The Heros Quest Chronicles: Orehs Adventure by Megan McClung

The world is changing, and nothing anyone can do will stop it. Only the Hero's of legend can keep the world from falling into darkness and despair. Will they succeed? Or will they fail and plunge the world of Arantarios into a never ending cycle of terror?

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6. Chapter 3 The Ambush

Five days after we left Northwood, we found ourselves at the edge of the forest. Behind us was the welcoming dark of the trees, and before us was the grasslands of the Eastern plains. We decided to camp here, because of the small stream at the forests edge, which was the only water for miles around. Looking over the camp I realized I had forgotten something. Traps, in case of an attack.
“Um, Mouse?” I asked not knowing who had the belles and string to warn us of unwanted visitors. “Where’s the border guards?”
“Over here Oreh, I put them in my pack,” Mouse replied, smiling at me.
“Thanks Mouse,” I said grinning at her, “I’ll set them up, we don’t want anyone to sneak up on us.”
“Aye, that is true sir Oreh,” said Dárik. “My sword chills the farther into the plains we get, its warning us of danger.”
“Yes, lets keep our guard up tonight,” said Aeirn
After the traps were set up, all of us except Rose climbed into bed. At first I couldn’t sleep, for my mind was to watchful for rest, but, eventually I did.
I do not know how long I slept before I awoke to strange grunts and clicking noises. As soon as I heard them I knew what it was, Orkarn. The seven foot tall hunters of humans, elves, and dwarfs. Hideous beasts with fangs and horns. Their yellow eyes seem to glare at you from under bushy animal like eyebrows. No one knows where they came from, or how they came to be. They have just always been. They hunt those who are smart enough to flee, and fight those who, some call brave, and others call foolish enough to take a stand and do something about it. I am one of those few.

Looking around I saw where Dárik, Aeirn, Mouse, and Rose were crouching and watching the enemies. Crawling over, so I wouldn’t be seen by the Orkarn, I went over and joined my friends.
“They’re everywhere!” I heard Mouse exclaim softly. “How do we beat that which we cannot see?”
“Look at what is if you wish to see that which is not.” Dárik said, grinning.
“Its possible that there is a powerful spell going on, an evil magician, or shaman might have casted a voice multiplier spell. But, there may be a way out of this yet. Come, let us return to the horses.” Aeirn said. Walking as quietly as we could, we went over to where we had picketed the horses.
When we got there, I looked up and gasped with hoarer seeing that the horses were gone.
“What is it Oreh?” Aeirn asked me puzzled, “What’s wrong?”
“The horses!” I managed, anger blocking all thoughts of reason. “If they harm Airgead, they will wish they had never been born!”
“Calm down Oreh,” Mouse said. “We will get them back.” then she leaned over and looked at the hoof prints.
“It looks as though the Orkarn came while we were talking. See here? The prints are fresh, not more than 20 minutes ago were the horses taken. The tracks lead in…this direction, follow me every one,” jumping on Roses back Mouse started following the tracks.
It took us three hours to track the Orkarn to their lair because they kept doubling back on themselves. When we finally arrived at the lair, I herd the sound of a frantic horse…a call that I recognized.
Fury must have shown on my face, because one minute I was drawing my sword; and the next I was face down on the ground with Dá rik sitting on my back.
“Get off will you?!” I exclaimed quietly.
“Not until you promise to wait for the plan,” Dárik growled back at me.
“Alright, I promise. Now let me up!” I said exasperated
“Okay, but stay quite,” Dárik said in a whisper. “Now, here’s the plan; Mouse, I want you and Rose to…” he stopped in the middle of his sentence and said, “Rose?…Where did Rose go?”
“I don’t…” Mouse began, and then stopped realizing where she was. “There,” she sighed, pointing to the group of Orkarn, “She’s attacking.”
Taking a closer look at the Orkarn, I saw there were only fifteen instead of the original thirty I had thought, Also, there was a shaman.
“Great,” I muttered, “A shaman.”
“How do you know Oreh, Aeirn asked me surprised. “I didn’t know you had magic.”
“Oh, no. I can only cast a few spells, and not anything that can detect a mage or shaman.” I said with a laugh. “I have fought Orkarn shamans before, I know how they look and act.”
“Listen, I know you want to learn more about this, but now is not the time!” Mouse exclaimed, “Or, in case you haven’t noticed, we are going into battle.”
“Your right,” I said ashamed, “Now, lets get the battle started; FOR WATCH TOWER AND FREELAND!” I shouted as I jumped from behind a rock, taking the Orkarn by surprise. As I ran into battle, my sword seemed to come alive. As I flowed from one move to the next, all I could see was my enemies.
At first they surrounded me, blocking me off from my friends; But I did not notice. A sword came down towards my head, but I blocked it. Then twisting around, I countered the attack with a thrust. Swinging my arm around in an arc I got another one across the chest. I know not how long I was fighting, but I was aware of the blood staining my sword, and of the bodies that littered the ground. And then, I was facing the shaman.
As we circled each other a sneer crossed his face as he said, “Give it up human! You shall never win; My master will destroy you and your pitiful friends. You will break under the might of his fist!”
“Fat chance of that, he doesn’t know anything about us!” I said, with a smirk. “He knows not who he would be dealing with. I am Oreh, the leader of this group. The Slayer of Dragons and the dark-wraiths. Now, enough of this talk, lets finish this!”
Then, as I shouted my war cry, I attacked. I swung my sword, and hit the shamans shoulder. Swinging again I aimed for the shamans heart only to have my sword knocked away with strength that made pain shoot up from my wrist. He’s strong! I thought as he blocked another blow, this time to the head. We fought for what seemed like hours, though it was only minutes. As powerful spells were cast, and luckily for me, missed their target, I rained blows down on him, only to be blocked at every swing. Its almost as if he’s toying with me. I thought, He could end this battle at any moment. But…he doesn’t. Its as though he wants to capture me alive. Well, that’s not going to happen.
Bringing my shield up to block a particularly powerful blow, I started to look for my enemies weakness. Most likely he was immune to fire, which would take to long to cast. But maybe I can distract him. I thought, and ran through a few spells in my mind. What I need is an energy reducing spell. Now, if I could just remember the words…I blocked a blow to the chest, and struck out with a blow to the head as I tried to remember the words of the spell.
“Vermindering de energie van de shaman!” I exclaimed in the old tongue. As I said those words, I saw him lean over slightly from lack of energy. Deciding to strike in his moment of weakness I thrust my sword into his chest. A look of shock crossed his face, and he was dead. Removing my sword from his chest I swung around to face my next opponent, only to see...that they were all dead.
After wiping my blade clean I walked to my mare, and started to calm her down, as well as relax my mind. When I was calm enough, I began to take in my surroundings. Mouse was sitting on Roseylla’s back, as she strutted around with pride over killing her share of the Orkarn. Aeirn was bandaging a cut in Dárik’s arm; the battle was over.
Walking over to Dárik and Aeirn, I smiled as I thought of the well fought battle. “You two alright?” I asked, smiling at them.
“We’re fine,” Dárik said with a grin, “Well fought, Sir Oreh, not many people can defeat a shaman of that strength, You should be proud.”
“Thank you Dárik,” I said smiling back. “That is very kind.”
“Think nothing of it Oreh. I consider it an honor to ride beside such an honorable warrior,” He said. Nodding my head in thanks I went off to see what I could find that the Orkarn might have been carrying.
As I walked away from the two of them, I heard them start to talk to each other in the elvish language; but deciding to respect their privacy I ignored their conversation

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