Jiggling a pocketful of two shiny silver coins and a few coppers, Rakarech wandered into a busy forge in the middle of Brill. All around him Forsaken were either banging away at an anvil, or selling various kinds of armour, weaponry, and clothing from different corners in the smallish building. Spying a cloth vendor, Rakarech wandered over.
“Ahoy there matey!” cried Rak cheerfully.
“Yes sir, may I help you?” The undead standing in front of Rak did not go gently into the cold, dark night. His lower jaw was missing, and some sort of leathery strap had been attached to his face. Nonetheless, he did his best to look down his nose at the massive orc, speaking in a cultured, snobbish tone.
“I’d like t’buy a hat. Bleedin’ hot weather out there, y’know? It’ll keep the sun offa me face when Aggie an’ me be headin’ off ta the Barrens, once we’re trained enough that is.”
“A hat, sir?” replied the snobbish Forsaken, arching a hairless eyebrow.
Rak blinked, unprepared for the condescending tone. “Yeah, a hat!”
“Oh dearie me, sir. You see, there are two problems with that. Firstly, we do not sell hats here in Brill, oh no not at all, sir. Secondly, hats are the garb of the experienced adventurer and… I do not believe you are quite experienced enough. How many seasons do you have?”
“Uh, seasons?” asked Rak, staring stupidly at the vendor.
“Well, yes sir. Your… you know, experience?” replied the vendor, winking at Rak. After a moment, it became clear that Rak did not know, and the vendor let out a miserable sigh. “How can I put this tactfully? Your, ah, level of training in your craft?”
“Ohhh!” Rak smiled with pure understanding. “Me level!”
“Of training in your craft, sir. Please do not just say level, it is an affront to common decency.” The Forsaken shopkeeper sniffed disdainfully with what was left of his nose.
“So uh, me, uh level’a trainin’ in me craft?”
“Precisely,” the vendor tried to smile condescendingly, but his lack of jaw made it difficult. Rak suddenly wondered why he was unable to speak without a jaw, but thought it impolite to ask.
“Eight,” said Rak after a moment, looking sheepish.
“Yeah, eight uh, levels’a trainin’ in me craft. Is that enough fer a hat?”
The Forsaken shopkeeper sighed miserably, rolling his eyes at all of the stupidity in the world. “No sir, eight is most definitely not enough. Thirty, at the least.”
“THIRTY?!” cried Rak incredulously.
“Yes sir, thirty. A hat is a very special privilege. At thirty you should be able to wear, oh, a baby blue bonnet to start you off.”
“Yer tellin’ me I gotta have thirty seasons t’wear a bonnet?!”
“Indeed sir, and might I say, it would go swimmingly with your pants.”
Rak looked down at his lime green pants, and he let out a miserable sigh.
“Whatever, thanks anyways.”
“The pleasure was all yours, sir.”
Shaking his head at all of the stupidity in the world, Rak stomped over to the weapons vendor, a nervous looking Forsaken woman, and he put on his best smile.
“Afternoon there lass, I’m interested in tradin’ up in weapons! Got any spears fer sale?”
One minute later.
“IT’S A POINTED STICK! I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH FER A POINTY STICK?!”
The vendor stared at Rak, her undead lip quivering. She was a small, nervous girl who’d been taken by the plague at the tender age of sixteen. It had only been a few months since she had awoken into this horrible half-life, and since then she had been assigned to sell weapons to aspiring adventurers in Brill. It wasn’t bad work, but the vendor trash was becoming a problem.
On her first day it had utterly shocked her. A staggering number of customers came in day and night with absolutely no regard to the fact that she might want to rest, and sold her random junk. The variety was awe inspiring. Bat claws, bits of linen, old broken weapons, dog paws, some sort of vile green goo, murloc scales, broken spider legs, the list went on.
She had to buy all of it, no matter how disgusting, vile, or ultimately useless the item was.
Then, she’d have to store it in the catacombs
The catacombs beneath the forge in Brill were breathtaking in their size, scope, and utter uselessness. Every single bit of random junk that had been sold to the vendors was stored down here, and she was responsible for all of it. If some jackass called LovelyPrincessGrrl showed up with eight pounds of tattered cloaks, she’d have to take it, stuff it in a wheelbarrow, and travel what had to be six hours underground until she found the appropriate warehouse, and throw them on the pile. The catacombs had to be as large as the interior of Blackrock Mountain, and definitely less pleasant.
When she had asked the Deathguards if she could have an assistant, or one of her co-workers to help with the monumental task of sorting through the vendor trash archives, she was laughed at. The newly dead always get the vendor trash, they said. One day, she had thrown a temper tantrum and demanded to know what the hell they needed sixteen tons of bat claws for. The response was simply “The Dark Lady works in mysterious ways, now do your job.”
Screw the Dark Lady. If she ever met the Dark Lady, she’d kick her in the shin.
The vendor’s name was Tania. When she was a living, human girl she liked kittens, love ballads, and cold milk on a hot summer’s day. Tania was not fond of being undead, she did not like Brill, she hated the green goop everyone seemed to bring in by the bucketful, and she loathed rude orcs.
With a miserable sigh, she stared longingly out the window.
“HEY! I’M NOT DONE YELLIN’ ATCHA!” roared Rakarech at the top of his lungs. Tania gave a small shriek and jerked her gaze from the window to rest it on this enormous, furious orc in a ridiculous pair of lime green pants.
“Uh.. I’m sorry but I don’t sell spears. You need your fortieth season to even consider using one,” stammered Tania in a quiet, breathy voice. “Would you like a nice sword? I have very nice swords!” She smiled endearingly at Rakarech, wishing he’d go away.
“I don’t –want- a sword, I want a spear! A spear be th’most basic weapon ye ken use, I know this. I fight fer a livin’. It’s a pointed stick! Are ye tellin’ me that a sword, a piece’a beaten metal is easier t’get fer an inexperienced warrior than a pointy stick?!”
Tania swallowed, and nodded once.
“Thrall’s balls!” cursed Rakarech, storming off angrily outside. He turned to called over his shoulder. “I’ll keep me hard earned money then, and ye ken choke on yer stupid swords! Useless bloody deaders.”
With the orc having left, Tania let out a sigh of relief. The other Forsaken in the busy forge ignored her as they always did, but she didn’t mind. For a brief, shining moment, she enjoyed a bit of peace. All of the vendor trash had been sorted, the adventurers weren’t really out in force today, and the sky was a particularly pretty shade of green today. She allowed herself a bit of a smile.
Suddenly, a miniature, mustachioed man charged in through the door, panicked screams and shouts following him. The vendors around her ignored him, as they did everyone, but she knew a gnome when she saw one, and for a moment, she felt fear. He wandered up to her, looking at her with adorable blue eyes. The name “00berD00d27” hovered over his head as continued to stare at her.
“He…hello?” she asked, tentatively.
“Bur,” said the gnome, before he sank his dagger into her neck.