Akandra scrabbled for grip on the wall behind the plaza, her feet slipping and grinding as the sandstone surface crumbled with each brush of the boot.
... Bloody sand everywhere here. It blew accross the land scouring everything in its path, softening edges of the landscape. Get caught out in a storm and it would strip your skin from your flesh. She had arrived in the, for want of a better word, 'town' in the mid afternoon after travelling all day and night. The heat was scorching. Sheltering in some of the cooler buildings she had waited patiently.
Patience she was good at. Except.... except this time something had driven her here.
Akandra was unused to not having orders to follow. The shattering had thrown everything into disarray. After nearly a decade of fighting, and serving within the forces, military maneuvers had become scrapping over land and resources. This was work for a full battillion, not an orc of her "talents".
Without a true regiment of her own, she was sent on leave until she was needed. She had even offered her services as a 'scout' and been laughed at.
"Send a Stone-Guard on a look-around? Thats what the grunts are for, I'm sure we'll have a target for you soon enough."
And that had been it. She'd spent weeks wandering around the capital drinking until she fell down and slept, or brawling with the locals.
Then she'd found the warrior training at some spirit-forsaken hour. Not many showed that dedication. She'd enquired about his colours, not recognising the regiment. He told her about his warband who were on an expedition in the newly uncovered lands of Uldum.
And that had been it really, she'd set off within the hour.
Now here she was in a land of sand, scorpids and anchient cat people...
After pausing she decided she hadnt been heard and pulled herself up onto the top of the thick wall and crouched in the shadows. Moving swiftly and keeping low so as not to silouhette herself against the evenings clouds she half crawled to peer over the edge down onto the plaza.
There they were still clustered around a small campfire. She'd only excused herself from their company minutes earlier. All that remained from the evenings expiditon was an odd gobin who's name she hadnt caught, and a vaguely hostile shaman by the name of Drem'thar, the rest of the warband who's names she couldnt recall had excused themselves and retired for the evening.
Shifting slightly round the wall she saw who she was looking for. He was sat back from the fire in the shadow of an alcove, his wolven companion by his side. She stilled herself and began to study him in a way that would have drawn notice if she'd been observed.
Without his animal mask on his long dark hair was tied in a high top-knot similar to her own, his nails on his hands were long. His face was marked with scars, one noteably below his right eye. A short black beard covered his jawline.
Akandra smiled to herself. His eyes were blue and without taint, and gave away how young he was. She guessed he was no more than a year or two her senior, exceptionally young to have risen to the rank of general and to have become a chieftain.
Suddenly his wolf stood up and perked its ears, it looked in her direction sniffing the wind. Akandra flattened herself against the pillar, blending into the shadows. Nuzzling her face into her mask to smother her breathing and narrowing her eyes she watched. She knew enough about animals that if she moved it would see her for sure.
The general patted the wolf and it began to settle beside him. Akandra breathed out but remained still. Suddenly his eyes flicked up to where his wolf had been looking, a smile playing around his lips, but only for a moment before turning his attention to those in the plaza.
Very slowly Akandra backed away and let herself drop to the shifting sands outside of the town walls. She wasnt certain he'd seen her, but couldnt be sure.
Her cheeks flushing surprisingly warm she reassured herself. "He couldnt have seen," she muttered. The firelight was between them and should have rendered her invisable in the shadow. The image of the flickering smile played back through her mind.
She absent mindedly rummaged in her pack and pulled out a skin of ale. Raising the skin to her lips she paused and then poured it away into the sand before refilling it from the lake, and heading out into the moonlit desert.