This is only the second time I have been on a boat. Such wonderful creations. The skill involved in making one, not to mention the skill to float it along the waters, propelled by the winds. It is truly a wonder to behold.
During my travels, I noticed another boat join us. At first, the crew was nervous, but when they saw the flag, their tensions eased. Something about pirates. I do not understand what pirates are, but judging by the reactions, they must be boat bandits. These I am familiar with.
The ship managed to gain on us, then it was revealed that it was indeed a boat bandit. We worked hard to avoid capture, but we lost to their skill and might. They were too many for me to fight.
I was taken captive, and held in the bottom of the boat. Sometime later, days? I lost count. Myself and the remaining survivors were sold to orcs. They are a brutish lot, and I had only heard stories of orcs, and have met a few half orcs. None of that prepared for the sheer brutality of the race however. I was blindfolded, and marched. We all were. We marched for days. It was in the evenings, when we were fed and watered that the blindfolds were removed. I recall traveling through a hot desert for a long duration. Then mountains. During the march, we ran out of food and water. This did not stop the orcs. They simply killed a captive, harvested him and fed themselves. Us captives were fed as well. I cannot speak for the others, but I am guilty of accepting the sustenance. I pray Ubtao will forgive my desire to survive this situation.
We arrived in some cool place. So cold I began to get chilled. Suddenly, our blindfolds were removed. The orcs carried torches, then pushed the remaining four captives, including myself, into a shallow pit. The orcs started laughing, as we felt the very ground begin to move. Soon, large insectoids emerged. They were quite large, and latched onto the others. I managed to avoid their grasps. The orcs were laughing and passing coin. Apparently we were nothing more then an amusement for them. They left me there, with the sputtering torches burning out. Wondering on my fate, I tried to once again free myself from the manacles. As I laid there, growing ever thirsty and hungry, with the knowledge that I could alert the Ankhegs of my presence, I heard voices.
In my delirium, I called out, asking if they were spirits. I did not hear anything in reply. I think I may have passed out. Soon, I heard the voices again. This time I yelled, as best I could. I didn’t even bother to wait for a reply.
It has been too long since I last ate. I don’t recall the last time I had anything to drink. I was on the brink of death. Through lack of water, starvation or a meal for the Ankhegs. It was not or never. Trusting in Ubtao, I called out. In my delirium I swear I heard questions asked of me. I answered.
Ubtao be praised, I saw people arrive, just as the Ankhegs appeared. I screamed and rolled around until I was grabbed by one.
The sounds of battle could be heard. I don’t know if I was being saved, when suddenly hands started grasping at my feet. I quickly froze. Not knowing if this person wanted to help, but by not resisting, I increased my odds of helping these strange hands. Within seconds, my feet were freed of the fetters. Understanding dawns on me. I am indeed being freed!
I turn over, as best I can, offering my manacles to the hands. Soon, I am free, from my manacles and the Ankheg. I roll out in time to see one of my saviours getting dragged down in the sand.
I quickly run over and break a couple legs off from a fallen Ankheg, and begin rubbing them together, trying to imitate the sounds of baby Anks, in the hopes that will draw the remaining Ankheg back. At the same time, another of my saviours jumps into the sand and begins digging himself down to follow.
I beging working the sounds, and I stay with it. I cannot tell what is happening below, but want to help these people as best I can. I need to show them my appreciation, in hopes that I can gain further assistance.
After a few moments, both men emerge from the sand. Once everyone is safe, I am lead with the group back to their camp. Enroute, we are attacked by a cold darkness. We run away. The spirit is able to pass through the door and continues to attack. I picked up a dropped weapon, to come aid these people, when they successfully stopped the attacks.
I immediately returned the weapon, hilt first, to the owner. I wanted to make sure they knew I was not a threat. The person readily accepted the weapon back, asking me if I liked tea. I do enjoy tea. I was not aware of it’s importance, but this man appeared to find it incredibly important.
I then settled in, and told these men what had happened to me. I am happy to help them in what they are doing.