Campfire Tales: the Drum

Virens turns his sabertooth knife over and around in his hands. The naturally sharp tip has been sharpened further by orcish hands, with serration added as well. Depressions in the bone anchor the leather handle.

“These are the stories my clan told me, when I grew up.”

“Orcs believe in the Now and the Never. You could say waking and dreaming, but that’s not quite right. Animals live in the Now. They are present, mindful. They do not plan, or hope, they just live. Trees, plants, rocks, live in the Never. They don’t act, yet they are. Folk - orcs, humans, catlings - we live between. We see, we do, but we also think ahead, to a world we don’t yet inhabit but wish we could.”

Virens flips the knife once, catching the blade carefully in his hand. “Our people use the drum to connect these modes of existence to each other. There are many ways, including certain herbs, but music is the most reliable. When we perform the hunt for an animal, we beckon it from the Now at its passing. Its spirit has been elevated, made something more. We ally with these spirits. Our experience as Folk, in exchange for their services.”

“The drummers connect worlds for other reasons. To say goodbye to loved ones. To gain spiritual understanding of problems in the Now. To celebrate life for its own sake. To bring people together.”

He puts the knife away. “Other people sometimes don’t understand the orcs. We live more in the Now than others, but we recognize the value of the Never. It is our way to safeguard that great path, and shepherd others along it.”

A smile crosses his coarse features. “I can’t say how much of all this I believe. But, a good drumming is beautiful to me. Should we meet with an orcish clan, I invite you all to participate.”


There’s potential follow-on here from Rowan (speaking about the cosmology of the world - there’s no guarantee the orcs understand things correctly) or Wynn (as an actual undead, probably has something to say about how spirits work), if they feel like Commanding Lore about this.

I have been thinking on this, we’ll see if I come up with something before the game on Monday.

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