"Orgul what were you thinking!" Plum yelled pacing back and forth. "Why would you volunteer me like that!"
"Calm down Plum, it'll be fine." Orgul said.
"It won't be fine." Plum yelled. "Chieftain Urim is not the orc that makes careless mistakes. Don't you think he sent the best hunters and trackers the horde has to offer and they found nothing Orgul. Nothing, not even a foot print."
"Father believes you can do it." Orgul said.
"Don't you dare bring him into this." Plum snapped. "Did you even think about his position before you opened your mouth? Every since I was a little girl all I ever wanted was to go to the hunt. Father would tell me all these fantastic, amazing stories about the hunt. I just wanted to be apart of that. Every year I begged him to let me come but he could never tell me outsiders were not welcome... I watched father bow his head today, to Chieftain Urim so I could stay."
"Plum look," Orgul said pointing behind her."What do you see."
Plum turned around to see a village full of orc.
"These are the greatest warriors, hunters, chieftains, and leaders the horde has to offer. You want a mate right. Then track down the steepsaakers and you will have your pick of the horde. They will fight over you." Orgul said.
"It's not that easy, what if Chieftain Torgan was right and the humans kill off all the steepsaakers, or ran them off." Plum said.
"It's not... Look Plum all you have to do is track the steepsaakers that's it. You've track untrack animals before. Even by father's words your the best tracker he's ever seen." Orgul said.
"But I..." Plum said.
Orgul wasn't listening, he was flirting with two female orcs that had walked by.
"Jerk," she said to herself, picking up a small pebble and throwing it at his fat head.
Orgul grab the back of his head looking around, he held his hand out checking for rain. She couldn't fault him though and his own twisted way he was trying to help his sister
"Frustrated?" Brandyl said.
"Yes," Plum said, clenching her teeth. "Although I think it's more like nerves... I can't do this." She blurted out.
"Yes you can," Brandyl said.
He had mixed a bowl of water and ashes together. He'd longed dreamt of the day he'd get to paint the customary hunter symbols on his daughter.
"I'm so proud of you," he said.
"What if I disappoint you?" Plum said.
"You could never disappoint me." He said caressing her cheek.
"I don't know if I can." Plum said.
"You can," Brandyl said.
"Everyone is depending on me."
"Then don't fail," Brandyl said handing Plum her bow.
She looked down at the bow and thought about slapping it from his hands and running away. Instead she took the bow in her hands and embraced her destiny or her greatest failure.
Plum sighed quietly to herself, she felt like she was going to collapse under her own weight. She knew a small team of orcs was going to accompany her but she never imagine that Chieftain Urim would be apart of that group.
Plum, Chieftain Urim, Orgul, Gor'lok Chieftain Urim second, and Gneth, Chieftain Agronsk's son were all part of the advance scouting party. Plum didn't care for Gneth, she didn't know Gor'lok, she was still angry with Orgul and Chieftain Urim made her extremely nervous.
Don't look, don't look, Plum averted her eyes and admired the tree. That's a nice tree the leaves are so green. She tried to kept her eyes from wondering back to Chieftain Urim. He wasn't like other orcs, he was elegant and smart, he commanded authority with only his presence. No...don't look... Stop looking. Look at something else. Stop admiring him. That's a nice rock. I like that boulder.
But before she realized it her eyes had landed on Chieftain Urim once more. This time she didn't look away as she blushed, then laughed at herself when she realized she was lusting after him. A orc as powerful as Chieftain Urim would never give her a second look. Someone like Dura was a more suitable mate for the powerful Chieftain.
Compare to Urim, Plum was the size of an ant. Just one of his biceps was bigger than her whole body. Plum sighed heavily then slumped over, her head hanging low as she looked at the ground. Not watching were she was going, she ran face first into Chieftain Urim's chest.
Solid as a rock, was what she thought. But an inaudible "Sorry," was what came out of her mouth. She was so embarrassed she didn't dare look at him.
Urim smiled, the little elf amazed him.
"This is where the herd was last seen," Urim said.
"Oh, ok..." Plum said. "I look around."
At this point she just wanted to be as far away from Urim as possible.
Plum careful scanned the area, at first glance it did seem like there hasn't been a herd here in mouths. She found no footprints no droppings or sheddings of any kind.
"See, nothing," Gneth said.
"Steedsaakers are large animals it would be impossible for them not to leave a trace of their presence." Plum said looking up. "Orcs are really strong and... tall so you never bother to look up." Plum said.
Plum didn't even have to ask, Orgul already knew what she was thinking. He bend over interlaced his fingers then boosted her into the trees. She was quick and agile, she moved through the trees as graceful and elegant as any elf.
"Where did she go?" Gor'lok said when she disappeared among the leaves.
"Here," she said hanging upside down from a tree branch in front of Chieftain Urim, she handed him a patch brown hair she found stuck among the trees.
"A small herd moved north a few days ago." Plum said.
"Told you she'd find them," Orgul said.
"She hasn't found anything yet." Gneth said.
"It's more then what our best scouts found." Urim said.
Plum couldn't help but smile at Urim's praise.
"Why north, don't they usually go east around this time." Gor'lok said.
"Animals are smarter than you think perhaps they change there yearly migration route to avoid our constant squabbles with the humans." Urim said.
"Or they finally realized that this route leads to death by orcs ever year." Plum whispered.
"She only found fur in a tree that does mean..." Gneth said.
"Shh, quiet," Plum said, slightly turning her head as if she listening to something in the distance.
She jumped from the tree and ran off without a word.
"I hate when she does that." Orgul said running after her.
Plum was fleet of foot and ran like the wind. The orcs being big and muscular couldn't keep up.
"Damn elf," Gneth panted.
Orc are strong and power but they were not built for keeping up with agile elves.
Urim lost sight of Plum among the trees. "She's quick." Urim growled.
Urim careful scanned the trees but couldn't find her.
"This one is good at hide n' seek." Urim mumbled.
"Never play n' seek with Plum." Orgul said trying to catch his breath, "It's her favorite game, she's really good at it, and she never loses."
"You're not able to defeat the elf in a child's game of hide n seek," Gor'lok said.
"She cheats," Orgul said when he realized everyone was trying to held back laughing at him.
Plum jumped down from a tree and landed in front of Urim with no sound. She motioned to the orcs to be quiet then pointed across an open field through the tree line. She readied her bow and fixed eyes forward.
Long sharp tusk appeared first from the treeline, seconds later the largest steepsaaker the orc had ever seen appeared from the trees.
"Holy steepsaakers," Orgul whispered. "It's huge,"
"So what's the plan?" Gneth asked.
"Gneth you flank left, Orgul you flank right. Me and Gor'lok with circle behind him. We chase it straight towards the horde. Plum get to the highest point you can, on my go give the signal.” Urim said.
Plum nodded, surprise that Urim had even included her in his plan.
“Do not under any circumstances allow the steedsaakers to change direction. His herd is probably nearby, we do not want to end up having to fight an entire herd of these things.”
Plum took a deep breathe her heart was racing. It was the moment she alway wished for being a part of the hunt.
“You...too...” Plum turned around to tell Orgul. But to her surprised only Urim was standing there.
“You too,” she repeated trying to sound more confident and less shocked.
Urim smirked, “Welcome to the hunt Plum Apricot daughter of Brandyl.”
He didn't have to say my full name. Plum blushed.