Stopper had been a good gobwin. He mined for Gobwin Knob over many turns, digging tunnels through the rock, and found many gems. Overlord Stanley had been so pleased, he’d even given some of the gems to the gobwin tribe so they could pop more gobwins!


Eventually the gems were mostly gone, and Stopper stopped mining, but he stayed in the tunnels to guard them. Good thing too, because one day a mean side attacked the city. The mean side was called Jetstone and they sent bad marbits into the tunnels. Into gobwin tunnels!


Until then his Duty had been breaking rocks and finding gems. Dirty Duty, not brave Duty. Stopper had never fought before, but he wasn’t afraid to fight. He would do his Duty.


And he did! Stopper fought marbits! He even got to stab one with his sword and the marbit croaked. Stopper didn’t level, but he felt proud anyway for helping stop the bad marbits.


Finally, Dirtamancer Sizemore made his golems fight and they croaked the rest of the mean Jetstone invaders. Then the croaked Jetstone soldiers and marbits all stood up as uncroaked Gobwin Knob units and left to do important fighting elsewhere in the city. Gobwins had won the battle!


But then there was another battle. More mean Jetstone soldiers came and invaded the dungeon zone. Lord Hamster ordered the gobwins to protect the portal room, to keep the casters safe. Stopper tried to croak more enemies, but a Unaroyal knight chopped him down right away, croaked him with one blow.


Stopper had expected to wake up in the afterlife, but instead he woke up still in Gobwin Knob. He was alive again. He was something called decrypted. He was still a gobwin, but he had no tribe anymore. No chieftain. Instead he had a Mistress Wanda, and his new Duty was to serve her.


Mistress Wanda wanted him to obey Overlord Stanley, and Overlord Stanley still wanted gems. So Stopper went back to mining.


Dirtamancer Sizemore had found more gems under the city, and did big volcano magic which destroyed all the tunnels but filled them with gems again. Their side was rich! It was strange being on a side, and not just allied with one, but Stopper was happy doing his Duty.


Then, many turns of mining later, Stopper croaked again. Not bravely, not in battle, but in the mines. A rock fell on his head. He was wearing a helmet, but it was a big rock, and it incapacitated him. Nobody would ever waste healing magic on a gobwin, so he was doomed to dust at the start of next turn. Instead of natural healomancy, he would get natural croakamancy.


The other decrypted gobwins laid him in a clean rocky alcove on a comfortable blanket, and visited him throughout the night. Stopper couldn’t move, but he could speak and he could listen. The gobwins said nice words like “You were good miner” and “You killed a marbit” to make Stopper feel better, and Stopper did feel better.


Then dawn came and Stopper left.


This time he woke up in the afterlife. Stopper hadn’t known what to expect, but what he saw was a flat green field beneath a pale blue sky. The only terrain that wasn’t flat was a small grassy mound that Stopper was standing on. He could see nothing interesting, nothing beyond grass and the horizon.


In his hand was a spear, and he held it ready though he could see no foe. He glanced behind him and saw the letters “ERFWORLD.COM” written on the ground in lighter green grass, but Stopper could not read so the message was a mystery to him.


Then he felt orders. During his first life he got orders from his tribe’s chief, then when decrypted directly from Stanley, and they always felt important, but these afterlife orders felt even bigger and more important than any orders he had ever gotten before. They were Titanic orders. The Titans were his chief now, and they were giving the commands.


Orders are not words, so the Titans didn’t speak to Stopper. But the orders came with knowledge, knowledge that might have sounded like this had it been spoken aloud:




Stopper was a good gobwin, so he obeyed the order. He stood motionless and smiled, staring out at the green nothing. Stopper would never question an order, however odd it might be, but he couldn’t help but wonder why the Titans wanted him to pose in the middle of nowhere.


It was pretty boring Duty to be honest, but mining had been boring too. Most of Stopper’s life had boring, so why should his afterlife be any different? If the Titans wanted him to stand on a hill forever, he would stand on a hill forever. It was Stopper’s Duty, and Stopper was a good gobwin.





(NOTE: User was awarded 25 shmuckers for this post.)