“Orngba Lobeclip lost the point of her ear when she was young, I’ve heard,” the orc said. “She was taken by traders who wanted to pass her off as a comely human to sell to the Gaizans, so they planned to clip her ears and smear her with clay. I’ve heard it said she took the ears of every last man in the caravan as recompense.”

“That ear is one more thing we lost to the Hamurabashers. When Riw Iax fell, they took her and tortured her until she agreed to submit to the Hamurabash.”

“Is that so,” said Myn. “I heard otherwise.”

“I have it on the word and authority of her great uncle, who would know. She took the ears of every last Hamurabasher when she escaped, and Nyirtirat take my tongue if that’s not the truth.”

“That ear, you know she lost it in a fight with a lion.”

“How many times did it get cut off?” cried Myn.

“Not cut. Bitten. The lion got the drop on her when she was in the foothills and even then all it could get was one eartip. She cut the ears off of its dead body and hunted down its cubs to do the same. That’s direct from her half-brother’s ex-wife.”

“You’ve heard about Orngba’s ear, I’m sure.”

“Yeah, it was cut off by slavers, or by Hamurabashers, or by a lion,” said Myn. “They must have been very careful sewing it back on aftwrwards.”

“No, no. She cut it off herself in a show of power. Her cousin’s son was there, even has a droplet of blood on his mail. Orngba said she’d take the ears of any orc who opposed her, and none did. But the offer still stands to this day.”

“Do you wish to know how I lost the upper part of my ear?” Orngba said.

“I’ve heard a…few theories,” said Myn. “But I’m sure none of them do justice to the truth.”

“One of the pariah dogs had a litter in the citadel, and one of the pups was the cutest, fluffiest little thing you have ever seen. I wanted him for my own, but proud Scatha Scarfurrow insisted that the dog was hers by right. We settled matters.”

“You fought over a dog?” said Myn.

“Not a dog,” said Orngba. “A puppy. He was cute and fluffy and we wanted him. Scatha took the tip of my ear; I took her head. I made the puppy its first dish out of her skull.”

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