The heart of the eternal

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Baths and sled rides

The next morning she was awakened by Sefa who did look very excited, she was almost jumping up and down and Wenja did rub her eyes and yawned. She was still a wee bit tired but the fresh air did awaken her and Sefa did find some clothes for her to wear. Wenja was shocked to see that she was to wear some sort of odd garment which resembled a mix of pants and skirts and Sefa winked and helped her getting the garment on. “You’ll need this today, you will be riding a lot”

Wenja blinked. “Ah…I don’t know how to…”

Sefa giggled. “You will be riding with Ahravan of course, he will keep you safe.”

Wenja nodded slowly. “Are the springs far away?”

Sefa shrugged. “No, not terribly so. It is gonna be a good ride I think, and you will see a lot”

Wenja got the rest of the clothes on and Sefa did braid her hair and placed some rings on her fingers and she did also give her some new boots which were higher and stiffer than the ones she had been used to using. Then she got served a huge breakfast and she realized that Ahravan had gotten up way earlier than herself and that he and some others were waiting for her. That made her feel slightly guilty. She ate and got some milk and then Sefa did follow her outside. She saw Ahravan standing next to a very tall black horse and Rhawan and some others were there too, they smiled when they saw her and Wenja felt like some foolish child for she had no idea of how to greet them. She lifted her hand. “Uh, good day?”

Ahravan bowed his head. “A good day to you too, are you ready?”

Wenja nodded and she saw that a tall human warrior did lead forth a smaller grey mare which Sefa did mount with admirable elegance. Ahravan did grasp Wenja by her waist and before she really knew what was happening she was on top of the tall horse and Ahravan did mount up behind her. “Hang onto the saddle horn if you feel insecure but I ensure you, I will never let you fall off”

Wenja tried not to look down, this horse was the tallest she had ever sat on and she saw that the huge horse named Flint was running along the group. Some shamans had joined them and the group did gallop out of the city at great speed. The area was gorgeous, rolling hills and rivers and small lakes and here and there holts of trees. They rode on a well used track and made great speed and she found that she did enjoy it, after a while that was. Ahravan was very warm and solid behind her back and he held her around her waist with one arm as the other held the reins. She had noticed that the eternal didn’t use bits on their horses, just a sort of lose halter and still the animals seemed to obey perfectly. She felt that she had to break the silence. “What is his name? The horse I mean?”

Ahravan was steering the horse with his legs, she realized that now. “His name is Ayr’esh, he is my favourite steed”

Wenja didn’t find that hard to believe. “He is very large”

Ahravan chuckled. “Yes, and he has many sons and daughters. He is our best stud, and very precious”

Wenja did admire the shiny coat and the silky mane and then she did notice that Ahravan had let go of the reins and were running his hands through her hair, she blushed. “Do you like it?”

Ahravan nodded. “It is lovely, such a wonderful colour, who did you get that from?”

Wenja felt her face burn again, she felt the warmth of his hand against her skin and the caresses against her scalp were amazing. She had always loved having her head massaged. “My real mother, she died when I was very little and her brother raised me like his own child”

Ahravan stroked her hair slowly. “Rhawan told me about this man who wanted you?”

Wenja nodded. “Yes, Mjorr, he hates everything he cannot have, so he tried to kill me”

Ahravan sighed. “But you are mine now, and if that man comes to this place my warriors will catch him and he will die terribly”

Wenja did shudder and Ahravan sighed again, his arm tightening around her. “Did I overstep some boundaries there? I am honest Wenja, I am telling the truth always. He will be killed if he comes to this city, Rhawan told me what he had done to his sister”

Wenja sighed and leaned a bit back towards him, seeking safety. “I know, but…I prefer not to talk about him now”

Ahravan gathered her hair and planted a kiss on her neck, very gently. “That is alright, do you have a large family?”

Wenja took a deep breath and started telling about her home and her kin and Ahravan did listen and made small comments every now and then, just to encourage her. She relaxed again and he understood that she was used to hardship and toil and not at all spoiled. She had suffered a lot and his heart did soar, knowing he could make her life so much better. The ride took them across some rivers and he did tell her small anecdotes about life on the plains and she was as curious as a child. He did find that to be adorable but he was also a bit worried. There was so much she didn’t know and he would have to teach her much before she could be a part of the society of the plains completely.

The sacred grove with the springs was placed at the foot of a very steep cliff and it did look like a huge needle someone had thrust into the very ground itself back in the far past. The cliff was impressive but the grove was even more so with huge ancient trees. They did dismount outside of a makeshift fence made by ropes, they did span the entire grove and showed that this was a sacred site. Wenja felt a bit awestruck, she felt that this was a special place and the trees filled her with a sense of wonder. They did seem like timeless relics from some forgotten world and Ahravan saw her awe and smiled. She did honour nature, that was good. Sefa grasped her hand. “This place is the birthplace of the twelve clans, where the first chieftains did gather to form their union. Everybody does honour this sacred site”

Wenja was dragged off towards a sort of altar and the shamans were preparing for the next part of the rituals. She felt a bit uncertain but Ahravan did smile at her and Rhawan was there too in the background. They had been riding for some hours and Wenja felt that in her tighs, she was glad Ahravan had done the job of steering the horse. When the shamans were done preparing she and Ahravan was brought in front of the altar and the shamans did chant something while circling the two with bundles of burning sage. Then Sefa did make a small cut in Wenja’s little finger and Rhawan did the same to Ahravan and the blood drops from the tiny wounds were gathered on the surface of the altar. Sefa did give Wenja a dagger which she in turn gave Ahravan and he gave her a needle and a piece of cloth in return. Then the shaman did cut some hair from them both and burned it over the altar and Wenja almost sneezed from the smell.

Apparently that was it for there wasn’t any more chanting and Sefa grinned at her. “Now comes the funny part, follow me”

She followed the dark haired girl through the grove until they reached a sort of entrance into the cliff itself. The warm air which seeped through the entrance told Wenja that this were hot springs and they entered a smaller room where you could get undressed. Wenja did look forward to a warm bath but she still felt shy. Sefa did help her get rid of the clothes and she grinned widely. “You are to enjoy this alone with him, none other are allowed to enter until sunset. From then on you are to avoid food and drink only water for the rest of the night.”

Wenja nodded and she felt herself blush and shudder every so slightly. “But he cannot…you know?”

Sefa shook her head. “No, no penetration at least, he may try to please you a bit otherwise but you cannot consummate the marriage until tomorrow evening, at the sacred mother tree”

Wenja took a deep breath. “Great”

Sefa did smack her across the butt. “Go now, get into the pool. He will join you soon”

Wenja did gasp and Sefa did open the door. The room behind the one she had been in was huge, a cathedral of stone and water and she had to gasp and just stare. Huge collumns carried the roof and the pool was a strange blue colour she had never seen before. It was huge too, filled the entire cave but there were different depts and some parts were sealed off with some sort of wooden contraptions. The place had an intense earthy scent and she had to take a huge breath of air and just force herself to get used to it. The pool had a beautifully carved stair leading down into it and there were benches carved into the rock along the edge and the collumns. She walked towards the stair and was a bit nervous, just how hot was this water? She got down the first steps and put a toe into the water, it was warm but not unpleasantly so and she dared to walk down until it reached her knees. There she had to stop to get used to it before descending any further.

But the water felt wonderful whence she got used to it and she walked inn until she was submerged to her shoulders. She had been taught how to swim by her father when she was a mere child for he did deem it as a very useful skill. And now it did all come back to her and she felt rather safe in the water, the odd smell did go away after a short time and she enjoyed the warmth. This pool had room for hundreds of people and she did understand that it was a sacred spot, it sort of created a sense of great awe within people and she admired the way nature was merged with artificial shapes in a manner which made it all seem as if it had been there since the beginning of time itself. She was busy trying to determine if the collumns were natural or not when she heard splashing and turned her head around to see Ahravan enter the pool, he was already in over his waist and she blushed and felt silly again. He did smile and waded towards her, extending a hand towards her and she took it hesitantly. She saw that his hair had been braided into one thick braid and it did look like a massive chain of gold as it did hang down his back.

“I trust that you are comfortable?”

His voice was soft and she nodded. “The water is just perfect yes.”

Ahravan did smile and gestured towards some of the benches. They sat down and the water did reach Wenja’s shoulders but it was barely reaching his chest. She had to stare, he was more muscular than Rhawan, but just as chiselled and the physique was flawless, she didn’t have other words to describe him. He did see that she was staring and smirked. “Do you like what you see?”

She winced and blushed all the way up to the roots of her hair. “Ah…hmm”

Ahravan caught a lock of her hair and let it slide between his fingers. “There is no shame in admiring what the gods have created.”

Wenja had to swallow hard. “I…I am not used to…”

Ahravan sighed and leaned back into his seat, the water was rather dark and did obscure his lower body and she was glad it did. “Do explain please, I wish to learn more about you, after all we are almost wedded already”

Wenja felt trapped and she felt her face burn with embarrassment. “Uh, back where I am from…”

He reached out and caressed her shoulders gently. “Go on please”

She gathered her courage. “Only a shameless woman would admire a man, she would be seen as…as a whore”

Ahravan sighed and his hand rested against her back for a moment. “Wenja, here things are very different, we appreciate the gifts we have been given, our bodies give us great joy and not accepting this is like…well, not accepting the fact that we have been created. It is…blasphemous.”

She nodded and looked down” I know, Sefa and Rhawan has taught me that. “

Ahravan smiled. “Rhawan, you like him?”

She took a deep breath. “Yes, I…I know him, sort of. I feel safe with him”

Ahravan did smile and the smile was a very loving one. “Good, you do know we are more than just friends right?”

Wenja nodded again, feeling a bit silly yet again, she felt as if she knew nothing compared with him, as if she was a mere child. And perhaps she was, compared with the ageless wisdom she saw within those intense green eyes. “Yes, you are bonded”

Ahravan caressed her back again. “We are, will you accept also Rhawan as you spouse?”

She swallowed, feeling a hint of a strange and very unfamiliar excitement. “I…I will”

Ahravan lifted her hand and kissed it gently. “That is good, nobody ought to suffer because of love. Our people have understood that for ages, too bad humans are a bit slow to accept such fundamental truths.”

Wenja just blushed again and Ahravan leaned a bit closer. “Rhawan has shown you pleasure haven’t he? I trust that he and Sefa has done their job well”

Wenja felt her heart speeding up. “Ah….Yes”

Ahravan chuckled. “Do not be shy my sweet, and do not be afraid. I will never do you harm, all I want to do is teach you how good one can be to eachother.”

She yipped and tried to smile and he kissed her hand. “Relax, I will not go all the way, we cannot truly bond until tomorrow night, but I want to explore, learn to know you also in this manner”

Wenja could only nod with huge eyes and he smiled and kissed her hand again, very gently before he turned it around and kissed her palm, very slowy and with a hint of tongue. And then he did lick her palm and she gasped, the intense green eyes didn’t leave her face even once as he did it again, and now he did suck her middle finger into his mouth and let his tongue swirl around it. Wenja suddenly had a hard time breathing, and the water had become so much hotter or so it seemed. He let go of her finger and his eyes did sparkle. “You are sensitive, wonderful”

His husky voice sent shivers down her spine and she remembered what she had done in the wagon with Rhawan and Sefa, she had to squeeze her thighs together to alleviate the sudden surge of heat. He chuckled and grasped her by the waist, hoisted her up so she stood on the seat of the bench. Now she was slightly taller than him and he leaned inn and kissed her neck, let his tongue slide over her skin and she felt as if she was on fire. The strong hands did support her and she felt completely safe, and suddenly she desired this more than anything she had ever wanted before. Ahravan felt the change in her, she did submit and he smiled to himself and returned to the long slender neck. Her skin was like velvet and the scent of her intoxicating. He moved forth, now it was her breasts which got his attention and they were perfect, such wonderful and firm half domes which fit perfectly into his hands and the nipples were erect and begging for his attention. He leaned forth, sucked them gently, the left first and then the right and Wenja yelped and her hands did paw at his shoulders, he found that he enjoyed the feeling a lot.

Wenja felt hollow, unfulfilled and incomplete and she felt how a surge of wetness made her slick and ready, he was so good at this and his constant teasing was almost unbearable. It was odd though, she had only felt like this with Rhawan and now she was all alight for Ahravan even though she didn’t really know him at all. But he did make her feel so safe and treasured and his hands did cup her ass and he let out a groan and he was breathing hard now. She felt her heart thundering in her chest and she dared to lean forth and kiss him shyly. Ahravan smiled, a warm smile, then he answered the kiss and turned it into a real one. With tongue. It made Wenja’s knees turn into jelly and she had to cling onto him to remain on her feet and he chuckled and kissed her neck again. “Oh by the Goddess, you are so ready for me aren’t you, so eager.”

Wenja could only squeal, she was aching and her body was trembling, The scent of him was making her mad and she arched and let him kiss her throat again. Ahravan almost growled. “This is not going to end well unless I get back in control, I am so tempted right now, I want to fuck you against this column and not stop until we are both spent.”

The very words made Wenja quiver all the way to her toes, she wanted him to do it, wanted to wrap her legs around him, let him claim her completely and she didn’t care if it would hurt. She felt as if all common sense had left her, all that remained was this overwhelming need to just follow her basic instinct and feel him inside her, feel him complete her. Ahravan grasped her by the waist and lifted her again, held her against his own body as he waded swiftly back towards the edge of the pool. The edge was some inches above the water line and very smooth, carved so that nobody would get hurt if they were to bump into it. He placed her on it and Wenja realized what he was about to do. She whimpered his name and laid back, let him spread her legs and she gasped as he kissed her mound like Rhawan used to do and then started exploring her very gently.

Ahravan was more patient than Rhawan, she realized this rather fast. He wasn’t racing along towards the goal but tried to make the journey the goal. Wenja was aching and writhing and he was playing her with the instinctive understanding of a true master. Ahravan was older and more mature than Rhawan and he did manage to control himself so much better than Rhawan would, he managed to forget his own burning need in order to satisfy her and he did hold her at the very edge for much longer than Wenja had believed it to be possible. When he did finally send her over she was sure she was going to pass out, the sensation rushing through her entire body so strong it was like an explosion. She screamed his name and Ahravan groaned and had an expression of almost agony on his face. “Oh by every deity, you are so wonderful, so filled with fire”

He pushed himself up onto the edge of the pool and she saw his entire body for the first time. He was just as exquisite from his waist down and she had to swallow hard as she let her gaze drift down to his crotch. Rhawan was right, Ahravan was larger, not much but noticeably and she felt a surge of nervous energy yet again. How could that fit inside of her? How could it fit inside of anyone for that matter? But she remembered having seen Rhawan fuck Sefa and she hadn’t complained even once about his size and this wasn’t that much bigger, at least it didn’t seem that way. Ahravan was breathing hard. “My sweet, I have to…”

He grasped her and pulled her closer, she was pressed against his chest and he lifted a leg and caught hers with it. “I am not gonna take you, I can’t from this angle but I need to come”

She felt him push against her body and shuddered, he was so very hard and so very warm and she felt how slick he was. Ahravan did place his hardness between her thighs, holding them together with his own legs and Wenja did gasp as he started to slide back and forth. She did react out of instinct, pushing her legs harder together to make it better for him and he moaned and his hand on her hip did shiver.

Wenja wanted to push her hips backwards, to bend her body so he could enter her but he held her in place and the feeling of him there made her so over sensitive and so wired up. She was gasping and tried to meet his thrusts and Ahravan groaned. “Yes!”

He pushed his hips even further forwards and now he was sliding back and forth along her slit, the head of his cock did push against her clit with each thrust and Wenja started to keen, to strain against him. The feeling rose in her again, she couldn’t resist and Ahravan was groaning with each move, fighting hard to remain in control of himself. All it would take would be a small move and he would be in the right angle to take her from behind but he didn’t want to break the rules. He had to stay in control of himself. The others would surely understand if he gave inn and consummated the marriage there and then but he would feel guilty if he did. He just kept sliding between her silky thighs and the feeling was enough to push him towards his release. She was so warm and the slick from her body and his own made it effortless and by the gods how good it felt. Wenja turned her head around, watched him. His face was contorted by pleasure and the sheer effort of it and he was gasping for air, eyes huge and dark and the sight was the final drop. She felt that explosion again, racing through her body. She arched and screamed and Ahravan did push her even closer to his own body as he felt the tension reach its maximum, roared as it found its release and kept roaring as the orgasm raced through him, heard her squeal his name and shudder against him in the same rhythm he felt inside.

Wenja felt the thick hardness pulse as it pressed against her own trembling core and warm wetness did spurt out all over her thighs and her slit. She mewled, her body shaking out of control and she wondered how that would feel when it happened inside of her, not on the outside. Ahravan moaned her name and she felt him get soft again, felt him relax against her back and his hand let go of her hip. “Thank you my beautiful, I…I needed that”

His voice was hoarse and almost weak, he kissed the back of her neck lovingly and she had to giggle. She felt wonderful and so filled with energy and yet she was aching, in a strange and very frustrating manner.

Ahravan did kiss her shoulder and managed to get up, he smiled down at her. “Tomorrow night, how I long for that. I will make you scream my name again, and I swear to you, if you start to swell with child there will be no joy on earth greater than the one I then will feel”

Wenja did swallow hard, she suddenly wanted that too. Even if she was to die of old age before her children were even adults she wanted that, to carry his heirs. She managed to smile and sat up too, she was swollen and over sensitive down there as before but now she knew that her remaining life as a virgin could be counted in hours. She had to giggle and take a swift peek at his cock once more, the idea of it sliding inside of her made her tremble ever so slightly. She bit her lower lip. “I would be honoured to”

Ahravan grasped her hand and kissed it and there was pure affection in his eyes as he stared her into her eyes. “The honour would be all mine”

Wenja blinked, looked down. “Your first wife didn’t give you any children?”

He sat up completely and pulled her closer, held her tight. “No, she was…she would have become a terrible mother and she was too convinced of her own magnificence to bother with such things as children. I didn’t try to make her pregnant at all”

Wenja had to grin. “She sounds despicable. “

Ahravan grinned too. “Yes, she was. She tried to mess up the relationship between me and Rhawan too, she was jealous I guess”

Wenja did cock her head. “So he didn’t offer to…you know?”

Ahravan laughed out loud, a full and very warm laughter, it felt good hearing him laugh, it made Wenja’s heart soar. “No, heavens forbid. He hated her, if she had demanded that he got in bed with her he would have done his very best to fuck her do death I bet, a human cannot keep up with the endurance of one of us. He would have been way too much for her”

Wenja giggled and then she too had to laugh. “Then it was good she never did”

Ahravan smiled at her and kissed her brow. “Yes, but he would have done it for me, to free me from that harpy”

Wenja did lean into him, feeling slightly sleepy but at peace, relaxed and safe. “Rhawan told me you tried to make her happy, in spite of it all”

Ahravan nodded. “Yes, we do honour women here, and she wasn’t really to blame for her own personality. Her father was, he had spoiled her and the idea of becoming the Eth’ir was what tipped her over into slight madness I guess. Some people cannot handle power, it consumes them. She was fond of trinkets and pretty things and so I gave her trinkets and pretty things and that kept her satisfied”

Wenja scoffed. “So she wasn’t fond of your skills in bed?”

Ahravan laughed again. “Heck no! Oh she did enjoy it but pretended not to, just to live up to the ideal of her own tribe. She always kept telling everybody of how she had to “endure” my advances but in truth she was very willing. It didn’t take long before I wasn’t though”

Wenja had to giggle and hid her face behind her hands, a bit shocked by his confession. “So you preferred to keep away from her?”

Ahravan nodded solemnly. “She was…how do I say it, a hypocrite? Yes, that is the word”

Wenja was very glad Sefa and the others had taught her so much about the language they used here on the plains, she did understand him and only a few words were difficult but she felt that she would be fluent soon enough. “I bet”

Ahravan turned his head towards her. “But you…I will never be tired of you my sweet, you are everything a male could possibly desire”

She felt herself blush again. “You mean it?”

He nodded solemnly and kissed the back of her hand. “Yes, to us you are…incredible”

She bit her lower lip, felt almost giddy and bolder than usual. “How come?”

He tilted his head, let a hand run through her long locks. “Your hair, the colour is so rich, so pure. We never see such colour here. You are so shapely, your curves a mysterious landscape a man would die to explore”

He kissed her shoulder slowly. “Your eyes like pools of emerald water, so deep it could drown me. Your lips so rosy and so kissable, begging for my touch”

Wenja did blush even worse than ever before, here he was describing her using sheer poetry, she was indeed blessed. He let a hand run down her chest, kneaded a breast lightly and she had to hiss and then moan as he rubbed the nipple between his fingers. “And these, oh by the Goddess, no she elf does possess something like this”

He leaned fort and caught the nipple with his lips and Wenja felt her heart speeding up again. What was he doing? He let go, his eyes dark again with desire and she could see that he was hard again. “Your waist, I bet I could grasp around it if you let me try”

He suddenly flipped her over so she laid on her stomach across his thighs. “That rear of yours, perfect halves of a whole, so soft and firm and your skin is like that of a peach.”

He did stroke her ass slowly and Wenja had to gasp, she hadn’t really known that this part of her body could be so sensitive. He was caressing, no, worshiping each square inch of it and she was panting, feeling how the rough skin of his hands made her own skin burn. She pushed her hips up and he smiled, a warm smile. “Eager for me again little one?”

She nodded and he gave her butt a small smack. She yipped, it didn’t hurt, it just felt…tantalizing. “A man could dream of licking and biting into this, and spill himself just touching it”

Wenja shuddered, his voice was low and dark and hoarse and she imagined what that would feel like, the very idea sent her into a fit of shuddering. He let his hand slide down between her thighs. “Wet again for me? I long to dive into that passage of yours, to do more than just taste its sweetness. I long to feel it caress me, embrace me, to fill it with my essence and know that our union is truly blessed”

He let a finger slide between her nether lips and Wenja gasped and rocked her hips against him. He chuckled and let a finger enter her, she had to squeal, the sensation was so intense and new and she was heaving for air before long. “Oh please”

Ahravan was almost humming. “Please what?”

Wenja shivered. “Please do it”

Ahravan chuckled but she felt him tremble ever so slightly. “I cannot, not yet. But I will show you a bit more”

He used a finger on her clit and now his thumb did slide into her and it felt…Wenja could only close her eyes and let go of her ability to think. He was using his hand with slow determination and she laid there across his thighs and moaned as if she was in agony. It didn’t take long, she tensed up and he felt it and pushed two fingers inside as she started to pulse and come and she screamed, the feeling of being fuller than ever before was insane. Ahravan was breathing very hard now. “Oh Goddess, you are so tight, and so strong. Tomorrow I won’t be able to last if you squeeze me like that”

He held his fingers in place until she was done, then he pulled them out and licked her juices of them, very slowly and deliberately. The sight sent shivers down her spine. He got her up, placed her sitting across his thighs and facing him. She saw that his cock was fully hard again and he grasped onto himself with a hand, stroked it slowly and deliberately. “Would you dare to help me?”

Wenja nodded, she felt brave and she wanted to explore him as well. She let her own hand join his and he did show her the rhythm, he wanted. Her fingers didn’t meet at all but she did get a good grip still and he whimpered and closed his eyes. “Yes, like that. Just…continue…”

Wenja did, he was very hard and she felt his pulse and she wanted to please him, almost desperately. He had closed his eyes and his mouth was half open as he leaned back onto his elbows and just let her do the job. She did speed up a bit when she felt him tense up and he opened his eyes again, they were dark and blurred and out of focus and he managed to croak a few words. “I am…coming”

Wenja did look down as the hard length went completely rigid and then pulsed in her grip. She gasped as she saw it spurting out of him, the thick ropes of sticky white liquid landed on his upper belly and chest and he moaned so wonderfully. To Wenja it was like the most lovely music she had ever heard and she giggled and felt strangely humble, she had given him this pleasure and it made her heart swell with a new sensation. He calmed down, panting for a few minutes and then he got up, smiling. “I think we’d better get a bath again, we are both sticky and smelly and we are to faste and pray this night to come. I know what I will pray for, there is no doubt in my mind about it”

Wenja giggled and got up too, she didn’t feel shy at all and they walked to the pool and got inn again, she was looking forwards to the next day, and she too knew what she would pray for. Yes, she was sure.

Bagir had never believed that he’d ever slide down a steep slope on the back of a horse but now he was, the edge was a dangerous area but apparently the raving mad orc they had the misfortune of travelling with had come up with an idea of how to get down fast and Igkhan had agreed! They were all doomed. They were heading down a long narrow valley, more of a ravine really and it ended up down at the plains which were rather level at this point. The last days had been spent trying to avoid any dangers and now they were frustrated from not making enough headway but this was over the top. Resh’kha had remembered that they used to inflate the carcass of a sheep in order to slide down the wintery slopes when she was a kid and it had been great fun. So this very steep and very dangerous part of the journey could be done in the same fast and festive manner, according to her.

A part of Bagir did find the idea to be bold, and also smart, for riding down there would most certainly make them stuck completely. The snow was way too deep for the horses to wade through but this was not even an ounce less dangerous. The ravine was filled with snowdrifts and he was just waiting for that telltale boom which would signal a deadly avalanche. They had tied the horses legs together and did cling onto the harnesses as they and their steeds did rush down the hillside. Resh’kha was hanging onto one of the pack horses and the animals were petrified but since they had long thick fur they wouldn’t get hurt unless they hit something solid. Resh’kha said they wouldn’t, she said she knew how to slide down the slopes on a dead animal but these weren’t dead and Bagir was convinced that this was about to end anytime.

Igkhan was hollering like a madman as they skid downwards, covered with snow and with a speed that was terrifying in itself. Bagir had enjoyed sledding just as much as the other kids when he was little but this? Oh by every God known to mankind, it was madness. Resh’kha was in fact steering a bit with her legs, she could break a little by pushing her legs down and she used it to keep the horse she was hanging onto on the right track, the animal was on its side with its legs almost sticking up in the air and it was covered with snow too. They all looked like snow monsters.

The snow did not last all the way down to the plains though, there were a long stretch of land which was free from the snow and they had to stop before they reached that. No reason to worry just yet though, they still had some miles to go. Bagir spat snow and tried to keep it out of his eyes, right, they did save many days by doing it this way and taking this seemingly impossible route but the risk! Resh’kha let out a huge shout, probably to gather her courage and she was smiling, that insane orc was showing off all her huge teeth. She had been silent for days but now she seemed to warm up to them again and she was beyond any doubt the one who was in charge of this little expedition. And Bagir wondered if the orcs were aware of the fact that they owed their insane courage to their females. No human woman would ever risk her life like this.

The area without snow snow did appear closer now, and Resh’kha did slow down. She waved her arms and they all started to break, Bagir did push his feet into the snow and here the snow was fluffy and they came to a stop relatively fast. They hurried untying the horses legs and the animals got up, shaking themselves vigorously and throwing angry glances at the humans and the orc who had humiliated them thus. But they had all gotten down unschated and Bagir did sigh and shake his head at the huge grin on Resh’kha’s face, she had found the whole thing to be exhilarating. They rode down after having had some food and he knew that they would have to hunt soon, they were out of provisions and the horses were starving. It did take most of the day to reach the plains properly but whence they did they did put up camp to let the horses graze and Resh’kha did produce a sort of map meant to show where they were compared with the city of the twelve clans. It was still a great distance left to cross, first northwards and then west wards and south and Igkhan did recon that they would use weeks to get there. Here there were grass and the horses were eating like mad even though it was dry and rather tasteless. It had to contain some nutrients still and Bagir sent Igkhan out hunting. The young man did return after some hours with several coneys, a sort of grouse and two huge flightless birds which did resemble overly fat chickens.

Resh’kha was obviously excited about the catch and she told Igkhan how to cook the birds in detail, it was obvious that they were a fundamental part of the diet of her people. Bagir did try to make himself useful by making beds for them all from the thick moss which covered the ground here and there. It was nice to sleep inn and way better than the hard stoney ground. That night went by relatively easily and the food gave them new strength and new energy, the next day they all were more positive and even the horses seemed to have shaken off the feeling of depression. Ighkan did tell them that they had to stay close to the mountains and Resh’kha did agree, it would shorten the journey and it would also be easier to find shelter and since the terrain was a bit rocky they could hide more easily if they should encounter anything hostile. Bagir didn’t believe that anything did live in this rather barren land but after a few days of travel they did in fact encounter something which was very hostile and they hadn’t expected it at all. It was Resh’kha who saw them first, a small group of orcs way ahead of them. It couldn’t be more than three or perhaps four of them and they did move along very slowly, as if they were lost and not quite sure of where to go. Resh’kha was excited at first, the orc clans did greet each other with politeness when they were few, even if the two clans should be at war with each other. She was curious to who they were and from where they had come for normally orcs rarely left the high mountains.

She did call out to them and they should answer that call but they ignored it and kept walking, with that same slow almost sluggish style. Bagir felt an odd sensation building up inside, something was warning him and Igkhan had pulled out his bow and he was swearing to himself. The three orcs, for now they saw that they were three, did not stop, they just kept moving and now they could feel a peculiar smell and Resh’kha was frowning. “What is wrong with them? They ought to answer?”

She waved her arm and they didn’t respond. “They are impolite, rude”

Igkhan did shake his head. “No, look at them, they are ill, or something even worse. Come on, let us ride”

Resh’kha did wave again. “But…they are kin?! Why don’t they respond?”

By now they weren’t that far from the three and Resh’kha let out a sort of moan and then she turned around and grasped the pack horse by the reins,she obviously wanted them all to get out of the way there and then. Bagir did spur his horse and Igkhan did the same but now the three did move with sudden speed and that speed was astonishing. They burst forth like shot out of catapults and Bagir had time to see that the one closest to him had a pair of huge black eyes and a maw with blackened rotten teeth, obviously trying to bite onto anything which moved. Resh’kha did shout. “Ride!”

She had drawn her blade and cut the arm of one of them trying to grasp onto her and Igkhan did simply ride straight at the other, knocing the orc over. Bagir felt the stench from them and Resh’kha did run after the two riders, and she was fast. The three figures didn’t try to pursue them at all and after a while the travellers did slow down, reluctantly. Resh’kha was gasping for air, leaning over and panting. “Are you alright?”

Bagir nodded but Igkhan was a bit pale. “The one I rode down did scratch me, I think”

He showed them his leg, there was blood on the leather pants and Resh’kha made a sort of cussing Bagir had never even imagined before. She ran over and lifted him off the horse, then she ripped the pants and they saw a thin scratch down the man’s calf. It wasn’t a serious wound but she did look at it as if it was life threatening. Bagir got a bad feeling. “What was those three?”

Resh’kha found her flint and steel and some dry moss, she started a small fire and didn’t answer. Igkhan did look very nervous. “What are you doing?”

She just hissed. “Saving you, have you a steel knife?”

Bagir did hand over his own and she stared at the blade. “Strong, good, must be warm”

Igkhan did blink. “Ah, are you going to burn the wound?!”

She nodded. “Yes, or else you will rot, like they are”

Igkhan became even more pale and Resh’kha did snarl. “Bad disease, very rare. It is almost forgotten but mother did tell me of it, once when I was a child. You go mad, try to bite everything and the bite transfer the disease”

Igkhan was sweating. “Damn it, I wasn’t bitten, I was scratched only!”

Resh’kha just stared at him. “Same thing!”

Bagir moaned. “We cannot linger here, we need to move on”

Resh’kha nodded and put the blade into the flames. “Yes, but first clean wound”

She let the blade lay there until it was almost glowing, then she did press it against the wound without even warning Igkhan and he roared with pain and flinched. Resh’kha did wrap some fabric around the leg and put the trousers back down into his boots. “Better hurt than dead”

Bagir got a feeling that she hadn’t told the whole truth about those three sick orcs. Like, how did they catch the disease and why hadn’t he heard of it ever before? But she would perhaps tell in her own time, now they had to move and move fast.

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