Adventures in Gnome Sitting
- - by Borri
- 1 Have Faith in the Light
- 2 Does Old Money Have Wrinkles?
- 3 What Can Money Buy?
- 4 Bruised Pride
- 5 Domestic Goddess
- 6 May the Elves be With You
- 7 Stand Up and be Counted..... One
- 8 Getting Mounted.... Ouch
- 9 And the Scars to Prove It
- 10 Money and Politics
- 11 Onion Breath
- 12 Opportunities
- 13 Family Reunions.... from Hell
- 14 Be Careful What You Ask For
- 15 Eggs for Breakfast
- 16 For whom the bridge Tolls
- 17 Out with the old
- 18 Stoned
- 19 The nerve of them
- 20 Master this...Master that
- 21 I love the smell of burnt Furbolg fur in the morning. It smells like....
- 22 Going Postal
- 23 What ends well
- 24 Pass the popcorn
- 25 Home again, Home again, Jiggedy jig
- 26 Van Clief Notes
- 27 How Grand is Grand
- 28 Loose Ends
- 29 Beyond the Looking Glass
- 30 Demon Hunting... its not just for the Pros any more
- 31 Spore one for the Gipper
- 32 Ogre Ugly
- 33 Theres no place like home...
- 34 Bubbles
- 35 Front Man
- 36 Shaken, not stirred
- 37 Easy Money
- 38 The Family Gems
Have Faith in the Light
Through all my Priestly training they kept telling me to have faith in the light. It will guide you, protect you, see you through, if only you will have faith.
So here I was, putting my entire faith in the light. Still, I don't think drawing to an inside straight was what my instructors in the clergy had in mind, but what the heck. "I'll take one" I said to the dealer, then without looking at the card I bet the last of my gold.
My light given faith must have been convincing, because the two players to my left both folded. The gnome, on the other hand, wasn't buying it. He smiled at me, met my bet and pushed a huge pile of additional gold coins into the pot. My faith faltered, but only for a moment.
"Seems you are a bit low on cash friend" he said smiling again. "If you are as sure of your hand as you seem to be, perhaps we can reach an agreement to allow you to call my raise."
"An agreement" I said eagerly "what sort of agreement."
He smiled that smile at me again, and said "Oh something simple. We will consider my raise called, and of course if you win you get all the money. If, on the other hand, you are bluffing, and I win, I win your services as a valet for five years."
"Five years" I blanched, my faith faltering slightly again "Thats a pretty long time."
"Well thats an awful lot of money I just bet, so as I see it, its a fair trade. Take it or leave it, I dont really care which you choose, just choose quickly." he said, then looked directly into my eyes.
I looked from him to the large man standing behind him. "What do you need me for, you have a man servant already?"
He laughed "Actually, I wish to find a valet for my son, he is about to go out into the world, and I want him properly seen after." He flashed his smile at me again "You see, I am Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellows the Second, and I will not have a member of the Roctetfellows clan going into the world without a proper servant."
I nodded at the Gnome, and pretended that his dropping his name impressed me, though in reality I had never heard of the Rocketfellows. I eyed the pile of gold, rebolstered my faith in the light, and accepted his offer.
He revealed that he had two pair ace high, then looked to me with that I win smile of his. I slowly lay down my hand, first the 3 and 4, then the 6 and 7. Finally I reached over an flipped the down card over. An ace. I stared at it in disbelief. The Gnome chuckled.
And so, that very day I began my new life as the indentured man servant to Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers the Third. I hope I'm better at that than I am at cards.
Does Old Money Have Wrinkles?
Seems everyone wants to be able to look down on someone. Nobles look down on commoners, the rich look down on the poor. But even that isn't enough. Nobles look down on each other. Princes look down on Dukes, who look down on barons, who look down on Counts. You find the same sort of situation among the filthy rich.
The measure used in the ranks of the filthy rich is how old your money is. If you have been rich for a very long time you are called Old Money. Those who have just come into wealth are called New Money. The newer your money is, the more old money looks down on you.
Now the Rocketfellers are definitely old money. They pretty much look down on everyone. Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III is fond of quoting the original Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers, who loved to say "Rocketfellers were Old Money before money was even invented." It is rumored their money is so old it collects Social Security.
Being associated (through indentured servitude) with all this old money does have its advantages. I get to go to posh parties and watch while Pariwinkle eats the best food and drinks the best wine. I get to go to the concerts of famous composers and stand in the cloak room holding Pariwinkles cape. I get to see the latest in clothing fashion as I fold it and put it in Master Pariwinkles trunks.
There is one advantage I do not scoff at though. Apparently being the servant of old money comes with its own status. Servants of new money are looked down upon and laughed at by servants of old money. After a posh party we servants of old money get first dibs on the things the rich wouldn't eat. At concerts, we servants of old money get to stand nearest the door of the cloak closet, where there is a bit of air and you can almost hear the concert. And no matter what sorts of rags you might be wearing, if they were bought by old money, then by the Light they are better than anything worn by a servant of new money.
Since the Rocketfellers are about as old money as money gets, I am a veritable king among indentured servants. Sure it isnt much to brag about, but when you are facing a life of servitude, its good to be king.
What Can Money Buy?
As the indentured man servant to Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III I am beginning to understand all the things money can buy.
I don't mean the typical things we buy with money, like a nice meal, a rented room, well fitting clothing, Night Elf lap dances in Goldshire, etc. I mean the more intagible things. Like Blindness, Deafness and Dumbness.
Take blindness for instance. Master Pariwinkle is a Warlock, from a long line of Warlocks. Like any intelligent Warlock, he avoids being in populated places with a summoned demon, as that tends to cause problems with the populace and the law. Still, every once in while something happens and the Master doesn't dismiss his demon before it is seen.
recently this happened just outside Goldshire. We were almost immediately set upon by the Guard that was patrolling the road. I figured we were in hot water, but within moments of Master Pariwinkle making a significant contribution to the Guardsman Widows and Orphans Fund, the Guardsmen became suddenly blind to the imp still standing next to us.
I witnessed something similar with deafness. See demons have their own language. It isnt the pretty almost musical sounds that come out of Night Elves while they are dancing on your lap and whispering to you in Kaldori. No it is more of a guttural spitting sort of sound ... in other words very distinctive. While few can tell you what is being said, there is no doubt when someone is speaking in demon tongue.
Now Warlocks seem to like using it because demons tend to be very literal and mischievous. The human tongue has way too many loop holes a demon could jump through to totally screw up your plans while still doing what you "said." The Demon tongue, on the other hand, is very specific, leaving no wiggle room for the average demon to use against you. Therefore, Warlocks often use the Demon Tongue with their demons and with other Warlocks.
Now more than once I have been in a pub with Master Pariwinkle, when he has been deeply engrossed in a conversation with another Warlock, and without even realizing it they slip into Demon Tongue. Suddenly, the room will go silent as everyone in the place turns their hostile glare toward us. It is usually about then that Master Pariwinkle buys the whole pub 10 rounds of the owners best brew, and before you know it, the whole place acts like they never heard a thing.
Dumbness usually comes in the form of litigation. More than once the title Warlock has been publicly associated with a member of the Rocketfellers clan. Not an unusual thing, given that just about every Rocketfellers since the beginning of time has been heavily involved in the dark arts.
Usually, within a short time of such an accusation being voiced, a small army of lawyers (about the size of the army of lawyers that descended on Stormwind recently to contest the magistrate elections, and were heard screaming about pregnant dimples (what ever that means)) will appear from nowhere, and will hound the accuser mercilessly till they recant their statements, or hang themselves in total desperation.
So I am thinking, if blindness, deafness and dumbness can be bought, then what other things can bought ... elections? (well that goes without saying) ... integrity? ... a good mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich where the mutton is sliced really thin? The mind boggles at the possibilities.
Being the indentured man servant to a horribly rich Gnome can often be a challenge.
First off, they are... well... short. As a human of 5'10" I do not consider myself large, yet my Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III barely comes up to my knees. This shouldn't pose that much of a problem, but being both rich and a snob, he likes to look down his nose at people.
When dealing with other people, it means he has to tip his head back so he can look down his nose at them, but with me, he takes a more direct approach. He orders me to lay on my belly in front of him, so he can look down on me properly. He then usually spends the next hour telling me how inadequate I am as a man servant, and how a slug could do a better job.
His berating used to bother me, but they don't anymore, I just use them as a convenient opportunity to catch up on my sleep. Still, I have to be careful that I don't snore, or he gets really irritated and makes me stand for the rest of the berating. He then punches me in the knee every few minutes to make sure I am still paying attention.
Another problem is his high pitched Gnome voice. Its extremely difficult to take someone seriously when they sound like a 6 year old whose pants are too tight. In the beginning I used to laugh out loud every time he ordered me to fold his socks or fetch him his morning tea. Eventually, after being punched in the knee over and over, I learned not to laugh...at least out loud.
I also have to be careful not to step on him. As is befitting a servant, he expects me to travel 6 paces behind him at all times. As he scurries about from place to place (apparently scurrying is another Gnome trait) I have to jog along to keep up. Occasionally, he will suddenly stop dead in his tracks for one reason or another, and if I am not paying attention, I will run right over him. This usually leads to an hour long lecture on the oafishness of humans, and multiple blows to my knees for emphasis.
Little by little (no pun intended) I am learning how to avoid the Gnome related blunders I commit. I just hope I can get things straight before my knee caps give out.
One of the more humiliating aspects of being the indentured man servant to Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III is his insistence I do his laundry, sewing and cooking .
In some ways Gnomes (at least the one I work for) can be a lot like human children - they are constantly getting dirty and need new changes of clothing. Master Pariwinkle is even worse, since he often ends up burning his clothing with his various experiments in explosive devices. If he doesn't burn them, he ends up covering them in grease and oil, and that sort of grime is almost impossible to get out.
Now rich Gnomes, when they aren't engineering, like to look well dressed and well fed, and Master Pariwinkle is no different, so it wasn't too long before he began to demand that I improve my domestic skills. Apparently my sewing his britches with button holes on the back instead of the front just didn't cut it, and my offerings of burnt meats on burnt toast were not agreeing with his taste buds.
To remedy all this, Master Pariwinkle enrolled me in the Stormwind School for Domestic Goddesses. It is a week long intense course in Sewing, Cooking and cleaning that is run by a woman who can only be described as a Dominatrix on drugs. The course teaches what many other courses teach in a year in just one week. The Mistress accomplishes this by not allowing her students to eat or sleep for the entire week, allowing her to get a full 24 hours of training in each day (she of course sleeps and eats, leaving the off hour training to instructors who are only slightly less sadistic than she is).
Thanks to this intense training, and a number of unpleasant beatings for my many cooking and sewing failures, I am now officially a certified Domestic Goddess. I sew all the Master's new outfits as well as my own (he has developed the disturbing habit of demanding we dress similarly). I also do all the cooking for the both of us.
The cooking was a problem for a while, since Master Pariwinkle was upset that the food bills were so high. He solved that problem once he realized I was making my food and his from the same high quality meats and vegetables. He immediately insisted I use the good stuff for his meals, and use a much lower grade of materials for my own meals.
It bothered me at first, but I am over it. Now I fix his meal in one pot, and my own in the other. He hasn't noticed yet that the pot I make his food in is also the one we use as a chamber pot.
What??? .... I clean it well... honestly.
May the Elves be With You
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, and I have spent quite a bit of time in Ashenvale lately. Mostly operating out of and staying in the Inn in Aastrannar. I have, over time, developed a real taste for the Elven lands and the Elves themselves.
Dont get me wrong, I like the Human lands and especially the human ladies. The Forests outside Stormwind are lovely, and the pretty smile of a lovely human lass will stop me in my tracks every time, but there is just something about the Elvish lands and lasses that takes my breath away. The trees seem larger in Ashenvale, and are resplendent in leaves of many different colors. The smells are exotic and almost intoxicating.
And the Women, what can I say, there is just something absolutely captivating about an Elvish lasses ears (and other pointy parts) bouncing up and down as they stand at their guard posts or go about their business. The variety of skin colors and hair colors makes me look with interest every time I hear one of their sultry voices.
Master Pariwinkle sees no differences. As most Male Gnomes I have encountered, the master considers himself a ladies man. Gnome, Human, Elf, Dwarf, Tauren, Troll, Orc, or Forsaken, they are all just targets to be wooed and then forgotten as a new potential conquest presents herself. Also as most Male Gnomes I have encountered, he has the tact and romance of a bull in a pen full of cows in heat. We have met many a lovely Elvish lass lately that I would have liked to know better, only to have him drive her away with his trite Gnomish pickup lines.
I don't complain of course, that would just result in me getting kicked in the shins and forced to sleep in the stables at night.
Stand Up and be Counted..... One
There comes a time in the life of every indentured man servant to the son of a rich Gnome Magnate when you just have to stand up for yourself and say no.
That time came yesterday.
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, was insisting I wash his dirty underthingies after I had made his bed, fixed him breakfast, run his bath, emptied the garbage, polished his mirror (for the fourth time in 30 minutes... he likes to look at himself in the mirror a lot), licked all the stamps for his morning correspondence, run to the well to get water for his tea (up hill both ways in the snow even), inventoried his explosives and painted his toe nails (I know...dont even ask).
The undies thing was the straw that broke this indentured man servant camel's back. I looked him in the eyes (well actually more like in the top of his head, since I cant see his eyes if he isnt looking up) and said "No.... you wash your own darn undies!" The silence was palpable, you could cut it with a knife (and several other trite sayings that indicate my master was not pleased).
He looked up at me, tilting his head way back so he could look down his nose, and said "Do you have a problem with your duties Borriguard?"
"Hell yes I have a problem" I said "I am sick and tired of doing all your dirty little chores... do them yourself!" At this, he smiled that knowing smile his father had smiled at me when he beat me in cards and won 20 years of my life as an indentured man servant. "I see" he said calmly.
"You became my indentured servant" he said smiling at me "because you gambled your freedom away. You lost fair and square, and now you must do as you are told. You knew the consequences and made the bet anyway, it is time to pay the price."
I glared at him, not giving an inch "I didn't lose to you, you two bit pipsqueak tyrant, I lost to your father... I owe you nothing!" I smiled back at him, smug in my logic.
"I see" he said, the smile not faltering despite my insults "so since you lost to my father and not me, you figure you don't owe me anything?"
"Thats right" I said, full of the spiritual conviction I had learned to fake in priest school. "I didn't lose to you, so I don't owe you a thing."
"So, if you did lose to me, you would do as you are told without complaint?" he asked brightly.
"Well... er... yes" I said a bit taken back (I was not expecting this response to say the least).
"All right" he responded and held out his hand "Swear an oath on the light to that effect and we will roll on it." He then produced a pair of cubes from his pouch and said "double or nothing, if I lose you are free of your debt. If you lose, you will be my servant for 40 years, without any complaints."
I hesitated then nodded yes.
He handed the cubes to me, and I rolled them. They came up with a 6 and a 5 .... 11 I thought ... great number, I'm going to beat the runt.
He picked up the cubes and then looked me in the eye "So we are in agreement, if I roll greater than an 11 on the cubes I now have in my hand, you will be my servant for 40 years with no complaints, doing any and all tasks I demand?"
"Yes" I replied, already anticipating the freedom that was about to be mine.
He tossed the cubes to the ground and walked away without even looking at them, casually calling over his shoulder "Do my underthings and then shine my boots Borriguard... and be quick about it."
I stared down at the pair of 6's staring up at me. "12" I thought "he rolled a 12...." Then I looked at the cubes again, and realized that they had 6's on all the faces. "Stop" I shouted at him "you cheated, these cubes only have 6's on them."
He paused, then turned and smiled at me. "I know" he said "you agreed that if the cubes I had in my hand at that moment produced a number greater than 11 you would be my indentured man servant for 40 years without complaining. The cubes I had in my hands at that moment rolled a 12, so I win and you lose... now do my underthings and shine my boots." Without another word he turned and walked off, whistling to himself.
So now I am the indentured man servant to Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III for 40 years. And I am not allowed to complain. Still, I learned a lesson. Never look a Gnome in the eyes, because you won't see what he is doing with his hands.
Getting Mounted.... Ouch
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is both a Warlock and a male Gnome. Being a Warlock brings out the evil, non-tolerant side of him. Being a male Gnome means his is exceptionally over sexed. Both of these traits combined in one little body can be very scary sometimes. Yesterday was a good example of that.
Master Pariwinkle recently learned to summon a demon steed. Since then he has ridden from place to place, with me struggling to keep up with him. He is constantly calling me a lazy laggard when I fall behind. He certainly doesn't take into account that in addition to being on foot, I am carrying most of his engineering gear with me. This, added to my various domestic snafus (too much starch in his underthings, spitting in his stew, snickering when he makes advances to lovely elves and fails) has combined to lower his tolerance of me to an all time low. His lowered tolerance often translates into varied and colorful threats to my life and well being.
Naturally, I was quite dismayed (frightened even) when the Master walked into my room, put his hands on his hips, and said "Borriguard, its time to mount you."
The part of me that knows the Master as an intolerant git with an evil streak a mile wide immediate shuddered at the thought of my head stuffed and mounted over his mantle piece. The part of me that knows the Master as an oversexed and often turned down romeo was even more terrified of the possibilities of the word "Mounted." As the panic set in, I quickly scanned the room for a possible escape route.
"You do know how to ride don't you?" He said.
"Ride?" I asked bewildered. "You mean a horse?"
"Of course a horse you idiot, what did you think I meant?"
I sighed a breath of relief, and informed the master that I was a very accomplished horseman. He ordered me outside, and led me to the stables, where a lovely chestnut mare awaited me.
"The cost is coming out of your wages." he said to me, as I mounted up and he summoned his demon steed.
I sighed, at 50 copper a day, it would be a long time before I saw any money again, but at least my feet and legs wouldn't be sore anymore.
And the Scars to Prove It
This was the worst and the best night of my life.
It was the worst night because I lost Master Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III money gambling. I was supposed to fly to Booty Bay, pay for the Master's shirts with the pouch of gold he had given me, then use the remaining silvers to buy a flight back to Stormwind. A simple task, which Master Pariwinkle felt even I could not mess up. Well he was wrong. See there was this man with this game of skill. One pea, three cups, guess right and win big. Only I guessed wrong. With the Masters money.
Since I didn't even have enough money to fly back, I was forced to walk back through Stranglethorn Vale in the dark. Stranglethorn Vale is not a nice place when it is light, it is absolutely terrifying at night. Everything in that place wants to stalk you and eat you. Apparently, the menu of the evening included me, because all the creatures were trying to add me to their plate. After a lot of hard running and a liberal use of my shield and healing spells, I made it through.
Then I had to tell the Master what had happened.
The look on his face made me wish I was back in Stranglethorn Vale.
He asked me to repeat the story several times, and took special interest when I said the man at the game seemed familiar. It took a bit of coaxing, but eventually I remember I had seen him in Menethil the night the Master and I met Mr Jiang. Once I had mentioned that, the Master got a big smile on his face, and for a moment I thought I was going to get away with only a reprimand. "Does this mean I can go Master?" I asked, hoping he would reconsider his threat to have his voidwalker rip out my spleen and make me eat it. "No Borriguard you may not go" he said in the most sinister of ways "there is the matter of your punishment to be handled first."
At that he turned and summoned Seltai, his Succubus into the room, "Lash him 10 times Seltai, firm and hard, but do not kill him, I still have over 39 years of servitude left in him." She smiled at me and licked her lips.
That is why it ended up the best night of my life as well. See I have a horrible crush on Seltai, and after seeing the pleasure she got from ripping the flesh from my back with her whip, I was darn near in heaven. Oh, sure it hurt. Love has a way of hurting. But after it was done she walked over and kissed me on the lips, and that made it all better.... sort of....
So now, I am thinking of ways to get the Master to punish me again. I cant be too obvious though, or he might have one of his other demons do the honors.
Money and Politics
Everything my Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, touches seems to turn to gold. I used to find this hard to believe for several reasons. First, I am a firm believer the Rocketfellers have been practicing a lot of inbreeding, since Pariwinkle rivals the offspring of many royal families in his bad looks, bad attitude and bad actions. Second, the pipsqueak spends so much of his time trying to make time with every female he meets, that one would wonder how he had any time to do anything else. Still, there is no denying he has the Rocketfellers money making genes.
One of the Master's favorite sayings is "It takes money to make money." Now I wouldn't know anything about that, since the runt pays me almost nothing, and I tend to gamble away what little money I do come upon. Still, he obviously believes it, since he is always spreading money around in his efforts to make more money.
One of his favorite things to spend money on is "greasing the skids." The first time he said that I thought it was some sort of a bizzare Gnomish sexual practice. Since then I have learned it means bribing government officials who are in high places to be cooperative in his money making efforts. One would think it was not easy to bribe government officials (or at least I did while I was cloistered in the monastery), but apparently government officials are easier to buy than a Stormwind lady of the evening on two for one nights. The ones he cant buy he just blackmails, since there isn't a government official alive who hasnt done something that they don't want known publicly.
He is now working on some high muckety muck in Darnassus. Seems my Master has taken a sudden interest in High Elf artifacts. Since so many High Elf ruins fall under the protection of the Night Elf lands, he has decided to grease a few elvish skids. Now I have no idea who the official is that he is aiming at, but I am fairly sure it is someone high up in their government, since Master Pariwinkle never wastes his time on small fry.
There is one exception to the everything he touches turns to gold theory though. That is me. The little runt has been kicking me in the shins for months, and I still am broker than broke.
An old friend of mine, Don Key, once said people are like onions. At the time I thought he meant they stink and can make you cry, but now I am beginning to understand what he meant.
Take my Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, for instance. I thought knew all there was to know about him: power crazed warlock, woman hungry Gnome male, reckless engineer and spoiled rich kid. But now, I am starting to wonder how much of what I know about him is real and how much is an act.
Take the woman hungry male Gnome part for instance. Yesterday, the runt was uncharacteristically lucky with a woman. I say uncharacteristically, because usually most woman slap him and stomp off in a huff when he throws his patented Gnome pick up lines at them. But this time, the Elvish Lass he was chatting up genuinely seemed interested in him, and it was fairly obvious she willing to go the distance. Then, the dark haired rogue the Master employs for his "business transactions" walked in.
Now normally, the Master would throw a fit if anyone interrupted him when he is involved in conquering a woman, especially when there is a chance he might actually succeed. So you can imagine my surprise (as well as the Elf's) when my master told her he had business to conduct and showed her the door. After giving me his "I don't want to be disturbed look," he and the rogue disappeared into the back room and did not come back out again for over an hour. When he did come back out, Master Pariwinkle was looking like the cat that ate the canary.
So now I start to wonder. Has his whole womanizing thing been a ploy on his part. Has he been acting this way because it is what is expected of Gnome Males. I now believe more than anything, making money is what drives Master Pariwinkle. It is strange, because he comes from one of the most moneyed families there is. Perhaps, in a family of money makers, the only way to stand out is to make more money than the rest of them. I believe I have seen one of the Master's layers peeled back now, I wonder what more he hides beneath that power hungry, womanizing, reckless and selfish exterior.
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is all about opportunities. Opportunities to make money by the wagon load. Opportunities to seduce each and every female of any persuasion that crosses his path. Opportunities to blow me and most of the neighborhood up with his crazy engineering schemes and experiments. The opportunities he like the absolute best are the ones about making money.
I have the impression he is onto something really big. It started a short while ago, when he gained this sudden interest in High Elf artifacts. Now when the Master starts paying attention to antiquated dusty museum pieces, its either because there is big money to be made or massive power to tap into. If he can get both with one project he is even happier. His first action was to buy some high Night Elf officials, to ensure that no one would interfere with his efforts. Apparently, that went off well, as he was in a good mood for days.
Now he has employed some intermediaries to acquire a few artifacts for him. He did this by sending out a trusted agent of his to commission the work and follow up on its accomplishment (he doesn't use me for those sorts of things since I screwed up getting his shirts from the laundry). apparently this phase of the operation is going along fairly well, though it has still yet to be fully accomplished. Next he will be contacting someone on the horde side of things. I believe he will be using the same intermediaries as before, and of course his agent will handle the contacts.
The reason I know all this is not because my Master trusts me with such details, he doesn't trust me at all in fact. Its just that I happen to be very adept at listening at his door when he is meeting with his trusted agent. I listen for one reason. I am poor, and there is no one I know who is better at making money than Master Pariwinkle. I figure if I keep my ears open I may be able to learn a few things and start making money myself. After all, I don't plan on being an indentured servant forever.... just 39 years, 33 weeks and 5 days to go and I will be free again.
Family Reunions.... from Hell
Family reunions can be tough. When you throw in the fact that most of the family is Power Hungry Warlocks who measure each other by how much money they have earned, it becomes a veritable hell. Of course, it wasn't my family. My family is small and poor and as unambitious as you can get. It was my Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, and his family.
When my master mentioned a family reunion I had visions of home cooked meals served by a motherly figure, followed by everyone sitting around in a room drinking copious amounts of ale and holding burping contests. I spent several hours in my room practicing my best burps, just in case the servants were allowed to participate as well. Needless to say, the Rocketfellers' family reunion was not what I expected.
It started when we walked in the door. The huge banquet room we had been ushered into was packed with Gnomes in expensive business suits, all accompanied by human servants. They gathered in groupings around the room, and all seemed to be talking about various ways to make money. When Master Pariwinkle walked in and was announced the conversations all seemed to stop for a moment, as almost everyone turned to look at us. Soon, most of the conversations resumed, though many of them had changed to barely audible whispers.
The only Gnome who didn't go back to talking was my Master's father, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers II, who came over and gave his son a smile and a hung. I cant say I was glad to see my Master's father, since he was the one who forced me into indentured servitude after I lost a rather large bet to him. Still, my Master seemed genuinely pleased to see his father, and his father returned the affection. Then the hell started.
My Master's father turned to a servant and nodded his head, and the servant banged a very large ornate gong. Immediately all conversation in the room stopped, and every Gnome headed over to a very large table in the center of the room, followed by their servants. Each Gnome went quickly his own seat without hesitation, and I noticed each seat had a name tag in front of it. I thought, given that my Master was the son of Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers II, he would sit next to him at the head of the table, but instead, my master went to a seat almost three quarters of the way down the table.
It was then that I noticed something interesting about the name tags. Each name tag had a name on it, and below the name was the symbol of a gold pouch, with a number next to it. The numbers were all extremely high at the head of the table, and got smaller and smaller as you got further from the head. The Masters father, sitting at the head of the table, had a number so large, I couldn't even figure out what it was. My masters number, which was fairly large itself, wasn't even close.
My master sat, and I stood behind him, to serve him his meal from the platters of food that passed on carts behind me. He conversed politely with those in his immediate vicinity, but I could tell by the set of his shoulders that he was not happy. When ever his father spoke, the entire table would go silent, and every head would turn to listen to what he said. My master, on the other hand, had to speak loudly to be heard over the din of those around him when he spoke. The conversations throughout the room during the dinner, and the proceedings afterward were all about money. Needless to say I listened raptly, hoping to pick up as many money making tips as I could.
After dinner was over, we servants cleaned all the dishes from the table, and stood quietly behind our masters, waiting for the next event. What happened next was quite interesting to say the least. Starting from my Masters father, and working slowly down the table, each name tag was replaced by a new one, with an even bigger number. When my Master's father received his new name tag, the whole table gasped and applauded loudly. His father smiled and shrugged off the accolades as if they were expected.
When ever someones new name tag showed a bigger number than the Gnomes sitting closer to the head of the table, everyone would cheer loudly, and the Gnome with the bigger number would get up and move to the spot in the table that was appropriate for his number. All those displaced would move further down the table. While it was all conducted with the utmost of politeness, it was obvious to see that those who advanced were quite smug, while those who decended were less than pleased.
Finally, my Master got his new name tag. While the number was significantly larger than his previous number, he only advanced two seats at the table, and I was sure I heard several snickers from further up the table. I am sure he did too, as his ears got a deep shade of red, and I could see his hands trembling. I looked to the head of the table, and saw his father sigh, as if he were disappointed. Soon after all the new name tags had been handed out, the event broke up and everyone started talking again, all pointedly ignoring my master, including his father.
The whole carriage ride back was very painful. My master kept muttering to himself "I'll show them." When I asked him what he was going to show them, he kicked me in the shins and ordered me to mind my own business. Needless to say, I am glad these reunions only happen once a year, as I don't think I would survive my master being in this foul of a mood more often.
Be Careful What You Ask For
The rogue named Litto that works for my Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, showed up at our door late last night. He asked to see the Pipsqueak at once. I was of course hesitant, since Master Pariwinkle does not respond well to being woken up. Still, the rogue was insistent, and told me to give the Master a dirty rag.
Needless to say, I was not thrilled about waking the Master up just to give him a dirty rag. Before I went into the room to wake him, I wrapped a set of linen bandages around my ankles since the Master has a habit of taking his dislike with my actions out on them. I entered his room quietly, and after assuring myself he was alone, I walked up to his bed and shook his shoulder.
His eyes opened up immediately, and he began casting a warlock curse at me, which he fortunately stopped casting once he recognized it was me. “What do you want you idiot!” he shouted at me. I held out the rag, and prepared myself for a vicious kick to my ankles. Instead of kicking me, the Master cracked a big smile and looked past me to the door, “Is he out there now?” he asked. I nodded and he ordered me to let Litto in immediately.
Once the rogue had entered the room, I made a big show of shutting the door and noisily walking away from it. After a few moments I quietly returned to the door and pressed my ear against it. The two of them must have been standing at the far end of the room, because I had a hard time hearing everything they were saying. I heard the words “delivery” and “successful” from Litto, which were followed by a loud yelp of pleasure from the runt.
The next few words were garbled, though I did hear the Master say “Elves” and “Monopoly.” I was thinking about getting a cup so I could use it to hear better when a hand with long manicured blood red nails grasped me by the shoulder. It was Seltai, my Masters Succubus. She looked into my eyes and smiled. “Now Borriguard” she whispered in her native demonic tongue “I am fairly sure the Master would not appreciate your listening at his door.”
My heart skipped a beat. I knew of course she was right. I had heard my Master threaten to kill for less than what I was doing, and I was fairly sure he meant it. I tried to come up with a good reason to have my ear pressed to the door, but of course all my excuses sounded lame, even to me. She smiled. Pointing over her shoulder at the door to her room, she nodded her head. “Tell you what” she said with the wickedest smile I had ever seen on her oh so seductive lips “why don’t you come with me and see if you can’t convince me not to tell him.”
I gulped, and followed her into the room. This was just the sort of thing my fantasies in the middle of the night had been filled with. Still, deep down inside I understood the meaning of the saying “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”
Eggs for Breakfast
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, Has been actively pursuing some sort of new business deal lately. I am only slightly informed of what he is up to, since he does not trust me any further than he can throw me. Most of my knowledge comes from listening at his door while he conducts business with his more trusted agents.
I was starting to feel very left out, and even said something to the Master about being more involved in his work. He of course laughed for quite some time. After he picked himself up off the floor, where he had been rolling around in mirth, he told me he would keep my request in mind, in case a task particularly suited to my abilities came along. I hesitantly thanked him.
Apparently, that task came along. It arrived in the form of a rather large box. The box, I later found out, came as a good will gift from one of the people my Master is negotiating with. Soon after the package arrived, Master Pariwinkle called me into one of the spare rooms in his mansion. All the furniture had been removed, and in the middle of the room was a very large pile of hay. In the center of the pile of hay was something that look like an extremely large egg.
I had seen similar eggs to this one once before. My master and I had encountered them in Feralas, while traveling near the mountains. The eggs had been in a nest much like the one in this room, and a flock of hippogryphs had descended on us when we tried to get close to it. We barely escaped with our lives that time, and the Master kicked me in the shins several times for not healing him fast enough.
"Well Borriguard" he said to me, while smiling one of his ultimate evil smiles "I found that task you are particularly suited for. "You did" I asked, doing my best to hide my fear "what would that be?" "You will hatch this egg for me" he said, pointing to the huge egg. "Succeed and I shall consider giving you more responsibilities in my grand plan. Fail and I shall have your entrails hung from the battlements surrounding Stormwind." I knew right then success was the only possible option.
For the next week I spent all my time in the room, sitting on the egg. Talking to it. Polishing it. Begging it to put me out of my misery and hatch already. Occasionally it would wobble or shake, but showed few other signs that it was planning on doing what I asked. The one time I tried to leave the room to get a snack, the Master chased me back in with additional threats to my life. After that he had meager meals delivered to me, so I wouldn't attempt such a stupid thing again.
I was starting to think the darn thing would never hatch, when all of a sudden I heard a distinct crack. I looked down, and sure enough there was a small hole in the center of a spider web of cracks. A tiny beak was sticking out. Immediately, I followed my Master's instructions and ran madly through the mansion screaming at the top of my lungs that it was hatching. Master Pariwinkle came running in immediately, and told me to wait outside the room.
I paced back and fourth outside the door, like a hen nervous about her chick. I could not believe how excited this hatching had made me. In a way, I was like the hatchling's mother, after all I had sat on the egg for a week, keeping it warm. I had visions of a hatchling rushing into my arms and cheeping 'Mother" to me.
Eventually, my Master opened the door and strode out, followed by the cutest little baby hippogryph I had ever seen. It had a tiny little body and wings that flapped furiously to keep it airborne. The only big thing about it was the oversized set of antlers on its head. I stared in disbelief and love at the wonderful little creature I had hatched. I put my hand out to pet it, and it bit my hand.
"Don't touch it" my Master said to me "it has bonded to me, and will not tolerate anyone else." I stared in disbelief. I had sat on the egg. I had talked to it. I had sung baudy drinking lyrics to it. I had almost starved to death in the room waiting for it to hatch, and it had bonded to the pipsqueak and would have nothing to do with me. Now I truly know how my mother must have felt the day I ran away from home.
For whom the bridge Tolls
We had a bit of an adventure on the way to Darkshire the other day.
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, was not in a mood to fly, so he decided we would ride our horses between Booty Bay and Darkshire. It was rather uneventful (just the occasional ape trying to eat us) until we got to the bridge between Stranglethorn Vale and Duskwood. As we approached it, I realized something was amiss. Three men had constructed a bonfire on the Duskwood side, and were standing in the path of the bridge, blocking passage.
One of the men held up his hand, and ordered us to stop, while the other two brandished their weapons. My Master stopped his horse just out of weapon range and asked what they were about. They informed us that there had been many robberies on this road recently, and they were there to provide protection, for a fee. They seemed quite insistent that we pay their toll before they would let us proceed.
My Master asked them how much, and they informed him it was 2 gold for the two of us. He then asked them how much it was if he just paid for himself and left me with them. Needless to say, I was not pleased by that question. I was even less pleased when they informed him it would be 5 gold to cover the expense of burying me. The Master thought about it, but thankfully decided not to leave me to them. They also told him he would have to pay extra for his new Hippogryph Hatchling.
While the Master takes no note of threats to me, he was absolutly livid when they threatened his hatchling. It was right about then that the man on our right approached a little closer, and seemed to be looking at me and the Master, as if he might know us. I looked closely at him, but his mask effectively hid his identity.
Then the Master spoke again. "I am willing to pay your toll, but first you must answer a question.... do you know who I am?" The man on our left replied "If we do will you pay more?" "No" my Master shot back, "but I might pay less." "I am Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III" he said then indicated me over his shoulder "this oaf behind me is my indentured man servant Borriguard." He then looked into the eyes of the man on the right and said "I can afford to pay the toll, can you afford to anger me?"
The man paused for a moment, as if he was thinking over his options, and then ordered his compatriots to stand down and let us pass. "This one is on me." he said to my Master. Then the one on the right said "Guess this time you found the pea in the cup." That caught me completely by suprise. I looked at him closely as we rode by. Though he was wearing a mask, his height and build were exactly like the man who I had lost the Master's shirt money to in Booty Bay.
I am fairly sure now, as I think back on it, that he is the man I lost to. The same man that works for Mr. Jiang, one of my Master's close business associates. Now I am in a quandry, do I tell my Master what I suspect, or do I keep it to myself. I shall have to figure out what will yield the best results for me.
Out with the old
The recent news in Iron Forge has caught the interest of my Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III. Seems following a particularly nasty sexual scandal involving several senators and their riding rams, the King has decided to clean house and start over. It was the King's desire to end the incesant "Ram" jokes and bring dignity back to this once venerated forum, so he declared the old Senate null and void, and invited the dwarven clans to elect new representation post haste.
Now this excites my Master, because he was having particular difficulty buying the support of the previous members of the Senate. Seems that while they were more than willing to involve themselves in bizzare sexual rituals with their mounts, they were unbribable to a man. My Master is hoping that the new batch of Senators will be more inclined to see the value in supporting the business interests of a well heeled entrepreneur.
I hope he is more successful with this batch of Senators than with the last, since when he fails at something he gets irate, and that usually translates to me getting kicked in the shins a lot.
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, was on a quest for more Warlock knowledge. That generally means summoning some horid demon from the depths of hell, and trying to best it, before it bests us. Needless to say, it usually results in me taking a beating from the demon first, and then a beating from my Master afterwards.
This time was starting to look the same. We gathered the required items to summon the Demon (always an adventure in itself, as these sorts of items are rarely just lying about), and went to the place in Felwood where the Demon was rumored to be. What we found was a huge pile of rocks. This confused me, but seemed to please my Master.
After a bit of preparation on his part, he ignited a flame, and began chanting strange words in demonic. Soon after, the stones began to assemble themselves into the bigest Demon I had ever seen. It was all I could do to keep from wetting myself. Then the thing attacked.
Just in case anyone is wondering, animated stones hit hard. This one was determined to stomp my Master and I into the dust, and came very close to succeeding. Just as we were at our last straw, and it looked like I was going to end up as toe jam, the situation changed. A Troll and a Tauren came riding out of nowhere.
Now my first thought, was oh no, they are either going to help the Demon kill us, or they are going to sit back and enjoy the show as we get smushed. But instead, they both plowed into the fray, and drew the Demon's attention with the massive amounts of damage they were causing it. In very little time, they had inflicted more pain than even a demon of this size could handle, and it crumbled back into a pile of rocks. My Master immediately ran to the pile and collected the item he had been after.
Then, he suprised me. Turning to the Troll and Tauren, my Master bowed politely and gave each of them a crisp salute. After acknowledging his salute, the two mounted their riding beasts, waved, and rode off as quickly as they had ridden in. I am beginning to wonder now if all that crap the priests in the monestary taught me about how the horde are our enemy was truly that, just a load of crap.
The nerve of them
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, was quite offended recently, and that is not a good thing.
It all started when he agreed to do a few tasks for some Furbolds, so they would allow us to pass freely through their tunnels, which happen to connect Felwood to Winterhaven. He tried bribing them at first, but in reality, Furbolgs have very little use for Alliance Currencies, so that didn't work. He thought about threatening them, but a quick glance around showed that what they lacked in technology and magic they could easily make up with numbers. Finally, he decided just to do what they asked, an exterminate the other Furbolg tribes in the area.
And I do mean exterminate. See these particular Furbolgs are not happy with the neighboring Furbolgs. Best I could interpret from their very broken use of Common, it involves a botched wedding and an unpaid dowery. Either that or it involves a very severe case of Montezuma's revenge stemming from a moon feast. It could also involve cheating in a card game that Furbolgs play which very much resembles our own games of chance (this I can totally understand). Either way, the Timbermaw Furbolds want all the other Furbolgs around them wiped off the face of Azeroth.
So off the Master and I went, to meet the bloodthirsty demands of these Furbolgs. We killed Furbolgs in southern and northern Felwood. Then we killed Furbolgs in southern and northern Winterhaven. Still, it wasn't enough. Off we went to northern Winterhaven to kill the leader of the Furbolgs up there, since the Master figured that would be enough to satisfy the Timbermaws. That is when he got upset.
Everything was going fine, The Furbolg Chief's retainers lay dead at our feet, and the Furbolg Chief was at his last straw, when all of a sudden, he fell over on top of my Master. Now Furbolgs are rather large, and with this green juice these Furbolgs drink, they are even larger. If that wasn't bad enough, as the Chief died, he soiled himself, all over my Master. It took me a good 30 minutes to leverage the Furbolg up off my Master, and by then he was spitting mad.
My Master mad is not a pretty sight, and the results of that madness are even uglier. Now we no longer exterminate the Winterhaven Furbolgs for the Timbermaw. Now we exterminate them for my Master. He cackles maniacally as eachone dies, and shouts out "Soil my robes will you, Die Furbolg...Die!" I hope he gets over this soon, as I am getting fairly tired of wading through mounds of dead Furbolgs. On the bright side, the Timbermaw love us, and have showered us with all sorts of interesting patterns and enchantments.
Master this...Master that
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is very concerned with titles and status. One of his greatest concerns since I have been working for him is his status as a Warlock. This is not unusual, given that his whole family is composed of Warlocks, and all of them take great pleasure in lording it over other family members who are not as far advanced as they are. This has been especially true for my Master.
See my Master is the son of the Clan Patriarch, and has been looked down on as inadequate to follow in his fathers footsteps by many of the ambitious members of the clan. They can often be heard talking behind his back and snickering at the fact that he has not yet reached the exalted status of Master Warlock. My Master finally got good and tired of it all, and decided to put an end to the snickering. He did it in the time honored Rocketfellers way. He bought the title.
After a bit of research, my Master was able to locate a Master Warlock, who was willing to sell him the title of Master Warlock, to include a certificate and validated papers of induction. While the title is hollow, since my Master skipped all the testing and summoning that is required to achieve this rank, it doesn't bother him a bit, since now he can wave his certificate under the noses of the other clan members to get them to shut up. Most of them wouldn't be able so say anything even if they knew, since I am willing to bet they did the same thing.
An added benefit to me was the fact that my Master decided that since he was a Master Warlock, it was not fitting for him to be served by anything less than a Master Priest. Given my less than honorable withdrawl from the Stormwind Clergy (they take a dim view of gambling and womanizing for some reason) the odds of me ever being ordained a Master Priest were pretty slim. Still, with enough money, even a stuffy priest can be made to see the light, and apparently my Master found just such a priest.
So now, my Master and I are Masters of our callings. Hopefully no one will be looking for us to do the sorts of things Master Warlocks and Priests are supposed to do easily, as neither of us can.
I love the smell of burnt Furbolg fur in the morning. It smells like....
Borriguard began to doubt whether he would ever get the stench of fried Furbolg out of his clothing. For weeks it had been the same thing over and over again. Travel to the snow bound Furbolg villages and heal his Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, while he shadowed and flamed Furbolg after Furbolg.
It all stemmed from the leader of these particular Furbolgs soiling himself all over the Master's robes a few weeks back as he expended his last breaths. It pissed the Master off royally, and one thing Borriguard had learned during his service with Master Pariwinkle was that forgiveness was not one of the Master's traits.
The weeks of destruction had finally quenched the Master's desire for revenge, and for the first time in a quite a while, the daily plan did not include deep frying Furbolgs.
Still, Borriguard couldn't complain. The stacks of beads he had collected off the chared Furbolgs had been highly valued by the rival Timbermaw Furbolg Clan. He had turned in bags and bags of them, and the Furbolg leaders had been so impressed, they had designated him a revered member of their tribe, and given him a totem stick and medicine bag.
Apparently he now was fully authorized to conduct rituals and provide medicinal care to Furbolgs. If only their nurses weren't so darn ugly, he would consider setting out a shingle.
Borriguard lay on his bed and burped. Around him were scattered the remains of a fruit cake, an empty bottle of rum, and several well used issues of Babes of Booty Bay. The Jello mold had obviously been used as a bed pan, and needed emptying. He had a satisfied and very drunken look on his face.
"I sure hope that basket was ment for me and not my Master." he thought to himself. Not that there was anything he could do about it now anyway. He felt something poking him in the side. He reached into the oversized pockets in his robe, and pulled out a crumpled letter. He opened it and read....
Dear Ms Langley
I would love to enjoy a tea with you.
It is always a good idea to know other Gnomes, as one day we will be ruling Azeroth.
Please specify a time and place, and I will do my best to attend.
Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III
Borriguard stared at the letter for a moment longer then jumped out of bed. "oh no" he thought "the Master is going to string me up by my privates if he finds out I didn't post this letter. He ran out of the room and headed for the nearest post box. He sincerly hoped Ms Langley didn't mention the tardiness of the response to Master Pariwinkle. His ankles were just starting to heal from his last screw up.
What ends well
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, had gone off to the tea with Ms Langley. His agent had accompanied him to ensure there was no foul play involved. I, as so often happens lately, had been left at home to do the laundry and wash the dishes. The whole time, as I scrubbed the dishes in the wash bucket I had just recently peed in, I fretted over what would happen at the tea.
Would Ms Langley inform the Master she had not gotten a response to her invitation for several days. Would she ask him if he like the basket of goodies she had sent for him which I had eaten. Would she kill him in some horribly foul way leaving me free of my indentured servitude. The last thought made me stop and smile to myself as I contemplated all the things I would do with my freedom.
Still, the Master's agent had advised him it was safe to go, and he seemed a rather competent sort, so it was much more likely he would come home upset about the letter and basket than come home dead. This ment I had to think of a good excuse. "The dog ate the letter and the basket" I thought. No, that wouldn't work, we didnt have a dog. "The Horde raided the post office, destroying both the outgoing letter and the incoming basket." No, that sort of thing got reported in the news, and the Master would know it was a lie. 'In a fit of rage your imp burned the letter and ate the basket to spite you."
Yes, yes that would work. The imp was a most obnoxious beast, and was always saying rude things to the Master. It was obvious to anyone who had spent more than a few minutes in the imp's presence that he detested the Master. Not at all like the Voidwalker, who was so protective, or Seltai, his succubuss, who actually seemed to enjoy being summoned by the Master. Yes the imp excuse would work. And with any luck, the Master would blast the darn thing back to the hells it came from.
Excuse at the ready, I waited at the door for the Master to return. I was just about to blurt out my excuse when he walked in, then I realized he wasn't mad. In fact, he seemed quite pleased. Apparently Ms Langley had not mentioned the tardy reply to her invitation or the basket. Deciding discretion was the better part of valor, I kept my mouth shut, and fetched the master his pipe and slippers. He patted me on the head like the good dog he sees me as, and I left before he changed his mind.
Well even a blind dog gets a bone now and then, and all that ends well is well. I shall keep the excuse for another time, as I am sure I will most likely need one.
Pass the popcorn
The atmosphere in the residence of his Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, had been thick enough to cut with a knife. Someone had apparently let out some information about the Master's business activities, and the Master was red with rage. There had been quite a bit of shouting, and several relatively priceless items had been thrown against walls to shatter in pieces. Borriguard had of course cleaned up the messes immediately, pocketing the various gems that had addorned the items for himself.
The Master's normally very calm and collected agent had even seemed shaken. Borriguard had to admit it was nice to see Mr Perfect sweating a possible mistake for once. Litto had assured the Master that he had followed all established procedures, and was quite sure nothing he had done could have caused the problem. Still, the Master was not in a mood to hear excuses, and had emphasized that fact by breaking more items.
During this whole episode, Borriguard had stayed out of the way and watched the goings on with great interest (except of course for the times he was profiting by cleaning up the Master's destroyed atrifacts). Seltai, the Master's Succubi, had also enjoyed the show. She seemed to gain great pleasure from watching the discomfort of others. Borriguard and she had come to a understanding over his infatuation with her. The understanding mostly involved him begging her to do those things she did so well, and her saying no. But every so often, she would suprise him by agreeing. usually after she had been arroused by displays of the Master taking out his anger and frustration on others.
This particular episode had all the signs of an event that would get Seltai's blood boiling. As Borriguard shared a bag of heated corn kernals with Seltai, he day dreamed about all the wonderful things she would be doing to him soon. He hoped his healing skills were strong enough to keep him alive.... if not, he was sure it would take a week to wipe that smile off his face.
Home again, Home again, Jiggedy jig
There is a saying that goes "You cant go home again." I guess that means that things are never the same as they once were. That saying is especially true if you are a Gnome, and managed to irradiate your family and friends.
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, has been thinking about home a lot lately. Specifically he has been talking about going back into Gnomerigan. I had never been in the place myself, and had only heard rumors of what it was like, so needless to say I was interested in seeing it first hand. Till I got there.
Only a Gnome would think releasing radioactive cloulds into your home was a possible solution to a pest problem. Got roaches? Irradiate them I say. Doesnt get rid of the roaches, but leaves your family and friends a wonderful shade of holiday green, and gives you an excuse to massacre them. Like roaches, Troggs apparently are not affected by radiation. In fact, they may even thrive on it. At any rate, Gnomerigan was full of irradiated Troggs and Leaper Gnomes. Just the kind of place you want to return to for the holidays.
Add to that the Gnomish penchant for making mechanical devices that may or may not follow their creators intended functions, and you have a winter wonder land of fun and frolic. There are few other places in all of Azeroth where you can be mobbed by Leaper Gnomes and their meniacal mechanical devices while listening to the cheerful sounds of an alarm bot screaming "Intruder Alert." Top it all off with a corridor full of Dark Dwarf sappers laying mines, and cute walking explosives that greet you with a bang, and I can see why no one wants to go home.
At any rate, the Master was dissappointed in his visit. He thought perhaps he could reclaim major portions of the city and rent them out to Gnomes as referbished condos, but the craziness was too much even for a Gnome. Not to worry though, I am fairly sure, given their love of explosives, that even as we speak a group of Gnomes is figuring out a way to blow the whole place up and turn the hole into a recreational lake. Which could explain why my Master is buying up land outside the city and calling it "Lake Front Property."
Van Clief Notes
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is always looking for new and interesting ways to make more money. He is willing to go to any location, no matter how distant or dangerous, to discover the potential value of a place or thing. Unfortunately, he usually drags me along with him.
His latest excursion was to a place in Westfall, to meet the CEO of a company called the Van Clief Cruise Line. Seems this Van Clief fellow was starting up a line of cruise ships, and was looking for some investment capital to back his efforts. His people got a hold of my Masters people, and a tour of his ship yard was arranged. As seems always to be the case, the memo informing his staff that we were coming must not have gotten out, as to a man and woman, they all seemed determined to keep us from keeping our appointment. eventually, they all saw the light, or in the case of my Master, the darkness, and we got through to the big man himself, only a few minutes behind schedule.
the Master listened to Van Clief's sales pitch, and smiled politely, but gave only vague responses to his requests for capital. Knowing my Master fairly well after all this time, I could tell he was not interested in investing in this enterprise, despite the fact that the maiden ship of the cruise line was near completion, and looked quite impressive. As we let ourselves out the back door, I couldn't help but ask my Master why he chose not to invest, as it all looked good to me. My Master stopped and looked at me like I was some sort of idiot.
"Borriguard" he said to me in the same tone he uses when he is speaking to little orphans or elves, "did you get a good look around the cave they were building the ship in?" "Yes" I replied, as I tried to remember what it looked like in my mind. "Did you see any exits big enough to sail a ship of that size out off?" he asked. I thought hard then replied "No Master, I didnt." "So" he said slowly, so I could follow the logic without getting lost, "You expected me to invest in a Cruise Line that builds ships under ground without any way to get them out to the sea?" I paused for a moment then shook my head no. He continued out the back way.
I see now why my Master is filthy rich, and I am just filthy. I will have to start paying attention to little details, like an opening large enough to sail a battleship out off, or I will be poor the rest of my life.
How Grand is Grand
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, was livid, and that was never a good thing for me.
Apparently, the Council of Warlocks had assembled in response to the recent invasion of Azeroth. After much bickering, debating, pontificating, postering and bickering (I know, I said bickering twice...but warlocks like bickering) it was decided that the Warlocks of Azeroth would have to be stronger if they were to successfully repel this invasion without succumbing to its influences. It was decided that all the warlocks would have to increase their powers, and the new rank of Grand Master Warlock was created.
Now normally, a new rank would not bother my Master, no matter how difficult the requirements to achieve it, since with his volumes of money, he would just find someone greedy enough to bestow the rank on him without him having to break a sweat. That was what he did for the rank of Master Warlock (though it did take a while before he decided he was willing to part with that much money). As he walked out of the Council of Warlocks meeting, he was already figuring out how much the new rank would most likely cost him, and I could tell he was more than prepared to pay the piper.
Then reality stepped in. See, unlike the rank of Master Warlock, which a large number of Warlocks already held, there were only a couple of Warlocks powerful enough to be considered Grand Master Warlocks. And the simple fact was, none of them were bribable. I know, its hard to believe that there are people out there who cant be bought, but the simple fact of the matter was that the Warlocks who held that much power had little need for my Master's money. He was flabergasted.
He spent several hours pacing back and forth in his study, mumbling about his relatives becoming Grand Masters soon, and then lording it over him again. He only interupted his pacing to occassionally kick me in the shin, since in his fevered mind he had assigned much of the blame for this to me, as he so often does. Then he stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me with a determination that absolutely frightened me. It was all I could do not to wet myself.
"Well" he said, staring directly into my eyes. "If I cant buy the rank, I guess we will have to go out and earn it." At those words I did wet myself, as it had been several months since we had braved the dangers of the outside world to any true extent. He looked at me with with utter disgust, ordered me to clean up myself and the floor, and pack his working robes.
I sighed to myself, and complied with his orders. I had grown comfortable in the life style we had settled into after he had purchased his Master Warlock title. Now once again I would have to venture into the world with my master and get dirt under my nails. 39 years, 3 months, 6 days, 9 hours and 32 minutes of indentured servitude was looking longer and longer with each passing moment.
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, and I have been running around Azeroth cleaning up a few loose ends before we begin his mission of becoming a Grand Master Warlock. It amazed me how many little things had turned into big things while we had been enjoying the good life in Iron Forge.
First there were the contracts for the Argent Dawn. Talk about an insatiable appetite for military grade equipment and consumables. We delivered everything from Thorium Grenades and Goblin Sapper Charges to tons of eels and potions. I worked my fingers to the bone making robes and pants for uniforms, and still they demanded more. The Argent Dawn are either planning an offensive campaign, or they are gearing up for one hell of a party.
Then we went out to Sillithus and Cleaned up a few of our contracts with the folks in the Cenarion Hold. We gathered a bunch of insect parts (including some brains... what a mess those were to transport), stacks of cultist transcripts and a closet full of cultist robes, hoods and mantles (I think the Cenarions are planning some sort of a costume party). To top it off we killed the biggest scorpid I have ever seen, and collected a missing overnight bag for a goblin (seems he had been missing his blankie and fuzzy slippers and was not able to get a good nights rest).
When it was all said and done, we had cleaned up a good part of the Master's to do list, and had gained a fairly decent reputation with both the Argent Dawn and the Cenarion Hold. They liked us good enough that both groups sold me some nice enchanting and tailoring patterns on a discount.
There are only a few more loose ends left to clean up, and then the Master says we will be going through something called a portal. I asked him what that was, and he smiled at me and said "Dont worry Borriguard, I am sure you will enjoy it." Maybe if I am lucky it will be some sort of Elvish Strip bar.
Beyond the Looking Glass
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is on a quest to become a Grand Master Warlock. Its not that he really wants to be one, as he would rather be out making tons of money, its just that if he doesnt, he will be ridiculed by all his relatives who will be Grand Masters soon. Anyone who knows my Master knows he doesnt take ridicule very well.
He decided that the best way to master the art of controlling demons was to go where the demons are. That thought of course scared the life out of me, as I had visions of us going to the Nether World. My first thoughts were "great, I am going to trade 40 years of indentured servitude to this jerk of a Gnome for a life time of servitude to some demon." I admit, it was a while before I decided 40 years serving the pipsqueek wasnt the worse choice.
I felt a little better when Master Pariwinkle told me the place we were going was called Outland. "That doesnt sound so bad" I thought. Then I stepped through the massive green portal with him. Boy was I wrong. The place makes the Blasted lands look pretty by comparison. It is crawling with huge demons, crazed orcs, flaming boars (no, not my master...real flaming pigs) and other horrific looking and acting beasts. And that is only a few feet outside of the "Civilized" area. I shudder to think what it will be like when we delve deeper in, and unfortunately we will.
The most frightening experience so far was the close call we had with a giant walking trash can. These monstrousities on two legs (the veterans of Outland informed me they are called Fel Reavers) wander about Hellfire plains and other areas looking for things to stomp into oblivion. My Master and I almost became two of those things. Thankfully, the ground shook violently as one of them approached us, and we were just barely able to escape its attentions.
I sincerly hope my Master achieves the rank of Grand Master Warlock soon, as I would like to leave this hell hole and get back to the lap of luxery in Iron Forge. Till then, I will have to stay alert so I dont end up as toe jam.
Demon Hunting... its not just for the Pros any more
In our several transits between Honor Hold and Netherguard Keep (for various reasons, including getting booze for the folks on the other side of the portal) we somehow ended up interacting with the spirit of a Horde hero. My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, being interested in any information on controlling or being controlled by demons, was very keen on doing as the spirit asked.
The first part of the hero's request involved releasing his former troops from the enslavement they were under. It proved to be a fairly easy task, though I got the hard job of breaking the stones that were binding them at the appropriate moment. I broke several nails in the process, and was not pleased in the least. The next part involved freeing the Hero's lieutenant, who had apparently been turned into one of the largest Fel Hounds I had ever seen. Even that was fairly easy to accomplish. Then things got messy.
It started with a trip to Azura, to find a Demon Hunter. The Demon hunter made us do a few tasks to discover the guilty demon's true name, which we would require if we were to destroy him. That involved kissing up to a giant and removing the heads of a hydra. Neither of those tasks was too bad. Then he told us we were going to have to collect Hill Giant dung. "Excuse me?" I asked, just in case I had heard him wrong. I hadn't.
Needless to say, when it came time to actually handle the Giant droppings, my master was not the one doing the handling. Thankfully, I always keep a pair of work gloves for just such things. The most disturbing part was when I discovered a dropping in the shape of a humanoid. Even more disturbing than that was the note it held, which was apparently written as the poor soul died inside the giant. Given that fate, even my servitude to the pipsqueek started looking good.
Now that we have the giant droppings we apparently have to take them to a smith in Stranglethorn vale, for him to turn them into a weapon. I can see it now... we will be facing off against the demon, I will shout "back you foul beast, or I will slay you with this dagger made of Giant poop."
Spore one for the Gipper
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, and I were running around in the Marshlands of Outland. He was in pursuit of the elusive title of Grand Master Warlock. I was in pursuit of a warm bed that wasnt crawling with Outland vermin. Neither of us was being very successful.
We ended up in an extremely marshy piece of landscape (as one would expect in a marsh) which turned out to be the birthing place of Sporlings. Sporlings are rather grotesque bipedal creatures that reak of yesterdays diapies. They are hideous looking, hideous smelling and butcher the common language in a most hideous way. Thier young were being eaten in the spawn grounds by a large mass of Marsh Lords.
Marsh Lords look like walking dung heaps, and smell about as bad (not unusual given their steady diet of sporlings). They too are bipedal, though they have a distinctly poor posture. Thier major past time appears to be walking around in circles in spawning grounds while stuffing as many sporlings into thier mouths as possible. Needless to say they will not be authoring any books on dinning etiquette.
It was hard for us to decide if we disliked the Marsh Lords or the Sporlings more. Then the Sporlings offered us money to kill off the Marsh Lords, and the decision was easy. Now the Sporlings like us so much they invited us over to their village for dinner. I can hardly wait to sit in a dung heap, surounded by ugliness while eating a meal I am sure will taste like warmed over shat. Seconds Please!
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is pursuing the elusive title of Grand Master Warlock. It is elusive because no one will sell him the title, so he actually has to go out and earn it. Needless to say he isnt happy. He is willing to do just about anything to reach his goal, and today was no exception.
We had been wading through a bunch of Ogres who reside west of Shattrath city. They were big and ugly as most ogres are, but they made a satisfying crunch when they hit the ground in death. All in all it was going fairly well. In the midst of killing all the Ogres, we encountered an Orc. Apparently, this particular Orc held some sort of sway over these particular Ogres. They actually listened to him, without trying to eat him. Before I knew what was going on, he had managed to convince my Master that we should help in some sort of hair brained plan he had.
First he wanted us to go to the camp of a bunch of Orc Demon worshippers. In the camp, we were to kill lots of Orcs, stick the banners of a rival clan of Ogres into them, and make off with as many of their crates of weapons as we could carry. The Orc's thought was that this would convince the Orcs they had been attacked by the rival clan of Ogres. Now killing things and sticking banners into their bodies is no big deal to me, but lugging both my share and the Master's share of weapon crates out of their camp almost hurniated me.
Still, the plan seemed to work, and we could hear the Demon worshiping Orcs getting all rilled up about the Ogre attack as we sneaked out of their camp. Phase two of the Orcs plan involved us pulling a similar deception on the rival Ogre Clan. We killed a lot of Ogres, and stuck banners of the Demon worshiping Orcs into their bodies. We then worked with a pair of Pet Ogres the Orc sent us, and distributed several dead Orc bodies around the Ogre camp to seal the deal.
I can't say it was the subtlest of plans, but amazingly it worked. Now the Demon worshiping Orcs and Rival Ogre Clan are fighting eachother, and the Orc with his Ogre buddies have stopped attacking the Draenei. The Orc is happy. His Ogre friends are happy. The Draenei are happy. Even my Master is happy. I would be happy too if hadn't thrown my back out lugging all those weapon crates around. I need a vacation really really bad. I hope my Master finishes this darn quest for Grand Master soon.
Theres no place like home...
As they passed through the portal to Iron Forge from Shattrath City, Borriguard breathed a sigh of relief.
It was finally over. The visits from one demon infested hell to the next were over. The constant beatings from enraged demons who took it personnally when he healed his Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, while his master was either subduing them or banishing them to the nether were over. The need to use gallons of skin balm to heal and sooth his burned and blistered skin from exposure to the very fires of hell were over. The requirement to lug a field kitchen around in his pack and to cook culinary delights in the field without even the most basic of cooking devices or amenities was over.
His Master had achieved the title of Grand Master Warlock, and was going home.
Borriguard could already feel the silken pillow beneath his head. He could smell the flowery scent that wafted throughout the Rocketfellers residence. He could taste the wonderful spices that awaited his culinary skills in the fully stocked and equipped kitchen. Even the physical and verbal abuse the Master would surely heap on him for failing in some domestic function seemed relatively minor now that it was going to happen at home instead of in the field.
Once again life would be good. Or at least as good as life could be when one still had 39 years, two months and 18 days of indentured servitude to a megalomanic Gnome. Maybe Seltai, the Master's succubus, would even be happy enough to see him to do that thing she does so well with her whip. One could only hope.
Borriguard sat in a large tub full to the brim with bubbles. He could feel months worth of grime and grit softening and falling off his body. He had eaten well. So well, it was all he could do to keep it in. His full stomach and the warm water had conspired to make him sleepy, and he had twiced slipped beneath the bubbles and water as he dozed off. This was the life he was meant to live, and with any luck, his Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, would not feel compeled to leave Iron Forge again for some time.
He thought back on the last two months. They had crossed the portal into the Outlands. They had killed and studied an inumerable number of Demons. They had almost been killed many times by those same demons. He had learned much in the process, and could say, without a doubt that he was a better priest for the experience. Still, he would trade all that experience for the opportunity to stay in this wonderful bubble bath for the rest of his life. There was only one thing more he could wish for.
The door to the bathroom opened, and in strode Seltai on her manicured cloven hooves. She carried her whip, and was dressed in an outfit that was even more revealing than usual. She had a cruel smile on her face as she looked directly into Borriguard's eyes. She snapped the whip and said "Time to be welcomed home properly Borriguard." Borriguard smiled to himself as he prepared to have his other wish granted.
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is moving into the jewelry making and distributing business. More specifically, he is trying to create a vertical monopoly, all the way from the mining process to the distribution and sale of the final products. He is working closely with a Human Merchant from Menethil, though he makes it a point to keep that contact secret. As an additional security precaution, he has decided to create a Front Company so it will not be obvious he is involved.
See my Master's family is full of overachieving entrepenours who are all vying against eachother for the greatest profit margin. It is not unusual for them to spy on eachother, and often steal any good ideas that are not kept secret. My Master, being one of the most paranoid members of this clan, goes to great measures to ensure the profitability of his endevors. This is where I come in.
To keep his Jewelry Monopoly from members of his family, Master Pariwinkle decided to create a new Company, called Facets. The purpose of the company is to be the face of the Masters business efforts so only his associates and servants will know he is involved. As such, he is the hidden power behind the company, providing all the inovative ideas, decision making and funding. At most, he is to be seen as a minor inverstor, if anything at all.
Therefore, the company needed a front man to act as the head honcho to the outside world. What Master Pariwinkle wanted was a man who had no pride of ownership. A man who was completely under his thumb. A man he could count on to not make a single decision without running it past him at least three times. Preferable a dim witted man who could think for himself. Naturally, he looked to me.
I dont mind though, because now I get to dress nice and boss people around. While the Master and I know that I have no real power or authority, they dont. Who knows, if I play my cards right I might even get to skim a bit of money off the top.
Shaken, not stirred
Borriguard was on his first mission as a front man. He stood in front of his mirror trying to decide on a tuxedo or his flashy white priest garb. He knew if he was going to be impotent... he should look impotent ((I know, it was on purpose)). Perhaps his nice bright purple pointy hat as well.
He went over the instructions in his mind to make sure he had them all down.
Go to Desolace, after making several other stops in Auberdene, Aastranar and Stonetalon so it wasn't obvious that Nijel's Point was significant. Walk up to the bar in the Inn. Order a Purple Knee High, shaken not stirred. Pay for the drink with the two bags of gems. Lounge around casually for about thirty minutes then fly to Feralas and Tanaris. Oh... and the most important instruction his Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, had given him... "Don't screw this up Borriguard, or you will be spending eternity looking out of a piss filled bottle."
He looked into the two bags of gems. One was full of Azerothian Diamonds, the other was full of Huge Emeralds. Borriguard looked around to make sure no one was hiding under his bed watching him (one never knew with that darn imp) then pocketed one gem from each bag. No one would ever notice, he was sure. Borriguard then decided on the flashy white priests garb with the purple pointy hat, got changed quickly, and headed for the door. He could imagine dramatic spyish music playing in the background. Dadada... dadada... dadada... da da....
Some things are easy, some things are not. Being the indentured man servant to my Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is definately not easy. He is demanding, pushy, unappreciative, loud, moody, unappreciative, prone to tantrums, finicky and unappreciative. Every day feels like 40 years with him, and since I am indentured for 40 years, I have a lot of long days in my future.
Making any money around the little tightwad has been difficult too. My Master spends money like it is going out of style, but none of that money ever finds its way to me. I consider myself lucky to find the occasional copper in the Master's pants when I am mending them. Every once in a while I can even scoop up the couple of silvers my Master leaves as a tip in a restaraunt or pub before the waitress realizes it. But now, all that has changed.
The Master has set me up as the front man to a sham company he created called Facets. The premiss is that I am the Chief Operating Officer, and as such, the Master is providing me with a small amount of pocket change so I can maintain the image of a high and mighty business owner. The real money though is from another source. My function, as CEO is to travel to out of the way places and drop off bags of gems for the Master's agents. Those bags of gems are where the real money is.
With the new interest in jewelry making running throughout the Horde and Alliance cities, Gems of all kinds are bringing in high profits. Gems which had sold for pennies are now going for hand fulls of gold. The gems I am transporting are in bags, and it is easy as easy can be to take one or two out of each bag. I can then go to the auction house in what ever city I am in, and put them up for sale. With the demand as high as it is, I can count on my auctions selling before I even leave the city. Today was the perfect example, I put the diamond and emerald I lifted from the last shipment up for sale, and within an hour they had been sold. The Human auctioneer took his cut from the sale, and handed me the remaining large stack of gold.
Things were definately looking up now. Who knows, at this rate I might even be able to buy myself out of indentured servitude in a few years.... even sooner if I take a few more gems from each bag. Yeah, thats the ticket... no one will ever know.
The Family Gems
My Master, Pariwinkle Cogsworth Rocketfellers III, is not a very forgiving Gnome. I have, over the time I have worked for him, seen him dish out, personally or through proxies, extreme retribution for real or imagined wrongs to him. As a Warlock, he has a natural disposition to being a hard ass, as Demons tend to have little respect for anyone they consider soft. Given this intimate knowledge of his tendency toward grossly over reacting, in a violent manner, to slights small or large, one would imagine I would be reluctant to cross him in any way.
Unfortunately, as my indentured servitude to him so aptly proves, I am not long on common sense. When he put me in charge of his newly created front company, Facets, it seemed to me I saw an opportunity. The company was set up to move large amounts of money and gems without my Master's name being directly tied to either. He chose me to be the titular front man, since as a human, I was mostly forgettable to most of his Gnomish family (which in his mind composes the vast majority of beings seeking to reduce his profitabilty). My role was simple, take the large shipments of money and gems to designated locations and pass it on to agents who were in place to move it on.
The temptation of all that money and gems proved too great for me. I figured no one would notice if a gem or two went missing every so often. There were so many of them in those bags, it seemed an easy way to make enough to even possibly buy my freedom from indentured servitude. I was wrong, horribly wrong. Obviously, my Master found out.
Normally, my Master would handle this sort of thing in a direct and messy way. A typical response would have been having me hung from a tall pole by my own entrails. Another favorite of his is covering the offender in honey and burying them up to their neck next to a giant red ant hill. Any of these options, and several messier more painful ones were what I expected. What I didnt expect was a second chance. See my Master doent really believe in second chances. He figures if you crossed him once you deserve to die painfully.
Instead, Master Pariwinkle sent a female Orc to discuss the error of my ways with me. This Orc pointed out that I wasn't as smart as I thougt I was. That I had been discovered. That my Master was not pleased, and that if I ever did anything this stupid again, she would remove my Family Gems as payment for my folly. You can bet I took her warning seriously, as she didn't seem the sort to be making a joke. Indentured Servitude is bad... Indentured Servitude minus my family Gems is down right horrifying.
So now I am left wondering why Master Pariwinkle let me live, instead of enacting his usual vicious and messy lesson on disloyalty. All I can figure, is that after all this time, he has actually gotten to like and rely on me. Perhaps, he just couldnt imagine spending his days without me serving him hand and foot. Maybe, in his own way, he sees me as too special and valuable to kill in a disgustingly horrific manner. It almost makes me warm inside to know he values me so much. I think I might even stop spitting in the meals I fix for him.