Gor’tar (Officer) Thorgir of the Clan Bloodfist took his zabbak’tarr (Rite of Passage: literal translation “rite of the warrior”) as a common orc of the Doomspear Clan, but soon after became a thrall to the Bloodfists in a failed raid for commoner women. Dorin Bloodfist saw great potential in the young orcish Doomspear and spared him if he agreed to become a thrall for 10 years. The Clan Chieftain felt that 10 years would give them enough time to ensure the young man’s integrity, and he was right.
10 years later, to the day, Dorin approached Thorgir and thrust a large bag of coins into his hands.
“Jarl Dorin?” began the, now older, orcish warrior.
“it’s your pay,” retorted the Chief, “well, 18% of your pay, you lost the other 82% to taxes.”
Thorgir could only stammer a moment while he tried to formulate a protest, so the Clan Lord continued,
“Standard wage is three tath’thaler a day, but I pay my men a gulden a day,” he said, taking a piece of paper out of a pouch and unfolding it to read, “3640 days, at a gulden a day, is 1820 marks. Less 82% for taxes, the Dragonlady put you in the lowest tax bracket, is 327 marks, 1 gulden, and 1 tath’thaler.”
The Tath’Karr indicated the bag, now in Thorgir’s hands, “you can count it, if you like, but it’s all there, 3276 tath’thaler, well, less 200 because I wanted to give you a couple of the new Imperial thaler, as I’m betting you’ve never seen one before?”
Thorgir managed to stumble out, “no Jarl, I haven…um… Wait?! Uhh??… I thought I was a thrall?”
Dorin took a small measure of amusement in the orc’s discomfort, but extolled, “yes, yes you WERE, but that is a thrall, mind you, not a slave.”
“You mean there’s a difference?” the warrior asked, slightly incredulously.
“Obviously,” the Clan Lord chuckled, once again indicating the bag.
The orc could only shake his head, “I don’t get it?” he pleaded.
Now the Tath’Karr looked slightly irritated, “don’t play dumb with me Thorgir,” he barked, “I don’t like it when orcs play dumb with me!”
“I’m not playing dumb, Jarl,” he implored, “I’ve really don’t get it!”
Dorin took a long hard look at him, and seemed to decide that the artillerist was not playing with him and explained, “first of all, Thorgir, stop calling me Jarl, that is what a thrall calls his master. You may address me as Almighty Leader Bloodfist, or Tath’Karr. Second, a thrall is an indentured servant, indentured, that means bound to service. You were not a slave, you were a prisoner who was earning his keep. You were not free to leave, but you had rights, and one of those rights was the right to a living. One gulden a day, same thing I pay anybody else.”
The cannoneer looked stunned for a long moment, before asking, “well, why didn’t you tell me about this before then?”
The Bloodfist actually laughed out loud, “would have made it really easy to leave, for a guy who wasn’t free to do so, with a pocket full of gulden,” he shook his head.
Thorgir self-deprecatingly laughed, “yes, I suppose.
So, what now?” he asked of the Clan lord.
“well, son,” started the noble, then paused, “I guess your little old for that moniker.”
He thought about a moment before deciding, “Thorgir, just Thorgir. And you’ll call me lord Dorin, or captain, understood?”
The captain didn’t wait for him to respond, but just carried on,” you’re free now Thorgir, you can return to the Doomspears, and probably live in disgrace, or you can take a promotion to Gor’tar and Artillery Commander, join the Bloodfists, and most probably live out the rest of your life in that position, though there is a chance for promotion to captain your own ship. I won’t tell you what to do, but if you decide to go home, I’ll see you get a ride, but I’d sure like to have you.”
And that is the story of how the low-born orc of that Doomspear Clan became a Bloodfist with unbridled patriotism, and unmatched loyalty. Thorgir has never looked back.