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Sunday, December 13

Part 1 – The Orc Rabble-Rouser

A crowd of over one hundred orcs had gathered in the Field of Honor in the Eastern District. Sebastian decided it was the safest place for him to stay. Thanks to Finn’s protection, few dared hassle the dark-kin. That, and his bat-like wings, stinger-tipped tail, and dusky features provided ample warning that he should be left alone.

An article in the Shipping News didn’t help matters. Whatever Letah had told her father, C.Q. Calame, was taken as fact. Or at least, printed as a possibility. And thus Sebastian knew all about Beldin’s request for armor because C.Q. speculated that the Solani dwarves were siding with the Rebels. Or that Vlad was a ravisher of women, to be avoided at all costs. Or that Kham was a drug dealing ghoul, returned from the dead after an aborted rescue attempt from the Hulks. It apparently never entered C.Q.’s mind that maybe Kham had simply survived and that the Sea Lord found it more convenient to list him as dead rather than acknowledge a potentially embarrassing situation.

As for Sebastian, they labeled him a devil-worshipping serial killer. Sebastian hadn’t killed anyone recently, and he certainly didn’t worship devils. But he didn’t mind the way the Freeporters treated him. And so, like a gargoyle rousing itself, he perched on one of the buildings overlooking the Field of Honor.

A crowd of over one hundred orcs had gathered there, making passage difficult. They clustered around Drak Scarbelly, dressed in his usual blue captain’s coat. Even from a distance he was unmistakable: eye patch, tricorner hat, wooden leg, and a bright red bird that sat on his shoulder. He stood on a crate, screaming to the throng at the top of his lungs.

“Now be the time, me brothers! We’ve been oppressed fer too long! Th’ Captain’s Council revoked th’ Law of Succession just to prevent an orc from sittin’ on th’ throne! We must rise up before it’s too late.”

The crowd applauded his words and shouted encouragement.

“We aren’t going to war! We can stop it! We march to th’ Fortress of Justice and make ‘em hear us!”

As he stepped down from the crate to lead his followers on their march, a large contingent of Sea Lord’s Guardsmen armed with smash sticks entered the plaza from one end. A group of elorii wearing dark green tunics with a golden harp emblazoned on them and wielding clubs entered from the other. Together, the two groups outnumbered the orcs almost two to one.

An uneasy silence settled over the plaza, as if no one knew what to do next. more


posted by Michael Tresca at 7:42 AM

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