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Vali

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From the moment you opened your eyes, you found yourself to be horribly, terribly, amazingly lost.

You managed to sit up, your clothes damp with morning dew, the chill hanging in the air sending a shiver down your spine.

You looked around, seeing you were in a forest of some kind. As far as you could see, you saw dense trees, underbrush and the odd smathering of flowers. Your head was pounding and your memory foggy from the night before. You remembered… Running? There was yelling and dogs and and arrows, one that hit your-

You plummeted to the ground as you got up and tried to put weight on your left leg. A string of curses left your mouth as the pain radiated up your to your thigh. You clutched your wounded leg and sat up again, brushing dirt of your clothes.

Your memory slowly got clearer as you took a moment to think, looking over the wound. It wasn’t to deep but it was red and not in the best shape.

You sighted and rubbed your eyes in a motion of frustration.

The village you lived in had… Chased you out? You had done something to piss them off but you couldn’t remember what. It was bad, you knew that. Not murder bad but… Bad. All you clearly remember was fear and the sounds of an angry mob. And the swishing of arrows zooming past your head. And then one hitting you in your calf and sending you crashing down.

You sighed, looking around again, trying to think of what way to go.

You managed to get up and limped to a nearby tree, tearing off a sizable branch to use as a makeshift crutch. It wasn’t much, but it had to do.

You did your best to ignore the terrible feeling of anxiety nagging at the back of your mind as you limped into a random direction. You had no food, no drink, no idea where the fuck you were,…

A downright recipe for disaster.

“Fuck, what was it again I needed to- shelter and water, right?” You spoke to yourself, trying your best to remember survival tips, hobbling along awkwardly. Your leg was throbbing at this point but you soldiered on.

You weren’t sure how long you’d been out or had been walking but everything was slowly getting darker and you were starting to panic. Hunger had reared its head and you still had nothing on you but the clothes on your back.

“Fuck- I’m- shit-”

“Who are you, state your business.”

Your heart almost leapt out of your chest as you awkwardly spun around and came face to face with a tall, svelte orc woman with long, slicked back and braided blond hair.

“I’m- my name- I’m lost.”

She eyed you suspiciously, her gaze darting down to your leg and the branch you were leaning on. You noticed the glaive she was holding. It looked very well used and amazingly sharp and you praised you wouldn’t become familiar with said sharp end.

“Lost?” She echoed, a pair or brown eyes meeting yours. You slowly nodded.

“I was chased out of my village.” You said. Her eyebrows furrowed. “Can you point me towards the n-”

You let out a startled noise as she picked you up. You dropped your branch and out of instinct, wrapped your arms around her neck.

“What- what are you doing?” You asked, feeling a blush creep up your face. She chuckled briefly, a hint of a smile on her face.

“You’re wounded, hungry and alone. I’m taking you with me. My clan leaves no wounded uncared for or the hungry not fed.” She said mater-of-factly.

You blinked a few times, very puzzled. But hey, there were worse things in life than being carried off by an orc lady. Stumbling through the woods at night with an untreated wounded leg for example.

“Whats your name?” She asked. You gave her your name and she repeated it. “It’s a good name. I’m Freiya.”

“Nice to meet you.” You said. She gave you a polite nod.

“Likewise, though it could have happened under better circumstances.”

This time you were the one to nod.

Freiya made her way through the trees with purpose and soon, you saw huts erected in a clearing. People were running back and forth going about their business and in the middle of this village burned a big bonfire casting eerie shadows.

“Eydis! Eydis, we have a wounded!”

You froze when Freiya bellowed as she came closer to the huts on the outside of the circular village. Some people - no, orcs - turned their heads in your direction.

The name was repeated a few times as Freiya carried you into the clearing, near the fire. A small part of you feared you might be chucked into said fire but that fear was done away with as a “short” (by orc standard) orc woman rushed towards you. Her red hair was intricately braised and she looked startled, carrying a bag over her shoulder.

“I’m here! I’m here!” She said, obvious out of breath. Her eyes immediately landed on the wound on your leg.

“Oh my- Follow me!”

Without another word, Eydis marched towards one of the huts near the fire. Freiya followed, still carrying you. You looked around and noticed orcs staring at you as you were carried away. You decided to ignore them, your face a warm shade of red and stared at Freiya’s bone necklace instead.

From the second you entered the hut, you were met with a very pungent, herbal smell. The hut was warm and when you looked around, it looked pretty cosy.

There was a bed pushed up against the clay wall, draped with animal furs and pillows. There was a broad table with some chairs near the other side, decorated with dried herbs, vials, jars, rolled up strips of bandage and other medical looking bits and bobs. There were shelves lining the wall across from the bed, lined with plants, books and personal belongings.

There was also a small fireplace where the redhaired orc woman was fanning a flame.

“Put them on the bed please, Freiya.” Eydis said, the beads in her hair clicking together as she moved to look back at the two of you. Freiya obeyed and put you down on the plush bed.

“Thank you. It’s good you brought them here right away. That wound looks bad.” Eydis said, pooring water from a pitcher into the cast iron cauldron suspended over the fire.

“I’ll leave you to work your magic.” Freiya said, giving you a modest smile. You waved her goodbye and tried to process everything that happened. Sadly, Eydis seemed to have other ideas.

“Let me look at your leg please.” She asked, pushing you flat onto the bed and ripping the fabric of your pants further to expose the wound. You were about to protest, wanting to stop her but she drew in a breath. One that made you worry.

“It’s starting to show signs of infection. Thank the Matron Freiyja found you when she did.” Eydis said, reaching into her shoulder bag and retrieving a jar.

“Can you- can you fix it?” You asked, a little nervous.

“Darling, I have yet to meet a wound I can’t heal.” Eydis said, handing you the jar and grabbing the pitcher and a cloth. She started cleaning your wound, trying to make some conversation. As she worked, you told her your name and about your foggy memory. She hummed thoughtfully as she rubbed a mix of herbs on your wound.

“You’ll need to stay here for a while then. I’ll see what can be done about your memory. Plus that leg of yours needs rest.”

Eydis got up and retrieved a bandage, stopping briefly to pick out some herbs and tossed them in the boiling water, amplifying the herbal scent in the room.

“I’ll talk to Vali. I’m sure he’ll-”

“What about me?”

You jumped as you looked towards the door. A huge orc filled the frame. He had long, brown hair styled in two braids and a ponytail, the braids littered with beads. He had a pelt draped over his soulders and wore simple clothing. Yet around his waist sat a broad belt with a golden buckle. He was probably the one in charge, you figured.

“Brother! Don’t scare us like that!” Eydis said, standing up with her hands on her hips.

Vali chuckled and walked a little further into the hut.

“Freiya filled me in.” He said, his gaze lingering on you. “You’re a long way from home aren’t you?”

You felt your cheeks heat up and nodded. Eydis let out a sigh, rolling her eyes as she got back to work, wrapping up your leg.

“They are.” She said, noticing your apprehension. “And they need to rest. I was wondering if you-”

“Can I have a word with them?”

Eydis pauses briefly but got up, wiping her hands on their apron.

“Fine. There’s healing tea brewing. Make sure they drink at least a cup.”

Vali nodded as Eydis left the hut, leaving you and Vali alone.

What do you do?

♠️ Stay silent

❤️ (Attempt) flirting

♣️ Take the humerous approach

♦️ Ask him about the village