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The Fox and the Flame

Suffering as mortals know it did not exist until the creator god, Bakthua, plucked his eyes to give to his children. People suddenly began dying forever, and felt pain in ways they never thought possible. Yet despite their turmoil, nothing truly mattered–you were born, you were hurt, and you died. The brother god, Geldorg, as he wandered through our world to see it for himself, had yet to realize the futility of it all. It was only when he met a truly evil orc, Gordūn, does he learn the difficulty of mortal life.

Word Count: ~3500
Rating: PG
Warnings: Descriptions of violence

When Bakthua plucked his eyes and gave one to each of his children, the shout that tore from his throat shattered the sky. So great was his pain, it escaped his essence. Even the labor pains he suffered to create the world could not match what he experienced then.

His suffering trickled out of the divine realm and into our world. And suddenly, all living beings, too, felt hurt. We felt the first pangs of hunger, the numbness of depression. The ache of aging and the stammering of terror. For a time, nobody knew how to cope, and all creatures did whatever they could to ease their pain. The wise invented medicine, and used parts of herbs or animals to manage their hurt. Some concocted elixirs and brews to quiet the buzzing anxiety in their minds, or grant them the energy they lacked. But not everyone could create what they needed. The kind-hearted gave their inventions away to whoever needed them, while the clever traded for what they wanted. The cruel devised a way to get more from their creation than what they put into it, and only more people hurt as this became the new way of life. A great many died, and we call this the first war. All beings, even today, fight to control their pain, and it is a battle that even Rek’gor sees no end to.

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Agrat the Wanderer

Another Blackskull tale, this time about Agrat’s namesake. I plucked this out of the longer narrative to share online. This is another one that I should have included more about what the legendary Agrat actually did during his time a-wanderin’, but as I wrote it, I worried it would distract from the rest of the narrative too much.

For context, Agrat here has just come out to his mother, Grasha, about being transgender. He wasn’t certain whether she’d take his feelings seriously, so he’s feeling pretty ashamed and embarrassed about himself. Both of them were exiled from the Blackskulls, Grasha’s tribe, because the Blackskulls carry some nasty cultural beliefs about racial purity, and Agrat’s a half-breed. For all their faults, I still enjoy writing about the Blackskulls and who they are as a people

Originally Posted: September 28, 2016
Word Count: ~1600
Rating: G
Warnings: None

“Come,” Grasha said, and opened her arms. Agrat stared at her a moment, then crawled up to her. She hugged him tightly. “I should have seen this long ago. You are my son, Re—no, you need a different name. Do you have one in mind?” He widened his eyes.

Just like that? So easily?

His mind spun a bit before he thought back to his dreams and fantasies. He’d tried on a few different names and none really fit him perfectly, but one cropped up a little more frequently.

“Helmun,” he said. Grasha stared at him and rolled her eyes.

“That’s a human name,” she said. “You’re more orc than human, kaluk.” Agrat set his jaw forward.

“I’m half, though,” he said.

“You’ll figure it out someday. And either way, orc names are better,” she said and grinned.

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