It reminds me a lot of "The Colour Out of Space" by Lovecraft. But I think part of what makes it good is that it's not the same thing. Kudos to you. But of course, though the infestation has been exterminated, the underlying cause might not have been dealt with. There are still jars of the substance from the rock, and the land and water might still be poisoned. Also, is this affliction passed in the bites of those suffering from it? Go to Comment
A good post if I may say so myself. At first I thought you had done like Robert Johnson and sold your soul, for it was that great, but it ended so quickly. The intro was awesome with the red leaves and the falling star... You had me mesmerized. Unfortunately the story ended sooner than I would have wished, otherwise the score would probably have touched the ceiling.
Have you sent anything to the publishing houses yet? Shoooo, shooo! Get going already! Go to Comment
Beautiful. Superbly done.
As you mention, not all encounters need to be of great repercussion to the characters, and things like this can make the magic of a world come alive, not the realm of dusty tomes and wizened old men. Go to Comment
So she "gained a valuable nugget of information from a potent Seasonal Spirit", eh? Hirr-Hirr.
Your writing flows rather well and is pleasant for the eyes. I won't whine about you + editors anymore, but sure hope you soon find the correct editor to propel you to your proper place of glory. Until that happens, we are lucky enough to read your stuff ;)
And there are several kinds of editors y'know ;)
*Ring, Ring* "Is this the editor of New York Times? It is? Oh, good. You see, I know this young, promising Texan..."
So you mean use philosophers as inventors or primitive engineers. Maybe they could become important using their brains to become cheiftans. As cheifs or advisors they could become primitive stratigists. This is Necromancer Go to Comment
Arts and Entertainment
Far from the civilized tastes of elves and men, orcs have little value for dance, or for theatre or for the visual arts such as painting, or sculpting. They do show a great deal of support for lorekeepers or storytellers who keep their myths and legends and for musicians. Few can imagine an orc bard, but they do exist playing drums, digeridoos, and brazen horns. Bards and sages are given a great deal of respect, and trust. They are among they few who are not expected to pick up a weapon and give battle. There are few orc bards who would pass a battle though. It was in the guise of a acolyte bard that I spent much of my time.
The support of these 'artists' comes from the traditions of the clan, and tribe. The chieftan, or khan of each tribe is expected to keep a number of sages and bards within the tribe. Other lesser chieftans, such as those of the subclans can show up the ruling chieftan by having more or better bards, and sages.
Entertainment among orcs is seldom a spectator event. Hunting dangerous prey and 'sport' are by far the most common forms of recreation. There is a surprisingly intricate game the orcs play that they claim is sacred and the sages whisper dates back to ancient Yrth, the ancestral home of the orcs. The game is played with a ellipsoid ball sewn from animal leather that is at first simply seemed to be fought over until a more intricate underlying of rules can be percieved. It is from this primitive game of 'foot ball' or Orcball that many orcs learn their skills of combat. Evasion, bull rushes, and concepts of offence and defence are paramount in the sport and winners gain prizes and respect of the others. No khan has ever set on a set without having lead a team to great victories.
The slaves, and children of the tribe who are not allowed near orcball, or hunting are given over to lesser pastimes. They play games with sticks, such as hoop throwing, and tossing 'jacks'and other skills of manual dexterity. It is haunting to see orc children playing at games such as cat's cradle and think myself so different from them. Older slaves find ways to find the games of their own culture, or play at an orcish version of stones.
Displays of horsemanship are common pastimes among the more wealthy orcs. They will work to breed the best animals, and show them in contests of grueling obstacle courses, long jumps and endurance racing.
Aside from being raised as a food animal, chickens, generally larger and more foul tempered than human breeds, are used in pit fighting. The chicken fights are a social gathering, and a place where wagers are made. Fortunes are seldom won or lost over a chickenfight, though loot is often exchanged over the outcome.
The barrel chested orchound has been bred to fight, and pull. Dog fighting, considered barbaric and sometimes illegal in human lands is a vital thing among the orcs. Horses, slaves, and other real pieces of value are wagered before prize hounds enter the pit. Losers are often saved by the orcish grasp of healing magics, and the winners are treated as lavishly as any great warrior would be.
As common as tales of human cannibalism, tales of slave combat also abounds. While it is true that the orcs on occassion will send their slaves against one another, it is seldom the event that the outside thinks it is. Slaves are considered exceptionally poor fighters, and sometimes are matched against a fighting cock. A slave duel is a matter of comedy for the orcs. Go to Comment