Fragment

Author Unknown

The following text was found during an excavation near Lybaras. Unfortunately most of the original text was destroyed and only this small part could be preserved. The original was written in an ancient language which has fallen into disuse long ago. We were however able to translate it into the common language and it seems as if this has been part of a legend which was written from the point of view of the hero. This is extremly uncommon and has led to speculation whether this wasn?t an ordinary ?entertainment? text like those we know today. We present this piece to the public in the hope that people who know of tales which seem to have some connection to this one contact us.

Lord Sengir
Elder of the University of Lybaras

[...]

Darun Ny stood on the battlements of the Northern Wall. The sun was setting and the nearby wood was cast in twilight. He knew that guards on every one of the seven towers were watching the dark line of the wood carefully to catch sight of every suspicous movement. Nevertheless he wanted to be here as if to guard the city himself... Frowning he thought of yesterday?s incident.

A trader had been careless enough to arrive after nightfall at the city gate. Usually he would not have been allowed in and nobody would ever have dared to open the massive wooden door which was secured with several iron bars. The gate could not be opened or closed on short notice because of the heavy machinery and the necessary man-power. The trader had argued and pleaded with Darun but nothing could have convinced him as major to ever let the gate be opened after nightfall. Almost nothing...

Darun sneered as he thought back to what had persuaded him, major-elect of Ur?thar, to open the city gate during the night, thus leaving it vulnerable to Them. "Noblest Sire, I bring tidings from Amand?thar", the trader had said. Amand?thar was the city he had sent a messenger to request help against the ever increasing attacks from the orcs. Orcs...he had always thought it to be a strange word but during the past few months he had come to fear it.

It wasn?t as if they hadn?t been in Ar?sland since history was being recorded and they had never been peaceful, an orc raid was not an uncommon event. But never in all known history have the cities of Ar?sland faced such an enormous surge in both orc population and aggression. The woods covering vast areas have become almost unpassable. Trade has died down due to the suicidical nature of travelling in the wild and the number of those few that dared to risk it nonetheless diminished every day. Two months ago the orcs started to attack cities...

And attack they did yesterday, after Darun had ordered the gate to be opened and the trader to be let in. Hundreds of them streamed down from the wood, running towards the opened gate which closed painfully slow. They broke through the first line of defense and almost managed to render the gate inoperable. If they had succeeded Ur?thar would have suffered the same fate as Golgor?thar. No one had survived in the (until now) only city that has fallen to the orcs. Combined the city?s few mages and the City Guard managed to throw them back before the gate and close it under enormous loses.

[...]

And Duran remembered the disheartening conversation with the trader afterwards. "Will Amand?thar sent help?", he had asked bluntly. The trader looked wide-eyed at him at first but then as if he realized sadly shook his head. "Noble Sire, Admand?thar itself is in desperate need of help. The Eastern Wall is breached, save for the western quarter all is lost. You must make haste and send troops for half the guards lay slain and the orcs grow stronger in numbers." Duran turned away and left the room for he knew what he had to know.

Night had fallen by now and the wood was a menacing dark wall, only a few hundred meters away from the city walls. He knew it was impossible to send troops to Amand?thar and he also knew that if he would send them nonetheless that they would be too late. Why did the orcs attack humans now? And united? Orcs never unite unless they have a strong leader... There was also something else that seemed strange. In the attack yesterday the orcs were not alone. They were accompanied by bears, wolves and other creatures from the depth of the forest. Were they commanded by the orcs? Or were they driven by something else? Could this something then be responsible for the behaviour of the orcs?

Duran had heard tales, stories which claim that humans were not native on this world but were transported here by some unknown force. These tales also said that the orcs were the natives of Ar?sland and that the world was controlling its creatures. These were stories told to children, fairy tales... But it is often said that legends are built around kernels of truth...

[...]

Reproduced with permission from the University of Lybaras, Relia.