by Jeffery D. Low
The piercing light was like looking into a great, greenish yellow sun. Ront held up his hand to shield his eyes as he stared in fascination at the light. He could feel a pull deep in his chest, a calling that he could not deny drawing him to the orb…then a voice like booming thunder spoke…
“Ront! Ront the Outcast!” boomed the voice as the sun burst open into a great, singular eye. Ront’s knees weakened but he found his courage and did not fall. So this was it…his final punishment. Gruumsh had come to destroy his spirit and his line Clan Cave Bear. He stood tall, waiting for the spear of heaven to strike him down.
But the end never came.
“Ront. You have lost you way…our way.” Said the great orcish voice. Ront opened his eyes. The great eye hung in the sky before him, burning him yet not destroying him. “Our way is not the metal skin.” Boomed the deep orcish voice as a spear tip struck Ront’s plate armor, melting it to slag. “And our way is not the axe of the dwarf-men” boomed Gruumsh as another spear lanced out destroying the Two handed axe held in Ront’s hands.
A darkness is rising Ront the Outcast, a darkness that will destroy my children as it will destroy all the weaker races that via for survival with my children. Now is not the time to stand apart, but to stand with them. It is the will of Gruumsh that you stand before this evil.
Gruumsh grants you this one chance, Ront the Outcast. And to guild you, I am sending the totems of the clans as spirit guides. The Bear to show you perseverance and strength of will,” and before Ront a great, scared and battle tested Cave Bear stood and roared. “…and the Elk for fleetness of foot and mind” continued the eye as a great stag rounded from behind Ront to stand before him, staring deep into Ront’s eyes as if in challenge, “… and the Tiger for the savagery to tear your opponents apart and drink the blood from their still beating hearts!” boomed the voice while in the distance Ront could see a shadow of a tiger pacing back and forth, rage and energy barely contained.
“Embrace these guides! Listen to their wisdom and feel the beat of their fierce hearts in your veins! Take up the spear, Symbol of Gruumsh! Strike my enemies down with the true savagery of the Orcish warrior heart! You are no longer of just one clan, but of all Clans! You are my champion until I claim you!” and with these words, the spear lanced out once! Twice! slashing across Ront’s right eye and again across Ront’s chest. And were the spear struck Ront’s chest, the Eye of Gruumsh was branded. “This is my will, do not fail me Spirit-walker!” then the eye exploded in a great radiant burst!
Ront awoke, sweat drenching his great muscled body. He quickly felt his chest, and found the still burning brand of the Eye on his chest. He quickly pulled is knife and looked into the blade and could see his right eye was milky white ruin, with a jagged scar running from his fore head over the eye to his jaw-line, blood still oozing from the wound. But through the eye, he could see across the campsite the spirit of the great cave bear watching him, and the great stag circling the camp. Jimjar, currently on watch, did not seem to notice them as the stag passed him and snorted on his bald head. Of the Tiger, nothing could be seen, but Ront could feel his presence. He would reveal his secrets when Ront was ready.
“Gruumsh…” was all Ront could say.