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  • On Orc Mercenaries

    Dearest nephew,


    You did well to write for advice concerning the nest of orcs that has sprung up in your borders. I have, as you suspected, had dealings with the beasts over the years. By far the safest thing you can do is amass your armies and drive them out. Burn as many as you can and trust they take the message.


    However, since your border dispute with Kiedut fares badly, I can see why you would wish to use them as mercenaries. They may well tip the scales of war in your favour, and they have no love of the dwarves either. Orcs are a an overstuffed rifle; a peerless weapon in the right hands, but liable to explode if treated without due care.


    Do not mistake me, the wild horse takes no sugar. The brutes do not respond to kindness and considerate behaviour. Do not bow down to their demands, or else you will soon bow down to their leader. Do not send a delegation with gifts and an offer of employment; you will not see those people again. If you wish to engage the orcs, go in strength. Take the same force you would to destroy them if you hope to negotiate, since it may come down to that at the last. I trust you still half the halfling in your court, take her as interpreter. Halflings seem to speak every language and can get themselves accepted even by orcs. I suspect it speaks of some great deficiency in the halfling soul, that they can adapt to the morals of animals.


    The orcs will demand looting rights. If you value honest sleep, do not give it to them. Once, once, I gave in, and turned a village over to them. I visited that place afterwards. I had to put the beasts to the fire, torch the town and have the priests consecrate the ground before I slept again. Orcs are not human. Give them a higher share of the loot, but do not unleash them even on a dwarven populace.


    Insist they take at least some coin or iron up front. This will cement the fact that they are independent mercenaries, and that you have no authority over them. This may sound counter-intuitive, but a mirror makes a bad window. A human would prefer to be your partner in any endeavour. If an orc sees you as a partner, it will eventually try to take control of the whole enterprise.


    Give no orc quarter within your walls. Do not use them to garrison your towns. They have an instinctual hatred of all that is good. I saw one orc strike a man dead for laughing at a joke. The jest was not at the orc, but the sound of mirth broke something inside that brute and it lashed out. The close proximity of domestic happiness will drive the orcs into a rage that cannot be quenched. Use the orcs only on offensive campaigns, and even then keep two camps. Make sure your soldiers keep well away from the orc camp; it is not a sight you would wish them to see. You will not need to provide provisions for the orcs; they are as likely to eat the bearers of food as the goods that are taken. The orcs are well able to feed themselves, hunting or scavenging after battle.


    Keep the orcs fighting, or they will wander off, or turn on you. They will not notice if their numbers diminish in the campaign, or else they will not care. Always put them where the fighting is fiercest; save decent human souls from dying where you can. In this way you can weaken them without them noticing.


    When they have served your purpose, banish them. Load them up with their loot and send them away. And if they will not go, kill them, and take back your loot. You cannot betray an orc, any more than you can betray a rifle. When war is done, you melt down a sword for better things; the same is true of orc mercenaries.


    Your loving uncle,

    Gerund


    (Letter Two https://www.mantic.club/forum/commun...386#post318386 )
    Last edited by Fyrax.; 19-06-2017, 12:16 AM.

  • #2
    Excellent piece of work! Fun read.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is fantastic, Fyrax.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the kind words guys

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        • #5
          Very nice piece of fluff. I enjoyed reading it greatly. Shall we see more on orcs or other wonderful creatures of Mantica?
          My growing Kings of War armies:

          1) Dwarfs
          2) Undead
          3) Goblins and Orcs
          4) Sea Kin Elves
          5) Dagger Island Salamanders

          Comment


          • #6
            Love it!

            "I suspect it speaks of some great deficiency in the halfling soul, that they can adapt to the morals of animals."

            Finally someone speaks truth to cuteness.

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            • #7
              Dearest Nephew,

              I am heartened to hear of your progress against the dwarfs. Orcs are certainly a useful tool. Remember to maintain discipline; orcs become more insistent and unruly the longer their blood is burning. Keep watch, enforce your deals, do not back off one step from what you agreed. And always keep two separate camps, no matter how numbers in one or the other dwindle.

              Now about the other matter, I cannot advise you to send Evaly to face a dragon. She may be your Dragon Heir, and is no doubt as skilled as any other of your knights, but that is rather the point. The idea that a second child to the throne is expendable, and so may face any number of fearsome beasts is simply misguided. We have knights enough to die for us. Let her lead a legion to deal with it, but let her keep her distance. She may still claim her prize as commander, even her sword does not deliver the fatal blow. Her weapon is her legion, and none will dispute that.

              Although, it is interesting the dragon should choose to roost on Mount Kyra in particular. You see, I possess a small volume on dragon lore: The Compact. It is, of course, held by the Scribes in the Scriptorium. They will permit no-one to keep such old documents in private homes, and are quite insistent on the matter. Whilst I do not believe the rumours that they have killed to acquire them, they are certainly not above stealing them. This way I am still owner of the book, and they will make copies as I ask for them. They inform me it is a master copy, seven times removed from the original. Written on vellum, that makes it between five and fifteen centuries old, possibly from before the Unholy Winter.

              Interfering scribes aside, The Compact describes dragons as noble creatures that lived in harmony with our nation, and their roost then was Kyra. Dragons are quite the opposite to orcs. Orcs look at first glance to be civilized, with cities and language, but are beasts at the core. Dragons look to be beasts but are intelligent, even moral, though they do not possess language. The Compact theorizes that this is a weakness born of strength. Dragons are supreme; they do as they please without trouble; they do not need others; they never needed to communicate.

              Back then though, they consented to live alongside us. There was concern amongst some that our people were kept pets, like wild birds fed because they make a pretty noise. I do not believe our proud nation would be brought that low. I believe we performed real service to the dragons, no matter how far above us they seemed.

              It is from these times that the tradition of the Dragon Heir arose, not to fight drakes, but to court them. Dragons consider themselves to be royal creatures, and are sensitive to rank. Only royalty could serve as “The Dragon Tongue”, a title that seems to have incorporated courtier, diplomat, adviser to Crown and Drake, and high priest. Other appointees were not tolerated. The role could not be executed by a reigning monarch, it took too much time. So the second-born was given the task, since they would never inherit anyway. And since spending so much time with dragons changed the Dragon Heir, they tended to remain apart from humans and never had families of their own to continue their line.

              Dragons have long memories, and longer racial instincts. Perhaps the dragon is not threatening your Protectorate, but is looking to reestablish the old compact. If so, this presents an unprecedented opportunity, if you wish to take it. Dragons are like gods, indeed The Compact maintains that they are gods, though this is doubtful. Show respect, bring tribute and see how this drake responds. Evaly should do this, but surrounded by her legion, in case of an immediate violent refusal.

              Dragons are formidable allies in war, but The Compact says their greatest gift is a deep, deep magic. A land under their protection blossoms. Crops don't fail. Poxes are unknown. Enemies behave more cordially. Flocks increase in virility and vitality. Winters are shorter and milder. Actually The Compact terms it a divine power, and may well exaggerate the dragons' influence. I will say this though – the Dragon Kindred is the smallest clan of the Fey, and yet the most prosperous.

              I will have the Scribes draw up a copy of The Compact. That will take several months, but by all accounts dragons live to a different timescale. It may yet be years before the dragon accepts or rejects the tribute, and decades before a new compact is forged. The volume is written in Old Writ and the Scribes will not consent to translate it; I will send a scholar of the language along with your copy.

              Your loving uncle,

              Gerund

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              • #8
                Very nice! Looking forward to more!

                Since it is no longer about orcs, perhaps a new thread should be opened?
                My growing Kings of War armies:

                1) Dwarfs
                2) Undead
                3) Goblins and Orcs
                4) Sea Kin Elves
                5) Dagger Island Salamanders

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks! I'm planning one more in this series before looking for a new voice.

                  I debated opening a new thread - I was wondering whether it would be considered cluttering the forum, or filling it out to make it look used. I wondered whether each fluff piece should have it's own thread (then you don't have to search the thread separating out fluff and comments) or whether each series should have a thread, or each author. Maybe I over think things. So I went with the easy option. Maybe the Mods could add "and other matters" to the thread title?

                  Mods may want to set down conventions - or we can work it out ourselves.

                  Actually I could link part 2 from part 1. I'll do that now.
                  Last edited by Fyrax.; 19-06-2017, 12:13 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Both are enjoyable reads. How typical do you believe this character's views are in his kingdom or among Mantican humans in general?
                    Thanks,
                    Hal

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                    • #11
                      Very nice Fyrax, i enjoyed reading it a lot!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Halberd3000 View Post
                        Both are enjoyable reads. How typical do you believe this character's views are in his kingdom or among Mantican humans in general?
                        Regarding orcs, I imagine his views are fairly typical in his kingdom, due at least in part to his leadership. Some may disagree, but there wouldn't be wide-spread opposition (he'd warn his nephew if there was).

                        In the rest of the kingdoms of men, I'd expect a wide range of opinions. Some wouldn't work with orcs for moral reasons, some wouldn't because of pragmatic reasons (they're dangerous allies). Others would hire orcs, and some would ally more closely - maybe even joining a warband. I think he's probably in the minority in being willing to work with orcs, but a sizable one. This may be personal bias - I wouldn't work with orcs and would tend towards good alignment.

                        Brotherhood and Basilea would never work with orcs, being strongly good. I'm not sure about Varangur. Whilst "evil", they do hate the abyss, and the orcs are an abyssal creation. On the other hand, they may be willing to overlook their origins. It may well vary from clan to clan. Ophidia is anyone's guess. They use what some consider dark magic, so they may be morally flexible, or they may not.

                        In regards to dragons, he is exceptional, having knowledge that most don't have. Most humans would have a dragon killed for its artifacts, but he refers to that in the letter.

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