Dec
07
2017

Adventure Seed: ‘The Children of Elf and Orc.’

Children of Elf and Orc – Google Docs

The Children of Elf and Orc

 

It is said that, “When the child of Elf and Orc comes into its own, the world will shake and the sky will burn.”  Of course, it is usually said in tones of utter disbelief, because one of the laws that the gods set down for the world is this: the demihuman races cannot mate with each other. People have tried to get around the problem — in every conceivable way — but there isn’t a magic or miracle or mechanism that can accomplish the job.  Humans can mate with pretty much everyone, but other than that it’s strictly ‘procreate within your own species.’

But two sorcerers decided to tackle the problem from a different angle.  Lord Ravenblood of the Nine Torments (Elf) and She-Mage Bahrana Skullkicker (Orc) shared very little in common, save a hunger for dark magic, a desire for power, and a quite unnatural and perverse affection for each other — OK, yeah, they actually had a healthy, stable relationship that was pretty much a genuine pair-bonding.  Guess even evil magicians get to have somebody, huh?  Anyway, the two decided to push the limits of this prophecy thing, and figured out a way to get it to activate it.  Since Orc may mate with Man, and Elf can mate with Man, all that needed to be done was to acquire a Half-Orc and a Half-Elf child, bind the two children together with a mystic bond, then merge the two babes together. The Human bits would be discarded, of course; and then the preparation for the world-shaking and sky-burning could begin in earnest.  

And everything worked fine, right up to the point immediately after the ‘mystic binding’ part and right before the ‘merging.’ There was the obligatory raid by the forces of Good, the sorcerers were grievously wounded and left for dead, and the children were placed in a local orphanage.  Oh, yes, it never occurred to anybody in the raiding party that these kids were the kids of the sorcerers. They were just assumed to be regular, ordinary sacrifices.

Fast forward, twenty years later.  Bill Foundling is a half-Orc adventurer who is partnered with his ‘sister,’ and fellow adventurer, Belle Foundling. ‘Sister’ is in parentheses because she’s clearly a half-Elf, and it’s also pretty obvious that they don’t share the same Human ancestry.  The two of them maintain an unpleasantly illegal but not actively vile lifestyle providing services to those willing to pay for them.  Their virtues are that they don’t go back on a deal, don’t play games with contracts, and don’t do jobs on people who are legitimately not part of the underworld; their vices are what you’d expect from a pair that will contract out as assassins. Their respective parents would find the two to be a bit too goody-two-shoes to be proper villains, but they would also respect how well Bill and Belle have managed to do, from literally nothing.

Or, rather, they will.  Getting your tower burned down is an occupational hazard for evil wizards; they always have contingencies for that.  Thus, Ravenblood and Bahrana faked their own deaths, then patiently and mystically hid out in a convenient alternate dimension until the heat died down. Since their return, they’ve spent the last few years rebuilding their power on this plane.  And now they’re ready to find their erstwhile kids.

The good news is that, at this point, neither sorcerer is willing to sacrifice either ‘their’ kid, or their spouse’s (yes, they got married. No, I refuse to tell you what the ceremony was like). The bad news is that the sorcerers think that the situation can still be salvaged by having Bill and Belle themselves mate, then do funky things to the new child in the womb to make the prophecy work out (Bill and Belle would have strenuous objections to that, by the way.  They’re siblings!). The complicated news is that Bill and Belle aren’t dumb; the moment that an Elf and Orc sorcerer shows up and starts declaring “YOU ARE OUR SPAWN AND MUST OBEY” they’re going to remember the prophecy — having heard it often enough, usually at inns — and run like Hell.

And, sure, that’s where the adventuring party comes in.  Note, by the way, that there isn’t exactly a Good-aligned conclusion to this scenario that doesn’t involve all or most of this family dying.  Oh, well, that’s why they call it ‘tragedy.’

1 Comment

  • acat says:

    I’ll bet the right writing team could get three seasons and a Christmas special out of this ..
    .
    More seriously .. would a “sufficiently good” outcome involve hiding the Foundlings in a convenient adjacent dimension where their lack of history and skill-set would be .. advantageous?
    .
    Mew

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