Short Story: Rothgar the Bored

Rothgar picked his teeth with the bone. Then he munched the bone like an owl with a Tootsie Roll pop, leaving his teeth still filled with meat and adding bone fragments to the mix. Heroes didn’t need clean teeth. Women tend to look past your flaws when you save them from being eaten and raped by a crocodile god, and any hero that lived long enough to suffer from tooth decay wasn’t doing much heroing anyway.

It was a dangerous life, though not without its rewards.

Rothgar was growing tired of it. The killing, looting, and pillaging were fun, but he felt like it wasn’t what he wanted to be doing with his life.

Oh sure he could have a different woman every night, but where was the emotional connection? Where was the love? It’s not like the women were great either. Half the time they had bad breath, made strange noises, or had fur in all sorts of strange places.

He faced the looming tower.

It was always towers. There would be traps and monsters of course. Probably a couple of chests of gold and a few scattered magic items. But once you’ve beaten the curse and defeated the villain and saved the girl they were pretty much all the same.

The townsfolk needed him of course, or they would keep transforming into were-goats every time it rained. At least as goats they didn’t do anything too crazy like eat each other or carry off any livestock. The worst trouble was when they woke up, realized they were fornicating the wrong person but neither party wanted to stop. A lot of upset husbands and wives. A couple of rose bushes eaten. As evil curses went it was pretty mild.

He busted in the door with his sword, Ulsidar the Orc Fucker. It was best not to ask how it got that name. It was a mighty sword, standing as tall as a man, covered in spikes and stained with the blood of countless foes and orifices.

Rothgar leaped over the pit of spikes, avoided the trapped floor plate, beheaded the half-dragon half-yeti hybrid monster, and bounded up the stairs. It was the same thing day after day after day.

He sighed as he sidestepped the boulder trap and solved the riddle of the two doors. Or more accurately, Ulsidar did.

Rothgar the magnificent. Rothgar the worldslayer-slayer. Rothgar the bored.

“Finally,” a feminine voice said as Rothgar swung across the pit of eternal flames.

“Don’t worry ma’am I’m here to save y-” Rothgar cut himself off as he realized this was no damsel in distress. The room only had one occupant, and Rothgar wasn’t sure if he should be aroused or disgusted. He had seen similar creatures of course, but this one struck a chord.

She had a nude body beyond any he had seen in all his many adventures, but the head of a goat. And not some artistic goat that looked girlish enough that you could be excused if you developed a crush on it. No this was a goat’s goat. With horns. And a beard nearly as manly as Rothgar’s.

He wasn’t entirely certain what to say. Or where to look. After a moment’s hesitation, he went with the vague, “I’ve come to break the curse.”

“It’s not really a curse. Today it’s a blessing,” the goat woman said with a smile on her face.

Ah. So it was one of those. Crazy. Couldn’t be reasoned with. Probably wanted to turn the whole world into goats or something.

Rothgar yawned.

“I’m sorry,” the figure stepped forward seductively, her hips hypnotizing the eye like an oscillating watch. “I didn’t mean to bore you.”

“I’ve just had a long week, honestly. Tracked down some bandits, stopped an old man from poisoning a towns water supply, and then had to help a town build defenses to ward off an attack by an elemental army. And now this. Another crazy in another tower trying to take over the world with some strange curse that really doesn’t make any sense.”

“Oh, that sounds dreadful. I’m so sorry,” she said sincerely. “But I’m not crazy. Just lonely. I’m not trying to conquer anything. I found a magic genie and this is my wish. I wished that there was a way for me to find a man who would love me for me, not because of my looks. But that he would still find me attractive. It took the genie ages to figure out what to do, but this is the end result.”

“The end result is you’ve cursed a town to become were-goats,” Rothgar said. He could kill her now, but that’s not how these things went. You had to talk. You had to figure out how to break the curse.

“I’m really sorry about that, but it’s just part of the whole thing. I’m no genie, I don’t understand it really. It will all keep happening until my one true love makes it through the tower, that’s what the genie said.” She put her hand on his harness covered chest.

“Oh. So you think I’m your own true love? Is that exactly what the genie said?” Rothgar asked. He didn’t brush her hand away. It did feel sort of nice.

“The genie said ‘The curse will be broken when your hero comes’.”

“I hate prophecies. Always so vague. You sure you told the genie ‘that there was a way’.”

“Yes, why?”

“Genies. Can’t always trust ‘em. You didn’t wish for true love. Just that there was a way. Hell, the genie probably didn’t even have to do anything. There was always a way that could have happened. Instead, he gave you a goat head for fun. Still….maybe.”

He considered her words and the barely veiled offer her hand was giving him as it moved lower on his torso.

Life was getting stale.

And there was something about her. Her supple form. Her warm skin.

He looked into the goat eyes.

Ulsidar made quick work of her neck.

Goat flesh and human flesh separated amidst a rain of blood and gore. He half expected a human head to magically appear, but instead, her lifeless body collapsed to the floor, slid a bit in the pool of ichor and fell into the pit of eternal flame.

Curse broken.

He kicked open a locked chest and found it filled with gold. Would have been nice if she grew a human head he guessed, but she might have still fell in the pit.

Sometimes you just had to accept the life you were given and make the best of it. He’d be able to drink himself into a stupor for a month on his haul. Better than screwing a goat woman.

He’d already done plenty of that in the last town he passed through.

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