Midnight RPG - Chapter 37.834

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While in Firsthold, just outside of town.


Kyuad and Durgaz talk about the civilizing of the orcs and of writing systems.


Kyuad approaches Durgaz and says, "So, of this new clan. Does it have a name? Have you thought yet about how they will work with resistance fighters who are trained to see all orcs as enemies?"

Kyuad clearly expects that Durgaz has an answer for these questions, but continues, "The natural tendancies of orcs leans toward violence, does it not? Even violence against fellow orc, I've noticed. It would be best for them and for our success in the future if they learned who their friends are, and how to be friends to others. At least allies."

Pulling some loose notes out from the center of his Lorebook, Kyuad adds, "I would also like to continue our work on this writing system. I assume you intend for your army to be the first educated in its use?"


"They will work together because I am not offering them a choice. We do not have enough soldiers to afford them the luxury of squabbling over old hatreds. I am not telling these orcs to consider these elves and men friends, because we are not bringing them together as friends. We are bringing them together as two groups of warriors who share a common foe, and we are telling them to stand and fight together because the alternative is defeat and death. If anyone among them cannot accept that necessity, I will dispense with him by whatever means prove necessary."

"It is my hope that these orcs can be shown who their true enemy is. Most who serve in the Shadow's legions do it not out of any particular care for his goals, but because it is the only existence they know. We are brought from the warrens into the South, armed, and pointed at whatever our commanders wish to be destroyed; elves, men, it does not matter. It is not the reason that matters. It is the killing. It is the opportunity to spill blood, to crack bone underfoot, to hear the dying wails of our foes. If they could do so without consequence, most orcs would just as soon fight one another."

"No. The reason we slay elves and men is because we CAN ... and because we know that if we did not, they would destroy us. We know this because the Shadow tells us so. But the Shadow's voice will not reach these orcs any longer. So I will fill that void with MY voice, and I will tell these orcs who to slay. I will tell them to murder the legates who robbed them of their birthright, and to execute those orcs who remain weak, who do not possess the strength and pride to rise up and butcher these masters themselves. I will fill them with hatred of the god who has made his own children into a race of pathetic slaves who cannot even see the chains about them, and we will turn the full force of the Shadow's own fury back upon him. And once this is done, they will have no reason to care whether those fighting alongside them are men, fey, demons or the walking dead. All that will matter is whose blood they are set to spill, and whose screams are to be cut short by their vardatches."

"I have given them a new name. They are Blood-Wolves no longer; they will now be known as Dulugolauk. Their old commander is dead. Their old orders: failed. They are not the orcs they were. I mean to reforge them, and if they cannot be reforged, they will be broken and discarded."

"And yes, once they have proven their loyalty to us and our cause, I intend to teach them to write, and read. We will not be slaves or beasts of burden any longer. The Shadow forbids it because it allows one to craft his own destiny. I can think of no better gift to grant a race of orcs remade."

Link: Orcish Written Language


Beautiful stuff, Andrew. Very well-written.
Kyuad has 3 ranks in Orcish now, so could you please detail the meaning of "Dulugolauk," if Kyuad would probably understand its meaning? Also,could you please provide a pronunciation guide to that name? Is it (DOO-loo-go-LOCK) or (duh-luh-GO-laowk) or something else entirely? Is there any way to shorten it to 3 syllables? We'll have to say this a lot.
I just watched Patton recently. GREAT movie. The attitude that he has about what it means to be a soldier is beautiful. You should watch it, especially because I see Durgaz as having a bit of his attitude. Especially in the "private-slapping incident." Some of my comments here reflect Patton's honor and respect for those who faught selflessly and with great courage.
To give you a synopsis of the following: "Orcs should be like Klingons, not crocodiles." You know, disagree or not, that's my message.

"You'll forgive my lack of understanding in the ways that armies and soldiers function. I am glad that we have your expertise; our efforts would be far more hindered without you, on whom we greatly rely.

"However, we do have a bit of a problem on our hands. The Shadow has an almost unlimited supply of orc soldiers. Our supply is currently fixed, and it is unclear as to when we can recruit more. I'm not sure that, to borrow your forging example, we can afford to chip off scraps to get to the good metal," Kyuad continues. "Or mettle..." he mutters to himself. "The forge will need to heat them to the point of flexibility, and then it will be up to you to hammer them back into the shape they need to take, losing as little as possible to the fire."

"Furthermore, What has worked for orc commanders before may not be wise for us. Those who do not perform as you like immediately are certainly a detriment to the Dulugolauk as a whole - is it a fist? But the loss of even one is bound to be dearly felt. I feel as though treating their deficiencies as opportunities for further education in the right... the new way to do things would better serve our long-term goals than simple disposal.

"Do not forget something. The reason that they fight against the Shadow is not simply because the Shadow is the enemy and what is done in the name of the Shadow is bad somehow. This way of thinking lasts only through a battle. They must be given a reason to care that bad things are done to themselves and others.

"The work of the legates that has been so successful in the past, even to the point of becoming a main element of the orcish culture itself, is the idea that individuals don't matter. Without the concept that an orc is as valuable a person as a rich sarcosan landowner, an elven defender, or a halfling slave, the evils that are done to others will continue to be of no consequence to these Dulugolauk.

"So it matters to the future of our fight against Izrador that the orcs that you can rally against the Shadow understand that they have worth and value. They are not merely a disposable asset to their commanders. Each and every one deserves respect - not because they are orc, this would be mere racism - but because those who deserve respect are courageous warriors who serve with selfless bravery and passion. Change this dynamic, and even a gnome standing against the Shadow with horse whip in hand and no prayer of survival becomes a valuable warrior worthy of respect."


Kyuad would understand that "Dulugolauk" translates to "face(s) of black steel"; or, in context, "black masks". As for pronunciation, I pronounced it in my head as "duh-luh-GALL-lock", so it could possibly be shortened to "Golauk" for short. Alternately, "Thakmûrz" means pretty much the same thing, but is significantly shorter. I'm kind of picturing the Orcish language structure as being something of a combination between German and Russian, with a lot of long and complicated compound words that can be abbreviated in ways that utterly baffle non-fluent speakers.
I haven't seen "Patton" in a couple years, but yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about, and that is pretty much what I'm going for. One key thing to keep in mind here is that Durgaz is applying the approach he knows, not necessarily the one that will work best. Even though Durgaz's point of view has changed on many things, he is still prone to lean heavily on iron-fist techniques when dealing with others, particularly with other orcs - because that's just how orcs interact with one another. Individuality is suppressed because of the extreme likelihood that it would lead to anarchy ... crocodile-ism, as opposed to Klingon-ism, to borrow your comparison. Even the orcish language is built around that philosophy, thus the notation in the rulebook about how it allows a speaker to address those above and below his station with absolute deference and authority, respectively.
Kyuad is, of course, 100% correct in his assessment that the orcs will NEED to gain some understanding of individuality in order for them to care about the fate of anyone other than themselves. I'm not sure Durgaz would understand that, though.
Also of note: although he might actually care a great deal about what happens with these orcs, he's not likely to admit it to himself or anyone else, because he doesn't want to run the risk that it might cloud his judgment on something crucial, AND he doesn't want to invest a lot of hope into something only to have it fail.

"Maybe you do not understand orcs. Or I maybe do not understand humans. As of this moment, these orcs are NOT worthy of respect. Their only value lies in their ability to wield weapons and follow commands. Individuals do NOT matter, until they prove themselves. The men of First-Hold are not important because of what their names are or where they come from. They are important because they stood up against their enemies, and more importantly, because they WON. They have EARNED our respect."

"Do you think I automatically assign some special value to these soldiers because they are orcs? You are wrong. Their only value lies in their POTENTIAL. If they listen to what I tell them, and they come to their own understanding of why I have chosen to do what I do, and why it is best for them to do the same, then they have become something important: they have become free orcs. If they prefer to stick to what is familiar, and hate elves and men because they have been told to, and obey the Shadow's will because they are afraid their old masters will punish them, then they are of no use to us or anyone else, and I will deal with them as is necessary. Yes, we have only a few orcs at this time. But if we were arming soldiers, and we had only a few dozen swords, and some of those swords were poorly made and might break when they struck a foe, we gain nothing by sending them into the field anyway. We would be weakening ourselves by relying upon tools that might fail at a crucial moment."

"Orcs understand this; these are our ways. These orcs are well-trained soldiers, and they will respect the chain of command. I cannot simply tell these orcs to turn away from everything they have been brought up to believe, and expect it to stick. What I CAN do is command them as I see fit, and expect them to obey those orders, even if they are at first doing so out of fear. As I do this, I will repeatedly make clear to them what I believe, and why I am commanding them as I am. Without the constant whisper of the Shadow washing over them as they sleep, they will be free to ponder what I say, and possibly find truth in it. If they can see this truth, then they will have proven their value, and earned my respect. And when they have earned my respect, I will show it to them, as I have shown respect to you and Eranon and Khalim."


I like Thakmûrz as a synonym. Also, I like where you're coming from.

Kyuad listens attentively, and considers what he has heard for a few silent moments after Durgaz has finished. "I see."

Pausing a bit longer, Kyuad's continued ineffable expression breaks for a moment, and as he grins a fleck of dry skin falls from the lines around his mouth. "I see that you have your work cut out for you. I continue to think of the long road ahead without adequate consideration for the present. Perhaps it is because of my obstenance, or my new ...." Kyuad's voice trails off and his stare goes blank. With a stoney look on his face, he pauses for some time before continuing, "I... I do not plan... for death."

Looking back to Durgaz with a fearsom and bewildering look in his eyes, Kyuad continues with a voice that now seems as if to echo from within something larger than his chest, "One day, no matter how you get them there, the orcs of the Thakmûrz must be seen by those who fight against the Shadow as allies, and perhaps as leaders of their own armies of dorns, dwarves, erunsil, and fell. Search your own mind and test me - what I say is true. The future relies on orcs leading the charge against orcs, and nothing at all will cause men like those who live here to follow those dog-riders unless something changes."

Appearing to calm down somewhat, Kyuad adjusts himself and continues, "As soon as possible we should enlist or raise up a scribe to the ranks of the Dulugolauk. You should be the first orcish commander who is able to pass down a reliable written record of his methods, teachings, speeches, and accomplishments. History has proven that this has been a key element to the survival of the dwarven people and the continued inspiration for all others who share some ability to read. A thousand years from now, the name of Durgaz will continue to teach young orcs of honor if we are diligent in the work of preserving your efforts."

With a nod, Kyuad concludes, "And as for the question of a soldier's inherant value, I'll leave you with something that you and the Dulugolauk should consider: What potential do these orcs have within them, that any other thinking race of people do not?"


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