A rebellion of the Human race that has found itself enslaved by a Dark Lord and his minions for the last five millenia.


Kuroth stood atop his highest tower with both of his hands on the link stone.  The effort to communicate with the damnable Orcs was making his mind ache.  All five of them were linked in with him on the rocks, increasing the stress of the link even more.  It took an insane amount of power to create a link amongst five separate slow beings who had no power of the gift to assist in maintaining the connection.

It was rarely necessary to maintain a link with all of them except in times of severe stress, such as this day. The one named Bruphglak was relating the details of the massive earthquake that had devastated the western coastal regions of the far continent today.  If Kuroth did not know beforehand that the Orcs never exaggerated, then he would have thought that the great hairy beast was full of Bracht droppings.  According to Bruphglak all three of the bridges spanning the great Regehr river had collapsed, and most other structures had been reduced to rubble as well.  Kuroth knew that earthquakes were definitely something to keep an eye on, so he listened attentively to the beast even though his head was pounding.

Finally Bruphglak finished his report with a request for more slaves to assist in the rebuilding.  Kuroth took the cue and poured all the coercion he could muster through the rock in his hands until two of the leaders of the nearby continents pledged aid to the beleaguered Bruphglak.  Within weeks there would be four corsairs from both continents loaded with slaves and masters to assist with the rebuild.  After he received the commitment affirmation he closed off the link with a suddenness he hoped would give the stupid creatures at the other end of his connection a headache to match his.  Of course, he knew that the Orcs consistently had headaches, which was most likely why he had one now.  When they linked to the stone it probably passed through to him.

He stood for a bit, letting the wind rip his long white hair about before he waved a hand and cast a ward to protect him from the wind.  His hair immediately dropped down behind him and he leaned on the edge of the high tower in thought.  He normally would not have wasted the energy to cast the ward but he needed to focus on the news he had just received from the far off continent.  He found it easier to think when he was looking down at the world he had conquered, there was no better place to view it than atop his Fortress.

In the beginning this fortress had been a mountain.  Thousands of slaves had toiled for hundreds of years to chisel this structure from the mountain.  The tower beneath him had once been the peak, but now it was the highest tower of the greatest fortress ever built.  To the east lay a great range of mountains, and to the west the rolling foothills lead to fertile prairie.  From atop this spire he felt he could see half the continent.  Standing here always made him feel secure in his place.

He could care less what happened to the slaves or the Orcs on that far away continent as long as the Orc kept the humans under control.  The ability to spot those with the gift had always been the Orcs primary use, and as long as they kept culling it from the population Kuroth was unworried.  Only one with the gift could touch him, so the idea that some of the humans could get loose made a cold hard spot in the bottom of his stomach.  He knew very well what those with the gift were capable of and he was determined not to let any of them get close.

Not for the first time he really thought about a mass extermination to end the threat forever, but he shook his head now as he did every other time.  He knew somehow that it would be a mistake to do that.  He could justify the slave masters and their whips because he knew the need to have the humans under control.  He was protecting them from themselves as much as he was protecting himself.  The last uprising had been hundreds of years ago, and it had been squashed in days.  They were no longer any threat, and hadn’t been since the great war.

Prior to that time humans had been doing unspeakable things to one another.  There was hunger and suffering and oppression and tyranny in abundance in those days.  The corruption of taht time could never be allowed to return.  The only way he could be sure of peace and security was to keep them under control and to make sure none with the gift were left alive. 

Besides, he did not want to spend eternity without human company.  Orcs were stupid and lazy and incredibly poor company.  Prior to Kuroth's modifications to raise them to their current place in the life cycle, their species had evolved to hunt and eat berries.  Everything that Kuroth had done to make them improved had not been able to replace the human need to improve itself.  Orcs were content as they were and that limited them in ways Kuroth had never expected.  Kuroth had been able instil the need to keep humans compliant, which was the reason for their head pain.  Any further tampering had lessened the effect of that instinct, and Kuroth could not abide that so they were as they had been for five thousand years: completely unchanged.

He shook his head abruptly, trying to concentrate on the earthquakes.  He kept finding his mind slipping away from them.  If they were as devastating as they sounded he should really go to that far continent and inspect them, but it would take months at sea to get there, and the idea of leaving his fortress made him shudder.  He looked down and saw his hands shaking.  He clenched his fist to stop it.  Why was he so scared all the time?

He thought of the man he used to be.  He had been naive and too proud, and that had blinded him to the danger.   He would not let his guard down like that again, no matter how narrow the chance.  It had cost him too much last time. 

He gasped as a blinding pain lanced his skull.  He should have expected it.  It usually accompanied memories of those days, though it was usually not this strong.  He must be weakened more from the stone than he thought.  He went below to his chambers, it was clear that he needed some rest.

The End

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