The sun slowly crept up over the horizon. A fine morning in the town of Stags Fall. After a merry evening with all the people she liked, Melda ended up staggering out of the bar in search of bacon. With a pounding headache and blurred vision, she woke from her slumber. The hobgoblin cleared her vision. Looking around, she noticed the shoddy wooden walls and swinging doors. “A fucking barn?!” she grumbled. A snort caught her attention and looked to her side to find a slumbering horse. A mare… well at least she knew for sure… Stumbling back into the bar was a challenge. As she rounded the corner, she saw the bustling square, some folk even took the time to wave to her… with a smile?! “Wait…” Melda patted herself down and pulled a shard of a mirror from her pockets. She wasn’t in disguise.
With legs of rubber, she nearly fell on a man in full armor and shouted. “Hey! What kind of weird-ass down is this?! Do you piii…..ink skins not care that I’m here?” The man lifted his helm’s face plate and revealed his half-orc face. “Stags Fall madam. Second rule of the town, by the council and our founder; Don’t start shit you cant finish. So unless you intend to start something…” Melda looked shocked. With a shove she knocked the man, orc, whatever over. “I’m in hell. I died of alcohol poisoning and the dragon skank sent me to hell!”
The half-orc stood himself up and cleard his throat. “Ma’m, are you alright? You seem… lost… and confused… and you smell like a barn.” With a spin, the alchemist turned around and clamped down on the cuffs of the orcs armor. “Take me to whatever bar was ‘The Right Place’ last night. RIGHT. FUCKING. NOW.”
With a shove, the half-orc pushed Melda through the doors of the tavern. He then shouted, “I found your hobgoblin! If she gets lost again, I’m feeding her to the goblin tribe ouside town!” With a humf, Melda sat down and sulked. As she stewed in her thoughts, her brooding was interrupted by a human, placing a stein and a plate of eggs and bacon on the table. The barkeep from last night. With a smile, he stood across the table from the alchemist. “Rough night? I brought you some hair of the dog and breakfast. And… Ill put it on Agatha’s tab. They ain’t up yet.” After a brief staring match of awkward looks, Melda finally spoke up. “Whats up with you humans and your double standard bullshit?” The barkeep snorted with a laugh. “We ain’t a unified body like your tribes, girl. Most of us only care about things that affect us and those we like to be near. You ask two humans whats going on and you’ll get three answers.”
Melda growled in her mug as she slammed it down. “AND THATS WHY…*ahem* why I don’t like most of you. Can’t make up your minds, always have different rules and *customs* or whatever you call them, and you hardly if ever keep by them!” The barkeep sat down and nodded. “You’re right. So what is it you are doing with us?” Melda scooped up the plate and shoved all the eggs and bacon in her mouth at once. After a single gulp she replied, “A call to war. The folks that got me out of a bad scrape needed my expertise in arson.” The barkeep opened his eyes wide and stuttered. “Oh… well… I can appreciate helping out those who helped you… I mean… huh.. cant really be more straight than that.”
Melda chewed at the end of a toothpick and flicked it at the barkeep. The sharp pointed end sticking in his cloth shirt. “So what you want to say human? You looked like you had a sermon to share.” The barkeep took the pick out of his shirt and cleared his throat. “If you aren’t happy with humans, why are you staying with them?” Melda frowned, “Because my tribe wasn’t any better.” The barkeep nodded and smiled, “Well, why not another tribe?” Melda scoffed and waved off the question. “I know your kind doesn’t know about our ways that well, but trust me, the other tribes I’ve visited were just as unimpressive.”
The barkeep thought hard and eventually snapped his fingers. “Hold that thought. Got something you might want to see. After a few minutes, he returned and opened up a scroll across the table. Melda looked unenthused, but quickly started to stare in awe. The image was of a hobgoblin, wearing a type of armor that she had never seen before, wielding some sort of long curved blade, covered in lightning. “WHAT IS THIS?!” she yelled. Before the barkeep could respond she grabbed him by the collar and smashed her forehead into his. “WHERE IS THIS FROM?!” The barkeep cleared his throat and sputtered out, “K-kaoling! Its a country in Tian-Xia! I… it was a gift from a Samurai I met!”
Throwing the man to the floor, Melda ran upstairs to the rooms. Placing a vial of alchemists fire in the lock of a door, she gave it the hardest kick she could muster. Sleeping peacefully on the other side, Sulfira didn’t budge in the slightest when the door blew in. “AGA… Oh… its you… good enough.” Melda strutted over and raised her boot to stomp on the dragon in disguise. But with a sudden jerk, Melda found herself on the floor, her leg caught in Sulfiras hand and being used to pin her other leg. “You have ten words to tell me why I shouldn’t eat you alive right now hobgoblin…”
Seeing the futility of her struggle, Melda tapped on the dragons other hand to get her to loosen her grip slightly. “Send me to Kaoling. I want to MAKE BABIES!” Sulfira looked confused and shocked. “First off, I am disgusted beyond any rational thought, Secondly, wheres Kaoling?!” Melda took a quiet breath, and calmly said, “Tian-Xia.” Sulfira grinned with her mouth of sharp teeth and in a brilliant flash, Melda was gone.
Two years later, The party recieves a parcel. In it is a simple letter written in common; Melda and her family. Also included is four copies of a family portrait. In Melda’s arms is two small infants and at her side three small hobgoblin children. Behind the three, a large hobgoblin with his helmet to his side and a katana on his hip.