Ferelden, Thedas — During a violent, murderous raid on a small farming community in Ferelden, a demonic member of the invading Darkspawn army took a break from dismembering villagers to reflect on his future job prospects.
“Right now, things are great, job-wise,” the demonic Hurlock warrior said, feasting on the steaming entrails of a slaughtered peasant child. “There are plenty of humans, dwarves, and elves to kill. The job market for marauding demons is strong. I just worry about what comes next, after we’ve killed them all.”
“I see two possibilities for us,” the Hurlock said. “A heroic band of Grey Wardens will slay us, freeing the land from our murderous reign of terror. Or, the Darkspawn will triumph, wiping out all the other races in the world. Honestly, it’s the second scenario that really worries me.”
“I feel like we’re wholly unprepared for victory,” he continued, thoughtfully licking the blood of a freshly killed peasant woman off his blackened claws. “Once the war is over, there will be a whole new series of challenges for the Darkspawn. Repairing the infrastructure, for instance. Rebuilding castles. Fixing roads and bridges. Creating a working economy. What do marauding demons with a thirst for living flesh know about any of that?”
“I can devour human children,” he added, “But I don’t know the first thing about building schools for our little Genlocks.”
The Hurlock is not the only one worried about future job prospects. Whether they come from the shadowy abyss of a blood-red netherworld, through an interdimensional portal inadvertently opened by foolhardy scientists, or are simply the living constructs of evil wizards, employment prospects for murderous creatures has always seemed healthy. Many marauders, however, are now questioning just how strong that job market really is in the long term.
“Find the Ring, kill everyone else,” said one Tarkrip Skirmisher stationed on the North Downs of Middle-Earth. “That’s pretty much all the boss tells me. There’s no mention of what happens afterward, when the Ring is found and everyone is dead. What will I do for work then? Open a pottery shop? Become a tailor? My hands were made for strangling the life out of halflings, not stitching up torn pantaloons. It’ll be straight to the unemployment line for me.”
The Hurlock demon echos the Orc’s worries. “I was killing these farmers earlier today,” he said. “I tore out their innards, sucked marrow from their bones, and so forth. When I was done, I looked at their farm and thought, wow, this looks kind of complicated. He’s got an irrigation system here I couldn’t even begin to figure out, and I don’t know the first thing about how and when to harvest crops. Burning crops, I got a handle on that, but not harvesting them.”
“Even if I get promoted to Hurlock Emissary, what spells could I learn? Death Magic? Drain Life? Those are great for killing innocents. Not so great for holding down a job once all the innocents are dead. We’re going to need plumbers and craftsmen and accountants to function as a society. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff.”
He displayed his resume, which was etched into a ragged strip of human skin. Under skills, it just read KILLING, MURDERING, DEATH-BRINGING, BONE-CRUSHING, SOUL-RENDING, LIGHT FILING.”
“I made up the last one,” the Hurlock admitted. “Everyone lies on their resume a little. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t know the first thing about filing. I don’t even know what a file is. Is it something you kill?”
He thoughtfully chewed through the tender neck of a struggling, middle-aged blacksmith. “Look,” he said between bites. “I’m worried for my future. I just want to stay relevant.”