Cleric Journal: Day One Hundred and Seventy




What can I say about orcs? They are loathsome creatures who should all be killed with fire. Lots and lots of fire. Remember how much I hated gorgewings? Remember how I railed against leeches and spiders and rats? Yeah, take all of them, add in a dash of the funk from troglydytes for a special kick and that gives you one tenth the yuck factor on orcs.

To be fair, they likely bathed when they weren’t at war, and they did have a lot of very interesting piercings and tattoos. On the other hand they were vile, evil monsters who took no prisoners (usually), loved to torture their victims before they killed them and were bullies. I know, being a bully may not be the worst of the list of reasons I revile them, but they beat down their own. That was intolerable.

So, BOOM, I’m back in the real world, freezing my tuckus off when I found myself dropped in front of six large, tatted and angry orcs. They were a good rod from me and running full tilt in my direction, curved blades held high and war cries echoing across the coppice.

Orcs range in height from just below my shoulder, to a full head taller than me, and I’m tall. I wanted to point this out because the six that ran at me included the shortest orc I’d ever seen and the tallest. The funny thing is when you drop a man my size directly in their path, they take notice. Three scrambled to a stop, one jooked left around a tree, one fell over his feet, smashing headfirst into the snow and the last actually did a sort of pirouette before landing on his knees within easy reach of my mace.

I had fallen to one knee, with my shield on my shoulder and the mace on my belt when I appeared. By the time the orcs reacted, I had my hand on my mace, and was twisting to bring the shield around in front of me. The luck of the one orc landing on his knees directly in front of me could not be overlooked. I stood quickly, bringing my mace upward in a vicious swing, catching the startled orc squarely below the chin. The force of the blow snapped his head back with such force that it shattered the bones in his neck and he crumpled to the ground without as much as a gurgle.

I thought that they had followed us into the woods, but I guess the time differential was a little off. I darted left to engage the one who had fallen, kicking him in the face with my sturdy, mail covered boots. The force of my kick flipped him twice before he crumpled back to the ground and did not move.

By this time, the three who had managed a stuttering stop without embarrassing themselves rushed me. I caught one blade on my shield, swept to the right, positioning myself with one orc blocking another and smashed my mace forward. The hapless orc shield was not prepared with the strength of my blow and stumbled back into his fellow, giving me an opportunity to swipe my shield at the first and bring my mace around to shatter the elbow of his sword arm. Not to be deterred, this fine specimen lunged forward and tried to bite me. I know, previously I said that orcs did not bite like trogs. Make a note that I was incorrect in that regard. They had smaller mouths and their teeth were not as large and shredding as the trogs were, but this one had two great tusks which he tried to sink into my forearm. Luckily for me, I was wearing plate mail. He broke one of his tusks clean off. Dented my armor, though, which raised my ire. It was new and magical and white and I did not appreciate orc snot and drool on it. So I hit him in the face with my mace.

Then there were three. Two in front, and one that had disappeared around a tree and was likely coming around my flank because they are crafty that way. The two in front of me, however, had recovered from their collision and came at me, one to a side. See, that I respected. Those idiots who came at you one at a time in some macho show of bravery and skill were always the ones you killed first. Just because they were easier one at a time. Having the two of them charge me at once was actually a challenge. After the frustration I had been experiencing and the way other orcs had killed Thomas, I was ready to do some dancing.

Yes, I got a little cocky. But, you have got to give me credit. I had killed three of them before they could really put up any sort of fight. It was only fair that I should get a little banged up in the process. Wouldn’t be a fight if I didn’t.

Getting stabbed in the arse by an orc that did not come up to my chest, that was just galling. He stabbed me with small dagger which slipped between the plates of my armor. Granted, the armor is fairly thick, so only a third of the blade could bite into flesh. Hurt like the dickens. And luckily it was a short blade. I spun in his direction, snapping the blade off in the armor, buffeting aside a weak attack by one of the orcs in front of me, and plowing the back stabber into the ground, my mace turning his unarmored skull into jelly. The last two bolted. Which is funny because one of them was the largest orc I’d ever seen. He was wider than I was in my armor, and he was bare-chested with piercings in his nipples and a tattoo of a flaming skull on his chest. He looked very imposing. He also had a tattoo of a second flaming skull on his back, which I got to see briefly as he ran like a rabbit.

It all happened so quickly the adrenaline hadn’t really had a chance to kick in. I would have the shakes soon enough, and my backside was throbbing. That’s when I heard the moan. I spun around, preparing to have at it with another orc or two. But there was no orc behind me. Rather it was the young giant scout who had given us parley the day before. He lay on the ground under one of the great Spruce trees, a spear in his gut and sword slashes across his arms and chest. Blood frothed from his mouth and he was trying to say something.

This is what the orcs were after, and likely the ones who ran would bring back friends. Just what I needed.

Then the giant began to shake, blood pouring from his abdomen. He coughed once, spraying the snow scarlet and slumped back, unmoving. I really hated that.

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