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'Foredoomed to Dogs and Crows'
The Burg of Eshgrar Ogo: Chapter 11 of The Worm Ouroboros

Of the Lord Corund's besieging of the Burg above the Lakes of Ogo Morveo, and what befell there betwixt Him and the Demons, wherein is also an Example how the Subtle of Heart standeth at Whiles in great Danger of his Death

Lord Corund, belligerent and increasingly irascible comes to hate and distrust his loyal servant Gro, the Goblin who the narrator waxes most sympathetic for, a man who served loyally two and one kings and is ever being made the scapegoat. the siege itself is well-wrought in a poetic sense without binding detail or stalling yawns, beginning with a masterfully atmospheric Moruna, a bleak land which parallels Gro's bleak lot:

"...always, like a gloomy background darkening the mind, loomed the yawning void, featureless and vast, beyond the investing circle of Corund's armies: the blind blasted emptiness of the Moruna."

The siege runs to tragedy, as all do:

"Many a score lay slain without the walls that night: and the obscene beasts from the desert feasted on their bodies by the light of the moon."

The Lancelot of the company of demonic heroes, Brandoch Daha, challenges Corund to single combat, which is denied, ruses and insults ensue, and a final desperate sortie is made by the defenders, which predictably results in only the three heroes and their guide winning free, their loyal men but so much meat to grease their way.

Withall, the plight of the scapegoat advisor from Goblinland is of more interest and holds more meaning in the mind's eye than the heroic mechanics of the siege. The reader is advised to consider page 153, and the conversation between Gro and Corund, the former sick with a cold or fever, a fate rarely visited upon a character of fantasy, hero or villain.

Finally, the chapter ends with a passage about Runaway thralls in the mountains, quit an interesting reference from a high British perspective.


Dight: clothed or equipped, readied or prepared

Holpen: help, past tense

Batable: Capable of cultivation; fertile; productive

Firkins: a small cask used chiefly for liquids, butter, or fish, a unit of liquid volume equal to half a kilderkin (about 11 gallons or 41 liters).

Enow: too much of something

Fazarts: Scottish for to come nigh, or close

Footra: a person or thing of a specified number of feet in length or height, a line or block of text appearing at the foot of each page

Bemerded: embedded

Snouking: unknown

Gallimaufry: a confused jumble or medley of things

Under the God of Things

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