Posted by Gurtchmann
“Blood makes noise,” Mother always told me.
I never really understood that until recently.
When fear and anger and frustration build up until your blood pounds in your head and you find that you can hear almost nothing over the blood pulsing in your ears and you see everything through a pulsing red haze…
“Breathe in… Breathe out… In… Out…” I could hear myself speaking out loud as I walked away from the Land’s estate. It took a few minutes of stomping but I did finally calm down… Until I remembered:
(Blood makes noise)
Spitting beetle… Miss!
(It’s ringing in my ears.)
(Blood makes noise)
Rock Thing… Miss!
(And I can’t really hear you)
(In the thickening of… Fear?)
Red rage overtook me then and a luckless dead sapling splintered from an incredible blow from my greatsword.
When did I…?
“Breathe in… Breathe out… Kord grant me strength… Breathe in… Breathe out…”
The red faded, the punding in my ears died down… I leaned on my sword next to the remains of the tree…. I was tired, like I had just run three miles in my armor with a full pack.
I reviewed my thoughts of a moment ago… “Fear?”
Past the thudding of blood and the urge to destroy was… Fear. Fear of… what, exactly? Fear of losing myself? Maybe.
It’s a hard slog for any half-blood orc to overcome the prejudices of others when they see me. After all, Orcs are vicious creatures, so their children and by-blows would be the same. Losing myself to anger and rage would be the ultimate confirmation of that. Who would I hurt, what would I break, who would die because I couldn’t keep my Orc blood in check? Who would hate that part of me to the point of expelling me from her life?
I wrenched my thoughts from that path… (
Not happening, never happen, can’t even hope that it may be possible)
I dropped to ground, tired beyond what today’s events warranted.
“Well, then, Mom.” I whispered to myself, “Look at it. Examine it. See it; understand it. Where did this madness come from, what set it off?”
I turned my thoughts back to the past couple of days.
Eye-spider: dangerous. Every miss was a chance for it to hurt (her
No!) my companions.
The beetles: dripping and spitting acid. Again, every miss is a chance that it could hurt my friends.
Ghoul: I’m all that stands between (her
Stop it!) my companions and a messy undeath.
thump, thump, thump
Rock-thing: crushing death, shattered bones. I am the wall between them and a crushed skull.
Bug worm: It was going to EAT HER! (All of my friends, not just her!) AND I MISSED!
OWLBEAR: I HAVE TO PROTECT HER (Them, all of them!)
(BLOOD MAKES NOISE!)
KILL IT TO PROTECT THEM! TO PROTECT HER!
(IT’S RINGING IN MY EARS)
I AM THE WALL!
(I CAN’T REALLY HEAR YOU)
YOU CAN’T HAVE THEM!
…don’t take my friends (
don’t hurt her)…
“BLOOD MAKES NOISE!”
That shout brought me to my senses. Anything over a foot high in my vicinity had been obliterated. My greatsword was stuck 10 inches into a large tree, my cleaver had been buried to the handle in the same tree, my dagger was stabbed into an old fencepost, and the rocks around me showed signs of being pounded with my mace…
I was exhausted; burnt out. I collapsed face down, breathing heavily.
“Yeah, Mother: ‘Blood makes noise’ alright, and blood will tell” After a minute, I sat up.
“Blood will tell… Kord grant me strength,” I felt my god’s power touch me and my breath came a little easier.
Blood makes noise, but with a little help, maybe it can make the right kind of noise. It makes me even more dangerous to (Her.
I cannot hope any longer) my companions, but it can be used to protect them. (She’ll never look at you like that, animal I know, but she’ll be protected) It will be enough for me.
It took me a bit, but I recovered my weapons and headed wearily home.