An Orc Crusader of Pelor who often prays on peoples assumption that all Orcs are stupid stumbling brutes by keeping his cunning secret.
Peter Coeus (Fukaush Auga Angijak)
-An Orc Crusader of Pelor who often prays on peoples assumption that all Orcs are stupid stumbling brutes by keeping his cunning secret.
“It is a monster, we should kill it and be done with this.” The tiny man with peach skin was making noises again that seemed to be words.
“He is a child and as long as I’m still standing the servants of the Morning Lord shall only ever seek their protection and well being.” The less tiny one with darker skin was barking at Peachy. They both wore bulky clothes like papa’s only theirs’ shined in the sun like water, the less tiny one wore a cape that billowed no matter what the breeze did so I busied myself trying to subdue it.
They continued making funny noises at one an other ‘til Peachy frumped away. “Come here young one.” I was hefted up into the man’s arms and carried into a tent. Inside amongst the maps and tables, books and chairs, trophies and weapons he stared me in the eyes in a deep and meaningful way; so accepting his challenge I bit him. “Son of a…!” this one was funny, “Oh you liked that did you? Well let’s see what you think of this!” He threw me up in the air and caught me, spun me around him, and in general played with me until I was curled up on his lap wrapped in his cloak which had finally stopped moving.
“Captain!” Why was this female being so loud, and why did the all dress in the same shiny clothing?
“Shh! If I have to do all of that over again to get this kid down a second time I’m going to have a heart attack.”
“Sorry sir, it appears the Orcs have pulled up high into the Fanged Mountains, what we ran into here was the rear guard. If you want we could organize a strike team to try to catch and slow down the main host but I wouldn’t like our odds of successfully doing either one.” She had a very curt tone to her that made me uncomfortable so I closed my eyes tighter trying to will myself away from her.
“They’re smart: they knew we’d be coming after their last raid, they knew we’d be seeking out the primary war camp, and they knew me well enough to know I’d strike that camp with as much as I had so I wouldn’t have to risk hitting them when children and non-combatants were around, and they knew to leave enough to be a challenge but if we faced even a quarter of their force our most conservative estimates were wildly inaccurate. Looks like the intel about this shaman of theirs was spot on…’specially after spending so much time with his son.” The women had moved much closer and was now bending over me. “You see this tattoo over his right eye? It marks his birthright, when he is old enough they would ritualistically remove the eye and he would take his place at the right hand of one of the great chiefs.”
“Surly it is only a matter of time before they send their own strike force to recover the boy if he is what you say.” Her hard tone made me bury my self into his lap more. “If the boy is blooded, as you guess, then perhaps we will have a chance to engage them again; or baring that, sir, maybe he is to much of a threat.”
“Lieutenant, I had quite enough of that kind of vile insanity from the Sargent, anyone who harms this boy will taste the full power of my righteous blade.” His eyes flashed darkly and his voice had an edge so keen as to not deign further discussion. “I’m honestly not sure if their will be a recovery either,” he continued on as though the previous point had not occurred, “I am sure his parents will desperately want him back but at this point I’d have thought we’d have found a distraught mother, or at least her body, somewhere in the area of where the boy’s unconscious body was discovered. The father was probably the one in Dragon Plate that I was engaging, strong son of a bitch too, he was missing his right eye and seemed to be giving all the orders. No way he would have fought the way he did or left as quickly as he did if he knew his son and heir was lying unconscious in the underbrush.” He was patting my head in a way that let her know he knew of what he spoke, his eyes could only see the child and feel the fathers loss. “I don’t think anyone knows he’s missing yet, and when they do two parents out of their minds with grief? Even if for some reason they come back here to look I don’t know how much support they’ll have.”
“Sir what can we do? Even our best scouts would have a tough time catching up to even the rear guard on their own, let alone with a small child.” As they mumbled above me I opened my eyes briefly to see warm eyes looking down at me from her, she wasn’t so mean, stretching the tired out of my arms and legs and rolling over on his lap I closed my eyes again.
“No far more likely the boy would slow the scouts down to much to catch them,” as he spoke above me I began to fade into the warmth that was surrounding me. “He would wander away and get hurt, and our scouts would be caught by that rescue squad while distracted and looking for the boy and be slaughtered. If we sent them up there alone they’d never get close enough to talk without being attacked. We wanted to create a garrison point away, I’d say here works perfect. The boy will stay with me in my quarters and well wait.”
“Sir, what about in three weeks when you report back?”
“Well Lieutenant, as a wise sage said, we’ll jump off of that bridge when we come to it…”
First let me thank you for even reading my letter requesting early entry into the acolyte training of the Church of the Morning Lord. Your reply letter honors me so greatly that it is with great trepidation that I continue in my hubris. Please do not feel any since of awkwardness in how to address me as Peter Coeus is more of a name to me then anything else ever has been. Peter was the name of the imaginary friend of the Shining Crusader Naild Ackisse’s son Kinnon and by the time I went back to the temple with him a month after I had been found it had become my name. I stayed with the Ackisse family until the spring thaw; those early days where filled with hard won lessons as to proper behavior in human society and displays of strength around others, a decade after Kinnon has forgiven for some of those miss steps I can still feel his mothers gaze.
Reflecting upon it now it is startling the compassion and recklessness shown by Naild in taking me into his home for those several months and again each winter season. I asked him about it several years later, his response was simple and direct, “Peter you are a boy now, little more then a baby when I found you, and deserve the chance to experience the life that Pelor’s light grants us. I would lay down my life to defend an evil man’s life as readily as I would a good if it where Pelor’s will, when it came to you doubt never entered my mind that his will was for you to be in my charge.” Nadil’s guidance, patience, and compassion truly saved me in those early years at the parish, where I was forced into a battle ground that few Orcs have or could face. The children where that, and few enough of the priests and nuns had the courtesy to treat me with vialed contempt usally joining my classmates in sharing their displeasure at my presence, but the value of my time in the parish cannot be measured. Looking back I do wish I had told Nadil before I ran off but only because how much I now know he worried for me, that is the only regret I have in running away the winter of my eighth finding.
I wanted my parents I don’t know any other way to say it. Eight years I had been treated by almost everyone around me as less then them, as a beast or a novelty, a trick pony at best, and the few that treated me well I saw with growing infrequency. Despite my youth my lineage placed me almost at the hight of a man with the strength of a good one so securing work on a transport was easy enough. I had learned in the parish how to read and then meet expectations so most assumed I was a dumb scrawny half-orc, who when he “got lost” in the mountain pass neither surprised nor bothered anyone. It may surprise you to learn that a juvenile ill thought out tantrum did not turn out well; as I lay starving and freezing in the snow it came to me how lucky I’d been to have been found by the man who only ever sought to be a surrogate father to me. Had I thwarted providence will by throwing this gift back in his face? Demanding my life be thrown upon the mountain, Pelor’s thoughts be damned? The blackness came to quite my sobs…
I awoke, that was the first surprise, covered in furs in front of a roaring fire – number two, with an Orc holding a spear at me face – that one wasn’t to surprising honestly but I was curious how long he’d been holding that thing like that. “Your life is now Legdish’s. Your wishes no longer matter, you give your life to Legdish when you were not strong enough to live on your own.” The sound of my native tong was almost lost on my ears, fortunately he was so focused on being intimidating that he was speaking slowly.
“I’m afraid I cannot respect your claim on my life, for I realize now that an other has earlier claim on it, so while you may end my life if it pleases you I can not honor any claim on my life but theirs.” His eyes narrowed at me not only for what I said but it slowly dawned on me that he was surprised by how I had said it, I was using a high form of our language that had caught him off guard.
“Who holds this supposed claim Legdish will kill him and take it!”
With a grin I looked up and, though we were in a cave, I kept my upward gaze “You sit beneath his glory now. For practice I would extinguish his creation first, the Sun Lord would surly be caught off keel if the sun where to be extinguished.” With a sudden crack across my head he departed the room I was in. There was almost no chance to rub at the pain and regret the other man’s training before he returned with several others, including a large orc with one eye missing. If he knew me he wasn’t letting it show and I had only near decade old descriptions of my father to try and compare this man to.
“What are you that stands as an orc, speaks like a human, and shares the appearance of my dead son?! Speak clearly or you will die quickly.” My father, blood from whom I’d sprung, providence at work again?
“I am Fukaush Auga Angijak, lost as a child to my people and saved by a Paladin of Pelor, I come seeking my past.” There was a noticeable shift in the room as all eyes were locked on my father, who in-turn had his eye locked on me. My time in human lands had me ill prepared for this reunion, if it had been a month since I’d seen Nadil I’d run to his arms into an embrace that conveyed a shared feeling of separation far deeper. The first time I had seen my father in eight years, the first time that I can ever remember having seen him in my life, and The Great Canyon of the East could have fit between us.
Finally with a look like he had resolved to some great burden this one eyed pillar walked toward me. His scowling face held only the love of a predator for his next meal, a hug was probably the last thing on my father’s mind. “You should have stayed gone but if we are now embarked then so be it,” he whispered to me before declaring to the original orc who was looking very confused by all this “you Legdish, do you intend to push a claim to MY sons life?”
“Bagûrz has power and strength that Legdish respects,” this orc didn’t want to answer the question, his hesitation obvious, but he also looked resolved to go forward “you have saved our people in days past and those to come by the All Father’s will. Your family stands with our people, for our people, since first your blood made iron. The All Father fore saw the need of his chosen and from them knew Bagûrz line were of the few who’s blood could be forged in the fires of Ilneval, Legdish knows the truth in this. Legdesh also knows that the laws of Gruumsh have no exception and must do his duty to his people. This whelp is weak in body and soul, the iron of your blood has not been passed to either of your supposed-” I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was my father who screamed in rage, some magical effect from the sword going about its bloody work, or the final noises to emanate from Legdish’s now gaping throat. I thank Pelor for the shock if I had my senses more about me I’m sure I would have been sick at that moment, given the brewing tumult in that hut that well could have proven fatal.
“Legdish challenged my strength by calling the blood of my blood weak, I accept the challenge of anyone who questions my action!” No one moved, no one breathed, no one blinked, then slowly they all backed away from where Legdish had fallen. “what was once his is now mine and I dissolve the claim of the Write of Strength, but reclaim my write as a father.” That predatory look was back on his face, I probably would have shuddered if I’d been able to do anything but stare at the first living person I’d ever seen killed.
The room slowly emptied until it was only my father and then I lost it, there was a basin there and I made use of it sobbing and heaving for use for what felt like a lifetime. “Legdish wasn’t wrong about you, I couldn’t have him challenging me otherwise I -”
“That’s not why you killed him…” he just glared at me while I climbed up from the basin, “‘Either of your supposed,’ it wasn’t me he was going after with that one, I don’t know what he was attacking but that’s why you killed him.”
“Why are you back here?” The story of my eight years came tumbling out and though his expression remained as stoic as a stone slab his contempt was palpable. As I approached it I became increasingly curious how he would react to my departure from the human lands. Could he understand the longing in my heart or would he see it as some human weakness I had picked up?
“You came chasing a dream, you already had what you came seeking, and now have likely doomed any chance of it in the future. My write shall protect you from all the adults of the tribe, but your a prime target for all the children. You whine about your treatment before, likely as not your new classmates will have killed you by the spring thaw. You’d best pray to the All Father his blessing has passed to you, if not the crows shall make quick work of you.” It may have been desperation on my part but he almost sounded concerned.
“Father, why did you kill Legdish?” He flinched either at the question or the title I don’t know which.
“Come your mother will want to know that you’ve returned.” What I eventually learned was the war camp was entrenched in a cave network inside the mountain chain. The camp was huge and ran deep in the heart of the mountains. We walked in silence as I absorbed the unfamiliar nature of my surroundings; I was unable to discern what was training, competition, an argument, or a blood feud it was all so visceral. Those that weren’t trying to kill each other were tearing what I was hoping was animal flesh straight from the still bleeding limbs or wallowing in filth as though they were swine with no understanding of a better form of life. As we exited the cave network we came out of the back of the mountain in a dense forest that rested practically at the cloud line. The forest and moisture filled air shielded our eyes from the accustom sting of Pelor’s glory. The village was a less alien sight but only slightly, there were no permanent structures, all was hide and mud, animal heads as well as others on display all around us, fire pits had been replaced by skull shrines, and everywhere the scent of death was present. The closest to a permanent structure to be found was a wooden lodge that had two large huts on either side. The largest sat to the left, we walked to the one on the right. It had stains, ruins and murals covering the outside and had obviously seen generations of hard winters.
The inside didn’t fit with the out, anyone of the rooms may have fit inside a building the size of this ones exterior but certainly not the house that we now stood in. It had the a feeling of fitting with the camp, wooden walls and mostly stone or wood floors, lowered fire pit, raised armor stand, and everywhere pelts and trophies of past victories. None of this really caught me by surprise, from my understanding for the standards of one of the blooded these were actually very humble living conditions (even the Ackisse family lived on a large vineyard in a plush villa), no what surprised me was the crib and the pale skinned child that lay inside. I was so shocked by this that it took me several seconds to realize that there was a women staring at me with eyes as wide as mine had to be staring at the crib she knelt next to.
That I might have siblings had long since occurred to me, in fact it seemed probable after all the Ackisse’s had seven children by the time I left, and not being an expert on orc genealogy I couldn’t say for sure but the last thing I expected was to have a half human sister. I’d seen enough human children to recognize the feature of one with that blood, and when I heard where she came from all doubt had been removed and I knew why Pelor had spared me time and time again. As you may well be aware the fourth righteous garrison of the ninth holy legion was established by the Shining Crusader Naild Ackisse at the base of the fanged mountains. With a multifaceted mandate the garrison served as fast response, scouting and patrol, and deterrent for any raiding plans the horde may have had. They did not, as Naild had wished for them, also serve as diplomatic hub for the thousands of sentients that had chosen to call those mountains home. My father and my mother had known I hadn’t died, though it took to my last day with the tribe to find out how. They had both gone out looking for me that first season but, while they were in no position to stop them, they had not received the support of the tribe as the chief felt the hope of success to minimal and tasks of resettling to great. For months they searched for me but when the elements had overcome my mother and she slipped into a comma, my father was forced to return them to the camp. Thus began a tradition for her, on the anniversary of my loss she would set out on a week long trip around the mountain; long past the hope of finding me simply seeking to commemorate and stand vigil. Some years my father would join for some or all of the trip, others his duties would not permit him the luxury. Two years ago had been a one such year where his responsibilities were to great, but when she failed to return after two days of being overdue he set out after her. The search was brief he’d found her only about a days journey from the camp: beaten, bloodied, and raped. She had spent six days trying to stumble and crawl her way back before he found her nearly dead. That is the other half of the tale of the Slaughter of the Fourth Garrison. We tell a tale of how they fought bravely, to the last solder, but were unable to hold out for reinforcement from the ninth. The tell how they visited justice down upon everyone in that fort and by the time the legion arrived there wasn’t so much as a building left to reinforce.
I learned much about my family and races traditions during my year and a half stay with the horde. Being a quick to embrace the martial studies that were thrust upon me and the physical nature of the camp in no uncertain terms saved my life, and my father’s willingness (eagerness?) to inflict lasting damage during training insured lessons needed be taught but once. The lesson that took the longest to learn came from my sisters life, when she was born half human it was my father’s right and responsibility to kill her and my mother. From the laws of Grummnsh my mother had either willingly shamed him or she was a weak mate who did have the strength to defend herself or his children. Instead he had claimed his wifes child as his own and had left a trail of bodies of those who gave even a hint of besmirching either of his girls names, with Legdish being the eighty seventh. If pressed I don’t know that i could say I loved my father, but a man using every once of his strength to prevent his world form collapsing around him it is hard not to feel sorry for him. Each day, even obvious to an outsider like me, his position in the tribe would degrade, the cracks in his would setting every deeper – closer to the shatter point, his world crumpling from iron to dust.
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Ring / Amulet / Etc.
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Special Abilities+ Add
|Light Load||Medium Load||Heavy Load||Lift Over Head||Push/Drag|