The Warrior Father Myth in United Earth | World Anvil

The Warrior Father

Before the war, and before Orok knew why we were different from the other humans, there was a man who lived on the fringes of our land, whom we ignored and sometimes feared because he was different. Our children terrorized him, throwing stones at his home, tormenting his goat, and stealing his eggs. Our elders warned this man was bad, and he should be kept away from our villages, but to keep the peace, they provided him with food and clothing, so he wanted for nothing. 
  One day, a small boy called Oleki walked for hours to reach the man's home. The boy knocked loudly on the man's door with a large stick, then, bold as brass, shouted, "Come to the door, old man. I need to speak with you." 
  Now the young boy didn't know what to expect. He'd heard the stories, the legends of a man with horns, with a grotesque demon's face, as tall as a house and as strong as an ox. But the boy didn't believe the rumors. He needed to see for himself. "Old man," he called. "Come out and let me witness your face. You are just a man, are you not?"
  From within the house, the boy heard the scraping of a chair across the stone floor. Then he heard footsteps. Not light steps, like a child, or even heavy falls like his father after a night in the tavern. No, these footfalls were like nothing he'd ever heard. Then he heard the rasping breath, like the wind whistling through the eaves of his father's hut, yet it was rhythmic, continuous, and unsettling.
  As he waited for the door to open, his confidence began to wane. He started to panic. Maybe he should not have come to this demon's home. If he ran now, he'd not be seen. Maybe he could run back to the village and no one would be any the wiser. But something else, something primal, froze the boy on the spot. 
  The footsteps stopped. The boy took a deep breath.
  A second click. 
  Then the door opened. 
  The young boy looked across the threshold at the man staring back at him. "I knew it," said the boy, triumphantly. "You are just a man." 
  The man reached out and picked the boy up with one hand as if he were made of the air itself. He was clearly as powerful as the stories made out. With his free hand, the man reached up and pulled his hood away from his face and let the course fabric fall onto his shoulders. The boy gasped. Horns. Or, something that looked like horns with the tips broken off, like the elk at the end of the rutting season bested in a mating battle. 
  The man held the boy by the scruff of his neck, at arm's length, horizontally out from his body at full arms stretch. "You come to me when no one else will. Do you not fear me, boy?" His voice raked like boots dragging on a gravel path but had wisdom in the manner in which he asked the question. "
  "I am not afraid. What would I be afraid of? You are a man, just like me. And I am here to prove I have the spirit of a warrior, but the sense of an owl." 
  The man smiled and set the boy down. "You are indeed brave, and wise. Nothing in this world is what it seems," said the man. "Would you like to come inside?"
  The boy thought about this for a few seconds, but since he was here and he'd proven himself right so far, he shrugged and nodded. "Ok."
  Many weeks later, the boy was playing by the river, when an older boy decided to teach this young rapscallion a lesson. The bully, and his three cronies, walked to where the boy was whittling a long stick and stood around him in an intimidating semicircle. "Hey, squirt," said the bully. "What are you doing?"
  The boy didn't look up. His hood obscured his eyes as his head was bowed, engrossed as he rhythmically pushed the small blade across the stick, slowly rotating it as he sharpened the tip.  
  A few seconds passed. Not used to being ignored, the bully began to boil. "Hey, squirt," he shouted, kicking the boy on the side of his leg. "I'm talking to you. You shouldn't ignore me. It's rude. Didn't your drunken father teach you manners, or was he too busy beating on your mother?"
  The boy continued his work, ignoring the bully's taunts. 
  Enraged, he kicked again at the boy's leg, while his cronies laughed. "Come on, squirt," shouted one of them. "Are you going to cry to your mummy?"
  The boy, genuinely disinterested in the advances of these idiots, finished what he was doing, folded his blade into its clasp, and shoved it deep into his trousers. Then he stood, raising his eyes towards the bully. He didn't look at the cronies. No need. He looked straight into the bully's eyes, and softly he spoke. "My name is Alok. But I am not a boy. I am a demon."
  As the bully and his cronies ran away, the boy smiled to himself. He knew he was different, and in his new friend from the fringes of the village, he learned the power of fear amongst those who were weak. Like the man at the edge of the village, Alok was different. His deformities were not as obvious as his mentor's, but his intelligence and strength were equal to if not greater. Also, like his mentor, he felt no pain. 
  Alok grew up on the fringes of society, but unlike his mentor, he studied and he learned about what made him different. This enlightenment was the origin of today's Orlok tribe, and they are led by Alok, who teaches beyond the nature of human understanding. He is a shaman and a warrior, and a ghost and a god amongst the men who now hunt him. Alok is the Orlok, and the Orlok is Alok. 
  Today we pray to the gods who created us this way and remain thankful to that brave young boy who saw what was different, not as something to fear but something to understand and something to respect. 
  Today, we are no longer human. We are stronger, faster, smarter, and wiser than those who hunt us. 
  Today, my friends. We are Orlok. And we are many.


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