Campfire Tales: the Sickle

“Orcs are misunderstood.”

Virens apparently finds great humor in this comment. He chuckles to himself for several seconds. Or, perhaps, laughter is just the shield for other feelings.

“Tosk is known as the ‘City of Spears’. Leaders of clans are called First Spear. Many people who see orcs only see the hunters and warriors. They think that is all there is. They do not see the farmers toiling in the fields, the herbalists and herders, the builders of brick and wood. Such orcs don’t travel like the clans do. They work the land where they are.”

Virens pulls out his drum. He does not play, but only holds it for inspection. “A member of the One Fang gave this to me as a gift.” The drum is not pretty at all. It’s little more than a gnarled piece of wood, carved into a cylinder with a grip. The drumhead is leather, decorated with an alcohol-based dye depicting a mountain.

“The art of working wood and leather is just the beginning. Before that, what of the animal whose hide this is? Who tended it, fed it, saw its eventual slaughter? What of the drummer who awoke its spirit to send it to its next journey? What of those who fed these artisans, grew the wheat and milked the beasts to give them bread and cheese? Those that harvested apples and berries for them? The strong backs who raised tents and houses for all of them?”

Virens smiles, more sadly. “This is what an orc clan is about. The right to live, the opportunity to grow stronger and wiser, the freedom to find and use your talents. Without the Sickle, the Spear would be weak indeed.”