My story is nothing special. I’d tell you it over something to drink and I won’t even exaggerate. I’m not much of a story teller anyways.
It’s simple; my father – a Orc chieftan raided a human village. My mother, whomever she is was unfortunate to run into him. I don’t have to fill in any details but 9 months later my mother in shame gave birth to me in a bush outside the village. I’m guessing no one wanted a half breed like me around. Some day I might go back and track her down, maybe I kill her or maybe I just tell her who I am – so the rest of the village can see her bastard son now. Maybe that’s a more fitting punishment?
Anyways – this old hermit found me in the bush. He later told me that I didn’t cry and it was only by a chance that he ended up looking there. But he raised me. Never with pity of great care. He taught me that you either live fighting or you die. I never cried. Not even when he beat me blue and green with those wooden sparring weapons. It was simple; where we were, deep in the forest – there was no need for peaceful means of co-existance. Whatever evil critter that hid in the forest couldn’t care less if you tried to play nice or if you came armed to the teeth. And it was and still is a simple philosophy.
When I was 12 something my father – as I could only see him as my father, was ambushed and killed by a dozen or so hob goblins. Not before he killed and wounded a few of them. I had fallen behind looking for something to eat and I came to his aid just a minute or so late. I didn’t attack them. I only had this tiny sword and they were well armed. They robbed him of all his clothes and items and left his mutilated naked body where he was slain.
I carried him back to our camp, erected a mound of rocks and stones over him and took his great axe he had shown me one day. He said that it had served him well many decades ago when he was a soldier and adventurer. It was perfectly balanced he said – a sharp fine axe made for one thing; to kill. Slay. Without remorse. He called it Carniflex.
I returned to the ambush and tracked the hob goblins back to their village. It wasn’t that hard. They were dragging wounded with them and there were many tracks to follow. I found their village as the sun came down and hid overlooking the huts and tents. I watched the village all evening and night long. From when the purple bands of the dusk stretched across the horizon to the pinpricks of diamond stars strew across the sky until the first hint of sun boiled behind me in the morning and slowly chased the dark away. I gripped the axe and slowly walked down the slope towards the huts.
A dog barked. It’s breath plumed in the crisp morning air as fog stirred around my feet. The sun, now tipping over the edge of the trees poured in over the village and hit the alerted hob goblins as I started running across the last field. They tried to cover their eyes against the merciless morning sun and before anyone of them could grasp what was going on I had built up a fury and with a roar cut into the first stumbling out of a hut, leaving its blood spraying across the walls and the ground as he died with a surprised gurgle.
I was death. I don’t really remember the rest. Call it war trance or simply blood fury. I killed them all. Male, female and kids. Even their bravest male lost their nerve and tried to flee. And as there was a hint of them rallying around their leader; a massive older hob goblin with braided beard they quickly lost their nerves again as I cleaved him in half. I guess even in their eyes the bloodsoaked enraged half orc – even if I was a foot or so shorter than I am now – was something out of a nightmare to them all.
I’ve killed more since then.
I don’t count them. To me they’re simple another milestone in my life. A job. A adventure. A journey to a place I don’t know about yet. Just as there are shopkeepers, innkeepers and servants, there are those that keep the walls thick and sturdy. Men such as I with unflinching timber. And I feel no shame admitting that this is all that I will be.
Did I tell you that I met my real father? He was infiltrating Stormreach lead by a Medusa. He recognized the medallion I had around my neck; the one and only possession my mother had left me with.
‘You’ he screamed with his thick voice. ‘Ha – so I spawned something with that human’
He seemed amused. This tall, broad Orc in his thick armor carrying a massive crude axe. He wasn’t so amused when I growled and lifted my axe to strike him. He tried to parry – by holding up the shaft of his weapon to block. It was a thick shaft, probably with some form of metal inside to strengthen it.
But it didn’t matter. I swung with all my might. Rage and all. And it cut through the shaft and hit him straight in the chest – penetrating his armor that threw sparks from the impact and killed him right away.
I still don’t know why I did it. Maybe because I was hired to stop them or maybe because I feel closer to my humanity than the beast of my father. My father – then one I left dead when I was 12 always told me to stay true and never back down. And I guess this was my true moment.
It doesn’t bother me. I didn’t stand there in thoughts about my actions as there was other Orcs and creatures to kill. And I didn’t even think about it much afterwards when I washed my body clean from the smelly dreck of the slain. Not even when the water turned red and pink from all the blood.
It’s my nature and it will be so until my dying breath.