Chapter 9: A Chance Meeting
"If you don't piss them off, then maybe we can get a fair trade this time," said Vrummli, looking at me like I'm some hothead. "These are cats we're dealing with. They're sneaky but I've found a way to counter that." Vrummli glared at me like I was supposed to answer. "Well," he said. "That guy is an Orc. Sorry, kid, what's your name?" In a dark voice, I reply, "My name's Burz Sircona of Pell's Gate, sir."
"That's not an Orcish name, though."
"I know it's not. Does it matter?"
"No, I guess not." Vrummli glared at me for a few moments. He then went on about verbalizing their plan. "Burz, here, is an Orc; one of the three in the Anvil area. The Urum Gang, the Khajiits we trade with, have an Orcish leader. If we can somehow strike a deal between the Orcs, we may get more respect as Dwarves." Vrummli then looked at me. "Are you okay with that plan, Burz?"
I thought for a moment, looking back and forth between Thraendal, a friend, and Vrummli, the leader of the island. Thraendal sat there smiling at me, telling me to go for it. So, I did. "Yeah, I guess I'm in," I said with my head hanging down. I don't know how it's going to work. I'm not sure how powerful this so called "Urum Gang" is. I don't want to get into anything too dubious before getting the chance to kill Malak. Even if Malak was the other Orc of the Anvil area, I wouldn't be able to kill him because of the cats. I look down at Sirka who's right next to me. Her shoulders are dropped and her teeth are out. Her eyes glare at the ship like she knows something is going to go wrong. I lean down to rub her neck. "It'll be okay, Sirka," I say, trying to calm her down. "I promise." I didn't promise. I'm actually kind of nervous, too. I don't blame her.
The boat finally arrives at the dock and two Khajiits in armor walk out towards Vrummli. The one on the left started speaking first. "Where's our food, Dwarf?" Krummli spoke against the Khajiit. "On the boat right there, cat," he pointed towards the boat I rode on but never broke eye contact with the cat. "If you really want our food, give us our weapons."
"Okay, but if it's going to be some lame-ass trick like last time with that damned Imperial then we might as well go back to Urum Island."
"Don't worry. We have our food." Krummli and Thraendal open a barrel. Inside the barrel is nothing but raw deer meat. "Here, cat. Take this."
The Khajiit takes his hand and runs it through the mutton, smelling and even tasting it. "It's pure deer? Deer from Bruma?"
"Yes. Now, where are our weapons?"
The other Khajiit goes in and fetches a crate from inside. While opening the crate with a sword, the arrows spill out all over the ground. "Are you happy, Dwarf?" When Sirka barks through Thraendal's window, both Khajiits hiss.
"No, we're not happy with arrows. What else do you have?"
"If you don't want any of it, then we can leave this filthy island and go back to our leader. He won't have any problem with finding some other bandits to trade with."
"Wait!" Vrummli stopped the conversation. He knew this was eventually going to lead to unneeded violence and a big, furry mess to clean up off of his island. "What if we struck a deal?" The cats' eyes got real big at the sound of a deal. It's almost as if they were attracted to the idea. The first cat finally spoke. "What kind of deal?"
"If you take us back to your Orc, then Burz here will speak to him and work out an agreement. If you don't take us back, then I guess we don't need your weapons." Vrummli knew that they needed our food. The cats' eyes got bigger.
"Did you say Burz? Our leader has been waiting for you! You must come with us Khajiits to go to our leader! Let's go with great haste! We should ride our boat and yours. The Dwarves and the Bosmer are welcome, too. The leader will be most pleased."
I don't know what any of that was about except that I need to go to their island with the Dwarves and Thraendal, the "Bosmer". I still think it's dubious to go to their island, and I think it's kind of a low chance that their leader may think that I'm of his level. I'm not a leader even if Vrummli thought so. I'm a fifteen year old Orc from High Rock. I was raised by a Breton and an Imperial in a small, rural town called Pell's Gate. There is no way I can act like a leader.
Oddly enough, I followed Thraendal and company on our boat as the Khajiits lead the way to Urum Island. Riding across the Abecean Sea, we rode near the Anvil lighthouse. Anvil is a beautiful city. I don't know why Dad would want to leave this place. The rectangular cobblestone makes the path glow. The ships line the dock. Men drink ale on the side of the boardwalk and the women gossip behind them. Children run around the inn and pawn shop playing tag. I doze off on the ship after drinking a bottle of beer.
Thraendal wakes me up when we arrive at around noon. "Now Burz," he states. "No one must know about this location. It's secret to everyone in Cyrodiil except us and the Urum Gang. If word gets out about this, we will die. Understood?" I confirm my understanding of the situation and stand up on the deck. Exiting the boat, two Khajiits open the cave door for the 6 of us and we enter through the very murky cave.
Later on, we meet another guard cat with a torch who says some words in another language. The argumentative Khajiit walks up and whispers a saying in the guard's ear. We then proceed inside to the meeting room. It was a large room with approximately 15 stone chairs around a stone, oblong table. There was a large seat at the head of the table obviously fit for a king. A rat, held up by a stick, lay roasting over a fire. "I'm definitely not eating rats for dinner," Thraendal whispers with a disgusted look on his face. I lean over and softly utter, "What else is there?" The Wood Elf looks into my eyes. "Don't you see all the tasty cats around?"
From a long, lit-up hallway, an Orc walks in with hefty, festooned armor. There's a golden war-axe strapped to his right side. He stands up to be about six inches taller than me. His stride is large and not at all kingly, although, the man knows how to introduce himself. "Well met, fellow Orc!" I saw the young man looking at me and gesturing his hand towards me, but all of a sudden I don't want to be here. I put on a happy face and shake his hand with a firm grip. "Good afternoon, brother," I said, hoping he would accept my smile. When he grabs my hand he plants a death grip on my hand. As he does so, the Orc pulls up my sleeve and glues his eyes on my forearm. He even sniffs it a little bit. The leader lets go of my hand and gives me a hug, squeezing me tightly.
"I've been waiting for someone like you," He said, pulling away from my torso. Confused, I put together a few words. "I'm sorry, but who exactly are you?"
"My deepest apologies. My name is Urum gro-Kash. I'm the leader of the Urum Gang. I know I'm only 21 years of age but these Khajiits know how to house their leader. And your name is…"
"My name is Burz Sircona from High Rock. I know I'm only fifteen but you shouldn't say that I don't know how to kill."
"Oh…So you're the one. Why don't we step into my bedroom to get better acquainted before striking this deal?"
Shrugging my shoulders while looking at Vrummli, I follow Urum down the hallway. The walls down the hallway are painted with blood. The sound of crickets echo off the walls and they travel into my ears. Urum opens his creaky door and invites me to sit in the chair by his desk. He sits in the chair next to mine.
"Now Burz," he murmurs with a sense of urgency. "We need to get out of here. The problem is, these cats won't let me leave in fear of me getting hurt. You're one that can help me though. You're Dwarven friends look hardy and strong with a well-equipped inventory. Do you think they'd want to help?"
"Yes," I answer confidently. "They would help in a heartbeat. But I ask a question; why do you need my help?"
"I will tell you my story if you get us out of here safely. If perhaps we get split up, meet me inside the abandoned house in Anvil."
"Do you think I'll get my stuff back from Ardanchnzel?"
"Sooner than later, Burz. Now let's get back to the party before we're missed."
Walking back down the creepy hallway, we meet the Urum Gang and the Ardanchnzel gang sitting at the table making surprisingly friendly conversation. I walk behind the Dwarves and quickly talk in an undertone voice, "Violence answers." I'm pretty sure they understood what I mean because Vrummli reached behind his back and scratched the knob of his axe. Thraendal picked up the steak knife on the table and studied it carefully. Rapidly, he glanced at the face of the Khajiit beside him. Urum sat at the head of the table as I sat next to him. A cat seated at my right, Krummli and Vrummli seated at his right, and Thraendal seated at the other side of the table, we had a good placement for an escape.
The meeting began and Vrummli began to talk. "We can't keep taking arrows if we don't have efficient hunting bows. Who's going to want arrows without a bow? We need more big weapons." The Khajiit we met back in Ardanchnzel parried. "You mean weapons like these?" The cat takes his fork and throws it at Vrummli's head. He missed. Vrummli stands up with his beat-read face and takes out his battle-axe. "Does anyone else want to throw there cutleries at me?!" He tested the Khajiits whilst enraged. The cat to Thraendal's left through a knife at Vrummli. Thraendal swiftly and fluently stuck his knife in one of the Khajiit's eye, keeping it in his eye for a moment then taking it out. He stood up and threw the knife at the cat next to me, hitting him straight between the eyes.
All who were standing at the table, including Urum and I, stood up and unsheathed their weapons, getting ready for a blood bath. Hurriedly, I take the iron helmet off of the dead cat next to me and put it on my own head. It was kind of a taut fit but it'll do. One cat struck Vrummli's breastplate causing the Dwarf to fall to the ground. I shuffle over and kill the cat which spawns an outrage in the meeting room. I jump over the table hoping to help Thraendal after helping Vrummli to his feet. My mace takes out 3 cats on the table. Urum stands behind me, guarding my back. When all of the cats are dead in the room, more jump out from the Living Quarters. My party runs up through the door towards the exit while killing the guard Khajiit and jumps out into the bright sunlight, killing the other two cats. I remove the armor from one of the cats and put it on myself.
We all swim across the water about 50 yards to shore. When we stand up, we notice that Krummli is missing from the group. I turn around and notice him on the shore next to the cave with a major cut wound on his thigh. "Krummli," I yell. "Come on!" Vrummli stands next to me crying because his son is over there in really bad pain. Vrummli suddenly swims out into the water but Thraendal is there to stop him. "Leave me be, Dad," Krummli says between groans of agony. The screams from Krummli remind me of Dad's screams. Loud and deep is how I like to describe it. The cats exit the cave and instantly stab Krummli in the heart. I wave to Krummli with a tear rolling down my eye.
The Ardanchnzel party turns around heading towards Anvil. Vrummli looks down with tears. Thraendal looks down with a dry face. I look ahead in shame. Urum leads the pack to the nearest inn in Anvil. "Well," Urum said. "Let's go forget the day with a few bottles of whiskey. Tomorrow I can tell you all about why this all happened."