Monday, 18 December 2017

More bits from Agora: Kay offers the Orc a chance to calm down before battle, in return for helping her find a missing ranger

“Not a good time, Paper,” said the Orc, as large almost as the table itself. Shaved head glistened with sweat, fire making him appear orange, eyes orange gems inside a cursed dark skull. The slightest shift in weight caused the leather of his breeches to creak. I could smell him everywhere, testosterone reeking higher even than burning logs or half empty barrels of beer this table rested on. He sounded angry and irritable, as he always did, but also tired and preoccupied, which was not quite as sexy. Trust an Orc to think putting a talented warlord in a political role will benefit the generation. Oh, my down-hill rolling avalanche of dumpsters on fire. My hurricane of political shit, my sighing doomsday, who should never have been trusted with t-- “That’s precisely why I’m here. I want you to take a vacation with me.”

                “You’re joking.”

                “Who the heck would notice? I would have you back in a tenth of an hour, the same time we would take pause to pork. You know time doesn’t move when we’re properly through a midway. It’s a legit offer, got the banner starched and everything.”

                “I am less than two days away from giving a marching order.”

                “I’m not asking you to elope. You think that if you step out of that impending temperament for a month and return with brain aired and blood rested, it will somehow be a debauched tactical move?”

                “Nobody can spend a month roaming with you of their blood rested. They’re sooner to hug a rock on a water’s edge and throw the war to wolves altogether.”

                “Nicest thing you ever said to me.”

                I put the flat, palm-sized river stone, smooth and bland and grey, wholly unremarkable, on the table, among other figurines. Only the hole drilled through it to fit a thin lariat and the Zurnizip spiral carved on the top marked it. No dye, no added heft. He sighed. The significance or history of this stone may have been unknown to him, but he could tell at some point or another Fidi held it in her hands and as bland insignificant things go, that’s how they get you.

                “I made them blue for lawmen, green for healers and golden for thinkers.”

                “And the plain?”

                “Only two exist. The plain ones are for generals.”

                “You’ve got all the answers, don’t you, Paper.”

                “Huh. I do. All the answers … but not all the chances. Just the one.”

The original 'green' pendant Kay designed, signifying curiosity of a herbalist, healer and hunter.