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Long Journey on Tiny Feet
#1
The woman stumbled, clutching her cloak about her in the harsh winds. She raised herself again, tucking the wrapped infant closer to her body. Her legs were threatening to give out, less and less blood to keep them moving, her head growing lighter and lighter with each step. She had only let her guard down for a moment to give the child water from the stream, and she paid dearly for that lapse. The humans, however, already paid more for daring to strike her.

She stumbled again, this time unable to rise back up to her feet. Half-crawling, she pulled herself close to the old fallen log nearby and none-too-gently placed the baby into a hollow spot formed by the natural depression. "Stay quiet, little one," she whispered. "They'll not find you if I have anything to say about it." She looked to the baby's eyes one last time, then placed a pair of leafy branches over the hidey-hole.

Forcing herself up once more, she limped onward, well aware of the trail of blood any hunter with a single day of training would be able to follow, but would follow it straight past her little daughter. Straight to where she herself would face them, and where she would take as many of them to death with her as she could.

---

Strange for an orc child to be silent. But this one hadn't whimpered, or cried, or made any other sound since her mother stuffed her under a fallen tree. Not even when the feral cat sliced open her hand a month ago. Not a sound.

---

Her bare feet made only a little rustle in the leaves as she stalked after the young deer she'd spotted. Only one thought on her mind: food.

She picked up a hand-sized rock from the ground and crept forward, eyes narrowed to the setting sun. Closer and closer, pausing only when the little deer popped its head up, ears twitching. Then, a strange smell hit her nostrils, an ugly smell. The deer noticed too, but not quick enough that it could evade the arrow shot from the trees, dropping it with barely a step. The little girl's eyes beamed open, blood pumping in her ears. Only a moment's delay before she jumped back and scrambled fast as she could away from where the arrow came.

A pair of men stomped noisily from the brush. "What did you see?" one asked. "I dunno," said the other. "Thought maybe I saw a goblin, but I guess not."

The men packed up the doe and crashed back the way they came. Not far away, a little stomach grumbled as dinner for a week passed out of view from frightened little eyes.

---

The pig had given the girl quite a run. The sun had been a lot higher in the sky when she first swing her makeshift spear-tip dagger at it. And that had been miles away. But the bristled pig was cornered, and the two stared at each other, panting in the heat. The pig grunted at her. She snarled at him. Their eyes locked.

With a burst, the pig charged forward. The girl leaped towards it. The two clashed into a great heap, her spear-tip digging into the pig's shoulder, his tusk ripping open her lip. For the first time in two years, the girl let out a sound, a feral roar of anger in answer to the pig's.

Nearly an hour later, the two collapsed to the ground, exhausted, neither able to get the better of the other. Too tired to make her way back to the hidey-hole she was going to sleep in that night, instead she cuddled up against the beast, and it let her.

---

"I see you, little orc," the goblin said, putting down his smithing hammer. "It's okay, you can come out. Old Sparkleting won't hurt ya."

The girl didn't move, crouching in the brush near the goblin's tent. She watched the little creature's every move, but he didn't come toward her or throw anything at her yet.

Sparkleting ducked into his tent for a moment, re-emerging with a small plate of meat. "I know you tried to sneak in here last night, and got into some food, but you sure ain't a sneaky-thief. I nearly caught ya." He set the plate down far enough away from his anvil that he hoped she'd be willing to brave grabbing it. He then returned to the anvil. "Don't worry though. I ain't gonna try to catch ya. You can have that food." He turned sideways so he could still see where he put the food, but so it would look like he wasn't paying attention to it anymore. He brought the hammer down on the glowing metal before him, the sound ringing out, an-CAAaaa....an-CAAaaa.

---

For three months, the little girl watched the people coming and going. She listened to them, staying out of sight by using the almost-unnoticable hidey-holes and tunnels all around. She would often, very quietly, mimic their sounds. She began to see some of the same people over and over, taking close care to pay attention to those. And out at the edges of the firelight, it was getting colder and colder each time the sun went down.

And finally one night, the little girl with a great boar at her side and thick red mud in her hair stepped up to the small circle where Dispaya, Sound, Eveline, Sreng, Umu, Kosath and Shillatae sat.

She stood at the edge of the firelight, pushing all her fear down. Soon, the small gathering looked up from each other to see the girl. She pounded one fist against her small chest and near-shouted, "ANCA!"
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#2
((I'm not sure what it is, but I really like being retroactively given a back story of characters we've played with for so long and have come to love. As if we were being handed a puzzle piece to complete the image of someone we already thought we knew, it can further interests us and help provoke further role play/general understanding. Just my two cents. :)

I loved it, Anca. And am honored I was in it!

If there are any others in the tribe who have yet to post a back story because you feel it may be too late, please do it anyways! I think those are the best!

And yes, this includes Sound too.))
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