the maintenance shaft that Tilbarat referred to is an old tower – perhaps a Vault lies beneath it.
The porphyry door by the sea caves is also definitely a vault.
The last must be among the fire giants.
Four brooches, one a rat skull, all need to be examined by Detect Magic. Purple-hilted whip also.
Furnishings (as yet unplaced)
two barrels, two more chests with locks, three more chairs, and a small smooth wooden bowl that looks like it is dribbled with tallow. Two post beds, three chests, two large trunks, a dresser, three high-backed chairs, a trestle table, five silver goblets, a clay ewer, a pair of fire tongs and a cauldron, a settle with a carved wooden back, an idol of Heimir which is gently placed on the pile
wand, sword, ring, scrolls, 10,033 copper pieces, 7,237 silver pieces, 12,450 gold pieces,
I was Oloz Slave-taker, half-orc. I was born ezal of the Black Tusk, shat out by other ezal and I lived the life of a slave’s shit, dirtying other slaves and unthinking. I slew, I raped, and exulted, for that was life. I know now that is not the way, I know now that I am not ezal, I am not Ashad’s, I am not orc.
An orc is not like a man. An orc is strong. He doesn’t feel pity, remorse. He takes life, he takes slaves, for him they are the same, for in the orc’s place in the afterlife, like in his life, he is slave or slaver. There is no other way. For the orc, for Ashad his Screaming God, that is the only way – slave or slaver in life, slave or slaver in death. For Oloz Slave-taker, that is the only way.
Oloz Slave-taker is dead.
He is dead but his soul is not with Ashad. He is gone but still he remains, Slave-taker no more.
I am him, and I am not. Where once he stood, I stand, how can that be? I am new, I will be new, I take slaves no more. I take no more. Like Ashad, Oloz Slave-taker only takes and takes, and he is gone. He did not go easy or quiet. He saw trust placed in him, by Anyra Windwalker. He saw her stand where he said, do what he told, because he would not give her to danger. He saw her burn, he could do nothing. He was a traitor as he had never been. He heard Daelus Windspeaker warn, he heard him rage, and even in his raping orc heart he knew he had betrayed himself too. Ashad knows what the price of it was, for all he cares in his madness. Ashad and Urgoz Ashad’s Right Hand and all Thurayn. For all the violence and fury of his end, his last words will go unwrit. In Ashad’s House none are mourned.
The night that Oloz Slave-taker was buried was bloody and eventful. We had met the Zeshimite Thebes and he hid us for two days. I was still hurt, bad, from the fight with Urgoz Right Hand. We all were nervous. The air was strange. Takal the goblin betrayed us to Tilbarat, almost killed us himself but in the end he was too much of a coward even for that. He fled, I will be content never to know where he has gone. He could not do it when the rats came, and he never will grow such a spine. Thebes says his jungle cat caught one of the rats. If not for that, maybe the Dogs would be slain sleeping like all of Thebes’s other guests.
The rats killed her, we found her later. Thebes was hurt by this more than any blade that night. She died like a warrior.
We fought through Tilbarat’s rats, went to his house even as the Sturm rained and rained so black you couldn’t see. We found him. His archive was flooding and he did not even fight. I cut him down, but he probably would have drowned if I didn’t. I don’t regret it, but I am not proud of it.
The Vodoni and the Ashani and the Talliates all rioted, all fought when I struck down the Right Hand. Vodei won. His are big in Thurayn now, the Rex Exactor all but prostrate before them, and the House of Ashad is no more. Now they must gather in the Black Dome with the Talliates. Ashad has paid in a small way, but he will not learn I know.
Now, I write, Oloz of Aros, Oloz of the Temple of the Winds in Thurayn, and I exult. I see in my new friends and my now-enemies a new place and new things. We are adventurers, where once we sought gold or victory, we seek change and rightness. I saw even before Oloz Slave-taker breathed his last something different in my fellow Dogs. In Crisp, in Anyra. I did not understand it then.
Maybe I do not understand it full on even now.
Is Crisp his way because he is daft? Perhaps. He is daft for true. Is he daft because he is his way? That cannot be. Thebes the Zeshimite is the same, but adept.
I seek that now in me.
I have seen my own corpse. I have taken this journal from his, my? body. I lifted my blades, my rings, my shield… I have taken from the dead before, these very things, even. I am no stranger to theft or to looting, and yet I am disturbed greatly!
Perhaps what disturbs me most of all is that this was no different. I scarcely recognize that brutalized, brutal face, all its lumpen features and fire-slicked scarring, those glassy little eyes. How can I look into my own eyes and not see myself? Maybe this is the only way that it could ever be? After all, what makes up a person? The body? I would say that it is not so. My body has changed, and though I have seen much that almost none alive could boast of beholding, and learned, gained from it, what was ‘me’ has migrated. The dead man in whose book I write was Oloz, and I am Oloz, but the shell we left behind is just that.
Even now, I look up at my previous words, my parlance. How could I be the same as him who wrote before, and so unlike at once? I will write no more for now – I cannot stay still, I cannot concentrate – Thurayn seems to buzz and bumble around me most odiously, and her smells and her sights are ugly as I cannot recall. I will tell more when I am quit of her, when there is more to tell. When I am on the road, when I reach Silversong, when we run aground in the farthest north of the world…
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