Wednesday, 29 June 2011

(Unwilling) Oppression

After I'd completed the 'can you pick cactus apples' challenge, the cook baked me a pie from my spoils of... well, not war.  Fruit picking.  The spoils of my fruit picking?  Oh dear.  What will I tell my father?  He'll misunderstand me and think that I spoiled fruit.  Doubtless with my axe. "See how brave my daughter is?  She triumphed over fruit! With the axe I gave her! (Wait.  Did you really say fruit, daughter?  Did I not mishear you?  Perhaps you meant to say... foes?)"  I think I may wait longer before I put quill to parchment and advise them of my progress...

I was asked to report to Foreman Thazz'ril who was allegedly in urgent need of my assistance. So I ran through the dust, eager to offer him my services.  He explained to me that his team of workers were not up to scratch and they needed to be deal with.  He then handed me a wicked looking blackjack and instructed me to savagely beat the peons I happened across who were napping. Beat them!  With this horrible looking thing!  I took it gingerly - what else could I do?  My parents raised me well - I'm respectful of my elders, but I wasn't sure quite what to do with it.  When I looked questioningly at the Foreman he raised his hand in the air, and brought it down in a swift, striking motion. "Look under the trees, Steka - that's their favourite spot for snoozing.  Lazy good-for-nothings..."

I walked away, hoping that all the peons I happened across would be hard at work, and sure enough, the first few I saw were chopping wood diligently.  Maybe I could report back to the Foreman now?  "They all seem to be hard at work Mr Foreman.  No dozing, no slacking off..." but then, as I watched one, he dropped his axe and curled up by the pile of logs.  Within moments he was asleep, mouth agape, snores rattling round the Valley and echoing off the rocks.  Oh great.  Half the problem seemed to be the noise.  If only they could sleep quietly!  It would be a lot less noticeable.  I shuffled towards him slowly and put my hand on his shoulder.  I shook him hard, but he brushed my hand off, muttered something intelligible and went back to snoring. 

I looked at the blackjack in my hand.  Unwillingly, I poked him gently in the ribs.  No response.  Oh for goodness sake!  I'm trying to make this easy for you, Mister...  I poked him  a bit harder.  He muttered something I couldn't catch (it sounded like "Me not that sort of orc" but I suspect I misheard!) and turned over. I straightened up, sighing.  In all honesty, he didn't look like he had much gumption.  He was an orc - he should be wielding his axe (which looked a LOT sharper than The Axe of My Father) with pride!  Even if he only was using it to chop wood.  I tapped his shoulder gently with the blackjack.  A cloud of red dust flew up from his leather jerkin but he remained motionless (but not silent - alas!)  Giving up, I raised the blackjack in the air and struck him with it.  As he stood up I grabbed for The Axe of My Father - expecting to have to defend myself, but he squinted at me and picked up his axe, "Ok, ok Steka.  I go back to tree-hitting now."  He appeared to hold no grudge against me for the abuse I had visited upon him.  Heartened by my success I found others and when I had awoken a good number I returned to the Foreman. He gave me a handful of small coins and instructed me to go to the cave to the east and retrieve his mining pick. 

I am unwilling to do this.  I fear that whilst the blackjack was a horrid, weighty thing, at least it's blunt!  What will happen the next time the peons nap?  Is he planning to attack them with his mining pick?  Whilst I'm certain this would ensure he had their attention, I fear that he would soon have a much reduced workforce.  Perhaps I need to ask him (tactfully) if he felt able to resolve the issues he has with his employees in a less... violent way?  Or would this be dis-respectful?  Oh dear, I rather thought being a warrior would involve less moral dilemmas than it has done thus far...


  1. I am absolutely adoring this series, and it is making me pine for WoW. Who knows. Maybe I will be back afterall.

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