The Burnt World of Athas

Kid's Speech in the Tyrian Arena

Gather 'round, loyal citizens of Tyr, and I shall tell you one of the mysterious and ancient stories of the Unfallen Host, the Last Legion of Kalidnay. Or as you may know us, the Orphan Company.

Some centuries ago, the Orphan Company was hundreds of miles from here, in a city then known as Pharandel. This was long before the Sorcerer-Kings you know, but men were no less cruel and capricious in those distant times.

The Company in those days numbered several hundred, and served the Merchant Lords of Pharandel protecting their trade routes and walled cities. The Merchant Lords grew prosperous and shared their wealth with the citizens of Pharandel, which enraged the slavers of nearby Delankar, who invaded and besieged the city.

For 4 years the Orphan Company led the defense of Pharandel, from the brink of collapse at the gates of the city through famine and disease and eventually repelled the slavers from their borders. In the process, the Company's numbers dwindled to a mere hundred brothers. Pharandel incurred significant debts to their allies, and much of it was owed to the Company. Rather than pay these debts, the greedy merchants turned on the Company, who had served them loyally. They put the Orphan Company through a sham trial, stirred public opinion against the brothers, and whipped their citizens into a frenzy. Only six brothers escaped with their lives.

Betrayed, dishonored, and penniless, those six brothers soldiered on. They nursed their wounds and regained their strength. They found old allies among Pharandel's new enemies, and those six brothers made it their life's work to rebuild the Company and collect the debt owed by the Merchant Lords. They returned, and when the Company left Pharandel for the second time, they left six nobles alive. The Company's sworn brotherhood numbered over a thousand. They had collected their debt in blood.

I chose this story for two reasons. First, it is a reminder that we honor our contracts, but that our service demands loyalty in return. Today, we stand oathbound to the Free City of Tyr. Even as we speak, our brothers have been bloodied defending Tyr's critical resources. We will die for this city, but we will not be sacrificed as pawns.

And second, the Orphan Company remembers. Their names were Murgen, Tobo, Sleepy, Big Bucket, Elmo, and Croaker. Their names will live forever. It is an immortality of sorts.



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