The orc quietly moved toward the cavern entrance. Fear caused him to
worry at his lip and he turned to look down the path at the valley
that was the home of the Split Hoof tribe. He nearly retreated back
down that path but steeled himself, his hand straying without thought
to the bag around his neck. Crafted of the scrotum of a mighty stag
taken in sacred hunt and containing many of the fetishes and secret
emblems of his rank as a shaman, the bag did its work, calming him,
reminding him of his duties as a shaman.
He steeled himself, squaring his shoulders and walked towards the
cave, ignoring the groaning in his old bones. Now was not the time to
give in to aches.
"Lord?" he called as he neared the entrance, laying one of his meaty
paws, scarred by many winters of membership in the Split Hoof tribe,
on the side of the cave entrance. Scars from both mortal conflicts and
mighty battles with wicked forest devils and small gods who refused to
do as he willed marked his body, and each one of worth was dark
against his skin, rubbed with the ashes of his ancestors so that they
would always show. He glanced about the darkness of the cavern within.
The deep growl that sounded from the depths of the cave, and Argith
froze, immediately dropping his gaze to the stone and dirt floor at
"You know the price for coming to my cavern, old mystic. It is still
the Spring of the Stag God's cycle, and I must give my seed, or take
the seed of those who defeat me. Why is an old man here? You cannot
force yourself upon me, and I will not waste my seed upon you. Go from
here," the Stag God rumbled at him, still hidden within the darkness
of the cavern.
"I do know these things, lord. But I would ask that you hear me out."
There was an uncomfortable silence -- the god crouched within his cave,
lined with furs and scattered here and there with baskets of food,
while the shaman stood without, the sun beating down on his bald
tattooed head. He shifted from foot to foot.
"I don't know...I don't know if I can control it, shaman," the Stag God
said. His voice was no longer the rumbling basso of the tribe's
god-made-flesh. He sounded more like a little boy, terrified of the
things going on around him that he was helpless to control. "I want...I
want to just talk to someone. But that's not how it happens."
Movement sounded in the shaman's ears, and he moved back slightly,
away from the cave entrance. The figure that emerged was in terrible
pain, that much was obvious. His movements betrayed the pain of
muscles grown mighty too fast for his body to cope with. His face was
sprinkled with a dusting of coarse beard, and the new ring in his
septum -- a symbol of the tribal initiation the elders had given him, a
human, when he first arrived with news of his change, bearing the name
of Imbru as his token -- was healing well.
But it was the antlers that plainly hurt him. Even now, two antlers
had burst from his scalp, leaving the area around the base of the
antlers bloody and scabbed; the blood had trickled into his hair,
making it a matted mess. The antlers extended perhaps a double
hand-length above him and were already branching out. The shaman did a
quick count -- seven points, not yet fully developed, on each antler.
This was He. There was no denying this.
Ashlan crawled out of the cavern, dragging a fur with him and slumped
beside the entrance to the cavern. He pulled the fur around himself
and shivered, the chill of one in the grip of fever. His eyes,
half-mad with the spark of divinity, but also the eyes of a terrified
boy, looked up at the shaman.
"I think I'm dying," he whispered.
"You are dying," the shaman said to him, seating himself on the ground
just out of arm's reach of the boy-god. "The mortal is dying, yes, and
the god is being born within. That is the way of the god-made-flesh,
Ashlan lowered his gaze away from the shaman, peering past him into
the throng of the orc village. He breathed deeply and then sighed,
closing his eyes, dark-ringed from exhaustion, and laid his head
against the cool stone of the cave entrance.
"Is it better out here?" the shaman asked him, offering him a small
bag with nuts and berries in it. Ashlan opened his eyes and looked at
the old orc. He reached out to take it. The shaman only noticed the
wince from using heavily exerted muscles because he knew what to look
"It is," the horned one said around a mouthful of nuts and berries. He
paused, ate another handful and looked at the shaman. "It is better
out here. It doesn't smell as strongly out here. It smells like
fucking in there."
The shaman chuckled.
"With good reason, I imagine," he said, taking a mouthful of the sour
wine he kept in a skin at his belt. "If the complaints of the braves
is any indication, there has been a lot of fucking going on in there."
Ashlan grinned at him, that boyish-yet-predatory grin that he was known for.
"They come up to try and take me, you know. But not many of them can.
They used to be able to take me one at a time, some of them -- Barish,
Makal, Raphak. They used to be able to fight me well and claim me for
their own, but they can't do it anymore. Some of them have started
sneaking in several at a time, trying to breed me after they have all
beaten me." Ashlan just looked at the shaman, who nodded to him. This,
too, was not unexpected. It was the way of things.
"But they can't even all do that, anymore," Ashlan said, proud and
boasting. "I'm stronger now than I was a week ago. And I get stronger
every day. They are testing me, doing this to me. Not just their
fighting, but their seed, too, when they can give it to me. When they
can force it on me. Now, if they want some of me, it takes a group of
some of the strongest ones, and even that isn't assured."
The shaman nodded.
"As I suspected, then," he said, looking upon the physique of Ashlan.
The fur was thrown aside as he ate, and the shaman let his gaze wander
of the mighty body of the tribe's god -- thickly muscled, with a
dusting of chestnut colored fur upon his body. His arms were thick,
his shoulders broad, his belly well muscled. His loins were...
...they were rampant. And very, very large.
With a start, the shaman quickly glanced up at the face of Ashlan, who
was watching him look at his body. The smile on Ashlan's face was
plainly predatory -- he was on the verge of hunting in the way he was
being driven to hunt, and the only prey around was an old orcish
"Ashlan!" the shaman nearly shouted his name, snapping his fingers.
Ashlan shook his head, almost as though he were in a daze.
"What are you here for, shaman?" he asked, his large hand straying
down to run his fingers through the reddish fur around his crotch, to
run his fingertips around the shaft of his cock, to stroke his
ballsac. "You know what it is like up here right now. Why are you
here, if not to try and take me to service you? Or would you rather we
skipped right to the part where I fuck you, without that bit where I
punch and kick you into submission?"
"I am here because it is time, Ashlan." The shaman stood, ready to
run. Ashlan scented the wind -- scented his fear and narrowed his eyes
with a deadly smile. No, this was going all wrong.
"Listen to me, Ashlan. If you ravage me, you will kill me. I will die
-- I cannot take that, not at my age. Your rutting is for strong braves
and for gods, not old shamans. I am here because it is time that you
went out to learn of the rest of your powers."
Ashlan stopped stroking himself and cocked his head, a nearly humorous
expression, thanks to his antlers. He looked at the shaman and sighed,
then looked about. He found his furs and quickly snatched them up,
"What do you mean?" he asked, annoyed.
"The might that you are developing is not all there is to your
heritage, Ashlan. The gifts of the gods are many, and your body is
just one of them. One of many."
"So, what do I need to do?" Ashlan asked. He narrowed his eyes -- how
could this orc know? He'd been feeling something inside of him,
something coiled and waiting to unravel and suffuse him, but he didn't
know how to touch it, or to unwind it, or what would happen if he did.
"And how do you know all of this?"
"In my youth, Ashlan, I was taken on a slave raid. I was taken in a
slave raid by the Thunderous Paws tribe, to the east of here. The
Thunderous Paws tribe worships a mighty bear-god, and while I was a
slave in service there, I got the chance to meet their god-made-flesh.
Until you were made, Ashlan, the orcish peoples feared that he was the
last of the gods-made-flesh -- though he is still the last of the
gods-made-flesh actually born to the orc-tribes.
"I not only met him, but was given to him as a sacrifice. Now, despite
what outsiders think, we don't kill those who are sacrificed -- the
word 'sacrifice' means 'to make sacred,' and those who are given as
sacrifices to the god-made-flesh are his to do with as they please.
Often they are simply slaves, usually serving in his bed.
"But the bear-god of the Thunderous Paws let me go after three years.
He grew bored with me, I think, but he was kind enough to let me go.
In my time there, I saw him work many amazing things, from changing
his shape to speaking in the tongue of plants and animals." The shaman
paused and Ashlan was obviously very intent on the story. Even his
monstrous erection had subsided, the shaman noted thankfully.
"He told me that when he underwent his change, he was sent to be with
the mighty bull-god of the Terrible Horns tribe. It was from him that
he learned all of the powers of truly being a god. He also said that
the day would come when another came to him, and he would pass on what
"You must go to see the bear-god, Ashlan. He can teach you. You must
complete the journey into your destiny, lest it be wasted with fucking
and drinking. It is all too easy to allow oneself to rely on
instinctual urges, rather than what must be done. You must go and do
The mighty stag-god sat back on his haunches and looked up into the
sky. He pondered for a while -- perhaps this bear-god might be able to
help him, after all. Ashlan looked upon the shaman and smiled.
"Very well. I will go and speak to this bear-god," he said and
returned to his contemplation. The shaman stood and smiled, leaving
the skin of wine and left. Ashlan took up the skin and drank deeply,
then returned to his cave.