“Oi boss, look at them smallings, I reckon they’d make fair game if we hunted them!”, said one of the humans while pulling Thaf to stand up. “I bet they’d squeal like pigs too. Hahaha.” Thaf looked around and saw three figures, he could make out two human shapes and perhaps and orc. “What do you want from us?” As soon as Thaf said that, he got a punch right across his mouth, Thaf spat blood. As he turned his head back he saw that the big guy, perhaps the orc, was rounding up the others, tying their hands together. Even though they were ambushed and being tied up, nobody made a single sound, and for that matter, nobody put up any fight. Thaf felt it in his guts that this is it, that and the swift kicks he was getting from time to time. Perhaps it would have been better to go with Odorf. ‘I failed as a chief’, Thaf thought.
“Boss, it’s missing, Kha’zar is missing!”, as soon as the thug said that, their boss, a tall well-built guy quickly turned his head towards one the wall facing his back and started screaming angrily. “Those filthy half pints!”, now turning back to face Thaf and the rest of the halflings behind Thaf, “How dare you steal from me? I would have just taken everything you own and call it even for bashing my hideout. But stealing, from ME! I am Nukk Fangreen, the legendary thief. NOBODY steals from me!” Thaf was still kneeling, blood running from the corner of his mouth “It wasn’t us. I swe-” Thaf got hit in the head with something heavy, he fell to the ground. After what seemed like an eternity, Thaf came to and rolled onto his back, to see what was going on. He saw the big guy, and it was an orc, standing above him, holding his great-axe. “Boss, what do with he?”, Nukk looked angry and agitated, “I don’t care. Do as you wish, but find out where Kha’zar is.” The orc grinned, revealing his big crooked teeth. “Turk find out. Turk help. Turk have fun.” Thaf was scared and strangely he felt at peace, he knew what was coming. As his last moments on this plane, he will do anything to protect his family, to protect his fellow halflings.
Nukk left the halflings in Turk’s mercy, he went outside to try and calm down, the third guy stood in front of the entrance, observing what Turk will do. The orc ogled the tied up hallfings and picked out one of the younger halfling. “Turk now have fun”, all the other halflings tried to do something, to stand up and save her, but they weren’t able. “No! Please, stop!”, Thaf yelled with desperation “I will tell everything you want to know. Just, just let her go. Please.” Turk stopped and looked at Thaf’s bleeding head, if there was a chance to struggle it was now but the young halflings girl did nothing. “Turk no like no fight. Turk like resist.”, it seems that the orc is brutally stupid and equally strong, but he enjoys torturing creatures that are weaker. Thaf was gambling with that, and he won. Bloody Hells, for once in his life he won a gamble, if only he could share this with Brienn. Maybe soon, maybe he can get them out of here alive after all. Turk threw the girl back with the rest of the halflings. He turned and started slowly walking towards Thaf, pulling his huge axe on the ground with his right arm.
After a few steps, Turk stopped and said:”Stand”, Thaf tried to stand up, it took him a while but he managed. “I can tell you everything you want to know, just don’t hurt them. Please.”, Turk looked angry, it was hard to tell when an orc does not look angry, “No tell me what do.” Turk replied, and lifted his axe and swung it with such force that Thaf couldn’t follow the speed of the swing, Turk just stopped his axe a hair’s length from Thaf’s face. “Where Kha’zar?”, Thaf was so scared now that he couldn’t speak, he just shook his head with fear. The orc turned his head to look at the third guy, he just nodded, and Turk grabbed Thaf by the neck and started squeezing. “P-p-please… I don’t… know… help…” Thaf felt his light fading, his life flashed before his eyes. Just a little bit and he will be free. He felt a great sense of relief coming, he felt at peace. Thaf suddenly fell to the ground once more. Turk was covering in fear, Nukk came back, kicking and hitting Turk. “Are you that dense? I said find out where it is, not to kill them. You stupid…”, Nukk kicked Turk in the stomach, “… I save your life, and you can’t do one thing?!”, “No! Turk sorry, Turk good”, the orc started sobbing. Thaf was grasping for air, he escaped death, just barely. It took him a few moments to realize what was going on. “I… I… I don’t know… I don’t even… know what is that, ‘thing’.” Nukk sharply turned his head, looked the halfling in the eyes. “It isn’t a thing. Kha’zar is worth more than all your worthless lives together. Understand?”, Thaf nodded without thinking.
Nukk, still angry, now turned to the third guy “Savine, why didn’t you stop him?”, Savine looked at him and grinned before leaving the hideout. “I swear to the Gods, I will rip his heart out myself.” Nukk was mumbling to himself. After taking a few deep breaths, he turned back to Thaf, looked him deep in the eyes and asked him once again where Kha’zar is. “I honestly have no idea what you are looking for. Please, we just took refuge here, and things got out of hand.” Nukk hung his head in disappointment “Alright, tell me what happened. Don’t dare skip on any detail or I will let my associate Turk here finish what he started.” Thaf told Nukk everything he knew, every little detail he could remember that has happened, how they found the hideout, how they got attacked by wyverns, how they defended themselves.
A faint voice was heard when Thaf finished talking: “I think I know who took… it”, said one of the younger halflings. Nukk leaped over to her, picking her up by her shoulders, “You better not be playing me little one, or I swear I will kill you.”, she shook her head, “No, I might know who took it. There was one more halfling with us. He went away. He knew this was going to happen.” Nukk’s head changed a few shades of red before calming down. “Turk, take care of our dear chief over there.” The orc stood up, took his axe, took his wet stone and started sharpening it. “Yes boss.” Turk said. Birenn stood up and said: “But you promised not to kill him, why would you do it now?”, Brienn was never so scared in her life, but she knew if ever she needed to stand up for someone it was now. And if Thaf was going, she wanted to go as well. “I am going to kill him because he lied to me. I gave you all a chance. He gambled it and lost. Turk, cut him in half.” As soon as he said that, Turk swung his axe and cut Thaf in half, as if he was made out of parchment. Brienn collapsed and started throwing up, Thaf was gone. Forever. Wiping her chin, she looked Nukk into his dark eyes, saw the hatred and greed in him, stood up with what little strength she had left and said: “I told the other to go, to go as far as he can, to take that thing with him, away from you.” She said with a grin on her face. Without thinking Nukk ordered Turk to cut her in half as well. ‘My dear old Thaf, you stupid oaf, I am coming to you.’
Odorf was walking in the dark, cool night. He felt a sudden shudder come over him, as if something terrible happened. He made nothing of it, he didn’t have a clue what it could be, but he had no time to waste so he just kept moving on. For a while now, he couldn’t shake this feeling that someone was watching him. He kept hearing a dark sinister voice in the wind, as if someone was calling him. Maybe, he was just tired, he had a rough day, yes, that must be it. After a good rest he will be as good as new and then he can figure out what to do next. Odorf kept walking on until sunrise, when he spotted something in the distance.
… The Dark Eye see everything …