Dorak - A Cursed Reunion

Dear Grandpa,

Well, I spent another 16 years outside of normal time.

Three of those years, I was a slave in the Pthyan mines, in a time long ago but in a land not so far away.

My captors made my life horrible, so I made their lives far worse.

For example, they tried to take everything from me, but when it came to my ring of sustenance, I fought like the devil. Finally, after more than a few pints of blood were spilled, most not my own, they brought in someone to ask why and what it did, and I explained it allowed me to sleep less and to work harder. They contented themselves to having a dwarven slave who would work far more than the rest of the slaves.

What this did, though, was it allowed me to subtly set up failures in support beams and structures. I did so in a way that the beams would not fail right away. Oh no.

The mines schedule was fairly simple – the daylight hours were the orcs and dwarves, for the most part, while the night-blind were confined to the evenings and the nights. Escapes were thus more easily dealt with, for the night blind were unlikely to get far, and the creatures most at home in the night had to face bright sun.

Because of my ring and my extraordinary dwarven fortitude and endurance, I was given double-shifts, often in the deep night and into the day, to shame the newest slaves and try to encourage harder work from the orcs and the dwarves in a not-so-friendly rivalry.

As you may imagine, the dwarves and orcs had our portions of the mines – but the night guards were not so aware of the boundaries of each, so I would sneak into the orc side, weaken the support structures, and then work in the dwarven side.

A few times, when the collapse happened, my smile may have been harder to hide. I was punished for the orcs I killed in a scrap or two, but if the kill total were fully known, they may have actually killed me.

Best of all is that killing an orc in the past has a trickle-down effect on the orc population overall, though when I pointed this out to Ian, he suggested that I may have always gone back in time and killed the orcs that I killed, so I had no impact on the current orc population.

He also posited two alternatives – one where the orcs were alive, I went back, and killed them, but their absence increased breeding elsewhere, and another where the orcs were alive, I went back, killed them, but returned to a different time.

The last I don’t like, because if we saved Kaidan in the past, as it seems we must, but return to the present and it is not saved, it is all for naught.

A benefit to my travels, though, that is not debatable is that I learned from a master of the agile strikes feat.

My teacher said there are different ways to learn it – that one of the first to learn it was a druid who discovered the trick while using the Wild Shape ability, while another early pioneer was a race of creatures with four arms – who could be quite deadly wielding light weapons.

While I do appreciate more knowledge, I worry I’ll be middle aged and not fit to adventure soon.

I suppose I should tell you about the reunion with the team, Ian who was cursed, the curse in turning cursed me, and Iz who was similarly cursed, and sacrificed herself to avoid being a slave to a creature from anotherworld, but I had little part in the casting out of either creature.

We are headed off to Drusas and Kushar and Mung-Li. Hopefully, the Pthyan border is where we leave our bad luck.



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Dorak - A Cursed Reunion

Crimson Skies Grusnik