Level 8 - Archmaster of Skillfull Ink Slinging
'So, my sisters.' I gazed out the clerestory window at the tableau in Court Square, and I made no doubt my gaze was as stony as were the rest of the Conclave. 'I see what you see. Is there truly no doubt?'
'None,' said Mother Arathena, with a bitter hiss. 'That jackal bitch has the true Sword. Captain Noran saw her hack through half the enemy cohort to reach the postern gate, and I know Noran to be a reliable man.' She swallowed hard, tearing her gaze away from the spectacle outside. 'But Â– but how? How was It found, after so long?'
'Lady's Grace, who cares? Dueled with dragons or bought it from a peddler, what boots it? The question is this: what do we do?' Arathena's mouth was set, at my query; she didn't know. Neither did the others.
Neither did I.
'Absent gods, here's another bunch of them,' Chav drawled, irritation in her voice.
'I hear them,' I grunted, shifting my back against the tree to find a more comfortable angle. Well, I'd heard the horses' clopping, any how. I opened a single eye, and sure enough, Chav was right. Four of them this time, green as grass. You wonder if they really thought wearing brown homespun tunics and trousers were going to fool anyone into thinking they were Just Folks ... while riding Sadasian stallions and those gorgeous tooled Mithlantri saddles.
Unfortunately, they also heard us. The chickling at their head spurred over to us, and raised her arm in salute to me. 'Captain? My name is Amberstar. We heard in Redwave that one of the orc columns were headed this way.' She grinned at me with her cheeks puffed out like a bleeding squirrel. 'We want to help!'
Joy and rapture unbounded.
Someone complained that orcs, in the campaigns he knew, were just cannon fodder -- there was nothing horrible, or terrifying, about them. This was the answer I gave. It proved a controversial one, and some may think it takes a stronger stomach to contemplate than they appreciate. This is your content warning: if you're easily revolted, I won't mind if you give this one a miss.