Brug was awakened by a sharp sensation in his foot. He opened an eye and saw every half-orc’s nightmare: an elven Guard. Elves were known for their racism against half-orcs, even more than the usual racist human. The elves insisted that all orcs, even half-orcs, had a bad smell about them, and generally insisted that they could do no good.
The elven guard poked him again with a dull dagger. “Wake up boy! I said wake up! Rise and shine, you lazy bastard!” the elf ordered. He was prim and proper in dress, and twirled his badge around on a string. “Neighbors have reported a disturbance.” He drew the word out long and loudly.
Brug rose up and bowed plaintively. It wouldn’t take much for a ‘civilized’ town like this to gather a mob together for a good old-fashioned lynching. While most Orcs kept to themselves and tended their flocks, the more notorious ones (read: the ones that didn’t want to be run off their ancestral grazing grounds by other races) had become raiders and pillagers in their own right. Even the word “orc” was an Elven swear-word that referred to the demon-lord of undeath. The Orcs called themselves ‘Menintah’ which is to say, ‘The People’. However the case may be, the general opinion of Orcs in Fallcrest didn’t exactly require an altimeter to measure as much as it could, metaphorically speaking, use a shovel to find it under the dung-heap. Brug, being a half-orc, was despised as the illegitimate son of a raped Orc woman, and as his superhuman strength fell well beneath that of other Orcs, he couldn’t find his way in Orc society, which primarily valued strength. Now he found himself at the apparent mercy of something worse than the mockery of other Orcs: he was being picked on by an Elf. He could never let any Orcs find out about this. Where was Drew when he needed him?
“You done it. Now admit it. You done it, ain’t ya boy?” The Elf looked over his dark glasses at the squirming half-orc. Behind him, on the street, a Warforged corporal mechanically stepped, in slow-motion, from point to point, looking through a wooden box that was festooned with an array of lenses that whirred, whirled and clicked. It was examining the lime trail that led to the point. Another one with absolutely vicious weaponry stalked around, its metal head snaking around on a long neck, watching the perimeter. The elf held a riding crop up to Brug’s chin.
“You done it. It’s alright, you can admit it to me. I know your kind.” The Elf said.
Drew looked through the blinds, being careful so as not to be seen. “Ohhhhhhhh ogreshat. Esteban, come here. Come here”
“What’s that?” Esteban shouted from the back yard.
“Ssshshshsssshhhhhhhhh!” Drew blasted spittle all over his finger as he held it up to quiet Esteban.
“What?! What you say?!” Esteban shouted while wiping blood and pig feces off of himself.
“Korddammit, Esteban!” Drew snapped.
The Elf deputy looked towards the house when he heard all the shouting. “Looks like you got yesself some friends, I’d wager. Corporal!” He spoke over his shoulder. The one with the nasty blades strobe-stepped forwards. The Elf continued. “Keep an eye on this one.” he said, motioning to Brug.
Drew opened the door quickly. The Deputy reached for his sword instinctively, and Drew said, “What the ogreshat is going on?”
The deputy glared at him, sized up his scrawny frame and smirked. “Now looky here! You care tellin’ me about the body that was dee-posited here last night ’round sundown?”
Drew was nonplussed. He’d dealt with meat-heads like this before.
“What are you doing to my friend here?” Drew insisted.
Brug cowered and scrambled into the house, ducking the deputy’s riding crop and gibbering, “Please don’t hit me, don’t hit me…”
The deputy had to re-evaluate the circumstance. He saw in this skinny young man’s eyes the unmistakable glint of mad genius, the sort where the madness is clear, crystallized, and cold. He licked his right gums, where some teeth were missing. A warm breeze stirred some papers along the street. The sun was out, and the alchemist from across the street was standing in his doorway, arms folded, frowning at Drew.
Drew knew he didn’t have much time. Disposing of the body had taken longer than he’d thought it would, and he thought the alchemist would be smart enough to keep his fat mouth shut. Drew’s mouth might be able to buy him some time.
“I screwed your mom. Vec you, little girl.” he spat at the deputy. It backfired.
The deputy grappled for him, shrieked, “Corporal!” and growled, “You’re under arrest for public misconduct, assaulting an officer, and suspicion of murder!”
The mechanical corporal moved forward and grabbed at Drew with strong metal fingers.
Drew twisted out of his grasp. “You mean I screwed your mom?” he laughed at the deputy.
The Warforged corporal lunged again. It realized it had underestimated the agility of the waif ahead. This time it grabbed one of Drew’s arms near the elbow for better control, and saw the tattoo on Drew’s arm, which marked him as a member of the local military academy. “You ought to know better than to behave in such- OOF!” Drew twisted again and used the momentum of it to shove the Warforged corporal through the wooden bannister of the porch, over the edge and onto the street a few feet below.
“My leg!” it shrieked. Oil was leaking from a gash in its wood.
The deputy hadn’t been waiting. The moment the corporal moved in to accost Drew, the deputy moved in for the kill. Its blade arched through the air and missed Drew, becoming lodged in the door-jamb.
Drew howled back to the house, “Men! Get out here and kill this Vecqer!”
Brug was coming up the stairs with Marik, who was in full armor, ploddingly coming up the stairs. Brug snuck past the wedged blade and got behind the deputy, who was struggling to reclaim his sword from the wood, and Brug smashed the back of his head with his mace. The deputy dropped to the unfinished wood of the porch. Drew half-giggled, and Brug’s eyes widened in amazement at what he’d just done. “Oh, Vecna, I’ve killed a Guard!”
The Warforged corporal in the street rose up, focusing its right eye-lens on the deputy, making sure that the recording imp in his eye could illustrate it quickly and get a good description of the suspects.
Marik stormed out the door and saw the deputy on the ground, then looked at Brug in exasperation, who looked back helplessly. “You killed a Guard?”
The deputy rose up to his elbows. “Not dead yet…”
Marik, in sheer surprise, plunged his blade into the deputy’s spine, severing it, as he leaped from foot to foot. “Oh Kord.” he said when he realized what he’d done.
There were two Warforged on the street, but one was still faithfully recording every grain of lime on the road. The other Stood with its weapons brandished in as aggressive a stance as it could muster. It ordered Marik, “Drop your weapon!”
Marik looked at his blood-stained blade, and back at the Warforged corporal. The alchemist across the street was whirling his hands in the air and making a racket with his mouth.
Drew stood on the porch with his arms raised, palms up above his shoulders, and shrugged. He had the look of a little boy who’d been caught. Marik looked back to the corporal, who was advancing. Marik sighed, and walked down the steps.
“DROP YOUR WEAPON” the corporal ordered. Drew said, “Kill it! Turn him into firewood!”
Marik raised as if to slice, feinted, dodging the corporal’s massive, jagged sword, and stabbed his blade straight through the corporal, but to little effect on the intelligent machine. Marik drew back. Brug had sneaked off the porch, trailed around the side, and gotten behind the Warforged corporal with the Recording Imp Box, (or R.I.B. for short) and nonchalantly readied his mace for some serious impact. The corporal with the R.I.B. stood up just then and said to the other one, “I think this trail leads back to the Wizard’s shop. We had better question… Oh.”
It turned around to survey the situation, just in time to see a spiked mace strike it with such force as to remove it from the shoulders. Oil sprayed as the head hit the ground, though the body stood, slightly crouched, motionless. The other corporal shouted, “Drop it! Drop it!” to Marik, then scuttled over to the head of its comrade, picking it up and stashing the head under its arm. The alchemist finished his incantation, and hurled a quavering energy wall into the street exactly adjacent to the Warforged corporal. “Fall back, officer! Come to safety!” he said.
Brug saw the opportunity first, and motioned for Marik to shove the corporal, and Marik obliged.
With a single, potent shove from Marik’s shield, the corporal slid into the energy wall, glowed for a milisecond, and exploded in a shower of cinder and wood, metal and gears. The high-pitched screaming of the recorder-imp in its eye buzzed past Marik’s ear as a chunk of hot metal embedded itself into his unarmored thigh.
Brug clapped. “Not bad!”
Drew snapped his fingers at the alchemist to get his attention, and made kissing motions.
The alchemist’s jaw dropped. He dismissed the energy wall, and slammed his heavy metal door shut. A glowing sheen of energy encompassed his tower. Drew was grinning wildly. Esteban’s voice came from inside the house. “What was it you wanted, Drew? You know my mom’s sick and I had to take care of the last of…”
Esteban stepped onto the porch, saw the shrapnel on the street, the blood and the deputy’s body to his right.
He sat down and cried.
Marik mused, “Time to go!” and started running.