The ogre intrigued Seryth. Despite his race’s reputation, Lunk detested fighting. He told Seryth to retrieve gears from the Dark Iron by “asking nicely”. Seryth didn’t see how that was going to work, but he promised to bring back some gears.
“Asking the Dark Iron nicely” went about as well as Seryth had expected, though he had humored the ogre by at least trying. He instead took the gears from the golems the irate dwarves sent after him to kill him, not considering it any loss.
The ogre was upset with the killing, however, and ran off. Seryth felt a twinge of conscience, but he had work to do still for his share of the caravan’s hospitality, and he ventured back into the Gorge to hunt spiders and a strange long-necked, native fowl the dwarves called “ash chickens”.
“The ogre saw him in the wild and approached him. “Hello, Lunk,” said Seryth cordially, as he harvested the venom from a freshly killed spider.
The ogre eyed the spider with distaste, though Seryth wasn’t sure if it was because of the death involved or because it was a spider. “Let Lunk teach you another way,” the ogre said.
Seryth eyed the ogre doubtfully. “How long is this going to take?”
“Not long, and it’ll be fun!”
What constituted fun for a race that usually got its fun by smashing heads? Seryth sighed and gestured at the ogre to continue. He reflected, VERY privately, that it might do him some good to find another way to solve his problems other than by violence, as the Nathsyssn had always driven him to before.
“To Seryth’s complete surprise, Lunk’s way of dealing with the spiders was by riding them! The creatures bit the ogre several times, and Seryth was able to extract the venom the dwarven caravan wanted from his wounds.
He also had to admit, it DID look like fun…but he soundly rejected the ogre when Lunk offered Seryth ride the next one, protesting that his elven skin couldn’t hold up to the venomous bites the same way the ogre’s could. He could almost hear Malfas’ eyeroll from the sky, where the drake was watching them.
When Seryth returned to the caravan, eating ash chicken stew with Lunk and the rest of the dwarves, he found himself thinking back to what Malfas had said. It seemed a growing inevitability that he would have to return to Daelin, Jalinde, and the others at some point. The thought filled him with both dread and anticipation.
“The next morning, he joined the caravan on a hunt of an ancient thunder lizard. He exerted himself more than he meant to, falling back into using warlock magic to help slay the beast instead of merely firebolts. The dwarves complimented him, however, pointing out that with power like his, he could do a lot of good in the world.
“I could do a lot of evil, too,” said Seryth.
“Of course,” said Burrian nonchalantly, “but you’re going to chose not to, right?”
Seryth hesitated. Yes, choice was the thing, wasn’t it? Without the demon blade pressing on his mind and soul, he now had that choice. He found hope for his future rekindling in him, just a little.
“Seryth took his leave from the caravan the next day. Lunk said he professed the desire to travel to Pandaria and learn from the monks. Seryth bit back the laugh at the thought of an ogre monk, but watching Lunk try to meditate after breakfast, he found he could see it…sort of.
He wished the ogre well and thanked him for the “fun”…and the lesson on peace.