in the end, Grbek Pukk sat on the throne of Orcwatch, where Lord and Lady Protectors had sat for over a thousand years, watching the Broken Mountains for signs of his own people, spilling into the Anvil Plains, filled with hatred, jagged orc-made weapons in hand. Over a decade ago, someone had sat here and watched him and his horde march forth but only himself and his Slayer had survived.
Moreso than killing the dragon, moreso than regaining a horde of his own, moreso than crippling the Spider Goddess, this was an accomplishment that soothed his hate-filled black heart. Squatting over Orcwatch, the keep the Elves had built to keep his people from leaving the Broken Mountains, felt right.
The rare moment of peace was broken when a goblin scurried to his makeshift throne.
“Dark Elves request an audience, King.”
Warder Gurth formerly known as He Who Slays for the Named (often Slayer for short) left the throne room, hatred gone from his heart but spite seething. His king had at least recognized him despite his latest transformations and he had been able to introduce his new wife.
But the King had not taken his blooded hand, had not sworn an oath with him. His King, possibly his only friend did not trust him. He had seen his Slayer lay the foundations for too many killings, for too much slaughter with cunning words and would not be the latest victim.
“I vow this, King. We will die together, in each other’s arms. I only know that you will die first.” The words had shaken the throne room, from the dwarves, to the human mercenaries, to the trolls, to the orc in between. Right now they were words in the king’s court but they had been said with force. Soon they would spill out into the world, become rumor, finally the stuff of legend.
In the Broken Mountains, Barghesta Pukk hears of her husband’s transformation and rallies the spiders to her call.
As the Spiders ride out, Kurga, a dragon-worshipper, takes the last of the dragons, a sickly creature, from the Troll Bridge-Keep to the south.
The Elven King hears of the loss of Orcwatch and begins his people to head south, en masse, an exoduce from this continent, from the world of man, or world of orc, or whatever it is. The Empire of the Scar has come to this continent and the king wants no more grief from this world.
The High King of the Dwarves is blinded, his eyes taken out by the Orc King’s uncle, Kargesh Pukk. The Slayerson, prophesied to be the leader of the greatest nation of the orc, would ride with Kargesh’s pack like a proper orc. He would come to his hatred through marauding, sitting atop a great wolf, covered in blood and glory. Kargesh had had enough of letters, court, empire-building, and honeyed words.
The King of the Orc would rule with hatred.
And so the Third Chapter of The King and the Slayer ends. Chapter I The Dragon. Chapter II The Spider Goddess, and Chapter III The Empire of the Scar have taken over a year of real time to play and over a decade of game time to see to the end.
Rich believes the King’s story is over. Jim wants more time with his Slayer some day down the road. Maybe they should have fought in that throne room and been done with it.
Jim and Rich are going to make human characters, a privateer and a noble veteran of war. We are going to continue in this world, with its Empire of the Scar, and see what else there is to see.