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The Exchange

Lirriel's picture

The camp was on alert, the warriors standing at attention with weapons drawn. They watched as Alynore rode up on Tenacity, the charger’s wings of Light flaring and keeping them away. The other Dragoons waited a few yards behind. More Dragoons and Meddlers waited in the hills for the Commander’s signal. Nore dismounted, Tenacity pawing the ground. She glanced up as the shadow of a large bird passed overhead.

She stood in her heavy armor, wearing her weapons, straightening her tabard, and waiting on Og’roc to step forward. He had agreed to the ritual of exchange, trading Jormund for a much higher priority prisoner—the Commander of the Silver Dragoons. There was ceremony here for the orcs, almost sacred in how it was meant to play out.

Nore listened to her comms as Pinapple coordinated the groups surrounding the Warsong encampment. An extraction team slipped into the camp to search for Jormund directly—he was not visible yet.

The orc scowled as he came forward, standing just a few feet from her, his own guards on either side of the pair. “You are the Dragoon leader?” He growled, eyeing her up and down, arms crossed.

“I am. Alynore Forrester. I would say it’s a pleasure to meet you, but it’d be a lie. Where’s my Dragoon?”

The orcs looked at one another, and at Og’roc. His eyes narrowed. “You submit yourself willingly, in exchange for your subordinate?”

“That was the agreement. I take responsibility for him. Also for the actions of the Major in the pass. Y’know, when she used my explosives to bury your people in rocks?” Only partially a lie.

Og’roc snarled. The two guards stepped forward and grabbed Nore’s arms. Tenacity whinnied and stamped, but didn’t push past the spears thrust towards her. Nore remained calm, looking at Og’roc. “Sorry, hit a nerve?”

Og’roc stepped closer, snarling. “I will make you suffer. And then, I will make the rest of your people do so as well. Hellscream himself will reward me for my actions against your pathetic little band.”

“I am going to ask one more time,” Nore said, body still relaxed, face still neutral, though her tone gained an iron edge. “Where. Is. My. Dragoon.”

Og’roc laughed, a fleck of spittle hitting Nore’s cheek. “Gone! But now I have you.”

The orcs were unprepared for her to tense, using the men holding her arms as leverage, and slamming both her armored boots into Og’roc’s groin.

Tenacity screamed and tossed her head and wings, scattering the orcs around her. The supplies erupted in explosions thanks to the extraction team. A charge of tanks rolled in to clash with the milling worgs and their riders. Sniper shots went through each of the orcs holding Nore, and she twisted out of their failing grasps.

Nore looked up and whistled. The large bird circling overhead came diving out of the sky. Ten feet from the ground it changed into an enormous bear and landed directly on the disabled Og’roc. Hexi’s claws dug into his torso while her maw opened wide to grab his head, shaking as she bit down.

Nore drew her sword and finished off the men that had been holding her. She lifted her comm. “Og’roc said Jormund isn’t here. Extraction team, confirm.”

“No Jormund,” Finkswitch replied. “But plenty of trouble we can cause!”

“Do it. Round them up, no one escapes. I want prisoners to question about Jormund—if they killed him, I want to know where they left him.”

The paladin swung back onto Tenacity and looked around. This wasn’t all of Og’roc’s men, not by a long shot, but for now, they were headless. Literally, as Hexi spat the raider’s head on the ground, letting it roll by Tenacity’s hooves.

Tenacity picked up the gnawed head of Og’roc in her teeth. Nore mounted it on one of the pikes readily available in the camp. She rode in the wake of the giant bear, letting the raiders see their leader’s fate as they were put into their own prisoner pens and chains.

It was going to be a very long night of interrogations. She wouldn't get to go somewhere private and vent out her anger and disgust--partially at herself--for a while.