Yes, it’s true, I was there. It was my first birthday, after all. Wet from my birth juices, what else would I know? The iman took xer time, of course xe would. Xe had one question to answer, would it be worth keeping? Xe picked me up and got excited about a new student. Xe pushed this, pulled that, tickled that other, tossed me around. I’m told I giggled so hard the other babies wanted their turn.
Ma tells me my pa was a good wrestle, and she taught him a thing or two about the orcish heart he’d denied himself for so long. He’d come on a matter of trade. We make good knives, you see. He got a look at her and didn’t like what he saw. She looked at him and liked it even less. She could see his bone, his build, smell his blood, see the dandy scar at his neck. But did he have to cut his ears like that? Might fool some dain, but not the ones who hate us enough to hunt us.
Well, she huffed her disapproval and he felt injured, he did. It’s one thing for him to turn her down, but for her to reject him? So, he got angry. She thought that was cute. He grabbed her, didn’t like her walking away like he was nothing. Well, never do that unless you want a fight or know how to keep it from one. She slapped him, he slapped her. She punched him in the guts, and that’s when the fight started.
Three hours later her opinion of him improved while he gathered the tattered remains of his britches. Eight months later I’m making her happy giggling in the red-room.
Well, not everyone was happy. Turns out he really was orc-man and that made some, especially on the goblin, nervous. What matter, I was iman, a healer not a dealer. I’m as big at twelve as many of them at twenty. Can’t help that, can I? Sure, I’m sun-good. That means I can get to your house faster, not stick to shadows or night. Guess they worry over the wizard’s voice. There are worse powers, believe me, and it always infects them goblins.
Seems there’s this big wizard up north got all nervous, recently. Started calling orc blood through that voice. Me, I laugh at it and tell it to eat its own enemies. Ma taught that. What she didn’t teach was how to fight greed.
That wizard sent a lieutenant to, eh, negotiate. Most of us would have nothing to do with yet another wizard’s war. Kill your children dead and make themselves rich and free. The goblin overstepped its authority by agreeing without a vote.
Oh, it gets worst, believe me. See, two of them on the goblin got it in their heads that I was leading the opposition. Sure I don’t like war. The fight, nice, the scars, oh the stories. But who will you tell the stories to when you’re both dead? And killing people you don’t know to make a stranger wealthy has no honor. Add that I’d be out there putting them together again and I’d be the last to jump in. But what’s an sintr to do?
Now, let me tell you a thing about orcish society, we do have laws. You don’t fight in the mess, and don’t even growl in the house of healing. And threaten an iman only if you have everyone’s approval. The second goblin, the one leading this fight, did more than that, he struck me in the face. And that showed me to be sintr.
He swung his usual haymaker. I don’t know why, either he’s clumsy or thinks the sight of it will terrorize us. Ha, the best weapon is the one you don’t see coming at you. I waited to see if he’d stop himself. He didn’t, I shifted, snatched his fist, yanking him into a wall, three tills away. He died from that. Well, not the wall. It was the shocker in my fist. His eyes had popped out, his nails turned black, smoke flowing from his ears, back curled on itself.
So, then a riot broke out. The law broken, the goblin broken, the emissary sent running for his life. As for me, everything changed. The people feared me. That meant my work was hindered. I need to keep them relaxed so they tell me what’s really wrong.
So, I bib my higo goodbye, packed, and went on my way.