I stumbled upon "Orc-brat" this past weekend thanks to the comments field on HASA. Otherwise, I would not have known this extraordinary WIP existed.
Lauderdale, you hooked me in the first chapter and had me reeled in before its completion. The pacing is excellent; "Orc-brat" proved to be a digital page-turner for me. Gritty and resourceful Maevyn and Leni with her determination to live combined with Elvish fatalism come alive with your characterizations.
Then there are the orcs.
Your portrayal of Bragdagash's crew is brilliant. You've given each orc (used collectively for Orc, Uruk and Uruk-hai) a vivid and distinctive personality and fleshed out (as it were) their culture (sub-cultures, really, depending on the variety of orc) and behaviors. It's almost as if an anthropologist has stepped in to observe these guys. And the dark humor? Oh, man, great stuff!
In "Orc-brat," you take the orcs far beyond a clichéd unidimensional view of "evil." The reader is confronted by their humanity, however debased it is. If I recall correctly, Tolkien said that in the trenches of WWI, all men became orcs to some degree or another. "Orc-brat" made me think of the fine line that divides human nobility from brutality.
I note that the first chapters were posted here about two years ago, correct? I hope you have the impetus to continue and complete Maevyn's story.