Trottel fell at the hands of an Umbral Vampire deep in the forgotten city of The Occulus of Time. He lives on in spirit in the memories of Party by Storm - Ship:Cygnus
- Name: Trottel Rubyfist
- Race: Goblin
- Class: Fighter
- Appearance: Goblin
- Flotilla: Fourth Flotilla
The Life and Legend of Trottel Rubyfist
This a story about a goblin with a stupid amount of luck, both good and bad. It all starts during a cleansing of goblin warren that came to close to a royal palace. In the very last nook at the very end of the deep cave that was being used for the main part of the warren, the Imperial Army stumbled upon a very wiggly, quite upset, and incredibly loud wrapped bundle. The lead soldier, a veteran dwarf named Ein, slowly unwrapped the bundle with delicacy using the tip of a dagger and what he found was a slightly plump face of a gobbo or a newborn baby goblin. Upon seeing this one of the younger soldiers let his nerves take over and instantly attempted to skewer the young gobbo. In an instant Ein’s armored is in front of the child taking the brunt of the attack, the tip of the spear impaling Ein’s arm and stopping only mere inches from the baby’s face. This caused renewed screams and unhappiness from the gobbo as Ein turns away facing the now shaken soldier, forcibly wrenching the spear from the soldier’s hand using just his body weight and leverage.
“What is the third rule of my unit Private?” Ein asks in a low growl.
“No.. no killing women or…” The young Private stammered, and then took a big gulp of air “Children… sir.”
"That’s right. We don’t kill women…” Ein replied while taking the shaft of the spear and breaking it over his knee for emphasis “or children.”
Turning away from the shaken young man to look at the child again Ein barked “Healer!” A lithe half-elf female half pushed and skirted through the ranks to come up to stand beside Ein. Ein holds up his arm with the spear point and broken shaft still protruding from it.
“Fix it please.” Ein asks without a hint of pain in his voice.
“Oh dear… what did you do this time sir?” The healer answers as she begins to tend to the wound. She removes the shattered spear by pulling it the rest of the way through, eliciting almost no reaction or noise from Ein but several squeamish looks from the soldiers. After that, she chanted a few words to her god and small golden globe encircles to the wound and begins to mend the flesh. As the flesh knits itself back together she shoves some chunks of bandage into the armor to make sure it doesn’t get infected. “Done sir” she chirps.
“Good, now give the gobbo a once-over to ensure he is healthy.” Ein orders while admiring the handiwork of the healer.
“Sir?” She questions with a frown “But it’s a goblin…”
“What it is healer, is an order and my reward. I will be taking nothing else from the warren. Lieutenant make sure the loot is divided equally. However only a half share to Private Waide.” Ein responds without ever taking his eyes off the newborn.
“Yes sir.” Both the Lieutenant and healer answered, though both with opposite levels of excitement.
A stout dwarven woman stood next to a cauldron filled with tepid water, fragrant perfume, and dirty clothes, stirring it gently and taking out a piece once or twice to scrub it gently. This could be worse Elga thought, she had already lost almost all of her kin and children to a flash plague that had also afflicted her insides with a slow rot. This ended her career at her husband’s side as a battle healer, however, due to her and her husband’s long-standing service at least ensured her a job in the Lord of the keep’s household. Even if that job was as the house matron, at least it still had dignity and she was in charge of subordinates…. but it wasn’t battle and so she was bored and lonely. When her husband was not around, it was hard for her to talk battle tactics or which weapon would cut deeper because nobody but warriors talked of these things. Regardless of her tenure as the house matron, the Lord’s castle was never dirty and his family never wanting, so she took slight satisfaction in that.
The door to the back kitchen burst open, startling Elga from her aromatic stew both physical and mental and nearly causing her to tip it over, as Ein comes bounding in giddy as a child.
“My love you will not belie…” Ein started without realizing the situation.
“Don’t you ‘My love’ me.” Elga irately responds as she turns to put the stirring rod in Ein’s face “I almost dumped the Lady’s knickers all over the kitchen floor.”
“But my dear…” Ein begins again placing a small wrapped bundle gently on a pile of sheets and beckoning her over as he slowly unwraps its. Inside is a small, almost cute, face of a sleeping baby goblin.
“Where did you find this child?” She asks not blinking an eye at its race. Elga turns and walks over to a cabinet that holds glass bottles. “Does the Lord know?” Elga continues filling the bottle half and half with milk and water before finding a rubber nipple to put on top.
“It was the only thing left alive at the bottom of the warren. And of course the Lord knows, I wouldn’t be foolish enough to bring a goblin, child or not, into the keep without letting him know.” Ein responded slightly bristling at the notion.
“But this is what I choose as a reward for clearing the warren, and Lord has deemed it our responsibility from now on.” He continued with a tinge of pride and excitement.
“… our responsibility…” Elga whispered taking the gobbo into her arms and putting the bottle to his mouth. The gobbo half-awake now yawns widely showing already formed pointy teeth and eagerly accepted the bottle. As the gobbo suckled on the bottle, one of the other attendants comes into the kitchen carrying dishes from a just finished meal.
“Is that a baby?” The attendant coos, bringing her face in without realizing the situation, only to see a smiling gobbo.
“A goblin!?” the attendant exclaims, jumping back and dropping the dishes with a clatter.
“His name is Trottel, and he is our responsibility.” Elga answered so coldly that a dragon would have been taken aback and looked like it physically froze the attendant. Elga swaddled him back, kissed Ein on the cheek, and then went out with Trottel to get the necessary goods for caring for a baby.
Trottel’s life in a non-goblin environment was fraught with peril. It took many years and many sacrifices from his adopted parents before he wasn’t looked upon as a threat to the keep. At first they others thought that Trottel would just make copies of himself and overrun the keep, and then it was goblins could sense other goblins and they would come for him. When none of these things actually happened, the townsfolk fell back on old-fashioned grudges, of which there were numerous. For the first few years, Trottel was not welcome in many homes, he would attempt to play with the other children but their parents would usually force them apart. That’s not saying he did not make friends as he was not the only outcast in town. A half-orc family had rescued the son of the Lord from bandits, and as a reward the Lord allowed the family to move into the keep’s walls and tend to the butcher’s shop that had recently closed down. They had a daughter roughly Trottel’s age (it’s so hard to age goblins) named Bronya. Due to her and her family’s heritage they became fast friends, even Trottel’s parents put aside a few grudges to accept them.
One afternoon while Ein was working the forge, has since retired and moved to being the blacksmith for the keep, completing an order of horseshoes for the Lord’s cavalry unit there came a slight clatter on the roof of the forge. Ein sighed, he already knew what was happening, for some reason that adopted son of his whenever he was having a problem he would climb and sit on the roof of the forge and watch as Bronya’s father Prochnast go about his butcher work. It must be either savagery of his species or the fact he is always hungry, Ein thought as he hoisted himself once again on top of his forge. There he found Trottel in torn clothes, battered and bruised, but at least not upset.
“What happened to you boy, you look like you tried to ride the hogs again” Ein inquired, plunking down next to goblin to watch Prochnast gut a steer.
“The <dwarven insult> from the orphanage went attacked Bronya” Trottel replied without breaking his gaze. “They were trying to blame her for them losing their families in last month’s attack.”
This was worrying to Ein, orc and goblinoid attacks had been on the rise in the past few months but had not come close enough to the keep to bother the native townsfolk. The refugees though were a different story, they had been arriving at the keep and the surrounding areas in troves most with nothing but the clothes on their back and the traumas they had endured.
“So what did you do?” Ein asked, already knowing the answer, but needing to hear it from Trottel’s lips. There would be hell to pay with temple if Trottel was fighting with their charges again.
“I took the beating instead.” Trottel answered, still watching the butcher do his gory work “I didn’t even fight back, you and Ma have enough to deal with”
“So you played the fool…” Ein quietly said, a mixture of relief, pride, and sadness rolling over him. Trottel was raised by dwarves, so of course, he knew how to fight and scrap. However, he was still a goblin and hence cheating and dirty play came naturally. In many fights, he would come out with barely a bruise while his opponent usually looked like they had been fighting a horde of goblins. Hence in order to keep him out of trouble, Elga made him promise not to fight back unless he knew he would not get in trouble, but also not to hesitate if his life was endangered.
At this point, Bronya had come running into the butcher shop and instantly latched onto her father’s waist wailing. After a short inaudible conversation with Bronya, Prochnast looked up at the odd couple sitting on the forge roof and gave them a nod.
“Well it's better to play the fool, then be one I suppose…” Ein said as he patted Trottel on the head, collected himself and went back to work.
The following years saw Trottel develop quite quickly, as goblins are apt to do. While he didn’t have the strength or constitution of his adopted parents, he was clever and quick. As such he took to entertainment such as juggling, tumbling, and dancing like a fish to water. He quickly established himself as the town Fool, at first to much chagrin from his stoic parents. However, after seeing him perform for the Lord of the keep at a dinner party, they realized this was the best course for him to integrate into the town. The next day Elga stitched him a very vivid jester’s outfit out of stiff leather studded with cheap but shiny white gems in the family colors of grey, bronze, and white. The stiff leather was on purpose, at first Tottel complained, but after taking a few tomatoes when a joke went sideways he understood.
And for a while everything was good.
It was the keep’s Founding Day, and the Lady of the keep had asked Trottel to lead the parade around the keep. This was a huge honor for both him and his family, as his parents had done it once themselves when they were still warriors. To have that honor bestowed upon their child, albeit for different reasons, made them swell with pride. And here he was leading a grand parade down the keep’s concourse, mugging for the adults and making the children laugh, all while staying far enough ahead to not diminish the splendor of the cavalry behind him. As they got the end of the concourse, an unseen creature let out a massive roar. And before the roar even died it was chaos, people running to their homes and soldiers to their battle stations. Trottel heard a large cracking of wood as the door shattered and a wave of goblinoids and orcs pushed into the keep. As he wheeled around to find safety a panicked cavalry horse sans rider slammed into him knocking him unconscious.
The scene he awoke to was something out of a nightmare. It was past dusk and the town was orange with fire, the screams and cries of the pillaged punctuated the night over the grunts and guttural language of the pillagers. Trottel got up, dusted himself off, and composed himself. Besides the knot on his head he was unscathed, now he needed to get home. He reached down grabbed his cap and slunk into the shadows of a nearby ally. The trek home was awkward and perilous, not only had it been orcs and goblinoids, but also some ogres and even a giant. They had destroyed the keep, turning Trottel’s normal routes through the back alleys into a wretched maze of destruction. He was even seen once, but the bugbear paid no mind, apparently believing he was just another looting goblin. Eventually, he made it to the forge, but not before passing by the ravaged butcher’s shop. Out front Prochnast had been skewered on a pike through his heart, his wife Velka lay dead around the corner. Trottel did not know how nor did he want to, all he could see were her legs without going to investigate. Bronya was nowhere to be found. As he moved past the butcher's site he came upon a more horrific sight.
The forge was on fire. Elga was sobbing uncontrollably while two large orcs flanked her with weapons drawn. The door had been barred on the outside, Trottel knew what they had done. Right outside there was a crate of daggers that Ein had been preparing for friends of the Lord that were to attend a marriage that would never happen now. Trottel grabbed four of them and moved around quietly to get a better vantage point.
As Elga looked at her life going up in flames again, she counted one blessing that Ein had died fighting like a true Dwarven warrior, he would be accepted into the ranks of the honored ancestors. The orcs finally bored with watching the fire, decided it was time end her life as well. One of the orcs put a foot on her back making her head go low, offering her neck to the ax. She heard it whoosh up, she steeled herself and said her prayers expecting the ax to come down in a moment. And then that moment passed and then another, she turned her head to look at the orc and he was just standing there dumbfounded. There was a dagger protruding for his arm, as he turned to look at this new addition to his arm, Elga saw there was another deep in the back of his neck. No sooner as the orc realized what had happened he was dead, crumpling to a heap on the ground. The other orc just as shocked was looking around to see what had happened, only to find a small goblin with a huge sharp-toothed smile on his face juggling two knives with relative ease.
The orc picked up his ax and turned to approach the goblin. Elga turned and latched herself to its leg. Enraged the orc brought the haft of the two-handed ax down on Elga’s back. The impact caused her cough a black bile all over the orc’s leg. It sizzled as it hit the orc flesh, and then absorbed into his body. Elga looked up at the orc with a wicked grin, she knew what she had done and what was about to happen. The same flash plague that had rotted her family and home before had now become her weapon. Quickly the orc’s leg was becoming as black as the bile. The orc dropped his weapon and ran looking for help.
“Don’t come closer dear, lest you get affected by the rot as well.” Elga wheezed as Trottel approached “You avenged your father like a good Dwarven child, but you can save me.”
“Ma…” Trottel keened “What do I do?”
“Live your life you fool.” She replied meekly with a coughing laugh “Remember it's better to play the fool, then to be one…” Elga laid her head down, closed her eyes, and smiled.
Trottel in between gasping sobs looked around, grabbed the crate of daggers, and disappeared into the night. Reinforcements came three days too late, the keep and all of its inhabitants were either dead or missing. However, the most disturbing thing was the hundreds of blackened corpses that littered the streets, not burned but afflicted.