Chapter 15

(Note: This is not my writting but taken directly from the Midnight supplement “Under the Shadow”)

The harbor bell rang with grim solemnity in the Stone Docks. The early morning mist swirled inquisitively about the last of the fishing boats heading for the open sea. A group of burly men stood in glowering silence on the pier, awaiting the arrival of the Carrion Wind out of Highwall. The creaking of ropes and rhythmic slapping of water on timber were the first signs of its approach, followed shortly by the appearance of the hulking black mass of the three-masted troop carrier. As the ship passed the seawall, the men on the docks erupted into a flurry of activity, preparing to bring the ship into berth. At the seawall, the cloud of gulls that had been following the ship wheeled suddenly and dispersed into the mist-shrouded horizon. Their strange behavior served only to highlight the absence of birds on the dockside.

As soon as the laborers tied off the ship, the planks were thrown roughly down and the dark shapes crowding the gangway resolved themselves into the brutish forms of orcs clad in black chain and carrying vardatches, the large jagged blades of their kind. With a roar the towering beasts charged down the boards and onto the quayside, snarling and howling at the terrified onlookers. There was a hollow ring to this fearsome bluster, and as the orcs moved swiftly away from the water’s edge, several cast nervous glances at it and the creaking vessel that had carried them for a week across the wide Pelluria. Following after his troops, a much larger member of the species stopped in the gangway, sneering at the sprawling human city rising above him. There was no trace of fear in the oruk’s manner, but his temper was as foul as his troops’. When a young lad stumbled under the weight of his load, dropping a crate that promptly fell into the water and sunk quickly from sight, the commander found an object on which to vent his irritation. The sickening sound of metal parting flesh and shattering bone reverberated around the dock. Silence rushed into the frozen tableau that followed, but the oruk merely grinned at the grim faced humans and spat on his victim’s body.

“Move on, ya laggards, before I start givin’ you some.’ The oruk bellowed to his orcs as he kicked the headless corpse into the water lapping at the quayside.

Chapter 15

The Edge of Twilight Naszir