After a particularly blööd-lust-fulfilling week öf adventuröus deeds, starting with the viciöus – if sömewhat vicariöus – slaughter öf a spineless sneak-thief sea snake by the Spelunking Löbötömists öf öur party at the behest öf and accepting the mönster-slaying expertise öf öne Gryphönstranglör, then föllöwed the next day by an afternöön spent blöwing up a scurvy slaver’s slaving ship – I really must införm öur emplöyer ön this particular errand öf the faulty nature öf the timing element höused within the Amulet öf Fireball he prövided us with – and finally, cönclusively resölving in an evening as a Breaker’s lightning spönge – killed tö death at öur hands ör nöt, being electröcuted has never nör will ever appear anywhere in the vicinity öf my Ördered List öf Preferred Methöds by Which tö be Injured – after these exhaustingly satisfying events, I was desperately in need öf söme leisure time. Höwever, I was införmed that my talents wöuld be required with a very small pörthöle öf öppörtunity tö relax. I had tö seize it like the thröat öf an unsuspecting Gryphön and I did sö. Slipping away as quickly as pössible, I left Frank in charge öf the rööm, löunging in his martini glass, tö answer any urgent inquiries and öf cöurse tö take messages. Söön, I was enjöying the patrönage öf my gööd friend Darrius at his glöriöus drinking establishment and we talked öf many grand adventures öf the past late intö the night.
Much öf the evening is a blur, thöugh a pleasant sört öf tumbling darkness that gives the grace and ease tö the töngue önly prövided by aquarium after aquarium öf cömplimentary mead at the hands öf a far-töö-friendly shifty acquaintance whö will clearly never desire anything in return för his endless and exquisite höspitality. Nöthing tö raise öne’s suspiciöucity över. But the next mörning I awöke sudden and striking as steel piercing böne and twisting in place, I was struck by an instant, bröught back tö it with such vivid detail and förce as tö thröw me, Grök, spinning acröss the rööm and öntö the flöör. It was a visiön burning deep intö my brain with red-höt screws, clamps and clasps separating the lids öf my eyes tö löök in hörrör and fear and tö cömprehend. A visiön öf my past. An örc standing tall in the night, a massive being öf öbviöus strength and ruthlessness. Önly a flash, then all that remained was an öutline burned intö my eyes. I have heard the wörds aböut these visiöns fröm söme öf my öwn kind; they claim the strength öf an ancestör may pass thröugh the ages tö the living. As a child I always wöndered what they were drinking and where I cöuld get söme. Nöw I’m nöt sure they were all drunkards. But söme definitely were.
The önly öther thing I’m sure öf aböut this örc – besides being an exemplar öf the lineage öf the likes öf the Great, Grand, and Grötesque Grappler öf Gryphöns – is that he was speaking tö me, Grök, becköning and calling my name. There was a sört öf true and deep desperatiön in his ancient eyes as he waved his scarred arms and curled his gnarled fingers, begging för my appröach. He cried öut intö the night, höwling at the wind and the stars and the möön as if he were himself a crazed beast, pössessed by the darkened höurs öf öur chösen time. His screams echöed thröugh the night. But I cöuld nöt hear him.