Category Archives: Ogre

War of Fay: Kaladim


This book tells the continued story written by a young Teir’Dal at the beginning of the War of Fay.
There are many stories from the War of Fay.
This one is collected from the journal of a young Teir’Dal soldier.

The Cantor and I run from the ship, our shoulder curled forward and heads down until we pass into the surrounding trees.
My eyes adjust to the darkness and I see the remaining members of my unit.
We started across the Ocean of Tears with twenty. There are seventeen of us now, crouched in the shadows.

“You should not have stopped for him; he was destined to die,” the Cantor whispers in my ear.
It is the first she has spoken to me since telling me her name aboard the ship.
“I did not stop for him, he grabbed my arm,” I whispered back. “You can wait here; once the ogres have slain the dwarves, they will escort you.”
“No,” she says, “I am coming with you.”

I raise a eyebrow at her, but there is no time for further discussion.
I know that we have not planned to bring her along with us. In our training, the Cantor always traveled with the ogre units, primarily to be safe but also because my unit’s mission is different from other missions.
The unit leader will put her into her place; it is not for me to tell her she cannot come along.

Surprisingly, the team leader does not care that the Cantor is accompanying us to our meeting place.
She glances at the Cantor and some secret signal passed between them, for they turn as one and fade into the treeline. I fade behind them.
The ground rises and falls beneath our feet as we march steadily onward.

The sun rises. The ogres have done an excellent job through the early light.
From the place in which we hide, I can still see toward the hates. Bodies are strewn about and already there are beasts gathering to feast.
Our arrival has definitely caught the dwarves unaware.
The Cantor sits beside me briefly but I avoid her gaze. Is it coincidence that someone named “Death” had spent time with my comrade, who died so soon after we came ashore?

As though sensing my thoughts, the Cantor leans towards me. She is not smiling.
“He was not meant to survive. Do you blame me for easing his final hour?”
I do not answer, so she continues, “They call me Death for I have the curse of knowing who will live and who will not. You will not die today.”
When I turn to look at her, she is gone.

The sun is high over head and the ogres have finished with the outer defenses of Kaladim.
The dwarves, so proud of their fortress, have retreated into its bowels.
When the skies darken again, my team and I are to move forward, then divide into smaller groups.
We shall not see each other again until we reach our final destination.

I see the Cantor now.
She sits beside the team leader and they whisper back and forth, occasionally smothering smiles behind their hands.
Are they speaking of me and my twisted gait? I shake myself, for such thoughts are foolishness in battle. I am not a child, whose only care is whether someone likes me.
I do not care how the Cantor spends her time. Her name is Death, She makes me uneasy.

As darkness falls, we hear the ogres working hard below us.
They are piling high vast quantities of trees before the hates of Kaladim and will soon set them ablaze. Our until will leave before they light the fire and will disappear into the night.
The team leader comes to me and whispers, “The Cantor will go with you.”

“She cannot,” I whispered back, angrily adding, “This is not part of the plan.”
The team leader’s eyes narrow, but her voice drips with menace: “This has always been part of the plan; we do not tell everything to those in service beneath us. The Cantor goes with you; you will do as she bids.”
The team disperses and I..nod curtly to the Cantor and we too slip off into the dark.

The Storm Shepherds – Gremius Hazzengrav


This book is one of the Storm Shepherd series titled “Gremius Hazzengrav”. It is the story of a man raised on the streets of Freeport, his rise to notoriety, and his quest for atonement.
Gremius Hazzengrav was born the son of simple bandage merchant in the city of Freeport. When he was only a boy of seven years, he witnessed an exchange between his father and a member of the Freeport Militia. He watched as the militiaman insisted that his father needed to pay more protection money. When his father insisted that he didn’t have any more money, the militiaman ran a sword through him and left his corpse for the ratonga to loot.

Not having any other family, Gremius nearly starved on the streets. He was taken in by a ratonga who taught him how to pick people’s pockets as they passed by. Gremius was forced to give his guardian all of the coin he earned in exchange for a place to sleep at night. Ten years would go by with Gremius forced to steal for food, while the ratonga did nothing and became rich. The day he turned seventeen, Gremius walked into the sleeping ratonga’s room and slid a dagger into his throat. The next morning, he enlisted in the Militia.

While he was training to be a member of the city’s law enforcement, he received constant praise for his dedication to the job. The most praise would come from his drill instructor, and took Gremius under his wing. On the final training day, the soldier with the best scores would be made into an officer and the one with worst would be lowered into a pit of hungry, rabid hyenas. As the ceremony began, Gremius was made into an officer and an unfortunate ogre was chosen to feed the hyenas.

As the drill commander put all of his weight into pushing the lever that held the victim suspended over the pit, something unexpected happened. Instead of pushing the lever, he stumbled over it and clumsily fell over into the pit, just barely catching the lip with one hand. For you see, someone had greased the lever. The commander screamed for Gremius to help him up before he fell in. Officer Gremius walked over to the pit, looked down and said, “You killed my father ten years ago” — and then crushed the commander’s fingers with his foot. Gremius didn’t leave until the commander finally stopped screaming.

Gremius would become notorious throughout Freeport for his merciless enforcement of the law. If a merchant tried to bluff his way out of protection payment, Gremius would kill them. If a soldier forgot to salute the image of the Overlord whenever they passed one, Gremius would kill them. If a citizen walked within the city without proper papers, he would kill them. This would continue until the day that he tortured and killed some worshippers of a long forgotten god, Karana.

For the next several weeks, he would wake up screaming from horrible nightmares. He would dream of a wizened old man who stood in the center of a massive rainstorm. The winds would begin to tear Gremius apart until he would plead for the man to stop the rains. When the rains stopped, Gremius could see a broken crystal sphere that floated above a pool of darkness that was slowly seeping into the ground. All around him, endless trees would turn black and the darkness would spread, moving towards the ocean. Eventually, the darkness would surround him and finally eat his soul.

Gremius finally realized that the dreams were a vision. Not only did the darkness represent what he had become, but within them were a clue on how he could atone for all of his past rimes. He began searching throughout the Nektulos Forest for answers, but found nothing to give him insight on how he could “clean” the taint on his soul. Then he remembered the pirate’s stories of countless islands out within the ocean. He knew what he had to do.

Gremius began constructing a sailing vessel from the trees in the Nektulos Forest. He spent the next year trying to build a boat to take him to the island that he saw in his vision. Having left Freeport, he was now an outlaw and would be killed on sight, or else he would have just stolen a boat from the harbor. During the construction, he had much time to contemplate what he could to change his life around, but could never come about to a clear answer.

When he finally completed the boat, he sailed off into the Neriuss Flow. His plan was to sail upon the turbulent ocean, stopping at island after island, until he finally found the one in his dream. He spent many months searching island after island. On one desert isle he found to be inhabited by nothing more than numerous cyclopses, he stopped to refresh his water supplies. As he carefully looked for water, wanting not to disturb the natives, he came across an interesting sight.

A cyclops was about to kill what appeared to be a High Elf, sharing the same physical traits as many of his countless victims. Believing this to be his chance to atone for his past sins, he came up behind the cyclops and slew it before it could kill the elf. Not feeling the expected sense of absolution, Gremius looked at the elf and prepared to kill him in anger. Seeing the helpless person in front of him caused Gremius to remember the heinous actions he performed upon the worshipers in Freeport. For the first time since the day he saw his father killed, Gremius felt a long-forgotten emotion. Pity.

The Stone Frum Pazt Vol. II


A war horde from the Ykesha Clan recovered the Gromzek Stone from the ruins of an Ogre Stronghold. Recognizing the hieroglyphs of the ancestor clans but not being able to decipher them, the stone was given the name “Stone of Frum Pazt” and presented to the Warlord Ykesha, ruler of their clan. Ykesha’s shamans recognized the blessings of the Gods of Fear and Hate upon the hieroglyphs, and calling upon them for divine assistance deciphered the meaning of the words scrawled in blood across the surface of the stone.
Ykesha believed he was, or desired to be The Wun, and his accomplishments coupled with the prophesies of the stone frum Pazt rallied even more trolls to the Ykesha Clan.

As Ykeshas’ might and renown grew, so did his paranoia until he hid himself depe within his fortress in the Innothule Swamp. The forces of the rival clans, all seeking possession of the stone frum Patz beset the Ykesha Clan. It was Clan Brokenskull that won possession of the stone, the Ykesha clan was destroyed, the survivors joining their one-time rivals for fleeing into the swamps, clanless and disgraced.

The clanless trolls endured in the Innothule swamp despite their disgrace, and a new Warlord by the name of Jurglash rose and united the remnants of the Ykeshan Clan. This new clan became known as the Grobb Clan, and its might would quickly grow to become the prominent troll clan on the Antonican mainland.

Eventually Warlord Redak, a powerful shadowknight of the Brokenskull Clan, rose to power and claiming the mantle of The Wun led the Brokenskulls to victory over several smaller clans residing on the mainland of Antonica. The Shaman had heard of a place of great evil called Befallen, and sent Redak alone to this place to recover powerful artifacts, and fulfill his destiny. Redak did as the shaman instructed and was never seen nor heard from again. The stone remained in the possession of the Brokenskull Clan, hidden and guarded in the tomb of the legendary Brokenskull Shaman, Nadox.

For decades the Grobb Clan prospered under the leadership of warlord Jurglash, their shaman dedicated themselves to the Gods of both Fear and Hate. The Shadowknights of Grobb built the Nightkeep in the Innothule swamp, on the edge of the clan’s village, and Da Bashers had become a force to be feared. Only the Brokenskulls remained as a threatening rival clan.

The Shaman of Grobb learned the whereabouts of the stone frum Pazt and an invasion horde was sent to recover it from the rival clan. The invasion was successful and the stone was brought to Grobb where it remains, awaiting the arrival of The Wun.

The Orcs of Norrath


“The Orcs of Norrath”
Second Edition

This book is a guide that is intended to help the reader identify orcs by analyzing various noticeable features about them.

Having grown up in Freeport, I have known about orcs ever since I was a small child. Though my parents would commonly threaten to feed me to the orcs when I was acting in an unruly manner, I wouldn’t actually see one until I was close to fifteen years old. Since then I have devoted much time to studying these beasts and have collected my findings within these pages.

One of the first things that a person will notice about the orc is their body shape. They stand slightly shorter than human-height, yet possess the hulking brutish qualities of an ogre. Having a slightly stooped posture, the orc’s monster-like qualities rarely cause someone to mistake them for a traveling human or half-elf.

The arms of these horrible beasts are one of the most striking features. Rarely will you find an orc who does not possess a frightening amout of muscles bulging throughout their arms. Their musculature extends from their fingertips all the way up to their shoulders. The upper body strength of an orc should never be underestimated.

Easily recognized, an orc’s face belies its monsterous nature. Mottled and pockmarked, their faces are pressed together causing them to look as if they have a perpetual scowl. The nose is not defined, rather appearing to be two small holes with flaps of skin around them.

One cannot look at the face of an orc and not notice the tusk-like fangs jutting from their mouth. These teeth cause the orcs to speak in an incoherent manner, making it difficult to understand whether they are crying for mercy, or crying out for reinforcements. Suprisingly, they do not use their teeth as weapons, which is fortunate indeed.

Coming in a varitey of different colors, the orc’s skin will range from a deep green to a burnt orange and even all the way to a deep black. Not much is known why there is such a broad range in the skin coloration, but it can be said that their aggressive nature isn’t affected by the color of their skin.

Orcs are not exclusively carnivores. They have been seen from time to time eating various plants if meat is not available. Though their food of choice is (usually) cooked meat, some groups of orcs have been reported to cultivate food from grains to livestock. Though they have the reputation for eating living people, I have come to the conclusion that this is just a story that must have started many years ago.

At first it may look as if the weapons used by the orcs are crude and rusted. This may be the case in the Commonlands, but not in Zek. Utilizing the same standard swords and axes used the world over, the metal they use in its construction is what makes them so effective. Being very similar to iron, the metal has a red tint that gets more vibrant for a short time after the weapon has been used to kill something.

The orcs has two modes of dress. Either they will be covered from head to toe in the strongest armor they can get their hands on, or they will be stripped down to nothing more than breeches. The latter is usually worn by those holding lesser positions, such as lumberjacks. There is no such thing as “casual” clothing amongst the orcs.

Of all the information I’ve collected about the orcs over the years, there is one thing that I have always found disturbing. No matter where I have gone, from the Commonlands all the way to Zek, I have never once spied a female orc. This causes me to believe that of all the countless orcs I’ve seen… I’ve only seen one half of their numbers.

Splitpaw Down Under, Part Two


The Splitpaw gnolls proved to be a more dangerous adversary than the Rallosians had suspected, although not exactly for the reasons one might suppose. In Part Two, Gippy tries to play both sides.
“So General Urduuk arranged a guide through Splitpaw, eh?” The Rallosian lieutenant considered this thoughtfully and for so long that Gippy thought the trick was up for sure. Then the lieutenant nodded and yelled, “The General provides for us! All hail Urduuk, the Arm of the Avatar!” The Rallosians took up the cry and Gippy joined them wondering whether he’d ever get his hearing back and what the General was doing with the arm of the…what was it?

The Rallosians outfitted Gippy in better armor. It was still a cast-off piece from a fallen foe, but at least this time there wasn’t a gaping hole to leave his chest exposed. Gippy was liking the ogres better and better already. They invited him to play a game of thrown bones, but Gippy declined. “I need to go back to Splitpaw; keep them off their guard,” he told the lieutenant. “You know how some gnolls are.” The lieutenant didn’t, but he wasn’t going to gainsay someone working for the General.

Gippy walked slowly away from the Rallosian camp until he was out of arrow range, then ran toward Splitpaw as though the entire Army were at his heels. “What have you gone and done now, Gippy?” he asked himself over and over again as he ran. He tried out various ways out of the mess as he scampered along but they all had the same unfortunate ending — Gippy with his throat slit, or Gippy burnt at the stake, or Gippy for dinner.

As soon as he reached the lair, Gippy headed for his room. He’d best pack up now before anyone knew he was there. Unfortunately, Muddy had known Gippy from the time Gippy was a pup and he knew all of Gippy’s tricks. When Gippy flung open the door, two gnoll guards were waiting for him and they marched him back through the winding halls to meet with Muddy.

“Well? What are them ogres up to, Gippy?” demanded Muddy rather sourly. “They’ve destroyed the aviak town,” Gippy said, adding, “They’re heading this way next. We’d best pack up and leave.” Muddy curled his lips back, baring his fangs. “Why are you in those clothes, Gippy? You’re wearing the enemy’s colors!” Gippy glanced down and shrugged, “I’m a scout, sir…it was the easiest way to slip in amongst the troops. Camouflage, you know.”

“All right, we pack up and leave. Gippy, I don’t know what you’re trying to pull off or what sort of scam you’ve got going now. You’re not telling us everything, or I’m a goblin,” Muddy snapped. “You can stay behind with the rear guard and make sure the ogres get a traditional gnoll welcome.” Gippy stretched his lips back into a smile. “Yes, sir!” he said with a crisp salute. What, he wondered, was a traditional gnoll welcome?

“Wait, what’s that?” Muddy asked suddenly, his ears twitching and his tongue tasting the air. Gippy heard something, too, a faint, rhythmic thrumming sound that rose out of the lair’s floor and into his paws. “I’m not sure,” Gippy said, “but it sure is catchy!” Muddy thwapped Gippy on the back of the head and snarled, “You idiot, them’s war drums! Those ogres are coming!”

The gnolls were not known for keeping their heads in the best of circumstances. With the ogres’ drums getting louder by the minute, the lair was thrown into complete chaos. Gippy managed to pick quite a few pockets as gnolls rushed hither and yon, trying to figure out the best way to save their skins. With the pockets of his new armor filled with silvers, Gippy headed out of the lair’s unguarded entrance and watched the Rallosian Army advance.

At this distance, all the ogre units looked the same. Gippy furrowed his brow, wondering how he would locate the lieutenant who’d bought into his story about being their guide. Perhaps returning to the lair had been a bad idea. Gippy decided not to run through different plans in his mind; they always ended unhappily and he wanted to face this crisis a little more optimistically.

To the Rallosians, all gnolls looked alike. It wasn’t until after the Army had ransacked the lair and slapped all the gnolls they found (including Flemm, who’d fallen asleep in the kitchens) in irons that they realized their guide was missing. They found Gippy’s body later, still wearing his Rallosian armor and as full of arrows as a pincushion, beside the entrance to the Lair.

Splitpaw Down Under, Part One


The Splitpaw gnolls proved to be a more dangerous adversary than the Rallosians had suspected, although not exactly for the reasons one might suppose. In Part One, we meet Gippy, a Splitpaw gnoll scout. Sort of.
It was Gippy’s turn to watch that day. Gippy had paid Flemm to take his shift. Flemm forgot. And so the Rallosian Army was within a day’s march before the gnolls of the Splitpaw Lair were aware of them. Over the years, the name of the den changed constantly depending on which gnoll clan was in the ascendancy; this season, the Splitpaws were in charge and they were not happy with Gippy.

“Look at them, there are rows after rows of them in armor and with weapons,” grumbled Muddy, the current Splitpaw chief. “No thanks to you, Gippy.” Gippy kicked Flemm, who said nothing. Muddy continued, “We can’t trust you father than we can throw you, but we can throw you to the ogres now. Gippy, your job is head on out there and find out where the ogres are going. They best be going elsewhere, if you know what’s good for you.”

Grumbling the entire way, Gippy went to the armory and selected some gear. Many gnolls owned their own armor, but Gippy never saved enough to buy some and he was too lazy to make his own. Fortunately, the gnolls hoarded what they found through the Plains of Karana and lent it generously to its soldiers. “Can I get one without a hole in the chest?” Gippy asked the armorer. “You’re just lucky I don’t give you one with a target on it,” the armorer grumbled. “Now git!”

Gippy felt the other gnolls did not appreciate his abilities. There was not a single copper that Gippy could not find a way to increase somehow and use to his benefit. Sure, he had nothing saved up, but he was generous. Why, half the gnolls on the scout team were on his payroll with tasks such as responding to his name during roll call or standing watch. Although, Gippy reflected, now he would need to find someone to replace the irresponsible Flemm who had let them all down.

The ogres were making no secret of their progress. Gippy watched in a fascinated horror as they circled the aviak town and razed it to the ground. He was so busy watching them and fretting that he did not see the Rallosian scout until the scout had him by one of his ears. “Ow! Ow! Let me go!” Gippy yelped in anguish. The Rallosian laughed, “No, you come with me and we’ll see what you know.”

“This doesn’t look good,” thought Gippy miserably as he and the Rallosian scout marched toward the Rallosian Army. For one thing, Gippy knew there weren’t enough coppers clinking in his pockets to pay off anyone, let alone an ogre. He turned over scenarios in his mind and each of them had the same unfortunate endings — Gippy on a stick, or Gippy roasting on an open fire, or Gippy for dinner. It was a sobering walk.

The scout pushed Gippy to the ground before the ogre lieutenant. “What’s this? Who brought their pet dog to war?” laughed the lieutenant with a snarl. The ogres laughed with him and Gippy tried to laugh as well, but it came out as a nervous, high-pitched whimper instead. “What were you doing looking at us, dog?” snapped the lieutenant, yanking Gippy closer. So close that the ogre’s most unpleasant breath wafted over Gippy in a suffocating cloud.

“Why, I’ve been waiting for you! You’re late! The boss said you’d be here two days ago,” Gippy said, throwing as much anger into his voice as possible. The ogre curled his fist and asked menacingly, “What do you mean, the boss? Do you speak of General Urduuk, dog?” “He’s the chief, ain’t he?” said Gippy saucily. “You’re lucky he’s not here or he’d flay you alive for the way you’re treating me. I’ll be sure he hears about this!”

The ogres glanced uneasily at one another. They knew that General Urduuk had made contacts and advances with various folk to speed the Army’s advance…but a gnoll? A gnoll wearing an ill-fitting old hauberk with an enormous hole in the chest? “You don’t seriously mean you don’t know about me?” Gippy said, seizing their moment of confusion. “I guess General Urduuk doesn’t trust you. Ah, me.” He heaved a dramatic sigh and gave the lieutenant a pitying glance.

“Of course he trusts me!” shouted the lieutenant so that all his men could hear. “We’ve been at war and I…I forgot for a moment. We were just having sport with you, fuzzy face.” The lieutenant gave another laugh, this one more cautious. “So why were you waiting for us?” Gippy brushed off his legs and straightened the old hauberk before responding with a haughty look, “I’m your guide.”

Servant of the Temple


This is a cautionary tale, although it is difficult to determine what is being discouraged. Does it refer to keeping one’s word? Or is it that the bearer of bad news must be prepared for anything?
In the long-ago, the Temple of Cazic-Thule stood mighty among all the temples to the lesser gods. For many long years, it was the focal point of worship of and sacrifice to the god of fear. Many were the servants of this Temple, for Cazic-Thule was worthy of worship and praise. All who belonged to the Alliz Ew provided for the Temple’s maintenance, including lesser beings and unwanted hatchlings to serve as either servants or sacrifices — sometimes both.

Now, in this time the Alliz Ew did also worship Alliz Onu, She Who Creates, but being endowed with high intelligence they also knew that Cazic-Thule and his ilk would not play second best to Her. So they worshipped Her and made offerings to Her, but they build the Temple so that Cazic-Thule would see their faith and leave them to worship as they saw fit.

Each servant in the Temple served a particular purpose and when that purpose was completed, so was their service. At that time, they would be sacrificed. Vashahkti, the youngest hatchling of his family, was not like the other servants. His job was to wash the vessel into which the sacrificial liquors were poured and while this purpose was completed each day, Vashahkti was filled with such reverence for his task that the priests of the Temple kept him.

In many ways, Vashahkti was fortunate for though the Alliz Ew were harsh masters, beyond the Temple doors were encamped the army of Rallos Zek. Vashahkti knew that the Rallosians were building their empire anew and that they were subjugating all the Alliz Ew they found in the Feerrott. He also knew that they were bound by ancient custom: the followers of Rallos Zek were not to defile the Temple of Cazic-Thule, nor could the followers of Cazic-Thule defile a temple to Rallos Zek.

Beyond the Temple’s walls, the ogres of the Rallosian Army celebrated each victory by feasting on the stores of food raided from those they had conquered. They roasted birds by the hundreds, ate unhatched Alliz Ew eggs and drank a vile and quickly brewed ale of substandard quality. As every day brought news of another victory, the ogres surrounding the Temple celebrated each day.

It happened that one day, when Vashahkti went outside the Temple one day on an errand, he found himself surrounded by Rallosians. They pushed him this way and that and made sport with him. Vashahkti said nothing. Tiring of their play, the ogres kicked Vashahkti and sent him on his way. As he walked off, he heard one of them say, “Did you see the gemstones glittering on that one’s vest? They say the whole Temple is filled with treasures like that.”

Vashahkti slipped into the woods to listen to the Rallosians. Another ogre gave a great belch and said, “Those weren’t no gemstones; they looked like rocks.” Still another ogre slapped the first one on his helmet and said, “If they was gemstones, why didn’t we pinch them when we had that lizard in our grasp?” The first ogre snarled, “You are all as stupid as they day you were born. I tell you, the whole Temple is filled with gemstones, and I’m going to get me some.”

Returning to the Temple, Vashahkti at once told the head priest all he had overheard. The head priest snapped, “They will not dare cross into the Temple, for that will be the last action they take.” The words had no sooner left his mouth when the Temple’s doors flew open and in rushed a band of ogres. Vashahkti knew all the secret ways of the Temple as he had lived there now for many years. In the confusion, he slipped down a black corridor and listened to the chaos and mayhem behind him, cursing the Rallosians as he ran.

Vashahkti made for an inner sanctum of the Temple. He was Alliz Ew; he was not running from battle. No, his purpose was a greater one: to sound the alarm through all Feerrott and alert the Sleeping Watcher whose presence the Alliz Ew felt, but never saw. He struck the iron gong so vigorously that it shattered, piercing him with its shards. Vashahkti knew no pain; he only knew he must raise the Watcher.

Behind Vashahkti, the Watcher stretched, unfurling after years of hidden slumber. It knew instantly that the Temple had been defiled and that it would need to act. “You have done well,” hissed the Watcher, standing now at its full height. Vashahkti turned and stared in awe, then prostrated himself to worship it. The Watcher, Avatar of Fear, yawned and stretched again before seizing Vashahkti and allowing him to be the first sacrifice toward the ultimate defeat of the Rallosian Army.

Sailing with Three Sheets to the Wind


Sailing with Three Sheets to the Wind:
The Tale of One Halfling’s Trials and Tribulations Through Norrath’s Transcendent Taverns

By: Tarquin “Tiggy” Neusbickle, III

…when all of the sudden Ol’ Marty Blanketstain comes barelling around the corner, huffing and puffing; demanding that I owe him another flagon of ale on account of the one he spilled on his brother, Woolert.

So that’s when everyone turned to me and asked exactly how the goblin got stuck inside the dumbwaiter. Of course, having no real experience working in the business end of a kitchen, I hadn’t a clue that what they were speaking of was in fact a mechanical food delivery device and not the dish-washing ogre who was clearing a table behind me….and so I told him, in my sternest of stern voices, “Sir, I don’t know what sort of name Constable is, but I can assure you, your jurisdiction here at this table is nill!”
That was about the time the guards showed up with the manacles.

Across his back he wore cloak made of shimmering scales, white as snow and tough as iron. Hide from a white dragon it must have been for I had never seen anything else like it. As he began to speak those strange words of magic I know so little about I saw his breath form in the air as if he were speaking out in the winter’s cold, yet we were inside Marthrop’s cozy inn. Suffice to say, the would-be coin thief took his hand away from the wizard’s coin purse immediately and was out the door in seconds flat. I never did get a chance to ask that wizard where he got his fancy cloak. I sure would have liked one myself!

Red Lake


In this book, we see the Rallosian Army’s advance through the eyes of Ilkalla, a Qeynosian Guard at an outpost on Lake Rathetear.
For as long as she could, Ilkalla watched Gerren’s progress up the steep cliffs bordering Lake Rathetear. Even when she could no longer pick him out among the shadows cast by the jagged rocks, she fancied she could see him making his way cautiously along. Finally, she crept into the hut she and Gerren had shared beside their outpost and slept. The Rallosian Army would launch its barges across the Lake and she would need her strength to meet them.
The sun was high overhead when Ilkalla awoke. Her dreams were troubled by the thrumming of the ogres’ victory drums which had started up again while she slept. “Why couldn’t they use a victory flute instead?” she grumbled, latching on to the least of the concerns this day would bring. She had been able to cross the Lake on a coracle twice in one night, but she had been pulling only herself. She was not sure how long the massive, heavy Rallosians barges would take to make the same crossing.
There were very few humans around Lake Rathetear. Ilkalla was the only one present at the strategy meeting, where the aviak and centaur leaders stood before parchment maps, marking off the approaches across the Lake and the defensive positions available. The wide arrows indicating the ways the Rallosian Army could attack were wide swathes of red ochre compared to the tiny ash grey lines for defense. To Ilkalla, the ochre marks looked like dried blood.
“The best course of action is to stop them before they cross,” said Khaza, an aviak general. “The aqua goblins will join with the ogres, not with us. We have fought them too long for them to suddenly consider us their allies,” responded Errod of the centaurs. “Perhaps we could put our defense in two zones, rather than hoping to defend across the entire shore,” said Ilkalla. She pointed to the most likely site where the Rallosian barges would land. “Aviaks in front over the water and the rest of us on the shore.”
“With some aviaks in the flanks to keep the Rallosians from spreading our front lines too thin,” agreed Khaza. “We might not survive for long against the entire Rallosian Army, but we can pick them off and lessen their numbers.” The aviak and centaur leaders sent word to their gathered forces. Ilkalla (a “non-flier” as the aviaks called them) would join a centaur unit held in a third tier reserve.
Mixed now with the steady beat of the victory drums was the sound of chanting. The Rallosians were crossing the Lake, chanting to keep their oarsmen in rhythm and their deep voices carried across the water, bouncing off the mountains. No doubt their ruckus was designed to inspire fear amongst the defenders waiting for their approach. Instead, it filled them with anger and purpose. They might die this day, but they were taking as many ogres with them as they could.
Ilkalla chafed at being assigned to the third tier, but she knew her strengths did not include hand-to-hand combat. She gathered beside her all her own arrows plus the quivers Gerren had left behind. She looked toward the Rathe Mountains again, wondering how he was faring and praying that Tunare — wherever she may be — would guide him. Ilkalla had never been one of the faithful, praying to the gods at every rainbow or stubbed toe, but somehow it seemed fitting to pray today.
The chanting grew louder along with sound of vigorous splashing from the ogre paddlers. They were not skilled watersmen, but they were strong. As the first barge approached, the aviaks went into motion, throwing themselves into the faces of the Rallosians. The ogres’ chanting was now disrupted by the fighting calls of the aviaks — shrill, piercing and challenging. The barges did not halt with this interference; they continued their slow progress forward.
Thanks to the aviaks’ efforts and the skills of the archers in the second tier, the first barge to hit the shore came in at an awkward angle. The spiked boards scraped heavily into the loose gravel shore with enough force that many of the ogres standing ready for battle were set off balance. The centaurs charged in to take advantage of the moment, but another barge gliding in set loose a volley of arrows that tore into the second tier. All too soon, the third tier moved forward.
At the far end of her line, Ilkalla took careful but quick aim at the ogres, trying to avoid the remaining aviaks and centaurs at the front of the line. From the corner of her eye she caught a movement, but was unable to stop the blow. Sinking to the rocky shore, Ilkalla’s mind drifted like the waters surrounding her. “I always thought that water was blue,” she murmured dazedly. As the final blow struck, a shriveled gnoll’s paw floated up beside her on the waves of the red lake.

Pirate Grammar Manual – Second Edition


Pirate Grammar Manual – Second Edition

By Captain Nalot

This here be me updated book about how ta talk like a pirate. Extended ya might be sayin’.

First ya use matey fer friend.
Ya say ahoy, not hello.
Landlubber is anyone not one o us.
If anyone insults ya call ’em a scurvy dog and that’s that.

That’s how ya talk like a pirate. Use the rest o these words a lot fer color n such.Chapter A

Adrift (windless)
Ahoy (hello)
Avast (might be like a vase)
Aye (yes)
Arrr! (indefinable)

Chapter B

Barnacle (bad stuff fer ships)
Belay (put off)
Bilge (lowest level of ship)
Blimey (exclamation)
Bonny (pretty)
Bosun (I dunno, some job Arni does)
Britches (pants)
Buccaneer (pirates like us)
Bunk (bed)Chapter C

Cap’n (me)
Chumbucket (dinner or insult)
Codswallop (the wallop o’ a cod)
Coffer (plunder holder)
Cove (protection from storms)
Crows Nest (Highest point of me ship)

Chapter D and E

There aint any

Chapter F

Festering (stickin’ ’round)

Chapter G

Gally (name fer women)
Gangplank (gets ya on me ship)
Gar! (arrr!)
Grog (some ogre I think)
Grub (friend o that ogre)

Chapter H

Harbor (stop me ship here)
Hearty (friend)
Hoist (lift)
Hornswaggle (cheatin’ and trickin’)
Hull (bulk o’ the ship)

Chapter I

There aint any

Chapter J

Jolly Roger (me old friend Roger)

Chapter K

Knave (insult)

Chapter L

Lad (young man)
Landlubber (anyone not one o us)
Lass (young maiden)
Lootin’ (finders keepers)

Chapter M

Maroon (color fer our flag)
Matey (friend)
Mizzenmast(mast of mizzen)
Mutiny (self promotion)

Chapter N

No Quarter (not getting’ a fourth)

Chapter O

There aint any

Chapter P

Pressgang (recruit)
Poopdeck (opposite of scurvy)
Port (landlubber’s drink)
Plunder (treasure for me lootin)

Chapter Q

There aint any

Chapter R

Ransack (nothin’ left to plunder)
Rudder (steers me ship)
Rum (you know what that is mateys)

Chapter S

Sails (the cloth things catchin’ the wind)
Scallywag (insult)
Scalded (like a dog)
Scrimshaw (made o bone)
Scurvy (stay away from)
Seadog (insult)
Shiver me timbers (har har)
Shove off (time to go)
Smartly (quickly)
Starboard (no idea)
Stern (Missus Nalot)
Swabbie (thats Tsilos’ job)

Chapter T

Thar (there)

Chapter U

Urchin (insult or dinner)

Chapter V

Vexin’ (sassy lass)Chapter W

Wench (rum slingin’ temptress)
Wooing (amorous advance or surprisin’ yell)

Chapter X

There aint any

Chapter Y

Yardarm (shipbuilder)

Chapter Z

Nothin’

Thar aint no more so stop readin’.