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Jobolg

Catch That Corpse!

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Part 1: Wherein Our Epic Hero Loses Something Valuable to Him

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Jobolg stood there huffing, breathing labored and heavy. A hacking cough forced its way past his lungs and splashed a bit of his blood against the back of his teeth. His chest felt tense, and the wounds at his sides and on his left arm throbbed painfully. The purple robes he wore were now little more than rags; tattered remains of a sleeve, strings of purple cloth hung from his left arm and flapped behind him in the chill mountain wind.

“I did warn you I’d fight back, you know.” The human he spoke to remained silent, slumped down sitting, leaning back against the frost-covered bark of a massive tree. Plastered on the man’s expression was a look of utter horror: his eyes were wide and bloodshot, but unfocused, his nostrils were flared, his mouth so far agape it nearly touched his chest. The human was clearly dead, and the winds of Alterac were slowly turning him into a human corpsicle. “Damned rogues are always trying to sneak up on me...”

The gray-haired orc took a moment to bandage his wounds as best his somewhat numb hands could before turning to the south and wandering cautiously down the lofty snow-coated path, circumventing the ogres along the way, though he – he told himself – could have taken the whole lot of them even in his wounded state. When the thought to do so actually made it through his frost-bitten mind, he swayed his arms in front of him and summoned his felsteed. The burning hooves of the demon horse left a clear, easy to follow trail through the snow, straight down to his destination at Tarren Mill. There, an undead doctor tended to his wounds more effectively.

“Wow, someone really stuck it to you, huh? These wounds aren’t too pretty,” the undead doctor said as he applied medicine to the gashes. “This may hurt a bit.”

“That’s ok. I’m tough. I can take anything those tiny little plants can dish ou- TCHOUCH!” Jobolg inhaled sharply at the sudden burning sensation. It felt as though his wounds were on fire! “You said it MAY hurt a BIT! You didn’t say anything about the fires of a thousand infernals being carelessly rubbed into my flesh!”

“Hm... that’s quite poetic! So I may be a slightly bad judge of pain... My nerves got burned off during the fire that killed me. You can’t blame me for that, can you?”

“Bastard.”

“Hey now, I gave you the good stuff. Look. Your wounds are already healed. Wasn’t that worth a bit of burning?”

Jobolg didn’t seem to hear undead doctor any longer. Quickly, he hopped up from his seat and strolled out the door, mumbling to himself. “I don’t know why I didn’t just look for a priest.”

Quick steps carried him towards the wind rider that would be his transportation. He walked inattentively past the wooden shambles that made the place up, nearly missing the shouting of the doctor some distance behind him. It was only when one of the nameless undead guards pointed that Jobolg paused in his steps to turn about.

“Wait! Wait! I forgot to tell you!” the doctor exclaimed, skidding to a halt before the orc. He held up a moderately-sized vial filled with a blue liquid. “You’ll need to apply this to the area of the wounds once a day for a week or so. The cut is closed up, but uh, all the flesh isn’t completely healed underneath.”

“But you told me...”

“I know what I told you! I’m sort of new at this, give me a break. Just apply the stuff once a day.”

“Oh, alright... Is there anything else vital you need to tell me?” Jobolg demanded.

“Just try not to stress it. And... have a safe journey, orc.” The undead offered him a rather lopsided smile, awkward from the lack of a right cheek.

“Oh, well thanks, doc. That was... actually pretty nice of ya. Um, you have a good day then.”

It was just before Jobolg turned back around, the doctor waving at him goodbye, that he noticed something was amiss. As he waved back to the doctor, an off-glance at his own wrist revealed nothing. Nothing was not what should have been there. On said wrist should have resided his precious emerald string.

“What the...”

Quickly he thought back through his day, attempting to recall just where he might have lost it or who might have pilfered it. It wasn’t the doctor. The old corpse’s hands were so shaky that any attempt to steal would have gone noticed by even the blindest of men, not to mention the entire time, Jobolg had kept a close eye on him. No, it would have had to have happened sometime during the day when his attention was diverted, when he wouldn’t have noticed... Like during the heat of battle!

“The damn human! Bloody rogues! I’m gonna murder the bastard!” Jobolg yelled, loud enough for most of the town to hear.

‘He’s already dead, Jobolg.’

“Did I TELL you that you could talk, demon voice in my head? NO! I don’t think so! So you just stay in your little runes of entrapment up there in my noggin’ and stay quiet!”

‘I was just trying to help...’

“Yeah, I know what kind of help you like to give. Any kind that could kill me! Now shut up! You’re in my body, my mind. I’ve got control. You say one more thing and I’ll slap a mental bandage over your mouth.”

‘Tch... Like I should be worri- Mmph! Mumarmph!’

“I warned you. I’ll fix it if you only add insightful commentary the rest of the day. Now to find that body and get back my string...” Jobolg grinned victoriously as he chanted the rites to summon his felsteed. When the creature appeared in its usual flash of hellfire, the orc hopped onto its back and took off towards Alterac. As he rode out of town and up the northern path, the astonished townsfolk of Tarren Mill stared at him in disbelief. As soon as he was out of sight, there came the color commentary and mockery. Fingers twirled beside heads, eyes crossed.

“What a nutcase!” one of them commented.

It was a quick ride back to the site of the battle, the felsteed’s hooves often retracing the very same steps they had melted into the snow coming down from the mountains. The climate, as always, drastically changed quite suddenly as he crossed the line into the Alterac borders. Unfortunately, there was that same realization that something was missing here too...

“Where is the dead bastard?! He couldn’t have gotten up and walked off without a pulse!”

‘Well, the undead such as our good doctor back there do it all the time.’

“You think he turned undead? That’s ridiculous. He must have simply been buried in the snow. I know it was under a tree around here some... Oh!” Jobolg exclaimed, “There’s the tree!”

‘He’s not going to be there. It hasn’t been snowing, so nothing could have been buried.’

Ignoring the voice, Jobolg turned about on his horse and pulled at its burning reins. Obediently, the creature began using its flaming hooves to dig at the ground around the tree, revealing, indeed, nothing at all, despite a lengthy search. Just as he felt ready to give up the search, a deep, distinct voice emitted from somewhere down the nearby slope.

“Heh. Yah. Much good human here. Stupid orc leave human. Not eat human. Should have eat human. Human good, so I eats...” stumbled the voice, slowly dropping in tone, as though getting further away. A quick look over the cliff would reveal a massive ogre, carelessly dragging the corpse by one ankle through the snow, its limp body flopping about as it hit various rocks and changes in terrain. The ogre laughed stupidly and happily as it dragged the body... right into the ogre encampment. No telling how many other bodies it would be put with.

‘Oooh... tough luck!’

Jobolg’s brows furrowed in agitation, and his golden eyes flashed briefly white.

“SUNNUVA...!”

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