Of Maces and Men

"Mord, what were you thinking? You tossed me in that lake. How could you? And what are you doing here? I did NOT ask for your help nor did I need it. I had it all under control."

"Fiola, I was, was, misled into thinking you needed help. I should have known better. I only acted from trying to help you."

"Hmph. Well, I guess we did a number on those orcs. But do not think that this changes anything. Here, take this rod. I owe you one for, for saving me, I mean, for your clumsy attempt at saving me."

"But you saved me. We are even."

"You only needed saving because of your misguided attempt to save me. So take the rod. Then we will be even. It is your reward."

"Fiola, no. You being here is all I want, the only reward I need."

"Do you want to be at the center of a fireball? Take the rod." She seemed to be seething.

"Why are you angry?"

"I do not want to be in your debt. I want nothing to do with you, you, dumb idiot."

"Me not dumb. What did I do to hurt you?"

"We were to be together, the pair to be for all time. You swore this to me. But you did not trust me when I left earlier. You were angry. That hurt me. It broke my heart that you could not see me be who I was. Do you know what it feels like? Here."

And Fiola swung her mace at me, hitting me in the stomach, knocking me back. But the physical blow was nothing as to what she was doing to me inside. Fiola, my Fiola, had such hurt and anger directed towards me.

"I'm, ow that hurts, I am sorry Fiola. Your leaving me hurt me. I had thought we would adventure together, finding our people, you and me. But you went first as I walked alone at the temple grounds, waiting, always waiting, to get out, to follow you. I may not be smart, but I do know what love is."

"Mord, oh Mord!" And she threw herself into the corner and cried. I held her through the long night, as the worgs cried and the orcs pounded outside in the distance, looking for us. I was torn inside. To hold Fiola again. Such warmth and joy. And yet she was so tormented, still suffering. And out there, our enemies, our people, looking to hunt and kill us.

As she sobbed, she spoke of her party. They seemed like good people. She had led them to those plains, looking to work with the orcs. But in the end the orcs trapped and betrayed them. They slaughtered all of them, three humans, a gnome, and an elf. Her friends were dead. They followed her to their death. The pain of that is beyond description.

My friends followed me to their death, over and over again. But that was different. This, well, they were not coming back.

And then Fiola, though she would not admit it to me, no never to me, her pride deeper than even mine, well, she was nearly sacrificed, destroyed for all eternity. She looked upon the abyss and what she saw, only she knew. Did she weaken then? She was always so strong, and now she cries, now she grasps at me, pounds at me. I do not understand.

And our people. I slaughtered orcs. The former Kordian orcs, the brothers and sisters of my father. His people, my people. Dead, by my hand and by Fiola's hand. The torture of killing your own kind. I knew Pitter took it hard when we killed giants, but this, well, now I know. Now I know. Where is the joy? Where is the pride?

We prevented a great evil from coming to this land. Fiola explained what she had learned of their plans, of bringing servants of Gruumsh to these lands to destroy, their mission to kill the corrupting followers of Kord. That would redeem them, they thought.

But still, does one celebrate a victory over one's own people? I do not know. And still they are out there. I hope my ruse holds the night. I can get us out, but not until morning. And so I hold her, her smell, her skin, distracting me from such dark thoughts.

What a long night! But it was a good night, in the end. Fiola, after sleeping a bit, came to be soft in my arms. She, well, I think she came to forgive me. Her punching seemed to be less from anger and more, well something else. Fiola and I came to know each other again in that dark, sealed cave. That tomb of our past became the womb of our future.

Mords of Wisdom: When a female maces you in the stomach, be patient.