Sea of Madness

Mutterings of the Master, Part One

Deep below Ishar, deep in the darkness, Glut is pulled and prodded forward. The wounds he endured from the prison escape are still fresh. His handlers, a mob of Bugbears, treat him without respect. He was once a great Chief amongst the Bear Tribe of Orcs, but now he is thrown to the floor like a slave, forced to bow before the Master of the Coliseum. Seated on his throne, flanked by blankly staring creatures, the Master speaks and Glut listens.

“You allowed it. I can see it on your face. There are bruises where there should be cuts, cuts where there should be killing blows. Those five specimens were valuable, much more so than your Orcish hide. Why should I let you live?”

Glut remembers his glory. He remembers being the grandson of Mugluth the Mighty, who made peace with Elves and Humans. He remembers being the son of Klus the Brave, who slayed dragons. He remembers being Glut the Destroyer, who led his people when the Humans broke the Treaty. He remembers being amongst his people, he remembers his pride. He also remembers that he is no longer that orc.

He considers his children, who are held by the Master. Glut believes that if he were a better leader, they would be safe. He reaches for a reason why he should be allowed to live. He cannot find one. All he can find is the sweet voice of Patior that guided him to free the gladiators that promised to kill the Master. The voice promises Glut freedom.

“I grow impatient. I know thinking is not kin to the Orcish mindset, so I will make this clear: You will find the gladiators and you will bring them back alive. You will do this or I will kill your sons.” The Master laughs with his malevolent cackle.

“No,” responds Glut. “I won’t do this.”

“Then your children shall die.”

“They are dead all ready. I can read it on your face. They died long ago, didn’t they?” accuses Glut, “You needed me, but not them. I kept the Orcs in the Pits in line. I was the only one that could do it. That’s why you took me.” Glut rises to his feet, strides towards the Master. “I haven’t seen my sons in ten years! Even if their bodie live, you have likely made them slaves just like these,” bellows Glut, pointing at the mindless creatures that stand around the throne.

The Bugbears pummel Glut, kicking him in the side, stomping on his face, knocking him back down. He struggles in a bloody heap on the ground, pushing himself to stand again, spitting out a tooth. His eyes lock with the Master’s. Glut pulls together the last of his strength. He can hear the horns of battle blowing through his memory. He can hear the shouting of his people. Glut launches himself at the Master, murder filling his mind.

The rest is silence.

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