the lies of the traitor Gheldan."

Mordrille lifted the commander's sword, Meldrick was unsure what he would do as he knew that Orc commanders' lives were in the hands of their king and that, to some, it would seem the commander had committed treason by following a false king.

Meldrick sighed a sigh of relief as Mordrille brought the sword down, flat-siding the blade and laying it on the shoulder of the city commander, "Commander, arise, we have plans to make and an army to lead against this Usurper, this traitor, this murderer."

The young king, turned to Meldrick, "I wish to thank ye fer yer help, ye will not be forgotten, Meldrick." The king took out his small dirk and lifted it in the air for the gathering crowd to see.

"This be Meldrick fo the Gypsy Elves . . ." He took the dirk and sliced his left hand, then sliced Meldrick's, grasping it as the blood mixed between them. " . . . He is my brother, let no one of the people act against him."

Mordrille then handed the dirk to Meldrick as the people bowed, "My brother, I must make plans to regain my rightful place among the people . . ." he paused and looked about the crowd, "And ye have to let the Laird know what is going on. Take care Meldrick of the Gypsy Elves, I will get word to ye at the southern oupost of the Laird of Eldor's within a week . . no matter what happens."

Meldrick bowed his head, "Your majesty, I look forward to receiving your word. I wish you well in reclaiming your crown, my brother." with that, Medrick mounted Roswen and turned to leave, he waved and nudged her into a gallop. He had the Laird to warn.

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Meldrick sat astride Roswen as he looked over the no man's land between the Laird's holdings and the lands of the Southern Orcs. After telling the Laird of the treachery amongst the Orcs and what King Mordrille was going to do, the Laird had made Meldrick the commander of the southern command, sending his cavalry and infantry units to protect the borders, in case Mordrille failed to regain power.

It had been almost a week since he had left Mordrille and the troops were beginning to get nervous as to the outcome. Meldrick was about to turn and head back to his command tent, when a sentry called out, "Rider coming!!"

Meldrick looked and saw the Orc warrior, signalling for his troops to hold position, he rode out to meet the rider.

As the rider eased up, Meldrick raised his open left hand, showing the healing scar of the blood-brother cut.

"Brother of King Mordrille I have good news from his majesty." The rider bowed, "King Mordrille has reclaimed his throne; the traitor Gheldan and his followers have been executed and their bones grace the entrance to the City of Kings as a warning to others. and the treaty between the Southern Orcs and the Laird of Eldor are still in force."

Meldrick sighed a sigh of relief, as the rider moved beside him, "His Majesty asked me to give ye this." he handed Meldrick a small box as he opened it, he realized it was a gold signet ring with the seal of kings on it. Meldrick slipped it on the ring finger of his right hand.

"Is there anything else, commander?" Meldrick looked to the rider, recognizing him as the commander of the City of Garem.

The commander smiled at Meldrick's recognition of him as he knew that most humans and elves had a hard time distinguishing one Orc from another. "One more thing, Brother of Mordrille, he told me to tell ye this so that ye would know my words be true . . . he said to tell ye that the horse thief is on the throne."

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Meldrick chuckled as he had that day so long ago. he lightly fingered the gold ring on his right hand as he left some coins on the table to pay for his food.

Breathing in the cool winter's air, he gathered his things and headed back towards Edingtol's Gates, mumbling to himself . . . "I wonder how that old horse thief is doing?"

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Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:57 pm
wow good stuff.... lol like
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MIkaMai's Mule
Kiyo Ayanami
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Dedicated Citizen
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Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:36 am
I would be most honored to hear more of your tales, dear Elder. Ye bring cheer to my heart and delight to my soul. May ye be blessed with many more adventures.
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Meldrick the Elder
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Knight of Zantarni
Zantarni NPC
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Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:34 am
Meldrick smiles and bows, "I am glad you both like the story, here is the rest of the tales, if you would like to read them."

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-1-there-be-dragons-here-t21242.html

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-2-i-met-a-great-red-dragon-t21604.html

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-3-sharlous-sharlous-every-t21913.html

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-4-lajata-natala-t22467.html

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-5-the-royal-vineyards-t23486.html

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-6-kuro-t24350.html

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-7-healing-all-wounds-t26510.html

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-8-stand-and-deliver-t28226.html

http://www.zantarni.com/meldrick-s-tales-chapter-9-the-orc-king-t29034.html
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Sit back and I'll tell you tales of Faeries and dragons.
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Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:09 am
Selena gasped in awe. "Blood brother to both a dragon and an orc?! Sir Meldrick, you are truly amazing! This humble young woman looks forwards to hearing any more tales you tell."
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Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:48 am
Yuni smiles as she happens upon the retelling of this most-beloved of Sir Meldrick's tales. Quietly, she listens to the storyteller, only moving up to him when he ceases to speak.

Leaning close, she speaks to him quietly, making sure that only he would hear.

"Sir Meldrick, I have been told to thank you for your stories; there is a small, peace-loving clan that dwells between Edingtol and the Enchanted Forest that love them, even if they are getting them second-hand. The tales of Sir Meldrick are great favorites, especially since he is kind to all races."

Reaching into her cloak even as she speaks, Yuni pulls out a stone flask, rough-hewn and heavy, and places it near the storyteller's hand.
"And as thanks, this clan sends you their very best blackberry and honey cordial. Their leader, Rogan the Grey, made and aged it himself for you, a good season ago."

Smile a bit broader now, Yuni straightens, turning her face away in preparation to depart. "Their younglings send their joy to you, and wishes for many wonderful years to come. Their gifts are rare, you have been given a true treasure, Sir."
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Meldrick the Elder
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Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:18 am
Meldrick smiles as he takes the stone flask in his hands, "Lady Yuni, I thank you for delivering this gift. If you can tell Rogan the Grey that I truly appreciate the rareness of this gift and I shall savor and treasure each drop of this liquid ambrosia."

"I am so very glad that Rogan the Grey's clan enjoys my tales and I send along my wish that the younglings have many peaceful years ahead of them, too."
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Sit back and I'll tell you tales of Faeries and dragons.
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