Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Location: Seattle, WA
|Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:51 pm Post subject: Peace for Uriz
Uriz woke slowly, contentedly, to the warm comfort of his oak-framed bed, enticed by the smells of cooking to face the day. It had been some time since his dad was able to get a bread loaf for breakfast, but Uriz could smell the eggs, and dad never cooked eggs without bread to toast with them.
Uriz sprang up from his bed and slammed his head against the ceiling. Stumbling through the doorway, Uriz tried to puzzle out why the room was so small, and underground. Dad never liked underground, and no matter how many times the orcs had them move, dad always found a place in the open air to set their hut.
Then, like a flash through his skull, Uriz found the truth - this must be a camp for kids! That's why all the furniture and rooms were so small! He'd have to find dad and ask what was happening.
* * * * *
At the long tables at which the tribe served communal meals, Uriz sat, remembering. Dad had died in the second War, sent to gather wood with the peons and trampled in a raid. Uriz was grown since then, but the spirits spent so much time in his skull that memories between then and now were strained. But now... Peace! The Tribe was back from the north, the depredations of the Legion on Draenor where muted, and even the Alliance was willing to talk with representatives, rather than sending them back in small chunks.
Everything was a bit jumbled, but Uriz was almost used to that now. Bits of struggling to keep soldiers fighting in the lemon-scented forests of Terokkar mixed with an odd tale of diplomacy in the snows with walrus-men. Strangely, also came images of fighting, of raging and inciting rage in the tribe to kill men already dead; but such thoughts could be dug out another time, for the Tribe was home!
Merell was still directing the line of people gathering food from the kitchen, growling at Arakhav to wait at the end of the line ("No, you always leave bits behind, so you get to go last!") Amadahy was helping to serve, while Keryn was threatening Rajakumadi with dismemberment if he tried to help cooking again ("We still have scorch marks from the last time!") The Den was wonderful, comfortable chaos around Uriz.
* * * * *
The eggs on the plate faded to grey and the smells of the earth surrounded Uriz - spirit-brought vision, or a memory of a vision. The rumble of the stone moving filled his ears, thundering like an ocean's surf laid in quartz. The table before him fell away, crinkling as it collapsed and releasing the scent of turned loam at midnight. The wind screamed around him as it was tortured through the new expanse that was the lunch hall of the Den.
The stonefather loa emerged from the ruined floor, rising like a titan half-remembered from the depths of Ulduar. His hands, gnarled as tree roots, rested to either side of Uriz, each knuckle out-massing his head. His face, made of flaked mica, shown in the torchlight and fires like lightning'd crystal. His eyes were rubies, born in fiery depths and glowing still from their travel.
Uriz! The peace is done! Awake!
* * * * *
"... and they're apparently running a racket on the sailors. Duzguud acts as muscle, and Duzbetta runs the scams!" Leuchtende howls with laughter, and even Redwater chuckles. "Something about buying their mom? Either way, those Blackwater pirates are quickly learning to watch their purses!"
Uriz slowly became aware of the meal around him again. His eggs were cold now, and one of the windserpents had swiped his toast - likely Byakhee, who was slinking quickly back out of the room. Uriz shrugged and dug into his eggs quickly, before the other pets could take his plate.
The spirits had left Uriz alone recently. Ever since the war at the foot of Icecrown Citadel, the elements had calmed, and the ancestors had known resolution. The stonefather wanted something, but this felt more like a memory than a calling - after all, when the spirits really wanted their work done, they just took Uriz as a tool. Maybe from when Draenor's earth was in need of heroes? Ah well, maybe today would reveal more, and that's why he remembered this now.
* * * * *
Lunchtime found Uriz out in the garden, trying to get a snail to follow the toy goblin racetrack he'd made from twigs and corn ears, but with little success. Though the others were all happily feeding in the Den, Uriz was happy for the quiet breeze - so happy that the spirits had calmed to let him hear the silence.
As the sun broke through the leaves overhead, a bluebird broke into song. Without thinking, Uriz snapped a handy rock at it, knocking it in the head, though it quickly recovered and flew away rapidly. There - silence again!
So silent, the wind seemed to speak to Uriz, though he desperately refused to make sense of it. Finally, Uriz stuck his fingers in his ears and screamed "Tra la la!" to himself as he stomped his way back in to the Den.
* * * * *
Uriz napped that afternoon; the Den smelled pleasantly of family and beasts, and everyone was relaxing after the large lunch. Keryn had stolen away to council chambers with the other elders to discuss recent matters in the outside world, but here, in the Den, it was safe. Well, except for the fire.
Fire. Uriz smelled the smoke, and felt the warmth, and new the life of flames around his bed. And the voice intruding, screaming in fire's screech "wake up!" and sighing in fire's booming voice "heed us!"
I's heah to wahn ju! spoke the fire.
"G'way an' lemme sleep, Raja! Isn' mornin' yet!" returned Uriz.
* * * * *
At dinner, Uriz sat saddened, knowing his time of peace was ending. The voices were back, and were becoming rude again. Soon, they would steal him away, make him puppet to their need of voice.
Even now, as he stared into his soup bowl, the noodles shaped "wake up mon".
Uriz got up, looking sick and greener than a troll should, and stumbled to the door like he's going to be sick. As he reaches the threshold, the floor slams him to the ceiling, the wind knocks him flat, the torches reach for him with tendrils of flame, and his own sweat lashes his face. Speaking in a voice not his own, he cries, "Ju will listen! Wake up, mon! Da peace be endin'!"
Shaking himself, standing up again, Uriz exclaims, "Oh mon! Dis place be breakin'! We's need a new Den!"