This post is part of the series It Starts with a Name...
Please be sure to read Part One: It Starts With A Name… before reading this article.
The massive Black Orc before me blasted a humored snort.
“All of them. They’re named Larry. They may spell it L-a-w-r-e-n-t-h-a-r-i-o-p-o-l-i-s, but all those letters ? It’s just Larry.”
The towering behemoth before me had promised to tell me about his elven friend when we last met. If you didn’t catch it, you may want to revisit part one before you get too far along.
“And weird thing about Larrys. They don’t say a particular word.”
His beady red eyes roll back in his gargantuan skull, enveloped by eyelids that could have served as green drapes in this tiny abode.
“What time did you want to meet for lunch, Larry?”, I would ask.
“Half of two”, he would reply.
“Then he was angry when I showed up at two-thirty, thinking he was just doing that fancy elf-talk. He actually meant one, but just would not say the word. Apparently they believe it’s a cursed word, and they could literally die any time it was in their presence!”
There was a guffaw, or belch. It could have been either one.
“I grabbed two squigs one day, and set them on the table. And I asked Larry to tell me how many there were.”
“Two, of course”, he replied with a quizzical stare.
Then I ate one.
“How many now?”
“Half of two.”
“Use different words.”
“A third of three?”
“Use less words.”
“I’m not going to say that word. It could kill me.”
His story was interrupted by an obnoxiously loud ring from his cellphone on the table. His eyes widened, and I saw a flicker of long-anticipated excitement in his face as he reached for it. When I looked down, I saw the caller ID. It clearly said Goblin Gambling.
“Excuse me, I have to take this.”
He lumbered outside, not unlike a constipated Norse Yhetee, speaking in a hushed yet hurried tone. I couldn’t make out the words, but it wasn’t long until he burst through the front door. Literally burst. Wood splintered everywhere, and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t drop a snotling in my shorts. I thought it was the end as Jim Sardonic, the hulking Black Orc, charged me like a blitzing werewolf.
And just as I was contemplating whether I would be dead first, or feel my bones grinding into dust by the force of him driving me into the floor… he let out a squeal of delight that would surely spark an echoing chorus from any race of pumpkin spice wielding teenage females. The elf turf on the back of my neck stood on end as he snatched me up in a bear hug, and the snotling that was running down my leg quickly became a halfling.
“WE DID IT! That was the call! Cleverly ORChestrated are IN THE MML!”
He shook my body about the room as if he were practicing eighties wrestling moves on a teddy bear. The halfling became a hobgoblin. A really runny hobgoblin. With blodgestep. We spun in circles, looking like a super low budget rendition of Beauty and the Beast before he literally threw me into the air.
The hobgoblin became a lineman.
He failed the catch.
The lineman became an ogre.
I bounced twice, maybe three times, before coming to a stop. I noted that I was in a curious position where I was both crumpled and sprawled at the same time. Shaking my head a bit, I figured now may be a good time to ask…
“Where is your restroom?”
I didn’t want the ogre to get to Treeman levels.
Refreshed and as cleaned up as possible, I returned, and was surprised to see that Jim’s mood had changed drastically.
“DO YOU SEE THIS CRAP?!”
His massive paw waved towards a computer screen. A dating site. Presumably for people tied up in wrinkled green garbage bags. With teeth. Green garbage bags with teeth. And eyes. Holy crap, those are orcs.
“Things are never easy with Goblin Gambling. They’ll get you what you want, but they make you work for it in the worst way. This is what happens when they say ‘we will email you the details.’ I should have known!”
To say I was perplexed what the infamous GG had to do with Orc dating websites would be an understatement.
“I’m to be a spokesman for their brand. FarmersOrcly.com — the number one dating website for Orcs who think tractors are sexy. What’s worse? I have to use it personally. They say that it will build trust in the brand, and be great for advertising. My first MML paycheck has to go to buying a tractor for my profile pictures!”
At least they didn’t put him in charge of a squiq manure facility.
“Worse yet? This is the only place I’m allowed to recruit new players from without the express written consent of Viggli Shortdagger, the vile perpetrator of this part of GG’s business interests. And he’s not an easy goblin to reach, nor a bargaining goblin.”
“But, you’re in,” I said, hoping to sway his demeanor to a place directly between rage and teddy bear bodyslams, “That has to count for something.”
He seemed to ponder the notion for a minute, before slamming a mighty fist to the table.
“You’re right. Let’s go tell the boys!”