Chapter 14 - Disciplinary Action

The next day went by quickly for Elric. Norman arrived right after sunrise and they met in front of the tavern. Elric had arrived much earlier in the hopes of meeting Alda. The mostly empty tavern room and lack of a cook, yielded a breakfast of disappointment.

Elric arrived back at the town while it was still light out. As he dismounted from the horse he turned and looked at Norman.

“I hope we meet again,” Elric said.

“I as well,” Norman said. “May your friends be generous with their ale, and the women with their tail.”

Elric laughed and waved at Norman. Turning around towards the gate, he did not watch the henchman and his not breathing horse ride back into the woods. The guards at the gate didn’t stop him again, nor did they seem to acknowledge his presence.

Walking to the tavern, Elric hoped they were serving something good tonight. The previous night had been some venison that could have been better. As he got closer he wondered if the food was good tonight as lots of people were milling about outside and going inside the bar.

As he strolled closer he could easily see there was no available seating. Turning around he headed towards the inn he was staying. He might as well get some work done before he left in the morning. While he only met the goblin Guldag a few times, each time the goblin had been quiet with a sense of urgency. One would expect someone able to teleport wouldn’t always be in such a hurry.

In his room, Elric blocked out the window. Taking careful steps he made sure there was no evidence of where his room was located. Unrolling a scroll he had acquired from Mortis Operandi inventory he carefully cast a spell that blocked teleportation of any kind. The scroll would last for longer than he would still be in town.

Slowly he pulled a book out of his magical pocket and opened it up. Flipping through some pages he found the spell he needed. Taking notes and jotting down some runic symbols on the floor he took off his pants and sat on the waste bucket his room came with.

He cast the spell he had in front of him. A viewing reversal spell. It would allow him to scry on anyone who was scrying on him. The duration lasted 4 hours which he hoped would be enough. It was a long and complex spell that required all of his concentration for several minutes.

Once it was finished, his butt hurt, and Elric realized he should have done the spell first before setting up the scene he wanted to present. Quickly he put away his book and all items that could indicate he had taken steps to prepare.

After resuming his place on top of the bucket, Elric pretended to push and grunt. Between pushes he said, “Fucking Marcanous, I hope I never run into those guys again. They are too fucking tough. Can’t believe Marcanous made it out of the trap so easily.”

Immediately after he said the name Marcanous, Elric felt someone watching him. Distantly in his minds eye an image began to form. Marcanous was sitting at a desk, half eaten sandwich in his hand. A letter dictating a speach to a town, thanking them for the honor and the rich reward for stopping the troll. Next to the letter was a scroll to summon a monster, a massive troll that would easily hit fifteen feet tall.

Elric his eyes widened but in the middle of his act, he kept going. Marcanous seemed to watch him at well, slowly his head turning around to see Elric’s room. As Elric pushed and grunted, his body reacted by releasing a bit of gas. A squeeling sound of a trumpet echoed in the bucket.

“God’s above,” Marcanous said.

Elric would have given away the ruse, but again, the telltale signs of him watching, were similar to what he was doing. Since he was unsure of how long the initial scry would last, Elric tried to examine the room Marcanous was in. The little office didn’t have any windows, an everburning torch was placed in each corner. Behind Marcanous there was a little wooden door.

The image started to fade and Marcanous seemed to recongize the end. The wizards eyes went back to the letter he was drafting. Elric couldn’t see it very clearly so he pressed down hard again, and released another fart.

“Ug, that was almost as foul as Marcanous.” Elric said. Instantly the view came back into focus and he was able to read the name of the town. Woodale.

“God’s, why can’t people speak of me during enjoyable moments?” Marcanous said softly as his head jerked slightly upwards.

Elric waited for the image to fade before he sat up from the bucket. Using some paper he cleaned himself up and pulled up his pants. Moving over to his bed he sat down and started thinking about how he could abuse this information.

The next day Guldag arrived to transport Elric back to Mortis Operandi’s headquarters. Eft was waiting for him as soon as they appeared in the arrival room. Eft beckoned to Elric to follow him.

“One second Eft,” Elric said and turned towards Guldag. “Guldag, do you know of a town named Woodale?”

“Eight,” Guldag said holding up nine digits. After a moment he revised his hand to eight fingers. “Eight Woodale’s, it is a common name.”

“I have a side project I was thinking about, would you be able to do some freelance work later this week?”

“Sure, but it’ll cost.”

“I’m certain we can work something out.”

Eft cleared his throat to remind people he was still there. Elric turned towards him and nodded, they both stepped out into the hallway. Before they had taken more than a couple of steps Elric started to unload.

“I don’t ever want to go,” Elric started to say but Eft cleared his throat and shook his head.

“Wait.”

Quickly they walked down the hallway and towards the production room. Once there it was a careful navigation between different works in progress to Eft’s office. Instead of resting above the production floor, Eft’s office was now on ground level. Eft pulled out a key, unlocked the door and they stepped in.

Once the door closed Eft nodded his head.

“I already know about what happened at Lichenstein. He sent a message with an apology and a bonus to be given to you.” Eft said before Elric could say anything.

“He fucked with my mind, or tried to.” Elric said, his volume raised.

“The week before a adventuring group seeking fame had killed, and disguised themselves as some of his workers. Some popular rumor that lich dust can get you high or something.” Eft calmly explained. “He gave us a sincere apology and coin to compensate any bruised ego.”

“But,” Elric’s hands were clenched, Eft didn’t let him speak.

“If he needs future service we will send someone else. If you desire to take a small leave of absence to recover from this, I can get you in touch with our Henchman Resource department.”

The room was silent for a minute as Elric calmed himself down. Eft appeared to be practiced in these type of moments. Slowly the older goblin walked over to his desk and opened a drawer. From it he extracted a glass bottle with an amber liquid in it. Removing the cork, Eft took a drink first then offered the bottle to Elric.

“We deal with people that have different values than we do. To some, everyone else is fodder for their machinations. To others we are valuable assets to be traded or sold. Mortis Operandi, sees people as unique assets with skills to be leveraged toward company goals. I hope this incident will not prevent you from having a long career with us.”

Elric took a drink of the liquid and let it burn it’s way down his throat. A second long drink quickly followed the first. He was smiling when he put the bottle back down.

“Gods Eft, where did you read that bullshit?”

“I’ve finally finished the first round of manager classes.” They both smiled for a moment. “Really though if you need time take it. HR has pre-approved two weeks for you if you want.”

“I might. Theres a project I’ve been thinking about that would help clear my head.” Elric said, slowly nodding his head.

“Excellent, anything else to report?” Eft placed the cork back in the top of the whiskey bottle. Eft carefully sat down in his chair.

“Not really,” Elric said and then as if a thought came to him, “hey, without saying his name, what do you know about the people who attacked a few weeks ago?”

“Thrag and,” Eft started to say the names but a quick shake from Elric’s head stopped him.

“The wizard has a permanent enchantment that scrys whenever his name is said.”

“That’d be annoying, what if you are trying to get some sleep?”

“Exactly, thats my new project.”Elric said as he settled into one of the chairs. “Before I proceed further or tell you my plan, can you tell me what happened?”

Eft paled a little at the question, then silently he pulled the bottle close to him and uncorked it. Slowly he took a long pull from the alcoholic drink. When he put the bottle down Elric assumed he would speak, but the old goblin took another big drink from the bottle. Not much remained in the container when he set it back down.

“I wasn’t born a goblin. I was human like you.” Eft began to say.

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