Dwarven Moving (and Wrecking) Company

-by Niami DenMother, EQ2 Traders Corner

Mum had moved several times over the years, and one thing always held true with each of those moves.

Something always went wrong.

Whether it was being unable to move more quickly than a crawl for days due to straining something when trying to move it herself ... or due to friends wandering off with a prized item by "accident" while they were helping her move ... or due to items that had to be left behind because the item was bespelled to be picked up only by a single (now-missing) person ... she just had not had good luck with house moves.

However, this time was going to be different. She hired professionals.

Due to a "minor" incident involving fixtures that had been eaten by the walls and ceiling of her home, a nervous repairman, and her carnivorous plant "Audrey", she needed to move. Plaster and dust dribbling down from gaping holes in the walls, much less from the ceiling, just was not good for the food she was cooking and marketing. Not to mention the grief she was getting from some self-proclaimed gnomish Health Inspector!

Given her bad luck with moves, and how much of her recent bad luck seemed to stem from gnomes, finding the flier advertising a new moving service seemed like a gift from the gods. "They promise tae pack quickly, efficiently an' e'en write th' change o' address letters frae me? 100% gnome-free moves? Och! Sign me up!"

It was the first time since childhood that she had ever looked forward to moving her home with excitement.

Bristlebane must have been highly amused.

Moving day dawned, bright and clear. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and a small crowd gathered to watch when a pair of horse-driven wagons pulled up and the moving company offloaded.

While a half dozen of the movers were dwarves (hard to tell the gender in the baggy coveralls, as they all had beards), there was also one ogre and one fae. When she'd arched a brow in silent query at the sight of the tiny fae, he'd belligerently said, "Ceiling fixtures and dishes need a deft touch. Do you really want the dwarves handling your delicate pottery? I also have the best penmanship for the change of address notices."

That was enough for her, and she'd given in to their reassurances that they could leave it all in her hands, signed the "standard" damage waiver form, loaded a hand-wagon up with the carnivorous plant, and toddled on her way to her new house. Since she'd taken the liberty of dosing Audrey's last meal with sleeping powder, the plant didn't even put up a fuss about being moved to the new home.

Mum spent a happy hour or two planning out where she wanted everything laid out in the new home when the sight of Audrey drunkenly shambling off the last of the sleeping powder sparked a thought that had her sprinting for her old home.

"Oh dear Bristlebane, I forgot th' kegs!"

She doubted that the crew would touch the still-sealed kegs and casks that contained various alcohols she used in cooking, but there were not one, but three Brell-blessed kegs of cheap ale that were always full, no matter how much was taken from them.

"Please, please, please, let them not hae started on th' basement yet. Please, oh please, Bristlebane. I promise tae' ... um ... lay off th' chocolate frae a full week if ye hae kept those dwarves away from th' ale." She flinched as she said it, not in fear that she'd have to give up her precious chocolate for a week, but because she had left dwarves in with all her precious belongings and unlimited booze .

A good two thirds of her belongings were loaded on the carts already, including her entire library, the contents of her bedroom and the music room, and some of the living room furniture. Seeing this, she started to heave a sigh of relief, just as a resounding crash, followed by much drunken laughter, came from inside the house.

Wincing at the sounds coming from the basement, she scurried through the mostly-empty living room, and headed down the stairs into what had once been her pride and joy - her kitchen.

Her very demolished kitchen. Broken crockery was strewn about, flour was liberally coating almost every available surface, including the movers, along with various wet splotches here and there. (She dearly hoped that the flour was covering something as relatively innocent as molasses, but from the smell of it, at least a few of the piles were likely the results of a projectile hurling contest.)

The fae, either unconscious from fear, or from too much booze, was curled up in a little ball, and was being used in a rowdy game of throw and catch (and miss), by the ogre and a dwarf. Neither one seemed to be too steady on their feet, and from the way their eyes were crossing and uncrossing, they'd had a goodly amount of the potent ale already.

Two more dwarves were slumped against a wall, alternately singing and cheering on the "fae toss" players. Anyway, she thought they were singing. But what "Yarrr! {hiccup} Thasss- {buuurrrrp} whaaaa youuuuuuu {hiccup} whups! ddooooo ...." was supposed to mean, was anyone's guess.

Another dwarf was unconscious under the spigot to one of the Brell kegs, a beatific smile upon his face.

The final two dwarves were ... ewwwwwwww. Averting her eyes from that corner of the room, and still unsure if either of those dwarves was female, she grabbed a trusty rolling pin and let out a mighty bellow.


Silence reigned, but only for a moment, as the ogre fumbled the catch of the fae, again, and most of the various dwarves woke up, disentangled themselves, stood up ... and then fell back down again, laughing drunkenly.

Chaos reigned for several long minutes as Mum unleashed a flurry of solid ker-thwaps with the rolling pin, followed by several buckets full of cold water.

When the movers had all been herded into one giant drunken pile, she glared at them, barely coherent through the rage at seeing her precious kitchen reduced to a shambles.

"How dare ye drink on th' job when moving my belongings?! Look at all this mess! My broken dishes! My ..."

One of the dwarves had the temerity to mumble something about the damage waiver she'd signed, earning him several solid thumps from the rolling pin.

"Dinnae even try tae claim that, ye drunken lummox! There be a ginormous difference twixt accidental damage while moving, an' damages from drunken debauchery, an' if ye e'en try that tack, I'll ... I'll ... I'll sic gnomish lawyers on ye!" Thinking furiously, she lied, "I've got Arthais an' Kendricke an' Associates on retainer!"

Instant sobriety, or at least a reasonable facsimile, descended upon the dwarves. The ogre simply looked confused, and the fae blissfully blew beer bubbles in his sleep.

"Now, now, don't be hasty, Mum, we can ...

"Och, laddybuck." Niami interrupted, her face almost as red as her hair. "What ye can be doing is cleaning up this mess. Then ye can be finishing my moving. Then ye can be replacing th' items that ye broke. Then we will see who gi'es whom a bill, eh? Don't make me summon th' lawyers!"

After reassurances that the move was "On the house in thanks for the best party" they'd had in "longer than ol' Snowbeard had been growing a beard" seemed to make her even angrier, they stopped trying to say anything and went back to work.

Much scrambling, grumbling and groaning ensued as she stood guard over the kegs, hands clenched around her rolling pin. Any time the movers seemed to be slowing down in their hurried cleaning and packing, she'd smack the end of the rolling pin into the open palm of her left hand, and they'd speed right back up again.

All of them, that was, other than Spelunk, the drunken fae. He was so totally inebriated still that all they could get out of him was "Ker-splunk goes Spelunk." "Kerrrrrr-SPLUNK." "Spellllll-UNK"

Ah well, she'd write her own notices of address change later.

It was well-past midnight before everything was sorted out enough that she let them leave, with all her belongings, most still boxed up, were sitting in hasty piles in her new home. She'd received an IOU for several new sets of dishes to replace broken ones, promissory notes for the 2 rugs they had totally ruined, and reassurances that there would be no bill forthcoming for either the moving fees or the healer bills due to rolling-pin-incurred damages.

As she surveyed the mess one last time before falling asleep on some hastily piled pillows (her bed was still buried under many crates of belongings), she sighed heavily.

"Enough is enough, Bristlebane. Ye're supposed tae let yuir worshippers cause mischief, nae be victims tae it! Don't make me come find where ye've been hiding an' introduce ye tae th' RPoD, laddybuck. God or nae god, after all these years, ye should know better than tae mess wi' a redhead o' me lineage!"

Somewhere, in the depths of some hidden place, a god flinched.

Fear not, brave adventurers! Now gone are the days of such mis-adventures when moving. The most stressful things you will worry about when moving is choosing the location, then unpacking! Read all about it over on EQ2Traders Corner in Mum's Moving Guide!

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016