Magical Wrestling Association
| In the small town of Brassdrift, an unwelcome guest has come to stay, poverty. Once, Bassdrift was the crown jewel of the orcish empire. Weapons were forged and sold the world over. The town coffers overflowed with gold and silver. The people enjoyed hearing tales of the travelers who passed through. Then Nikilik seized power.
Nikilik broke a thousand years of peace and attacked the Elves. The Orcish empire was more than a match for the Elves. Its too bad Nikilik forgot the Elves had friends, both in the forest and in distant lands. Nikilik's fanatics didn't stand a chance. The would-be ruler of the world died, leaving his people penniless, destitute, and hated.
Sitiyok reflected on this as he watched his parents sleep. Thirty years had passed since the death of Nikilik, and the stigma around his people remained. His parents were once known as the greatest smiths in Brassdrift. His mother had a way with tiny details that rivaled anything the dwarves could make. His father was a master and made his wisdom available to any who asked.
"Once you reach master smith, you are obligated to mentor the younger generation. Our job is to represent our shop and profession with honor. Never forget that." It was sound advice for any apprentice.
Sitiyok clutched the paper in his hand, and read it one more time. "Are you tired of the regular sun up to sun down rat race? Do you enjoy the spotlight? Do you want to travel and see exotic places? If so, come down Fos Sean in the heart of Elven territory and try out for the Magical Wrestling Association."
He had agonized over his decision to go for days. He wanted his parents to be comfortable when they retired. Sitiyok had nothing to lose and everything to gain by going. He threw his items in a rucksack and walked off into the night to meet his destiny.
Elven city Fos Sean
Sitiyoks green skin looked out of place in a sea of pointy ears and alabaster skin. The beautiful wooden structures had no equal anywhere, and that included buildings in orcish towns. Sitiyok wasn't impressed. His people always put function before beauty.
The air was sweet, too sweet in Sitiyok's opinion. He preferred the smell of charcoal and iron. The orc was enjoying the vibrant colored flowers, all neatly arranged in beds. Elvish shop keepers shot him dirty looks, and he could feel the eyes of the local authorities watching him with suspicion. It wasn't until he was halfway through the city until he realized all elves looked at him the same.
He tried to purchase a meal at a local tavern. The slender barkeep flipped his platinum hair behind him and said, "Thirty gold."
Sitiyok scoffed, and his eyes went wide. "Isn't that a little much?" he said in a shocked tone. The entire bar went silent enough to hear a pebble drop on the worn wooden floor.
The elvish barkeep leaned forward and in low, venomous voice said, "Listen up, Néandartálach. I won't have any of your knuckle-dragging antics in my establishment. Feel lucky I tolerate your presence and haven't called the city watch."
A common misconception about orcs is they fly off the handle at the smallest things. Golden eyes watched the green-skinned smith with anticipation. Sitiyok knew they wanted him to act all orcish over their words.
The orc decided to leave and left the tavern with his head held high. The owner came out waving his arms. "You aren't welcome in my establishment," he shouted. Everyone on the street glared at him. Sitiyok did nothing to inflame the situation. A few elves whispered in hushed tones as he passed.
The map on the back of the flyer was not helpful. Fos Sean was enormous and had way too many streets. It was pointless to ask for directions. All he could do is stumble around the city and hope he made it on time.
Rip Rapidshider owner and promoter of the Magical Wrestling Association looked over the numbers again. The ticket sales had dropped another hundred gold. It was time for a new Champion. He looked over the roster and shook his head. "Its all been done before. I need a fresh angle, something that will put an ass every eighteen inches."
The dwarf's thoughts were interrupted by someone knocking on the door. "Rip, open up." The voice sounded excited over something.
"What do you want, Heckler? I am trying to think up a new angle to work," he said. Hammet Heckler was his heel announcer and his closest friend. The goblin was smarter than the rest of his kind and had an aptitude for the business.
"That's why I came to you as soon as I saw him," Heckler said, as he pounded on the door again.
Rip Rapidshider froze in place. An Orc came to try out? He didn't need another heel. "Tell him to go."
Heckler pounded on the door. "Look, we could be missing out on the next big thing. The kid came here to save his parent's business. I smell gold on this kid. None of our competitors have an Orc, and I have just the angle for him too."
A good promoter listens to the people around him before he makes any final decisions. When Heckler said he smelled gold on a potential wrestler, he was rarely wrong. Rip sighed. "Okay, what's the angle?" He opened the door, and the big-eared goblin entered.
"We make him a babyface," Heckler said. He lit up his mahogany pipe. A thick cloud of cherry tobacco smoke filled the small area.
Rip stroked his beard and thought about it. "It hasn't been done before. How do we turn him into a face? There is some deep-seated hatred for Orcs. How do you plan to get around that?"
Heckler cackled and blew a few smoke rings. "We, do what no other promotion would do, we pair him with an Elf. Not just any elf, the champ."
Rip walked over to his worn wood desk and pulled out a bottle of Dwarven whiskey. "Do you think Drake will do it? Why him?"
Heckler took another long puff of the pipe. His face was thoughtful. "Drake's is a decorated war hero, right?"
"Everyone knows that," Rip said.
"My point exactly, everyone knows him."
Rip Rapidshider stroked his beard some more. The idea had merit. "We could have Drake welcome the kid to the company. Drake is so over we can probably get away with it."
Another series of smoke rings flew from Heckler's mouth. "Have Drake offer to teach him the business. We can run the student/teacher angle until the kid gains some experience. Then Drake turns heel and becomes champion. Drake and the kid feud, and we crown the Orc champion at the end of it."
Heckler watched Rip stroke his beard rapidly. It meant he was giving the idea serious thought. "Your plan has wiggle room. I assume if we can't make him a babyface, we'll turn him heel?"
"Since when do my ideas not have a backup plan?"
Rip Rapidshider smiled. You talk to the kid, I'll handle Drake."
Office of Dr. Leafburrow
Drake Falconwing sat in the powder-soft chair. Dr. Leafburrow studied the enchanted glass plates with concern. He looked over at the handsome Elf. "Medicine has done all it can for you. You need to put some thought into retiring. Another procedure could do more harm than good."
Platinum eyebrows knitted in thought, while golden eyes stared at the ground, a calloused hand massaged a pointed ear. "How long before I have to retire."
The Elder Elf sighed and removed his spectacles. "Six months at worst, a year at best, if you are careful. I've known Rapidshider for a long time now. He won't write you off..."
Drake tied the long platinum hair into a ponytail. "I know Rip will take care of me. I am more worried about my replacement. I made a lot of mistakes when the money was flowing, and the venues were packed."
"Perhaps you could help cultivate talent for the company."
Drake smiled as he rose from the chair, his bones creaked and cracked as he stood. "Maybe I'll start doing that sooner than later." He left the office and took a carriage to his luxurious home.
His gorgeous wife, Bryla, was waiting for him in the front yard. They had loved each other since childhood. They married before Drake went off to war. She leaned forward and kissed him and pressed her slender form against his sculpted body. "How did the visit with Leafburrow go, my love?"
He held her hand and kissed the top of it. "I have a year left at best. Leafburrow said I should think about retiring. I need to talk with Rip about that."
Bryla laid her head on his shoulder. "Are you ready to retire?"
The lover's lips met once again, and Drake squeezed his wife tight. "I don't know what's left for me to accomplish in the ring. I love the business, but I would love to start a family with you more."
Bryla kissed his neck playfully and giggled. "As it just so happens, Rip is here on business. He said something about the next angle."
Drakes's powerful arms lifted his wife. "Do you think we could make him wait for an hour?" he said in a sly tone.
A girlish giggle came from Bryla, and she shook her head. "I think I need longer than an hour. Have your meeting with Rapidshider, and then meet me in the master bedroom." She playfully wiggled her eyebrows.
The pair laughed together, and Drake set her down. "See you in about twenty?"
"I wouldn't miss it for the world."
Falconwing home Parlor
Drake found Rip draped over the sofa in the Parlor. A mug of ale sat on the gold coaster and hardwood coffee table. In his hand were two dwarven cigars. He wore his formal attire, which meant he was here on business.
"I told Bryla to lock the door when I was gone," Drake said as he snatched a cigar from Rip. He flicked his hand, and a tiny flame danced on the tip of the index finger. He puffed on the cigar until a bright red ember burned at the end.
"Little did you know a dwarf adds value to your home just by being in it," Rip said with a chuckle. "I opened a cask of Holtzinger if that's alright."
"Yeah, I heard their smell drives thieves away. I think our insurance broker said I could claim you as a security measure. Can you be a security measure if you steal all my ale?" Drake laughed as Rip's face frowned.
Drake sat across from his boss and longtime friend after he poured a generous amount ale for himself. He set the glass mug on a gold coaster, Bryla was anal about such things. "Bryla said something about a new angle?"
Rip took a long pull off the mug and set it back down. "Look, Drake, sales are down, and we need to put someone new in the top spot...you look relieved."
It was Drakes turn to down half a mug. "I just got back from Leafburrow. He said I have six months to a year left in the ring. I planned on announcing my retirement at the end of Summer Crusade."
The small hands stroked the long black beard rapidly. "How do you want to go out?"
Drake downed the remainder of the ale and poured another mug. "I want to go out on a high note, break new ground, and leave a legend."
"You're already a legend..." Rip started to say, but Drake cut him off with the slash of his hand.
"What I did on the battlefield was not satisfying or pleasant. Half the Orcs I fought were brainwashed kids who didn't know what they were doing. We won because Nikilik was a mad king and a terrible fighter. I happened to be the one who beat him." Drake couldn't keep the rage out of his voice.
Rip drank the remainder of his ale and waited for Drake to cool his heels. "What if you could be known for something else? What if you could help build a gap between the Orcs and the rest of the civilized world?"
Drake stopped halfway to the couch. "What do you mean?"
Rip Rapidshider outlined the angle to the crafty veteran. "When we reach summer crusade, you drop the title to the Orc, and retire."
It took Drake a minute to wrap his head around the idea. The Orc angle was bound for the history books one way or another. It was missing one thing, home-field advantage. "I'll do it, as long as we start and end the run in Orc territory."