Nothing Goes to Waste

The stories and lives of the Grim. ((Roleplaying Stories and In Character Interactions))
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The Commander
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Nothing Goes to Waste

Unread post by Awatu » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:38 pm

"Nothing goes to waste on the savanna."

One of the lessons Father taught me during my first kodo hunt, and likely the most important one. Everything has a use, and everything will be used. Everything eventually returns to the Earthmother, one way or another.

I remember that hunt, so vividly. The warmth of An'she as he first gazed upon us just as Mu'sha settled into her slumber. The smell of the rolling grasslands with a hint of rain on the wind, perhaps a storm coming in the next day or two. Our silent march through the plains as we sought our quarry.

The kodo traveled in herds slowly across the land, grazing on what vegetation they could find before moving on. A natural cycle of regrowth following them as their dung fertilized the ground and allowed seeds to sprout and grow. Everything was tied together, and nothing ever went to waste.

Ritual hunts such as this were uncommon. The tribe had tame kodos, but they were not harvested for their meat and leather. They were pack animals and, well, companions for some. The wild kodos would supply us with such needs. Easier prey did exist, such as the zhevra, tallstriders, and gazelle. But, there comes a time in every young Shu'halo's life that they must learn the ways of the hunt. And this was my hunt.

"We will not take a mother and calf, nor will we take a young bull. We will take the elder bull, one who is beyond his prime."

I can remember watching the herd from the crest of a nearby hill. Mothers tended to their calves while young bachelor bulls fought for the attention of a mate. They were strong and lively. They will produce healthy calves. But as I watched them, I also saw an older bull charge them. One who had earned many scars from countless battles. He was larger and stronger, but also slow. A wound on one leg had not healed well and he struggled. The young bulls, not wishing to challenge this alpha, scattered. The old bull would remain chieftain for another day.

"He can no longer produce healthy offspring, assuming he can even mate at all. He may yet live for another few seasons, but his time draws to a close. That is why we take him. Not for honor or strength, but to encourage the cycle of the herd. He will not go down easily."

No, he didn't.

I faced the bull down, my father and other Braves corralling the beast towards me. My spear struck true, and yet he kept moving. Diving to the sides would leave one vulnerable to a kodo's stomp, and so I gripped the horn and slid onto the neck. I hacked at the bull's neck with a hatchet while the other Braves harassed and confused him with small strikes on his flanks. Had he been younger and healthier, he could have flung me from his neck and gored me or stomped me, but he was old and tiring. Once he had settled, I struck once more against the side of the neck. He collapsed, and he was my kill.

The fresh blood was smeared on my face and snout, and within my hair. We pulled the jawbone and could determine the age of the bull by the wear and tear on the teeth. He was older than we expected. I kept one of the teeth.

I ate from the heart and liver of the bull, still warm and fresh with lingering life. Strength, vigor, longevity, and many calves were blessed upon me, as well as some teasing about a satisfied mate. The bull was quartered and each brave carrying as much as he could made the trek back to the village. A single bull could supply our tribe with many necessities: meat, bones for armor and medicine, sinew and leather, organs for water containers, substances for the Shaman to use. All that and more. Yes, this will be a good year for us.

I approached the village, no longer a calf but not quite an adult either. But I was becoming one, with Father and Mother to teach me. There was talk of me traveling to a neighboring tribe to learn new things, and potentially find a mate. I inwardly hoped it would be the Runetotem. Their Druidic magics fascinated me.

But for now, the Stonespire welcome a new young Brave back into the tribe. I can still smell the searing flesh and burning wood from that night.

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Re: Nothing Goes to Waste

Unread post by Khorvis » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:17 pm

[[ Nice! ]]

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The Commander
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Re: Nothing Goes to Waste

Unread post by Awatu » Sat May 09, 2020 6:18 pm

I can still smell the searing flesh and burning wood from that night...

Teepees smoldered in the aftermath of the attack. The scent of black powder hung heavy on the air, the breeze still and quiet as the wretched beasts combed through the remains. They cared not for hides and bones, but treasures and minerals. Only what they could carry. Only what would be valuable to them. The rest was left to rot as Mu'sha's half-lidded and sorrowful gaze fell below the horizon and An'she brought his bright eye upon the devastation.

His gaze woke me, though I struggled to breathe and lift myself. I had been struck, at some point, in the back by Dwarven lead. Underneath my left shoulder. I felt weak, dizzy, thirsty, and most of all, afraid. This is where I would die. With my tribe, upon the rolling hills of the Barrens. A blue sky marred by black smoke and golden grass stained crimson with the blood of my people. Braves, elders, mothers, calves, none were sparred. I was too tired to feel anger, too weak to seek vengeance. I was, oddly, at peace, in that moment. I closed my eyes and accepted my fate, knowing that I would see my people once more and be welcomed by the elder spirits. But, it would seem, the spirits had other plans...

A noise caught my attention. It is neither hyena nor buzzard. Perhaps the quilboar were drawn by the smoke? No. As I lay dying, I lulled my head to the side to see if there was indeed a survivor. My pulse raced at what I saw. A Dwarf- no, two Dwarves, were rummaging through the remains of the camp. They found a body, a female, though I know not who from my position. I hear the sound of sawing, and my eyes widen as I see now what they are doing. They are removing the horns.

This is the moment in my life that I felt the burning ember in my heart blaze into a mighty inferno. Hatred, anger, vengeance. These "fatlings" will suffer by my hands a thousand times over for what they have undeservedly claimed as their own. They are worms that burrow through the Earthmother's body. A sickness that must be cured. Little more than parasites upon our world.

They did not notice my initial movements, nor did they hear my axe fly through the air as I threw it with what remaining strength I had. It struck one, a female Dwarf, in the back of her skull. Nearly splitting her head in half. They are hardy creatures, I will give them that. The other, burly male, shouted in surprise and aimed his rifle at me. I did not feel the shot strike my chest as I charged him. A broken spear was all I had, but I felt flames burst from my hands and strike my foe. Bright flames of sunlight, searing the flesh of this creature. This "thing". A great exaltation occurred within me that day. A divine purpose that will drive me until I am no longer able to fight. The extermination of the Dwarven race.

And if they seek to claim trophies of my people, then I shall claim trophies from them. Their beards and braided hair were scalped from their skulls and affixed them to my axe. Their bodies lay there, defiled and dishonored, left only for the hyenas when they come. An'she's gaze watched over me as I went to work. I hauled body after body towards the central bonfire of the camp. I piled as much wood as I could find. At some point, I noticed that my wounds were mostly healed. I know not if I did it myself or if An'she granted me another boon. But, when I was done, I set fire to the remains of my tribe. They will return to the Earthmother and their spirits will be released and welcomed by the elder spirits. I found Father and Mother, and claimed their beads and feathers as my own.

The great fire attracted several more Dwarves that night. I added more scalps to my axe.

I removed some scorched bones from the pyre and wove them into my beard and mane. A token of my tribe to carry the strength of their spirits with me. The corpses of the Dwarves were dumped beyond the camp, an offering for the carrion feeders.

After all, nothing goes to waste on the savanna.

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Re: Nothing Goes to Waste

Unread post by Awatu » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:34 am

There are some who say revenge is a path of darkness. Yet all I see is blazing light.

The Dwarves of Bael Modan felt the burning wrath of the Stonespire. The few surviving braves, myself included, led by Gann Stonespire, enacted our bloody vengeance upon their holdings. They had burrowed deep within the Earthmother, like a festering maggot upon her back. They constructed machines, fueled by oil and flame, but that would be their downfall. The volatile mixture erupted with such force as to incinerate any living flesh from the bones. I acquired more beards from those left outside.

In the wake of this destruction, I did not feel the satisfaction my remaining brethren felt. The Stonespire was no more, and the few scattered to the other tribes to begin lives anew. However, I did not.

My heart was hollow and my anger unquenched. I knew the Horde military could use someone of my skills and I could kill more Dwarves. The Horde became my new tribe. I would learn from military strategists. Observe maneuvers. Hold ranks with other races of the Horde I had not gotten to know. Forsaken, Sin'dorei, and the Goblins. Though, the Goblins remind me so much of the Dwarves and Gnomes with their machines and explosions. I must look past that prejudice, however. They do fight for the Horde, after all.

Battles blurred together, and days would go by without thought. Comrades I had made would vanish from my mind. Until, at some point, I wondered when my turn would come.

It did not. Instead, I was presented with opportunity.

It was strange. He did not appear as cunning as I would later discover, but he had been watching me for some time. An elder Orc with eyes that burned with a smoldering fire. Eyes that had seen countless deaths and untold horrors of the fel magics from old Draenor. He hid behind a mask of casual belligerence and incompetence, and yet he was just as ruthless as those who had made him.

"What the felcrap're ya doin', tryin' to get yerself killed? Naw, yer better than that. I got somehtin' fer ya." Bor'ghul Flamespeaker said with a mischievous glint in his reddened eyes. He slid a piece of cloth across the table to me.

Black cloth that bore a crimson skull, hooded from view with a heavy cloak, and two daggers pointing downwards.

"The Grim could use someone of yer... talents. Would be an awful waste fer ya to just... die."

"...Who are The Grim?"

Nothing goes to waste.

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