A night within the Clan
Thoughts from a Shaman.
It had been a long night, Grak’rrah yawned loudly, before she cuddled up against the already sleeping Rar’gnak. Now if only she could sleep fast.
She closed her eyes, yet the memories of the day seemed to keep disturbing her rest, as her thoughts spun around inside her skull.
She sat quietly by the fire with Rar’gnak, enjoying a meal from the Elekk they had hunted, when they bonded a few days earlier. Suddenly Hellfury had yelled “Lok-Narash” and Grak’rrah had jumped up on her feet, only to realise, it seemed no eminent danger was present. She returned to her seat for a little while, before Rar’gnak had wished her a goodnight and departed.
She had moved to the smaller fire, now only Iron Maw Fireblood being present – and Grak’ had greeted him. After a short moment, he had ordered her to go see, if anyone needed mending – briefly mentioning what had occurred. Something about a Skywise shooting at her clansmen.
Grak’rrah had of course obeyed. After all, the Code explicitly stated; “-Obedience- We will obey orders without question and with speed and surety. We will trust in those who command us. It is not our place to question their actions but their place to question ours.”
A swift “Swobu” and she rushed in the direction the others had went. Shortly after, she located them, and a quick question to the nearest orc, determined that no one was suffering from injuries. As no one required her aid, and as everyone awkwardly claimed it having been an accident, she decided, it was best to report to the Iron Maw. Clearly, enough clansmen were present; another one would only add confusion to the matter at hand.
Before she had time to return to the Iron Maw, he yelled for assembly, and Grak’rrah hurried back to line up. As usual the Blackjaws struggled to perform something as simple as creating a single line, and Grak’ could not keep herself from making a small comment about it. It helped. Grak’ curled her brow, perhaps this was worth noting, she thought to herself. The Blackjaws could, when they wanted to, they just lacked the discipline.
Iron Maw Fireblood has picked the Skywises out of the line, asked regarding the arrow, and finally broken Verzan’s face. Grak’ was hardly a fan of violence, but the Code also stated: “-Punishment- We should learn to accept punishment for our failures. It is only by being punished that we can know what was wrong and remember the lesson. It makes us stronger. It makes us sharper. It makes us Stoneface.”
While Grak’rrah was no Stoneface anymore, she would abide by the Code, unless it went straight against a superior’s order. The Chieftains and the Iron Maws would of course always have first priority.
Funnily, that was also a part of the Code. “Loyalty- To have absolute faith in our Chieftain and our Clanmates. Protect them with our life. No matter their race or trait, they are our brothers and sisters. Nothing else matters more than our Clan.”
Grak’rrah realised her thoughts were drifting, half-asleep as she was. She returned to the punishment. She had forced herself to remain quiet, doing her best to keep her face neutral, without revealing any weakness. No matter how much the Skywise might be hurting, she was certain, Iron Maw Fireblood would have ordered her to mend the girl, should he deem it necessary. Obedience.
She had been trained in obeying, in the plentiful exercises within the Stoneface Clan. Any attempt to break a line, once the order to line up had been given, would have resulted in severe punishment by the Stone Guard back then. More than once, had she seen a clansman being physically broken by the loud-yelling Warsong.
She forced herself to stare straight ahead. It was a trick, she had been taught back then. No matter which superior yells at you, or what happens, you just keep starring ahead.
She hoped the young Skywise was all right. Her face might of course be damaged… but on the other hand, a shot from that range could just as easily have been fatal. The Iron Maw was fully entitled to punish as he had done. However, even if he had not, she was not one to disobey a superior.
The foolish Hellfury, a shame he was nothing like his older self, had challenged Rugoram to Mak’gohran. She snorted loudly, only to make the sleeping Rar’gnak grunt, and turn around, coiling his arms around her. Grak granted him a brief smile, before her thoughts returned to the events. Rugoram had of course accepted; no proper orc would have refused such. Lumarda would most likely.
Grak grimaced her face, as her thoughts drifted to Lumarda.
The young female was just as disgusting as Hellfury. While he drooled at any female he could spot, she made sure, no one doubted how much she enjoyed it. Always walking around halfway nude, flirting like an elf, and even stating that she admired the behind of Jaina Proudmoore. Grak’rrah grunted. Lumarda had no honour, no wonder she was chasing the Blackjaws, rather than staying with her own clan. They had most likely disowned her. The other day, she had even complained, that she found it dull, to stay in the camp.
Grak’rrah had tried. Even after the girl had threatened Rar’gnak with a spear and her bow. She had even shared most of her Code, to the youngling. Had she listened? Not a word had penetrated the thick yet empty skull. Grak’rrah, former tutor of the Unforged within the Stonefaces, had wasted the –Code- on an unworthy disgrace.
Her thoughts continued.
She had to admit to herself, that even though, her thoughts often drifted towards the Code, which had been beaten into her spine, she was quite happy to have joined the Blackjaws. The Chieftains were strong and honourable, and most their men, while hardly disciplined, were men and women of honour, strong with courage. Even those struggling to be, right now, promised well for the future.
Finally, she had Rar’gnak. The man, she had never dared to hope for.
At first, she had claimed to be into girls, whenever a male tried to smooth-talk her within the Stonefaces. Had a girl tried the opposite, she had claimed to be into males. Sometimes she had claimed her Shamanistic duties took all her time.
Then of course, there was Rok’rah. Rok’rah… was Rok’rah. He had declined her due to the duty they had both obeyed within the Stoneface Clan. Rok’rah… son of Dhakrog Stoneface. Grak’rrah peered at the sleeping Rar’gnak, unable to resist a slight comparison. So alike, yet so different.
They had never even kissed. Rok’rah and her love… was of a different kind, she realised now. Their shared love of the Clan, the Code, and the Chieftain. They had been a match if any, seen from the outside, and yet, duty had taken its toll.
She had at first declined the thought of Rar’gnak as a mate. He was… amazing, no doubt. She knew however, if any, that duty came first. It was not until she had a talk with Chieftain Bloodhowl, who assured her, mating and breeding in his eyes, was part of the Clan duty, she allowed Rar’gnak closer to her.
Grak’rrah grunted slightly. Now she was mated and bonded. Soon, if the ancestors wanted, she would be with whelps.
Her final thought, as her mind at long last drifted towards the land of dreams flickered around in her head as a lost butterfly; “Duty first.”