Chapter 2

Whether it was by his choice or not, Argen's path was laid out before him. The spirits had chosen him, for one reason or another, and they wished for him to journey south. Argen was a hard time grasping what it meant to leave his home.

He was half-orc, a half-blood in the eyes of the others. He was shunned, looked down upon, beaten; everything that could have made his life miserable was done. Yet this was his home; the only home he had ever known. While most of his memories with the Rageclaw orcs were terrible, there were a few that made him love being amongst the people who hated him.

As he walked through the slowly disappearing camp as the orcs continued packing in preparation of the move, Argen stopped in front of the tent used by their clan blacksmith. The current blacksmith noticed Argen standing around, huffed, and paid him no mind. That was normal, but he wasn't the reason Argen stopped. Prior to this blacksmith, the former one was the first orc who saw some potential in the little half-blood running about the village. Argen remembered when he was seven winters and the blacksmith crafted him a wooden axe. Simple and crude, it gave Argen the courage to stand up to the other children as weapon duels were quite common to teach the children how to fight. That simple act was what pushed Argen to pursue the dream of being a fearsome warrior.

"Stop standin' 'round, half-blood!" the blacksmith shouted, snapping Argen out of his memory. "If ye ain't buyin', quit gawkin'!"

Argen nodded his apology and continued on his way. His mind was on the journey now and what he should take. He needed to find Kibil and have the kobold gather the things he didn't own. His thoughts froze for a moment. What was he going to do with the kobold? The kobold was neither a bird, a mantis, nor an elemental. Does that mean that he was not to join Argen on his journey? Or perhaps he died along the way? Whatever the case, Argen thought it best to not include Kibil with him. The issue now was to figure out who could use a kobold obsessed with cleanliness.

Rounding a tent, Argen ran into the blonde-haired human girl, knocking her off her feet and causing her to spill the contents of a basket she was carrying. Offering an apology, Argen bent down to assist her in retrieving what appeared to be clothes. Snatching a garment from his hand, the girl flashed a glare his way, her face bruised yet again. Holding up his hands in surrender, Argen backed off as he watched the girl quickly pick up the remaining garments and take off in the opposite direction, giving him a wide berth.

Argen watched until the girl disappeared when something poked at his wound. Wincing in pain, he rounded on the person who would do such a thing only to find Kibil looking up at him, Kibil's arms crossed. Reeling in his temper, Argen glared at the kobold. In all the years he owned the kobold, not once did he strike him. "You can thank the gods that you're my slave and not someone else's."

Kibil shrugged. "Master stop gawking. Get Robin in trouble. Again."

"Next time, don't use a claw," Argen cautioned as he slowly massaged the wound. "So her name is Robin?" Argen mused as he continued his trek back to his tent.

"Is what she tell Kibil. You no know?" Kibil asked, uncrossing his arms as he picked up his pace to match that of his master.

Argen's thoughts flashed through the twelve years he had known her. If he remembered correctly, the Rageclaws had warred with a nomadic human tribe. The girl, her family, and several others were captured to be used as slaves. The girl and elderly human male were the only ones to have survived the last twelve years. The others either had died or were killed off.

"No. I knew of her, but I didn't actually know her or her name," Argen explained, snatching the kobold mid-stride to safely place him on the other side of a mud pit. "When I was a child, whenever I tried to talk to her, her owner beat her."

"You do that now," Kibil responded.

"Not on purpose," Argen returned. "I realized a long time ago to avoid her. I'm unsure as to why I've been running into her as of late," the meaning of her name hit him like a brick, "unless something beyond my control is pushing her path onto mine."

The kobold eyed his master. "You no make sense."

Argen shook his head. "I've lost all matter of sense these past few weeks. Anyway, I'll deal with that issue later."

The pair arrived at Argen's tent in a matter of minutes. Surprisingly, no one had bothered to try and rob him. He recalled a few months back that when the clan moved, they took everything except his lockbox. Stepping into the tent was like walking into a hall of memories. Since he was old enough to speak, this tent had been everything to him. What was once nothing more than a fur blanket, out of either sympathy or pity, various orcs would help him take that blanket and fashion a respectable sized dwelling. A lot of those orcs that had helped him as he grew up were gone now, either through old age or battle.

The fur that he used for a blanket came from a gazelle he had successfully hunted. His stool he crafted out of what was left of a mighty oak after a bolt of lightning had shattered it to pieces. The fur that functioned as a door came from the hide of a dire wolf he had helped slain. The wooden idol he whittled into what could have been his mother. Everything in his tent he crafted himself, and, yet, he had to give it all up to journey south.

Quickly rummaging through a chest of basic travel gear, Argen put together a hasty travelling kit: rope, three waterskins, some flint and tinder, a lantern. The only thing he was really missing was food.

"Kibil," Argen said as he pointed to a small area of the tent, "could you dig up what is over in that part of the tent?"

"Why I dig?" the kobold asked as he slowly walked over to where Argen had directed him to and proceeded to dig. It didn't take the kobold long to uncover an unassuming metallic box that sported some sort of symbol on the top. "Found something."

"Good, bring it here," Argen said as he sat down on his stool.

The kobold obeyed. Argen took the box from the kobold as he removed a key that he kept tied around his neck. Placing the key into the lock, Argen spoke words that he had no idea what they meant. All he knew was that his mother spoke them every time she needed to unlock the box. Chills always raced up his spine whenever he opened it.

The inside of the box was lined with a soft fabric that Argen had never encountered before. It was smooth to the touch and was always clean whenever he opened the box. The contents inside the box ranged from a necklace bearing a wooden idol of Lathander's holy symbol to several pouches containing gold and gems. Argen had no need for the holy symbol. He kept it out of respect for his mother who had worshipped The Morninglord. He was more curious as to the pouches that contained the gold and gems for his travels.

His eyes eventually fell upon the signet ring his mother claimed marked their noble lineage. In the last days of her life, his mother went delirious, thinking that those of her family were finally coming to find her after four long years of anguish she faced as a slave to the orcs. They never showed up. Argen shook his head. His "relatives" were the very reason he never considered himself half-human. He did not know why they never came to rescue his mother, but the fact that they left her to suffer weighed heavily on his soul.

Argen picked up the ring to study it more. The ring was made of gold, of that he was sure. On the outside of the band, small red stones he had seen only in the other pouches made their way around the ring. On top of the ring, a flat area bordered by silver appeared to bear a raised wolf image. The ring was quite extravagant.

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Kibil's eyes widening with wonder. Pulling out a gem from one of the pouches, he presented it as a gift to the little kobold. "Don't let anyone know you have that. They'll take it from you."

Kibil shot him a sidelong glare before he dropped it down his shirt. "Orc no touch kobold."

It was Argen's turn to shrug. Closing the box, he returned the key to where it usually rested and gather up all that he was taking with him and stuffed them into a backpack. Having a quick look around to make sure he didn't forget anything, it was time to release his slave.

"Is that all you bring? We move, you know," Kibil stated as he crossed his arms.

"I'm not going with the clan," Argen answered as he faced Kibil and dropped to one knee. "And you're not coming with me."

The kobold looked at him incredulously. "Who will clean?"

Argen shrugged. "I'll manage."

"Who will help?" Kibil asked.

Argen smiled as he repeated his answer.

"Then Kibil go with you," the kobold stated as he turned to leave the tent.

"No, Kibil. You can't go with me this time," Argen replied. He could see the look of fear creep into the kobold's eyes as the kobold clutched the part of his chest where he dropped the gem. Argen was the only reason the kobold was allowed in the camp. Despite being only a half-blood, they recognized his rights to own a slave and, for the most part, left the kobold alone.

"Orc kill Kibil if Argen not here," the kobold said, trying desperately to appeal to the master he had for nearly four years.

"I'm aware they will most likely do you harm, but I cannot bring you with me. You are not part of my dreams. I do not know for certain if it's because I chose not to bring you or if you were killed along the way, but the fact remains I can't bring you with," Argen tried to explain.

"Then Kibil run away," the kobold offered.

"You'd most likely be killed doing that," Argen reasoned. "Do you know the old crone, Myru?"

The kobold snorted. "Smell of bird droppings."

Argen laughed. Considering her spirit animal was an eagle, Argen couldn't fault the kobold for his comment. "She could use the help of a kobold of your skills. Her tent tends to be a mess since she tends to argue with the spirits a lot and with her back, she doesn't bother to pick things up or keeping the place clean. Plus, she has no intention of leaving with the clan. If it's ok with you, you can go offer her your services and you can watch over my tent and hers."

The kobold nodded in agreement with the plan. The fear left his eyes which Argen thought was a good thing. Argen shooed him on his way for Argen needed to leave soon. He hoped Myru would be comfortable with the kobold. He had thought about returning to Myru to see if the arrangement was acceptable, but he didn't have time. He did not want to run into Bralu when he returned, at least, not yet.

Argen stepped outside his tent before taking a quick survey of the area. More and more tents were coming down. It was almost time for the clan to depart the area. Argen pondered as to what direction the clan was going to travel. North was the only direction he could think of as to avoid conflict while they were in their nomadic state. If the clan travelled west, they would run the risk of running into the various gnoll encampments that existed in that direction.

As Argen walked in the direction of his uncle's hut, he wondered what it must have been like for the Rageclaws back in their homeland. Granted, he was positive that the local populace would rather prefer a roaming band of orcs who couldn't consolidate power as opposed to orcs who've established a power base; he couldn't help but wonder what it would be like. When he was a child, he heard tales of an Orc kingdom in the lands far to the northwest that had been around prior to the events of the Spellplague. Many-Arrows it was called and Argen remembered asking if the lands were filled with many arrows since it was a kingdom of orcs. He was punished soundly for asking something so inane.

Argen rounded a corner when he caught a glimpse of the human girl again. She hadn't noticed him yet so he quickly ducked behind a tent and took a longer route to get to his destination. "You spirits need to stop throwing her into my path like this," he whispered to any nearby spirits who may have been listening. He shook his head as he continued on his way, passing by several older male orcs who growled at him as he walked by.

Varkus' hut was what you'd expect an orc chieftain's hut to be: it was large, decorations ranging from furs to animal skulls were placed on display above the door and the path leading up to the hut, and various weapon racks lined the outside of the hut. Argen had always thought the weapon racks were a bit much. Then again, his uncle was a skilled with a vast array of weaponry. Showing every possible weapon you were skilled with could be a viable way of stopping those from challenging your rule.

On a normal day, Argen would not dare to step this close to his uncle's hut. While his uncle was never particularly violent towards him, Argen did it out of respect for his uncle. Argen knew many of the older orcs saw him as a waste of space and any kind of doting from his uncle would be used against the Rageclaw chief faster than a griffon could snatch a sheep from a farm. Varkus didn't acknowledge his nephew and Argen stayed out of his uncle's affairs. It was an arrangement the two were in agreement with even if the two never really talked to one another.

However, on this day, he couldn't avoid his uncle's hut. If the human girl, Robin, was the potential "broken bird", it stood to reason that this "bug person" Kibil was referring to could very well be the mantis from his dreams. Argen was unable to see any other way around this. The dreams showed him journeying south with a broken bird, a mantis, and an elemental. If this "bug person" was who he was supposed to find, Argen needed to converse, if that were even possible, with this potential piece to a spiritual puzzle.

As Argen made his way around Varkas' hut to the rear where the prisoner cages were kept, he heard a high-pitched voice speaking in a language he could not understand. The voice kept speaking only to, according to Argen's ears, shift into a completely different language. The voice did it twice more before returning to the original. Argen was curious as to who else had been taken prisoner by the Rageclaws, but time was of the essence. If he had the time, he'd see what the fuss was about. However, first things were first.

The creature inside the cage was no bigger than Argen, standing only slightly taller than him. If Argen had to warrant a guess, the creature would have been slightly lighter than. The creature sported four arms, the lower left one cradled against its body. It was of a slightly tan color and wore what appeared to be a leather harness and a loincloth. The creature's antennae danced in the air when Argen arrived as if it was sensing something different.

"So you must be the 'bug person' the kobold was talking about," Argen stated aloud. The creature fixed its gaze on Argen for a moment before it returned to staring off in the distance. Argen was perplexed. He wasn't exactly sure as to how he would communicate with this thing or if this thing could communicate to begin with. The creature seemed to pay him no interest and continued to stare past him.

"Do you have a name?" Argen asked. "Where are you from? Are you injured? How did you get captured? What are you?"

Argen massaged his temple. This was going nowhere. Either the creature didn't understand him, or it just didn't want to be bothered. Several orcs that walked by growled at his presence. They didn't take kindly to the half-blood being so close to their chief's hut. He even saw one step inside, most likely to inform his uncle as to what was going on. Argen repeated his questions several times. When he received no answer, he switched to goblin, giant, and then, finally, as a last resort, elven. The creature reacted as it had been doing: returning his questions by staring off in the distance. He did get an answer from the other prisoner, though.

"Hello? Is someone there?" the voice asked in elven.

Argen rolled his eyes as he stepped away from the creature to the other cage. What he saw inside confused him for a moment. The being, whom Argen deduced was a male by the sound and pitch of the voice, was of a blue pigment with "hair" that appeared to by crystals that sat atop the person's head. The prisoner was dressed in a simple robe with his hands shackled behind his back. Argen saw little lightning bolts that shot up the prisoner's face after set periods. The strangest part was when he saw the person's blue skin shift suddenly to a purple color.

"And what in the spirits' are you?" Argen asked, raising his eyebrow as he gazed upon the odd, multi-colored man.

The prisoner's eyes widened and a smile filled his face. "Oh, my! You're quite eloquent for an orc! And speaking elven, too! For a moment I thought I would not be able to try and barter my freedom as everyone seems to be ignoring me!"

"I'm half-orc. My clan understands chondathan well enough but as you talk too much, they chose to ignore you," Argen answered. This person was already getting on his nerves. Argen didn't have time to speak with this person. "If you'll excuse me, I have business with this… thing," Argen said as he proceeded to return to the business at hand.

"Wait, good orc, half-orc, sir!" the prisoner begged, throwing himself at the cage wall to try and follow Argen. "Please, hear me out!"

Argen sighed. "I don't have time for this. What is it you want?" Argen asked as he returned to the front of the prisoner's cage.

"My name is Emeré Sarketh. I am first apprentice to the wizard Riz'adin. I was out studying the weather patterns in the Shaar Desolation per an assignment when I happened upon a site of a battle. As nothing could be found but blood and bodies, I was about to be on my way when I was picked up by orcs of your clan. I am not a danger to you or your people and would ask if you could seek my release from your chieftain," the prisoner known as Emeré explained.

"The clan chief is my uncle," Argen began, seeing Emeré's smile widen, "but my being half-orc kills any possibility of granting your release. I'm sorry, Emeré, but chances are good that you'll be a slave to the Rageclaws for a good, long while." Argen saw the light in Emeré's eyes disappear and the smile vanish. Argen couldn't bring himself to tell the man that it was quite possible that his tongue would be cut out to prevent any kind of spellcasting. "If you'll excuse me, I have business elsewhere."

"Wait!" Emeré shouted as Argen began to leave. "You have an interest in the thri-kreen?"

Argen paused. "Thri-kreen? Is that what the giant bug is?"

Emeré nodded. "Yes, the thri-kreen are a race of humanoid insects. They used to live in land east of here called the Beastlands."

Argen turned to face Emeré. "What else can you tell me about these 'thri-kreen'?"

Emeré smiled. "An orc, half-orc," Emeré quickly amended, "that speaks elven and seeks to know more about his prisoner. You, sir, are just as much of a curiosity as too why the thri-kreen are in this area."

"Flattery will get you nowhere, prisoner," Argen stated as he crossed his arms in front of him.

"My apologies! Anyway, the thri-kreen. The thri-kreen are a race of insectoid humanoids that come from a land to the east," Emeré began.

"Yes, you've mentioned that already. The Beastlands," Argen interrupted.

"Ye-yes, the thri-kr-kreen, they, um," Emeré stammered, his eyes darting this way and that as if he were trying to find a way out.

Argen sighed as he massaged his temples. "You know nothing of these thri-kreen, do you?" Argen questioned, knowing full well that Emeré did not.

"Forgive me, master half-orc!" Emeré cried as he prostrated himself upon the floor of his cage. "I did not mean to lie! It's just that, as an elemental tempest, I can't fathom seeing my future as a slave! My life is meant for far greater things!

Something in the prisoner's apology piqued Argen's curiosity. Argen shook his head as the implications of what this man had just said. "What did you call yourself?"

Emeré looked up from his spot on the floor. "An elemental tempest?"

"Stand up, fool, you're making yourself look worse, crying on the floor like that," Argen scolded as he motioned for Emeré to rise to his feet. "Yes, what is that exactly?"

Emeré rose to his feet, fighting to hold back the tears. "An elemental tempest is a genasi with the rare ability to manifest two elemental forms."

"What is a 'genasi'?" Argen asked, shaking his head as to the games the spirits were playing.

"Genasi are planetouched individuals whose ancestry is mixed with that of an elemental. I can't personally speak as to where in my lineage an elemental inserted itself, but to plainly put it, I'm part human, part elemental," Emeré tried to explain. "You massage your temples quite a bit, don't you?" Emeré asked as Argen was caught massaging his temples again.

"You have no idea," was all Argen could answer. He wasn't sure what the spirits were playing at, but to drop all three from his dream on to his path? What did they exactly want him to do? Demand that Robin's owner hand over his or her slave? To demand the release of a creature responsible for the clan's reason to vacate the area? To demand the release of an over-emotional prisoner because he had visions of grandeur? Argen chuckled at the last one. They just may as well do that rather than keeping the man a slave.

"Wait, master half-orc!" Emeré yelled as Argen walked off.

Argen paid the genasi no mind. He wanted to avoid doing this if it was all possible, but if the spirits shown that he was to travel with these three, he'll just have to do what he can. As he walked past the thri-kreen's cage, Argen noticed that the thri-kreen followed his every movement. Argen thought it was strange that the thing chose to pay attention to him now.

Argen eventually stood before the door leading into his uncle's hut. Argen couldn't help but notice his heart was beating far faster than it normally did. It was for good reason. In all the twenty winters he'd been a part of the clan, Argen had never once stepped foot inside a chieftain's hut. The fact he was about to do so terrified him. He was actually wondering how he was going to die in the next few moments when he heard a crash behind him followed by a bunch of yelling.

Turning around, Argen saw the human girl, Robin, on the floor, her right hand caressing a newly acquired bruise on her cheek. Above her stood Targuth, a rather imposing orc who was a year older than Argen. Argen was quite surprised when he witnessed Targuth grab Robin by the hair and lift her up to her feet. An orc would only handle a slave like that if the slave belonged to said orc. Argen tried to remember when it was possible for Targuth to acquire Robin.

"You no look at half-blood!" Targuth raged. Targuth's hand lashed out and struck Robin across her face. "You my slave!"

Argen turned away from the scene. There were only two ways he could stop what was transpiring: he could either appeal his case to his uncle or challenge Targuth for her. Challenging another orc for his or her possessions was a rarity in the Rageclaws. Each orc acquired his or her belongings through trials and tribulations making such challenges a spectacle when it did arise. You were essentially claiming all of the previous orc's honor and glory for yourself. However, such challenges were fought to the death. If you were claiming all that orc ever had, you may as well claim his life.

Argen was not ready for such a challenge. Targuth was an orc warrior who was becoming quite known for his brutality during patrols. His skill with the axe was praised amongst the younger orcs. Despite his dream of becoming a fearsome warrior, Argen's skill with weaponry was basic, at best. To challenge a warrior such as Targuth was suicide. Argen stood frozen before Varkus' hut, unsure of what to do, when something jabbed into his wound.

Wincing, Argen looked about for the perpetrator when he noticed Kibil by his side, holding Argen's spear. In his haste, Argen had forgotten his spear at Myru's hut! Taking the spear from the kobold, Argen was surprised to see Myru standing a ways behind the kobold. The old orc stared at him as if to ask what he was going to do. Unable to meet her gaze, Argen turned away.

"The bear spirit chooses those it deems great protectors. You have, in your own way, protected that girl since you were a child. Subtle protection will no longer work here, Mato. Either stand and protect that girl or dishonor the very bear spirit who left its mark on you and walk away," Myru stated as she watched her pupil struggle.

Upon hearing her words, Argen drew in a deep breath of air before exhaling it. Argen fixed his gaze upon the entrance of his uncle's as he stepped forward. Pushing the fur aside, he caught a glimpse of his uncle and his closest advisor's huddled over a map. All the orcs except his uncle growled deep as each began to slowly draw their weapons at the sight of the half-blood. His uncle merely looked at him, his eyebrow raised questioningly.

"Targuth!" Argen yelled. Turning just enough so that his uncle could see past him, Argen continued, "I challenge you for rights to your honor and your property!" Argen then turned towards the shocked faces of his uncle and his advisors, "Varkas! As the clan chieftain, you are to bear witness to this challenge and to declare the winner."

Nearly every orc in the area was shocked. No one in their right mind would have expected Argen to challenge another orc in deadly combat! Targuth's mouth hung open at the declaration; Robin stared at Argen, her eyes wide; Kibil snorted, crossing his arms in front of him; and Myru stood amongst them with a smile on her face. She knew well enough the path her pupil would take.

The shocked advisors turned towards their chief, curious as to what his reaction would be. Varkus merely stood up straight, walked around and past his advisors, nodded to his nephew as he walked by Argen, and went stood in a position where he would be able to see the entirety of the battle take place.

"Chief Varkus! You can't allow this! He is half-blood! He has no right!" Targuth argued as Argen took his place on the far opposite side of Targuth, raising his spear in front of him.

"That 'half-blood' has been living amongst us for twenty winters! He has his own home, hunts for his own food, makes his own furnishings, and even has his own slave! He is just as much an orc as you, Targuth! If it were any different, he would have been a slave like yours!" Varkus shouted much to the surprise of all, including Argen. Varkus was known for never once saying a word to or about his nephew. For twenty years, the half-orc was nothing but a ghost to him. Varkus reached towards a weapon rack and drew Wyvern's Sting, a spear that had the poisonous tip of a wyvern's tail for the head. "By my right as chieftain, I now bear witness to this challenge! To battle!" Varkus chanted, raising his spear to signal the match.

"And glory!" came the chanted response.

Targuth scowled as he charged, drawing his axe as he went. His blow came in hard and fast as Argen hopped backwards to evade. Stepping to the side, Argen thrust his spear, aiming for the spot where arm met shoulder. Argen missed as he felt Targuth's elbow connect with the side of his head. Stumbling to the side, Argen regained his balance before tightening up his defenses. He was going to have to play this one defensively if he had any chance of winning.

"When kill you, half-blood, I make head trophy!" Targuth shouted as he charged back into the fray.

Targuth's axe chopped from above. Argen saw the attack coming as he hooked the spear tip behind the axe head and lead it away from, the butt of the spear flying in to crack Targuth in the side of the head. Targuth growled as he used the momentum to spin, launching his left hand in a backhand swing that caught Argen on the cheek.

Knocked down to his knees, Argen couldn't scramble away fast enough as Targuth's axe came chopping down once again. Rolling to the side at the last moment, Argen winced when he righted himself, his right shoulder covered in blood. Targuth roared in delight at seeing his opponent drenched in blood and pressed the attack.

Quickly getting to his feet, Argen barely had the time needed to place his spear between him and the next blow from Targuth's axe. Argen began to worry when he saw fractures appearing along the shaft. He knew his spear was a basic creation, not meant for combat. Anymore blows from Targuth's axe would most likely shatter it. Pushing up with both hands, Argen lifted Targuth's axe up and away, taking the opportunity to bring his spear down and to the right as it traced a long cut across Targuth's massive chest.

Howling in pain, Targuth's left fist shot out as it crashed into Argen's face. Staggering backwards from the blow, Argen couldn't react in time as Targuth picked him up in a bear hug. The air being squeezed from his lungs, Argen knew the fight and his life would be over if he could not get away. Unable to match the orc's physical strength, Argen dropped his spear and dug his fingers into the orc's vulnerable eyes. The pain too much for Targuth, the orc released his grip on Argen. Snatching up his spear, Argen staggered away as he tried to catch his breath.

Argen saw the fury in Targuth's eyes when the orc looked his way. Gripping his axe with both hands, Targuth charged. Raising the axe above his head and meaning to cleave Argen and two, Targuth chopped with all his might. Still winded from the bear hug and unable to get away fast enough, Argen raised his spear to try and block the orc's assault. It wasn't enough.

Targuth's axe shattered the spear as it bit deep into Argen's leather armor. Argen cried out in pain as he felt the axe bite into his flesh as it traveled the same distance and direction as the cut he left upon Targuth's chest. Dropping to his knees and clutching at the bleeding around covering his chest, Argen didn't have the energy needed to evade the orc's fist as it connected with the side of his head. Lying face down on the ground, Argen began wondering what it would have felt like to die as he watched Targuth approach.

Targuth spit on the ground. "You not worth killing, half-blood," the orc declared as he walked towards Robin.

Argen could clearly see his uncle ready to make the announcement that Targuth had won. Argen did not want that to happen. He wasn't done yet. Gathering what strength he could, he grasped at the shattered remains of his spear. He could not let that orc walk off with Robin. Deep within him, he felt a fire begin to burn.

"Targuth!" Argen shouted from the ground as he tried to pick himself up.

Every orc gasped in shock. A normal person should have died from a blow like that. Varkus lowered his spear with a smile. His nephew was beginning to surprise him more and more. The challenge was not yet over.

"Targuth! If you step any closer," Argen began as he slowly rose to his feet, "to Robin, I," he continued as he gripped the spear head as a makeshift dagger with his left hand, his right hand gripping the bear fang that hung around his neck, "Argen Half-blood, Mato of the spirits, son of Madeline Coldwell and Ragna the Bladebreaker," Argen stated as a blue mist began to appear before him, "orc and future shaman of the Rageclaw, will break your spirit and cast it into the void!" As if to accentuate his declaration, a spirit in the form of a bear leapt out of the mist and roared in defiance. "This challenge is far from over, Targuth." Argen stated as his breathing returned to normal, his spirit bear roaring as if to acknowledge the young shaman's determination.