"Get me Garly!" Eft said trying to avoid yelling at the goblins in front of him. They all cringed in fear and silently Eft berated himself. Their previous boss Ventus hadn't ruled by fear, but the dragon hadn't prevented fear from taking root. Since Ventus was known as a shape-shifter, Eft guessed people thought he was the dragon.
"Please, find Garly, see if he will come back. Tell him to at least hear my offer." Eft said in a tone slightly above a whisper. He couldn't blame the other goblins, he had lived in fear of Ventus for years. In the back of his mind, he wondered if the dragon would just show back up.
A moment of silence passed as the goblins stood there looking at each other. Eft sighed and made a shooing motion with his hand. The three goblins quickly left the office.
Eft sat at his desk and sighed once the door was closed. He hadn't taken a breath before a six-foot-tall demon stepped in. The dark red skin was marred by a few scars but of the two horns jutting from his head, the right one was chipped.
"Elric said he will hold odd magical items for 1 week but will charge us a 10% reservation fee." the demon said as soon as he closed the door behind him.
"Dammit, Tobe, you could have given me a minute," Eft said wishing for a moment to scream out in frustration. The past week has been difficult and he just wanted to rest.
"I can come back," Tobe said taking half a step backward towards the door and bowing his head a little.
"Too late now, just in the future, give me a few minutes after someone leaves unless it is urgent."
"As for Elric, what all did he say?"
"Elric fondly remembers his time and service at Mortis Operandi, but in the current market, odd magical items are in demand. He cannot afford the capital nor opportunity cost by holding items. His shop operates on a first come, first serve."
"Fucking ogre piece of,"
"He did say he would be more than happy to allow a messaging item to be left there. When he encounters an odd item he'll write down the info and we can determine if we want to immediately visit."
"Find one of our Distance Journals, and leave a copy with him. Advise him we'll try this as a test run. Also, let him know he can work with us, or we can set up our own shop."
"It will be done," Tobe said and bowed deeply. As he opened the door Eft had a question.
“Wait,” Eft said and waited for the demon to close the door and turn around. “What about the alternate server or universe? Doesn’t a version of Ventus exist there?”
“Probably, but I have no way of checking or contacting them,” Tobe said.
“Did Ventus leave any spell-books or anything about how to open the portal?” Eft said as pressure building up behind his eyes.
“He did not, as far as I know, the knowledge died with Ventus,” Tobe said.
Clenching his jaw Eft waved the demon towards the door. Thankfully Tobe took the clue and exited the office, leaving Eft alone.
Eft closed his eyes and squeezed the bridge of his large nose. The old goblin stood up and instead of reaching for his cane, just kept a hand on the desk. Slowly he walked around the desk a few times, occasionally slamming a hand into the wood. He paced for five minutes before finally sitting back down.
From a drawer, he pulled out some parchment. A few of them were service requests, others were inquiring about the installation of Mortis Operandi products. Eft set those aside and reached for the small book at the bottom of the drawer. Scrawled across it was the word Applicants.
Setting the book on the desk and opening it up, Eft started to read. Between the pages was parchment from the applicant, on the notes from Ventus, Sandra, or Francis. With his promotion and with Elric's departure from the company, it left two positions open. With a shiver, Eft tore out a page where the applicant had listed Necromancer on it. Wadding it up, he threw it into the fire.
For good measure, he included anyone with a background in a church or listed Cleric as a profession. He'd had enough dealing with gods as well.
A knock on his door interrupted Eft's culling of applications. Carefully he closed the slightly thinner book and set it in the drawer.
"Come in," Eft said sitting up straight.
A tall elven woman walked in wearing a beautiful purple dress and a violet circlet on her head. Her long hair hung past her shoulders, with the points of her ears poking out at the top.
"Liliaria, how may I help you," Eft said in Elven, it wasn't a language he used often, but Ventus had demanded he learn it years ago.
"Tendering resignation," Liliaria said. "My assignments are completed for today. I can see myself out." With grace, she turned around to walk out.
"Wait," Eft sputtered, with the sudden realization of losing another mage would stop production completely. Currently, they were the only two mages employed that could manufacture most of the traps and rooms.
Liliaria stopped and turned back around. Eft pointed at the seat and gestured for her to sit.
"Why are you leaving?" Eft said.
"With Ventus gone, you cannot pay me," Liliaria said. She gracefully sat down in the chair.
"We have plenty of gold and gems in the treasury." Eft quickly said and he as quickly felt a fool once Liliaria started laughing.
"You should know better, monetary compensation does not retain my skills."
"Perhaps he left some notes, what did he promise you?"
"Constructing demonic servants."
Eft leaned back and let out some air. That was definitely not something Ventus would have left instruction on. The old goblin had been there when Ventus had created Tobe and still had no idea. One moment there was nothing in the room and the next the demon had appeared.
Even Sandra in her role as Henchman Resources said Francis and his predecessor Shaggy were not demons like her. At the time of Tobe's creation, Eft was still recovering from the battle and didn't think to question it.
"Expression upon your face says you have no idea either," Liliaria said standing back up to leave. Eft scrambled to think of something to say but nothing to stop her came to mind.
"Please see Sandra on the way out in case there is any paperwork needed," Eft said after a few seconds of silence.
"Meeting already concluded," Liliaria said pausing for a brief smile at Eft.
Like she was floating on air, Liliaria glided out of the office. The room seemed a little darker after she left and Eft just sighed.
Standing up the old goblin grabbed his cane and walked to the door. Ignoring the small group of goblins and two ogres waiting outside of it, he headed to Sandra's office. He needed to know how many people were working towards promises or rewards they could not fulfill. As he passed by a minotaur he wondered how many had payments coming due.
Support "Mortis Operandi 2 - Hostile Takeover"
Life long gamer and geek, after decades of RPG's, decided to start telling his own tales. Ones where the players can't derail.
I love fantasy and sci-fi. Have for decades, from the first time I read Dragons of Autumn Twilight to Stormlight archive, the worlds created have entrapped me. Now after years of attempting to complete a story, I've finished a few and am working on a new ones.