My problem with Orcs

Now don’t get me wrong: I have nothing directly against orcs; our porcine companions are like much of the rest of us. Most of them are jerks, lots of them are crazy, some of them are tolerable, and almost all of them carry sweet, sweet gold pieces.  I distinctly sort of remember two different parties where I spent a surprising amount of time drunkenly talking to orcs; one of the conversions was about someone’s recent conversion to Luthic and the other explaining why I needed to pick up a half-orc lover: it was something about their thighs.

But, and this is an important but, I do not like orcs when they are trying to kill, harm, maim, hurt, or injure me. I am not talking about the occasionally tankard thrown at me or an “accidental” punch during a brawl. I am talking about intentional actions, the kind where it is obvious that Utrtru or Lorth is swinging their rusty axe right at my head. It is easy to forget those drinking buddy evenings then.

When Hamor, Faragon, Cilcilre, and your humble narrator first headed into the Slave Pits, I was much less anti-orc. I wasn’t on the adventure because I care about some elf getting shackled up; far as I am concerned, it will probably do Ms. High-and- elegant Pointyears some good to spend a little time sucking at the teat of sweet lady fetter. I was on the adventure for the usual reasons I go on adventure: gold pieces, gems cut and uncut, various other coins, and assorted magic items. I also go on adventures because I am often being chased by the forces of so-called law and order.

I knew that orcs were fairly filthy as a race, but it must have been something about the Slave Pits or Hightower because these orcs were low-end even for orcs. We are talking kobold-level squalor here. Some of these snout-nosed bastards tried to dump raw sewage on us: that’s right, raw sewage. I don’t really want to know how long they had been keeping the waste; I never thought of asking them while Faragon was smashing their heads in. I will give this to Frargon; when he wants to, he can do some damage. His problem stems more from his moral code, in that he has one.

Not only did we have to dodge and then fight in some upright pig’s waste, we also had to battle with a orc witch doctor. I never thought that any orc was disciplined enough to be a witch doctor; I always figured orcs as going a bit more for the shamans, since my experience with shamans is that pretty much anyone who suffered a head injury as a kid or is crazy can qualify. One time at the festival of Cyndor, I saw a shaman spin in a circle for about 15 rounds, drink a wineskin, spin for another 5 or 6 rounds, and fountain vomit on the crowd. A person does not need much discipline pull that off; what they mostly need is iron stomach and a low intelligence roll.

Mr. Witch Doctor had it all planned out: I could vaguely hear him praying when we first entered the room. It was the typical “Gruumsh, Lummsh, gorky, goo” mumbling that is a usual indicator that some ‘fraidy orc is asking for protection.To make matters worse, Dr. Doctor also found the time to cast shield on himself. Now, I am not really a fan of fighting fair; any being who know me, knows that. But prayer and shield in the course of two rounds? That’ s dirty, about as dirty as the sewage that got dropped on us.

I am many things: a drinker, a gambler, a backstabber, but what I am not is sewage showerer. I can get behind almost any sort of fetish, orgy, bacchanalia, but even I draw the line here. In addition to drawing the line, I also drew my sword. This is not the Tomb of Lizard King sword that I’ve talked about before. No, this is Mr. Stabby’s predecessor: Baron Blood. Baron Blood was my first named weapon; as a level 1 and 2 fighter, I was mostly swinging whatever I could find along the way. But things broke my way during a battle with a flind chieftain, and the Baron found its way into my hand.

But this is not a story about Baron Blood, whom I still have hanging above the table at my keep. This is story about killing some orcs and kill them we did. The witch doctor’s shield, prayer, darkness, and affect normal fires didn’t really work. Come on, they had just dropped poop on us. No one was getting out of that room. No one.

No saving the orcs

No saving these orcs

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