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    • Othrim
      Othrim
      Wow 1 year already !!
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    July 2018
  • The Death of Severina Oakplume.

    Severina Oakplume never envisioned her life turning out this way; ended, yet not over.

    As a fae of the twilight court, she had pondered the finality of death on many occasions throughout her brief life. Yet, when it came for her unannounced, she found herself rejected; reanimated cold & alone with shrivelled, tattered wings & only a hazy recollection of the moments leading to her demise.

    Her original plan, whilst alive, had been to learn the intricate ways of shadow magic that called so strongly to her blood. Unsurprisingly, it was this yearning for knowledge that would inevitably set her on her fatal path. For, though she hungered for magical knowledge, Severina realised this would not be attainable if she stayed at home as, unlike most of her kind, she had been raised outside of fae society – by humans.

    The exact details of how and why she ended up at the farmstead still elude her to this day. It may be that her adoptive parents never told her. But, ever since the fog of death erased parts of her memory, she has made peace with the fact that there is little chance she will ever recall the truth of her childhood.

    Still, she remembers the gentle warmth of their kindness & love, if not their faces or names.

    After setting out from home & travelling the local countryside for several months, Severina caught word of an undead mage said to be in need of an assistant operating somewhere in the vicinity of Hamelstead. Upon further investigation, she was eventually able to glean his name & a general location from a travelling merchant who had traded with him a number of times.

    As her cursed luck would have it, she ended up encountering the mage whilst he was out on one of his rare wanders in the forest. After a faltering introduction & rambled explanation as to why she believed she would make a good assistant/apprentice, he invited her back to his dwelling without protestation, seemingly grateful that he would not have to venture further into civilisation to find a helper.

    The details from that point on become hazy in her memory. She recalls that she assisted the mage for several days or weeks – possibly even months – all the while picking up little bits of information & snippets of incantations that she has, regrettably, mostly forgotten.

    On the evening of her demise, she remembers waking from a brief slumber to the sound of strange words echoing from the lower reaches of the basement, below the main study.

    She remembers descending the stone steps quietly so as not to disturb her teacher. Her intent merely to observe & learn as usual.
    She remembers creeping across the cold floor towards the protruding wall of the foundation so that she could sit in the little nook hollowed there.
    She remembers the book – a discoloured, mildewed tome – floating in front of the mage as he continued to read aloud in a tongue she did not recognise.

    She remembers the sound of the chair she never saw, crashing to the ground.

    She remembers she was alive.
    Now, she is not.

    Her next memories are of being cold & alone. The only sound that of the stream lapping at her feet as it wended its way towards the flickering lights of the small village on the darkened, unfamiliar horizon. Her dead wings hung limply against her back, pitifully bereft of their former lustre, covered in dirt like her clothes.

    Her heart was silent, her skin was cold, and those memories that were not silent remained achingly elusive.

    Little has changed since that day and yet, despite all of this, her desire for knowledge – the root of her fatal misfortune – still grows, unabated.

    Severina Oakplume is dead, but she still has much to learn.
    July 2018
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    June 2018
  • THE FIRE OF GRUUMASH
    Descendants of the South


     

    Beyond the Eastern borderlands of the Grundebaagh Steppe, there are very few hospitable settlements scattered about the heated rocky terrain. Further South, sits an impressive range of mountains known as the Manlua’gha rich and abundant in iron ore. Occupying this heated territory are various native Orcs, known to the East as Gruumlishkin – ‘The Children of Gruumash’ to the common tongue.

    The Orcs of this region devote their entire life to Gruumash, the one they believe to be the first of their kind. Some believe his creation to be like that of a sword forged in the heart of a fire. That he was the living embodiment of iron and flame. As he spread his seed throughout the new world his son’s and daughter’s possessed the same raging fire in their blood, that his kin had the will and the physical hardness of the iron he was moulded from and this would carry throughout the ages.

    “And so the Zajarr did sweep across the arid landeth that gent claim'd f'r himself, consuming all yond did lie within his did hang'r'd maw. That gent consum'd the dryeth trees and the blades of the vegetation with'ring within the eye of the travelling lamp. That gent hath reached his f'rm tall, kissing the air; the birds and beasts hath fallen folly to his blaze. Then too, didst that gent confronteth the hard heart'd Manlua’gha with sc'rn.

    His temp'r did roar f'r three days and three nights, but beneath the rage of the mast'rless fireth, the rocks bubbl'd and did melt tarlike pits. A sulphurous stench, t consum'd the air in a black smoketh and the combustion blaz'd his lasteth tirade. The clouds hath grown heavy and gath'r'd. Ukkausan did awake in h'rr'r and weep'd drops of sorrow of the rid yond did befall belov'd Earavhh below.
    On seeing the once cleareth visage of Ukkausan mourneth, Zajarr quell'd his flames sinking in s'rrow of his deed; in his breaketh f'r freedom that gent hadst needlessly did destroy what wast once living and quite quaint, all his broth'rs and sist'rs hadst grown did turn to ash and molten on his untam'd path.

    As the smould'ring Earavhh did cool, Zajarr scoop'd the molten and earth. “O sist'r, in mine own blindness of freedom and rage, I tooketh a thing yond wasn’t mineth.
    He  f'rm'd a man-like creature, with his subsiding breath that gent putteth fireth in its heart, and disp'rs'd as though that gent hadst nev'r been. Ukkausan witness'd through h'r grizzled drops of sorrow, yond that gent hadst hath tried to replaceth a thing stolen. Fireth is not enow high-lone, so the lady bath'd that gent in the raineth and did breathe the four winds, so life t wouldst gain.

    But the winds alone were not enough to raise the iron made creature. Ukkausan at a loss, donned the robes of darkness and her facade turned to Nighav. The world dreamed, some with her own troubled brow, and others blissfully unaware; they chased their own slumbered destiny.
    Many days had passed, and though Earavhh was not bountiful and lush at this time; nature did return life to the mineral rich soils. When Ukkausan awoke, she beamed a radiant sunlit joy. They were reunited again, and live had not only kissed the dead lips of her beloved, but too the crudely build man of iron. They named their new son Gruumash, and bequeath him the lands which forg’d him.” – Myths of the Bloodkin, Aurelias Daegan.

    His merciful design was to be the birth of a strong and honourable race, one to outlast all, one resilient even to the tirades of Nature and of the Gods. His descendants would inherit his strength, his endurance. There are many names that Gruumash is known by, his ancient code is instilled in all tribes scattered across the land; The Gruumlishkin for the most accept this peaceably but choose to refer to him by their name.

    Others of the present day theology have argued they are descendents of the elves. This is something that is hard to accept, even by the wisest and most peaceful of  Orcishkind. Though there might be the possibility of such a theory having some truth, a scholar may choose his words very wisely in the rhetoric of  Orcs and Elves. There are many who have paid the blood price, in wagging eager tongues freely in disrespect.

    Gruumlishkin either live in very close knitted Strongholds, by an extremely rigid lifestyle, or they live nomadically by the same set of standards. There is always a Chieftain, he will gain his place when he has slain the former in honourable battle. Usually his strongest son by birthright will take up the sword, but it is not uncommon for another to rise to the blood-soaked title. The Ishan’Gushi, is the wise woman. She who is connected directly to the spirit of  Gruumash. These oracles and shamans are not chosen through war, or by Chieftain domination, but by Gruumash himself. They know the fire, the voice it speaks and the earth, and the water. The light and the Dark; it is believed that she exists half in life and half in death and because of this unnerving, unmistakable trait, she inherits the ear of the Stronghold leader often seducing him to her will. As long as an orc remains in the community, only the cheiftain may be mated for life.
    He may take many wives, and bear many sons and daughters; but each have their place and their duty to their stead, and there is an overwhelming amount of respect of this tradition.

    The Code of Gruumash is very simple. All Gruumlishkin are born knowing this up until their last dieing breath; for it is their life. If the Cheiftain of his Stronghold is a strong one, he will abide it as will each of his tribe. If should forget himself and his Blood Oath; The Ishan’Gushi will enforce it.

    1. You defend your Stronghold with your life.
    2. You do not Attack, Less it be for valid reason.
    3. You do not Kill, Less it be for just cause.
    4. You do not Steal, Less it be the last resort of survival.

    As a scholar, I am humbled to have encountered the ways of the Eastern Grundebaaghan tribes; humbled to be welcomed, if but for a short time, to witness with my own eyes the culture of this fascinating race of indigenous natives; there is much more to these beings than meets the eye.

    -- Ingmar Dragdam, Notes on the Grundebaaghan Region.


    June 2018
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    June 2018