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"The Du Lac Inheritance"

A Flintloque Shorty Story by Gavin Syme

~|~

Art by Edward Jackson

Henri Du Lac, having watched his Empress be deposed by her Usurper son, relates a tale to his Grandson of a time long before when both Magicke and Dragons still existed on Valon...

~

Young saplings, so young and so fresh it almost was a pity to know that some half of them might die in the coming winter frosts. Lyonesse, capital of Armorica, was the largest city of the Ferach Empire and though its wide boulevards and squares offered treats and sights all year round it was the winter that was most cruel. Winter was coming and as he rode atop his immaculate horse Major Pierre Du Lac of the Le Esprit du Garde cavalry could see in his minds eye the fate of the tiny trees yet to grow. Iron horseshoes clicking on the flagstones he pictured the thick dusting of frozen water that would choke the life from the weakest of the small plants leaving pitiful gaps in the wonderfully manicured beddings of the boulevard's centre.

It was not trees though that were on the mind of the dashing young Elf, it was his grandfather and also his experiences in the despised land of Catalucia amid the mountains in pursuit of the retreating Orcs as they dashed for the seas and safety. It was months ago now but it seemed so new and so raw to Du Lac that he gave a small but noticeable shudder that raced down his spine ending in the horse's thick leather saddle. Up and up they had gone into the darkening mountains, the temperature dropping ceaselessly, with skirmishes and rearguard actions all the time as the lumpen red coated Orcs tried to shrug off his glorious riders in their pursuit. First musketry and sword had ended lives and then and more so the cold and the snows killed the enemy and his own Elves too. By the time of the descent to the port of Kooruna the Orcs were in a sorry state but in honesty the troops of the Emperor were nearly as worn too. The Empire had lost the battle but won the day as the enemy abandoned their possessions and made for their ships fleeing to sea. Catalucia was once more in Ferach hands and it had then taken weeks for him to get back to Armorica for some welcome leave from duty.

The memories of frozen comrades and horses was near to the bone and they troubled Du Lac more than he was willing to admit. He had though war to be glory and heroism; tales such as his grandfather had told him as a boy. It was for his grandfather that he was in the capital now. Arriving at his family estate in Aragone an imperial messenger was waiting to deliver a sealed note requesting his presence at the Maison de Repos on the Avenue Sangille. That was an impressive address in the centre of the city near the ruins of the ancient Bastille Imperiatrice and it was the home of his almost as ancient grandfather Kaille De Lac a life long soldier and former bodyguard to the Crystal Empress herself, though her name was not mentioned in public in these times. Not if you valued your freedom. The note could mean only one thing that his grandfather was facing the spectre of death, a final battle even he, such a hero could not hope to prevail against.

Slowing to a halt Major Du Lac gazed past the open brass gates of the Maison de Repos, almost at the corner of the Avenue Sangille and the Place De Bastille, and at the statue in the courtyard. It was an impressive twelve feet in height and showed an armoured Elf driving a spear into the belly of a fallen Dracci Warrior. The Elf's helm was on the ground and his handsome face smiled down as he placed home the tip of the spear. Du Lac allowed himself a similar smile, he did not need to read the inscription on the statue's plaque he knew it was his grandfather and the events were many years past in the twilight of the Darke Age. The brass of the statue glinted in the autumn sun and Du Lace continued to study it while a groom took his horse and a servant approached him from the main entrance of the Maison de Repos. In his youth his grandfather had served the Empress as a spearman in the ranks of the Crystal Regiments and then as a loyalist white coat officer during the Ferach Revolution. In the final defeat and the burning of the Bastille it was only his reputation as a legendary soldier that he prevented the Ferach guillotine from falling on his neck as it had done for so many who had defended the Empress Morgana on the Peacock Throne where her son Mordred now sat as Emperor.

'We have been expecting you Major. Please, if you would come this way your grandfather may not have long we fear.'

Du Lac removed his own steel helmet and nodded his understanding to the servant who turned and paced at some speed towards the teak doors of the building. Keeping that same pace he followed and passing under the stone archway he was through the doors and being led to the top floor where the most illustrious of the Maison de Repos were housed.

~

Major Du Lac had not known quite what to expect, he had never been inside a Maison de Repos before; he had never had a need to be. Upon arrival on the top floor of the building he was led by the uniformed servant into a chamber which had wooden floors polished to a high sheen and rich furniture which looked as if it had not been used in a very long time. He was led further by the servant into the next chamber where after a low bow the servant turned on his heel and left not a little too quickly than was polite in civilised company. Du Lac made a mental note of it and then put it aside and closed the doors to the chamber.

The room was dominated by a large four poster bed with a canopy all in a rich imperial purple and white. At first Du Lac thought the bed to be empty but then he saw his grandfather and let out a small breath in shock. On his back in the centre of the goose feather mattress the elderly Elf looked so weak and frail; his skin like translucent glass over bluish veins. Memories came of childhood, of strong hands and a kind face that had thrown him high but caught him with assured love and eternal kindness. It seemed so long ago but on Valon time was the blink of an eye sometimes.

Around his grandfather Du Lac saw the deluge of possessions of a life time spent in the service of his people. Uniforms from the deep blue of the Empire to folded and stained whites and bearskin that must have been the old imperial uniform of the guard and even a dull coat of chain mail with attached plates of metal covered in inscriptions and runes that once must have been possessed of magicke. Du Lac believed in the ancestry of the Elves and the tales of Wylde Magicke and of the times before his birth when the Elves had been radiant with the lustre of magicke themselves. Most of his fellow soldiers did not believe any more and saw these tales as little more than myth and superstition. Though he knew some of them hid special talents that were, obviously to him, the dim remnants of magickes once greater. Magicke now was the belief of those who kept their secrets to themselves and did not speak them as some did with things that were supposed to be private. To speak of it was seen at best as backward and at worst as mad.

Du Lac approached the large bed with some trepidation after all he held his grandfather somewhat in awe and to see him so weak was disturbing. The elderly Elf opened his eyes and for a moment there seemed no hint of recognition in his long gaze at his grandson but then as if a flint struck sharply he recognised Pierre and smiled.

'Pierre my child, I almost did not know you it has been so long. Are you done with school? What of your younger sister?'

Shaking his head Pierre Du Lac returned the smile and replied.

'Grandfather you jest of course. I have no sister and school for me was the revolt at Tournelle. Are you so demented now that you think me another grandson?'

With a widening grin Kaille Du Lac realised that his ruse was undone.

'You are your fathers son Pierre. But I have to be careful even on this bed that will be my last resting place while breath still comes from me. For even now the agents of that usurper upon the throne seek necks for the guillotine and mine shall not be among them; not after all these years. I convince them that my mind is not what it was and that my possessions here littered are laid out for a Armorican who no longer knows the years have passed. It has worked thus far and it will continue to do so for I have not long left. That is why I summoned you to me.'

Withdrawing the imperial note from his jacket pocket Pierre handed it to his grandfather and spoke.

'You are my fathers father indeed. I thought it was your doing despite the seal on the paper. I assume you have some influence among the government still and got this to me without official channels being aware?'

Kaille Du Lac nodded and told his grandson that an old friend had done him one more favour. But he went on that this was an aside and the reason he wanted to see Pierre was for his inheritance.

'Speak not of your death grandfather. Anything you leave to me will be most welcome but I care more for you than for your silver or indeed this fine antique armour you have at your bedside. If this inheritance is coin then keep it I will manage upon my own sword and word.'

Pierre sat down on the edge of the bed as his grandfather reached under the edge of the thick goose feather filled mattress and withdrew a small box. Then from around his neck he took the strangest key that Pierre had ever seen. It glowed a baleful blue that could only be magicke. The key was placed in the lock of the box whereupon its glow ceased and the box clicked and rattled as its levers and gears began to unlock. Looking up Pierre thought his grandfather looked even older than a moment before. But before he could speak an old hand waved him down.

'Pierre. I am not long for the world. All of this, my life's accumulation, do with it what you will. Your father will not understand he is a good soldier but too close to the tyrant. To you I give this inheritance. Its the best of me and it has sustained me for longer than is now natural. I am so old now that without it I will surely perish in moments. Hush boy. Its what I want, what I need. I want to tell you a tale of my own past so that the box makes sense to you. Promise me that you will keep it safe and pass it on to your trusted son. Promise me!'

Pierre Du Lac was alarmed by these words but he promised solemnly and as the box continued to click his grandfather put it down on the bed between them and with a deep breath began his tale of adventure that had led to his possession of the whirring box upon the fine sheets.

~

Colonel Kaille De Lac stood atop a low hill overlooking a wide shallow valley. It seemed peaceful and he could make out the gurgling of the stream that fed clear clean water into the tilled fields further away in the distance. At least he thought he could hear the water, he could certainly see it, but the ongoing struggle of the Ferach Revolution was affecting every Elf in Armorica. Armorica, the usurper’s name for the greater Crystal Empire; times were changing. As well as the skirmishes and battles of the revolution between the Imperial regiments of the Empress and the self styled Ferach troops of her son the usurper Mordred both sides in the struggle were fighting off the Dracci eternal enemies of the Elves. With Mordred's seizing of the Power Ring from the very hand of the Empress the bonds of Wydle Magicke were breaking down. His hearing was no longer what it once was and his hair had lost its sparkling lustre hence his wearing of an elaborate white powdered wig.

The loss of the full might of Wylde Magicke had brought about many changes in a short time. In only a few seasons the bows, spears and other weapons so long the tools of the Elves had been discarded and the new firelock taken up in all its forms. He remembered the horror of the first months of the then rebellion as long serving warriors and mages had found their spells and magicke weapons useless. They had been shot down like animals by Mordred's garde. This new garde with their leader at their fore had stormed the throne room itself and though the Empress escaped the Power Ring was taken from her and a new age ushered in. Ever since the Imperial troops had adapted and had been trying to put down the usurper to restore the gone balance. With every sunrise more magicke ebbed away. Only yesterday his demi company had shot down a basilisk which had been harassing a farmer and his livestock. Such a noble and vicious foe now little more than a joke. The creature has simply stared at them expecting still that its gaze would turn them to stone. The soldiers and put several musket balls into its chest where its once rich green plumage had already dropped away in clumps. Its suffering at least was now over.

Du Lac looked at his Elves and their Emigre Long Pattern muskets; perhaps the beast was the lucky one. Valon would be unrecognisable soon if Mordred was not defeated. His own uniform was so strange now too. Gone was the inscribed chainmail and plate, the helm and the spear, the shield and the decorated cloak. Instead he wore cloth breeches and a long tailed jacket in pure white with a rich purple tunic and long socks. On his head was a tall furred hat with a regimental plate in brass upon it. The new uniform was more colourful, gaudy even, but it offered no protection to sword and spear. But then, as he had seen, the chainmail did not stop musket shotte or cannon balls while slowing a soldier (even that word...he had been a warrior!) so it was even more useless than bright cloth and fur. He still had a sword of milled steel, one luxury that the Imperial troops possessed that was beyond the Ferach ranks, at least for now. It was wickedly sharp and had seen a lot of action piercing the breast of beast and fellow Armorican alike.

The Colonel and his soldiers were detached from the company for a short excursion to have a look at the valley before all thirteen hundred in the regiment marched through it and on towards the besieged loyalists in the city of Tolonge. Most high ranking officers did not do their own scouting but then it had kept Du Lac alive and his Elves trusted him all the more for it. He was the most seasoned soldier in the regiment and they were happy to be commanded by him because of it. The valley looked clear but instinct told Du Lac to carry on and be sure of it, surprises were commonplace and ambushes by cavalry patrols of the garde even more so. His Elves would be able to deal with Mordred's lackeys, they were good troops. Walking on the Elves descended into the valley and towards whatever was awaiting them.

For several minutes they walked and took down notes of the terrain, the times of an Elf being able to recall his steps with perfection were gone, and then the group came to the edge of the tilled fields and the shallow stream that fed water to them. Du Lac considered ordering a brief rest but his very life as it transpired depended on his caution at that exact moment. His soldiers looked at the stream and each thought of his own near empty canteen. Their leader held up one hand for silence and concentration and felt the fine hairs on the back of his neck begin to rise under his powdered wig. Something was wrong, really wrong here. Where were the children and the women of the fields? Why was it so silent...and why did the water of the stream look just quite so enchanting?

One of the group, Private Le Clerc, younger and more trusting than the rest took the chance of his commanders apparent daydream to sling his musket on his shoulder and take his canteen, in hand, to the waters edge. By the time Du Lac has worked out what was happening to the Elves and had seen the private at the waters edge it was too late. He shouted an order.

'Raise arms. Prime and make ready to fire. Dracci Near!'

As one the imperial soldiers brought up their muskets, they all knew of the children of the dragons, the stuff of nightmare and terror. They trusted their colonel and acted in unison on his word. But for Le Clerc it was past the time of rescue. As the private realised he was vulnerable his mind tried to drop the canteen into the water, but it could not for now the glimmer magicke that had raised the hairs on Du Lac's neck was gone and he could see the stream bed and what waited there.

A single long blood red arm which ended in a hand with wickedly sharp claws punched up from the water and caught the private by the head, enclosing the youth's entire skull with one motion. Du Lac watched in horror as Le Clerc let out a shrill cry which ended abruptly as the claws dug in and broke the bones like egg shell. Blood and brains cascaded to the grass and the twitching body toppled into the stream with a mild splash. It was a trap but not like those of the Ferach, this was an older enemy and it would most likely mean the death of all of them. The Dracci were emerging now from the small buildings next to the fields. There were only four of them, Warriors from the look of them, all brandishing wicked looking jade swords. But then what was that behind them, so large, so very large indeed. A Dracci Lord. They were doomed now, ten feet of solid muscle and rage wielding an obsidian blade as tall as Du Lac himself. This must be an overseer, he has heard of them but never seen one. The fiercest of the Dracci the overseers were chosen to lead apparently on sheer capacity for violence. But Du Lac was a warrior of the Empress and he would take at least some of these scum with him.

Nearest to the now shocked Elves was the Dracci who had hid in the stream using a glimmer a magicke, now rare, that befuddled the mind and shrouded the true lay of the land. It had risen from the water and baring wicked looking teeth of a yellowish hue stepped onto the grass raising a jade throwing star it ratcheted back its arm and threw it with an almost unnatural strength straight at Du Lac. Let the killing now begin in earnest.

'Give Fire one volley!'

Du Lac roared the command as he threw himself down. A precise volley of a dozen shots boomed out and the jade star passed over his head displacing the air in its passage. He had survived the throw, the Dracci was not so lucky. At barely fifteen feet all of the shots found their mark and the Warriors body and legs blossomed with small plumes of blood and flesh. Without a sound the creature fell to its knees and then forward onto its face, the sharp angular snout breaking with a snap as it struck turf.

'Reload and make ready!'

Du Lac rose to one knee and ordered the preparation of the next volley. They had time perhaps for one more careful loosing of shotte before the Dracci were upon them.

'Henri and the left take the nearest, Garcion and the right take that Overseer! Make Fire!'

The next volley blasted out from the Emigre muskets and Du Lac knew some of the balls had missed though the nearest Dracci Warrior was struck twice in the body which made it stagger and slow. The Overseer roared as a single lead ball hammered into its right thigh. The sound was like mountains falling and it shook the teeth in his head. He ordered the reload and now standing drew his fine steel blade. It was to be close work now.

'Make fire when ready. Pick your prey. Make it count!'

Not ordering the fixing of bayonets might well be a mistake but with the Dracci he knew that their only advantage was their muskets and their ability to shoot at range. Even now, even weakened, the dragon children were lethal engines of murder when at sword stroke distance. This lack of pause for fixing bayonets would perhaps afford one more shot for a few of the Elves. They would need it.

The Dracci were upon them now having leapt the stream in a single bound. Five muskets plumed grey smoke and a Warrior dropped, its upper torso reduced to a gore soaked pulp. Swinging a jade sword another Dracci Warrior sprang into the midst of the Elves and began its felling. Its weird green sword hacked into a corporal and removed his head and left arm with one movement. Du Lac's Elves tried to block its blows but the jade sword smashed any musket it touched. Three more Elves died before a musket shot from outside the melee blasted out the back of its head. Du Lac had no choice but to ignore the carnage and command those soldiers left to him to fire again on the two remaining Warriors and the overseer.

Combining their shots the Elves brought down the unwounded Dracci but not before it had reached them and its dying embrace eviscerated another soldier. This left the wounded Warrior from the second volley who was slowing visibly where its flesh was bubbling around the holes the musket ball had left. As Du Lac raised his sword and sprang forward to meet its own blade and wondered, as he fought to keep it off his remaining soldiers, if the dragon children really did find the new age that toxic. The two swords met with a horrendous screeching sound.

Kaille Du Lac was an excellent swordsman, a real expert with a blade and it showed. The creature's weapon was ugly and seemed unbalanced but it was wielded with a skill that was near to Du Lacs but not quite. He feinted and then flicked the sword out and cut a slice from the Dracci's shoulder which made it howl and then snarl as it drove in harder upon him. The colonel forced a small smile and used this ferocity to his own advantage. He dodged the angry lunge and drove his own sword up and into the thick muscle roped neck of the Dracci where it nearly cut its head from its body. Du Lac stepped back and turned as Sergeant Henri Monvanne fired his musket into the open neck wound splintering the exposed spine and ending the creature in an instant.

There was now only one Dracci left, the Overseer, who was at that very instant killing the very last of Du Lac's soldiers. Only the colonel, his sergeant and two other Elves remained. The Dracci Lord swung its obsidian blade and cut one of the Elf privates at Du Lacs side in half; his bloody torso spilling entrails as it landed fifteen feet from the fallen lower body with the force of the impact delivered by the massive stone sword.

'This seems the end Henri, it has been a pleasure to serve the Empress with you at my side. Lets try and do this brute some harm first though eh.'

The Dracci Lord stood up to its full height and raised its huge sword once more but then it paused and looked straight at Du Lac. Instinct and long campaigning once more gave the colonel a moment to act and he dove to his right as the overseer opened it mouth and a gout of flame burst forth and reached its deadly tendrils towards him. The bulk of the flame missed him but his furred bearskin and powdered wig burst into a fiery mass which he tore free from his head as quickly as he could. Shocked he realised that the dragon child was still imbued with magicke he had thought gone in such a raw form.

With a noise like meat tearing the Dracci laughed and drew in a deep breath to continue its attack upon Du Lac with magikal flames. Kaille knew he could not dodge this next gout of flame, the overseer was moving closer so that it could crisp him at next to no distance. Readying himself to spring Du Lac spotted a small box on a golden chain about the Dracci's neck. Something about the box seemed odd, it glowed against the scaly red skin of the creature and then it struck Du Lac the box must be enchanted and that was the reason for the dragon like fire breath that was now going to snuff him out. If only he could warn Sergeant Monvanne of this potential advantage. Wait though, with the overseer looming over him Du Lac had lost sight of the sergeant but it was of no matter now; the creature had fire upon its lips.

A musket shot hammered out startling Du Lac but the Dracci was worse than startled for it was struck by the ball in midst of its mighty back. The flame on its lips died as it had begun and it roared once more and began to turn on its new assailant.

'Die you cursed thing. Lay down and die!'

As Sergeant Henri Monvanne screamed at the Dracci he dropped the smoking Emigre musket and took up another from the small pile he had hastily dragged to his side while the monster was busy with the colonel. He pulled the trigger and the swan neck snapped down, nothing, it was discharged already. Cursing he dropped it and took up yet one more pulling the trigger as it came up and the obsidian sword swung down upon him. The musket boomed and the lead ball travelled the space to the overseer before the plume of grey smoke even left the muskets barrel. As the sword came down and smashed right through the sergeants body killing him instantly the shot tore into the Dracci's belly and opened a long gash in it. The great creature roared in pain and staggered for a moment before using its small wings to steady itself. The delay was all that Du Lac needed and all that he could do for the dead sergeant.

Kaille Du Lac jumped on to the broad back of the overseer in a leap that allowed him to plunge the barrel of his Tolonge Pisto,l that he kept in his belt, into the bony ridge between the Dracci's wings. The pistol was finely made and had cost him more than the majority of his meagre savings but it was worth it as it hardly ever misfired and this occasion was no different. The crack of the pistol resulted in a spray of blood and bone fragments as one of the wings was smashed beyond repair. Still roaring the monster swung about and tried to throw him off. This he had hoped for and he used the momentum to swing about to the front of the Dracci and to rake his sword down its face and neck, catching his sword in the golden chain that held the strange box in place. The chain protested for a moment and then snapped as Du Lac fell heavily to the ground.

With a clatter the strange box fell from its broken chain and landed at the feet of the towering Dracci Lord. The effect upon the monster was almost instant. Its skin faded to a lack lustre red and its tail drooped between its legs, its whole body seemed to gain weight. The Overseer staggered and used the tip of its obsidian blade embedded in the soil to maintain its balance. Du Lac at once knew that whatever the box contained it was indeed powerful magicke and that it might offer a better chance for his survival. Even wounded and weakened so a Dracci Lord was still more than deadly. He dove for the box and grabbed it as the overseer's huge arm swung at him. As soon as he lifted the box and stuffed it into his shirt the world changed.

Kaille Du Lac felt energised, emboldened, his sight and hearing soared. He had felt this way before, before the Ferach Revolution began; when Magicke had reigned. His muscles became harder and firmer and he knew he could win this martial contest with the weakened monster. The sword in his hand was lighter and it danced as he whipped around the obsidian blade and brought his blade down on the creatures wrist. The massive sword and the hand holding it fell to the grass in a crimson spray. Ignoring the roar of agony he stepped with agility thought lost to him in close and drove the point of his blade into the belly of the Dracci and tore it out again. Twice more he repeated the rapid movement and then hacked deftly at its already injured thigh and jumped clear as the overseer fell forward and like a felled tree crashing down.

Energised and elated Du Lac moved to the creature and readied a deadly stroke of his sword that would remove the overseers head from its thick neck. Just as he was about to deliver the killing blow the creature spat out a trail of dark blood and spoke in Armorican. He froze, he did not know that the Dracci were capable of Elvish speech.

'Elf Childe... you have wonne this day but it shall avail ye nought in the tymes to come. Your master has undone the fabric of the worlde and while we dost suffer most nowe your proude peoples shall suffere more when he takes thee and thine into the snowes againste our foes of olde.'

Kaille Du Lac replied.

'What is your name monster so that I may tell of it in my times to come. You are the finest foe I have ever fought.'

He waited and the Dracci spoke once more and as it did it began to try to put itself upright again, moving its remaining hand towards its fallen sword.

'My title was Xybul horde keeper of the golden mystrice of Zarratan the greate winged one. My honour in this combat was little, you are a wretched minion and my death is welcome but not due to you. Take my possessions in battle thy hast them by right. Now leave and take your demon fire spitters with you thay offend my eyes.'

The Dracci lunged for the obsidian weapon but Du Lac was faster. Xybul's head thumped wetly to the grass and the bulk of his body slammed down with an final weight never to move again.

Kaille Du Lac sheathed his sword and helped his sole surviving comrade Private Galtrice to his feet. The Elf had fallen and was injured but he would live. They both knew something had changed and that the box would hopefully radiate enough to keep them both safe and to live out this war. Surely whichever side won the World of Valon would never see such destruction again. Black powder was too strong, it risked the lives of all.

~

As his grandfather ceased speaking Pierre Du Lac gazed in wonder at the box which continued to click and whir for another few seconds before stopping and then with a pop of escaping air opened. Pierre reached forward and took it up in his hand; lifting it away from Kaille Du Lac. He opened the lid fully and took out a velvet wrapped object that seemed too light for its size. Carefully unwrapping the velvet he spoke.

'Your tale grandfather was it true? I cannot say I have heard such a story before and those creatures, such fury and violence were they real once; did they live in our world when magicke was present?'

Kaille Du Lac though was dead or at least so close to it that it would make no difference. His skin was grey and sallow, he seemed to be receding into himself as Pierre watched. Once the box had been removed from him, his grandfather had suffered the same fate that the monster in his story had. The velvet was open now in his hand and he felt energised and his senses sharper and more vital. Sat in his hand, in the folds of rich purple velvet was a stone. No, not just a stone a chunk of errie green jade. Quickly he re-wrapped the jade piece and stepped away from the bed.

He closed the box and then put it and the key on its golden chain around his own neck and under his shirt. He took both his grandfathers hands and placed them on his chest, folded in a mark of respect. He stood and walked to the door preparing himself to announce the passing of a great soldier and to make a rapid exit from the Maison de Repos so that the box and its contents would remain a secret. As he passed the suit of once magikal mail and plate that his grandfather had worn its intricate designs briefly flared a bright blue. He reached the door and put out his hand to open it and then from the bed a faint voice growing to a bleak and final crescendo...

'Pierre remember me and remember this. While the magicke in that box exists it means the Dracci... LIVE FOREVER!'

~

Webmaster's Notes

An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "The Du Lac Inheritance" was written exclusively for OITW's 2010 Advent Calendar.

Gavin has known of my love of the Dracci species for years and for my birthday on the 18th December usually puts something Dracci related together for me to publish on Orcs in the Webbe. After some excellent pieces of fiction in both 2008 and 2009 in 2010 Gavin wrote the above story for publication on my birthday.

Due to personal reasons the 2010 Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar was put on hold on the 17th December. But as the saying goes, 'The Show Must Go On', so OITW is proud to bring you a little bit of Christmas in January.

"The Du Lac Inhertance" was first published by Orcs in the Webbe on the 18th January 2011.