It was a lovely, warm night. Most denizens of the Jade Forest were fast asleep. The two moons of Azeroth and the stars above cast their pleasant lights on the tranquil rainforest. Well, almost tranquil. Somewhere on the north-east of the island, south of Sri-La Village, bypassers could hear a blast, followed by a sizzling sound and the smell of burnt flesh.
With a loud thump, a forest huntress fell on the ground. Green hands touched the tiger’s corpse and immediately pushed back. The hands belonged to a silhouette much smaller than the tiger, blowing on the feline’s head in a vain effort to cool it down. The large ears in the shape of a triangle and the long, pointy nose of the figure gave out its identity as a goblin.
After some seconds of grunting and impatient foot-tapping, the green hands reached out again. Without giving it a thought, the goblin snatched a fang and pulled it. It came out easily since the flesh was half-cooked… and somehow rotten. He threw the fang towards another, an even smaller figure that had been waiting in the dark.
“‘ey Nalt, ya think we can sell one o’ these?”
The flying bone hit the small figure in the head, its eyes glowing in fel green. With a recognizable high pitch, hoarse voice of an Imp, it replied: “It’s NaltAI, you witless thunkhead.” It took a few steps to grab the fang and inspected it briefly. “…No, this is useless.” he continued as he carelessly flung it behind his back. Then it moved closer, as the goblin continued to sever various body parts, showing them to the imp.
“No, that’s just a broken tooth. No, no one makes magic ropes out of tiger whiskers. The fur would be worth something if you hadn’t burnt it.” Naltai the imp moved around as the goblin did around the corpse. Suddenly noticing something, he reached out to an intact porcupine quill and removed it. “Here, this is all you’re getting out of this husk. I saw some Pandaren using these as decoration. It should fetch a bit of gold.” The goblin snatched the quill and placed it in his bag. Having caught his attention, Naltai asked: “What are we doing here anyway?” He continued with a tone that was clearly sarcastic but had a hint of anger in it “I thought you liked to travel with your girlfriend, why am I here?”
The goblin stood up and looked at the tiger with disappointment in his face. Moonlight shone on him. He had an unusual, pale-green skin that somehow felt bright. A skull and some bones decorated the top of his head, behind of which a dark red pony-tail dangled. He had some bolts and earrings on his large ears and similar rings pierced in his nose. He wore robes and shoulder pads in duller and darker tones of green compared to his skin, with rubies attached to the pads. A belt with similar colours wrapped around his belt, carrying an insignia of the Horde. He grabbed his staff. The weapon was longer than him, with some green crystals chained to the staff and a glowing green orb at the very top, where the statuette of a dark figure with leathery wings was attached. It was clearly not made for fighting. The orb’s eerie glow suggested that the staff was enhanced with fel magic. His naturally red eyes turned to the imp.
“Look pal, I don’t have to explain myself to ya, arite? And for your information, what I am doing is called Research. R-e-s-u-r-g..h? or somethin’. And stop calling Kal my girlfriend or -”
“or what?” interrupted to Imp. “Bind me to your service? Kill me? You’ve done those already, do your worst you four-fingered flap-ear!”
“…OR…” emphasized the goblin, “I’ll leave ya at a hair salon in Silvermoon for a week. And I mean the FANCIEST one. Oooh, you’d LOVE it there, they talk all day about their hair and nails… and ALL. THE. GOSSIP! Should I do worse or are we good, NAL?” grinned the goblin and started walking down the path nearby.
The imp silently followed.
After a half an hour silence, the Naltai spoke again: “…so what kind of research is this? We’ve been killing wildlife all night. Even for a schmuck face like you, this-”
The goblin interrupted: “It’s HISTORY research, felface. We weren’t here when things were hot, so I’m just tryin’ to get a sense of things. It’s important.”
“Is this your serious voice? If I didn’t know what a useless, stupid fel-licker you were; I woul-” the imp’s voice, along with its body, disappeared as the goblin waved his hand to dismiss the demon.
He then took out a purple glass-looking shard and placed it on the ground. He drew some shapes around the stone and spoke words of old, words of evil. The runic shapes starting glowing and a small tear of reality, a tiny portal appeared on top of the shard. As the goblin continued casting the spell, the energies kept flowing through the symbols to the shard and through the shard, to the portal; finally shattering the shard and opening the portal for a small instant to bring forth another demon: A succubus.
The succubus was strikingly attractive to anyone that looked upon it, regardless of what their understanding of beauty was. Her demonic features were in plain sight, yet they simply enhanced her attractiveness: Hooved feet with demonic skin reaching above the knees almost like long boots, leathery wings attached to her slim waist, sharp fangs inside her full lips and horns coming out of her raven hair. She opened her eyes to reveal a blue hue and turned to the goblin.
“Someone looks grumpy,” she said with a voice that made everything sound seductive.
“Look grumpy? OH DO I? Maybe it’s the imp that never shuts his trap. Or maybe it’s these Pandaren that make profiting impossible because they are so darn content with so little. Or this research I’m doing because I can’t fricking sleep, it’s been three days already. So, no Mirriana, I don’t “look” grumpy, I AM grump as fel.” spoke the goblin in a single breath, his voice rising.
Mirriana rolled her eyes and a knowing grin appeared on her face: “You deserve this, green face!” said the succubus sharply and locked eyes with the goblin, her grin turning into a belittling frown as she went on: “You think yourself a warlock? What kind of name is Jadebolt? You are an unimaginative, lazy, worthless, dumb, fel-stain of a goblin who knows a little fel magic to overcompensate for that tiny, tiny nose!”
The rant was intense and Jadebolt listened with equal intensity in his eyes, his face wrinkling into an angry frown, his locked jaws moving as his teeth ground against each other audibly. “You…” he started as he took a step towards the demon. He felt like his pounding heart could be heard from outside his body. His mouth turned into a slight grin as he continued speaking between his locked teeth: “…know me so well!” He took another step “Don’t stop now, come on, what else?”
The succubus laughed as she grabbed the goblin’s chin. “No, you need sleep first. Let’s find a proper inn with a proper bed.”
“I could command you to go on, you know.” said the goblin with a daring smile.
“Of course you could. You are a big, strong, warlock and my jaded-skinned Master,” answered Mirriana, her voice in an exaggerated sarcasm. “But where would be the fun in that? Now go find a place to doze off, I’ll tuck you in myself.”
With a half-smile, the goblin started walking toward the settlement of Dawn’s Blossom. “Will you read me a story too?”
“If you behave.” she answered, “…I thought you asked Kal’phog to… give you a hug to feel sleepy.”
Jadebolt let out a sigh. “…You too, really? Look, le’s just say we are not on speaking terms with him. We are pure business now.”