Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (49)
We were on the first level, having made the decision
to go find Lord Ostahar. Goru had had a vision of him
talking to some old orc. I had gone downstairs to check out the
vision, and I did indeed find that. The next morning Goru had a
vision of Ostahar in melee, and we were concerned and prepared
to go down.
We discussed the ethics of helping him. I
mention he's no more a free agent than a sunflower turning to face the
sun. Goru objected on the grounds of fairy honor, that we must
not help him in his combat.
I led Miyara to the place, with others following at
Miyara's invitation. Sun and Shon stayed on this level, as did
Hosei, Bark, and Goru, but the others all came along.
Before I had followed him down stairs to a normal dwarvish area, then
along corridors and through a door to an area of narrow corridors, much
more ornately carved and more likely a noble area. That was where
Ostahar had shared ale with the orc in front of a
fireplace. There was another path that had been used that went
further down to another set of stairs, but I had not followed that then.
Goru said that the place of the fight was not that
of the meeting, We went first to the place of the meeting;
perhaps that orc was the equivalent of the old dwarf, and would be able
to help us.
The room was a sitting room with a fireplace; there
was no-one here.
We returned to go downstairs. Ashu scented
like a dog and said that both the orc and Ostahar went down.
These next stairs went a very long way down to the
third level. This was much more of a peasant area. The orc
trail and dwarf trail separated at the bottom of the stairs. Ostahar
went north, and that is where we followed. After some winding
around, we began to hear a somewhat muted sound of combat.
Pireseri came to the front to do his special
sight. Miyara said that if Ostahar had no trouble, we should not
intervene. We continued along the long corridor; the sounds were
from the far end, about 50 feet ahead where it opened up. As we
closed, it became clear there was a large room where the combat was
The battle sounded like two or three people
fighting, not a full melee. The room was in darkness, so those
with lights stayed behind while Miyara sent me carefully and quietly to
scout out what was happening.
I arrived at the opening. It was a large
room. O was fighting a mighty battle, cornered but putting up a
grand fight with a giant battleaxe. But I could not see what he
was fighting, there was nothing there. He was dodging blows and
taking blows occasionally, so he was fighting something real. He
was struggling but not overwhelmed. I returned to Miyara and
reported. I told her he was fighting an invisible spirit.
A sound came from the battle room. Someone was
coming quickly. It was Ostahar. He jogged up to us
and said it was good that we had come. He told us to come
quickly, that they did not usually follow out of here. We did
so. He led us back the way we had come. By the time we had
reached the top of the stairs, the barbarians were severely winded.
Osthar seemed quite pleased with
himself. He said he was fighting the Grey Mountain Clan. He
realized we had not seen them, and said that they did not usually leave
that desecrated place. He said he gave them a good fight, but
that it was not over. Someday he would drive them out and reclaim
the whole place. He called for beer and food, which Hosei had
I ask if someone would translate for me, and Miyara
Who was the other orc, the one I saw him meeting
with. I apologized for following him. O said it was a nice
morale boost. The orc in the room with the fireplace? He
had met this main orc many times. He is the head of the GMC and
he's always called him <orcish word>. Why did they
meet? To drive him out of Ostahar, he said with an air of it
being a dumb question. Goru said, in a similar tone, "By drinking
ale with him?" He told O about the vision, that they were
drinking ale. HE asked if it was the same orc, and I said it was
not because the trail for hte other orc went a different way.
Miyara did not translate that for him, but Goru understood, both of
them also sensing something strange. I said I had some ideas we
should discuss later.
Dinner continued, with songs from Shon. Later,
O looked at us all and said, "I do remember you. You put on a
good show, but I do remember you. He said he had asked us (goru
in particular) not to call him Highness." He had not done
that. "It was Kadar-Helgad, a good dwarven name which you
will all remember." (That is where we found and left the Stone of
Stones. The name had been across the front entrance.) I
took on a strange expression, laughed strangely, and apologized.
He added that it was 22 years ago.
Goru said he had been busy since then and would like
his memory refreshed. O said that his memory was vague too, but
he did know that we were there together, and were overrun and the ogres
took the place. I said that yes, this was all becoming clear, and
thanked O. Goru said we weren't all there, were we?, and pointed
to Bark and said he wasn't, Shon was, and Son wasn't... O
seemed skeptical, but said nothing apparently because he could not
trust his memory. Goru mentioned in Nipponese that perhaps we
would travel in time or that O was delusional. I said O was
certainly not delusional. Miyara told G, still in Nipponese, that
we would discuss this later.
Goru mentioned that the ogres made a mess of the
place, and O's mood dropped and he agreed it was very bad. Goru
added that they were all dead now. O became dark and
silent. Shon sang brightly of great drawf victories, but it did
not return O to his previous upbeat mood.l
Miyara suggested he should rest after his great
battle, and O agreed. We left for a convenient nearby room for a
chat in our quartersl.
I spoke. There is no-one here but us. O
he's a spirit, a part of this place, refighting battles with orcs that
also aren't here. Goru said he ate and drank, and I said spritis
can do that. Miyara agreed, or there would be no point in leaving
food or drink. He did not understand spirits. Goru said O
was real and he had not heard of his dying (but he might not have).
That did not matter. He's the spirit of O, the
place, an embodiment of it. It has lost it's way. That's
what I just said. Goru asked how could a place lose its
way. We said it could. We have to resolve the unfinished
issues here. It is up to us. This spirit was here, he
doesn't need our help to refight battles. We need to find what
the place wants, what's unresolved here. O is like an old
tapestry, part of the place, and we need to find the answer
ourselves. Miyara said we need to bring this place into hte
present. I continued, we should stop focussing our action around
one part of the place, and look for what the place wants. We
should continue to offer this part of the place beer and food and
stories, of course. Perhaps we should talk to the other
spirit, find out more of the story.
Ravenna asks if our spirits leave traces and tracks
that they can follow. Why shouldn't they? THe place wants
its issues resolved, and it's in it;s own way showing us how to do
that. A spirit can open and close a door, why should it not stir
dust and leave tracks?
Miyara would now take us to see the other
spirit. I said we should bring offerings, and Miyara agreed
we would bring beer and food. So Sun, Shon, Hosei, and Bark
would stay here with the spirit of Ostahar, while the rest of us would
We went down the stairs carrying beer and food for
the orc spirit, as well as some for ourselves. We went down the
two sets of stairs. Ashu was first with myself, as I could see
beyond the light and Ashu would be scenting. Second would be Goru
and Pireseri, then Rabena and Carimera, with Miyara guarding the rear.
When Miyara was about ten yards down the second set
of stairs, the whole group of us heard, in pretty good common, "Stop"
from the top of the stairs, "Please do not go down there."
There was an old orc standing at the top of the
stairs, dressed in full battle regalia. His weapons were not
drawn. She called for me to see if it was the same one who met
with Lord O, and I said it was. We went back up to speak with our
The orc stepped away to let us come up, and then led
us to the fireplace room. It was clear he was both a mage and a
warrior. Goru in Nipponese suggested to Miyara that this might be
the person Shon might need to talk to about the box and orcish
magic. He did have some of those boxes on him.
He said down in his usual chair, and welcomed
us. Miyara sat in the other main seat and offered the food and
He graciously accepted it. He was attentive but did not start
conversation with us.
Eventually Miyara asked him why he did not wish us
to go downstairs.
The orc said it was his home, and he would rather we
did not wander around in it. It was also a test of our intention.
Miyara said we wished merely to speak with him.
He said that was clear. Of what would we speak
Miyara asked him to tell us something of the history
of the place.
THe Orc said it was a dwarven city of old. But
the dwarves had not been here for ... 200 years.
Goru asked what he called Lord O and himself.
Returning? Neverthreless, historically the
dwarves did leave. Sometime after they left, a small colony of
orcs inhabited the lower levels, what he now called his home.
That was the story of Ostahar until about a hundred years ago, when a
colony of religious aesthetics more like Miyara and me and Rabena than
the others in our group. They inhabited at least some parts of
the upper parts of Ostahar and apparently lived on not completely
unfriendly terms. He added that this was based on guesses from
what he could tell when he came.
I said, "Which was when?" in Nipponese of course,
and Miyara asked the question.
He said he came here about 15 years ago, and the
others had gone by then. He continued his story. The orcs
before the humans came had become involved with a particularly nasty
form of a cult of Nurgle (he used the orcish word). Apparently
the humans stopped that, but he doesn't know how or why and is shocked
it happened. The local orcs closed off the shrine they had built
to Nurgle and began living in a slightly difrrent part of hte lower
levels. He's not sure of hte timing , but about 25 years ago,
maybe 30, that portion of the shrine was re-opened. Again, he
does not know why or how. Nurgle's wrath was unleashed upon
everyone, and all the humans and all the orcs were dead or otherwise
gone inside five or maybe ten years. He arrived about 15 years
ago, and Ostahar arrived at about the same time. Sometimes they
argue about who exactly was here first.
Miyara says, so you and Lord Ostahar are the only
Yes, and you.
Goru asks who O was fighting.
Ghosts. He was haunted by memories of a particular
lost battle, he's somewhat vague about hte details. The mention
of the place Kadar Helgad has led him to believe that is where he
suffered his loss.
Goru asks if he remembered the orc being there with
No, he replied, his enemy at the time was ogres, not
I suggested to Miyara that she should ask him about
the statue, or Og, but she had already thought of that, of course.
Miyara said it seemed strange to some of us that he
and Lord O should be on amicable terms. How did that come about?
Perhaps Lord O's current condition is unique for
dwarves (struggling over the word, dwarf, human...), but it is
certainly not unique amongst orcs.
I mention to Miyara that Og lived among humans.
...but not to put too fine a point on it, Lord O was
not completely there. Perhaps neither was he. But they
found they enjoyed stories of hte old days more than fighting.
Goru said that his blind friend had a box much like
those he had, and that he should come here to learn how to use
it. It glows and liquifies and burns when opened.
"Then not like one of these" he said. He
opened up his and it had tinder, flint and steel.
The druidess sent Shon here to learn about it.
He agreed it might well have been to see him.
I would be acceptable to bring him here.
Pireseri got up immediately to fetch Shon and his
Miyara told him she had been searching for an item
that she had been led to believe was here, a metal oriental dragon
The orc said he had not seen such a thing.
Most similar things had been cleared out.
I ask Miyara if we could perhaps talk to the ghosts
in the next level.
Miyara asks what they would know what this one did
I said they may know of the statue because they were
here when the humans were here.
Miyara asked the orc if he would ask the ghosts of
the orcs downstairs if they had seen such a statue, since they had been
here far longer.
He laughed a little, and said "no."
Miyara asked if she may speak with them and ask them.
He would prefer that we did not go down to that
level. It was somewhat embarrassing. The shrine to Nurgle
Miyara asked perhaps if he could bring them here.
"The long dead orcs who died at the hand of
Nurgle. No, I will not." If she had the power to talk to
the dead, perhaps she could talk to the dead humans.
M asked if there were spirits here too.
He said he had not seen them, but it was
possible. He added that he had not see the ghosts down
there. He could not see the spirits that O fights, but he
believed O brought them here and that they were ogres.
Pireseri arrived with Shon. Miyara introduced
Shon said he understood his teacher was here.
He produced the box.
At the first sight of the box, the orc was visibly
shaken. He did not look happy to see it.
Miyara said he clearly recognized the box.
He said he did not, but he recognized the
symbols. They were symbols of ... he did not know the human word
Another of the Chaos gods, asked Shon. Since
it was fire, it would be Tzeentch.
He said yes, the Great Conspirator. He said he
can tell him what it does, how to use it, but he will not touch it and
does not want it used here. It changes time.
Oh. We all looked at each other.
Shon asked, changes it how?
Any way we wanted.
Shon asked how to control it.
You could not control it. If you ever believed
that, it would be foolish. The orc got up and went over to the
fireplace and yanked a large basin off the wall and dropped it on the
floor. He fumbled around in his clothes and pulled out a box,
similar to Shon's but not marked at all. He opened it, and this
one had liquid which poured out into the bowl. "These are called Fire
Boxes," he said. Any orc mage would carry at least one. The
mundane ones carried tinder and flint and steel. The more than
mundane ones contained magic. The really powerful ones had water,
like this one. He then pulled out another jug, and poured it into
the bowl with the water in the box. That was useful to an orc in
the wilderness. Water and food. He reached into water and
pulled out a living rabbit. It was wet. He put the rabbit
back, poured the water back into the bottle, and put the box
away. Pireseri noted the box was now full of water again.
Shon said, so we would pour the fluid out into a
Yes, any body of water. Small if you need it ,
or large if you needed.
Miyara says, so a really big basin you could pull
cows out of it.
The orc says it is unlikely we would pull orcs out
of our box.
Shon suggested a basin five feet across, we could
use that to pull out something from another time, or step into it to go
to another time.
Miyara in Nipponese suggests we could catch
something and pour it down its throat.
I said, or we could take the spirit of O back to the
other place and win.
Goru said he was already there.
Miyara said he was still there, he had never left it.
The orc said that it was probably worth knowing that
in orcan culture water was associated with birth and creation, fire
with death and destruction. The symbols on the box were a god of
change, both creation and destruction. Of course some have said
that creation is destruction.
We could go back and finish unfinished business.
Goru asked if we would go back to Kadar Helgad and
lose again, or rescue them. Could we change it, or lock it in?
Miyara remembers the prophecy from KH. (Kadar
has religious connotations, Karak is a city).
Pireseri suggests that we go back to KH, and
retrieve the stone before it was put into the rock.
I suggest we can use the stones to save KH, and
since they were things of chaos we could indeed change the outcome.
The pillar in KH that gave the instruction, answered
in Dwarvish but not a dwarf, a rock or elemental. When translated
out of dwarvish, the pronoun is vague. It is perfectly reasonable
to refer to a place and the people in it using the same term. I
believed that the people were manifestations of the place, and that it
was the place we needed to rescue. A rock spirit would probably
think so to.
We had no more questions. As we left, he gave
us some words of caution: "Do not forget where the box came from.
Even I cannot imagine the amount of chaos that could easily be caused
by changing time."