The Orcish Heptathlon

If I remember correctly I have already told you that I am about to write a book about the origins of orcs. Here is a short excerpt that deals with orc sports in particular.

Whenever two tribes meet this does not necessarily end in hostility. Fellow tribes usually celebrate their meeting with some competitive fighting, called the Glorious Games. Competitions might vary in form but the following is an often observed version:

1. Carry the family

This is to be taken literally. The whole family has to be carried over a set distance. Whether all members cling to the strongest at once or the fastest member carries each one separately is up to the families participating. Important is that only one member is allowed to do the carrying, no part of any other body must touch the ground. Childless monogamists are disqualified by rule and tribal honour. The number of family members is not as important as the overall weight of the whole bunch, so three really fat children count as much as six skinny ones, for example.

If I may be allowed a personal note here: The last time I entered into this special competition, I carried two of my wives on my back, the youngest child clung to my leg, and another tried to balance on my head. Unfortunately it covered my eyes with its arms and I stumbled into a river instead of reaching the finishing line, being not only disqualified but also very humiliated.

2. Toss the dwarf

This is a rarer category because it requires a certain amount of dwarves. As they usually do not volunteer for such usage of their bodies, a preliminary battle is necessary. Consequently, in areas with dwarf-shortage this competition is usually abstained from or alternated by using gnomes. You toss them as far as you can, it’s as simple as that.

3. Last orc standing

This is a competition that takes place almost every night around every camp fire, but as a part of the Glorious Games it becomes high-performance sport. Drinking till one drops normally is the final competition of the Games as all participants need some time to recover from it. It can last over a period of several days and has occasionally ended with complete extinction, because the whole tribe was incapable of dealing with any sort of enemy while utterly drunk.

4. Clubbing

This is not a fight one-on-one, but anyone with a proper club can participate. A proper club is defined by length and thickness, it must be half as long as the participant and as thick as his or her arm. Once you dropped the club, you’re out. Hitting anything else than other orc’s clubs results in immediate disqualification.

5. Hold the bridge

There are two versions of this competition:
a) one orc challenges a certain number of others and stands on a bridge (a suspension bridge is regarded more challenging and therefore more fun), the others try to get across. No weapons are allowed other than those natural to an orc, like tusks, claws, breath.
b) more interesting but rarely done these days is the version of literally holding the bridge. A wooden bridge is taken off the river, the orc that has been challenged holds it up between two quickly raised ramps, and the whole tribe has to run across it. ‘Crushed or Crowned’ is the motto of this one.

6. Three orcs in a boat

A river or lake is required, as well as a boat, floss or any similar means of transport. No weapons or any form of paddles are allowed. Three orcs get into the boat, only one is to step onto the bank on other side. This can be very tricky in regards to strong currents in the water and most orcs’ disability to swim. It is up to the three orcs in the boat whether they try to get rid of each other as soon as the boat left the shore but then might find it difficult to get across the water alone. Or they cooperate for most part of the distance to get the boat across and only moments before the opposite banks are reached the fighting begins. This is the most cunning of all contests in the Glorious Games.

7. Catch the meal

For many generations this was normally the second to last contest before the great drinking competition. It meant that every contestant would go on a monster hunt and afterwords eat it. The bigger the monster the better but not a single bone was to be left undigested. So the hunter had not only to consider the danger of the monster in order to get it but also whether he could eventually stomach it, literally. Many a strong warrior had been beaten by much smaller womenfolk with an enormous talent for feasting. In some areas this contest has been abolished due to the disagreement about what defines as a monster.
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Again? Really?

I have this bloody stupid flu again. I mean, how is that even possible? My whole life I’ve never had such a stupid illness, and since I came here it is the second or third time? This is humanity trying to gain the upper hand. But I shall not be overcome by mucus or cióughing fits. I’ll stay firm in the face of things that come…, well, out of my face.
But right now, I think I may have a bit of a lie down. I’m rather hot. And for once even I know that it is not very appealing to she-human or anyone else.

The Agency

I have been informed that in this world humans who are without employment have to visit The Agency. The whole idea of not employing yourself by simply doing whatever it is you usually do is very unorcish indeed.
Humans have to go there in order to find employment. They have different names for it, employment agency, job center, dole office. It all comes down to The Agency making sure that said humans get a job. Or so they say. They boast to promote reinstatement, further human’s career, and – even more important – they handle the unemployment benefits. If I got that right it means, humans without a job get money for doing nothing. Makes me wonder why anyone would ever think about taking a job at all. She-human explained that The Agency has come to that exact conclusion as well and so they make the humans take any job or else: no money. Problem in this world: no money – no fun.

So, there we are. Unemployed orc.
I seriously considered going to The Agency and file for my jobseeker’s allowance. Serious matters kept me from doing so.
1. Office hours – nothing I can accept
2. very tight orcpower market – they might not be able to offer me any job suitable for an orc. But I do not want to end up cleaning human lavatories. Dignity, you know.
3. my current work-life-balance is somewhat unhinged, I do not feel like working on a regular basis. I am an orc for any god’s sake!
4. she-human strongly supported me going there, which made me very suspicious. Even more so when I saw the gleam of mischief in her eyes. I am all for having fun, especially when it includes making humans suffer but in this case I might be the one who pays the price. From what I heard, The Agency never forgets. Once in its claws, you’re doomed forever.

Imagine the following situation:
“Hello, what can I do for you?”
“I am looking for a job.”
“Good. What are your qualifications?”
“Killing, pillaging, burning, slaughter.”
“Anything else?”
“Producing chaos and mayhem on a regular basis?”
“Good. Actually we might have exactly the job that would suit you perfectly.”
“You have?”
“Indeed, these qualifications are much in demand worldwide. What about your religious beliefs?”
“I believe that orcs are superiour. That explains practically anything that goes with it. Does not matter which god to pray to.”
“Even better. So you would not mind murdering on behalf of any god?”
“Nope.”
“Perfect. Would you mind telling me if you have a life insurance?”
“Why?”
“Just to know whether your loved ones are being cared for, when you leave them behind.”
“Behind what?”
“Well, these jobs usually come with a shortened lifespan.”
“How shortened?”
“Suicide bombing is normally quite lethal, I’m afraid.”
“You want me to commit suicide in the name of an invisible friend some humans pray to?”
“Well, I wouldn’t call them ‘friend’ really. It’s an excuse for being inhumanely violent and call it god’s will. Much in demand these days.”
“Hm, inhuman I am. But the whole business doesn’t sound very appealing to me. You know what, I do not want that job.”
“Then we’ll cut your allowance.”
“I could employ myself.”
“As what?”
“Orc on demand.”
“I do not think the market does offer regular labour in that field.”
“Shouldn’t you encourage my attempts to be reinstated?”
“My job is to get rid of as many of you as quickly as possible.”
“You see! So is mine!”
Well, the dialgue would end there, naturally. On the other hand, would I then have to take the job of the agent?
You see, that’s why I stay away from The Agency.

Sentimental Orc

She-human is reading a book about orcs in space. Looks fantastic, I’d like to do that myself. On the other hand, it probably means, I need to get inside more tin cans. Not a very pleasant thought.
Anyway, some of the pictures in the book show orcs in their battle outfit and it reminds so much of my fellow comrades that I’m getting really sentimental right now. The heads of his slain enemies that Slaag would wear on a pole over his own head as trophies, that’s a real looker. I miss him and his stubborn ignorance. I even miss my son in  law and his unpredictable usage of fireballs. Frankly, I would give a lot to be hit by one of them for once. I would cheerfully bear the noises Groisch makes when he jumps his wife. I would even go so far as to say I’d like to see and hear my family. Yes, I admit it. I miss the whole bunch. And now I will give in to that sentimental notion and have some drink. Copious quantities of alcohol are always an answer and solution to an orc’s sentiment. Cheers,

Unexpected problems

I’ve been very busy these days, writing (dictating) my book about the origin of orcs. My chosen name for this -Thracitus – still has a nice ring to it, although orc-purists may say it sounds a bit too scholarly – and therefore unorcish – , which is absolutely right. But writing a book is in itself a traitorous act in some way. My comrades should probably never know about it. But what are the chances right now, ey? And what do I care? I do whatever I want. Dare to contradict me.

So, I’ve been busy. And I thought, well, that’s it. Book’s finished. She-human almost toppled over with laughter. She does that a lot. I should be rather angry with her for not taking me serious. But then I think she’s pretty insane, I mean how else could she actually believe to survive having me as a flatmate…
Anyway, after she finished laughing she explained that a book definitely should contain of more than just six pages! I mean, what? Six pages! That’s quite a lot, dont’t you think. One wonders what I had to say about orcs that took so many words, right? We’re not exactly famous for being profound or complicated. Most of us hardly know enough words to fill six pages. So then I took a look around, to see how many pages the other books on her shelves have. Right. I do not have enough fingers and toes to understand the numbers.
The question remains, what do I do? Accept the fact that I have not yet written a book? Continue to add stuff? Forget about the whole thing entirely? My attention span is pretty much under pressure already with the whole thing, so…
Well, I guess I wait and see how the muse kicks me. If I ever happen to find that creature. She-human says its a mythical thing. I wonder what it will feel like to be kicked by a myth. Will it hurt? Do I care? Questions, nothing but quesions…