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Chance Encounter

Da Story ovv Santorclaws

by Avian


Santorclaws ("Santa") - Orc supernatural entity, possibly divine

Shekpod - Number One Goblin

Piglet - Number Two Goblin

Rubrik - Number Last Goblin goblin


"Prepare da Slay, we're goin' out tonight" The big orc shifted his pipe over to the other side of his mouth.
"Wot, Boss?" Rubrik stopped looking out the window and turned around. Santa was sitting in his chair with his feet on the steering wheel as usual.
"Is's time fer Midwinter Feast. I've got ta be dere with gifts fer da little 'uns. Ya and da uvver grots saddle up da Slay." Santorclaws squinted and used his feet to turn the wheel a fraction.
"Roight yoo are, Boss. Errr...'ow?"
"Wiv de 'arness, ovv course. Now get movin'." Santa swung out a backhand swipe Rubrik was wise enough not to duck. After bouncing down the stairs to the deck below, the little goblin dusted himself off as well as he could and went in search of the other two goblins. As he wandered through the long hall where the snotlings worked he once again wondered about the strangeness of this place.
Take the snotlings for example; the little creatures were rolling in their own muck, doing disgusting things with each other and making rude gestures to him just like all snots did, but these were actually working as well. The long hall they'd made their nest had windows all along the wall, round for some reason and with glass in them. To Rubrik they just showed the dreary view outside, but the snotlings appeared to see more. Every few minutes a snotling would stop rolling around on the filthy deck and scamper over to the groups clustered around the windows. There it would sit and stare out for a while, then it would scribble down something almost readable on a scrap of paper before going back to the rest.
Snotlings couldn't write, at least not normal snotlings. These could, sort of. He'd read some of what they'd written, it was mainly just orc names and what that orc had done. And it wasn't famous orcs doing famous things, just orc whelps it seemed, doing what whelps do. He picked up one that lay on the floor. It had a sticky footprint and a drawing of Santa on it. He tried to read the uneven letters.
"Valashnag. Squiggle (might have been 'tribe') o ba Bik Teef. Dib it innadinna."
What was the point? Why were there scores of snots writing down stuff about orc whelps?

Rubrik couldn't find the other two goblins, Piglet and Shekpod, so he went outside. Santa's home was quite unusual for something belonging to an orc, well, it was quite unusual no matter what you compared it to. It wasn't a fort, even though he appeared to be quite boss, it wasn't a hut either. Santorclaws was the first orc Rubrik had seen who lived on a boat. Orcs usually didn't like sailing very much but the Boss seemed to enjoy it. What's worse was that the boat wasn't really a boat, it might look like one from a distance, but the hull was stone, roughly cut to resemble a sort of boat shape. That was bad, a boat shouldn't be made of stone. What was really bad was that it wasn't sailing, it was floating above the surface. What was REALLY bad was what it was floating above. It wasn't water. Rubrik had seen many lakes in his short life but none had been so filthy that they had been green. It was like floating above a giant bowl of soup. Sometimes he could see shoals of sleek shapes deep down in the water, sometimes there were bigger things hunting them. There were currents in the water and Santorclaws seemed to know how he should steer through them. Rubrik kicked a pebble over the edge. It fell for a long time then disappeared without a sound. how far up were they? He looked up. The sky was a grey overcast, as always. There was no wind but the boat didn't seem to need it.

He wandered around to the rear side of Santa's home. It was wood, built on top of the stone hull to look like it really was a boat. On the back were the boar pens. The snotlings gathered mushrooms that grew around the drops. The boars ate the mushrooms, quite often the snotlings that brought them and sometimes goblins if they weren't careful. The snotlings also ate mushrooms, bits of each other and sometimes meat if they could steal it from the larder. The goblins ate mushrooms, meat if Santa was in a good mood and snotlings if they were giving them cheek. Santa ate meat, usually the kinds that he felt was making the most fuss. Everything that was dropped was dragged by the snots to the drops behind the pens.

He found Piglet and Shekpod by the boar pens, smoking some sort of mushroom in a pipe they'd probably nicked from Santa. They glared at him with their evil little eyes.
"Whaddya want, Bignose?" It was Shekpod, who had been here the longest.
"Yah, what?" echoed Piglet.
"We're busy, ya know. Don't bother us."
"Busy! Bignose!"
"Da Boss sez we'z gotta make 'is sleigh ready fer tonight." Rubrik glared back and plotted a dozen nasty ways of getting revenge.
"Well, denn ya'd better 'urry up, denn." Shekpod hiccuped and smoke came out his nose. His eyeas crossed as he tried to focus on Rubrik and that seemed to get him onto an even more sadistic mood.
Rubrik didn't even bother asking why HE had to do it. He knew the reason: Because he was the newest.
"'ow do I do that, denn?" he just asked.
"Well, ya gotta pacerfy dem gruntas, dontcha?" Shekpod shoved all of his sharp little tetth in a grin.
"Yep, passerfy. Ya lissen ta Shekpod, 'ee know 'ow is'z dunn." Piglet had started chewing on his own foot and his skin was a funny sort of green. They had probably got the wrong sort of mushrooms again.
"An' 'ow does I passerfy a grunta, denn?" Rubrik wished he was number two goblin so he'd have someone to boss around himself.
"Wiv the 'ammer, ovv course." Shekpod blew a cloud of purple smoke.


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