Howling Woods and Thousand Bones


Utah Staff
The foggy image of a lone High Orc surrounded by a very large clan of ogres enters the dreaming. Though they are imposing and vicious in nature, the Ogres seem to be getting along with the High Orc you know as Thousand Bones. Suddenly, Bones' eyes grow wide as a large and meaty yellow fist bashes into the face of the High Orc. The once foggy image of Bones turns solid, as he fully enters the dream.

Ha! He got me! These damn Ogres sure know how to throw a hook!

Bones lets out a vicious scream.

And they throw parties just like the Bleeding Eye! Don't worry, Bones found the Gnarltusk. Bones keeps his promises. While they don't fully trust Bones yet, they certainly enjoy watching Bones help with their winter preparation. Nogra, the High Ogre that leads these normal Ogres tells me its not every day a High Orc comes to aid the Gnarltusk. She insinuated that the tribes and clans of the Howling Woods don't really get along all that much unless absolutely necessary. Which is pretty standard for most of my kind as well.

Bones also learned something fun about the Ogres. They don't like the idea of tribes. It is too lowly for them. Therefore, they come from clans. Odd for this High Orc to hear but I understand what they mean after staying with them for the past week. They are a large family! Just like the Bleeding Eye! They do what they can to protect their own and they are extremely prideful about this. Bones has much respect for them, and Bones thinks they feel the same way about this High Orc.

The Gnarltusk are known in the lands to the South. Bones knows this to be true. Nogra told Bones that the Baron of Warchester throws feasts for the Gnarltusk every Tuesday. Bones guesses this is a source of great pride with the Gnarltusk. Bones doesn't believe that these Ogres wish harm to any of the people that live in the area. They just want to thrive like everyone else. Bones respects that... a lot.

The High Orc frowns in thought.

One thing that Bones does know is that any talk about the Vilker Hobgoblins is typically met with narrowed eyes and distrust. Something happened that the Gnarltusk aren't telling Bones. This High Orc thinks he hasn't quite earned their trust enough yet to tell me. Give Bones another week and this High Orc will learn more.

The High Orc becomes foggy again as you hear the music and laughter of the Gnarltusk Ogres in the distance. A big sweltering bruise suddenly appears under the right eye of the High Orc. He laughs and lunges towards the fat Ogre that dared challenge him. Laughter erupts from the crowd and everyone cheers the warriors on.

One thing is certain, Bones is certainly in his element...


Utah Staff
Bones' faded image comes into the edge of your dream. His mist like incorporeal body begins to solidify. The high orc has a very puzzled face as he manifests a chair to sit on. Its as if he is tormenting over something.

Hello friends... Bones has a very serious question for you all. Bones' has been hanging out with these Ogres for the past 2 weeks and one of the little younglings asked Bones why he became a leader. I of course told him that Bones loves to protect people. It brings him joy. And of course I told him about my tribe. But then this little inquisitor asked me something that I don't know how to answer right now. He said "What makes a good leader?"

Bones has been leading since he was 2. That is a solid 5 years of leading. Which some of the short lived races is a literal lifetime. But how do I do it? How do people come to Bones and want to follow him? People say "Oh Bones! You are charismatic!" or "You just have a way with people!" but what does that mean? I think when it comes down to it, Bones has a couple of things he believes in that bring people to the Bleeding Eye.

One thing is certain, Bones isn't a tyranny. Bones won't crack the whip like the Vilker Hobgoblins and force people to do things. Bones would never ask his people to do something that Bones wouldn't do himself! Bones will never tell you "GO DO THAT!" instead Bones will say "Lets go do that... together!" Because how can people learn if they are not taught the right example?

Bones also is a servant to his tribe. Bones cares so much for those that are in his family that he would do anything for them. And Bones things that is why his tribe likes him so much. Because they know Bones is there. They know that Bones would die for them to make sure they are safe. Also, Bones doesn't let the negative stop him from his goals and dreams. And Bones HAS goals and dreams. Bones isn't a negative person. Well... unless Bones is charmed. Yikes. Bones does not like being charmed. It is bad for his family.

So Bones wants to ask all of you. What do you think makes a STRONG LEADER? Maybe Bones will add your answers to his list of answers and become a better leader for it!


Demvarien Corinthus of Tiatar manifests in the dream, fully armored in his chainmail and white surcoat. A well-made, upholstered chair appears across from Thousand Bones'. Demvarien takes a seat, resting his right ankle atop his left knee and folding his fingers together in contemplation.

Thousand Bones, your thoughts seem to indicate you are seven years old. Are High Orcs really so short-lived? That's an extremely brief period of time to learn the many nuances of skilled leadership. That would make me a century your senior and I would hardly call myself a great leader.

My father taught me much of what you have already said. The best leaders lead by example; a skilled commander spearheads the assault, and the soldiers follow him in. A good leader also lives to serve those beneath him, not to be served. But I will not dwell on what you have previously established, as it is not a particularly productive area of conversation.

My father also taught me that there is an odd contradiction to leadership in decision-making. A leader must be thoughtful and, when possible, must think carefully about their choices, as their decisions affect those beneath them. A good leader is wise and, ideally, well-educated. However, there are times when a leader must be capable of making a difficult decision in the blink of an eye, times when not to act is the worst choice of all. In those moments, a leader must be able to make those difficult decisions in a matter of seconds without hesitation. A leader must also prove themselves worthy of following; all the gold in the world will not buy true loyalty. You have already touched on some of the main ways leaders can do this, but there are subtleties that vary from follower to follower. There is also some simple charisma to it; a good leader is likable on some fundamental level.

Ultimately, I think great leaders empower those around them to be their best selves. A great leader teaches willingly and enthusiastically. A great leader aids those in their charge however they can. A great leader would never ask a follower to do something they would not willingly do themselves.


Denver Staff
Kansas Staff
*A feral fox made entirely of shimmering and ever moving water appears, lying on his back and looking at the others upside down*

Hello there friends, why do you confine yourself to your mortal forms here, this is truly a place to be freeing to experience all things. I am Puck, in this place our spirits flourish, you need not come with your defenses so raised. Be at peace.

The trouble that I tend to find with people that call themselves leaders, is that they are looking to have a leg up over others. I've always found that everyone should walk or swim on the same level. All beings large or small should work together to live in a form of peace. Too often are people hasty to grab a sword or club and go beat the snot out of someone who might just be wandering looking for a bit of food.

Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that I don't really see a need for leaders in any capacity. Teachers and those to share knowledge are very important, however we should all try to forge our own paths through the world, rather than following in the footsteps of others. Fortannis itself is so large and beautiful, I hate to think that anyone might miss out on it simply because they are told to do otherwise.

Oh, I'm off track again... *The fox will tilt his head looking a bit puzzled for a moment, then rolling onto all fours again and nodding* Right! Leaders, they should help other people if they need help I guess? But never be afraid to talk and offer help and compromise. We are all creatures of Fortannis after all, and everyone has just as much of a right to be here as everyone else. So if you've gotta lead people, just make sure you give an ear, but don't be afraid to tell someone their wrong? or be afraid to admit that you're wrong.


A small, female wolf fades in and out for a few moments until finally settling into the dream. Wearing a set of fox pajamas, she sits on the floor cross-legged and looks up at you both inquisitively

Hello again Thousand Bones and Demvarien and.... head tilt water Puck? It's Sleet!

I also have been wondering what makes a good leader and protector. So far, I only have one piece of the many shards that make this idea. I'm sorry that it is the same as many others. Using power for your own gain is like calling the pack to hunt a single squirrel. It will feed only the one that catches it, and it isn't satisfying in the end. So you hunger for more and more. But when you use it for the good of all around you, taking the risks upon yourself to protect them, to unite them in camaraderie, and work towards a better tomorrow for everyone....that is like when you hunt big game together. It is more satisfying and you don't need to seek more, because everyone can already thrive!

Her ears flick back for a moment as she furrows her brow in thought
But there are a lot of things that go into being a leader and a lot of thinking about the many tomorrows ahead. Perhaps I will ask my pack's leaders what it means to be a good leader when I next return home.
She shakes as if drying her fur from rain and gives a slow tail wag
But if Thousand Bones is already a leader, he must at least have a good scent on what it means to be a leader!
If it is alright with you, I would like to stay and hear what others have to say.

If not chased from the dream, she curls up on the floor to await more dreamers

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Utah Staff
Let me first reply to all of you and then move on with some more thoughts...

Bones looks to Demvarien Corinthus of Tiatar and explains.

Bones is 7. We are a short lived race. Just like the Kin and Sarr. Bones has also experienced a lot in his life. The life of a High Orc, especially from the Bleeding Eye, is dangerous. We make choices and decisions that effect our lives, but we do it for the betterment of the community. In the time Bones has been on the battlefield he has led many. And he has slain many. Bones has had under his command over a hundred, not to mention under a handful.

You have been a leader for a short amount of time, Bones has done it his whole life. Which may be shorter than you had held command. But know this, it isn't about what Bones has done or haven't done... It is about what you are willing to do for others. Bones knows he has said it before, but he would die for each and every one of you. Someone once told Bones, "People don't care what you know, until they know that you care." Bones guess that despite Bones hating to be touched and all that sappy crap, Bones does care for everyone. Bones wants to see everyone reach their goals and dreams. Maybe that is why Bones is a good leader? By the way, your father sounds like a good man. Bones' father was a good man as well.

Bones shrugs and looks to Puck. His gaze narrows as his face contorts to that of confusion.

Bones disagrees. When left to themselves, a people are weak. Community and team work is what makes things enjoyable. And when that community works together to accomplish a goal, then they are even stronger. Without a leader, the community turns to chaos. They resort to violence and they become petty and cruel. Bones has seen this. Without leadership, there is no vision. Besides, we all know that people can be lazy. And lazy breeds dissatisfaction. When people are not satisfied they wither away and fall to the side. How many times have you seen a person vanish because they were not the center of attention. Or move on because they didn't reach their goals? Bones has seen it a lot.

A leader is there to create goals and help people achieve greatness. Not through commands or through whip cracking, but through kindness and motivation. And if you see leaders who "want a leg up on everyone else" then they are not good leaders. They are tyrants or con artists looking for their next victims. I agree that people need to forge their own destinies. In fact, as a leader, Bones encourages that! Bones looks at the goals of everyone else and he makes their goals his own. Because Bones is selfless. Bones derives pleasure from helping others. Perhaps that is why he has a whole tribe of High Orcs that follow him? Bones does not know... that is why Bones is asking. And... Bones is working on taking criticism... It is hard for Bones. But Bones agrees with you on that field of battle.

Bones smiles wide for friend Sleet, who he has met in the dream before.

Well met, friend! Your analogies are fun to think about. Bones would like to see a wolf pack hunt just a single squirrel. Though only for sport. Starving wolves do not make good friends. Bones' brother in arms, Ripper, knows all too well that dangerous path. Bones would like to think he is a good leader. Perhaps in the future, you will see Bones lead. And you could tell Bones if he is good or not.

Please sit and listen. I do fear that these Ogres I am staying with have been giving me good information lately. But I still need to know more about the Vilker and why most of the Ogre clans hate them.