Monday, April 9, 2012

The Rite of Passage - part two

Day 3:
Totem inhaled the fresh morning air, the taste was fresh and salty. The drizzling rain and the grey autumn sky made the world beautiful to his eyes. They were near the great ocean now, and the sounds it made mixed with the sounds of the rain and the life in the woods around them.
This was how the world was supposed to be. No man had tried to civilize this place. Not yet.

He was the only one of his kind, who had been deemed ready for the rite. The minutaurs were not as plentiful in numbers as the gor, and other then Totem, there where only two braves in the tribe. For him it was a great honour to be chosen for the rite of passage. Unlike the gors who where sent out when they reached their tenth winter, or the ungor who where unworthy of rites in general, the minutaurs had to wait for the Doombulls decision to send them.

He looked around at the smaller beings who squatted around him. Stargazer, the young bray sat next to him. His eyes were closed and he seemed to be taking in the beauty of the morning just as Totem did. Talespinner had placed himself a few meters away from the others. His grim expression told of his impatience. Both he, and Pathfinder who were scouting ahead at the moment, had been very zealous from the very start of their journey. They badly wanted to prove themselves in combat and had little interest in the more spiritual parts of the rite. Totem respected their ability as warriors, but disliked their lack of interest in anything else. With Little Hoof it was different. The way the minutaur saw it, the young leader combined the best qualities from the rest of the group. He was brave, strong and skilled in combat, but he also respected the ancestors and the traditions of the tribe in the same way as Stargazer did.
The rest of the gor failed to stand out in his observation. They were even smaller creatures and all looked the same to him. He did however prefer them to the pestering ungors. Totem was glad the tiny beastmen weren't allowed to take part in the rite. It was bad enough that he had to injure the company of the centigor. Newmoon had been getting on his nerves from day one. Drinking the humans nasty liquids whenever the opportunity arose and behaving like a crazed hobgoblin for hours afterwords.

The return of Pathfinder put an end to Totems pondering.
The bestigor emerged from the forest without a sound and moved over to Little Hoof.
“A boat.” he growled in a low rough voice, “a boat full of manlings.”
The leader snorted a short responds and turned to the others.
“We strike at once!” he snarled, “we take them by surprise, we take their skulls for the blood god!”
Without waiting for a reaction Little Hoof got up and sprinted through the terrain, towards the beach.
Totem waited a bit. Not because he didn't want to join in the slaughter, but the element of surprise would be ruined if he tried to approach along with the others.

He cleared his mind, breathed out and stood completely still for a few moments. Then he heard Little Hoof's warcry and started forward with a trampling force. Surprisingly enough, he didn't hear the usual screams of fear and panic that would follow the warcry under normal circumstances.
Instead the air filled with commands, yelled in a weird human language and soon after followed the sound of steel weapons and armour.
Totem stormed forward even faster as it became clear that, whatever was on that beach, they where giving the raiding party a real fight.

He cleared the last few meters with a vast jump and landed on the sandy shore.
At first he thought their enemy where another group of beastmen, for men he saw were almost as big as the gors fighting them, and some of them wore enormous horns on their helmets. They where covered in fur and huge suits of plate mail and carried gigantic axes and maces. Totem scanned the beach, trying to figure out how he could best help the others.
Most of the gors, including Stargazer were fighting one on one with sailors, evenly spread out across the area. Pathfinder were enclosed in a desperate melee with a group of the less armoured humans and Talespinner have had his wooden club shattered by one of the axeweilders weapons and now attempted to fend for himself with claws and horns. He couldn't see Newmoon anywhere. The stupid creature properly charged in the wrong direction and were now lost in the woods.
Little Hoof had left a trail of dead men in the sand and had now charged, what appeared to be the chief of the sailors. The man was a mountain, red plate armour covered him from head to toe and he was wielding a weapon even larger and more brutal looking then the rest.

The battle was clearly not going well. Several of the gors were already wounded and their wooden clubs and bone daggers did little to harm their opponents.
Totem noticed movement by the longboat, lying a few meters out in the still dark water. It was the centigor. The crazy beastman seemed to be attempting to tip the vessel. The minutaur gave a snorting laughter.
“today isanity is our weapon” he growled and leapt over the beach, crushing one of the armored men with ease, and contenuing out into the water. With a joined efford the two large beings managed to turn the ship over, and for good order Totem began to punch holde in the hull. The wood was hard and strong, but so was he, and soon after it gave in.

The centigor had joined the battle as soon as the ship fell and now Totem too turned and ran towards the combatants. Just as he reached land one of the smaller gors bleated a death rattle and dropped to the sand with a greatsword burried in his stomach. Totem grabbed the responsible human, lifted him from the ground and bit his head off. He tossed the corpse aside and looked around for more enemies. The taste of blood were shutting out all other impressions and a layer of red covered his eyes. Soon all thoughts were lost to the bloodgreed.

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