200805191105[EQ2] Lore: The Worst Cook in Grobb - Part I

EQII Lore: The Worst Cook in Grobb - Part 1


By the pen of Eylee Zephyrswell
A troll paralyzed by fear and superstition, Kruzz thrust himself upon our little band of adventurers. Easily one of the most curious of our companions, he acted as our cook, introducing us to a variety of food we would have never thought – or wanted to think of – eating. But I cannot claim that didn't keep us from starvation at least once. No one might have ever said they were happy to have him, but I doubt any, except perhaps Kaltuk, would have gone back and removed him from our party. I can say he saved my life, and I'm not the only one.


Kruzz dumped the bucket of viscera into the bubbling cauldron, watching as the long coil of an intestine floated to the surface and was tossed around by the bubbling of the stew. He snickered to himself slightly, and then turned, colliding with Ttzork, the head cook of Grobb. He rebounded off the mound of her belly and landed back against the cast iron of the pot, wincing as it singed his skin. His hand immediately went to the item at his neck – a dried monkey tail, harvested when the animal ran in front of him and was crushed by a falling boulder. He'd always regarded it as the luckiest moment of his life, and had refused to part with the charm since.

Kruzz 把籃子裡的內臟一股腦倒進滾得冒泡的大鍋裡,造成渦漩最後隨著沸騰而出的水泡散逸到空氣中。他暗自竊喜並轉身,卻和Ttzork -- 哥羅布(Grobb)的主廚 -- 撞個滿懷。Kruzz被Ttzork隆起的肚子撞得摔倒在鐵鍋旁邊,而且被灼熱的鐵鍋燒傷了。Kruzz馬上伸手到脖子上的飾品 -- 那是一條乾燥的猴子尾巴,從一隻被巨石壓死的猴子屍體身上拔下的 -- 他覺得能得到這個幸運物是他一輩子的福氣,而且這個幸運符從未離身。

"Why don't you watch where yer goin, worm," she said to him, sneering. The other cooks all paused to peer over their cook pots or carving knives and snicker at the confrontation.

「你難道就不能豬意你夭往哪去嗎?爛貨。」Ttzork輕蔑地說,其他的廚師從鍋縫和廚具縫間看到了這個現象,都各自偷笑了起來。

Kruzz wrung his hands and turned away, muttering, "Be a bit easier if you didn't take up quite so much space."

Kruzz扭了扭受傷的手,然後閃到一邊去,嘴裡碎碎唸著:「如果尼沒有佔那麼大位子的話,窩還會撞到你嗎?」

There was a moment of silence as all the cooks exchanged anticipatory glances, and then Kruzz felt a vicious hook knock him straight up into the air. His rise up was followed by a quick plummet into the very bubbling pot of water he had dumped the viscera in only moments before. He screamed in pain and scrambled toward the nearest rim of the pot, where Ttzork was waiting. "Are you saying it was my fault?" she roared. "Trying to pass it off on me, eh?" She shoved him down deep into the water, and the heat of it made his skin rise and pop in bubbles. He flailed in the water, struggling against letting the pain overwhelm him as he attempted to beat at her hands. Finally, she pulled him out and threw him to the ground. Every inch of him stung as dirt and grass stuck to the skin of his burns, and he wheezed in and out as she stalked up to him.

隨之而來的是一陣寂靜,每個廚師交換著「不出我所料果然是這樣」的眼神,沒兩下子Kruzz就覺得好像被鐵鉤猛地一擊打飛,然後掉進他剛剛開始煮的那鍋下水湯裡面。他在水中痛苦地尖叫,並抓住最靠近自己的鍋緣。站起來後,就看到Ttzork就站在他面前,「尼說這都是窩底錯?」她大吼道:「尼說尼試者要穿過我,是嗎?」接著,Ttzork又把他推到滾水裡去,Kruzz的皮膚因為高熱而起水泡,他在滾水裡失措地用力揮舞著雙手,這樣試著要攻擊Ttzork的動作讓他痛覺倍增。終於,Ttzork把他從水裡拉了出來,並丟在地上。每一吋燒傷的皮膚,都好像有玻璃或灰塵嵌入一樣痛得要命,他倒在地上喘息,看著Ttzork慢慢走向他。

Standing nearly a head taller than Kruzz, and extending at least twice as wide in all directions, Ttzork had a hooked nose, sunken eyes, and scars running all directions along her face. Her hands and arms were almost always burned because of her profession. She was uncommonly particular about her appearance. Her hair was almost always done up with the bones of a freshly killed beast, and she tended to each wound she acquired carefully, opening and reopening it, so it would leave the most vicious scar possible. She was, to all eyes but his, considered an exceptionally lovely troll and had been sought by many as a mate. When he looked at her, he could feel nothing but a loathing unadulterated by one bit of desire.

Ttzork個頭比Kruzz高,身材卻有兩倍寬。她有個勾鼻,一對深陷的雙眼,臉上滿佈著疤痕,雙臂和雙手因為工作的關係常常都是燙傷的狀態。她對自己的外表很不講究,她的頭髮上總裝飾著剛拔下的獸骨,而且她習慣把這些獸類傷口小心地重複切開,這樣才能留下看起來比較殘忍的傷口。這個女人,在所有男洞穴巨人眼中看起來是最可人的洞穴巨人,而且是大家的夢中情人…除了Kruzz以外 -- 當Kruzz看著她的時候,只覺得一股憎惡從肚子裡湧上來。

"You just going to sit there all curled up like a snail?" she asked. He peered up at her, but all that churned inside were words that were probably going to send him back into the pot, and though they begged to come out, he kept his mouth shut. The result left something like a twisted sneer on his face, and it earned him a kick in his ribs. "Just finish filling the pot," she muttered in disgust. Ttzork turned and lumbered away, leaving Kruzz breathing deeply and trying to ignore the stares of those around him. His hands gripped the charm at his neck.

Ttzork問:「尼想要在這裡窩得香一條蛞蝓?」Kruzz偷偷瞄他,無數的委屈在肚子裡打滾,但是他不敢再多講什麼話,因為有可能多講一個字就被丟到熱鍋裡面去,就算想說,他還是緊緊地抿起嘴。只是,他的決定讓他看起來是在偷笑,然後Ttzork一腳踹在他的胸骨上,「尼繼續把東西丟進鍋裡,」她一肚子厭惡地喃喃著並轉身離開,留下依然蜷在地上、深呼吸的Kruzz,他試著不要去在意在場的其他廚師。他的手緊抓著那條猴子尾巴。

He stood slowly, his flesh ripping where it had begun to cling to the ground. Though he tried to suppress it, he yelped in pain, and the other cooks exploded with laughter. Kruzz glared at each one of them but said nothing. He went to the nearest cracked wooden meat bucket and stared down into it, but after a few moments, he looked away, frustrated. Not even the sight of fleshy pink organs all piled atop one another and dressed in blood, a sight which normally calmed him, was helping. She had humiliated him daily since he made the decision to join the cooks and prepare victuals for the trolls of Grobb, and the other cooks found her abuse funnier by the day. He hated each of them intensely, but none with such fervor as Ttzork.

他慢慢地站起來,但是Kruzz傷口上的肉緊緊地黏在地上,他試著不要喊出來,但是實在受不了這撕裂的劇痛。喊出來的同時,其他的廚師爆笑了出來,Kruzz沒說什麼,只是狠狠地瞪了他們。他走到最近的肉桶,然後凝視著裡面。一陣子後,他沮喪地把視線移開,但並不是因為一塊一塊帶血的肉交互疊著,一個映像使他冷靜了下來。他決心要到這裡學習廚藝並讓哥羅布的洞穴巨人們能夠每日飽食,但是Ttzork卻日復一日地羞辱自己,其他的廚師们也都發現了。Kruzz深深地討厭他們,但是比不上他對Ttzork的痛恨。

Reaching into the bucket, his hands slid around the gullet of an alligator. His fingers clenched around it tightly, and as he thought of Ttzork, he squeezed harder and harder and harder, until the organ exploded, showering the bucket walls with bits of gore.
"Ttzork," he hissed, "foul, loathsome, puss-filled Ttzork. You'll regret this some day, oh yes… you will."

他把手伸進桶裡,雙手伸入鱷魚的咽喉裡。當他想起Ttzork那副嘴臉的時候,他的雙手便握捏得愈來愈緊、越來越緊…直到鱷魚咽喉裡的器官爆裂,桶壁沾滿了血塊。「Ttzork…」他嘶聲唸道:「骯髒邪惡討人厭腫臉的Ttzork…尼會後悔的…沒錯…尼會。」

~~~

Kruzz had never had much in the way of good relations with his fellow trolls. Even as a young troll, he had been taunted and teased – the butt of every joke. That had continued into adulthood, and it didn't show any signs of stopping soon.

Kruzz的人緣一直不太好。雖然他年紀較輕,他一直被嘲諷和輕視,直到現在年紀更長,但是情形並沒有好轉。

It was no mystery why they hated him: he was a coward. Kruzz stank of fear. He carried charms and refused to walk upstream and had to lay certain plant leaves on his door step at night. He'd never had any illusions about his condition in life, but that didn't absolve the others. And as they hated him, he hated them in return; so, Kruzz Skullcleaver drew further and further inward, until all that was left on the outside was a scowl and a snide remark.

其他人討厭Kruzz並不是什麼新鮮事,因為Kruzz是一個懦夫。Kruzz很膽小,他走到哪都要隨身帶著幸運符,夜間從不出門,晚上在家門口還要擺放某種植物的葉子。這和幻覺無關,他的日常生活中從未見過幻覺,但是這樣的行為困擾著其他人。此外,其他人討厭他,他便以一樣的態度作為回報,於是Kruzz Skullcleaver變得愈來愈內向與閉鎖,他便被形容為猥瑣和陰沉。

~~~


A clashing sound awoke Kruzz from a dream that he fuzzily remembered involving a carving knife and a hunk of spider thigh that he somehow got the sense was not a spider thigh but rather the thigh of one of his many enemies. It was a pleasant dream, and so he decided to glare at the troll responsible for the racket.


The small stone building was shared by a number of the younger cooks without homes of their own. Though most of the rest of its occupants only muttered and turned, Kruzz sat up and turned towards the sound of a shield banging against a wall.

撞擊的聲音吵醒睡夢中的Kruzz,他朦朧中記得他拿著一把刀,然後有一塊腿部組織…是蜘蛛或不是,應該是可能是他對手的腿。這個甜美的夢讓他感到很愉悅,但是他要去找出那個把這美夢叫醒的傢伙,狠狠地瞪他一眼。這座矮小的石材建築是給一群無家年輕廚師居住的。其他被吵醒的人頂多就是低聲抱怨,然後轉身繼續睡,只有Kruzz坐起來走向聲音的來源。

"Rekec?" he asked, blinking as he looked over. In the early morning light that crept through the single window of the room, Rekec was illuminated. She was a small, gaunt thing with stringy hair and large hands. Kruzz had few acquaintances that didn't want to slaughter him, she was one of the few, and not known for an uneven temper. In fact, she was belittled daily for her meekness. Kruzz glanced between her and the wall. Sure enough, a large wood shield was rocking back and forth from an apparent spin out. Further, she held a bloody knife. She looked at him wide eyed for a moment. "What've you been doing?" asked Kruzz, peering at her.

「Rekec?」Kruzz問道,一面瞇著眼看。在稀疏的灑進房間的晨光中,Rekec被照得閃閃發光。Rekec是個矮小憔悴,頭髮黏
答答,有著雙大手而且脾氣多變的傢伙。Kruzz人緣雖差,但是總認得幾個比較沒那麼討厭到想要殺死自己的人,Rekec就是其中之一 -- 事實上,她因為溫順柔弱被輕視。Kruzz看了看她,也看了看牆上。很顯然地,有個盾形的擋板自顧自地來來回回搖盪 -- 擺幅還不小。此外,她手裡握著一把血淋淋的刀子。Rekec瞪大了眼睛看著Kruzz好一會兒,Kruzz凝視著她,說:「尼剛剛在幹什麼?」

"I..." she began, "was out skinning meat for morning meal."
"Why come back here then?" he grunted.
She turned away, shrugging, and said, "I forgot something."
"I see," he said, quickly losing interest. His eyes were heavy, and he thought that if he got back to sleep quickly enough, he might catch back up to the dream. Falling back against his pillow, he began turning away. Just as he did, he caught a glimpse of something strange. Where Rekec stood, there had for a moment seemed to be a second figure, as if her shadow had leaped off the wall and stood just in front of her. But it was only a moment, and Kruzz was not one for curiosity, so in a moment, he had fallen back to sleep and forgotten all about it.

「我…」她遲疑了一下才開始說:「窩打算開始削皮,然後用這些漏做早餐。」
「那為什麼要萊這裡?」Kruzz低聲地說。
她轉身,聳了聳肩,說:「窩有東西忘在這裡。」
「窩明白了。」Kruzz很快地喪失了興趣,雙眼眼皮很沉重,他心想如果能更快點回到床上,也許可以接續著剛剛那個令人開心的夢。躺回床上後,他開始輾轉反側,想起了剛剛似乎有什麼東西怪怪的。對,就是Rekec站著的地方,那道影子彷彿是活的,好似從牆上跳下然後站在她的前面。不過那只是一瞬間,Kruzz也不是個好奇的人,所以他馬上就睡著了,而且忘記這一切。


~~~


The mood at the cooking fires was peculiar that day. It was surprisingly jovial, and no one had so much as called him a name or given him a dirty look. Kruzz didn't trust it – not one bit. He glanced suspiciously at each passer and hunched over the pickled fungus caps he was cutting into thin strips. Suddenly, he felt his hackles rising as he smelled an all too familiar stench. He glanced up to find Ttzork staring down at him. He squinted up at her.

那天,Kruzz在爐火前的心情很微妙。那天出奇地愉快,沒人亂叫他的綽號,也沒有人故意把他弄髒。Kruzz簡直不敢相信今天的遭遇,一點都不信。他彎著在要料理的菌菇後,狐疑地望著來來去去的人,一面把這些菌菇切成細絲。突然,他覺得好像有人在拉他的羽飾,而且有一股似曾相識的臭味伴隨著那個力量而來。他往上一看,原來是Ttzork由上往下瞪著他。Kruzz斜眼看她。

"What?" he asked, his lips curling back from his teeth.

「怎摸了?」Kruzz問,嘴唇向後拉做出微笑。

"We got a special request," she said, pausing to glance back at the rest of the cooks, who all laughed knowingly, "monkey tail."

「窩們有個特別底妖求。」Ttzork停了一下,環視了其他正在笑的廚師,說:「猴子尾巴,這一條。」

Kruzz narrowed his eyes and as she reached for him, he suddenly realized what was happening. Two other cooks grabbed him by the arms, and as he screamed, Ttzork ripped the charm from around his neck. He wriggled against the ground, lashing against those who held him, and watched as Ttzork cut the monkey tail to pieces with the knife he had been working with. Then, one by one, she swallowed them.

Ttzork的手抓住他時,Kruzz瞇起眼睛,突然知道她想幹什麼。另外兩個廚師上前來,抓住Kruzz的雙手並把他壓倒在地,Kruzz開始尖叫,然後,脖子上的護身符被Ttzork扯掉。被壓制住的Kruzz在地上瘋狂地掙扎,眼巴巴地看著Ttzork把那條伴隨Kruzz已久的猴子尾巴切片,當著他的面,一片接著一片地吞下肚。

"Tasty," she said with a grin, hair sticking from the side of her mouth.

「好食。」她鬼笑了一下,頭髮黏在嘴邊。

When she had finally finished the whole thing, the cooks released him. By that time, he had managed to exhaust himself with the screaming and thrashing, so he seemed still enough. But the moment they let him free, something in him clicked. He looked at Ttzork straight in the eye and then sprang to his feet. Though her nostrils flared and her mouth made an O of surprise as she stumbled back, it didn't stop what was coming. No one moved quickly enough to block him as he lunged at the stone cutting table, retrieving the knife from its surface and then tumbled on straight into Ttzork.

Ttzork這一連串的動作結束後,那兩名廚師才放開Kruzz。Kruzz已經在先前在大力掙扎,但是似乎仍保有一點力氣。當壓制者放開他的同時,有個意念從他內心響起。他直視著Ttzork,然後向她跳去。她被這突如其來的一擊撞倒在地上,張開的鼻孔和O形的嘴巴道盡了驚訝,但這一切只是個開始,她無法阻止接下來Kruzz要做的事--那時,沒人擋下Kruzz,他拿起石桌上的刀子,衝向Ttzork的懷裡。

By the time they had pulled him off of her, she had long since stopped breathing, and the ground was soaked with blood. As the rest of the cooks gazed at him, he laughed, at first softly and then more loudly until the whole area rang with his laughter. He was still laughing as they dragged him to the prisoner's pens on the other side of Grobb.

此時,其他的廚師把Kruzz拉離Ttzork,但是Ttzork已經不再呼吸,地上滿是血紅。當所有的廚師瞪著他看時,Kruzz笑了出來,由輕到狂,就算是被帶到哥羅布另一端的牢房裡,沿路還是止不住地狂笑。

He knew he could laugh no longer as they slammed the gate on the pen shut. His breaths came in small gasps and the whole of his chest hurt. The guards looked at him and muttered, "Nutter."

當牢門大力被甩上時,他才回神,然後再也笑不出來了。他輕輕地喘息,胸口十分疼痛,守衛看到他的樣子,嘴裡歲歲唸道:「轟子。」

Kruzz lay down in the corner of the pen and curled up tightly. His hand went to his neck, but there was nothing there. A sense of dread washed through him, but then he remembered that Ttzork was dead, and no amount of cruel jokes played on cowardly cooks would bring her back. He chuckled softly, a chuckle all he could manage at that point, and watched as evening came to Grobb, and the sun set over the Serpent's Spine Mountains -- not noticing the alien storms that gradually filled the horizon and the massive beasts silhouetted by the cracks of sheet lightning originating from within.

Kruzz躺在牢房裡的角落,緊緊地縮成一團。手伸到脖子邊,但是他的幸運符已經不再,恐懼如急流般刷洗著他的身體,但也想起Ttzork已經死在他的手上,以後再也不會被開一些糟糕透頂的玩笑…Ttzork再也不會回來了。他咯咯笑著,但是並未發現,當夜幕漸漸低垂,太陽沒入遠方Serpent's Spine山脈的背後時不知名的風暴慢慢從地平線席捲而萊,猛烈且帶著閃電的風暴就像巨大的惡獸一樣嘶吼著。

Tag: EQ2, Lore, Grobb, Norrathian Cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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