Grazzug had never been much of a fisherman, but now that the Kalimdor Mercenaries were to participate in what would be no doubt the glorious siege of Theramore…
Yes, he didn’t see a connection at first either.
That was until he met with his contact on the matter. Kezzik Nitris, an ‘ink signer’ of the mercenary charter and rather loose associate of the Kalimdor Mercenaries, had commanded a large industrial empire through his ‘Kezz & Company Industies’ or Kezz & Co. as he preferred to call it. The shark-toothed little psychotic had been making the new Hellscream Demolisher “V3”, which was apparently the best new demolisher out there. Something about being made of ‘iron wood’ and obsidium reinforcments right out of Deepholm.
Dargeth Armbreaker wanted to make a clear showing of the mercenaries’ might for this campaign. How else could they do this than by bringing the finest warriors and supply the greatest artillery pieces? This would even allow them to show off for their new allies in the Scythe of Sylvanas and their mysterious Vaalis… and the Sin’dorei faction called Selama Ashal’anore, commanded by Tholmai Lightbreaker.
Now all he thought he would have to do is pitch the idea to Kezzik of buying three demolishers and then he would discuss payment and would return to Dargeth with the deal.
The fact that he was now on a rather large, smoke belching, metallic vessel and sailing out into the Bay of Storms… well, it wasn’t how things were supposed to go.
The negotiations went nowhere. He had spent a solid hour trying to convince the goblin to help the Horde in Theramore, but Kezzik merely sat around and even sketched what he called a ‘caricature’ of Grazzug. Then when headway was finally being made the goblin’s sister called him over a communicator and said they’re boat was in.
Now they were going fishing.
‘I guess it’s a good thing I was invited to come on this trip,’ Grazzug mused. ‘Unless they intend to use me as bait for something.’
Grazzug looked to his companions. Kezzik was at the wheel, wearing an absurdly large hat with a skull icon upon it and an even more absurdly large plume. He wore a mix of ornate finery and leather armor… and looked much like some goblinoid Bloodsail Bucaneer.
His sister, Nicki, was also oddly dressed. She wore her ‘swimming clothes’ that consisted of what Grazzug would consider strange flower-patterned underclothes… only she also wore an oddly short pair of pants and a loose, open shirt over them. She pointed out to Grazzug earlier that day that they were Kezan fashions and perfectly normal.
While Grazzug thought this odd… he did suppose that his own typical wear must be just as odd to a goblin or a human.
Nicki Nitris was spinning around in what appeared to be a large swiveling harpoon gun with no harpoon in it. Kezzik was singing songs one would likely hear in Booty Bay. Grazzug was… waiting for death. This continued for nearly an hour until the little ship slowed to a halt on the calm water just off Azshara’s coast.
“Okay. Here we are!” Kezzik declared.
Grazzug took a deep breath and recovered his fishing rod. Kezzik and Nicki did the same, though, while Grazzug had a practical fishing rod, theirs were absurdly large and filled with odd doodads and whatsits the likes of which the orc had never seen.
Nicki spotted the orc’s look of confusion. “The wonders of Kaja’cola, big guy! We’ve got gobdar, drink holders, and this here pincer grabs our bait without us havin’ to touch it ourselves!” Kezzik nodded along with his sister’s words, grinning broadly.
Grazzug shrugged and sat on the opposite side of the small vessel. He cast his line and looked at the crystal clear water.
There were no fish in sight. Just the dark, airless fathoms below, where who knew what dwelt.
“Are you sure your ship didn’t scare the fish away? It’s pretty loud even when still,” he asked.
The two goblins looked at eachother and shrugged. In unison they replied, “Oops.”
Kezzik hopped back up and went to the wheel. “Guess we can do this goblin style.”
Nicki started giggling and made her way back to the harpoon gun.
Grazzug barely had time to stand before the ship began to move. It wasn’t long until the coast was barely in sights and he remembered just how much he hated travel by sea.
“I see something!” Nicki called out. At that moment a small goblin wearing a wide brimmed hat seemed to materialize out of nowhere. He proceeded to load what looked like a cannonball into what Grazzug had previously thought was a harpoon gun. The female swiveled the gun to the right and fired into the water.
An explosion in the water below rocked the ship.
“Good hit!” Kezzik called out.
“Thanks, bro! Load her up, Hernandez!”
“Yiss, Meestriss,” The little goblin replied as he loaded another explosive into the cannon.
Grazzug hazarded to look over the side of the vessel. There was a massive shadow coursing through the water. At the sight he stumbled back and practically latched himself to the ship. “Blessed ancestors… what is that thing!?”
Neither goblin was listening. Nicki continued to barrage the shadow in the water with explosives while Kezzik laughed like a mad fool and cheered his sister on. Grazzug closed his eyes and prayed to the ancestors that he survive this mad ordeal.
“Here Meestir,” Hernandez squeaked, placing a harpoon next to Grazzug before disappearing to continue reloading the front cannon. The orc opened his eyes, seeing the harpoon on his lap and wondered…
The ship rocked again.
This time it wasn’t a wave.
A massive cluster of large spike-like protrusions, covered in barnacle, had burst from the water and rammed the little vessel. Judging by the look of the creature’s back, the oozing wounds and the shattered scales, Grazzug was looking at a wounded kraken. The creature burst out of the water and roared as it arced above the ship… before it came crashing back into the water on the vessel’s opposite side.
Grazzug wanted to stand, and was totally ready to fight, but the ground was wet and slippery. He decided to stay down just a bit longer….
The kraken burst out from the water again, blasting a jet of cold ocean water into the side of the vessel. In reply it took an explosive to the chest, which caused it to descend back into the water.
“Nothing like a cathartic day of fishing, huh?” Kezzik called down to Grazzug, who had managed to get back to his feet.
“This is normal to you!?” he roared back.
Kezzik burst into manic laughter.
The kraken burst out of the water again. This time Grazzug’s nerves held and he cast his harpoon as hard as he could and, by some miracle of the ancestors, struck the beast dead in the eye. It roared in pain and arced up and out of the water, readying to blast the little boat with another jet of water. The next shot from the ship’s little cannon propelled into the creature’s chest and detonated.
The kraken exploded.
The detonation rocked the boat and the kraken’s remains, dozens of half-digested and, in some cases, still flailing fish descended on the little vessel.
Grazzug wiped his face off and took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes he saw Kezzik and his sister, completely untouched by the gore that had rained on the ship, grinning. “Good fishin’ with ya! Looks like we got a good haul. Let’s get back to H.Q. and discuss yer good sport’s discount!”
Little did the orc know that this fishing trip would be the start of a long, strange… dare he think it… friendship.
Grazzug woke before dawn with the vivid nature of his dream fading back into memory. The mercenaries had worked with Kezzik Nitris for nearly a year before that fateful fishing venture, but it was only after that day that Grazzug found himself ‘befriending’ the little nutcase…
He climbed out of his bed carefully, as not to awake Ralka, and descended into the smithy. He checked his equipment and verified it was all set for the day… and headed into Mar’at. The sun had yet to rise and the two moons glimmered in reflections off the Vir’nall River. It was oddly tranquil considering the circumstances.
Humans aiming to remake the world, Torygg’s demise…
Kezzik still in danger…
Grazzug looked to the southeast. In the distance, towering above the land, was the silhouette of a great pyramid. The supposed Halls of Origination. He knew that Kezzik was in that facinity but could not get close enough to find him. The Korriban Company numbered far greater than the mercenaries’ expedition of a few dozen and they had the area locked down.
They had Kezzik in their sights, yet again putting the damn goblin into danger. It was only a matter of time before he was taken or, worse yet, killed. Hell, they may have already done it.
No. He was alive. Grazzug knew it.
He was alive and Grazzug would make sure he stayed that way...