Yretek

Tinytusks ~ Story 7
Long Summer

Bits of these and those

Fear tells humans to be wary of summer, for that's when orcs go to war. And I will restrain myself from telling you to forsake all your cares, but that is not exactly how it goes. You see it all much depends on how the crops had went, and the loot that have been acquired. If it has been too few, then orcs will descend upon human cities, not to conquer, but to plunder. If it has been too good, then they will go not to plunder but to conquer. But the first half of 879 had been pretty bland for the goblins and there was neither desperation to go on a plundering spree, nor the resources for a prolongued campaign.

Tinytusk was content his mission and so was our King. Once he knew about the treachery of the late Lord of Gù, and his death at the hands of our most noble chieftain, he was entrusted with larger resources and responsibilites. And so, a barge came from Udachi bringing six addtional goblin warriors, keen to join the bane of orcs. The King, with them, sent more supplies and rations, weapons, a flock of chicken, and the permission to build a wall. To those unused to orc's law and ordinances that meant Tinytusk was the lord of the land, subject only to the King. And while that was pretty pointless as our area was almost empty, Tinytusks felt he had came to his life's dream. But then, we had to build one.

So not much plundering and little adventure, but there are a few things that did happen that could be presented as fun on a good day, or, at least, construed as interesting. These go now:

Waking up on a regular breakfast

Poke in the kidney, Zicky shouts, “Boy, waky up, get us hofio!” This I made adding sal, fat and sausage. Then I put my breaches on and ran for the chicken. The wind was warm, the sky overcast and the ground soft, mushy in spots. The hens jumped of their house to greet me, and I went straight for the corn. Quick, quick, goblins are fretful when hungry. Right after that I picked the eggs, walked as fast as I could to scramble the eggs, with whatever kind of meat we had; don't ask. As they ate, I went for Brisa. She always needed her food, a good brushing, looking for a sneaky tick and a lot of sweet words and warm hugs. Not to mention to clean her shed.

A patrol day

One day, as I was cleaning the shed, I heard a Broonkah! That's Goblin for “a hammer has just fallen on my toe” and it always meant trouble. It turned out that the goblin named Ahem had managed to cut his own leg while demonstrating his ability with the axe. It was a mess of blood when I arrived there, not terribly serious but it meant that he could not go on patrol. So our chieftain chose me. I had to go with Loglegs.

I dressed up, took all my gear, plus a spear and a vesmi that I was lent. The vesmi is… think on a simple square bag, then sew an of a single strap to each bottom corner. Then you fill it up and close by tying a knot with the strap. Believe it or not, but then you have a handy little pack on your back.

Our patrol had three parts: going, watching and coming. And it was in the going when it became interesting for we became lost. Loglegs had never been in command of anything so I believe Tinytusks only sent me with him to see what could be asked of his warrior. The answer was not to much. And I knew the area worse than he did. The good part is that he did not care a bit about us being lost, it was all a holiday for him, and he even got himself to sleep at midday, while I kept guard.

After his nap, we walked randomly again until by some miracle of goblin luck we reached Firstloot, right at dinner time. Had Loglegs got lost on purpose? He never told me, nor ever let me to say anything to the others. It had been a normal boring patrol and nothing had happened and that was the end of it all.

A tough day

Only after all that was done I could go and have my breakfast from whatever was left. This was not too much until I learned to save some bits for myself, which everyone approved. You see, goblins assume you'll have the wits to be a bit sneaky, as long as you don't take it too far.

On an ordinary day, once my morning chores were done, I got my own breakfast from whatever the goblins had left. And I often remained a bit hungry until I learnt to set aside a bit for my own needs. I wasn't ever caught doing this and I think this was due, in part, to the goblins teaching me to smart up.

After breakfast, an order for Tinytusks would tell me whether it was to be a tough or a soft day. On a tough day, the mule and me would going to the clay plot, load up two pretty large baskets and unload them near the wall as it was being built. Then repeat, and repeat and repeat and, you've got the hang of it.

The going could be easy…

On a soft day, I'd help gathering fruit and mushrooms. The Orc Hills used to be ruled by humans, and so there are many wild fruit trees and even vegetables. On summer, they are wealthy with ugly little apples, pears and even heroic olives who somehow manage to survive our wet weather. Some days all we did was to eat straight from the tree and fool in a pond, specially if it happened to be shiny.

And then there were the loot days. These were the best because Tinytusks would form a retinue of his best troops, and leave for three or four days. I remained with the laziest of the lot, so it would be fishing, swimming basking under the sun, rubbing my skin so the green stuff would go away, that sort of thing, mostly.

South of the Orc Hills
and the human lands bordering them up to Bargos
South of the Orc Hills and the human lands bordering them up to Bargos and Bocanueva

As summer approached fall our chieftain grew sullen. You see, since he had finished off the Lord of Gù, luck has been dodging him. No further loot had been “acquired” and the new good-fo-nothings were growing restless and telling of finding a new chieftain. So he set up a last expedition for the summer, one in which I would be invited.

I hated it but said “yes, chieftain”. I joined the party very sad and ridden with guilt. And that guild sprung up a war of thoughts “Traitor, you traitor” —that was the sting on my brain as we left Firstloot. I was not a goblin, I would not ever become one, and I'd have to escape somehow, someday. But not then, I felt the green of my skin my toughest fetter. Who would believe I was human? At best, I'd be an outcast to my own kin. No, I had to abandon my own dreams and accept what I had ended up to be a goblin.

Two days had passed since we had left Firstloot. By then I wanted, most of all, to die and fade away from the word. It was about this time when, near Recuervos, we discovered a target: a grown man, a girl and a mule, bringing wares. I knew them! These were Cana, my friend, Rahano, her dad and Saltarino, the mule. This wasn't fair! We were way out of the Orc Hills, they just were traders. Surely Tinytusks had to understand.

I knelt before my goblin chieftain, tears falling off my face, begging that we'd leave them alone, praying for a miracle, that I knew it couldn't happen.

But then, this chieftain was called Tinytusks.

“Alrighty, we'll leave them alone.” I could not quite believe my ears. “But there's a little catch,” Uh-oh, “We need better loot, and you will choose it.”

Believe it or not, I was smiling. Yes! I knew exactly whom we could extract our loot from: Saccos & Denas. That was a corporation with a shaddy trade: hire “apprentices” from starving families, taking their mortages and getting their homes. THEY KILLED MY MOTHER THE bstrds!!!

As a muleteer I knew that at the end of each season, they took the money they had extracted from poor, desperete, honest, inocent people and brought it to their posh palace in Bargos. Now, Recuervos never produced them much money, but that was besides the point, which was something in the lines: I WANT YOUR GUTS!!!. Besides, that means only two guards would be required for the escort, which suited us.

So I told all that to my glorious chieftain, Tinytusks, in exquisite detail. When they will get out of the citadel and where they would rest for the night. This is a small ruined hovel some 100 etros from the road, which they thought to be their little secret.

Tinytusks' plan was masterful. I would bait them by laying on the road begging for help and… no, he changed the plan to that Thicky would pretend to be a halfling girl in trouble but… he skipped that in the last minute and just let them rest in the hovel, then burn it at night with them inside.

Oh, they survived, running away for a little while: twelve to twenty steps to be approximate, and then they had to surrender. It's hard to fight the glorious Tintytusks' Warband, when it's twelve to one and you are on your undies. We all yelled in exultation to the point of kissing and dancing, the bstrds were not so glad, all begging for their puny lives, while we tied them up tight. And then we sneaked into the night, undetected, happily returning, with prisoners and loot, to Firstloot, which we entered singing.

We are the kings of loot,
the fwording masters of brutes
and la, la, la, and la, la, la…