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Return to In Search of the Unknown part 3 "We didn't do it."

by Greywolf-ELM

Rhgl gets bored fast and easy. He looks around at the Orcs and talks to himself.

"Tyco is being dumb again... Stupid Orc. Scrag is too busy eating to do anything. Goblins learn early to not get in the way of an Orc when food is about."

Rhgl shakes his head in disgust.

"Gorga is romping around, trying to claim personal glory, bah, what a leader. Gives no glory to others. I should talk to Tyco about that, he is a stupid Orc, he may be able to do something about the quality of leadership this group has. With a goblin backing him, Tyco may work just fine..."

Gorga, on his way to find the keeper of the dire weasels, hears. "Gorga is romping around, trying to claim personal glory, bah, what"

Rhgl taps his head thoughtfully.

"If I can get him to face Gorga. I can get him to lead. Then I will lead... Yes. yes.. Plan works. Tyco will lead. Backup plan, a good goblin has a backup plan. Ah, I will think of that later."

Gorga, on his way to find the keeper of the dire weasels, again hears someone speak his name. "Gorga, I can get him to lead. Then I will lead..." He is beginning to understand the magic of this earring, but can not tell who is speaking yet, maybe that will come with time.

Rhgl begins to wander around the large room, and sees Gilnak guarding one hallway, and Shglsnor watching two more hallways.

"Hmm, I wonder if Shar wants to go scouting. We have not ventured this way yet."

With a mischievous grin, Rhgl seeks out Sharraxtharkhul.

"Hey Shar! We sneak this way. It will be good. Make sure no hornsy's are about. Come on."

Rhgl and Shar grin at each other, as only goblins can, and proceed down the hallway followed by Margrax the wolf. Shglsnor shakes his head at the two goblins as they wander off down the hall. There's a door on the right that they pass, to make it to a door on the left. The hallway turns off to the right here, and the goblins can see it turn back again, several shins away.

Both goblins approach the door. Hobna can be heard cackling wildly as Tyco squeals from the pain of his testing arrow. They look at each other, back at the door and shrug. Rhgl reaches out and knocks on the door and there is no answer. Nothing answers, and he tries opening the door. It won't budge. Shglsnor looks on with as much incredulity as an Orc can muster.

"Rhgl, our leader will return soon." Shar warns the other goblin. Rhgl nods, and the two reluctantly turn back the way they came. After no more than 20 steps, the door opens, and a dark-skinned kobold runs out the door, and up the hallway away from the goblins. He is gone beyond the goblin's sight past the corner, quickly.

Shglsnor calls out the other Orcs, and Scrag, Tyco, and Gilnak run down the hallway that the warband originally approached the old throne room. The hallway ends at a North-South hallway, and the kobold appears out of the dark from the North, never to make it to warn the rest of the tribe. Hobna takes up guard at the hallway the Orcs went down in case they need arrow support.

The goblins and wolf run back to the door the kobold came out of. It is shut again, and the goblins draw weapons. Rhgl moves to listen at the door and is nearly surprised, when it swings quickly open into the room, to be replaced by a dagger wielding Black-tongue Kobold. This is a living version of the creatures found dead, at the entrance to this complex.

With quick reflexes, Rhgl shoves his dagger forward in a two-handed thrust, which comes in under the creature's ribcage, killing it instantly. A dagger buries itself in the doorframe next to Rhgl, and another clatters off the wall nearby. Seeing this, Shar and his wolf companion rush into the room to engage one, while the remaining creature exits down stairs on the other side of the door.

Shar calls out to Rhgl, as he points to where the kobold fled. "One gets away, there."

Rhgl tries to follow, but the kobold had a lead. While Sharraxtharkhul is finishing off the kobold he and the wolf attacked, Rhgl is finding that there is a large room below and possibly backup for the retreating kobold. He ascends the stairs to take stock of the situation with Sharraxtharkhul.

"Did you catch him?" Shar looks expectant and hopeful.

Rhgl shakes his head. "He got away. Too fast he was, and knows the way."

They collect the daggers and few small kobold-minted coins the creatures carried. Not worth the escape of one enemy and the risked ire of Gorga. Rhgl sees the dark fluid on the daggers and the saliva of the kobolds, and puts 2 and 2 together. He starts wiping the daggers on the kobolds tongue to get more of the poison.

Sharraxtharkhul bemusedly shakes his head. "It does not work after they die. The poison only lasts a short while."

They settle up and leave the room, shutting the door behind them. Shglsnor sees them come out and guiltily head back up the hallway towards him. "No good can come of this." He says to the goblins.

The Orcs return, jostling each other and talking about the squeals the kobold made, when they killed it.

They all settle back down to camp in the old throne room, and begin setting up camp.

Rhgl and Sharraxtharkhul have a little talk in heated whispers.
"We say nothing of this."
"He will find out."
Shar grumbles.
"Not if we stick together. Say nothing."

They don't have long to wait, Gorga and Ierkh return from the little trip to kill the Dire Weasel trainer. Looking around, Gorga can see that they have been up to something. Rhgl is giving his best "We didn't do it." look. "What happened?"

Scrag pipes up, "We killed kobold in the hall." Tyco and Gilnak nod in confirmation and no one else speaks.

Gorga knows something is not being said, and takes Sharraxtharkhul off to the side. The young mystic is gaining in power, and Gorga has to handle this right, if he wants support from him in the future.

"Sharraxtharkhul, what happened while I was gone?"
Thinking about his desire to support the other Goblin, Shar also considers his place in the warband, and the possibility of expanding his own power.

"Rhgl and me investigated one of the doors. A dark-skinned kobold rushed out and we killed two more in the room. They have poison Gorga. I know not what kind. These are not normal kobolds. Their tongues are black, and skin is dark."

Gorga looks at him thoughtfully for a moment and a grim look crosses his face. Soon he has cuffed the remainder of the story out of the Orcs and Rhgl. There is one exception to this. No one tells him about the kobold who got away into the lower level. Before anyone can rest, or sleep, the only door in the room, on the west wall between hallways, must be investigated. It has been a long day and Gorga wants the Orcs rested for the next stage of the assault.

Gorga gathers the Orcs around, and Scrag opens the door.

Next Up: Who are these guys and where did they come from?"