Paradox Metaphor
Chapter 20 -- Raiding Party
by Steve Donohue

Word that there were human settlements nearby spread quickly through the ranks of the orks. Having captured a ranger was also a good sign, since they usually didn’t work well with local militia. Moros’ presence meant that the humans in the area were probably farmfolk and not too well-armed; they’d depend on the ranger and his friends to keep them safe from harm.

Several of the younger orks were eager to make their marks by being the first to loot these rich new lands. They petitioned their leaders for a chance until finally a young lieutenant name Grak agreed to form a raiding party which he would lead himself. He hand-picked a half dozen of the most capable warriors and they mounted a raiding party. Several other groups were sent to find fresh water and some game. All were ordered to report back to camp at the first sign of trouble.

Grak and his men left the cave and headed north, since that had been the rangers goal when they caught him. They chose not to head east, since Ugrek had reported the possibility of a larger settlement there. They traveled about an hour before they came to a trail. Remembering Ugrek’s warning, they chose to follow it west. The trail went through a stretch of pine and up a gentle slope until they found themselves in the midst of a clearing.

"Must be some sort of temple," said Grak, noticing the large cross in the center. "That means there must be other humans nearby."

The orks laughed and smiled with glee at the prospect of killing. They searched the area around the hilltop and found a few trails leading away. Only one had any signs of recent passage, and they chose to follow it. It headed basically northeast down a fairly steep hill and then through a lightly wooded area. As they neared the end of the woods, they could hear the sounds of children, human children, ahead.

Grak and his men fanned out into a larger area, forming a skirmish line as they moved towards the clearing. When they reached the edge, they spotted a medium-sized inn. Moving to his left, Grak was able to see past the inn out to the courtyard where three coaches stood waiting. He sent two of his men to block the road and prevent pursuit. He and the others would charge the building and quickly kill anyone who dared to oppose them.

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