As Dontrag made camp for the evening, he wished he had more than water to wash away the dust of Dustwallow Marsh. He had plenty of bacon, yet it really needed something stronger to go with it. But Utvoch had the beer in his pack, and Utvoch had at the last minute decided to stay in Thunder Bluff. Dontrag would just have to eat the bacon by itself.
He laid thick strips of bacon in the skillet and put in over the fire to cook. Then he heard female voices, somewhere nearby. Curious, he moved toward the sound.
“There will never be another man like Marcus,” one voice said in the smooth, sweet tones of a blood elf.
A second voice chimed in. Dontrag recognized the rougher voice of a goblin.
“To Marcus. May he rest in peace,” the goblin said.
Dontrag heard the unmistakable clink of beer mugs. He ventured closer. Just over the hill were three women: two blood elves of such beauty Dontrag nearly lost his footing, and a goblin clad all in leather. Beside the goblin stood a mechano-hog and a large keg of beer. Dontrag raised his eyebrows.
“To Marcus!” The blonde elf raised her mug to the sky. Before she could drink, she burst into tears.
The dark-haired elf put an arm around her, then she, too, began to cry. Suddenly the goblin threw her arms around the blood elves’ legs and wailed along with them.
For a moment Dontrag watched, unsure what to do. Orcish women weren’t prone to crying like other races. But the lure of beer proved stronger than his discomfort. He started down toward them.
“Good evening, ladies,” Dontrag called out. “Is there a problem?”
The women turned. They stared for a moment, then the dark-haired elf pointed off in the distance, toward a large crater.
“We were paying our respects to those killed at Theramore,” she said.
“I had nothing to do with that, I swear,” Dontrag said.
The elf looked him over. “I know. But perhaps…” She sniffed the air. “Is that bacon I smell?”
Dontrag nodded. “Would you like some? I have plenty.”
The goblin released her hold on the elves’ legs. “We have beer.”
“Perfect,” Dontrag said. “Let me carry it for you.”
Dontrag hefted the keg on his shoulder and headed back toward his camp. The blood elves walked close beside him. The goblin walked ahead, backwards, so she could look at the orc.
“Perhaps after we’ve eaten,” the goblin said, “you could help us in our grieving.”
The blonde elf smiled up at him, wiping the tear stains from her cheeks. “What a wonderful idea! It would be such a comfort to us.”
“No one can truly take Marcus’ place. He was so… special,” the dark-haired elf said. “But I bet you could try.”
“What did he do that was so special?” Dontrag asked.
The elves pressed closer to him, laying their delicate hands on his brawny arms, and the goblin came back to stroke his leg.
“We’ll be glad to show you,” the goblin said.
Dontrag looked into three pairs of lustful eyes, and suddenly he was glad Utvoch had chosen to stay in Thunder Bluff.
“Let’s get to that bacon,” Dontrag said. “I think I’m gonna need all the strength I can get.”
<The remaining pages are stuck together with what smells suspiciously like bacon grease.>