What follows are the jauntily scribbled details of an interview conducted by request, of Jim Sardonic – coach of an Orc Squad currently fumbling their way through the MML Farm leagues, but with goals of one day playing in the real leagues. The interview took place in… a… dwelling… I think it was a cave? Or possibly just a dirt igloo? Maybe he killed a hobbit and stole it’s house? I don’t know. But it just gets weirder from here.
“There’s a few things we’re going to have to get out of the way, if you’re going to get to know me.”
Muscular shoulders encase an almost-too-small head, entirely forest-green if not for the yellow-white fangs protruding upwards from a sternly pursed mouth. Glints of red dance behind beady black eyes, but that could just be the flame of the candle on the table separating me from the Black Orc I had come to interview.
“For one, I’m a dwarf.”
I’m going to have to take extra notes during this interview. Clearly this behemoth before me is an Orc. Dwarves don’t have giant teeth coming dangerously close to poking their own eyes out. Dwarves don’t have green skin. Dwarves don’t stand nearly seven feet tall, and likely weigh as much as the Honda I drove here in.
But then again, Orc’s don’t generally have the best enunciation… and he hasn’t tried to crush me once since I arrived.
“You look confused, but it’s simple really. My mother and father were long beards, rest their tiny little souls. They did their best to raise me, until I didn’t fit in their house anymore. But they saw an investment in my size, and it wasn’t long before they signed me up for pee-wee Blood Bowl.”
There’s nothing cuter than six and seven year olds stomping one another’s heads into the ground. But this perked my curiosity, I had to ask: “Oh, Blood Bowl? What position did you play?”
I think the Orc almost smiled. Almost.
“The coach took a long look at me. He really and truly didn’t know what to do. We spent half a day trying to squeeze me into a deathroller, but by the time I finally got fully into it, my legs were sticking out the bottom and I couldn’t move my arms. After I clumsily rolled over my own foot, Dad made a suggestion — with my size, I’d be a great runner. It would take a Minotaur to take me down!”
Sardonic rolled his narrowed eyes off into the distance, clearly lost in memories of playing dwarf blood bowl.
“So we tried that. Dwarf runners move in bursts of six meters at a time, and of course, I can do that. I have done it. It’s just… those last two… they’re exhausting. Sometimes I tripped over my own feet on the fifth one or the sixth one. And picking up the ball – that didn’t go so well. In practice, they would have to kick a the ball out of the back of the endzone just for me to be able to catch the ball!”
He really doesn’t know that he’s a Black Orc. I suddenly have a lot more questions, and where better to start than the obvious?
“Have you had any testing done? You know, to verify your… heritage? I know an Orc that kinda looks similar to you…”
Can Black Orcs look snooty? Perhaps he is a dwarf. This look is definitely snooty. The sort of look a Brettonian Blitzer gives… well… always.
“Look, I’ve heard it all before. School was hard. After “bring your Dad to school” day, I was the laughing stock of the school. He was a ferocious long beard in his day, but he didn’t look quite so intimidating standing next to me. And I’d hear it all the time — ‘What happened? Did your Mom sleep with a Saurus?’ and so on, you get the picture.”
He may have been accustomed to the mocking, but this was a stark contrast from the pleasurable trip down memory lane we had been on just moments before… and I was getting uncomfortable. I mean, HAD his mother slept with a saurus? I decided it best not to reflect, and rather steer into another question. “But your name? It’s not a Dwarven name, it’s more…”
There was a noise. It may have been a grunt. It may have been a fart. I jotted it in the notes, I think mostly because of nerves. Or maybe I was going to ask. No, I wasn’t going to ask. I didn’t want to know. I just wanted to look busy instead of awkward. Most Black Orcs don’t succumb to painful trips down memory lane very well. And I was enjoying my near record-setting time for not being pulverized in the presence of a Black Orc.
“Jim Sardonic was a mentor of mine. He took me under his wing, taught me everything I know about blood bowl. He’s the reason you’re here — the reason we’re talking. He was the first coach that really gave me a chance, and now, here I am trying to preserve his legacy by coaching my own team in the MML.”
I took the bait: “Preserving his legacy?”
The lumbering beast grunted again, before rising from the table. It was definitely a grunt that time. He lumbered over to the far wall, and beckoned for me to follow. On it was a small… fossilized clump of… minotaur droppings?
“He charged out on to the field, trying to get a bribe to the goblin ref — and accidentally got too close to a Minotaur that had just gone wild. This is all that’s left. This, and a legacy. A legacy that I intend to carry on with a Cleverly ORChestrated team! This is why I asked you here. It’s time that people know who I am, what this team is capable of, and how we’re going to one day win the biggest prize in the MML!”
Half time squig sandwiches at a Bill COWher Power Hour game?
“But you still haven’t gotten to know me well enough, quite yet. Did I ever tell you about my elf friend? Perhaps that’s another story for another time…”
[Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon!]