The Tide of Blood and the Bringer of Hope

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Being an Account of the Dispossession of the Torviril
And of Their Coming to the North

As Told by the Orcs of Kiltor, that was once called Kilvas


Ten centuries ago was the time of the Torviril, who fished the near coast of Kellsith, the great southern land. There they swam the rivers and seas, and sailed their boats and took fish with hooks and spears of carved shell and bone. And knew the ways of the sea that was their living and their second home.

To the west stood the ancient city Ethvknan, the Wonder-Place. The Ethvkemil spoke not to the Torviril, and the Torviril knew only that the city had stood there since time immemorial, and that the Ethvkemil could work wonders far beyond their ability to comprehend.

Then came the Xorestoil, the black-willed ones. An army of creatures, with the feathered hide of a beach-runner, but tall, and cunning, and blood-hungry. They came out of the east and fell upon Ethvknan and razed it to the ground. And the Torviril were terrified, for how they could withstand a force that could destroy such beings. They fought as best they could, but tribe after tribe fell before that implacable army, until whole villages fled at their coming rather than stand to fight in hopelessness.

The Xorestoil came still and the Torviril were as a foam upon their tide. And yet that tide never ebbed and soon all that remained of the Torviril were pushed unto a promontory at the western edge of their land.

And then, finally the Blood Tide paused, and yet still it did not ebb. For, though the Torviril did not then know it, they had come to the holy time of the Xorestoil, who now paused to celebrate the ascension of their god-emperor.

And yet even then the Xorestoil chanced not that their victims might escape the trap they had herded them into, and they set guards from coast to coast of the promontory.

Then such Torviril as remained took council on what should be their recourse; some said that they should try to evade the Xorestotav watch and flee further to the West. And some said that the time had come for them to fight, and if they could not avail against the Blood Tide, they could at least die well. Others proclaimed their belief that the Xorestoil had only wished to drive them into this place and now they had stopped and it would be foolish to further provoke them.

Then a man came forward, and it seemed to all who saw him that he was a Torvir worth great respect. And he spoke, saying that he was of the Tchelath tribe, which was from the East, and had been among the first tribes to fall. And he told that when Blood Tide washed over his village he had been working among the ships, for he had been the Shipmaster of the Tchelathil, and so he had escape the razing of his tribe.

And then he spoke to the plans that had been offered, saying, "Foolish are they who say the Blood Tide ebbs, for I judge that, though tides must ebb, this tide shall not ebb as long as we stand before it to be destroyed, like a fire to burn until all before it is consumed. And even if it might ebb, would you risk, not merely your life, but your Line and Remembrance to such an un-Hope?"

And those who had espoused such views were ashamed to seem foolish before this great man, as all could see he was.

And further he spoke, "And foolish too are those who would fight. We have not the numbers nor the strength to be dike to this tide, and indeed to die would be all that we might accomplish. But die well, you say? Die in vain I say, aye and all Hope of our Lines and Remembrances with us. Better far to live and maybe see a day when the dike of ourselves might hold against the Blood Tide."

And then he spoke again saying, "And foolish yet are those who hope to slip past the Xorestotav watch, for have we not all seen how sharp-eyed they are, and they run like demons over the land? And if we did seep through their wall, where then should we go, to be hunted across all the lands as we are worn down to sands?"

And all who listened saw the wisdom of his words, and yet, they asked him, what other courses could they follow?

"See you not how they regard the Sea?" he replied. "How they think to trap us against it as it were a wall? But are we not the Wave-People? To us the Sea is no wall, but the Great Road. Therefore let us take this road, and yet leave them their wall, barring them from pursuit.

"For their ships are no real ships at all, but little more than rafts, the overgrown toys of children playing in the river. They would founder ere they reached the seventh wave."

"Shall we go out to the islands of the Shadows-in-the-Water Children, there to escape them?" Then the man was asked.

"No," he said, "for those islands could never hold our people, not and the Little Ones as well. Moreover those islands are too near, and if the Xorestoil marked our passage there, they might follow in time, and should we bring the Blood Tide even to the very cradles of our wards?"

"But know you that the ships such as Tchelathin have learned to make may be counted swift and sturdy even among those of the Wave-People. And know twice that there lies across the Sea to the north, the Hajasith, the Northern Land, and the Blood Tide at its height shall not follow you there, not for many, many flows and ebbs.

"But know thrice that these coasts are far indeed and if you seek them you shall not all reach them."

But the assembled Torviril agreed that, though this was not course of great Hope, it was their only Hope.

So Under the instruction of the Hope-Bringer, as they called him, did the Torviril set about the construction of a fleet to bear them across the road of the Sea and far from the Blood Tide. And the Hope-Bringer went from place to place instructing and encouraging. Later some said that whenever he approached from the side of their vision he would seem a shape too large and bright to be a Torvir, but when they turned to look, he appeared as ever.

With the entire numbers of a People, and with the near untouched woodlands that had been the very extreme of their lands, and with also the desperate strength of a People with but one Hope for their Line and Remembrance, they assembled ships with incredible speed.

And then, even as the Xorestoil broke camp and Blood Tide began to flow once more, the Torviril flowed away before it, and out of its reach.

In the long crossing many Torvirn died, lost to either sickness or storms. And when the exhausted, yet new Hopeful, race finally reached land there were barely a thousand of them left, and only two tribes with any numbers, where before there had been scores. They named the island they had found Kilvas, Haven of Hope. Though now we call it Kiltor, Guard of Hope.

But even as they first looked upon the shore of the new land, they looked about for the Hope-Bringer, and he was not there. But some say that above the ships there circled a great white-winged gull wyvern. And when it called out, they thought they heard the voice of the Hope-Bringer, that same voice that had awed them with its majesty and wisdom.

And so did the Torviril come to the edges of the Hajasith.

And of their sundering into two Peoples and of their meeting of the other Peoples of the Hajasith who came to know them as the Goblins and the Orcs, other stories tell.

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