Summary: Backstory: Whispers of the Dead

Whispers of the Dead

We awoke, and we were. Where our souls had traveled from, what other world saw our birth, we do not know. We awake again with each coming of the night, each time the hand of Grendel covers the sun. We are the silent stalkers, the agents of darkness. We are the masters of the things others dread to think of. We dwell on the meridian edge of life and death, crossing to either side as our will takes us. Our numbers grow, our cold powers spread, we are a mist of blood and darkness that cannot be stopped. We do not know which would gave us birth, but this world will never see our death.

Deep in our barrow-homes we hear the clank of armor, the hooves of horses. We smell the smell of living man. We feel the heat of the campfires of straggling settlers, the tremors of the earth digging of foundation builders. We know these sounds and smells and motions but do not know how it is we know. We know man now, we know the ways of man, but the thought of man had never been known to us before the moment that man set foot ashore here. It is a strange place we dwell, this dreamland of sleeping memories.

There is a thing called fear. There is a thing called fear that we are made of. This thing called fear controls the lives of other, living creatures. We do not know fear, but we are the creators and creation of fear. Fear is what makes the orcs and trolls and even the wyverns, the gryphons run from us. Fear is our weapon; fear is our fist. Fear is what we use to dominate. Fear is the gift of Grendel.

The creatures we call fleshlings, the orcs, trolls, ogres, minotaurs, kobolds, and others, concern themselves with petty emotion and worldly concerns. They are easy prey. They fill their pathetic holes with treasures and wealth that they do not know the meaning of. We know the meaning of things from the past. We track the silken path of an object through time, whether a single coin of gold, or a great sword of ancient power. All of these strands blend together into the woven thread of time. We are the emissaries of the past and we guard these relics against the present. No fleshling deserves possession of a single object. No fleshling, who will waste its precious dream-spirit, shall wield a sword or gibber uselessly about a pile of glittering gold. We will always hunt the fleshling, frighten its small mind, and take its treasure to our hoard, where it becomes a thread in the tapestry of memory that we are constructing. We do not know what this tapestry will reveal when complete, but we are the only ones capable of knowing.

The fly-beasts who scour the skies above are worse. Are they even true spawn of Grendel? They do not hate the sun that pierces the dark air. They walk on surface lands and even fly above them! They are bright colors and quick action. Their scales glitter, their fur is silky. And they, too, think they know the meaning of treasure. They make their hoards, their nest eggs. What does a fly-beast know of history, of the maddening need to remember and dwell in vengeance? Not a single thing.

Man has heard our silent call and come across the seas to bring us new treasure, new puzzle-pieces. Man brings us swords and rings and suits of cold armor. Man does not know why it does this. Man is merely a pawn, a tool of time, a mean to our ends. Grendel taught us this. Grendel taught us that man is there to serve us. The only purpose of man on this earth is to bring us treasure. The only reason man has come to this place is to bring us clues to our past. Man may destroy our bodies, man may steal some of our less important treasure, but in the end it is all the will of Grendel. Those bodies will be remade, and that treasure will increase in amount a hundredfold. The world provides for us, for our future is as inevitable as our present, and our past will someday be known.

Orcs' Lament | Grendel's Song | Whispers of the Dead | Roar of the Beast | Places

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