The Debt

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Letters are such exciting things--mysteries of untold potential! Maybe it was an offer of a second date with Fad. Or it might be an invitation to a fancy party. Or it might be notice that she won an all-expense paid vacation to the warm beaches of Stranglethorn.

Those were the thoughts that went through Razz’s mind when she returned to her modest apartment in the Borrowed Time garrison to find an envelope addressed to her in neat goblin script. She set the letter down on a small table beside an overly stuffed, pink and black zhevra striped loveseat and poured herself a glass of wine. She set the sparkling crystal glass on the table as well and sat down. She took her time neatly opening the envelope and pulling out the parchment. The perfect picture of goblin style and composure, she took a delicate sip of her wine and then read the mysterious letter.

Her blue eyes widened. The letter shook in a perfectly manicured trembling hand, and her face turned a lighter shade of green. She didn’t even notice the mess she made as her wine glass tilted out of her hand to spill dark purple liquid over her dress and loveseat and drip onto her bright floral carpet. Style and composure were abandoned. She jumped up and scrambled out the door, screaming and waving the letter wildly through the air.


To Ms. Razz Blastwhizzle,

First, allow me to make one thing clear about this letter. This is not a threat. It is not my style.

With that out of the way, as you may be aware, there is an outstanding debt totaling to 745,650G and 5 copper which once was your brother’s bounty, but now, in accordance with Steamwheedle sublaw #3410, with his death, has now been transferred to you.

In regards to this debt, what started in Bilgewater was but a message. The time has come to pay what is owed. It does not matter who you hide behind, or how many grunts or mooks you hire. I can, and will, find you.

As I said, I never make threats. I merely make the promise to collect. I always collect.

--The Collector

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Booty Bay was a great place for shopping.  So many exotic imports in one place! 

Sure, the boardwalks were always slick with salt water and seagull droppings and booze and blood and probably other bodily fluids a lady shouldn’t have to come into contact with.   And the bruisers were rude, inconsistent, sometimes bothering people for no reason, other times ignoring pleas for help if they were busy drinking or gambling or doing anything else more interesting than their job, or if they had been paid, threatened, bribed, or blackmailed.  Still, the Bay was a great place for finding fine goods.  People tended to mind their own business here, and look the other way when things looked a bit shady but didn’t concern them personally.

Razz was in “Wraps and Wigs”, admiring a hat.  She was just picturing herself wearing it, along with a new dress and shoes, of course.  The shopkeeper was a short, wiry human.  Faction meant little here in Booty Bay.  Horde and Alliance alike had business here, along with many people who didn’t claim allegiance to either faction.   He stood near Razz, quiet, but obviously eager to be of assistance if it helped to close a sale.  Razz ignored him, lost in visions of fine fabrics in bright colors and garish patterns. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a goblin man ran right into her.

"Oh! Madame! Excuze me!" The goblin man said.  He offered a dazzling smile to her, white teeth gleaming.

“Hey, watch it, pal!” Razz exclaimed, annoyed that her daydreams had been interrupted.  Then she looked him over.  His body clung to the fine-tapered clothes that encompassed him; the goblin physique lanky, thin, and tall. Long deft-looking fingers stroked at his golden tightly-woven locks fastened into a neat business ponytail. A tiny blood elven goatee decorated his hawkish face of matching color, cheekbones high and jawline streamlined. He looked like he belonged in a fashionista's catalogue more than the rustic Booty Bay shopping mall.

“My most zinzerest apologies, mademoiselle,” he said with a bow while Razz hid a smile.

Razz held her hands up, then she giggled musically.  "Oh, it's okay.  You didn't break any nails."

“I may have juzt been blinded by by your beauty and could not correctly zee my way. You zhould be more careful madame! I only have but one eye left to loze! Alzough, to loze it due to blindness from zuch radiance may be a worzwhile loss.”

“Oh!” Razz giggled again, blushing as she waved her hand at him.  “Aren't you kind!  But I wouldn't want you to go blind.”

The man smiled and offered his hand upturned, "I would zink not! For how so could I continue to lavish you wizh ze praize?"

Easily flattered by an apparently wealthy man with an exotic accent, Razz placed her hand daintily in his, tossing her head to get the bangs out of her eyes....and show off her wavy blonde hair. "We couldn't have that now, could we?"

The thought crossed her mind to ask his name as he smiled a little darkly and kissed her hand, keeping it in his grip.  "Of courze not, Mizz Blaztwhizzle."

Razz blinked, looking at him more seriously now.  But she didn’t want to believe this prize of a man might have dark intentions.  She smiled again, this time a bit tentatively.  "I see I am well known.  Do I know you as well?"

"Oh non non, my dear, your reputation merely prozeeds you."  He grinned wider.  “I had heard zat ze damzel of ze Blaztwhizzle line was gorgeous beyond compare, zo I could only recognize you from zat alone.”

That creepy feeling wouldn’t go away.  Razz nodded and held her fake smile in place.  "Oh, aren't you a flatterer!"    She gently tried to slide her hand out of his grasp, but he kept a stern grip on it.

"Of courze, it iz my job to know ze marks I am le given."  He grinned wickedly at her.  “Oh, my petite choufleur...you zeem troubled..I do hope my letter deed not frighten you.”

The Collector!  Razz thought, her mind racing.  She pulled harder on her hand and looked around for nearby bruisers.  Her gaze settled on the shopkeeper.  "Help me!"

The Collector merely smiled.   "Do not zink you have le friends here, mon ami....I wonder...how many people would be quite interezted in zat leetle bounty your brozher haz racked up?  Do keep zcreaming, and zhere will be worse than moi coming for you.”   

Razz had opened her mouth to scream, but she hesitated at that.  She looked desperately back at the shopkeeper.  The Collector gave the other man a stern look.  "Of courze...zome know when to keep zeir mouthz zhut,” he warned.  The shopkeeper suddenly remembered he had work to do in the storeroom in the back and hastily departed.

"What?  Why would anyone else come for me?"  Her head was spinning.  She had to regain some control of the situation.  Razz was terrified, but she knew that to show fear to people like this was extremely dangerous.  “My brother's debt was not mine!  I am not going to pay it!”

“Zen who weel? You are ze mozt influential of your family left...and are a prize specimen of goblin genetics....I am zure zhere weel be ways to earn your brozher's pilfering back.  Zhere iz nozhing perzonal about zese my dear, tis merely buziness.”

“Well,” she responded flippantly, “I can't pay you, so you're wasting your time.”

“Non non. Mozt likely zold into le chains. I am zure zome baron would buy you posthaste. Zpending your days danzing off every zent. Heartbreaking, true.” Razz stared at him, horrified and speechless for a moment.  Such a thing just couldn’t happen to her!  It might happen to other people--poor saps who couldn’t pay their debts--but not her.  Not Razz Blastwhizzle, former loan shark of Bilgewater Harbor!  Finally, she found her voice, though it was now thin and raspy.  “You wouldn't dare!”

The Collector offered a cold stare. "I have done worse, my little pheazant..." The goblin man cleared his throat. "Zhere iz not all zhopping trips and zhenanigans, Mizz Blaztwhizzle....zurely you know zat zhings need be rough. I wonder how many of zose you lended money to often begged ze same?”

Unfortunately, Razz knew exactly how rough things could get when it came to collecting money owed.  Through the enforcers once on her payroll, she herself had used such tactics in collecting loan payments before she was forced to flee Bilgewater Harbor.  She panicked, suddenly struggling to pull her arm free and screaming as loud as she could.  Shoppers gave her an annoyed look for the unpleasant noise, and shuffled away to the next store.  A bruiser or two peeked their heads in, only to immediately duck out again up on seeing the situation.  People minded their own business in Booty Bay.  That was a nice trait of the town, until you needed a well-intentioned passerby to interfere!

The Collector locked his grip on her hand, his lone eye sparking with lightning. "Pleaze do not be making zis difficult, Ms. Razz."

"Let me go!  I'll get the money,” Razz pleaded, hating herself for it.  She watched him fearfully as her free hand slowly moved to a pocket for her communicator.    The Collector sighed as his hand wheeled around to seize what looked like a small drill that planted into the ground. An airy mist escaped from it as a small mask went over his face. A nearby shopper fell over, sleeping soundly.   After gasping fretfully upon seeing the device, Razz’s eyelids fluttered and fell closed as she too slumped to the floor, asleep.

"Zweet dreamz my lieetle chickadee...we are off to zee ze baron."  The Collector scooped up the sleeping goblin in his arms and carried her out of the shop.

Edited by Razz

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Kyrberns Goldsnark, otherwise known as The Collector, carried his sleeping captive into one of Booty Bay’s inns.  A fat goblin woman waited inside, looking like she had eaten several human’s worth of food.  She sat in a wheeled chair, rolls of fat slapping about when she turned toward her visitor.  Her human bodyguard stood stoically nearby.  Nobody else was inside.

Kyrberns dropped his prize into a chair, and then bowed to the fat lady.  “Baroness, I have brought your bounty,” he said with all due politeness.   Razz wiggled around on the chair, trying to get comfortable again in her sleep. She sighed and mumbled something about a sexy man on the beach.

“Goodf…” the Baroness rasped through mouthfuls of assorted candies she shoved into her mouth as she wheeled herself over to inspect the sleeping goblin.  “Very good indeed, Collector! My compliments, of course, darling!  I do say this little bitch will fetch a high cash value, to smooth the dent in my pocketbook from her sordid brother.”

“More rum, waiter,” Razz mumbled.

Kyrberns snickered.  “Even dreaming, she is very…”

A fat hand slapped across Razz’s face.  “Annoying!  I do agree, my dear,” the Baroness said.  While Razz fell off her chair and looked around in confusion, the fat lady wheeled her chair back to gobble up more baked goods.  

“Well then…let’s get started, shall we?!”  The tubby goblin smiled as several holographic and mystic images appeared on various monitors along one wall.  They were all shadowy forms of other people, many goblins, but some of other races as well, judging by their silhouettes.  "Gentlemen! Welcome, welcome! To the first ever high stakes slave auction!"

Kyrberns kneeled down to heft Razz back into her seat, but she panicked and scrambled to make a run for the door.  Her captor, however, grabbed her and wheeled her into his arms, “Non non, le petite!”

Razz squealed, slapping at his arm.  "Let me go, you brute!"

Kyrberns held her tight, the slapping little more than an annoyance. "Juzt zit down my dear....tiz for ze bezt!...I azzure you."

The Baroness growled as she turned around.  “Excuse me, my friends...it seems our latest acquisition is not too keen on staying proper!"  Her gargantuan form wheeled back towards the two.  The human bodyguard sealed the door before the auction’s merchandise could bolt again.

Kyrberns waved off the Baroness, "Everyzhing iz fine madame! Pleaze, do continue!"

The portly goblin woman snorted, "Get her in control, Kyrberns! Or you're NEXT on the block!" 

The Collector merely narrowed his eyes and seized Razz once more.  She wriggled in his grasp, more in protest than an actual escape attempt.   The holographic images of the bidders looked sinister to her, and she was absolutely disgusted at the thought of becoming the property of one of them, but she saw no chance of escape at the moment.  She’d have to bide her time and watch for an opportunity.

"Well then...let's begin again,” the Baroness said, turning back to the monitors.  “Here we have one Ms. Razz Blastwhizzle, the sister of that wretched blight Whazat...who as many of you know...stole a great deal from many of us!  So, which of you today will buy her from me and exact your retree-buu-shun today?"  She paused, giggling.   "And now I, Baroness Charlotta, start this auction!" 

The Baroness wheeled about in her chair, cackling madly. "Why not start the bidding at what this bitch actually is worth, one measly copper piece...But remember, the increases for bids must be in 10,000 gold increments, so...who's first?"

Kyberns smiled and winked at Razz as he pushed her into her chair.  When he turned back to the auction, lightning danced across his hands.  Before any of the shadowy members could speak, an array of electricity flowed from his fingers, causing each screen to fizzle out and explode.

Kyrberns announced his bid in the following silence.  “One copper peez.” 

The Baroness looked stricken between anger, embarrassment, and constipation as she tried to turn around.

“Oh.  It zeems ze ozher auctioneers are unable to beed.”  Kyrberns smiled, then dropped low to avoid the oncoming human’s punch.  With his fist imbued with lightning, he delivered his own punch to the bodyguard’s daddybags, causing the man to drop in a sparking, groaning pile on the floor.

"Kyrberns....what ARE YOU DOING?!" the fat goblin woman bellowed as the Collector merely smirked. 

"Oh? Why, winning ze auction,” he answered, tossing a lone copper coin onto the floor.

"What is going on?"    Razz demanded, scooting away from the writhing bodyguard on the floor.

Kyrberns smiled at Razz.  "Taking care of my old partner'z zizter of courze."  


“Oh. How fun...but ze time for le pleazantires haz le pazzed....do pronounce zhis farze oveir Madame Baroness....I have le better zhings to do.”

"He owes you the money then, not me!"  Razz announced, just in case the Baroness found some loophole to invalidate this auction, or, more likely, in case she decided to go outside the law to try to reclaim some of the money Razz’s brother had stolen from her.  She tossed her head and walked out the door.   "I am late for my pedicure appointment."    

"Ze auction haz le ended zen. Ze debt iz clean, no? Zince she technically belongz to me now."  Kyrberns smiled and turned to bow his head at the Baroness.  As the Baroness fumed, he turned to follow Razz out.  "Zhould read your Debt Law onze more, Lady Baroness....or it weel alwayz bite you on le azz, zo to zpeak."

* * * * *

Kyrberns caught up to Razz a short way down the boardwalk and fell into step beside her.

“Apologies for le frightening of you my dear. However, when I heard of le debt, I had to make zure I znagged you firzt.”

Razz stopped, wheeling to face him, and poked a perfectly manicured finger into his chest.  “Let's get one thing straight, mister!  You do not own me…..”

“By Goblin Law I do, my dear....but do not worry, I am ze type to,” Kyrberns started, but Razz wasn’t done yet.

“…..and certainly not for one measly copper!  I'm sure if the auction went on long enough, I would have brought in more gold than is in the all bank vaults in this town!”

“Of courze my petite, and I would have gladly paid more for you...but alas, I wanted to injure zat swine's pride. Far more humorouz, no?”  He looked down at her finger still poking at his chest and chuckled, while she took a moment to think about that.  

“I suppose so,” she finally agreed.

“Before I go into le hiding whilzt ze Baroness cools off....” Kyrberns told her, “your brozher cared for you and Rekkit bozh. He planned to share hiz wealth wizh you two and retire zomewhere.”

“I...,” Razz started, then stopped.  This wasn’t the time to be sentimental.  The Baroness’ bodyguard would be up soon and out to look for them.  “You were really his partner?”

“Indeed. I played ze part of ze relentlesz bounty huntair,” Kyrberns explained.  “I ‘caught’ him a few timez, gave him to a baron or two. Let heem rob ze place...and zen went after him again.”

As she listened, Razz realized that this man had been close to the several hundred thousands of gold that her brother had stolen and embezzled.  Her demeanor suddenly and mysteriously changed.  She smiled warmly and reached a finger up to playfully trace along his jaw.  "Then you must know where the money is, hm?"

"Ze charmer...What'z to zay I have not zpent it all already?"

"Did you?"  She tilted her head down, looking up at him from under long fluttering lashes.

Kyrberns smiled, and then he shrugged.  “Maybe one day I weel tell you.”

“Maybe....,” She trailed her finger lightly down his chest.  “….over dinner?”

“One day when ze Baroness iz fed up wizh zending azsazsins after moi....until zen, oui. Perhaps, ovair dinner.”  

Razz pouted, dropping her hand.  "Hm.  Well I'm not going to wait around forever, you know.”

He smiled to her and took her hand, tucking a small pristine ruby into it, which quickly replaced her pouting with a delighted smile.    

“Maybe zhen ze rezt weel follow..." His delighted chortle rang out before he looked away. "Until zen...anon! I muzt catch ze next zhip away...I zuggest doing ze same...ze Baroness is quite angry...and zome backlash may come your way...even wizzout ze debt."

"Right.  There are better pedicurists elsewhere anyway!"

“Try Silvermoon. Ze give ze best ones,” he informed her with a sly wink.  “Till we meet again, my petite!”

“Silvermoon, yes. Yes, I’ll try there,” she agreed.  

Razz blew him a kiss as he dashed off for the pier in a dramatic exit of lightning to accentuate his escape.



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