Piece eight: Orc Gone Good
Fifty dwarves poured off the Misty Mountain path, and onto the crusted, rocky ground. Water trickled lightly down from springs in the mountains, dampening the crumbled earth. The clouds hung low and gray above their heads, and sometimes a raindrop would nip a dwarf’s nose.
The rocky toes of the mountains only lasted a mile, until fields began to form. Rolling foothills gold, and brown, with large spots of green tossed about. York-ie had mixed feelings about the land. He knew it was a beautiful land, but it was far to open for his liking, and he felt too vulnerable to the sun.
Despite the heat and brightness, more burdens laid on his shoulders. The burden of knowing his trial was ahead laid on his heart like a weight in his breast pocket; dragging him over like an old withered man. He only hoped a chance to escape would reveal its self. His trial would not look in his favor, and he feared his end would come.
Two rows of dwarves walked single file into the rolling hills. Dusk was near, and they would stop to make camp soon. York-ie’s mind scanned the possibilities of escape as he stared ahead, deep in thought.
‘Will we continue to drag this weight with us? Or will we take his trial, and kill his filth?’ asked Keiwick.
‘Why are you so eager to deal out death?’ asked Gurwick. ‘The poor wretch, all he wanted was to be free, even from his own kind, and all you want to do is kill him.’
‘So, he has corrupted you too?’ asked Keiwick.
‘No, I am not corrupted, it is you that is too thick headed to see any further than him being an Orc!’ cried Gurwick ‘For these past few days I have seen another side of this Orc, and I can see he is different, in a good way.’
‘Gurwick is right, this Orc has good intentions,’ said Bordon as he came from behind. ‘I talked with him last night, and he is a poor thing, but he has no ill thoughts, I can see it in his eyes.’
‘I cannot believe this!’ cried Keiwick as he threw his arms in the air. ‘Even you Bordon, son of Fordon. He is an Orc! May I remind you how many they have killed of our kind? They’re all alike!’
‘We shall see tonight,’ said Gordon. ‘We shall give him trail- let him plead his case. So keep your mouth shut Keiwick, until tonight.’ Keiwick cringed behind his beard.
Bordon walked close to Gordon and whispered in his ear. ‘Is it not odd that we give trial, to a poor thing that has not committed any crime?’ The two exchanged glances briefly before Bordon walked away to his place in line, satisfied he had spoken his mind.
Night fell upon them, the stars twinkle bright as if the moon broke and threw its pieces about the sky, even the occasional piece seems to fall across the black silk heavens. The time for York-ie’s trial had come.
The night was cold, but a bright fire warmed the camp. All the dwarves of the high rank sat around the dancing flames. Gordon, Gurwick, Bordon, and Keiwick all sat together. Dok, and Rulldon sat together, and York-ie sat alone on the far side of the flames, his hands gripping, and his fingers searching the chains around his hands. Gordon stood his short but stout stature, strong and sure on the other side of the fire.
‘York-ie, you may now tell us of yourself. Already we know much, but you shall answer our questions, and if you plead believable, then we may let you free. Never in my life has an Orc been set free from the chains of Dwarves, and this may be the first time.’ Gordon walked around the fire, and stood next to York-ie who remained seated. He stood face to face with him; such was the difference in their stature. ‘My first question is: Where was it that your Band of Orcs was going? Where was their destination, and why were they going there?’
‘We agreeds that you would tells me yours for mine,’ said York-ie.
Keiwick stood to his feet swiftly with his bow in hand, ‘you fool of an Orc! We ask the questions, and you answer! Do not talk back! -‘
‘No, he is right.’ said Gordon with his hand waving for Keiwick to be seated. ‘Very well, but you must speak yours first.’ York-ie breathed through his teeth, making a hissing sound that Gordon despised.
‘The band I was with,’ he paused. ‘They were going to the gray Mountainsss, to joins the army of the kings of evil, Zork-uk.’ York-ie stopped, not daring to say any more.
‘Just as I thought,’ said Rulldon. ‘The castle in the north is recruiting all Orcs to join its army. If we do not-‘ Rulldon stopped and looked at York-ie cross-eyed. ‘Zork-uk may summon an army great enough to launch attacks upon those of Mirkwood and Lonely Mountain. He is growing strong, and powerful, I hope his power does not grow too great for defeat.’
‘Which is yoursss?’ says York-ie suddenly. ‘Mirkwood, or Lonelyss Mountainsss?’
Gordon hesitates, and struggles to say his answer.
‘You saids you would tells me yours! You gaves yer word! Is your word only worth the waste of a Troll?’ asked York-ie.
‘My word is true,’ said Gordon. ‘We are on our way to the Lonely Mountain, we are needed there for purposes of our own.’
‘I have a question!’ cried Keiwick as he leapt from his seat, unable to hold his tongue. ‘You say you have no desire to hurt us, you say you only wish to be free; so far you have made everyone believe so, but the desire to kill still swells in you. The evil of the Orcs can not be thrown aside!’ Keiwick paused and stared at York-ie with burning eyes. ‘You wish to kill me now, don’t you?’ York-ie hissed through his teeth, but kept them tightly clenched, so not to speak words he would regret. ‘You do wish to kill me, so why don’t you? You know you do; you know you wish to slit my throat.’ Keiwick tossed his belt on the ground. ‘I am unarmed, kill me wile you have the chance!’
“Keiwick! Stop this foolishness, this has no purpose!’ said Gordon, but Keiwick continued, throwing his axe at York-ie’s feet.
‘Kill me! Take that axe; strike me down! You piece of filth! You know you wish to kill me, to shut my mouth for good. You know you want to.’ York-ie picked up the axe, holding it tightly in his hand, and clenched it for a while. He hissed and growled in his throat. But then suddenly he threw the axe with precise aim at Keiwick’s feet. Keiwick stepped back in surprise! And felt foolish; he had just helped York-ie, instead of condemning him.
‘I do not believe you wish to hurt us York-ie, but my worry is–will you keep us to your self? You have seen us, that is enough; will you go to the king of evil? Will you tell him of us? You know our mission is important and possibly a threat to Zork-uk, will you throw away news of our travels to him? This is what I wish to test.’ Gordon took the keys from Gurwicks chain that hangs at his breast.
‘Testssss? What sorts of testss are you speaking of?’ asked York-ie with concerned eyes.
‘If you wish to be free, to live on your own, and never see the evil of your race again, you must help us,’ Gordon paused, looking at the surprised faces of his company. ‘You must help us on our journeys to the Lonely Mountain; if you help us, then we shall take you to the land of your wish, we shall build you a home, and leave you to yourself for the rest of your age, and never tell of your existence.’ York-ie looked at Gordon with a more surprised look then the company. He stared at him with his jaw hanging. ‘Will you help us on our journey? Will you help us with our need? I never thought I would say such a thing, but: we need your help, York-ie, race of the Orcs.’
York-ie falls speechless, only able to stare in complete shock. But finally, he regained his voice, speaking softly, ‘I- I shall helps you; if your word is trues through any obstacles or pressures we are to encounters. If I do’s what you asks of me, and you do what you promise for me’s, then I shall come.’
Gurwick leaned over and unlocked the binds around York-ies’ hands, and feet and tossed the chains to the ground. ‘Behold the first Orc to escape the binds of a Dwarf.’