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 Drums. [Written by Fyve Troll]

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Ms. Aubrea


Posts : 4
Join date : 2011-08-05
Age : 38
Location : Arizona

PostSubject: Drums. [Written by Fyve Troll]   Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:52 pm

Iwilo: Drums
The campfire painted the indented face of the nearby cliff wall with shadow and light. Varying shades of brown and red danced around the hunched figure that reclined against the weathered rocks.
The pattern painted across the troll's face, irregular red stripes that covered his cheeks, forehead, chin, the bridge of his prominent hook-nose, even his tusks, seemed at times to blend with the striations of the natural stone wall that he leaned on.
He sat, slumped against the cliff wall with his knees bent, legs slightly apart. Large hands lay against muscular thighs and his head was tilted back and to the side. His mouth was slightly agape. Beneath him was a tanned animal hide. An empty wine bottle caught the firelight and glowed green against one large, outstretched foot.
The two fingers of his left hand twitched toward the thumb as if to grasp some unseen object. This, accompanied by the subtle rise and fall of his broad chest, and the shift of the loincloth he wore as it was moved by a slight breeze, were the only signs of movement from the troll.
A twig exploded in the fire and he jumped slightly, his long ears flicking forward and red-rimmed eyes opening halfway. The night was still again and the eyes slowly closed, the ears sagging back into their natural position.
I'wilo dreamt.
There were the drums. The drums spoke to one another, growling their song insistently at the birds and beasts that huddled tiredly throughout the snowy forest.
Their song shattered and warped the frigid night air, seeming to warm it and envelop it, bolstering the voice of the drums. Lending their song more power. It was a song without words, yet it spoke to the soul of any who heard it. It conjured images of swirling magick, proud and fearless hunters, and the immense gods that they served and loved.
It was a song of celebration and worship. Of life and death - the death of the beasts that fed the nation, bringing life anew. Love - for their revered gods that protected, strengthened and guided them. The thing that drew the brutal Drakkari together, while their inherent nature was to fight to the death for the place of leadership, was this song.
Worship. Gratitude for this joyous existence; a plea for it to continue. Worship and celebration, for the malevolent gods have chosen to hear and accept and acknowledge their cry with the continued gifts of strength and vitality.
Even in his incorporeal state, as he floated through forest of his dreams and memories, I'wilo could feel the song of the drums. Their song spoke not only for the ears, but for for the soul. The drums could be felt in the chest, drowning out the individual beat of one insignificant heart . For the heart beat only to feed the song and the drums beat in turn, feeding and stoking the flames of passion within the heart.
It could be felt in the jaws that vibrated from the deep, full sound. It could be felt even in the eyes and skin; a magnetic and electric tingle.
I'wilo was drawn helplessly toward the song. And as he floated faster and faster toward the source of the music, he rejoiced. For despite his relatively small stature, he was still a Drakkari, a proud servant to their gods and their song. He was blessed. So blessed!
Yet, even as he traveled effortlessly over the thick snow and through the dense forest, the song seemed to fade. He yearned toward it desperately, wishing to recapture the beat of the drums in his heart, mind, and flesh.
His heart became louder as it faltered - seemed to freeze with the realization that it was no longer drowned out by the drums and their song for the gods. The rich sound had become only a thin thread that he desperately clung to.
The spirit that was I'wilo cried out in indignation. Surely it was a mistake? All of those who served the gods wholeheartedly, weak or strong, young and old alike, (though the old and the weak often fell quickly to their bloodthirsty kin) were accepted and blessed by the Drakkari gods. And had he not served? With his heart and blood, he had always worshipped them dutifully! "Little I'wilo", as his people liked to chide him, was a strong and skilled hunter, despite his stature. He always brought back the largest kills. In the dead of frozen winter, when hunting parties returned disappointed and empty handed, he had always returned with something.
And he never failed to leave some token, a proud antler or an unblemished hoove, the choicest cut of meat... as thanks for the continued health and prosperity of the Drakkari people.
Why? How? How could he have fallen out of their favor? His essence - his spirit - continued to soar through the forest, in search of the song. He would find the gods; prostrate himself before them. Beg to be reaccepted.
His essence soared through the forest, yet his heart was heavy as lead. To be tossed aside, left to whatever pitiful existence the hopeless and abandoned surely suffered, was a fate worse than death itself. He must find the gods.
As he contemplated this, the song changed. The images changed and the song once again was near, but different. Foreboding. What had only moments before been an exultant cry of celebration suddenly changed color from a bright vibrant red that warmed the soul, fading to evil shades of blue and bruised purple... a dirge. Worse than that, the undertone was one of corruption, evil, a greedy lust for power that threatened to erase forever the very memory of the proud, dangerous Drakkari and their gods.
He realized that he was solid again, and he was running toward the song, not to join in with his own resonant voice, but to stop the sound assaulting his ears and shaking him in it's diseased teeth like an angry, insane wolf. It was powerful and cruel and he knew in his heart of hearts that it may very well destroy him; was likely to do so. Still, he pressed on. His wide feet dug deep furrows in the snow as he sprinted closer and closer to the drums and their corrupt song.
As the woods opened onto a clearing, he stopped short, his breath catching. It couldn't be. This nightmare...
The Drakkari were shadows. Dark and swirling and dancing but dancing all wrong. Everything about the scene before him was inherently wrong and he was frozen in abject terror, helpessly watching the scene unfold. His people, huge and dark, danced and shouted and thrust spears and arrows that swirled with black fire at his gods - His imprisoned gods!
The Drakkari seethed with a greater lust for power than even they had ever known. Somehow he could feel their intentions and his stomach turned over in revulsion. They held their gods in enchanted shackles and taunted them as they sought to steal power that mere mortals could never hope to wield. And even as the gods roared and fought bravely, some dark force aided their captors, and their immortality was tapped into by the Drakkari leaders. He recognized them and his face twisted in horror. The people he knew and fought with for the survival of the nation and the blessings of the gods. And they acted as though they'd forgotten every thing they lived for and by.
The dream became more and more a memory. I'wilo vomited into the snow. He retched and bent, emptying the meat from his stomach until he was empty. He rose, wiping at his mouth, and beheld a row of pikes, with heads jammed down on them. He recognized the faces, although they were twisted in fear and pain and the eyes bulged sightlessly. And then he saw her.
She had been a beautiful and intelligent woman in life, taller than I'wilo, as were all the adult Drakkari, and thus she had never shown any romantic interest in him. But he had loved her, for her fierce intelligence, beauty and strength. He'd known her all his life and secretly obsessed over her, feeling filled and joyous whenever he managed to catch her attention - a mere glance. And here she was, her body missing and doubtless desecrated and her head jammed onto a sharpened stick.
His people, savage and even cannibalistic due in part to the harsh clime they endured, considered evil by many but always PROUD, had fallen to corruption as they had foolishly imprisoned their gods to stop the terrible scourge from overrunning their land. And in doing so, they had weakened the forces that may have saved them and their home of Zul'Drak. They had fallen to greed and evil.
The temperamental Drakkari often killed their own for food or the chance to mate, but this was different. The act that had left this line of severed heads with frozen screams and snarls had been true evil.
I'wilo was shattered and torn asunder as the knowledge of all that had befallen the Drakkari crashed against his mind like the waves of the distant ocean. He opened his mouth and leaned back his head, threw his arms wide as he fell to his knees in the bloodied snow. There was no sound at first. He froze in a silent scream, his countenance as shocked and still as that of the dead displayed before him.
He thought of the times he had fantasized that the woman he'd coveted from afar would one day come to him and claim him as her own... and he realized that he could not remember her name. It was this, as much as the fact that he would never see her alive, or any of those who stared sightlessly at him for that matter that caused him to finally find his voice.
He opened his throat to the heavens and bellowed. His anguished cry seemed to shake the very earth and render him death, and yet still he yelled. He tore at his tattooed chest and screamed and screamed and screamed... and awoke.
I'wilo awoke, drenched in sweat. His face was streaked with tears. His mouth hung open but the roar of his dreams made only a low buzzing croak in the waking world. With some effort, he closed his mouth and forced himself to be silent. Drawing his knees to his chest, he stared at the near-dead fire and wept silently.
After some time, the tears dried and he forced himself to quiet his pain, shove it aside. It was true that he no longer had his gods and his people around him, but he had proven to be much stronger than he had once thought. He survived in this new desert land, thrived and grew stronger than he'd ever been. He had integrated and began to learn the common language of the orcs.
His dagger, bow and quiver lie nearby, and he grabbed these in a swooping gesture as he rose and looked around the darkened desert. In the year and a half since he had followed the strange band of explorers to Kalimdor, hiding in the belly of their flying zeppelin, he had undergone much transformation. He was young, virile. In this place, he was huge and imposing. There were plenty of exotic women to be had and he relished the colors and sounds and mixed culture of the nearby city.
But tonight wasn't for the city or swooning women that clung to him and laughed with him as they enjoyed the wine and the firelight and the feel of eachother's sweat. Tonight was for solitude. For forgetting. But not for dreaming. Sleep had never seemed less appealing.
Drawing forth and donning his leather armor, he called out for the crocolisk that he had trained to hunt with him. His first pet, a strong Zul'Drak panther, had been lost in the fall of the Drakkari empire. He was just as enamored with his new companion, though he needed to be near water regularly for the beast to soak himself as he slept. After a few minutes, the crocolisk, which he had named "Heart Breaker", wiggled heavily across the sand, hissing and growling excitedly.
I'wilo made friends easily, being naturally more personable than any of his people. He enjoyed introducing his pet, " Dis heah beh Haah't Breh'kah.", he would tell them, "On ah'cowent o' heh beh so hah'ndsome."
Drums played in his mind and heart, but he kept the dream at bay by focusing on the hunt. His jaw was set, his mouth pressed into a grim line, as the pair wandered off into the desert. As the fire died, a pair of huge footprints, alongside a serpentine tail track, filled in with sand from a strong gust of wind.
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Drums. [Written by Fyve Troll]
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