I mentioned I'm poor at planning. And I am. Just so happens I suddenly recalled my Mrs. Bloodplunder story today, and when I checked I was actually somewhat surprised that I posted part one this year. Anyway, this bit hasn't been written before and likely won't be repeated elsewhere (but I could be wrong).
Wars and Weddings (Part 2)
She lost. Aldora had, in hindsight, little chance. Yes, she'd been in battle before, but that was different. A vast melee with hundreds of participants, not one-on-two fighting like this. Especially as she's the Chief's eldest daughter- if things looked difficult before, she could always rely on a clan-mate riding to the rescue. The two orcs, however, had done this countless times, and even practised occasionally, testing their skills with wolves, bears and wolf-bears.
Alondra was disappointed. She thought her sister had more in her than that. Almost literally; whilst the leather padding prevented skull crushing and broken ribs, it didn't prevent lots of blood being spilt. After Aldora collapsed and didn't get up until the orc's cleric of Luthic hopped into the pit and helped her up and cured her more grievous wounds, Alondra went to find her father. It wasn't hard; he was in the guests-of-honour tent, alongside the orc chief (who had stormed out earlier, disappointed by his prospective bride), the clerics of Gruumsh and the Ancestors of the Great Tree, and Xanthus Xalachar, who'd impressed the orcs by defeating five at once, armed with only his fists, feet and tail. "Father, let me take my sister's place. She's been proved weak; the orcs won't accept her now. I can take them, I know it."
"They defeated your elder sister. She's been training non-stop since you went to slack off, explore ruins and what-not. She's the best we have, and proven in battle. No." He was angry, and upset; without the wedding, the Great Tree clan's surely doomed, alongside the Bloodplunder orcs.
"But, Father, I wasn't slacking. I was training, too, and without fifty of my kin to back me up. You saw what Xanthus Xalachar did to get here; he's taught me a few tricks, for when I don't have my flail. I can do it, and we have nothing to lose and everything to gain."
"Iz troo. She learnz well, for an uncultured mammal. No offenze." Xanthus Xalachar speaks slowly, opening his crocodilian jaw slowly to pick raw meat from his teeth.
"... Fine. But you won't have my blessing unless you succeed, so it's not a political arrangement. So no padding."
"Easy peasy squashed oranges."
The twist was planned; I'd plonked it into place before I wrote part one. Although I was thinking it'd be obvious, as Mrs. Bloodplunder is canonically a retired adventurer.