Sandra’s door was closed when Eft arrived. Out of habit he sat against the wall and waited. A few goblins and orc’s walked by as he waited. They gave him a wide berth and a few funny looks. He only had to wait a few minutes before the door opened.

A minotaur almost ten feet tall stepped out, bowing his head low to get through the doorway. Once it cleared the frame it turned around to look at Sandra.

“Kurt, I’ll see if I can get you moved to the eastern wing. The corridors are less windy there, but still, maze flashbacks is not a valid reason to eat your coworkers.” Sandra said wagging a finger at the tall minotaur.

“Sooorry,” Kurt said in a deep voice. With his head low the large beast walked down the hallway.

“Sandra, can we talk?” Eft said watching the minotaur sulk away.

“Ten minutes until my next appointment, ratfolk need to be up-trained on flea control,” Sandra said and beckoned into her office.

Eft went in first and sat in a chair. Sandra closed the door and sashayed around her desk and sat down. Eft tried to not look, but part of the succubus’s natural magic was to draw eyes to her. He had to close his eyes for a few seconds before speaking.

“How many contracts do we have due in the next three months with promises that are unfillable?” Eft said once he opened his eyes.

Sandra’s face twisted and she chewed at her bottom lip. She turned and looked towards a cabinet in the wall and slowly licked her lips.

“Maybe two or three in the next quarter, beyond that I’d have to check,” Sandra said. She turned and looked deep into Eft’s eyes, her tail lifting up and gently brushing her hair to expose her left ear.

“Alright,” Eft said and cleared his throat. The older goblin closed his eyes so he could continue speaking. “Get me a list of all non-monetary contracts that are coming due in the next 6 months. I need to know what to prepare for.”

“I know at least the ogres are one of them. They keep talking about retaking their ancestral home this winter.”

“Shit, where is that at?”

“The town of Woodale,” Sandra tapped a beautifully manicured finger against the side of her neck. A swamp used to be there but it was drained so the town could be built. Some gold was found in the mountains nearby and it makes a good base for the mining operations.”

“So they expect us to just destroy a town.”

“Something like that. I’ll locate the contract and get you the exact terms.”

“Alright, and find others as well. I’ll be in my office.”

“Um,” Sandra cleared her throat, “my contract is also one of those, however, you have a year to for it.”

“Alright, include it with the others and I’ll work towards fulfilling it,” Eft said and quickly stood up. He turned and got to the door before Sandra could speak. Once he opened the door a large cat with several tentacles blurring around jumped back in surprise. The cat growled at Eft before it recognized him. It lowered its head in a bow.

“Sorry, Captain Tiddlywinks, I’m just leaving,” Eft said and he held the door open for the beast. The cat hurried in and leaped up into the chair.

Eft took a teleport to a little village nearby, New Randoh. The spell dropped him off a little outside of the village, so he cast an illusion spell to make him look human. Carefully he walked into the town.

The spell only made him look human, but with all illusions, there was no substance. He carefully navigated through the streets to avoid bumping anyone. Going so far as to go down an alley and around some buildings to avoid a crowd. He was soon at his destination, however.

Nauften Wondrous Objects was a tiny shop attached to a blacksmith shop. The smithy stretched back a good hundred feet, compared to the twenty-foot storefront. Eft walked up to the door, noted the open sign and stepped in.

Inside the shop, it was twenty feet across but the way Elric had set up the counters, it left a little ten-foot by five-foot area for customers. The counters were four feet tall and probably two feet deep. In front of each counter, there were two little steps to allow someone as short as three feet, to be able to see over the counter.

Behind the counters, the walls were covered in tapestries and the occasional hanging object. From a couple of long swords, a spiked chain, and even a bit and bridle. Eft recognized Elric immediately even though the human had started growing a beard.

“Are you whitening your hair?” Eft said in surprise. The goblin quickly threw his hands over his mouth and the illusion did the same.

“Eft?” Elric said, then his eyes went out of focus. “Ah, illusion, probably a good idea.”

“Yeah, some places are not as open-minded as others.” Eft said, “I hope you don’t mind if I keep it going, just-in-case.”

“I do not mind,” Elric said. With a gesture, he lifted a chair from behind the counter and set it near Eft. He then leaned against the counter. “Tobe already stopped by, I got the book but haven’t gotten anything in today.”

“It isn’t that, its…” Eft said as he settled into the chair. He noted it was padded and rather comfortable. “Ventus made a lot of promises, I’m sure he could have filled them, but…”

“You’re not Ventus,” Elric said nodding his head.

“Yeah,” Eft said.

“Even if I could, I’m not sure I would. Sorry Eft, I’m just glad Ventus completed mine before he died.” Elric said and tried to offer a comforting smile.

“I know, I didn’t come here though to beg for help. I need some magic items to facilitate completing some contracts.” Eft said.

“Couldn’t Mortis Operandi just make them yourselves?” Elric said.

“We are having workforce issues currently. Several of our high powered developers have left.” Eft sighed as he spoke, just speaking it aloud was depressing.

“Well, I’m happy to sell you what I have,” Elric said spreading his hands wide.

“I’m kind of hoping for a discount, knowing that we will be buying lots of items from you,” Eft said.

Elric rubbed his scraggly chin. The beard wasn’t very long and there were parts you could easily see skin under it.

“Here is what I can do, I’ll sell you the first item at normal price, then knock off 5% off each additional item,” Elric said putting on his biggest smile.

“While not as generous as I hoped, I understand,” Eft said. “Now what do you have in the way of shape changing items? Actual shape changing, not illusionary.”

“Do you have a form in mind? I have a few items.” Elric said reaching behind the counter towards a drawer. Out of sight of Eft, Elric pulled out a little jewelry box and carefully set it on top of the counter.

“Human, or Half-Elf, I need something to make goblins to fit into human society,” Eft said. He hopped off the chair and went up to the counter. While he was tall enough to see over, he stepped up to get a better view.

Once the goblin shifted his vision into the magical spectrum, his eyes widened.

“I may need to get more gold,” Eft said.



Support "Mortis Operandi 2 - Hostile Takeover"

About the author


Bio: 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.

Log in to comment
Log In

No one has commented yet. Be the first!