Tag Archives: my family

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.

read-along part 4

Before I continue with my views on the book let me confide something.
Reading about all of Mrs. Bennet’s daughters put me in a strange kind of mood. I miss them, my own daughters I mean. Not that I wish to be with them (my nerves are just as strained as poor Mrs. Bennet’s), but still. It’s not an easy task to find a proper husband for any of them. To be honest, I had left it mostly to themselves to find one. Well, I more or less pushed two of them into the tents of my friends (the tribe’s cleric and Noden). It goes like this: if they don’t get out immediately that counts as marriage. At least where I come from. This whole courtship-thingy sounds very tiresome. And it’s getting poor Mrs. Bennet nowhere. The husband is basically useless. I wonder if my wives regard me as such a lazy bugger. Should I have taken more responsibility to get rid of the girls? To be honest I don’t want to get rid of Shonka. She’ll make a great warrior one day, pretty much already is a frightful sight to behold. And she doesn’t fancy male orcs anyway. Oh, hang on! Maybe that’s at the root of Mr. Darcy’s problems with women. He might fancy his friend more than the ladies. Would explain a lot. Let’s see how the story unfolds:

Chapter 8
Most of the time I don’t even get it what all these women are up to. They pretend to care about each other but obviously they don’t. They fake liking each other, yet they seem to be bordering on a good fight (preferably with some mud and.., well). And all the while the men are totally oblivious to the whole business. Also what struck me is the fact that they have nothing to do. The women have far too much time for themselves. Are there no hides to be tanned? No prisoners to be taunted? Oh, wait a minute, maybe Ms. Bingley regards Jane as her prisoner? What a wicked way to handle it! I’m beginning to like her a bit.

Chapter 9
Hehe, your house shall never be free of Bennets, Mr. Darcy. Now the mother comes visiting with two more daughters. She’s really into this marrying off thing. Take that, Prick Darcy. Mrs. Bennet is not afraid to give you her true opinions. And Prick Darcy now talking poetry says it all, really.

Chapter 10
Jup, that is proof enough. Darcy is totally ignorant about the women’s advances. He fancies his friend Mr. Bingley which is a hopeless case as Bingely is smitten with Jane. Serves him right. Apparently Bingley’s sister is unaware of it (as is Bingley himself) and continues her advances on Darcy. Should we pity him? Pity her? Neither, I say.

Right, that was the 10th chapter. About as many kids I have (I think) and I cannot count much further. As I can see I have not even read a quarter of the book. My dearest wish right now: that there will be some action very soon. My human laughs hysterically again, so by experience I shouldn’t get my hopes up too high. One tiny little monster or a quick skirmish would get me a long way right now. Please, Ms. Austen. One fight. Just one.

Read-along part 1

Chapter One
Obviously. I flipped through the pages and realized to my utter horror that there are more chapters than I can count. And it was such a thin book…
Anyway, chapter one.
I am very much with Mrs. Bennet here. Blessed (or rather cursed) with approximately five daughters myself I can absolutely relate to her problem. That she needs to urge her husband to get rid of the girls makes me wonder about his common sense.
Other than that I am already confused with all the different names. I can hardly remember all the names of my own offspring (often enough I don’t). But I find it highly disturbing that the young man who’s going to live in the neighbourhood is totally oblivious to the dangers awaiting him. On the other hand, had he been warned, Mrs. Bennet wouldn’t stand the slightest chance to burden him with one of her girls.
The strangest thing is this: although it is only written words I feel like I know exactly what Mrs. Bennet’s voice would sound like. And this makes me feel for her husband a bit as well (NOT in a sissy way, shut up!). If her voice hurts only half as much as my wives’ voices hurt in my ears, I can understand why he tries to avoid any form of conversation with her. Quietude is a blessing lost to all of us fathers.
So, if you’ve read this chapter of Pride & Prejudice tell me what you think. I hope you are spared the disturbing images in your mind of orcs in regency dresses. I shall never recover from that.

In the Abyss part 1

Like I promised (or threatened), this is a short description of my comrades:

Noden the Sorcerer
He is tiny for an orc. But he is also my son-in-law, so you better not say anything about his height. By the way, the phrase “son-in-law” just proves that the human language is entirely inadequate to explain orc matters.
Noden is quite clever and has a slightly unhealthy (i.e. unorcish) sense of fashion. I mean, he wears a shiny golden belt, braids his hair and wears a tattoo of his wife’s name on his back (which is my daughter, just in case you forgot as I do occasionally).
He also has the unfortunate tendency to throw his fireballs towards his comrades, but that is a story for another day. And don’t, I mean DON’T assume “fireballs” is a euphemism. It isn’t. Like I said, he’s tiny.

Slaag the Warrior
He is exactly what an orc should be like: tall, broad and simple minded. Colateral damage is his middle name. (Now that I come to think of it, that might be said about Noden too)
He loves magic items and luckily can wear them all at once thanks to his strength and stupidity. Which makes him a great comrade in arms. Just hint at something to fight or loot and off he runs to be the first to get it. It needs the wisdom of my age to know that sometimes it is better to wait and see. You’ll get an example of that in one of my next posts, I promise.

Also a warrior and my best friend. The stupidest of us all, and proudly so. His only wife, Gremmi, is far superiour to his cranial capacities (and to mine, btw). He has a huge ego, a huge weapon and a huge appetite when it comes to his wife. Sometimes I wished I had put up my tent further away from theirs…

A dark elf with a strong streak of sadism. He has a lot of minions and a very impressive spiked armor. His minions call him Iggyboss, I do that myself sometimes, just so you know and won’t get confused.

Another dark elf. This one loves drinking and has a great sense of humor. In the beginning he acted a sort of liaison officer between our small bunch and the troops of the dragon son but that is an epic story for later. (1)

The Brewer
Orc and drunkard. He was with us in our early days but lately has taken to drinking far too much. He is comatose most of the time because he drinks all the stuff he is brewing himself.

A kobold and our reliable medipack. He is a very good healer and fits into a backpack. His patience and endurance are legend.

And just in case you wanted to know and because I am in a good mood, I tell you about my family:
I have four wives, amongst which is one human. And I think I probably have about ten kids. The eldest son, Zordac, is a good orc and about to get the chief’s daughter as a wife. But to be honest my pride and joy is Schonka. For years I believed Schonka to be a male orc, only recently I found out she is a female. She will make a great warrior and husband one day. Yes, you heard me right. She is not interested in male orcs whatsoever. Neither am I, so how could I possibly argue with that.

That’s it for now. Next time I’m gonna tell you about that one time when we (me and the bunch mentioned above, except the family) had been on a mission of life and death. We usually are, it only differs who’s dead in the end. So, there. See ya. Hehe.
(Still can’t get my head around that foonote thingy, though)

(1) footnote
Why the hell is this called a footnote? Humans and their ridiculous naming of things. I keep both of my feet firmly attached to my impressive body, just in case you were wondering. But my human said, this is called a footnote, so there you go:
The epic story of the dragon son. I was in it, so were my comrades. But as I mentioned before I have a bit of a problem with paying attention. So if you are interested in all the details you have to go elsewhere. In fact you have to go to the little blue bird of @MekareDaray and press her into TELLING THE BLOODY STORY at last. I might be inclined to tell you some of it though, as I remember it. Which might not be exactly how it actually happened.