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An Entry in Dahlia's Journal

by Jennifer Knighton

It was a dark and stormy night...

The Orcs came at us screaming what I can only assume were insults. I really must learn Orcish so that I can properly communicate with them. I hate allowing those in the party less educated in the art of diplomacy to attempt to talk us through these altercations. I am beginning to get the impression that my fellow travelers enjoy getting into battles. Considering Lortaia is an absolute barbarian I really shouldn't be surprised.

Now, either the negotiations were going poorly or the little one in our party was just impatient (I can't be sure which). A bright fire erupted in the center of a large number of Orcs - killing half the horde in one move. Only the little one could've done that. I think his name is Fesphearson or Heferweisin or something long and complicated that I never quite hear right. There was no longer the option of negotiation. I would've preferred no bloodshed, but if the battle was inevitable, I'm rather happy the little one is on my side - as obnoxious and full of himself as he can be.

I hate to admit this, being among such clearly seasoned warriors, but I spent most of the fight trying to stay very much out of it. I think I did manage to shoot off a couple of arrows but I don't really remember. It was loud and chaotic and I am really not cut out for combat - being taken by slavers a short while back will attest to that. I'm much better at having my foes arrested than actually bloodying my hands by killing them myself.

In the end only one Orc remained. He begged us to kill him, at least I think that's what he was doing. This put the party in a rather interesting moral quandary. Do you kill an unarmed foe knowing that, if you don't, he will kill himself out of disgrace at having been so completely defeated? Do you let him go in hopes that he won't actually kill himself, but then always watch your back in case he seeks revenge? Or, perhaps, do you bury him with only his head above ground and hope that his fellows find him and convince him to live before he dies of starvation and sun? I would've chosen the latter, but our dear Dwarf beheaded him instead. I suppose, all things considered, that it was better they not know how vicious I can be - not all ferocity shows itself in combat. Some of us seek a more torturous angle.

Do not get me wrong; I am not an evil person. I find the concepts of good and evil to be rather extreme - but I can see the merits of both. I can also see their downfalls and prefer to leave them alone.

The slavers that had captured me before this group saved my life had killed many and tortured more. I will have my revenge on them even if it means going outside the law to do so. The injustice must be answered for. But I digress- I was speaking of Orcs and the proper way of dealing with prisoners.

It amuses me that Kara, the Dwarf, who swears to kill Orcs and Garion (I think) the Elf, who shares the same genetic hate for Orcs that I do, were the ones who wished him a swift death - mercy for their sworn enemy - while the half-Orc and myself wished to bury him to the neck - a potentially painful death with the constant hope of survival. It is interesting how perspectives differ when a life stands in question of its future.

I ride this caravan with my fellows and these merchants we've been hired to protect and wonder what other conflicts block our way to our eventual destination. I cannot believe the Orcish village we decimated is the only thing keeping a steady flow of trade through these parts from thriving.

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