How many years had it been since the Jailor went by his own name? Too many to count, in point of fact, but he'd kept count anyway. Forty-three years he'd served the White Hand. The Hand didn't have much interest in what their names were; likely didn't think they had any. Wouldn't have cared if he did. He was Jailor, if the wizard troubled himself to address the Orc.

But with the screams of the dying and the roar of the flood waters still loud in his ears, the Jailor took his own name back. Nariinarash made damn sure those with him did the same.

There were five he'd dragged screaming out of their cells. It was all he had time for. Fortunately, they only hesitated for a second before following him out the south tunnel that ran under the breeding cells. Of the five, only two didn't ask questions. He'd made sure 124 got to keep 125 with her, see. The Hand took everything he could claw out of you; Nariinarash denied him this tark woman's girl-child.

At least, he did what he could. The young one got bred same as her dam, but Nariinarash kept them together. It was all he could do. But she was grateful for what he could manage all the same.

The waters couldn't have come sooner. Poor 124... Brega, she was due for her last round. Same with her little one, Hilda. He'd have hated to see the last of them that way. Bad enough seeing it now. Maybe he was going soft.

He chuckled bitterly, recalling how certain one of the women – Matilda – was that he'd be after her cunny soon as they got free. He didn't think she opened her legs to so much as piss the whole two days since their escape, even after he told her he didn't want to fuck a tark any more than she'd want to fuck a dog. She was damned insulted by that comparison, for some reason. Just no pleasing her.

But there they were, the five who'd survived the Hand's pits, who dragged themselves naked out of the tunnel, half-drowned and exhausted... they were about to talk to those folks down there in the village. Nariinarash could barely see what was happening; he had to keep himself hidden, since there were yellowhairs down there. Their females, anyway. The Men were like as not called to war or other. There didn't seem to be many about, anyway.

Lucky thing the grass was so tall a hunched Orc could hide himself well. Gnawing his lip worriedly, he watched them speaking to a handful of biddies. Would those folks realize the women wore clothes stolen from their own washlines? Nariinarash hadn't any choice; there weren't any farms or villages intact between here and Isengard. There was nothing he could do but get them this far, steal something to dress them up a bit with, and hope for the best.

Ah, there they go, he thought, a smile on his face. The village women took them in. Breathing a sigh of relief, and perhaps a little regret, he nodded with satisfaction to himself. Take that, you lying cheat of a wizard.

Nariinarash had borne witness to his master's ambitious goals for decades. He watched the first mountain Orcs swagger in, heads full of the Hand's lies. He watched them after they were set upon by a swarm of eager Goblins, ambushed in the valley and dragged down, down into the bowels of the earth, and locked in cages. He watched them beaten down, notch by notch, inch by inch, until they were near mindless fuck machines, generating the first spawn for the Hand's army. Then he watched them get slaughtered, every last one of them, when their use was exhausted.

He made himself remember what names he could, for who would sing of them now? The clans were depleted of their warriors, left at the mercy of the Horselords, believing if they sent more, relief would come. Their soldiers would beat back the relentless tide of Men and they would have peace. Such was not to be. The Hand took their strongest, and gave them nothing in return.

His mind ticked through the clan names now, as he flitted through the grasses back to the safety of the mountains: Pilikgrishûrz, Fitumazauk, Shatûpshaatii, Frûmnarghaash, Durthraang. All lost long ago.

Names were important. Those he learned, he never forgot. These five tark women would be forever etched in his memory: Brega, Hilda, Amelia, Linza, Matilda. In truth, though, they weren't alone. He had many names to think about. The mountain Orcs came with proud names, and the Pitmaster gave their whelps good strong names until he ran out. Then it became a game to him. Nariinarash remembered running across Uruks with names like Bûbhosh and Mozlagal, Pushmaath and Irzalobûrz. One unfortunate got stuck with Zukuru, and did he ever get a load of grief because of it. Nariinarash didn't want to contemplate what likely happened to Rûktramal out on a raid. The Pitmaster snickered every time one of them showed up in the pits for breeding.

Nariinarash scowled. He never liked the Pitmaster, whose name was, appropriately enough, Frapuishi. The pushdug became unnecessarily cruel very early. Just because he, like all the other Orcs serving the Hand, wasn't considered good enough to fight for their master, nor considered worthy to sire any of the baalak. Only the seed of the very best was used, but to envy those poor bastards buried alive in the cells underground was to court madness. To punish the whelps for no better reason than their cursed making was a poor use of one's energy. Those half-Men had no say in how they were made. Didn't have much choice about anything, really.

It took Nariinarash almost two days to escort those tark women to the nearest village from the ruins of Isengard, but he figured it wouldn't be near as long before he was back in the bosom of the mountain. He had tough hide on his feet and wasn't scared near to death, for starters. And it was home. Maybe not the caves he'd been born in or the ones his own clan migrated in and out of, but he was certain he'd find some group to join. Not all of them were dead or driven deep. And surely not all were answering the Shadow's insistent call.

The Eye called all Orcs all the time; sometimes the call was a whisper, other times it was a ringing clarion. Right now, it was like the buzzing of an annoying insect Nariinarash couldn't wave off. But he didn't have to listen or heed its urgings; he was far too old for that sort of foolishness, to his way of thinking.

One of the Hand's lackeys from Dunland once told him he was only as old as he felt, and Nariinarash certainly felt every single one of his three hundred twenty nine years these days. Or he simply had no stomach for masters anymore.

Nor did he want to spend another moment in the company of the Hand's whelps. He caught a whiff of Uruk-hai one night as he travelled under cover of darkness. Survivors, no doubt. There were many tunnels snaking out of the valley, for the Orcs had lived there for decades without their clans, their mates, their young. Many saw to it they wouldn't go without a tumble for too long, and met mates or just willing females on occasion by sneaking out through those passages. Very few of the Uruk-hai knew about them.

That lot must have, though. And they weren't very bright if they had a fire lit in the dark on the plains of Rohan. Nariinarash shook his head; smart enough to find the exits, smart enough to go west instead of east, dumb as fuck doing the same shit they used to when on a raid and their numbers made it safe to be out in the open and lighting damned fires. And making such a noise as they were with their brawling...

He'd likely not see them again, with that sort of behavior.

Skirting the ring of craggy mountains surrounding the flooded valley of his former Master, Nariinarash made a point to keep out of sight and travel under the moon's light. The Uruk-hai were shit in the dark, a happy trade-off for their strength in the sunlight, as far as he was concerned. He didn't fancy running into one of them. He didn't even want to remember that he spent so much of his long life in that filthy piss-hole, much less make small talk about it with a gabbling survivor.

About a day and a half after leaving the tarks to their fate, he reached the southern spur of the Misty Mountains and dove gratefully into the foothills. Another night's scurry brought him to a wide pool fed by a waterfall. It wasn't the promise of a good long wash so much as the scent of Orc all about the place that drew him in excitedly. He'd found a clan, and by the special nuance he'd learned as a pup and never forgot, there were females among them.

He hadn't seen one, or had more than a sniff of Orcess off a fellow returning from the surface, in all those forty-three years. He'd gone in without a mate, and was given a position that didn't allow him to sneak out without someone learning of it. Now he was in a spot that had recently been visited by at least one; might she return?

Well, he'd best wash the rest of the stink of Isengard off him if that was even a remote possibility. Nariinarash didn't want anyone knowing he'd been there. As he scrubbed himself raw in the pool, he vowed to keep it a secret. No reason for anyone to know he was in any way associated with the Hand or his lies. It might even mean his end, whether he met anyone loyal to the Eye or not.

In fact, he decided he would fix it for sure. His name meant he forgot nothing; maybe if he just kept the forgetting part, he wouldn't be dogged every step by that place? That sounded reasonable to him, and so he kept Nariin and left nothing behind.

Nariin hovered about the pool for another day before he saw anyone, and found he wished there was someone, somewhere to thank for the vision his patience and long tormented stint rewarded him with. There were five of them, all female, coming to the pool to bathe. He kept himself well-hidden and watched them, his todger waking up from its long sleep to take notice.

Thought you was dead, he thought teasingly, giving the old fellow a welcoming tug.

"Skût, have a look about," growled one, her low voice like music to ears that hadn't heard a female of his kind in decades. By the sagging skin and wiry frame, he figured she was older than him by far. Didn't make her any less beautiful to Nariin. "Anything come by?"

The one called Skût edged out of the underbrush, pitching her nose in the air. Nariin ducked a bit lower and tried not to smell too strongly, though his musk was building. Another thing he thought wouldn't come from him again.

Even if these females picked up his scent and bolted, he figured it was an encounter well spent if it woke up all that had lain dormant for so long.

Skût snuffled about the edge of the pool, examined the bark of nearby trees, and scanned the rock-strewn shore. Always seeming to be a few feet from where Nariin remembered stepping.

Finally, the female seemed satisfied and turned to her elder with a shake of the head. Nariin sagged with relief. Now the rest of them emerged more fully into the moonlight.

Oh, they were lovely. Nariin gazed wistfully at their dark-skinned bodies as they stripped off the hides they wore and waded into the water. His fingers fairly itched to cup those firm buttocks; his nose twitched and nostrils flared, drinking in the scent of them. They were unabashed in their washing, touching themselves and each other without reservation. Here were females of the same clan, he mused. Some likely from the same family group. There was trust here. He missed that.

"Don't think you can lie to Shaataz," one of the older ones admonished, waggling a dripping finger at another. "Smell it on'im, I does. He stinkin' up duh place with it."

The one she chastised shrugged unconcernedly, lying back against a rock. Her breasts glistened wetly, and she idly stroked one. "Don't much care. It's his own fault, ain't it. Didn't make no promises."

"You should've," the eldest snapped. Nariin had a sudden recollection of his waspish grandmother, and grinned. "You've been leading that pup about by the short hairs for years. Let him have it, will you? There ain't no peace in my den with him chasin' after you, and you danglin' yer bits in his face."

"I like things as they are," the Orcess snarled, her anger rising swiftly. This was clearly an old argument she didn't want spoiling her evening.

"It's so much better with a bonded mate," the youngest said dreamily. "I had Nausaar before we bonded, and after." She drew in a deep breath and let it out on a long sigh. "We move as one."

"Hmph," the grumpy one snorted. "Where's yer 'bonded mate' now, eh? Holed up in that valley, slaving away, can't even see you without a fuss. And you only see him when the moon's black." She shook her head. "I wouldn't wanna wait so long for a fuck."

Nariin stiffened at the mention of the valley. Didn't they know...?

"No, of course you don't," the eldest growled sarcastically. "Seems to me Fulak's the only one yer fuckin' anyway. Yuh don't give Burbur a glance, and yuh got no interest in Nardrît..."

"He sick in the head," the one called Shaataz interjected. "Thinks he still in Dol Guldur sometimes."

A low growl rolled through the clearing. "If yuh weren't my own, I'd cut yuh down. We don't talk about that place." The eldest glared menacingly at Shaataz.

Shifting uncomfortably, Shaataz nodded. "Sorry, mum."

"Oi, Kraibûf," the grumpy one said, her voice honey sweet. "Give us a hand, eh? Or a finger." Smirking, she added, "Maybe two or three."

The youngest rolled her eyes and waded over to her. Sighing with the resignation of one who often gets the shit work, Kraibûf sidled up next to the sleepy-eyed Orcess and gave her tit a squeeze.

"Mmm," the Orcess rumbled, settling back against the rock and spreading her legs wide. Nariin's eyes opened nearly as much. Oh, how he'd missed Orcesses!

"She thinkin' 'bout Fulak, I promise you that," Shaataz snickered, watching Kraibûf rub the other Orcess's sex. There was a hungry, almost jealous gleam in Shaataz's eyes, and her own hand strayed below the water. Nariin's gaze shifted to her, and his brow rose. She was one he wouldn't say no to.

"No'm not," the Orcess muttered in reply. "Thinkin' 'bout a tark lickin' my cunny. They do that, yuh know. If yuh treat'em right."

"I ain't doin' it, no matter how nice you are," Kraibûf growled.

"She ain't nice about it," Shaataz smirked.

"Lick it if yuh wanna breathe," the Orcess grinned, giggling to herself.

"Why don't you bond to him, Shagal?" Kraibûf asked quietly, taking advantage of the Orcess's mood to press the point. "Nothin' feels so good as that."

"Faster," Shagal murmured breathlessly, and Kraibûf obliged. "I don't... care... what it'll feel like. I get... what I want... from him."

"What're you afraid of?" Kraibûf pressed. She thrust a finger inside the Orcess, producing an appreciative moan. "'Fulak'll let you play with your toys anytime you want. He likes'em too." A second finger joined the first.

"What if... he don't come back?" Shagal huffed. "What do I... do I do then?"

"He'd be yer bonded mate," Kraibûf replied with certainty. "He'd always come back. Always."

"Shagal don't listen," Shaataz muttered, a dark look in her eyes. "She don't want her mate gettin' in the way'uh her games."

"Bring another one into my den," the eldest growled, "and we'll have words, Shagal."

"Leave off!" Shagal barked, her mood souring. Even worse, her anger ruined Kraibûf's efforts to bring her off. The Orcess back-handed the younger one, sending her scampering off with a squeal. "Why can't you all be like Skût, eh? She don't complain about nothin'."

The eldest seemed to have reached the end of her tether with Shagal, and rose up to stomp swiftly across the shallow pool. Shagal backed into the rocks fearfully and received a heavy hand across the face.

"One'uh yer toys took yer sister's tongue," she snarled furiously, "so's he could get away from you. Gotta remind yuh every day, then? Or do yuh want Gundul givin' yuh what for? He's been itchin' to see to yer hide ever since."

"It weren't my fault!" Shagal roared defensively. "It was Fulak's doin'. Didn't tie'im up proper..."

"That's it, blame Fulak," the eldest nodded sarcastically. "Yuh shouldn't'uh brought the tark into my den in the first place!"

"I go to piss," Shaataz grumbled under her breath, and left the pool. She disappeared quickly into the trees. Nariin barely noticed her departure, he was so focused on the argument. He guessed from their talk that Shagal had an interest in tarks, though why she did escaped the Orc's understanding. Apparently, the Orcesses were just as baffled.

"Akhûna, don't be so hard on'er," Kraibûf said timidly. The eldest one rounded on her now.

"Don't you defend'er! Always coddlin'er, you are. Yer worse'n her da, and yuh don't even share blood with'er."

The three Orcesses arguing reminded Nariin so much of the females in his own clan ages ago, he couldn't hide the smile on his face. How he longed to find them again, but he was sure there was no point in looking. Clans that went east never came back west. His had answered the call; a handful went to Isengard, the rest to Mordor. And Mordor is likely where they met their end. He frowned for a moment.

And felt a sharp knife at his throat. Tensing, Nariin froze.

"Look what I find," a low-pitched voice murmured. "Enjoyin' the view, are yuh?"

It was the one called Shaataz. What luck! His smile returned, and he started to turn around slowly. She moved like a snake, and before he knew it, he was lying flat on his back with the Orcess astride his hips, the knife pressed more firmly to his throat. Her free hand had him by the hair.

She looked him over a bit, and he saw her brow rise, and the corner of her mouth twitch a little. "Who are yuh then, eh?"

Nariin hadn't played this game in a very long time, but there was very little he forgot. Smirking, he replied, "I'm yer mate if yuh want one."

Chuckling low, Shaataz loosened her grip and relaxed her knife hand a touch. "We see 'bout that," she said. "What'cha got, eh? Show Shaataz what yuh made of."

Thrilling to the feel of her groping hand at his hide kilt, then the heat of her sex flush with his stiff member, Nariin let her do whatever pleased her. At the moment, fucking him seemed to do so. He groaned, shuddering with pleasure, as she took him. He was startled to feel her fingers on his lips.

"Ssshh," she admonished quietly. "Shaataz don't share."

Nariin nodded vigorously, and pressed his lips tight. Still, it was a struggle not to crow about his fantastic luck, or how good this felt. After all those years of having the shittiest luck imaginable, meeting Shaataz seemed to make up for all of it. Heedless of the knife still at his throat, Nariin grabbed a couple of handfuls of the Orcess's ass and kneaded them like bread dough.

"You a fine fuck," she purred, speeding up. Now she tossed the knife aside and leaned over him, her hands on the ground at his shoulders. She bared her teeth, sucking short breaths, hissing and grunting as she rutted him. Instinctively, Nariin arched his neck and turned his head to the side.

Have me, he thought desperately. Have it... take it...

He wasn't disappointed. Shaataz growled low and descended. He felt her bare breasts flatten on his chest and grinned as her teeth sunk into the muscle running from his neck to his shoulder. His clawed fingers convulsed, drawing blood on her buttocks as he shuddered with his release. She squirmed and snarled lustily, then disengaged and took a fresh grip lower on his shoulder.

He'd forgotten the gals bit their mates, same as the lads. How could he have forgotten that? Nariin reached up and got a hold of her with his teeth as well.

They must have foregone discretion in their frenzied mating, for Nariin heard Shagal's snickering voice say, "Ah, it ain't nothin'. Shaataz found someone to play with. She's all right."

The intrusion seemed to urge a halt, but Shaataz only slowed to a relaxing, idle stroke. She lapped up the blood she'd drawn on him, nuzzling his neck and shoulder affectionately.

"You come to the cave," she murmured next to his ear. "You belong to Shaataz now."

"Aye," Nariin nodded. "Glad to."

"Need to wash," she growled, wrinkling her nose. "Yuh stink like tark. No tark in the cave."

"Uh... I do?" he asked uncertainly.

"Little bit," she shrugged. "Don't like tark. Shagal like tark. Shaataz don't. So don't be bringin' tark to the cave." Chuckling, she added, "Less yuh wants to eat one."

"Shagal don't eat'em, then?"

"Nah, she fuck'em." Shaataz grimaced with revulsion. "Don't know why. They's disgustin'." Tilting her head slightly, she asked, "Whatcha call yuhself, eh?"

"Nariin," he replied. "You must be Shaataz."

Grinning, she said, "Don't you forget that, now."

A/N: Wondering what the hell this was about? You've probably guessed from all the shameless name-dropping that this story is related to Misfire of Global Proportions and Hookup of Epic Proportions. You'd be absolutely right! Stay tuned for Reconciliation of Mammoth Proportions, where we find out what the heck Aandar, Eoforhild and Nariin have been doing for the two years following the Fall of Sauron.

If you're as lazy as me and don't want to parse the clan and Uruk names Nariin mentioned, here's the list of names and their meanings.

Clan names:

Shatûpshaatii (broken spear)
Pilikgrishûrz (bloody axe)
Frûmnarghaash (cold spirit)
Fitumazauk (winner of war)
Durthraang (big rage)

The Pitmaster's 'joke' Uruk names:

Bûbhosh (pig guts)
Mozlagal (wind breaker)
Pushmaath (sweet shit)
Irzalobûrz (runs like a girl)
Zukuru (suck balls)
Rûktramal (horse rapist)

And the Pitmaster himself:

Frapuishi (foot in mouth)