A surge of excitement and fear shot through his veins; finally his plan was set into action. He had gone over this moment for several weeks now, but didn't really think it would be this intense. Gordgial a small dwarf with a pudgy nose and wide green eyes peered down the dirt road that led to his home. Turning around to double check he saw two royal tax collectors slowly making their way by foot towards his home. “It's still safe, they haven't seen me,” Gordgial thought as he took off running for his rustic cabin in the woods. He fled towards his home as quick as his hairy feet could carry him, avoiding sticks that would occasionally get caught in his long course hair. Stomping up the steps he made it to his front door.
Gordgial stopped and stood still trying to gather himself. 'Just a few moments away from freedom,' he thought to himself. His anxiety surged with the thought of pulling this off, but he knew he had to calm down do to it. Gordgial closed his eyes and drew a deep breath, turned the knob and scurried across the threshold closing the door behind him with haste.
“Hurry. Hurry, my dear. No time to explain. Down in to the cellar with you.” Gordgial ordered his wife.
Aussy, Gorgial’s wife was now 18 month pregnant, with only 2 more months to go waddled over to the trap door that rest in the middle of the room and waited for Gordgial to open the hatch.
“Now what exactly is going on in that head of yours?” Aussy demanded with her hands on her hips.
“It’s the tax collectors. I don’t want them to know you are pregnant. If they find out we will be required to pay twice as much. Now hurry dear, time is short.”
Aussy slowly made her way into the cool damp cellar, brushing the cob webs out of the was as she made her way down. Once she had made it to the ground Gordgial handed down a candle for light, and then closed the hatch on top of her. He looked around the small cabin to make sure things looked right. He wanted to appear to be a widower, once the royal collectors found out, they would only collect half the taxes they did now, and with the little one on the way, Gordgial needed all the money he could spare.
A heavy knock thumped on the front door. Gordgial jumped with a jolt and quickly turned in place to face the door. He stared the door down, as if to have a show down, and then slowly crept towards it. Another heavy knock landed on the door.
“We know you’re in there. Now come with it, open the door.”
Gordgial quickly turned the knob and opened the door with a big smile on his face. Don’t smile you big dolt. He thought to him self, and turned his expression dreary.
“Oh come now, you know you have to pay your taxes. Away with your long face and up with my money.” The burley haggol grunted.
The other snorted and squealed in a laughing sort of way. The haggol’s had long snouts and pointy ears hidden beneath a heavy iron helm. They carried battle axes on their backs and wore only graves and leggings for armor. Their thick grey skin was strong enough to withstand a sharp blow. Their heavy hooves clanked on the wooded porch as they waited for a response from Gordial.
“Oh, yes. Just a moment.”
Gordgial left the door open and wondered towards the back shelves. He lifted the lid to a small pot and pulled out a handful of green and black coins. Gordgial quickly returned to his unwanted visitors and handed them the drege. The bigger haggol looked down at the drege trying to count how many he was holding.
“One… uh… two”
“Not enough!” the smaller haggol grunted. “You give more,” he demanded.
“But you don’t understand.” Gordgial hesitated. He had rehearsed this scene time and time again, but wasn’t prepared for the pressure he felt. “It…It…It” he stuttered.
“More!” the big one grunted.
“But it’s just me now,” Gordgial finally announced. “My wife she passed a few weeks back and I burnt her remains.”
“You still owe. She alive half the month.”
Gordgial threw his hands up in frustration and then turned to the can he kept his drege in. As he walked he muttered to himself about how it is never enough. The haggols cocked their heads trying to understand the utterances of the troll.
“Where ashes?” the smaller yet smarter haggol asked.
“yea,” the larger one replied.
Then with a loud squeal the large haggol demanded to see the ashes. Gordgial dropped the Drege and turned to look at the ugly intruders.
“Is it never enough?” Gordgial snapped, and then stomped over to the mantel where he kept an urn. “Here you see,” he picked up the urn and shook it up and down. “Dead, you see now!”
It was all a part of his plan. A few weeks prior Gordgial had stolen the urn from a tomb. His wife fussed and thought he was crazy when she saw him with it, but Gordgial explained his entire plan. First he would make the hierarchy believe his wife was dead, and then he would fake his own death. Step one was soon to be complete.