~ A tale, experience and told by Nisse, Ogre of the SoS ~

It was a morning like any other, I had awaken from a deep sleep and was ready for any adventure that might be waiting for me outside. It was a day a 200 years ago when I was still living with my parents and when I was still playing my tricks on the human farmers and the wayfarers that travelled the realm with their wares. I was still young and did not know much about the world other than what I had seen and what my parents had told me but this particular day I was to experience something that would leave a deep scar in my heart forever.

Some people say that we of the Ogre kind are evil at heart, however, this is not true. Well, in some cases it might be but what we do is not out of pure evil, it is a matter of staying alive. There is another race that do evil things without anything else to gain from it than wealth and fame, the humans.

I dressed in my simple clothes and ventured off into the mountains to find something to eat.

This day the sky was cloudy and a thunderstorm was expected, I was feeling weary and slightly encumbered by a strange feeling that had been haunting me since I woke up this morning. Suddenly I saw a rabbit standing under a tree, chewing on a fallen fruit. This is the perfect breakfast, I thought to myself and slowly sneaked up behind it to make my attack. But when I was ready to jump the little furry devil I stumbled on a rock and fell to the ground. After having been lying there, cursing myself for the sudden idiocy that had made me lose my breakfast I looked up. There was a pair of feet just in front of my head, I raised a brow and looked up and found myself surrounded by humans. One of them shouted something and his voice cut through my soul like a knife for the following seconds would become the first moment of fear I had ever experienced.

Two of the men threw a net over me, I fought and struggled to get out of it but the more I moved, the more entangled I became. I was lying there, emptied of my strength. The humans started laughing and patted each others shoulders, apparently I had become the animal that would pay the most gold on the humans markets and circuses. I was taken to their village, and when we entered we were met by a mob of people standing there, staring at me. Suddenly one of them walked up to me and started spitting on me, screaming something at the same time, I closed my eyes and I must have forced myself to sleep for when opened my eyes again I was sitting in a dark, cold room. I could not move for I was in shackles and from outside I could hear the screams of joy from the humans. Bards were playing their tunes and they were celebrating my capture.

Tears started falling from eyes, slowly wandering down my cheeks and dripping down to the floor. I crawled up into a corner and lay there as a miserable heap of sadness and fear, awaiting my fate. At this point I had lost all hope, I was certain that I would never see my parents again, their smiles when I had done something good. Even their angry faces when I had done something bad… My siblings, my friends, the forests lit up by the moonlight at night and the sun playing on the lakes and vast oceans during the day, would I ever see it again?

I might be an Ogre, but even I can feel fear. Now, I was to pay for what my people had done against the humans. We were a people of robbers and murderers, that I admit but I had been taken from my people at a young age, I was a child and one as young should never have to experience being held captive like an animal. Many hours had passed and I was still lying there, unable to move, paralyzed by the thought of what the humans would do to me. Burn me at the stake? Hang me from a tree? Throw me into the lion pit? Or just set me free to then hunt me down with spears and bows for their own pleasure?

Suddenly the door opened and I could spot a figure standing there, I covered my eyes with my hands for the light blinded me and burned my eyes. I heard footsteps coming towards me and they stopped right in front of me. The shackles that was hurting my ankles and wrists were unlocked, I was lifted up from the ground and carried out into the daylight. I opened my eyes, the streets were empty, there were no humans in sight. I looked up to see the face of the man that had set me free. He was enormous, a human with a big brown beard and long brown hair, and he was wearing an eye patch to cover his right eye.

He looked down at me and stared at me for a moment with his good eye, he showed a small smile, the small ounce of kindness I had seen from a human since I arrived in this hell hole. I might not have been a small child but this man was like an ox or an elephant, he looked like he could easily lift a building from its foundation and juggle it like it was a ball or the likes.

He carried me along the streets of the village, stopped in front of a small shed, opened the door and threw me into the room, making me land on my back and I felt a splitting pain cutting through my body. I looked up again, and he smiled, then it struck me, that smile was not a smile of kindness, it was one of evil and sarcasm. I took a deep breath and growled at him, he glared at me and muffled a laugh and then he shut the door and locked it.

Even if hatred now filled my soul, I could not help but feel some gratitude. This room had windows and it was warm, it was much better than the cellar I had been held in before. The floor was covered in hay and a blanket was folded up, lying in a corner. I stood up and looked out through the windows. Iron bars were holding me from escaping but I would much rather think that they had been set in order to not let someone get in. I thought that this was to protect me, not to keep me from escaping. The thought soothed me a little but still I missed my freedom.

I sat in this room for a couple of days, I was given water and bread to drink and eat and once and again a human passed by and glared in at me through the window bars. I was no longer afraid, more angry and bored with a burning desire to just slay every human in sight but I knew that if I tried, I would be slain as well. I had now been captive for about a week and only after another day was I held captive. The big man opened the door and set me in shackles again, took me to a big building, I would imagine that it was the town hall. Here was a man in a funny hat and strange clothes, I was later on to find out that he was the manager of a circus that travelled the realm and displayed various ”strange” and ”dangerous” creatures as well as holding shows where these creatures where put through a living hell, being whipped and forced to do things for the pure pleasure of the barbaric humans.
This circus would come to be my home for about a month, and I was held in a cage in a wagon when I was not put on display, having humans laughing at me, children crying when they saw my ”horrible” face. After a time I got to be friends with the circus managers daughter, a beautiful human but still, she was a human and I knew what they were capable of.

However, she might have been different, or she was different. She taught me the language of the humans and I was now one of the main attractions of the circus, ”The Talking Ogre”. I was forced to sing, read poems and other texts for the humans and the circus manager kept making more and more money. But one night, when I was once again locked up in my cage, the daughter of the manager, Ayrie, came to me, unlocked my cage and set me free. I thanked her the best way I could, I now understood that not all humans are evil… But I came to be on my guard every time I met a human in the future, I still am.

I ran through the forests, up and down steep hills, over rivers and up mountains. I must have wandered for three or four days until I finally reached my homelands. It was night and I sat down below the crowns of a giant oak, thinking of the experience that had kept me separated from my family for nearly two months. But now I know, that humans and Ogre’s are not all that different, we are more primitive but they are more barbaric than one could imagine, no wonder they have been our enemies for so long…
I stood up after a couple of hours and continued walking towards the cave that was my home, I entered and was met by the joy of my family. My mother held me in a tight embrace and my father started questioning me about where I had been, what I had done, how I could be so stupid as to reveal myself to the humans… It was good to be back home.