Friday, September 14, 2007

Bodush - Sorcerer ordinaire

-Mummy? Where are you Mummy?

The little boy's voice rang out over the sound of the fire lapping at the walls of the little cabin. Standing up, his first breath filled his lungs with the acrid smoke, and he fell down to the floor coughing. Somewhere in the distance he heard his mothers voice, screaming. Tears streaming from his eyes, he crawled along the floor trying to reach the doors before the flames would block his path.

Falling down the wooden steps from the cabin, he stared in abject horror at his father's corpse. Blood was still oozing from the many cuts and wounds and slowly dripping from a gash along his throat, his dented militia-sword laying just a few feet away. Looking up his eyes locked with those of his mother, on her knees, two monstrous, porcine humanoids standing above her.

Her mouth moved, he knew she was calling his name, but her words were lost in the noise of the fire, and the guttural growls of the orcs grabbing him, lifting him up.

Then it was as if a spell lifted.

-Don't kill him! Don't kill my boy! Don't kill...

Her voice died away, drowned by the blood filling her mouth. Her lifeless body fell forward as the orc pulled his spear out of her torso. Her glassy eyes stared at the crying boy.


*-*-*-*-*-*



Bodush woke up, the sun was already rising, and the birdsong was slowly drowning out the horrors of his dreams. It must have been at least 13-14 years ago, and it was the only memory he had of his parents, his father's mangled corpse and his mother's dying scream. Why he never heard his name, his real name, the name his parent's gave him, he would probably never know. His name was Bodush, a slave's name.

Still, perhaps it was for the best. The boy who had carried that name was long gone. Not killed in the shock and pain of that night, but wasted away, little by little, killed by his own cowardice.

Life as a slave is never kind, and for a child amongst the orcs, it is lethal. Bodush shook his head, wondering what his mother, as she lay dying, would have thought of her boy, now, if she knew what he would do, what he would become. Bodush remembered the look on Massy's face, the emaciated halfling, caught stealing extra foods from the kitchens, as they fed him to their wargs as punishment. It was funny how the orcs never noticed how the little human never seemed to be hungry or how he would always volunteer for extra duties. While the other slaves working in the kitchen were executed one by one for stealing, Bodush was always there, always loyal, always telling the overseers when the others had secreted some food in their quarters. It was funny how the orcs never noticed that the slaves they thought were stealing food always were on the brink of starvation, while the little human tattletale always was in good health.

Bodush grimaced, thinking of those he had sent to their death. Still, he was alive, they weren't. . He could feel the cool morning heating up, and watch the sun rise over the distant ocean, while they were wargfodder. Who could blame him?

Not the gods. Bodush knew little of the human gods, and had nothing but hate for the gods of the orcs. Oh yes, he had become the personal slave of the tribe's shaman, a senile fool. The shaman had thought Bodush' magical powers, manifesting as they did when his voice changed, were a favour from the orcish gods. He had become less of a slave and more of an apprentice, preparing and sometimes performing the ritual sacrifices, reciting the litanies of hate that the orcish gods require before battles, and, not least, used his growing magical power to trick everyone into thinking that his meagre magics were all signs from the gods.

The shaman was dead. Bodush had shackled him to the altar of the gods and offered him up to Gruumsh as a parting present, before making his way out of the camp and into the lands of the humans.

This murder, the murder of an orc, was the only thing Bodush would feel a tiny sliver of guilt over.

He had made his way into the human lands, living by his wits, sometimes finding employment, mostly just wandering, relearning the language and customs of his own people. It is amazing how useful a well-placed spell and a hard-luck tale is, when your purse is empty and your stomach is growling.

Still...it was no way to live. Looking down on the town of Seawell, Bodush felt his spirits lift. Where there were people, there was money, and where there was money, there would be a job for him. He was ready to make his mark on the world.

After all, what did it matter that his name was forgotten? He was Bodush now, the boy who became a slave, who became a murderer.

He had earned his new name and someday, the whole world would know him by it.

4 comments:

Mendez said...

I'm not sure if he deserves our sympathy or not.
Is he to be trusted?

robogeek said...

Good work Dag. You are seriously messed up! ;-)

Definitely not to be trusted ... but will he join a party of adventurers if it fulfills a purpose of his? Of course. And, if he does, will he regret it? Will they regret it? Maybe he will find through companionship that he can find something of the human boy that his parents loved that the orcs cruelly took away ...

robogeek said...

Also, he sounds more Chaotic Neutral rather than True Neutral, what do you think?

Eolar said...

Definitely more chaotic and I can see friction points with Eolar coming up soon :) He definitely could be a better person if he would follow St.Cuthbert.....