Crates, goblins and strange coincidences

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Crates, goblins and strange coincidences

Post  Rojir on Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:05 pm

Roger was a goblin, and the owner of a small bar in Booty Bay, namely the Flying Fish. He was a rather normal goblin, doing what he could to turn a profit, selling illegal wares on the side of his legal dealings, and with aspirations towards becoming the single richest and most powerful goblin in the world. Incidentally, his name wasn’t really Roger, but he found that most of his customers could pronounce that better than his real name, but that isn’t really important for the purposes of this story. What’s more important is his future; without his knowing, Roger is about to meet a person who will launch him into a new and lucrative avenue of trade; namely the writing of adventurous novels.

However, Roger didn’t know that he was about to make this fantastic discovery. Actually to him, it seemed tonight would just be another night of handing over drinks and bad advice, and hoping that he wouldn’t need to call the bruisers. He was aware that his business requires risks, and Roger was a goblin of risk taking. For instance he was an avid engineer, something that, within goblin circles, was tantamount to suicide. However, a more dangerous risk that Roger was taking was the borrowing of money from the goons of a certain Tradeprince. On paydays, he had to cough up a large part of his profit, and stand a few minutes of getting beaten.

And today was a payday.

For this reason, Roger served his customers in the slightly twitchy and paranoid fashion of someone awaiting the arrival of underworld bullies to take your money and beat you up.

At this point, the door creaked open.

All the denizens of the bar silenced their talking and turned to look at the person entering.

Since the light was in the back of this stranger, it was hard to make out his features. As he walked in, and the door slammed shut behind him, it became easier to see him in the light of the petroleum lamps within the bar. This man was a troll. Tall and with the long limbs of his race, a wolf mask mostly covered his face, and his body covered in armour seemingly fashioned from similar wolf hides. A flintlock rifle hang at his back by a leather strap. He looked around the room coolly, before walking over to the bar.

At this point people turned back to their drinks and small talk.

Roger, however, kept his attention on the troll.

“Hey there partner. I’m Roger. What’ll it be?”

“Greetin’s Ruggah. Ah’s Mikul. ‘an’ mah’s a grog.”

Roger jumped down the box he was standing on behind the bar, and waddled off to get Mikul a grog. Little did he know that his adventures were just about to begin.

Some thirty minutes later, Roger and Mikul still sat opposite one another. Roger had been cleaning the same glass for some fifteen minutes, but it didn’t seem to want to get clean. This was the kind of dirt that wouldn’t be removed, but that would happily move around the mug, leading Roger into his most exciting activity of the day; trying to move the stains to the bottom of the glass, where they’d be more or less camouflaged.

Opposite the goblin on the box, Mikul sat on a bar stool, occasionally sipping his grog. He was leaning onto the counter, and had placed his rifle against it as well.

“So, Ruggah. Anythin’ goin’ on in dese parts?”

The goblin looked up from the antagonistic mug for a moment, before turning his attention back to it again.

“Not really. I mean, it’s payday today, but otherwise I keep out of trouble.”

Mikul took a sip of his drink, and scratched at his chin.

“Yeah. Speaking of which, the bar’ll be closing soon. Don’t want any customers getting roughed up, you know?”
“Hrhm. T’in’ ah’ll be stickin’ aroun’.”
“Suit yourself.”

Mikul went back to his drink, and Roger went back to his cleaning duty for a while.

Roger had a bad feeling about today. He got those sometimes, and he never liked it. Always gave him a headache, and for reasons he couldn’t explain, it made him think about explosions. Little did he expect that this was in fact a minor expression of a talent that might’ve, in other cultures, led him to become an oracle. However, in goblin terms, he was just angrier and more tired than most.
Often when he had bad feelings, he ended up getting beaten up. Of course, he always had bad feelings on payday, so it was rather natural.

Eventually the bar began to empty. It seemed the regulars knew what was about to happen, and sort of milled off on their own, until only Mikul and Roger remained.

About then, the door slammed open, and a small group of about three goblins went it. The three of them were wearing dirty leather armour, and had small clubs at their hips. They looked around the room with their small, angry eyes. Roger proceeded to jump down from his box and start to pour copper coins onto the counter. The three goblins waddled over to the counter, smiling to themselves. Mikul kept his eyes fixed on his drink. The goblin in the middle leant onto the counter, and looked at the calm troll.

“So. Roger. Who’s your friend?”

Roger looked up from the small mountain of coins, and muttered something inaudible about not knowing him.

“That so?”

The goblin drew his club at this point, and hit Mikul’s tankard, sending it flying across the room and spraying Roger with the contents. Mikul sighed audibly.

“Ah’s ‘opin’ yah’ll apologize for dat.”

“I ain’t apologizing for nothing. Actually, I’m just here to rough folks up. You might end up one of them.”

At this point Mikul turned his eyes towards the goblin. He then proceeded to grab his rifle leaning against the counter, and smacked butt of the rifle against the goblin’s jaw. The hit sent the groaning goblin flying across the room. Before it hit the ground, the two other goblins had managed to turn around to see what was going on, the first one getting knocked to the ground by a hit of the rifle to it’s head. The last one was desperately grasping for its club, when Mikul placed a kick to its chest, knocking it to the ground. Finishing off his series of moves, he pointed the obviously loaded rifle at the first goblin, which collided with a table, and looked up into the barrel of Mikul’s gun.

“Yah’ll apologize now, ah’s ‘opin’?”

Roger was right. This was going to be a bad day.


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Re: Crates, goblins and strange coincidences

Post  Rojir on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:44 am

Now, as I’m sure you can all imagine, there are certain rules within the criminal underworld, obeyed by most people involved in shady business. One such thing is that when thugs are sent by loansharks to rough you up, you don’t send the thugs flying around the room with alternating club hits and kicks.
Incidentally this is also true of tax collectors.

At this point in time Mikul wasn’t aware of this taboo. He’d seen plenty of underworld thugs rough up people, and assumed it was just an accepted method of communication among goblins. Now, with our knowledge this conclusion seems bizarre. But from the outlook of someone who had never heard about gang mechanics and so on, it’s a very easy conclusion to draw.

Roger, however, was very much in a position of understanding this. And in the few seconds that Mikul had beaten the enforcers to a bloody pulp, his life passed before his eyes. When he came to, Mikul had sent those thugs away, and Roger immediately began pacing back and forth, hoping to think of some way to avoid the repercussions sure to come.
This didn’t help his headache, and visions of explosions were quite vivid now.

“You just had to go and be heroic, didn’t you?!” He shouted and pointed an accusing finger at Mikul. “Now I’ll have to fake my own death, and get a new identity and live as a hermit on some mountain. You happy now?!”

The veins on his neck seemed to be throbbing dangerously.

“Eh. Ah’s jus’ saved yah’s from getting’ beaten up yah know.”

“Yes! By signing me up for the gallows!” The angry little, red-faced goblin shouted. “How’re you gonna make that up to me, huh? HUH?!”


“I knew it! All muscle and no brains!” Roger proceeded to kick the bar counter, and regretted his decision to do so moments later.

“Ah’ll ‘elp yah tah get outta town…?”

“Finally we’re getting somewhere!” Roger muttered. “Now, follow me. I know some guys on the docks, they can get us out of here.”

The goblin proceeded to waddle out the front door, in a pace that might almost be described as speed-waddling. Mikul followed soon after.

The two had been making their way down towards the docks where Roger’s contact would apparently be able to get them out of town for half an hour when Mikul's inquisitive attitude eclipsed his fear of the angry, little goblin's reprisals.

“So, dese people yah owe moneh. Who’re dey?” Mikul inquired as they took a turn around a corner, passing by harlots and street peddlers.
“Oh, eh.” Roger muttered, and looked at the ground nervously. “Well, it’s noone big. But they’re big enough to hire people to kill me.”
“No one big?”
“Shut up and walk.”

The two glared at each other, before turning their eyes on the street.

Now, the next thing that happened was unexpected. As they rounded the corner that should lead them down to the docks themselves, they found a group of around twenty goblin bruisers. They seemed rather unfriendly, and had their little guns pointed in the direction of Mikul and Roger.

Roger stood there looking down the barrels of all those guns, and for the second time today his life passed before his eyes.

The symbol of the Steamwheedle Cartel on the chest pocket of one goblin identified him as the captain of this group of bruisers.

“Rogfhart Sleeckborlz!” As he said it, the rest of the bruisers, and Mikul, started giggling. “Cut it out!” He turned back to the two escapees. “You’re to give yourself up to us, and pay back what you owe!”

Now, at this point in time, Roger thought that was a rather reasonable offer. He was a about to walk towards them with his hands lifted in the air, but suddenly felt himself being lifted above the ground, and then discovered that he was moving back around the corner, and suddenly found himself behind a crate. At this point Mikul dropped him.

“Shoot to cripple!” They could hear the captain shout.

Mikul sat leaning against the crate with his rifle, and looked at Roger with a grin.

“Rogfhart Sleeckborlz?”

“Oh, shut up! How’re you going to get us out of this?! We’re in the middle of Crime City and the criminals are out to get us, and we’re only armed with a single rifle.”

“Ah was gonna use dat to our advantage actually. Dey don’ wanna die, see? So dey’s gonna be scared o’ chargin’ in if we let ‘em know we’re armed. Den we can plan bettah.”

Mikul turned and lifted his head above the crate, and immediately lowered it again, as bullets began raining on him. He then shouted out.

“We’s gotta gun! Don’ come no closah!”
"We ain't scared!"
"Ya shoulda! We's killed several people alrehdeh!"
"So have we!"
"Bu'...We'sa gotta gun!"
“We’ve got several!”

Roger looked at Mikul with very tired eyes. However, the next thing Mikul would say was going to make him even more tired and angry. So far he thought Mikul would be able to hold himself in a fight atleast.

“Eh…Ruggah, can yah shoota rifle?” Mikul muttered with an embarrassed smile. “Ah’ve nevah tried.”

Mikul offered the rifle to Roger sheepishly and Roger pushed it away and started shouting.

"You come here, get me in trouble, get us into a fight with a several bruisers and then you tell me you don't know how to shoot a gun?! This is unbelievable!" He rubbed his temples nervously. "Alright. Give that damn gun."


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Re: Crates, goblins and strange coincidences

Post  Rojir on Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:29 am

Now, the crate between our two heroes and the bruisers was in something of a dilemma, caught as it was in the crossfire. As it happens, being used as cover during a shootout isn’t really what crates are constructed for. If the crate had been a sentient being, it would probably buck under the psychological pressure of being given a job that it wasn’t fit to do, and enter into a serious existential crisis over the pieces of it that were being removed by the constant rain of bullets. If it was of a stronger disposition, it might even go complain to its employer.

Whether it’s sentient or not is a different question, and one that I have much to say on, but suffice it to say that it acted very much like a non-sentient, ordinary crate would. It stood there and took the brunt of the bullets. It was, however, clear that Mikul and Roger had to think of something within a short time, lest they would be doomed.

Roger, clearly aware of this, rose from his cover, shot the rifle, and got back in cover. He began to clumsily reload the rifle, while angrily fuming at Mikul. At the same time, Mikul seemed to be rather relaxed for a person that was cornered and being shot at.

“Oi, Ruggah, listen.”

“Listen to what?! The sound of gunfire?!”

Mikul didn’t seem to get Roger’s sarcasm.

“Yah, dat.” He paused for a moment. “Evereh thirteh seconds dere’s a ten second pause, when dey ‘appen tah be reloadin’ at da same time.”

The two of them listened for about a minute, and surely enough, gunfire stopped for a full 10 seconds every thirty seconds.

“So…?” Roger looked puzzled.

“Ah’ll get us sum bettah fijah powah.”

Roger was about to complain, but something in his head told him to shut up and get back to work holding off the enemy. He almost felt glad that he had this instinct, but the prompt re-arrival of headaches and explosions quashed any happiness that was in danger of coming into existence.

“Wish mahs luck.” Mikul did a mock salute, moments before gunfire stopped.

Now, there are many tactics that have been used by warlords and generals throughout time. Some of these have gone over in history as strokes of genius, while others have been generally agreed to be a bad move. For instance, it is widely agreed that the night elves made a bad move in practicing arcane magic, thus bringing down the burning legion. However, it is also generally agreed that the best tactic is usually an unexpected one. In this situation, the expected tactic is to hide behind a crate and shooting from behind cover. A more unexpected thing would be to get out of cover, walk over to a crate marked ‘Explosives’, opening it, grabbing a stick of dynamite, and walking back behind cover, in the ten seconds it took for the enemy to reload.

So, that’s what Mikul did.

As he settled back into a position of getting cover, he spotted Roger staring at him. His jaw seemed to have dropped several inches from it's normal position.

"Did you just...get up while being shot at and just...walk over to get more weapons?"

"Nah, dey was 'avin' a break. Reloadin'."

Roger looked rather puzzled as Mikul began fiddling with the stick of dynamite. However, as the enemy began shooting again, he remembered his given role: Shooting blindly at a group of bruisers.


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Re: Crates, goblins and strange coincidences

Post  Rojir on Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:31 am

There are several things Mikul could have done in this situation. He and Roger were armed with a rifle and a stick of dynamite, and were being gunned at by twenty overworked, underpaid bruisers. The most logical and sound plan was this: Surrender. However, this plan was also hopelessly flawed. For one thing, the bruisers were probably too far to ceasefire. They would probably simply gun them down, despite the surrender, and go hang at the barracks. Another problem was that even if they surrendered and weren’t immediately gunned down, they would be dragged off to the dungeon in the fort, and be tortured and then killed regardless.

A more practical problem was that they no longer had any white cloth to wave, seeing as Roger had soiled his white, comfortable underpants, which was the only white piece of cloth they possessed between them.

This was their most logical and reasonable option. All other options were unlikely to work, insane or just plain strange. Some were all of the above. However, only one of the bad options they had were both unlikely to work, insane and plain strange and at the same time cool and great theatre.

This was the option it turned out Mikul had taken.

“’ey, Ruggah. ‘ow yah like ‘eig’t’s?” Mikul glanced up from the stick of dynamite.


“’eig’t’s, Sleeckborlz, does yah’s like dem?”


“Goo’” Mikul seemed satisfied.

Roger was confused. Not only was the troll’s accent thick enough that it could be spread on toast, but the question seemed nonsensical to the poor goblin. Heights?

A funny piece of trivia is this: If Roger had known what would happen in around a minute’s time, he would throw down the gun in his hands and flee into the gunfire screaming “Not again!” It is speculated that the imminent death of the situation would have had his life pass before his eyes so fast that parts of a former life would also pass before his eyes. One of these lives had him in a situation very much like this one. Others speculate that this is nothing other than pointless speculation, and would rather know what happened next.

In service of this last group, we continue.

As the sound of gunfire continued, Mikul began loosening the nails of one of the boards that make up the wooden skeleton of Booty Bay. After a half a minute, he managed to break it loose.

“Watc’ dis, Ruggah.” He grinned at the goblin, before lighting the stick of dynamite. “Is gonna be goo’.”

Mikul proceeded to throw the stick of dynamite in the general direction of the bruisers. In the following moments, they could be heard shuffling around, jumping for cover and formulating arguments for the coming contract negotiations between Revilgaz and the Bruisers Representative Union for Integrated Social Economics and Rights (B.R.U.I.S.E.R.), since grenade armed enemies would require higher wages.

Mikul proceeded to grab the board in one hand and Roger in the other, and then ran for the edge of the tier. As he reached the edge, he jumped out, much to the amazement of the enemy bruiser captain. After a moment, Mikul and Roger dropped out of sight.

As they descended the few metres towards the roof below, Mikul moved the wooden board to below his feet, and got a better hold of Roger. On impact, the tiles of the roof below him, splintered and flew in all directions, but he managed to keep his balance and began to systematically surf down the waves of the rooftops of Booty Bay, falling a few metres before sliding down a roof, until finally, he and Roger had made it to the bottom tier.
At that point, Mikul jumped off the board, and did an elegant roll before standing up, and looking with determined eyes towards the horizon.

Behind him, Roger seemed to have turned an ominous darker shade of green than usually, and didn’t waste any time jumping for the edge of the pier in order to empty his breakfast into the ocean.

After returning to his old self, Roger led Mikul down the docks. On the one side they had the South Seas, with frothing waves meeting the ground of the bay, and on the other side they had the stalls and booths of the pirate capitol, sailors storing up on grog and women, captains buying supplies from dishonest looking goblins called Honest Jim, and brawling ruffians passing out, more often from alcohol than the fistfight itself. Mikul’s eyes were all over the place, trying to absorb all the images he was seeing. His demeanour was quite different from earlier; where he was coolly concentrated under pressure, he seemed very relaxed and laid back when thrown into this mixing pot of cultures, not to mention excited about this strange society.
Roger was clearly in his element here; crowded streets of hecklers, prostitutes and drunkards. He moved through the crowd with a grace that matched a cat on a fence; sidestepping, dodging and tossing ‘Excuse me!’s around like a peasant tossing seeds on a field: Rather throw in a few too many than not cover all ground. In fact, Mikul had slight trouble following the diminutive goblin, partly because of his superior size.
“Oi, Ruggah?” Mikul called out to the little, green man. “Whos’re yah meetin’ down ‘ere dat’re ‘elp wit’ dis debt o’ yah’s?”
“His name is Nathan Allermoore, and he’s the captain of ‘The Peacock’. She’s a fast vessel, and recently docked. I hear Nathan is setting sail soon, and. Well, you can piece my plan together.”
“Ya, ah’s can.” He grinned. “But, eh. Ah’s kinda needin’ tah get somet’in’ ‘efore we’s leavin’.”
“What?!” Roger stopped, turned, and looked really unhappy with the situation. “You idiot! You could’ve told me that earlier, right?”
Mikul just shrugged with an apologetic smile on his face. “Sorreh?”
The fuming goblin turned again, and began walking. “So, what’re we getting and where?”
“Mah’s sword. Left it wit’ one o’ mah friends ‘ere in da town. Jus’ a few buildin’s dis way, ah’s t’inkin’.”
“Hrhm. Fine.”

As they turned into the alley, Roger immediately sensed there was something in there. The steel grey eyes from the shadows watched him. As Roger and Mikul took a few steps down the narrow road, they heard a growl. Moments later, Roger was pounced by a huge, white creature, tumbling to the ground with a scream. The creature rolled off Roger with the force of the jump, and scrambled to go after him, as he turned and began crawling towards the main street.

Looming over him was the threat of fangs and claws; however they never came upon him. He eventually rolled around to look up, and found the creature standing beside Mikul, being petted. It looked almost content, with a spark of intelligence in it’s eye as it looked over at Roger, full well knowing that it made him soil himself. Beside the wolf, Mikul stood chuckling.

“Scared yah’s did it?”
“By Captain Rumsey’s Sacred Rum Bottle in a sandwich coated in blood, what the hell were you thinking?!” The little goblin shouted, head an angry shade of green. “That thing could’ve killed me, and you’re just petting it?! Just the kind of thing I’ve come to expect!”
“Heh. Is Rugaru. ‘e’s don’ gonna ‘urt yah’s. Jus’ a littl’ bored.” He grinned widely, and Roger now noticed something gleaming in his right hand. He lifted it slowly. It was a curved sword, seemingly carved from a piece of obsidian. The blade was 11 inches wide at the base, and thinned slowly as the blade reached its one and a half metre length. The sword was huge; and Roger was mildly astonished that Mikul could lift it with one arm, albeit with obvious effort. The troll proceeded to sheathe the sword in the same holding mechanism that had held his rifle earlier.
“So. We’s got a peacock tah catch, don’ we’s?”
"Hrhm. Yeah, we do."

The three walked out of the alley and made their way for a bit.

"Roger, your trousers stink."

As the two walked down the docks, they passed ships of different sizes and purposes. They passed fishing boats, rowboats, warships and even a lone submarine, with a single, very loud, gnome proclaiming the fall of Booty Bay to his undersea army of mechanical creatures.
However, the only ship that drew any real attention was their target. At this point the sun was setting, painting the horizon in beautiful colours of gold and red, and this they saw the sails of their target. Pristine white linen, embroidered with a peacock in many colours, that seemed to glow in the light of the setting sun. The ship itself was huge, the size of a warship, and showed some elven curves in its design. All the lines had been traced with gold paint, and gave the ship a decidedly regal look.

“That’s our baby. The Peacock.” Roger said, clearly relieved. “I know the captain, see? Nathan. Him and I go way back.” The goblin turned back to the ship.
Mikul on his part was far too busy taking in the details of the ship to note much of what Roger said.

“Dat’re nah’t’a goblin ship I’sit?” He ventured, not averting his eyes from the floating piece of art.

“Nah. Was meant to be a ship for the royals up in Quel’thalas, but my boy Nathan made off with it on its maiden voyage. Quite a prize, eh?” The goblin grinned after this.

Mikul was also grinning, in amazement more than anything. “Yah. Real nice.”

The troll turned to his goblin companion, who was clearly sinking into some fond memory of yore, grinning slightly.

“First time ah’s been seein’ yah do anythin’ othah than spit an’ swear.”

The goblin turned with a slightly affronted look. “Goblins can appreciate art too, you know. It’s not all cogs and gunpowder. That’s a filthy stereotype.” The goblin turned back to the ship, and started making his way down the dock to it. “Come on, Mikul. Let’s get you introduced to Nathan.”

Mikul nodded quietly, and trotted along behind the miniature green skin before him, while still staring with quiet amazement at the ship before him. At his side, Rugaru looked rather unimpressed. That all of these people were amazed at all of these floating pieces of wood didn’t seem very logical to him. However, that’s the one thing about most intelligent species. The second they invent something; they all walk around saying that it’s all rather neat and smart. Then they name it, introduce it to the general populace, make sure everybody knows just how life improving the invention is, and then proceed to charge people sums that make the life improvement of the invention pointless. Following this, one of the people who hadn’t felt the improvement went and made a new life improving invention.
To many races ships was the new, big thing.
To dwarves gunpowder was the new, big thing.
To goblins ships with gunpowder was the new, big thing.

As they got to the bridge to the ship itself, a rather large human blocked their path. He was wearing a very dirty brown shirt, that looked as if it’d been white once, and a pair of sacky, burlap pants.

“Oi, wot is you doing going up this here ramp?” Spoke the rather ape-ish man. He then looked at Mikul, who easily dwarfed him, being as he was a frost troll, and seemed to decide to bet his all on looking scary and dangerous. This had the unfortunate effect of pushing out his lower jaw a bit more, making him look even more of caveman.

Roger turned to Mikul for a moment with a reassuring smile, before turning to the pirate guard. “We’re here to book passage! I know Nathan, you see, an-“ He was cut off as the pirate drew a rather wicked looking curved sword.
“Cap’tn said to gut any berk wot know him as Nathan, he did.” The thug grinned maliciously. “Yer got sometin’ make it wort’ me while not to?” The goblin audibly gulped at this, and looked at Mikul with rather a scared face.
Mikul on his part had immediately dropped his relaxed look, narrowing his eyes with concentration, and gripping his sword tightly. As he was about to attack, however, they heard a voice from up on the boat.

“Barley! Lay off that goblin! He’s a friend of mine! Let him aboard, would you, dear?” A rather posh sounding man yelled from the boat. His red captains coat hang down to the middle of his thighs, and below it, he clearly wore the trappings of a gentleman of the sea; the latest in fashion from Kul Tiras. Silk pants, and white shirt, with a scrupulously clean admiral’s hat adorning his twinkling headage. His hair was arranged into a ponytail, and his face was completely barren of hair, excepting a pair of extraordinarily thin eyebrows. He was waving for the Roger to come up.

“That there’s Nathan, Mikul. Captain Nathaniel Allermoore, captain of the Peacock.” Roger nodded in Nathan’s direction as him, Rugaru and Mikul made their way up the boarding plank.

“Roger! It’s absolutely charming to see you again!” Nathan exclaimed as the two were finally on the deck of the large vessel.
“It’s good to see you too, Nate!” The goblin grinned up at the pirate captain. “I’m really needing some passage. For me and my friend here. He’s Mikul.”
The pirate eyed Mikul for a few moments. “Greetings to you too, Mikul.” The captain gave a polite nod. “I’m Captain Nathaniel Allermoore.”
“Mikul Ter’kat. Ah’s linkin’ yah boat. Lookin’ forward tah hitchin’ dis ‘ere ride ah’s am.” Mikul proceeded to walk past the captain and Roger, still busy absorbing all the details. Nathan on his part furrowed his brow as Mikul touched the gold lining on the railing, in his quest to see all of the boat.

“I really do hate these existences you pick up, Rogey darling.” He shook his head sadly for a moment. “But! You need passage, do you? Where to?”
“Uh. I was thinking something along the lines of somewhere approximately…” The goblin trailed off. He hadn’t really planned this far, and now when he looked around the world for a place to stay, it seemed that everywhere was under the control of some goblin prince or other, that would immediately send him to the gallows. Every free harbour in the South Seas would become a cage to him. He couldn’t go to any alliance harbour either; there he’d be skinned alive for his race’s involvement with the horde. The Horde lay shattered after the second war, and they wouldn’t accept him after the goblin’s abandoning them. He had to think of something else and quick.
“Rogey?” Nathan spoke in his distinctly effeminate voice.
“We don’t know exactly where we want to go, Nate. Away from Booty Bay, and preferably nowhere with Trade Prince influence.”
“Hm. Run afoul of those, have you? The trade fleets control the South Seas, you know. Very few places free of their influence.”
“I know. That’s my problem.”
“I have heard of a place though. A free haven that remains outside their influence, for now.” Nathan paused for dramatic effect, before continuing. “It used to be an ancient troll city, but the ruins were taken over by pirates. It’s small, but the people there are no friends of the trade princes.”
“What’s it called?”
“Bloodied Gull. It’s old trollish name was something like ‘Respite of the Faithless.” He grins at the small green skin. “Fitting, huh?”
“I suppose.” Roger chuckled.


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