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Humans not Wanted

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Jonta walked slowly through the sand, carefully choosing each step. His mind completely on the process of walking.

Left foot up and forward and down. Shift weight forward and now raise the right foot. Bring it forward and down. Shift weight forward again. Swing the arms for balance.

He started to think about all the work that went into something as simple as walking. That our bodies could do this without effort was amazing. And some creatures had more than two legs.

Jonta brushed his sandy hair out of his eyes and sighed. Enough of these foolish pursuits. He was in the desert of Khorad Nur, surrounded by a company of Orc warriors with two of their dreaded shamen along for good measure. This was no time to go all loopy.

So he kept a steady pace. It just wouldn’t do to annoy his escort. He did not want to end up on someone’s dinner table.

But for the most part, the Orcs had been pretty civil. Some of them were well read—more intelligent than many Humans he knew. This proved his point.

This would be the story of a lifetime!

The strange company walked on for what seemed an hour. They came upon a small group of animated skeletons and a couple of skeleton mages. The party came to a halt.

One of his escorts whispered in his ear. “This the first time we make nice with undead, Human.” He glared at the man, seeming to wait for some sort of response.

“Well…I….Hmmmm.” was all he could manage to get out. Oddly enough this seemed to work.

After a short conference between the two shamen and the mages, the skeletons surrounded their party and the entire group continued on.

It was another hour before they reached their destination. But Jonta saw a long time before. It was hard to miss a dragon, after all.

The party halted and formed two columns, leaving a path for the Human to travel. At the end of that path sat a single chair and table and the dragon. D’cay.

The table held a parchment and a quill with ink. There was an assortment of pastries and a jug holding what he hoped was water or milk.

He calmly walked the gauntlet and took his place at the table. He dipped the quill in the ink and looked up into the yellow eyes of the most feared creature south of Mascerell.

“Human,” breathed the dragon in its decidedly feminine and not unpleasant voice. “A lot of trouble went into the arrangement of this meeting. There has always been bad blood between my minions and the Orcs of the city. I hope, for your sake, that you do not disappoint.”

“Madam Dragon I shall strive to do my best.” He said as his heart pounded in his chest.” He wiped the sweat from his brow and popped a pastry into his mouth, delighted by its sweetness.”

“There will always be Humans with more vision than the rest. They are always welcome in the city, provided that they can survive long enough to get there. Those sweet things that you seem to enjoy were brought by traders.”

“Indeed.” He finished two more and took a long swig from the jug. Water. “So, shall we?”

The dragon stared at him silently.

“Well…yes. D’cay, there have long been stories told of adventures entering the desert in search of notice and gold. Sometimes they return and sometimes they do not. There is always mention of great battles with hoards of Orcs and scores of skeleton warriors. I have written many of these stories myself, painstakingly recording every detail of the recounting.

“In all the stories I have written and read, there is always one thing missing. One key ingredient. That is the other side of the story.

“You see, I have friends who trade in the city of Khorad Nur. I have heard their stories. So how can both descriptions of the Orcs be true? And if we have been misled concerning the true nature of the Orcs—“

“Then what about all the so called monsters of the world?” She started to say more but an arrow suddenly glanced off the top of her head. It landed on the table in front of Jonta.

“My word!” he shouted in surprise.

“Adventurers,” she sighed as she rolled her eyes. Her expression seemed both comical and somewhat frightening. She turned slightly and caused several meteor storms to fall to the sand until she heard a shriek of pain. Several of her attending minions scurried off toward the location of impact.

“You have my apologies if they were friends or family, Human.”

Jonta laughed nervously and remained silent, shaking his head and waiving his hands wildly. Off in the distance he could hear the sounds of her minions fighting with the survivors of her attack. “Serves them right, I guess,” He managed to get out finally as he stole a bite from another pastry.” “Stupid Humans…”

“Stupid Humans!” repeated one of the Orcs. The Orcs started to laugh and then the skeletons followed suit. Finally all fell silent once more.

“This was a good example, Human,” spoke D’cay as she glared at the Orcs and skeletons. “Your people have no manners and no regard for anyone but themselves.

“We can not even have a civil conversation without someone shooting an arrow at my head! It may not have hurt me but not all wounds are physical.”

“Right!” spoke up one of the Orcs. “My mate killed by Humans looking for treasure. But I kill Human and keep skull. Now skull treasure!” He reached into his cloak and pulled out a skull. It hung from his neck on a rope.

The skull began to scream. “Fool! You picked up the wrong one; you picked up the wrong one!”

“Shut up treasure!” laughed the Orc as he stuck the skull back into his cloak. Everyone could hear loud sobbing from inside the tattered cloth.

A group of minions escorted a headless skeleton to the Orc. They restrained him and withdrew the skull. They place the skull on the neck of the skeleton and handed him another skull with an axe still stuck in the top.

“Been looking for axe,” laughed the Orc.

The skeletons embraced their distraught companion and led him away.

“He will require a bit of time off from his duties,” said the dragon solemnly.

“Hmmmm.” Jonta furiously wrote everything he saw and heard. This was going to be a great story!

One by one the Orcs and skeletons approached him and told him their stories. Occasionally the dragon would interject. The picture that was painted by their words portrayed the Humans in a bad light.

The Humans descended upon the desert like a plague. They uprooted lives and destroyed families all in the name of adventure. The citizens of the desert just wanted to live in peace, without fear. They just wanted to raise their families and make some sort of living.

Jonto wrote all of their words until the sun set. He said his goodbyes and was escorted back to the city.

In the city of Khorad Nur he met up with a group of traders and paid a few coins for safe passage to Porto Vallum.

As they left the city he saw a group of warriors heading out to the desert and he shook his head sadly.

One of the warriors, an escaped gladiator by the looks of him broke from the party and caught up to the traders.

“I know you,” he shouted. “You are that bard.”

“Yes,” whispered Jonto.

“My name is Kelso. Remember that name my friend. You can say that you knew me before!” He ran back to his group.

“Goodbye, treasure.”



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