I participated in NaNoWriMo, and here is the continued story I wrote this year.
Brulee wakes up the next day after the attack on them the night before, surprised that she isn’t dead. Creme is with her, and it turns out they had been captured by some members of the Horde! Luckily, Brulee still knows Orcish from back when Draenei used to trade with them, so she’s able to talk with them. Turns out they didn’t mean to attack them the previous night — it was just a horrible misunderstanding and an accidentally fired arrow. Yup. Not only that, but the Horde wished to warn them that Lakeshire was under attack by orcs! And no, those orcs weren’t part of the Horde, but the people of Lakeshire thought they were! They had sent off a letter to Stormwind to tell them ‘hey, that isn’t us’ but were still scouting the area. Before any further plans were made, some of those attacking orcs snuck up on them and attacked the Horde, Brulee, and Creme! Worse, they were on the edge of a cliff, and Brulee was knocked off! And that’s the end of the chapter.
So here’s where I was trying to make up where the plot would go even more, as I hadn’t really decided what globe-trotting adventure Creme and Brulee would get into. When I was first thinking of their story, I thought that perhaps The Missing Diplomat questline would function. However, I don’t think I ever actually finished that with them before Cataclysm, and I’m not to familiar with the specific events. However, I did remember the questline involving Brother Paxton, and thought that would be enough of a springboard to get some adventuring going on.
However, I’m not sure that I will leave it as Lakeshire being under attack (or even include a scene with the Horde). I do want their story to work with the in-game RP on Feathermoon, and if I say ‘remember that time Creme and Brulee stopped that attack on Lakeshire?’, a person who lived in Lakeshire might be like ‘no I do not’. This might be hard to rectify at any rate, since I’m writing this as events that happened during WotLK, which means it’s a little dated and hard to ‘fit in’, especially if I were to ask folks if they wanted a part in this story. But I think I can worry about this another day.
Another problem with adding in a second language scene is that I had been using brackets to denote my OOO notes in the story, usually when I would take a break and wanted to easily remember what to write next. And then I used brackets to denote they were speaking Orcish. It confused me a few times, when I wondered why my note looked suspiciously like dialogue… since it was actually dialogue.
The number of typos in these later chapters is probably higher than the other ones, as I was getting a bit worried I wouldn’t finish on time. And I think I had a cold during these last few chapters too. Colds certainly leads to fun while writing!
Chapter 7: Negotiations
But I appear not to be dead, Brulee thought. How odd.
She groaned slightly, unbidden from her but headache was strong enough.
“Oh good, you’re awake,” Crème’s sarcastic voice said. It mostly sounded as surly as it usually did, though there was an undercurrent of worry in it.
“Indeed,” Brulee groaned. She tried bringing up her hands up to her head but found them stuck, bound behind her back.
Instead she gently cracked open her eyes. It was bright out; judging from the light it looked to be the next day, during the midday. Their surroundings looked vaguely familiar, though it wasn’t an area they had passed through before. So they were still in the Redridge mountain area. They were in some sort of encampment, or at least at the edge of it. There were a few tents amoungst the small group of trees they were in, a simple stone campfire, a few supply packs lying around. Near them lay their own supplies, and if she was hearing things right their horses were nearby too. There was no sign of their apparent captors, thought.
“What happened?” she asked, and then grimanced at the sound of her voice some more. It was croaking from being so dry.
“I was gonna ask you that,” Crème replied. Her voice didn’t sound much better. But at least she looked well enough, from what Brulee could see. A little dirty and her hair was all over the place, but not more worse from wear than she was.
“We were attacked by some Orcs but I got overwhelmed during the fight,” Brulee said. “I am pretty sure they had snuck one of their number up behind me and knocked me out.”
“Yeah, they knocked me out too. My head is killin’ me.”
“Agreed. I would do more to help but my hands are tied.” Brulee lifted her amrs up slightly from behind her back to demonstrate. “And I have just woken up now so I am not knowing what happened after I was knocked out.”
“Well I’m guessing they took us to this camp of theirs,” Crème said with an obligatory eyeroll. “I’ve been awake for an hour or so and I’ve seen ‘em walkin’ around a lot. I think they’re all doing some more plotting or whatever the Horde does when they get prisoners.”
“Oh! They are part of the Horde?”
Crème nodded. “Most of ‘em were wearing some sorta red tabard with a picture on it that I’m pretty sure is the symbol of the Horde.”
“But we are not at active war with the Horde! What business do they have capturing citizens of the Alliance?”
“Pretty sure a concept like ‘active war’ isn’t held by all of them, otherwise they wouldn’t be attacking us, would they.”
“But this is Alliance territory. It would not stand for them to be here.”
“Well there weren’t very many of them. Only ten or so.”
“That is true.. .” Brulee said. In fact, she noted there were less than she was expecting during her skirmish with them the previous night.
“They tried to talk with me earlier, when I woke up,” Crème continued. “But I didn’t understand anything they were saying. It was all gibberish to me, and I guess they didn’t understand the Common I was speaking. Well, at least not very much. They had one of them cow people with them and they had a few words they could say that I understood, but it was all really heavily accented and some of it didn’t make sense. They gave up after awhile.”
Whatever questions Brulee wanted to ask her ward had to be put off for the moment, for one of their captors walked back to the area of the camp that they were in. It looked to be like a common Orcish soldier, if Brulee was to be the judge of things.
<Hey! I think the Draenei chick woke up,> he shouted in Orcish, turning to face where Brulee assumed the rest of his companions were. Brulee was pleasantly surprised to realize she still remembered some of the orcish she had learned when on Draenor. This would make it much easier to communicate.
The rustling of branches and twigs alerted them to the arrival of some more members of the Horde; two more orcs, a tauren, and an undead Forsaken. Brulee kept her eyes on their enemies, though she could see Crème stiffen at the sight of the Forsaken. Who could blame her, seeing the dead walk? Many in Stormwind has shared stories about the fall of the north to the Scourge, and no matter whether they worked with the orcs or were mindless creatures of violence, they were always viewed as the enemy. (The Forsaken was apparently used to reactions like the one Crème had. It waved and grinned at her, creepily.)
One of the orcs looked young, like the one currently in the camp. She had more decorative mantles than the other one though. The third orc was grizzled and old; Brulee could see his eyes had the red taint upon them. She had later learned that demons from the Legion had corrupted their former trading partners, before they had left to attempt to conquer Azeroth. Later the demonic forces that controlled them were removed, but signs of the taint that once existed in them remained.
The Tauren, a towering presence even for being female (usually lesser in stature than their male counterparts), stayed farther away from them, arms crossed and watching as the two newcomer orcs approached. The older male stayed in the lead.
He stopped a few feet from them, looking between the girl and the Draenei. His eyes seemed to linger an extra long time at Crème. Brulee could see that the girl was trying her best to not freak out and keep her usual too cool for you demeanor. Emphasis on trying.
<Do you speak Orcish?> rumbled the leader orc. He seemed resigned to the fact that their troops were not as equipped to speak Common as he had hoped. BRulee was sure that their earlier conversation with Crème was discouraging. But he obviously had some hopes that she could speak Orcish, and he was right to do so.
<I do speak some, yes,> Brulee responded. She could see Crème boggle at her out of the corner of her eye.
“Wha- you speak the same as them?” she squeaked.
“Yes. We used to trade with them, you know.”
“With the bloodthirsty orcs?”
“They weren’t always bloodthirsty-“
<What are you speaking about?> the orc interrupted. He looked unhappy that they were speaking freely. He obviously couldn’t understand the Common that they spoke.
<I am explaining why I can speak Orcish, Mister…?>
<General Stormblade,> he corrected. <Please focus on our conversation for now, Miss…?>
<Paladin Brulee. A pleasure to meet you under such nice circumstances. May I ask as to why we are captured and bound in a territory where you have no juristdiction? This could be considered an act of war.> She watched as the Orc frowned; possibly partly from her accent. It was rather atrosious.
<Hrn. I apologize for the situation. We were thinking of a way to peacefully ask you questions at your camp, but Bonecrusher here was playing with his bow and arrow – against orders I may add – and happened to shoot at your tent.>
Brulee raised an eyebrow. The orc that had called the others over did looked particularly chagrinned.
<And you expect us to believe that?>
<It is farfetched, I know. But we mean neither you nor your companion any harm.>
<Then why are we still bound?>
<Your attack against us, while justified, was rather violent. We wished to talk to you to get a truce before letting you go.>
Brulee eyed him for a moment. It all sounded very suspicious, especially considering how much they fought back. But it was true that she did strike first, didn’t ask questions later.
<Very well. Undo our bonds so we may talk.>
The orc stared at her again, no doubt thinking the same things that she was about their conversation.
<Fill in your companion and then we shall do so. And no weapons for you, either.>
<That is fine.> Brulee then turned to Creme. “They say they just wish to talk and will undo our bonds.”
“Just wish to talk?! After knocking me upside the head and then tying us up here? I doubt it. They’ll kill us in a a minute, no doubt about it!”
“I am not so sure. He seems sincere enough, for an Orc. And his friend does appear to be stupid enough to accidentally let loose an arrow. So we shall let them undo our bonds. Do not be attacking them when they do so. We shall see if talking is all they wish to do. If so, all will be well. If not, we cna fight better with our hands free, yes?”
Creme nodded. “I guess so…”
Brulee nodded and turned her head to the Orc General. <My companion understands the situation. If you would kindly untie the bonds?>
General Stormblade grunted in acknowledgement and waved a hand forward. The two orcs deftly moved forward and cut their bonds. Both started to rub their wrists to ease the tension there.
<What do you wish to speak about that would require you to kidnap members of the Alliance?> Brulee asked the General pointedly.
<Kidnap? We did… well, I suppose you could view it as such. But this is a longer story. Come sit at our encampment to discuss it, unless you would prefer to stand here.>
<We can talk here.> Brulee said. If it came down to another fight, she felt that this environment would be safer, especially if there were more of them elsewhere.
<Very well. Let me explain the situation then. Feel free to translate for your companion as needed.> The General glanced at Creme.
“He’s going to explain what’s going on,” Brulee said. “I will explain the important parts to you.”
“Like the part where they beat us up and why they did that? Because that would be swell.”
“Indeed.” Brulee said to her. <Please go on,> she directed at the Orc.
General Stormblade nodded yet again before launching into his explanation. <As you may be aware, there is a set of Orcs not associated with the Horde; a clan of former Dragon controllers. A subset of them live not far from your Alliance town of Lakeshire. There presence was noticeable, but did not concern Horde affairs. And I am guessing that their presence ws not large enough for the Alliance to go take care of them.>
He paused in a few places to allow Brulee to translate his words.
<However, they have recently amassed a seige of some sort against Lakeshire, a seige.>
<Why would that be of concern to the Horde?> Brulee asked, confused.
(( They had received a missive! ))
<Apparently they had managed to get word out of town that this seige, caused by these random orcs, was actually an organized attack by the Horde!>
Brulee squeezed her fists tight. <Which would explain your presence here.>
THe orc sighed. <WE are here because of that letter that was sent out. Apparently your Alliance cannot spare an army to route their supposed Horde foe. They sent a missive to Orgrimmar asking us to cease our attack or they woudl be forced to attack us.> He snorted a laugh. <We were quite surprised to hear that we had infiltrated the middle of the Alliance territory with an army that didn’t exist to attack a town that we had no reason to be attacking. That is why we were dispatched, to investigate the situation.>
Brulee raised her eyebrow. <That is a likely story, I am sure.>
<It is true,> interjected the female orc. Brule presumed she was second in command. <We would not mount a scouting expedition here of all palces if it were not. The real action is in Northrend.>
That, at least, was true. Brulee vaguely recalled that the reason she was sent to Stormwind in the first place was because so many of the Alliance were sent to Nrothrend. If that was the case, it would make sense that the Alliance couldn’t protect their own people.
“They’re probably right about the Alliance being unable to send an army,” Creme supplied after Brulee finished translating that part. “Stormwind’s always been letting peopel further out fend for themselves.”
“Really? They could not spare some of their forces?”
Creme shrugged. “Guess they figure if you live farther away you’ll be tough enough to fend for yourself.”
Sounded rather rough. Brulee knew that her people would not leave each other in their times of need. She supposed those humans had a different mentality.
<So the Horde could not muster an army to root out the pretenders?> she asked.
The Genreal replied again. <We didn’t know at the time what was going on here. We’re just a scouting party. If they were Horde troops we were to give them orders to cease their attack. IF they were not… well, we were to report back. And we are quite sure that they are not members of the Horde.> The orcs exchanged nods.
<They were very aggressive when we attmpted to make contact with one of their camps,> supplied the female commander. <And after we dealt with that encampment, we took a good look at their supposed Horde symbols. The flags and tabards were old and tattered. It was apparent they had been stealing older supplies from somewhere. Some of the symbols and colors used were even outdated from the ones issued to current soldiers.>
The General nodded in agreement. <We’ve already sent our mage back to Org with our report that these orcs are not ours and we’re waiting for a response. I’m sure that this report will be sent off to the Alliance as soon as possible.>
<If that’s the case, why did you attack us?> Brulee asked, apparently exasperating the Orc some more.
<We had only wished to talk to you to see if you had heard of any trouble happneing to Lakeshire. We haven’t seen anyone come up the road there of late and wished to ask some questions.> he said.
<Well, we have seen a few other sets of humans,> the woman orc chimed in. <But most of them ran away when we tried to approach all peaceful like, and Paweh’s Common isn’t as good as she thought it was.> She gestured back at the Tauren, who looked a bit embarrassed.
<I ken at least write common fairly well,> Brulee heard the Tauren mumble.
Her comment was apparently ignored as the orc General Stormblade went on to explain more.
<But you are one of those Draenei. When Reggie-> he indicated the undead <- scouted you headin toward Lakeshire, I figured you might be able to understand Orcish, given our… history.>
<I suppose you guyessed right. But approaching our camp at night? Armed with arrows which you shot at the tent?>
<Sorry,> mummbled Bonecrusher.
<He’s not the brightest. But Reggie was unable to report back to us until night fell and he wasn’t sure where you made camp until he saw the fire. We appraoched late and were discussing the best way to appraoch you without starting anything but…>
<Obviouysly you failed at that regard.> Brulee finished for him.
<So is the attack on Lakeshire all you wished to talk to us about? We thank youf or the warning, but we still have pressing business to attend to there…>
The General gave her a stern look. <It woudl be foolhardy for you to go to Lakeshire without a force large enough to route the enemy. The other travelers we have seen were captured or killed by those renigades around, or ran from there. MEanwhile the entire town isn’t captured yet, but is complete surrounded. I am doubtful that any of their people have managed to sneak through he blockade.>
<You were merely wishing to warn us of the danger?> Brulee asked. She put a hand on her hip, doubtful about their intentions. Though they still hadn’t turned on them.
<Well, we were also hoping you could report the situation back to your capitol, in case you arrive there before our own message does. After all, it would be more believeable coming from Alliance members than those from the Horde.>
<And we are just supposed to take your word for it and wander back to Stormwind? I think not.> Brulee scoffed.
The General’s brow furrowed tightly; he looked quite annoyed. <Fine then. We shall go scout Lakeshire yet again so you can see with your own eyes what has befallen the town. Your things are in the main camp. Gather them up and eat and then we shall move out.>
He turned to address the rest of his troops about this turn of events as Brulee filled in the last part of the conversation to Creme.
“If they are tellin’ the truth, it sure would explain why none of the letters have been delivered ((though why would those letters be returned and the letter carrier wasn’t explaining why they couldn’t deliver them? Maybe this ie being kept hush hush)) and he hasn’t gotten any of his ore.” Creme said, still rubbing her wrists some.
“But I have my doubts if they are telling the truth. I shall feel better once I have my sword and armor once again.”
“Sure. I really don’t like the looks that old talkin’ one kept giving me either. It was kinda creepy.”
“Yes, I was noticing that. But he doesn’t seem to wish to cause us any more harm or inconvenience us much more further, so we shall go ahead with their plans for now.”
The orc was true to his word. They collected their armor and weapons. Brulee made sure to equip herself with all of her armor, that she did not have that evening. She also had the time to patch up the bumps on her and Creme’s head by using the healing power of the Light.
After their break they left a few of them at that camp, lest their messenger return and find them not there. General Stormblade and the Tauren Paweh led, both riding wolves (they did better in this territory than Kodos, Paweh had quietly explained). Brulee and Creme both rode their horses. The dreaenei had a hard time convincing the human to ride her own mount, but if they were to make a break for it, she would feel guilty if she left the other horse to the captors. And apparently the girl learned faster under pressure, because she hadn’t fallen off yet. Brulee kept her ahead of her, so she could better monitor the girl’s progress on the horse, just in case she fell so she could easily helped her before one of the Horde members decided to.
Leading from behind them was the rogue, Reggie. He was on an undead horse, which Creme did not like the look of (Brulee didn’t either, but she didn’t make it obviously as such). The undead did keep his distance from them, either out of respect for Creme’s apparent uneasiness or because there was some strategic advantage to lagging behind. Maybe both were applicable reasons.
It was mid-afternoon when Stormblade held up his hand, calling for a stop.
<We’re here,> he said. <Across this lake we can see the town of Lakeshire, and we can see what is happening there from here safely. Well, relatively safely.>
Brulee dismounted and walked over to Creme, who was still on her horse. “Come now, we can see what is going on from here,” she said quietly. She held out a hand for Creme to hold as she got down. Creme used it but uttered no thanks. It was a step up, though, as at least she didn’t ignore the hand as she no doubt would have before.
General Stormblade and Paweh had already crept forward to the line of trees and bushes at the cliff’s edge. Their journey had taken them high into the mountains; a short conversation with Creme had confirmed that Lakeshire was indeed ‘thataway’ and you ‘could probably see it from up higher from teh mountains around it, yeah’ which was more or less a solid confirmation that they weren’t being led astray, coming from her ward. It was no surprise, then, that the path they had chosen to take led upwards to a cliff edge in the mountain range.
She and Creme moved up to the foliage lining the cliff as well, taking up a position next to the Tauren.
Stormblade gestured off to his left and downwards. <See? This is the city.>
Brulee and Creme both followed his gaze. She had to squint a bit against the sun’s glare, and because they were so high up, but the damage below was clear – Lakeshire was definitely under siege.
Tall baracades of some material, msot likely wood, surrounded most sides of the town, except the areas that bordered the water. No wait, there were some stakes pointing out from there, small but pointy enough to stop any who wanted to swim to shore before a defense could be mounted. There were the remains of a dock there, either torn down to build up their walls or destroyed in some sort of attack.
Outside the borders of the town were many encampments. They were on all sides, but most especially on the road and bridge that was the main route that went past the town.
<At least fifty of them waiting outside the town,> the General said. <And we know there are more patrolling the nearby roads and such. Do you believe me now when I say that the town was under seige?>
<Yes, I do. But are you sure that these are not Horde troops?> Brulee asked, doubt in her voice.
Stormblade growled in frustration. <Of course! Otherwise we would stop this madness.>
<Some of us don’t want full on war with the Alliance,> Paweh added.
<There are more important things going on in the world right now,> Stormblade said. Brulee wasn’t too sure if he actually was against fighting the Alliance, but certainly against attacks on a town such as this.
<I am surprised to hear that you would not wish such attacks to be done on villages of innocents,> Brulee said, glancing at the General with hard eyes. If he had assumed that she could speak Orcish, it was well enough to assume that he knew of the attacks orcs did against her unsuspecting people, driving them into hiding.
He moved away from the cliff’s edge and stood, eyes still locked on Brulee’s. <Times have changed, Draenei. The demon’s blood no longer fills our actions with unending rage and need for battles. I had felt it drain even as we had gone through the portal to this world, and if I could change anything it would have been to stop our slaughtering of the innocents, the ones who were not warriors.> His face softened for one moment before the grizzly winkles appeared in full yet again. <But I cannot, and now can only try to protect the innocents in this world who are not prepared for the vigors of battle.> He looked at Creme again. The girl was ignoring their conversation, focused still on the sight of Lakeshire. Most likely she was tuning out all of their prattle anyway, as it was in a language she did not understand and was likely to never really want to learn anyway.
Brulee stood too, brushing off some dirt from her knees, only after backing away from the cliffs edge. It was a little too high for her comfort.
<That is very admirable of you,> she said, trying to keep her voice light and neutral. To not betray her anger at him, for all the suffering so many families – her family – had suffered because of his race.
If he had heard his irritation, he said nothing about it. Instead, he merely turned his attention to Creme and the Tauren, who were still surveying the town.
The stood there for a few minutes before he spoke up again.
<This human you travel with… she looks familiar to me.>
<Oh, she does? Is that why you’ve been looking at her so much?>
<Yes. Have you noticed much?> He seemed a little concerned.
<Yes, or I wouldn’t have pointed it out.>
<Hrn. I suppose so. Yes, she reminds me of another human that was her age years ago, when we first came to this planet. It was sometime after the destruction of their city… I was with a scouting party and we came across a small group of humans fleeing.>
<And did you slaughter them without mercy?>
The General shot her a fierce glare. <Watch your tongue, Draenei. Do you think I would be speaking to you of slaughtered innocents? That would lack tact.>
<I would not put it past you.>
Stormblade sneered at her, but continued on with his tale. <The demonic influences were lessened, and they were obviously not looking for a fight. I had our scouting party gurad them overnight and escort them to some routes I knew were safe from less… kind orcs who were still filled with bloodcraze. I had befriended one of them during this time, a young human girl. She was a sharp one. Think she even picked up a snatch of Orcish during that week. She’s the one that reminds me of that one there.> He pointed at Creme.
<What was her name?> Brulee asked.
<Hrn… I believe it was something like… Elize?> The orc sputtered out the foreign name. Apparently Creme had been paying attention to their conversation because her head shot up, eyes shifting warily from the Orc to Brulee.
“What did he just say?” Creme asked suspiciously.
“Oh. General Stormblade was just telling me that you reminded him of another human he had met once, someone called Elize.”
Creme stood up sharply. “Elise? Did he say Elise?” Her eyes were opened wide; she seemed very surprised and nervous.
<Yes, that’s how you say the name,> Stormblade said, nodding to Creme. <Does the girl know this human?>
Brulee quickly translated this as Creme continued to ask questions of her own.
“What did she look like?” Creme asked. “Brown hair? Brown eyes? About this tall or so?” She was very frentic as Stormblade provided affirmative answers. Both he and Brulee were surprised at Creme’s sudden interest in their conversations.
Brulee eventually tried to calm Creme, holding her shoulders to keep her from wiggling about and to focus their conversation. “Creme, calm down. Do you know who he is talking about?”
The girl’s face was pale. “Yeah,” she said in a barely audible voice, “I think he’s talking about my Mom.”
It was Brulee’s turn to be surprised. She mentioned this tidbit of information in orcish, while still holding Creme.
<What a coinsidence,> murmured the General. Even the Tauren had stopped watching the village to pay attention to this soap opera drama (though it appeared the undead was sulking off somewhere where they couldn’t see, being a proper rear guard).
“Are you sure?” Brulee asked quietly, searching Creme’s eyes. The human looked about ready to cry.
Creme nodded. “Y-yeah. Mom had told me a few times about when she was escapin’ from Stormwind, csome Orcs found them. But they were good Orcs. And she made a friend. … She always said she wanted to meet him again someday but-” she cut off, obviously holding back some tears. Brulee tucked her gently against her armor and rubbed her back.
Stormbalde was frowning. <What is the matter with her? Is everything alright?>
<Her mother had passed away years ago,> Brulee said quickly. The orc nodded, understanding.
<I am… sorry to hear that. I would have hoped to meet her again someday under nicer circumstances. It is an honor to meet her child.>
Brulee translated quietly as Creme collected herself. She was trying not to cry, so there were only a few tears for her to wipe away.
Then from down the path from which they came there were some noises. All of them turned their heads to look down that way.
<We were followed! Incoming!> came a cry from Reggie. Brulee couldn’t see him, but that didn’t mean his didn’t mean his warning didn’t hold true. Their group quickly prepared for battle. Creme looked confused for a moment.
“What’s going on?”
“We’re under attack. Prepare yourself,” Brulee said quickly.
“Wha?” came Creme’s reply, but she ignored in favor of pulling out her sword and moved forward in front of Creme a bit, away from the cliff edge. The General too pulled out a sword and charged forward, while the Tauren hung back some. No matter.
They did not get far before a small group of orcs burst through the foilage; Reggie was nowhere in sight.
<We have you now, spies!> shouted one, charging at the General.
Brulee had no time to pay attention to how he handled his foe, because two of the orcs charged at her. Her brought up her sword sideways across her chest, parrying their overhead swings. Using the momentum of their strikes she turned sideways, causing them to pass her due to their charge. Well, the one who struck the end of her sword passed her; the other held his ground. He attempted to disarm her by bring his sword up rapidly while it was still under hers, but she lifted her sword out of the way and attempted to swipe below his feet. He stepped away.
She could hear the other orc behind her charge at her again. She dodged sideways and this time parried his blow. They exchanged a few more swipes at each other, dancing about the clearing.
She realized too late, when one of the orcs started grinning widely, that she had moved dangerously close to the edge of the cliff.
She planted her hooves firmly as they both in tandem struck her sword. She blocked, but her hooves slipped. The backmost one slipped off the edge of the cliff.
The attackers did nothing but turn away as they watched her teeter at the edge of the cliff and fall with scream.