“Yah. Dat one be able tah pull tha forces of tha very eart' below, an' bind yah enemies to tha ground.”


Zul'Rajas sat on a wooden stool, his knees brought high as his thick toes settles on one of the rungs, his elbows resting against his thighs. He palmed a few miniature sculptures that looked convincingly shamanistic, and tossed them over toward the goblin that he spoke with, the head of a group from Hardwrench. The grizzled greenskin at the forefront of the group caught the first of the totems, glancing over it.

“Don'tcha hafta like…”, he gestured over the crafted hunk of wood, glancing up over his hooked nose toward the witchdoctor. “Cast summa that voodoo mojo that you guys do?”, he rattled in a nasal voice.


Rajas narrowed his gaze at the man before moving from his stool to reach forward and swipe the craft back into his own large hands, delving into a sack tied at his waist. He sprinkled a fine powder over the creation, pressing it firmly between both of his palms as he recited a chant in Zandali under his breath.


“Dese little wood whit'lins gotta be sold, 'cause Bwonsamdi knows, ah ain't got no gold.”


He rather bargained on no-one around knowing Zandali, and having seen no other of his kin around, decided the risk wasn't too great. He tossed the little wooden carving back to the goblin, cocking his head. “Datta be ten f'tha lot.”


The goblin tossed over a coin purse and turned on his feet, shuffling away with the couple behind him, all of them loaded down on little wooden carvings and small bone fetishes. Rajas grinned triumphantly as the group wandered off, speaking of great expeditions, paving ground for mining operations, and some other nonsense that the witchdoctor didn't particularly care to understand. He instead set away his things, folding up a blanket and turning to head towards one of Booty Bay's sandy beaches.




The phrase 'don't shit where you eat' had never been said to Rajas, and this was apparent in the fact that he lounged away in the warm afternoon sun of the Bay not far from the spot where he spent his time with civilization selling dud wards, fake totems and pseudo-boons to those uninitiated with shamanism. He was laid back on the sands, shore lapping at his feet with his bandana brought over his forehead and eyes to shield them from the sun. The sound of rustling footsteps drew nearer, but Rajas didn't budge… At least until he was hit in the side of the head with one of his own cracked little carvings.

“Yer damn voodoo bullshit did nuthin'!”, came a harsh shout from a few feet above the troll.


Rajas had dealt with this a handful of times before, and had in fact prepared something for the occasion. Not moving the cloth from his eyes, he delved into his blanket, bringing out a single rolled piece of parchment, ink scrawled on it in Orcish, neither the parchment nor indeed most of the handwriting belonging to Rajas. The goblin snatched it from his hand, uncoiled it, and began to read. It stated:


'All sales with Stranglethorn Smithing Inc.are final. We will not accept and goods returned, and any complaints should be registered with the Booty Bay Business Bureau.', though 'Stranglethorn Smithing Inc.' had been scratched out and replaced with THE MIGHTY WITCHDOCTOR ZUL'RAJAS, and 'be registered with the Booty Bay Business Bureau.' had been written over with GET LOST.


“Ya might want to reconsider that, mighty witchtoctor.” The goblins snarled.


Rajas furrowed his brow. The sound that reached his ears was certainly not one made by a singular unimpressed goblin. Nor three. It sounded like rather a lot.


He reached to tug the cloth from his eyes, and saw a good number of goblins, many injured and bandaged, baring teeth and looking generally more upset than he'd ever seen one of their race. Slowly bringing himself up to stand, Rajas nodded and delved into his satchel.


“Alright, alright. Let me be findin' ya purse, and ah'll reimbur–”, he began, but stopped short quickly to toss out a larger wooden carving, just barely bigger than his hand. It planted itself into the sand, and began to churn as the ground beneath the goblin expedition softened, latching around their ankles and solidifying again. With this, he hauled his sack over his shoulder and took flight, sprinting off down the sandy shore away from the yelling and clambering group. “Besta luck wit'cha minin' an' such!”, he called, keeping his pace for some considerable time before finally clearing the Bay, heading north once more.




It wasn't long before Rajas found the hut that he seemed to remember vaguely from his childhood. It looked mostly the same, though the brush around it had grown, and it seemed a little more disheveled, even from the outside. Keeping quiet and crouched low, Rajas dropped his sack, and crept up to the door. Whoever was last to occupy the hut made sure to have it warded, which struck Rajas as disconcerting. Had someone taken over Papa's little place of refuge?


Rajas delved into his sack, scooping up a wooden bowl and a few tied squares of cloth, making his way to the nearest water source. He scooped up just a small amount into the bowl, emptying a powder from the first packet into it, stirring it with his first digit, coating his fingertip in a dark red paste. Adding more water and the second packet turned the paste paler, to a pink that was almost white. He dragged his second finger in this mixture, before adding the third packet and dragging his thumb in the now-black mess of the bowl.


Rajas made his way back to the door, his hand coated in colors like an artist's palette. He brushed a long thumb stroke of the black in a horizontal line, dotting the white twice in the middle as though they were two eyes. Crossing the black stripe, he dotted lines vertically that intersected with the eyes, thicker at the top before thinning out towards the bottom. Finally, he pressed the dark red of his forefinger against the paint and hatched diagonally against the lines, blurring the colors together.


“Ah hope ya not been gone from here too long, Don Sowdi.”, he muttered, before tugging at the door, his body tense and rigid for that brief moment, not sure whether he'd get a nasty surprise for his curiosity despite his care for the ward.


Rajas gathered his bag and stepped inside, glancing around at the varying degrees of phials, salves, fetishes, skulls… Though it was all out of sorts. Cluttered and disarrayed, unlike the man he'd known just over two years prior. “Someone else be usin' ya sanctuary?”, he asked with a perked brow to no-one in particular, rather just narrating himself.


“Guess ah might 'ave unexpected guests.”



Author Zaanthe
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