|Long Live Insanity #21: The Misunderstood Species
"It is entirely clear to me now that Trollocs are misunderstood."
Someone's audience, seated in the shady and pleasant atmosphere of a stedding, listen attentively. And in the shadow of a nearby Great Tree, a momentary movement is arrested as the Ogier utters this first sentence. He continues.
"We have been accustomed to thinking of Trollocs as rude, uncivilised and barbaric, in the event that we think of them at all. And while this generalisation is not entirely false -"
"Shh, I'm talking!" Someone gives his companion a reproving look. "As I was saying, while this generalisation is not entirely false, there is much in the Trolloc species that we have hitherto been unaware of. As I have explained to you, I have of late been travelling in the company of a rather unique group, which happened to include a Trolloc. This came about, naturally, in the course of my research on the nature of insanity, as I had in consideration of this research sought out the most insane people I could locate in order to observe their behaviour. I will of course present to you the results of this study, which I have recorded carefully in book form under the working title of - But where was I? Ah, yes.
"I was speaking of Trollocs, and there seems to me to be no better way to demonstrate to you my contention that Trollocs are misunderstood, than to allow one to speak for himself. Elders, Speakers, Ogier all, allow me to present to you - Snarg!"
Someone stands down. Snarg stands up. A smothered laugh is heard from within the shadow.
"Snarg say, hello."
"As my Trolloc companion here is not fully versed in our language, I will provide the service of translating his remarks for you. Snarg greets all of you and indicates his pleasure at being here today."
"People say Snarg stupid. Snarg not stupid, people stupid."
"Snarg expresses his distress at the unthinking assumption of many people that Trollocs are unreasoning brutes. He strongly disagrees with this claim and asserts his own intelligence, pointing out that it is those who make such assumptions that are in fact guilty of failing to utilize reason in their arguments."
"Same people say Trollocs violent. Snarg not violent! Snarg hit people who say Trollocs violent!"
"Snarg uses subtle irony to dispute the stereotype of his species as a rampaging horde whose only interest is in destruction. Snarg himself is the most peace-loving of individuals."
More muffled laughter from the shadows. The Ogier audience, who have better manners, continue to listen respectfully.
"Rather, it is the bullying of their Myrddraal commanders that forces Trollocs to engage in war, an occupation that does not come naturally to them."
"Snarg tired of Myrddraal, Snarg leave."
"Snarg, rebelling against Myrddraal tyranny as well as human stereotyping, has chosen to make his own way in the world, independent of the coercion of either Light or Shadow."
"Snarg finish now. Snarg say, thanks."
"He concludes his speech and expresses his gratitude to you for your attention and consideration. In summary, may I emphasize to you, Trollocs are misunderstood!"
Snarg bows. Someone bows. Their audience applaud, although, of course, not in any way that could be considered hasty. More, and louder, clapping comes from the shadow of the Great Tree.
"Bravo! Bravo! Bravissima!"
The Asha'man emerges from shadow. "A star performance by both of you. Why, Snarg, your speech was truly inspiring. And Someone, I was very impressed by the speed and accuracy of your translations."
"Snarg say thanks."
Someone blushes. "Well, ah - thank you."
Stepping out of the shadow herself, Shani reaches up to pat Snarg on the cheek. "That was a very nice speech, Snarg. Very well crafted. Are you both ready to go again now?"
"Well, I would not wish to be hasty in deciding, but I do have much unfinished research regarding all of you, so it would perhaps not be unreasonable to accompany you furtherů"
"Then meet our new friends." Shani waves toward the tree, where two more figures now emerge. They are, of course, our guests from the last episode - Sharis, wearing her black-fringed shawl and not much else, and Sneak, having now donned sunglasses which he briefly raises.
Someone blinks. So do all the other Ogier.
Snarg's reaction is a little less subdued. "Shani play trick? Snarg angry! Not travel with Myrddraal or Dreadlord!"
"Snarg!" Shani looks shocked. "Surely you of all people wouldn't deny two individuals the right to seek their true selves away from limiting stereotypes? After that speech you just made?"
The Ogier, and Shadar, all applaud her. Sharis curtsies, and Sneak bows. What can Snarg possibly say now, except -
"Thank you, Snarg. I really appreciate the compliment." She pats the Trolloc on the cheek again. "Shall we go?"
One by one, they disappear into the shadow.