The smell of smoke and rotting flesh bit at Ash’len’s nose as he crouched low in the brush not three paces from the edge of the orc encampment. Blending in with the dark green foliage around him, Ash’len had no fear of being detected. He had been careful to approach the camp from down wind and now held motionless watching it’s morning activities.
Normally Ash’len would have avoided such a camp, but curiosity and, although he refused to admit it to himself, concern had brought him here. During the night he had come across a small village in smoke and ruins. The destruction was complete with no living thing left behind, obviously the work of an orc raiding party. The trail was easy to follow. The orcs had shown no fear of anyone coming after them. Ash’len could tell that several humans had been taken alive. It was common for humans to be taken, both dead and alive, orcs weren’t know for being picky eaters. Orcs were known, however, for being lazy. They used humans to do their work for them and would keep them alive as long as they felt they were useful. Orcs were known for using human women for personal reasons.
Based on the crude structure of the camp, it appeared to be a band of roaming orc warriors. Ash’len estimated there to be fifty male orcs with a few females and no young. Most still slept, or were lazily lying about after last night’s raid. The females, assisted by a few of the younger males, seemed to be putting together some food for when the camp awoke. With the abhorrent smell coming from the small cooking fire, Ash’len refused to guess what was being prepared. Taking in more of the camp, Ash’len observed a wood cage on the east end of the encampment.
Dark Star, Orb of the Magi series Description:
After completing the mysterious test to become a Grand Magi with her shandar, Jerdone, Zandreena was looking forward to peaceful years of studying to perfect her magic. But fate and a prophecy of old made her leave her home and led her to an adventure and eventful encounter with the fearless Ash’len, the spiritual Danica, and the proud thief Ren, all of whom would play a role in her journey to finding the Orb of the Magi. This immense duty placed in the hands of this young Grand Magi was not welcomed by everyone, and she had to protect not only her life and her friends’ but also her very mission to locate the orb. With the land stripped of its grandeur and serenity due to wars and dark magic, these young men and women must stay together, fight for their lives, and believe that fate would direct them to saving mankind.
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