Living in the high crags of Talmok’s Teeth, my clan was strong and resourceful. No other clan dared to raid against us. They hated our superiority in battle. We lived in relative peace. As much peace as an Orc can expect at least.
Then one day our scouts reported humans building structures, in the valley below our mountain fortress, on the human side of the teeth. Maybe they didn’t know we were there, or maybe their arrogance persuaded them disregard our territory. We began sending raiding parties down into the valley, but we soon discovered the humans had come prepared for war.
The battles that raged after for years, were bloody, and we were getting the worse end of the axe. Other clans began to raid our home knowing our numbers dwindled and it would press us hard to fight on two fronts. Our warriors were exhausted and our dwellings empty.
Our Chief, my Grandfather, decided that we could not continue on this course, or be destroyed. Many warriors welcomed the end and remained confident that was a good death for any Orc. Our Chief said we would make peace with the human settlement and we could trade for their superior arms and armor to fight other clans. Many warriors became angry and abandoned our clan. I had thought more than once to do the same. It seemed a betrayal to our ways and seemed weak.
However, I relented and trusted in the wisdom of the Chief. He made peace with the humans and we no longer raided their town. we traded ore and stone from the mountain for armor and weapons. That once again turned the tide of battle against the other clans to our favor, but they viewed us as even weaker for making trade with the humans.
Years later we began to hear stories of a great army, who called themselves the Lions Hammer, burning and pillaging up from the sea. We were not afraid. We had the mountain to protect us. They began to subdue the other clans and assimilate them into their numbers. We would not be subdued and the Lions Hammer set upon us with a mighty force. To our surprise the humans from the valley came to our aid with their own warriors. Realizing they were next in line they thought a united force would be strong enough to hold the pass in which our clan was entrenched.
Alas, we could not compete with their vast number and eventually we fell. But the battle was glorious and the humans fought ferociously and held their own until the end. I gained some new found respect for them.
Those of us who weren’t killed were gathered and marched to ships and sailed across a vast sea to and island city they call Estilin. We were taken to the core of an active volcano and put to work doing menial work. I begged them, no, gave them cause to give me the death I deserved, but they mock me and refuse. They seek to shame me into submission. I will not give them the satisfaction. I have been given the task of cleaning the slop of the leader of a band of Cyclops whos name is Ornex. He fancies himself a warrior, but he is sloppy and lazy. I will try to be patient until I can exact my revenge….
Today as I was bringing the slop to the cyclops’ there was a disturbance. Fighting going on down here? A revolt? As I entered the forges, I came across the headless body of a human, lying near the chamber of Ornex. No one had rid the man of his gear, but that was probably because all of the guards and a few of the Cyclops were dead. Crom must have been smiling on me, for the man was carrying the very weapons I had trained with in the teeth. I quickly gathered his belongings in the chaos, since he wasn’t going to be needing them anymore, and hid them under the cart I was pushing.
As I entered the chamber of Ornex another human was being stripped of his things. Ornex and the other Cyclops carried the man away, leaving me alone in the chamber. As I surveyed the room I realized that one of the Cyclops had smashed many of the cages that held slaves. They had been crushed and maimed. Some of them were my clans people. My blood boiled, my teeth ground and my jaw creaked with my rage.
I gathered the second mans belongings and left to stow them in a safe and secret place so I could retrieve them when I am ready.
The human is in a nearby torture room. I need allies. I will attempt to rescue him, but I am going to kill Ornex before I leave this place……