“These ogre corpse’s are excellent, hopefully not someone you cared deeply for.” A goblin woman in an elegant white dress said. Of all the goblin women Tre has seen, she was easily the most beautiful, both in goblin and human standards.
“No, they now hunt in the sky, no need for heavy bones,” Utul said.
“Excellent,” the goblin woman said and she thrust out a large bag that jingled quite a bit. “If our previously agreed upon price is still ok.” With a little shake the bag.
“Normally yes, but I brought a referral and was hoping it would count for something,” Utul said with a slight nudge to Tre.
Tre stood next to, but more under Utul as he towered over everyone. Tre was still recovering from shock at the owner of the mountain being a Goblin. He struggled to reveal his true form to this beautiful long-eared goblin. One of her ears dropped a tiny bit from the weight of gold rings piercing it. Her long fingers had multiple gemstone rings on each finger.
“I’m. Uh, Treagt. My friends call me Tre.” He offered a hand to the goblin lady. Ever since they had arrived and she had shown up shortly after, she hadn’t offered a name. Nor had Utul said anything.
“Treagt, or Tre,” She said licking her goblin lips as if she could taste the name. A shiver coursed through Tre’s body and before he could pull his hand back she grabbed it and shook. The strength of her grip caused some pain but he managed to not cry out.
After she released his hand. Tre pulled his back and tried to nonchalantly hold it with his other hand. It felt like an ogre had gripped it too tightly and almost broken something. He noticed a small spot of blood. As he looked up he caught the lady licking the top of her finger.
“What brings you to my mountain paradise?” she said, the tip of her finger still on her bottom lip.
“I’m…” Tre shivered again and words failed him.
“Leatha, play nice, Tre is a friend and is friends with powerful people,” Utul said taking a small step between Tre and the goblin lady.
“Powerful people you say,” Leatha said.
“Mortis Operandi,” Utul said.
“Friendly enough to get me a discount with them?”
“Maybe, but unlikely, they really try to milk you for every gold they can.” Tre finally spoke. Briefly, he was amazed at his words regarding Mortis Operandi. He knew it was true, the company’s goal was to make money.
“Fine,” Leatha said and pulled her finger away from her mouth. A snap of fingers on that hand caused a flame to appear, covering the whole hand. A faint sizzling sound and Tre felt a sudden wave of relief course through him.
“What did you do?” Tre said.
“Just making sure you told the truth, the blood never lies dear.” Leatha said, “Now what brings you here?”
“I need filler for a dungeon, undead, gelatinous creatures, and preferably non-sentient.”
“You sure? I know some Kobolds that are looking to relocate.” Leatha turned her head towards the mountain and smiled.
“I’d feel bad about using them for fodder, and I doubt they are suicidal.”
“Oh, a dungeon lord with a conscience, that is new.”
Quickly shaking his head and worrying he had given something away Tre said, “oh no, just thinking creatures can complain about conditions, lack of food, and make deals with adventurers.” Tre forced a frown as if remembering a really horrible situation.
“I could part with a dozen or so skeletons, some zombies, and a dozen gelatinous creatures.”
“Excellent, how much?” Tre said and started pulling out his coin purse.
“One ton,” Leatha said with a smile one gives their favorite food before eating it. The tip of her tongue raced across her top lip.
“One ton?” Tre said stopping himself mid-act of opening the coin purse.
“Dear child, gold is nothing to me. However, I need parts to keep my undead working. One ton of bones, which is about a hundred and fifty corpses. If you bring back semi-intact bodies, depending on condition, I’ll accept those for a bit more.”
“One ton of skeletal remains, for…” Tre said raising his eyebrows at the goblin woman.
“Twelve skeletons, four zombies, and twelve gelatinous creatures.” Leathe said after a moment of silence.
“That many corpses would get you several times the amount you’d be giving up. Three dozen skeletons, no zombies, and twelve gelatinous creatures.”
Leatha smiled as she provided a counteroffer. Ten minutes of haggling proceeded before a deal was struck. Tre produced a piece of parchment and wrote out the terms. Leatha was a bit surprised and looked wounded Tre would put the terms in writing, but she signed.
One ton of bones = 20 skeleton’s, 0 zombies, and 20 gelatinous creatures.
Tre and Utul left before the goblin decided to try and make any other deals.
Later that night Tre and two ogres met in Woodale cemetery. It was half a mile outside of the town. The moon was hidden behind some clouds, the darkness didn’t affect the goblin and ogre though.
Tre had to use a sleep scroll on the caretaker. The older man was easily subdued by the spell. He had previously considered just killing the man but decided not to in case they needed him later. Tre led the ogres to where he had parked a twenty-foot long wagon.
“I’ll use the shovel to dig the holes, one of you lifts the corpses up into the wagon. The other pushes the wagon along. Every ten corpse’s you two will trade places so there is an equal share.” Tre said holding the shovel in front of him like a spear. The two ogres nodded and both went to the wagon.
“Me wagon,” they both said simultaneously.
Tre struggled to hit them both with the shovel. Picking at random, he pointed to the ogre on the left.
“You're on wagon duty first,” Tre said and then pointed to the other ogre, “You’re picking up the coffins.”
The two ogres stared at each other for a moment then the loser huffed and sighed. They got to work and things went smoothly until the fortieth coffin was dug up and loaded onto the wagon. Tre stopped for a break and guessed they had spent a good three hours working.
With two ogres pulling and Tre steering, they rolled the wagon off to the side where Utul was napping. The big ogre didn’t acknowledge Tre’s presence so he nudged Utul with a foot.
“Need you to transport this to Leatha’s place and drop off the corpses. Bring back the wagon.” Tre said and Utul nodded. The ogres linked arms then Utul cast the teleport spell. They disappeared, leaving Tre alone.
He moved over to a tree, climb up it, and took a watch. In the middle of the night, there wasn’t any traffic on the road by the cemetery. Most of the townsfolk avoided the area even during the day. From his vantage point, Tre saw a small problem. With forty graves dug up, there were only another fifty or so left. They would have to find another cemetery to locate the remaining corpses.
With his night vision, Tre could only see a few dozen feet out. Mulling over possible cities with graveyards they could rob, he looked in the direction of the ogre camp.
“Where did the ogres used to bury their dead?” Tre wondered aloud. He imagined what pleasures he could get if he brought more than enough corpses to Leatha. Sudden revulsion coursed through him as he thought about who and what Leatha probably was. Still, her possibly undead body looked pretty good.
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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.