16. Through this axe, I rule.

- 12:01 am

I’ve seen you on a picture. Your appearance leaves me wondering. You have the eyes of a warrior but the silver hair of the old ones. The picture doesn’t show me how tall you are or how good you are at swinging your sword. The picture is without meaning. I will get to know all these things, when I meet you in battle or when I find your corpse in the remains of your palace. When I first heard stories about you I’d seen a lot fewer summers then I have now, but I already was a warrior. Brothers who are dead by now took me with them as they went to the Nordmarian mountains. Hunger was driving us. They told me that beyond the mountains there would be a rich, warm and most importantly fertile land. Their words were true. I saw it with my own eyes in those days. On our way down towards this land, we fought the Nordmarian warriors. Even though their stature was lighter than ours, they were just as hard. I asked my brothers how the chieftains of these people were living and they told me, that it was just like in our people but at the same time different. I asked them: “Different in what way?” And they explained to me that even the chieftains of such mighty warriors as the Nordmarians have one reigning over them. “How can there be a chieftain of the chieftains?“, I asked myself. He had to be a warrior of such overwhelming honour that all tribes of his lands would acknowledge and follow him. This thought made me wonder. How could such a chieftain of the chieftains get to this position of power? Wouldn’t he owe his people a land that was nothing less than what you would call a kingdom?  

Enthralled by this thought I did what I could to acquire this form of honour and this rank myself. I united the warriors of my kin to give them a land that would be kinder than the sparse steppe of our homeland. I united the warriors of all tribes to earn this land with blood, sweat and steel. It took many summers for me to become the chieftain of chieftains like you are for your people. And it should take many more summers until this day, where I stand here alongside my army on the hills above your city. All the other cities we have taken from you and your kind. But nonetheless, I know little more about you. Some of the warriors from your tribes, being good for more than Morras, have joined my army. They acknowledge my reign. But I don’t want to hear a single word about you from them. And I don’t want them to be on my side today either. We killed your men and they died with your name on their lips. Some of them cursed you, and it seemed to give some of them a little comfort. I know the burden of such leadership. It speaks to your advantage that it took us so long to get here and that we even had to use one of your demon conjurers at one point. There’s no honour in using magic on the battlefield. It is reserved for our wise shamans and they get their honour from the big spirit. Nonetheless, we are here. now. I’m standing on top of the hill in front of your city and look upon your stone castle. On my command, my warriors will wash against your walls as the stormy sea does against a crumbly cliff. Today your reign will end with your death. This land only needs one chieftain of chieftains. When I see you I will know what you based your reign on. Because it is through this axe I rule. 

The orcish warriors are still being silent reverently upon the sight of their undisputed leader. With the ashes of the campfires, the shamans have drawn holy symbols on the faces of the warriors that shall carry them to victory over the realm of the humans. Kan’s stoic glance turns away from the city of Vanguard as he raises his axe in the light of the slowly setting sun and commands the attack.