"Are you tired of living in fear
that maybe that HOUSECAT
is going to slit your throat while you sleep?
Are you tired of earning one silver piece
a day doing unskilled labor while all the cool people
go out on ADVENTURES?
Do you want to go out and earn THOUSANDS OF GOLD PIECES
for HALF A DAY'S WORK?
Do you want to slay DRAGONS,
bed foreign maidens,
If you said YES
to any of these questions, you are eligible to be taken on contract in a local adventurer's guild TODAY
. For just 10 insignificant gold pieces each, Rygar & Morvald Adventuring Guild Agency will set you up with a client and a sponsor to begin adventuring THE VERY NEXT DAY. Parties in excess of three members get a 2 gold discount!"
"Oh hell yes
!" Ogzi breathed. He opened his hand, looking at, yup, one silver piece. And he still had pretzel dough under his nail! He slipped the coin into his pocket and gnawed the hardened flour out as he stared at the flyer. Ten gold pieces wasn't so
insignificant, really. But he could maybe sell his belongings down on the Eei Bay. And there was that gnome wizard whose ads insisted you didn't really need
kidneys... Ogzi shrugged. He'd figure it out! There was a harsh ripping noise as he yanked the flyer from its place on the signpost... leaving half of it ON the post. "Shoot. That always works in the books..." He gingerly removed that half, too, and scurried off to see about financing his dreams.
Some dream. Here he sat in a stuffy waiting room. A shaky-looking elf had just gotten called in, leaving Ogzi next in line. After him... Ogzi turned to evaluate the competition... A gnomish man, fez cocked low to his brow, wobbling his head to make the tassel sway. Most unusually, the gnome wore a pork chop tied around his neck. The hobling stared, unnoticed, and was just about to ask, when the interviewer's door swung open and a voice called, "Mr. Thorn?"
Shaken from his bafflement, Ogzi hopped to his feet and passed the elf as he existed, looking completely stricken. Oh boy, what am I doing...
Ogzi had time ot wonder before the door closed shut behind him. "Mr. Ogzi Thorn,"
the interviewer mused, her eyes on a form. Ogzi swallowed, watching the stunning half-elven woman as she perused. After a moment, she lifted a quill. "What is your profession, mr. Thorn?" "Oh! Uhm, I'm... I'm a pastry chef, ma'am..."
Ogzi started, wincing inwardly. Pastry chefs don't go on adventures! "Mmmm. Pasty chefs don't go on adventures, mr. Thorn." Damn
. She lifted her eyes up, then down to his height. "What brings you to my office, exactly. I didn't order any turnovers."
Ogzi fought the blush of embarrassment. "Well, ma'am, it was either this or I would have to gnaw my own leg off to get out of that job..."
The interviewer made a note. "Oh, would you... Well, that's something. It says here you enjoy... badminton?"
an incredulous look from those ice-chip elven eyes. "Badminton and dodgeball, ma'am. I mean, I didn't ENJOY the dodgeball, see, I had this coach, and he had a sack of wrenches, and every time we-" "How many basilisks have you slain?"
the half-elf interrupted, peering down her nose at the half-orc. "B-beg pardon?"
Ogzi stammered, nearly biting his tongue. "Basilisks. Lizards, of a sort, that turn their foes to stone with but a look. How. Many. have. You. Slain?"
Ogzi stared, and cleared his throat. "Well. I once told off my Aunt Mazel after she got drunk and started a row on yuletide..." "And is your aunt Mazel a basilisk?" "Well, she kind of looks like one, in the right light? And she has this, you know, stare..."
Ogzi shifted on his feet as the interviewer made another note on her paper. This was not going well. "Mister Thorn, have you ever held a sword?" "Lots of times!"
Ogzi's chest puffed a bit, confident in his answer. "Have you ever held one when you weren't checking it into the cloakroom for someone else?"
Ogzi's chest deflated and he could only mumble a reply. There was another pause as she wrote more. "And what, oh do tell, do you think you could bring to our organization?" "Oh! well! I was planning on taking a role as a paladin! I always wanted to be the big hero, you know, center stage, helping my party out, and..."
Ogzi started ticking off one by one on his fingers. "Have you ever considered being a berserker?"
The interviewer lifted a golden brow. "A bers... what? No, I've... Oh, how about a monk, you know, I could fly through the air with feet of fury and have wise sayings, like... hiyaaa!"
Ogzi made a few chops and kicks in the air. "Yes, but have you considered a life of a berserkergang?" "What's a bers.. oh. A monk does not berserk"
Ogzi huffed indignantly, seating his knuckles on his hips. "Well, we have an opening for a berserker."
Well, that's just great
Ogzi thought. He pursed his lips, and was just about to speak up again, when the blonde half-elf beat him to it. "Mr. Thorn, you seem to have no qualifications whatsoever. You baked cakes, got bored, and now you want to run off and fight dragons as a paladin. Not even one - one basilisk slain!"
She eyed him over, one brow lifting. "Strip." "See, I was hoping to start on the bottom, get some experience and work my way up, maybe start with a skinny kob- wait, what?!"
Ogzi's hands went to the buttons of his shirt, protectively. "Strip. If you're going to get eaten by a grue - and it happens more often than you think - I want our viewers go get the most of their darkvision, if nothing else. And frankly,"
she tapped the sheet, "Your options are limited. Let's see what the viewers might have to look forward to."
A red flush burned beneath his green cheeks. For a moment, Ogzi hesitated... but you know what? This was show business. Swallowing thickly,, he began unfastening belts and unhooking buttons, shicking out of his (inexpensive) finery, ending with his undergarments shed atop that borrowed suit, both hands cupped as best he could over his groin.
For a long moment, silence reigned in the office. Finally, the half-elf reached over to touch the message stone on her desk. "Chloe?" "Yes, Ms. Illivulliel?"
came the voice of the receptionist though the magic of the stone. "Cancel my two o'clock. Something... is coming up."
The elf's eyebrow rose as well. "Very well,. What should I do with Pork Chop?" "Well, he's been there two days, a few more hours won't hurt him..."
The interviewer lifted her finger from the device and smiled at Ogzi. "We may have an opening for you after all, Ogzi."
Ogzi gulped, and let his hands fall away.
Some undetermined time later, Ogzi left the interview office with a spring in his step and a soreness in his back, and a license in his pocket (as a berserker, naturally...). The gnome was still sitting there, still watching his tassel. This time, Ogzi had to ask... "Hey, what's... what's with the pork chop?" "I want to be a werewolf!"
the gnome replied with a squawk, never looking away from his fez's tassel.
Today had been a strange day, and Ogzi pressed his lips together as he left the office, determined to not make it any stranger...