Durzol showed no reaction to Ottkatla’s words. Around the table, however, the tension was taut like a cooking string around a piece of meat.
“I was never interested in fighting. I love cooking. A travelling alchemist saw me cooking. He told me that he could do what I did but added magic. I was curious. He taught me, also how to experiment. I paid good attention, was good student. I was useful to my village, and they did not throw me out. Now, I help Fearless.” He said.
“But aren’t all Orcs supposed to fight?” Ottkatla continued.
Aien stepped in. “Ottkatla, I am not fully aware of Hagraven culture. Here, however, it is considered rude to talk to people you just met in this way, and you are a guest. You are all here because you want to join Fearless Company and further it’s mission. We won’t look at you for what you do tonight, everyone is new, and nobody knows each other. Well, except for Aldren and Lily of course. Why don’t we step away from this topic?” He said.
Durzol held up his hand. “That is not needed. Ottkatla speaks as most in my village speak. Hagraven and Orc culture not so different. I did not run away from them. I do not run away from her. It is not disgrace not to fight. It is disgrace to let people walk over you.” He said.
Ottkatla spat on the ground. “Not run away? You just said that they made living there hard for you and that’s why you came here. You should not leave, just because it is hard. That sounds like running away to me.”
“Not so. There are plenty Orc who do not fight. But I also short. People think and act like I am child Orc, do not take seriously. They do not want to hire me or use my potions. They make it impossible for me to make a living there. My teacher see this and says. Durzol you can do good, you can help and use what I taught you. But not here. Here there is no place for you. But Fearless, they need people like you. I asked him: would going to Fearless not be seen as failure, as giving up? He said, no, only short-sighted people see it that way. There are no opportunities here for you. There is no disgrace in closing one door and opening another. You are not leaving your village behind, for if they need you, you will come. Teacher is correct. I join Fearless to help, but if village comes that they need help, then I go to village. So there is no disgrace on me. If someone thinks there is, then they should not deal with me. They are not obligated to deal with me.” Durzol said and looked Ottkatla straight in the eyes.
Sharmune clapped him on the shoulder. “Well said, friend. I will be glad to work with you and learn from you. My family may not have thought I was a disgrace to them, but they sure were glad to be rid of me.”
Ottkatla stared back at Durzol but finally averted her eyes.
Durzol grunted and then looked at Sharmune. “Thank you. I will be glad to work with you and learn from you.”