Have I seen the ranger? Ha! I done killed ‘im. Twice. Know a dozen orcs like myself who killed ‘im at least once. Bugger always comes back, though. Each time I killed ‘im, I got myself a promotion. Then I fought my way up higher. That’s how I got to bossin’ you ‘round, maggot, and how I got this here armor. Every promotion shows off how much stronger I’ become. But I ain’t the only one shufflin’ around the ranks and gettin’ stronger when one of the boys kill the ranger. Seems like every orc worth a name fights to fill in the new positions when the ranger kills one of us, and we all fights our way to the top.
But he ain’t stay dead. Got some sort’a wraith on ‘is side, sends his body an’ soul back to somewhere else. While killin’ ‘im is fun, I get the feelin’ it ain’t helpin’ us. When he comes back, sometimes he’s got new things he can do. Sometime, the thing ain’t all that bad. He poisons the grog, but there’s so much of it, it don’t matter. With how many barrels of grog we got layin’ ‘round, he can’t poison ‘em all. That trick won’t kill many orcs.
But I seen ‘im do other things. Seen ‘im be standing on one side of a cliff, then be standin’ next to a crowd o’ orcs with his sword in one of their bellies. Seen ‘im jump from atop a tower and bury a sword in one of the boy’s heads. Seen ‘im push that wraith into the eyes of an orc until it explodes into meaty chunks. Seen his sword catch fire for no reason. Seen ‘im pump three arrows into three orc heads before I can turn an’ face ‘im. Sometimes he frees the caragors from their cages, an’ they run amuck tryin’ to eat us. But you can kill the ranger, any of us can. ‘is strength’s not great enough to stop us all from attacking at once.
He ain’t all flash and glory when he kills. He’s unpredictable, and that’s what make ‘im dangerous. He creeps in the shadows and brush, jumps across buildings and climbs ridges without us seein’ ‘im. He picks us off with them wraith arrows. And he keeps findin’ new ways to kill us. If that bugger stuck to one method, we’d have ‘is hide strung up on the wall, even if he won’t die like a normal targ.
That wraith can do more than bring ‘im back after he dies. I seen the ranger grab orcs, pressin’ ‘is hand to their face. Blue light bursts from the orc’s eyes. Then the orc spills somethin’, not guts. Not yet. The ranger takes knowledge that orc knew. Learns ‘bout war chief’s or weaknesses. He can’t do it in the thick of a fight, but he’ll pick orcs off, pull knowledge from their heads. Then he kills ‘em, or lets me run in fear. Never know which.
What’s ‘is story? Why should I know? Best I been told, he sat on some wall for ‘is whole life. His Family lived there on there with ‘im. I think ‘is family died when we took the wall. Revenge is what he wants. But with all the slaves he freein’ when he ain’t huntin’ war chiefs or leavin’ a trail of dead orcs be’ind ‘im, he might be tryin’ to do more than just get ‘is revenge.
That wraith got a story of ‘is own, too. Somethin’ keeps ‘im here. Ha. But it’s somethin’ that ain’t rewardin’ me with grog to find out, so I ain’t askin. All I know or care ‘bout is what he can do that might cost some of the lesser trained orcs their lives.
But their stories don’t matter much to me, and it shouldn’t matter much to you. Ain’t nothing special ‘bout it. That wraith he’ got is the only thing that makes ‘im special. He’d be dead fifty times over if ‘is body would fall to the blade like a good li’l human.
No use worryin’ ‘bout ‘im. Mordor’s a big place. Most us won’t see ‘im, only hear rumors. With all of us wanderin’ ‘round, you gadda be pretty unlucky to run into that-
‘ey, did ya hear that?
If you’re looking for well-written reviews of games or other media, Jesse Galena is available to write for you or your company. Email: jessegalena [at] gmail [dot] com.