Epic of Serinor: Arcane Dawn

Gretchen's Journal (via Sai)

The following journal is written in exceptionally elegant orcish script on rough parchment, bound in leather.

You swear to write down all I say, just as I say it? Good. There is much to say.

The war for a new Warchief has begun. I had heard about these times before. But I have never lived through one. [Gretchen has stopped to think, a process I find most fascinating.] I do not think any orc alive has lived through it. Warchief Graan led us for more than a generation. So all the orcs that went through the civil war last time are dead already. That must be why things are such a mess. All of these cocks vying for power. Not one of them measures up to half of the orc Warchief Graan was. It makes me sick. Chaos all around. Where is the order of the orcish war machine now? Where is the structure of the army? I can’t even name my commanding officer. All these preening bastards trying to bribe and sweet talk me into supporting them, like offering a cow sugar to get it into the slaughterhouse. We are orcs! We do not bribe or sweet talk or preen! We give orders. We take orders. I would take orders if any gave them to me. But, save for my squadron, rank and hierarchy seem to have broken down completely.

I am trying to heed Warchief Graan’s last words to me. I have protected Sai like I did in the old days. I have put him in charge of my 5th warband – the one that was disbanded before our mission to Amin due to a fatal weakness in their sergeant. I have adjusted his rank to match. There was a small amount of grumbling from my other sergeants at the adding of this traitor to our disciplined team. But they are disciplined, and I am bigger than they are. For his warband, I have enlisted Sai’s company from Amin, as much as such might be enlisted. At any rate, I hold Sai responsible for them. That is how a sergeant and warband work.

Ostia is angry about his ships. What can I do? Even if I needed this help he offers, which I don’t, I can do nothing to open the borders. He should remember that bringing us here on his ships was his idea. Some grand plan to trade with the orcs. Well, this is what orcs do. If he wishes for trade, he should learn about our ways.

I have been trying to complete my company. As a captain, I should have six squads, each led by a lieutenant. Each squad has five warbands, four grunts led by a sergeant. Although I am captain in rank, I still lead only the number of orcs I did as a lieutenant. I should have 130 more orcs – 5 lieutenants, 25 sergeants, and 100 grunts. Correcting this has been troublesome. The chaff that I find do not meet my standards, even for grunts. If there were order, I could train them until the cream rose and the rest died. But that cannot happen now. It seems I do not meet their standards either. When I do begin … negotiations as Ostia would say … they all ask one question. “Are you trying to be Warchief?” What a stupid question! If they had known Warchief Graan. If they had stood in his presence. They would know better than to ask it. I am just following the last orders I was given.

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