Midnight RPG - Chapter 14.75
- [This scene takes place some time after Zal'Kazzir frees the imp, in the time FOLLOWING his introduction "speach" to the group. In the time when you're looking around Vrolk's Laboratory and into the evening when you rest, the little Imp (who has said he is now "bound" to Zal'Kazzir) comes up to you to chat... Think of it as "networking" or "small talk"... hehe...]
DURGAZ's PRIVATE talk with Nazif, Zal'Kazzir's courtesan imp
"Hello my friend. T'would I be impolite were I to call you by your given name? Durgaz, is it that your fellow pathwalkers call you? May I speak to you in such a familiar tone?", the small green-gray skinned imp quaries as its eyelids slowly flicker as if the very light beyond its former cage, burns its bulbous eyes... Looking to you in hopes of acceptance...
"I can only hope that you would speak to me in kind. I am Nazif by name, those I call friend know me as the butter-cream churner. I am most happy to make your aquaintence. Is it true that you have the glory of calling yourself "mirror-breaker"?? I would be in debt to you good sir, if you were to tell the tale of this most wounderous of deads.", Nazif, sits his bottom to the wooden floors that grow unnaturally out of the obsidian gemstone of the Spire. He sits without bending his body, focusing his eyes looking into your's directly. He seems ever-so inquisitive and even aids you when he notices you picking up anything or moving anything.
[Durgaz pauses in whatever he is doing and looks down at the imp. He then looks up again, scanning the room for Zal'Kazzir. Noting that the Sarcosan appears to be nowhere in sight, he lowers his gaze back down to the imp.]
"I do not call myself mirror-breaker. I do not think anyone here has called me that, either. I will assume that you heard the term from your master, the Sarcosan. You should continue to call me Durgaz.
"There is not much tale to tell. We were in the marsh, several days' travel from this place, when we got word that enemies were approaching our position. Kyuad, the Erenlander, had found something he believed to be a zordrafin corith. [Durgaz studies the imp carefully for signs of recognition.] "We waited until the enemy was nearly upon us, then pushed a rotten tree over onto the corith. It exploded, and it took out a good portion of the woods with it. We escaped."
"Your master was there. I am sure he could make a much more exciting story from those events than I can. Maybe you should go and ask him."
[If the imp attempts to help Durgaz move or pick anything up, Durgaz will try to jerk whatever it is out of the imp's reach ... not in an overtly rude or hostile way, but more in a "don't worry, I've got it" kind of way. He will not say anything, though.]
kevin / (newly named) Balal
The little imp seems to have found a chance away from his new master who freed him from the prison. It seems he is vastly interested in what Durgaz is doing. Much like a child he tried to help (even though you don't want it) but when he sees this he does not PUSH. He simply helps, by organizing or cleaning up behind you. Or preparring things before you get to the item...
At your mention of the zordrafin corith, the little beast's eyes do widen. He can see you speak with irreverence and a greater disdain and knowledge than your orcen kin. Your mind flows not full of blood-rage, he can see... He seems keenly interested in having and hearing your deeper thoughts. So he begins...
Oh no, ma-lord... I have not heard of your honorary name from your Sarcosan friend, if you currently call him that(?)... It is spoken of from the mouth of elf-tongue that I heard your name. The 'orc that sees'... It was the Vile that spoke of the mirror-breaker. Nay. Forgive, ma-lord... it was not the necromancer elf. It was his man. Funny though, now that you make me reconsider it WAS 'the' Sarcosan... Just not 'your' Sarcosan. It was the rough-rider called Azam'han and the denizens of this hall. They spoke of the instance of derailment that happened with the incoming army led drugged into this the Black Nail of the swamp. Nearly three dozen 'tusks' were lost on that day in the cosmic blast that could also be called essence of the Hate-Bringer. It was that day that the Vile was in full jest, as he knew your defiance would bring the eye of the dark lord onto your troupe. And it was this deed that the Vile took love and obsession with your hide, for he knew it would be the hammer to his nail for rising in the eyes of both the Priest King and thier shared servitor in the North (Izrador).
[Durgaz snorts in disgust.] "If he sees me as 'the hammer to his nail', he is more correct than he knows. As a sorcerer, unaccustomed to physical labor, perhabs he can be forgiven for not knowing that a hammer does not help a nail to RISE. It strikes it over and over again, until the nail lies broken, crushed and buried. THAT is all I offer to the Vile."
So then Lord Durgaz, if you will not regail the tale of teetering the balance of power, even though it may have only been for but a flickering moment - I shall find this story elsewhere. My only wish was to pay service with my bardic tongue to your perilous portrayal. Perhaps a song in your honor? I know the tongue of both Black Speak and Orc. Or should your turned ear be more pleased I can splay it in a tune of elven make... 'twould I be wrong to think your tastes tilt toward the elf-kind? Donot feel betrayed by my admonishment and insight. Perhaps you have not even given it thought, but I can see your care for Eranon of elf-make. Friend for sure you are to the archer, but would not your flesh crave comfort of the love of an elven princess? Would not your eye and heart dip to the humble heart and warm bossom of an elven queen or three in your bed?...
This I could make so in promise, dear friend. I have my lips to the ear of ladies of the forest that would give great thanks to one such as you... a mirror-breaker! Were you to bat your eye in acceptance within a month I would ensure you lay beside such beauty... Donot think this a tempt or tease. This is a fair trade that I offer you... Let me be sure to note that your 'payment' to me would be less than what you might think. I ask only to stand in your shadow. I fear that my new master walks the wall between dark and light. If he were to fall, or more openly if he were to draw the unwanted gaze of demons, devils, seraphs or angels - whether they be on this or that side of the Scar-Digger in the North, I wish only to ask your protection when in the more perilous situation.
But perhaps I overstep my bounds? I do not wish to assume you would trade in flesh. Perhaps it is the heart of a woman you seek. Holding the soul as she holds yours. I would not pretend that I can bring you your true mate, but I can offer aid in the ways of hunting for such. And if it is not the caress of soul-mates or the flavor of flesh that I might offer, you must but ask for things that I could give. With the caviat in mind that while you are powerful in might, I offer you a more powerful insight. When you walk with an Outsider in terms of appreciation, you walk with a mind to improving your station when might would not make right... So let me finally put this to you Lord Durgaz... What do you seek? What do you dream? How may I serve you in friendship, so that you may serve me in friendship?
[Durgaz's voice drops to that low, calm tone that his companions would recognize as the one that usually precedes a threat.] "Listen carefully to me, creature. I may travel with elves, fight alongside the elves, break bread with elves ... but I am not an elf. I am an orc. And no elfish princess would willingly lie with or love an orc, no matter what he has broken. I do not understand what you are offering, but I don't like it. It smacks of the sort of mind-slavery your new master engages in, and of the false promises whispered into the ears of the false Sussars of Sarcosa. I want none of it. If you wish to walk beside me, do so. I require nothing of you in return.
"You speak of stories, songs in my honor? If you truly wish to touch the hearts of these elven ladies you speak of, perhaps you should sing them the story of the time that I and five of my men captured two elfish scouts, a husband and wife, seven miles outside of Zorgetch. Sing of how we kept them with us, sending one at a time into each town we passed, instructing them to enter the town and beg for shelter, then come back and tell us who had obliged, or we would kill the other. Sing of how we would then descend upon the town, drag those whom the elves had named from their homes, and lash them to death in the town square. Sing of how we did this for four months, until one day while the male had been sent scouting, Naarghash, who was charged with watching the woman, instead raped and killed her; and the male, upon his return, went mad with grief and rage and had to be killed in turn. Will this tale flutter the heart of a princess more than the story of the corith-breaking, do you think?"
"OR, perhaps you could put your tale-spinning and song-writing skills to work on the memory of a true hero. His name was Valendil, and he died today, after being captured, held and tortured into unlife by your previous master. He led a band of brave elves with a hand that was wise and true, and he did many great things, among them extending that hand to me when I was still struggling free of the darkness, and he died in a manner horribly unbefitting to one of his stature. If you wish to honor the memory of one who deserves it, begin with Valendil."
the little ambassador dips his head in respect to the orc's fallen friend.....
"... forgive me friend-Durgaz. I have not given due thought to your turmoil. So many elf-kind have I seen put to the pike, hung from the Black Nail, and fired in the hell that is the Burning Lines. Sometimes I forget the life that each takes when they pass. Not only is their personal soul squelched but so too are their friends, their family, the very light and heart of elf-kind and the Shadow Resistance is torn. Forgive me, I know of the torture you must be going through. As I have councilled Elven and Human-kind, so too have I walk with Orc WarMasters, Generals and Matriarchs. I know of the torture you see when you close your eyes at night. And it pains me that you must too see such dispair with eyes wide open. For in all my time I have never met one such as you... one that chose to turn from the cool embrace of Shadow... The heart of you must be wide and strong. and for you to lash out after this incident is fair and just." the sadness on the face of the imp is real... there's no doubting that. For all his bluster, for all his tangled words there is something still inside the old beast that wishes of good things. And with this he is humbled. And for several moments a lose for words...
starting to walk away, the old beast considers and then does not leave Durgaz alone... Perhaps he can feel the solitare hate that he's punishing himself with... Perhaps his nature as an advisor makes him pause... Perhaps the little imp does have something buried beneath the twisting words and these words of this orc have taken the heart of the old beast... Perhaps...
"... of slavery of the heart or mind you speak, of the tainted tendrils that you may think my 'new' MASTER would have friend-Durgaz - I must tell you plainly, I must tell you honestly... I do not have them. Nor do I know the methods of which you speak. True, my ways with words in the ears of kings act as would your swords - but I would offer ... could YOU change the course of a river with but a word, would you not? Consider the will of Kings and BattleMasters. Consider their wills are as mighty waters ready to crash down on any that would oppose their way. Would you not seek to stop them? Even if that sword be in form of the tongue? I am not ashamed of my gifts for gab dear-Durgaz, as you are not hindered by the mastery of your blade and shield." Belal takes a moment to look at the orc's eyes to see if his heart agrees no matter what his words say.
ROLL: Belal (Sense Motive +15) VS. Durgaz (Bluff +1) ROLLED: 27 VS. 16 = BELAL wins
So feel free to share exactly the feelings of Durgaz concerning Belal's words and body language.
"... if I am quick to offer payment for our parlay, you must understand friend-Durgaz that across many centuries and many countries and many men YOU are the first to not ask for such return. You are the first to not expect such things. This is the hinderance of my existance, but we must muddle through our existance and if lucky we will find our calling. Would you say that in the lose of the cool touch of the Corpse-God's whispers, would you say that you have found your's? You are not elf in body my friend but you have the spirit left over from the elthedar not tainted by the Shadow in the North... If that has nothing in kinship with the 'nsil, then I donot know what does..."
Considering the unwanted need for songs of honor, the old bard offers this...
"friend-Durgaz... answer me this. What reason do you take the longer road? For what means do you stuggle in the lost furnace away from the Shadow's cool embrace? Why ever would you forsake all that you knew and know to walk with those that you inherently do not know or trust? In your words, the only thing that has come from this is lose. Most recently with the fall of your elven friend. Why do you serve your heart and not the will that tells you your heart is wrong? Why do you fight when you could reign?" The little imp looks to the orc, this time with conviction in his eye. He has a point to make... and he knows that he must make it quickly, for any good will he has left with the orc cannot, shouldnot be tested long.
"... but does your answer really matter? It is your heart, your will. Will that change the hearts of men? ... No. Not likely. Not without witness. Not without example. I ask you lord-Durgaz, why do you fight... but that is not the point I search to make when I ask your acceptance and your honor in sharing your deeds... I search to remind you that you fight now... NOT for yourself alone. You fight for generations to come. Those that are not yet thoughts in their mother's minds are your legacy. When I suggest that you award them with stories and songs in honor of heroes against the Shadow I speak not to bolster YOUR ego. No. Lord-Durgaz... I speak to give hope and heart to the unknown. Those that cannot speak out. Those that must take the whip because they cannot stand with the stuff of hero-made will."
...again the little ambassador looks up to the mighty orc, hoping to see a light of understanding as he continues.
"...you see friend-Durgaz, I seek not to bluster your ego. I seek not to engratiate you to me. I seek not to ensourcel your mind. I seek to enlighten you to the vast legacy that you lay with every new step. You are but an orc. One in a sea of hate. The pebble on the beach that will not be washed into the ocean. You as Durgaz are but a terrorist to the Shadow and those that they punish for your difference. Have your eyes turned so far from those times in the village, forcing the poor elf-kind to betray kind hearts... have you lost their memory so long that you clear it away to avoid the pain it causes you? If you have, bless you. That is a difficult task, however you cannot forget the hate brought down on the people of the land for every orc, for every legate, for every minion of Shadow you take. Surely you are not blind to the plight that likely happened to any of the villagers or denizens of the swamp when they came searching for you and your band... With whips on their backs and their family's heads on pikes they were likely tourtured to give up your whereabouts that they did not know.... I say this to remind you. Because you are but one orc.... As such you cannot change or save those desperate souls... Not with your sword arm you cannot......"
the old beast stands up tall and sincere... "... what I speak of Lord Durgaz is were you to become an idea, where you to become something MORE than one orc, were you to become an ideal... THEN friend-Durgaz you become LEGEND."
"Then orc... you can save the world."
...Belal looks to the ground and then to the open sky. The old beast has never spoken a more true word. Of course this may all be part of his flourishing tongue. But can that tongue not ring true?
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