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Thread: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Completed

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    Default [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Completed

    This will as the name implies be the bloody tale of the orc Malthur. He lives in Mordor in the Third Age mod with the Massive Overhaul Submod 1.6.2 + all the other changes I have made privately to my own installation. They are mainly new unit cards and unit statistics, and of course the portrait of the protagonist.

    Usually the stories I have published in forums have been found to be exceedingly long so this time I will try the opposite and post the story in smaller bits at a time.

    The episodes will be named in the following manner: "Chapter X - X" where the last X is the latest episode of the chapter. We start at Chapter I - I.



    About the mod: Third Age takes place in the Lord of the Rings World and feature most of the starring factions of that universe. Sauron is most fittingly featured using the pope mechanism of Medieval II and his minions can attempt to persuade their master to call an invasion against enemy cities which is the reinterpretation of the crusade mechanism of the vanilla game.

    MOS is a compilation of a lot of submods which has gone on for quite some time now. It is rich in scripting but also offers the player the option to use or not use many of the features which I personally find very commendable.

    Campaign and Battle difficulty is set to Very Hard which in Medieval II means that the enemy will get a bit of a morale bonus in battles.

    Happy Reading!
    Last edited by Maltacus; December 10, 2018 at 04:57 PM.

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - I

    Chapter I - I

    Gorgoroth. What a snotfilled sack of snagas maggot eaten heads of a pile of troll dirt that left you here in charge of this no good pack of slugs of a pathetic excuse for even the weakest of builders! The Uruk overseer kicked a nearby black stone in frustration. Nearby the stunted working orcs toiled with picks and shovels to keep the road between Barad Dur and the great mountain clear of the ash and stone that the mountain regularly would throw out in rumbling heaps of fire. The work never ended and never lightened.

    The uruk angrily drew out his sword on a whim. Like that was of any use here! Why did he even carry sword and shield around any more? His dagger was enough to cut the dusty filth of maggot eaten grey gravel that went for bread in these parts and whatever scraps of leathery meat that might be found after the regular troops had had their share. Now, that would be the place to be posted, one of the great fortresses perhaps, or the towns and outposts south around the lake Nurnen where the great rows of supply wagons of food came from. Or maybe join a raiding party and see some of the outside loot and enjoy fresh meat for a change. He suddenly knelt down and rammed the blade deep into the ground. There! There it could stay for all time for all he cared! And if any of those useless maggots would even think about standing up to him he would tear its arm of and beat it to a pulp with it! He needed no sword to keep those wretches in line!

    He looked up as he thought of them. One could never leave the lot unwatched for long, always some new mischief brewing as soon as you turned your back on them. If it wasn't some new way of loitering or sneaking off from the digging it was gossiping like aged humans from the south. And if anyone higher up would hear a whisper of that it would be short work to find the responsible overseer to blame. And this latest talk, then! Minas Morgul itself, assaulted by those accursed Gondorians! Stormed, some said. Under siege, according to others. No, the Nazghul drove the enemy away. No, they fell into an ambush. No the Gondorians had all gone mad from the foul sorcery of the town. Damn it! It was hard enough to find trustworthy information even for him.

    Apparently some filth of a captain named Himdir had fought his way to the fortress of a city and for some reason he could not fathom it was defended by a rabble of stinking rats with just about only the general and a company of the city's armored spearmen being properly equipped.




    Minas Morgul lies deep in the dark vale that leads to the pass above it, the smaller entrance to Mordor with the hag of a spider lurking in the tunnels below. The fortress itself is high and mighty enough but offers not too much in the way of defenses for a small force.




    Ufluk, the talentless scum, retreated to the inner walls almost as soon as the enemy showed their snouts near the gate. Probably saved his hide. He had two banners of the little archer scouts that plague the land like some vermin someone has yet to step on, and these were sent to the walls to hold their positions and support the boys down in the yard.




    They soon had a lot to busy themselves with as our fine guests from across the river hurried inside. Mostly motley levy but also some stinking regulars from Pelargir or whatever other places their damned fleet uses as the home base. Burned like anyone else, though.




    Believe it or not, the little buggers even managed to rout a couple of sallies to the wall with their flaming arrows. Only good thing coming from serving under the gaze of that chilling tower that looks over the whole place.




    While our boys inside busied themselves with the growing attacks the tardy reinforcements from Cirth Ungol were marching downhill to make themselves useful. The road runs around the whole city and then to the causeway to the front gate so they sure took their time getting there. The Gondorians sent a pitiful weakened cavalry banner against them but that was too little to stop even that ragged bunch.




    While the pressure was building in the courtyard the archers had more fun with the occasional militia trying their luck on the rooftop. Why the enemy sent such badly equipped weaklings to do something that important beat him. Can't have valued their skins too much at least. Not even much of a distraction.




    Now, these armoured spearmen were the best troops Ufluk had, good uruks with some fancy black plating. It's said that number one himself set up the regiment, as a mockery of the human elite that guarded the fortress ages ago. Ain't that petty? Whatever they are supposed to mimic, these boys held their position for the whole battle and let the archers cut down and rout enemies in droves with their arrows around them.




    In the end, there were just about a dozen left, huddling together with their shields up and spears out. Now, that's true fighting spirit! And equally bad generalship.




    Now, however they managed it, our reinforcements did at last arrive and pushed their way through the shaky remnants of militia on the causeway that had spent themselves running from our arrows inside, and then pushed in through the gate.




    Last to fall were some accursed elite archers with biting great swords too, and the spear hurling infantry from the Pelargir fleet. Both being infamous for their troublemaking.




    How could this happen, then? Because the black land had borders without any sort of scouting nowadays, worse than in many years but at least before the enemy stayed away from Mordor since the big ones kept low. No longer. And that filthy river was offering them free transportation because those lazy sods of the south, that treacherous cowardly pirate scum of Umbar, just sat in their harbours eating figs or raiding fishermen further south. Little help did one have from the likes of them! Ancient Gondorian descendants they were, too, many of them...

    If anyone more competent made the call the land would be swept clean of these rebels and troublemakers, Minas Tirith sacked and the corsairs put firmly in line. Someone sensible of the ever vigilant Uruks, yes why not Malthur himself? And here he was, wasting away overseeing the road leading up to that dusty old cave in the fire mountain and patrolling the road between here and Barad Dur! He turned angrily away from looking up towards the mountain top...and immediately tripped on the sword hilt now firmly lodged in the ground. The cursing and swearing echoed far and away.

    Still, an idea was beginning to take shape in Malthurs head. A blurry and unfinished one but growing clearer each moment. Outward security measures were not the only one being insufficient these days. Perhaps the inner ones might be bent a little as well, for the greater glory of Mordor of course.


    Last edited by Maltacus; June 04, 2018 at 05:48 AM.

  3. #3
    waveman's Avatar Decanus
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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - I

    I like this! I love the tone of the narration, and I must admit I read it to myself in a guttural
    orcish tone.

    One little bit of advice I'd give is to mark when people or orcs are talking by using quotation marks or something, but other than that it's good.

    Looking forward to more!

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - I

    Quotation marks will be used, don't worry. The entire first part is Malthurs thoughts which are a mix of recapitulating what has happened and speaking his mind to himself, so there is nobody talking in the true sense of the word. I did spot a couple of minor typos and corrected them, maybe it has made it slightly clearer.

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - I

    Ahhh, ok I see. Italics can help show that it's thoughts, it makes a lot more sense now knowing that

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - I

    This is a great start, Maltacus. I'm looking forward to more.

    For what it's worth, I worked out it was Malthur's thoughts, not people speaking. Where I got a bit confused was where you slide from telling us Malthur's thoughts to being more of an external narrator without it being clear immediately that you've done that. Maybe waveman's idea of using italics would help with that. For example, the bit where you refer to "our reinforcements" (not "reinforcements for Ufluk's troops"). Malthur would think of them like that, but I'm not sure an external narrator would - but at the same time, that's more the kind of sentence you'd expect from a narrator rather than from someone in the middle of fighting a battle. It's very minor, though, and I do really like the style you're using to write this. And your pictures are excellent!






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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - I

    Chapter I - II

    Two days later an opportunity presented itself. As always, the road was frequently travelled and one smaller war party of whipped scouts with a whipping commander soon came running into view. Malthur hurried down to halt the newcomers.

    "Hold up there!"

    The leading orc put up his fist and the trail of panting smaller orcs stopped, breathing heavily and only welcoming any moment of rest.

    "What's the meaning of this!?"

    "I was going to ask the same! What's your name and number?"

    "I am Ugdush! Commanding the third banner of the second regiment of Seregost! Heading for Durthang. And who are you to question me, you little worm?!"

    "What do you expect?! You're late! I expected you a long time ago."

    "Ah! What can you hope for, with these sorry rag-tag louts!"

    A safe bet, Malthur thought for himself. Orcs were always late for one thing or another, and always angry about it and a bunch of other things. Now he just had to keep the momentum.

    "Now, then, might I ask what the hell you are doing here?"

    "What do you mean!? This is a the road to Durthang and I am marching my unit there, you fool!"

    "Then why didn't you turn north two miles past? The main road is blocked, idiot! Rockslide. We've only dug out a narrow little trail yet. There's a reason you are later than you should have been, because a large column of supplies and more from down south will be passing here and they need the road cleared without any others meeting them. So you were supposed to get your maggots past using the small north trail!"

    "What are you babbling about? North trail?"

    "Didn't you see the scouts I posted? The trail runs around the mountain area, rocky and long but safer from blocking. Then it turns west again."

    "Stinking filth! I met no one!"

    "The lazy sods must have crawled away and slept then. I'll rend the skin from their bones once I find out who, but you have a bigger problem. You're going to be a day behind, at the very least. I don't fancy being in your position if any of them Nazghuls decide to look into the matter."

    The mention of the wraiths was a sure a way as any to get a surly orc in an even worse mood. The captain Ugdushs eyebrows lowered as he racked his brain with the unpleasant prospect of having the wraiths sniffing about, as the orcs would put it. Ill appreciated were they, while feared and perhaps respected in battle for the way they struck terror into the foe. But in Mordor they were the nightmare of nightmares for any commander with a suspicious record to show. Malthur continued his ill boding speech.

    "Heh, so you are in a bit of a fix now, Ugdush, aren't you? I suggest you find that trail soon."

    "Then send some guide with me!"

    "Now listen here! I have already wasted time I don't have on you and your sorry pack! I don't have men to spare and even if I did I wouldn't send them off on their own so they can just run away afterwards like the rats you should have met evidently did! But if you want to go look for the trail I suppose I can keep an eye on your boys here while you're away."

    "No bloody way. I'm sending some scouts of my own."

    "Your choice. They can hardly miss it. Two or three miles from here on your left obviously. But now that you're here, why don't you and your watching thugs go get some rest and refreshments from over there, behind that outcropping? You look like dirt."

    "Huh, we might do that, actually."

    The three orc officers strolled away in the pointed direction. Malthur watched them closely and immediately waved to the nearest of his workers.

    "Go get two dozen of the boys with their tools here at once. Then you will lead them to behind that outcropping over there, where you will find three big fellows waiting for you. Beat them to pulp and bury the bodies deep. Or eat them if you feel like it but hide the rest well. There may be some returning scouts from the east in a while, you may deal with them in the same way. And not a word to anyone ever about this, or I'll flay you alive and roast you over the flaming mountain itself!"

    The subordinate orc recoiled slightly when hearing the orders but a dangerous, hungry glimmer sparked in his eyes too, and he scurried away without question. Malthur also hurried away, down to the road where the scout detachment rested.

    "Up with you, you lazy slugs! Break time is over and now it's on to Durthang at double pace or you will feel the sting of my whip! Formation!"





    Last edited by Maltacus; June 04, 2018 at 05:39 AM.

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - I

    Malthur certainly seems like a crafty one

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - II

    Thanks Caillagh and Waveman! I will stick with narrating that is influenced by the character from whose point of view the events happen but I think it will be clearer than the first part in which the telling is uneven. I was simply a bit rusty when writing that.

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - II

    Hey, no problem. As I said, it was a minor thing. (And I sympathise about the rustiness - it can take a little while to get back into the way of writing stuff. But you write well, so I'm sure you'll have no trouble now you've got started. )

    I like your latest update. As waveman says, Malthur seems to be rather devious. I'm looking forward to discovering how all this guile will be translated into "the greater glory of Mordor"!






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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - II

    Chapter I - III

    In the gloomy fortress of Durthang, the sentries reported that an approaching column of troops was sighted. Ladok, the commander of the place, walked down to inspect the newcomers at the gates. He was an enormous uruk, towering over almost any other orc, and stubborn to the core if not too crafty. In a way, the ideal subcommander and deputy. Durthang occupied the northern end of the pass between Ephel Duath, the Mountains of Shadow, and the inner ridge, Morgai, being something of the last defence of Mordor against attacks from the west. From the fortress ran two important roads, one east down towards the centre of Mordor and one south to Cirith Ungol and Minas Morgul. Durthang was in this way ideally suited as a training and marshalling ground, far away from the main routes in and out to not be in the way but quite close should the need arise for quick reinforcements. Lastly, the mountains around it were home to no small number of troll cages and pens. In time, their inhabitants might make their dreadful contribution to Mordors ultimate victory.

    "Halt! Who goes there?!"

    "Malthur! Commanding the third banner of the second regiment of Seregost."

    "Seregost, eh? You're late, scum! You were supposed to be here a day ago!"

    "We were waylaid by some rabble near the mountain! They got Ugdush, our commander, and some of the boys in the front before we drove 'em off!"

    Ladok regarded him coldly for a while.

    "So, you know Ugdush at least. Good enough. Get your unit into the west wing to camp. Then come up to the tower and report to me."



    Ladoks quarter was a circular room with stashed weapons, ancient loot and other useful things. He was looking out of one of the narrow openings that counted for windows when Malthur entered.

    "Tell me about them rebels on the road then. Numbers? Armament? Origin?"

    "Some smallish sniveling types, with tools and smaller arms, perhaps some bows. Don't know where they come from but they seemed familiar with the ground so I suppose they've been nesting there for a while. Crap, you expect the roads in the bloody middle of the country to be clear, what, just about in front of..."

    "That's gonna be hell to explain later. But this is Lagruds turf! Stinking idiot, he is supposed to keep watch from his little camp and make sure these things do not happen!"

    "He in charge of that big camp next to the road here?"

    "Huh. And in charge with overseeing the roads and the rest of the dusty plain of his for that matter."

    "You want something done you need to do it yourself." Malthur shook his head as in disgust. "Maybe that's the solution?"

    Ladok looked suspicious.

    "What are you babbling about?"

    "What I mean is, if this Lagrud can't manage the roads the task should go to someone more competent. Someone in charge of a proper fortress and not some little mudcrawling maggot of a forsaken camp who could only find his way to the cooking huts by the smell of them."

    Ladok looked thoughtful but didn't seem to disapprove. Malthur continued.

    "Besides, is there not something to be gained in it too? To be the decisive commander who stamps out these rebels? Might even make Durthang and it's chief wield influence even on the plains so to say."

    The chief of Durthang looked even more thoughtful.


    Last edited by Maltacus; June 04, 2018 at 05:49 AM.

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - III

    Chapter I - IV

    Near the foot of Mount Doom, orc archers were spreading out with their officers behind barking orders. They formed a wide line and moved slowly forward, all scouting for the bandits they had been told to find. Most looked only tired but some stared warily at every cliff and stone that could hide an ambusher.

    The overall commander of the expedition was Grat. He eyed the newcomer and guide Malthur with suspicion.

    "So this is where your precious little robbers would nest, is it? I don't see a thing for my part."

    "You approach with a line that can be spotted from a mile away, not even bothering to take cover, and you blame me if you find nothing? Is that a head on your shoulders or is it a sack of dung?"

    "Why you miserable little..."

    "Give me twenty lads who can march without tripping over themselves and I'll chase those scum out, right into your arms here! Just hold and remember to aim towards the enemy."

    Grat pondered over the proposition. On the one hand, the possibility to be done with this worthless assignment as soon as possible. On the other, the risk of getting rid of that upstart piece of filth that thought himself some kind of commander just because Ladok had sent him along to act as a guide.

    Grat took no risks, though. He called up all the other officers to make sure they overheard who gave orders to who.

    "Lads, I'm sending the rookie around with twenty men to see if he can chase those maggots out into our line as he claims. So hold your positions and wait for the sounds of uprooted little rebels, yes? To your places!"

    The twenty archers in the vanguard waited uneasily for the new officer to order them out. To them, one barking Uruk was as bad as the other, especially since this one in his new armour and the Durthang insignia and new spiked helm covering his features was indistinguishable from any other, not to mention from any former orc commander that might have marched from this place earlier.

    "Attention! As you may have heard we have the glorious task of getting into that nest and luring them out. Nice, huh? We follow the road and then enter the hills from the north, to flank our supposed foe. You will split in four groups of five, sweeping a lane each from enemies. Middle man scout ahead, left man left and right man right. The other two scout in between. You find anything, you keep your mouths shut, stop, hide and signal for assistance. I want every enemy dead after the first volley, do you hear me?! No screaming for help and no one gets way. Move out!"



    Last edited by Maltacus; June 04, 2018 at 05:49 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - IV

    I'm enjoying this! Your orcs sound authentically orcish, your images are great and - like waveman and Caillagh - I am looking forward to seeing where Malthur's quick wits will take him. I wonder if you would be interested in entering this AAR in the MAARC LXV.

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - IV

    @Caillagh
    Thanks!

    @Alwyn
    Authentically orcish...you mean lots of swearing and meanness ? The forum language filter is the bane of the purists in this matter, sadly the readers will have to be content with the watered down remnants that make their way through. I think MAARC is far too early for this AAR but I'll think about it again at the end of the month. Still, very much thanks for bringing that up.

    I appreciate comments tremendously and it never has to be anything witty or original, just the fact that someone took their time to write what they think makes you feel like you did something right (or something wrong that someone else cared about enough to point out to help remedy).
    Last edited by Maltacus; June 12, 2016 at 05:06 PM.

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - IV

    Chapter I - V

    A hole it was in the black of the night. Darkness deeper than the darkness, and an unseen gaze sweeping over chilled onlookers that most of all wished to crawl away and hide.

    Behind him rode two dozens of guards in plate armour of ancient design and masklike helmets. They were not there for safety but to carry out the lesser tasks of their lord, whose only visible armament was a wide black cloak along with boots and gauntlets that protruded from under it. Immortal and older than most living things and indeed most cities and nations of Middle Earth, he had little need of a bodyguard. Few things escaped him in the district he held responsibility over and those that did counted themselves lucky. The unauthorized expedition from Durthang was not among those.




    "Bring me the officers engaged in this...expedition."

    Khamuls unseen glare froze the bone and the soul of all he questioned. Through their stuttering answers he learned that Ladok had ordered the expedition. Or if he had received orders from somewhere? No, he would never listen to advice from others. No, he didn't do anything he wasn't told to.

    Who had taken part in the attack? Some usual officers no doubt. And that newcomer, who acted as a guide. Sent to draw out the foe, indeed? Apparently cleared the place thoroughly with just his scout group. Did he have something to do with the expedition apart from having reported the attacks to start with? No, not as far as anyone knew. Why would Ladok have listened to him? What about the authority of Lagrud? Oh, that...the good people of the stronghold just did as Ladok told, the great lord Khamul must understand.

    The archers of this Malthurs group were not special in any manner, they just happened to be ordered that way. By Grat. Yes, everyone heard that. Grat's idea, it would seem. Yes, they had found some rebels, and surprised them completely. No survivors, as per Malthurs command. Yes, he had probably commanded smartly. Split his group in a somewhat tactical way. No, he hadn't done anything that seemed suspicious since. Handled a portion of the watch in Durthang without complaint. The lads said he reported on time and kept his mouth shut otherwise.

    And so Ladok was attempting to outmaneuver Lagrud, was he? Growing a bit too fast here in Durthang, aren't we? Not good enough, just running the fortress for the great eye? No, that was not the case, the good lord must not think. Never. It was Ladoks idea. Nobody knew anything about his plans. Or...maybe heard something once. Yes, lord Khamul shouldn't think all in Durthang to be disloyal dimwits. Oh, no. Actually, one could never be sure about that Ladok. Big fellow with big thoughts and big ambitions. Too big for his place. They said he wanted to be master of the Black Gate as well. Of all of northern Mordor as one great district. No, he probably had his sights set on Barad Dur. Might even have wished to oust lord Khamul and his mighty kind from their fine city.



    As it happened, Khamul did look out of the same window as the rooms former master once the last visitor entered.

    "Soo...the newest of officers approach. I trust the assignments have been to your liking?" The nazghuls metallic voice was barely above a whispering hiss.

    "I serve the eye in what way is required, lord."

    "That you do. As do Ladok, who will now be dragged in chains to the courtyard. There he will be slain for all to see and his head mounted as a fine warning for anyone even thinking of stepping out of line in this little hole. So will he serve the eye in the capacity that he is fit for."

    The orc chieftain remained silent.

    "Will it be your head that keeps him company soon? What do you think, orc?"

    "I think that you have more important things to do than listening to my opinions, lord. I am eager to get to work."

    "The whole fortress is filled with treacherous curs who could not remember their place if their lives depended on it. They will have to be kept in line and away from causing further trouble. Your only redeeming feature is that you have served the shortest time and therefore may seem less implicated to the outside if nothing else. You assume the position of overseer of Durthang from now on. The rest of the officers remain. They will not obey you wholeheartedly of course. Especially not since your first assignment as overseer is to prepare an expedition east. Twelve companies, of bow and sword. That you will lead into the deserts."




    "With respect lord, what good is an overseer miles away from what he oversees?"

    "Little. So you will do well to leave such tasks in the hands of more immediate assets. The great eye will not tolerate failure, regardless of the excuse."

    The orc kept staring silently with his eyes hardly visible through the eye slits of the helmet. Khamul continued.

    "Make no mistake, Malthur, you will never climb higher, nor will any of those who succeed you. You will all be made examples of for all to see and remember the old overseer of Morgai who believed he could overreach without the eye noticing it. All who look upon you will know that they gaze upon the weakest and least among chieftains and why it is so."

    "And what would the eye have of this low and ill reputed servant then?" asked the orc with a barely concealed sarcasm.

    "The variags are unruly. Tribute is flowing but it is too little and too uneven. They don't hold the great eye in such regard as would be wise of them. They will be shown the error of their ways. Five columns will sweep through the land with specific goals each. You will command the southernmost. Your mission is the town of Ammu Khand, close to Mordor. Take it, and make sure the people know what is expected of them."




    "And does the eye expect them to...live?"

    The nazghul regarded him with its invisible cold stare for a moment.

    "The aim is to ensure tribute and the pacification of the region. However, you may dispose of any unruly elements as you see fit. They will learn to fear the eye or know the price of disobedience."

    The orc chieftain bowed and left the room.



    Last edited by Maltacus; June 04, 2018 at 05:50 AM.

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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - V

    Well, Malthur's sneakiness seems to have paid off. At least, I obviously don't know what he was planning to do when he got control of Durthang, so I have no idea how he feels about the mission he's just been sent on - but being made Overseer of Durthang is presumably something he was hoping for!

    I agree with Alwyn - your orcs remind me of Tolkien's orcs. Not least because most of them seem to be not nearly paranoid enough for the world they live in, and... shall we say "less than nimble intellectually"?






  17. #17
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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - V

    Chapter I - VI

    They were screaming. Raising their shields and weapons. Banging them together. The sunlight glittered in all the metal and shone on the fine armours and helmets. Ammu Khand would not fall soon with such a force mustered! It had taken every bit of sharp objects in town to equip the militia but it had surely been worth it. The filthy orcs would surely think twice about rushing in once they got closer with their rams. The wall was just a palisade but at least stopped a head on charge and when the foe tried to squeeze through the openings they would be surrounded and cut to pieces from all sides!

    Ilg of the militia fumbled with his large shield and spear while waiting. It was exciting and frightening at the same time but he had complete confidence in his towns lord. Someone that high and mighty would not fall to these bandits. That was how the world was made, it was, as sure as the rise of the sun.

    "Stand still! Take deep breaths, you need to conserve some strength." said Od next to him.

    "But I'm so thrilled! We'll slay those monsters and then we will be like heroes!"

    "We need to slay them first" Od retorted, and continued in a hushed voice "and it doesn't look that good from where I stand."

    "What?"

    "They're waiting us out. Look at it. We have nearly no bowmen, and the enemy is just standing there, taking their time."

    "That's good, ain't it? They're frightened!"

    "They're smart. They know that they're dealing with militia unused to long battles and able to keep up a short burst of bravery but lacking the guts for a drawn out contest. Since this banging and shouting started, it's our men that's been tiring themselves out, mark my words."

    Ilg looked around. That couldn't have been true, could it? The stout folk of Ammu Khand would not give in like that, used as they were to work long days in the sun. He looked around more closely. Was it as much clamour now as earlier? Maybe quite not. Some men were drinking from their water skins already. Could Od be right? Ilg walked backwards so that he came a bit higher up and managed to glimpse over the palisade. The orcs...were sitting on the ground. Or most of them at least. Some were walking around, apparently distributing drink and some food among their ranks. The human militia on their hand were still waving their weapons and shouting, with hoarser throats, dreading the absence of their sound as if it would signal the end for them all. Ilg slowly started shaking his head.

    Then the cry came in from further to his right side.

    "Fire arrows!"




    Ilg could not breathe! He was being pressed by bodies from every side and could neither turn around nor move. The remnants of the militia cowered around him, keeping their shields up and involuntarily staggering back into one another as if searching for some measure of safety. Orcs swarmed around them, no, it was more like a black lake of orcs rolling over them like a sandstorm, blanketing every open spot of the streets. Ilg could only turn his head but knew there was only walls behind the humans. He should have run when Od said so earlier, even if Od had been hit by an arrow and stumbled shortly after trying to get away from the walls. The orcs had not killed him but the panicking militia had trampled over him and many others in their flight back to the town square where they had reformed. And now Ilg would suffer the same fate. If only he could get back and turn and maybe he could scale that wall? Maybe the orcs did not have any bowmen here, or they had run out of arrows? Maybe the other side of the house would be empty and he could get away now, or hide until the night?




    The orcs suddenly roared an indistinguishable war cry and charged. Someone behind Ilg faltered, and Ilg too lost balance. He stumbled and fell to the ground on his back just as someone stepped on his leg. He heard the bone snap and could not think as the stupefying pain hit him.



    Last edited by Maltacus; June 04, 2018 at 05:50 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - VI

    Chapter I - VII

    Shagrat, lieutenant of Malthur, marched arrogantly across the still very bloody town square. Something smelled delicious from the cooking pots outside. Malthur greeted him by tossing him the helmet of the fallen enemy captain, all gilded steel.

    "What do you make of this, eh?"

    "What do I make of what? It's a bloody helmet."

    "And what does it tell us? Read the signs, Shagrat, and tell me."

    "Huh...so the wearer was rich, then. Since the scum was lord of this little pile of dirt of a maggot nest I wouldn't be too surprised. Can we go get some eating done now, captain?"

    "Idiot! Do you have slugs nesting in your head or what is wrong with you!? The lowliest snivelling little tracker could tell me more. Look at it!" He pointed angrily at the helmet again. "The steel might be decent underneath, or at least passable for this land. That gold is not. No smith that clumsy can afford the material needed for covering a whole helmet in gold like that, and none would hire one so clumsy if he was rich enough to buy the gold needed. Get it?"

    The Uruk lieutenant stared back at him blankly. Malthur shook his head in disgust and kicked him hard in the stomach. Towering over the knocked down orc he continued. "These amateur smiths and little worms of pretender princes have neither wits nor bits to buy the material needed to craft armours like that. That tells us one thing. They. Found. It. Get up, and get the shiniest batch of prisoners you can find here. There's gold in these hills, and we're going to find it."



    Malthur stood seemingly casually and picked out dirt from under his nails with his dagger, or perhaps it was more like a very short sword. He had never been able to understand this. Of all things to be frightened of, humans would pick this ludicrous gesture to shiver from. Ah, well, all the easier to intimidate the pack.

    "You." He pointed at the foremost of the prisoners brought forward. "There is gold in these lands. More than is expected in a small hole like this. Where does it come from?"

    "We....we ain't got no gold, lord, I swear..."

    Malthur lashed out with his dagger in the blink of an eye. The prisoners speech faltered in a gurgling of blood as he collapsed with his throat cut.

    "I will ask again. Once. Where does the gold come from?"

    The mines lay southeast of the town. It was really more of a series of holes but the gold vein seemed to continue downwards. It had been discovered less than two years ago and the lord of the town had been intoxicated by his dreams of a prosperous future for the town and especially himself. The smith who made the clumsily ornate armour was among the fallen in the battle. It was a couple of weeks track to the mining grounds.

    "See, Shagrat? Something to dig up from this maggot nest after all." He turned towards the unfortunate Khandfolk. "You lot will accompany this lieutenant of mine and the fine gentlemen of his guard to this mine of yours. For your sake I hope it really is two weeks from here, or you might find out just how hungry my boys can get from a hard march in the sun."



    Last edited by Maltacus; June 04, 2018 at 05:51 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - VII

    Chapter I - VIII

    The town of Ammu Khand was quiet now. It's inhabitants hurries to and fro, going about their daily business as quietly as possible. There wasn't so many as one might expect but on the other hand there were a lot more of the black armored orcs than one would have guessed from looking at the town. The shadow of the sharp mountains of Mordor, jagged compared to the rounded ones further east, loomed darker than before over the town.



    Orcs patrolled the streets, stood guard at town squares and gates and the wall, and on the whole made their presence very much known and felt. Regarding the latter, there was in a sense one exception. The grim captain of the occupation force walked surprisingly quietly through the streets, the same being true about his two bodyguards.

    "Inspeeection!" he barked, coming up close behind two sentries that had slackened in the shade next to the western gate.

    "Huh? Chief! Nothing to report!"

    "That so? Big surprise there, ain't it? Keep your eyes with you!" he growled and swatted the sentry on the helmet with his gauntlet, producing a ringing sound like a small bell.

    "Aaaoh! Aye , chief!" the unfortunate orc yelled and kept shifting his gaze in confusion, wondering how his day had taken such a bad turn.

    "Like our new boots, do you? the orc captain asked maliciously, and lifted his boot, with double layers of sheepskin tied to it underneath as an extra sole. "Might make our infantry be able to visit a town at night without waking up every defender within the nearest ten miles. In the meantime, you runts can focus on keeping watch instead of listening for the steps of an officer."

    The inspecting captain continued his tour, leaving behind a trail of straightening and stammering guards, eyeing their surroundings nervously.



    The central square proved to be more difficult to approach undetected, with open street in every direction. Something more would be required.

    "Here, give me your helmet, and walk in front of me casually like you're off duty" he said to his bodyguards, lashing his own helmet to his belt. The bodyguards complied, but still were so unused to behaving "casually" when patrolling that the result came to resemble a bad actor trying to look relaxed or someone trying to falsely pretend nothing was wrong. The effect was in fact quite comical, Malthur thought, but it would have to do. They approached the town square and the chatting soldiers that did not seem to recognize them as their talking continued. One of them even waved lazily. Malthur did not recognize that one but the other two he knew were called Caillagh and Alwyn. They were coming close enough to hear the conversation.

    "...bloody crafty, with those fire arrows" said the wave man in a guttural tone.

    "He's a devious one, I heard he just walked in and talked himself to control of all of Durthang, all sneakiness" said Caillagh.

    "No, it was one of them wraiths who put him in charge, apparently the old guy was being topped off and Malthur somehow had the quick wits to come out of that as new boss" said Alwyn.

    Malthur contemplated using the same approach as previously, but on the other hand it might be useful having some in the lower ranks that did not hate you completely. Still, he would like them on their toes lest someone would came up with any unhealthy ideas for troublemaking, even if they were unlikely to be s coming from such, should we say, people "less than nimble intellectually". He would settle for a compromise here.

    Malthur waited until they had passed by and just out of sight. Then he quickly changed back to his own helmet.

    "You're damn right, so you better keep your eyes open so you live long enough to remain in this noble company for some more time! For I am both crafty, witty and devious!" he roared and tossed the startled debaters a half filled wineskin taken from the loot of the town.

    His companions chuckled at the expressions of the confused town square sentries but the uncommonly merry gathering was interrupted by a runner hastening towards them.

    "Chieftain, a company or so on foot's approaching. It looks like it might be Shagrat's raiders."



    The eastern gate was a mess of excitement with babbling and shouting mingled. The Uruk guards had to wade through the commotion using the flat sides of their swords to clear a path for their captain. The exhausted foray party panted with red tongues hanging from their mouths and leaned on their knees in the merciless sun, even though it was still morning.

    "Hey, Shagrat! Dug something up lately?"

    The dusty orc looked up and grinned trimphantly. He gestured to his closest guards, one which was carrying a heavy sack.

    "They had a shiny little hoard just waiting for us. Oh, and some dutiful workers too, not expecting us. Damn, you should have seen the look on their faces when we stormed in!"

    "Good. Send your boys to the cook pots and follow me. We have some things to talk about."



    Later the two orc commanders stood alone up in a watchtower. Malthur turned to face his lieutenant.

    "Last time I looked, I seemed to spot a number of prisoners marching with you. Humans, it might have been. Does that ring a bell?"

    "Oh, those, hehe! We decided to lighten our load on the way home. And fill our bellys at the same time. As you said we could, of course, captain."

    "As I said you could, provided the journey there took longer than two weeks. Did it? For if so, you've sure been running on your way back here."

    "Ah, no, but what good were they now that we had found the place? Me and my boys were getting scorched, captain! You think the path here through the cliffs has been hard? That is nothing compared to that sea of sand and rocks out there!"

    "Aye, that sure must have tried your tempers, mustn't it?" The captains voice had become deceptively low. That sort of low that boded quite ill for the one addressed. But either the sun and heat or the long track had dulled Shagrats senses of immediate danger that usually were present.

    The hit sent him flying across the platform of the tower and crashing into the wall behind. Shagrat crawled up with his head ringning and spitting blood. Malthur had backhanded him with his armoured hand, wearing his full armour at all times as was his habit, including the heavy gauntlets he favored.

    "Be thankful, Shagrat, that killing you would seem outward as a concession towards our prisoners and undermine my authority here. As would demoting your worthless hide once we were still here. Be thankful for that whenever you feel the urge to disobey my orders again. Now get out of my sight, maggot."


    Last edited by Maltacus; June 04, 2018 at 05:52 AM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: [Third Age MOS AAR] An Orcs Tale - Chapter I - VIII

    Excellent writing, a very enjoyable tale! These orcs are cunning as well as ruthless, I enjoyed the way that they defeated the poor militia. The names of some of the soldiers seem ... strangely familiar .

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