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Return to In Search of the Unknown part 6 "No hurting the Kobold."

by Greywolf-ELM

Iirkh and Gorga move into the cloud of noxious fumes to find the Goblin and meet the threat with weapons drawn. Both are able to shrug off the effects of the stinking vapours. Coming to the end of the cloud, Gorga attacks the four-knuck** tall demon, which begins communicating directly into his head.

"Come to me."

Gorga shakes his head in disbelief. Gorga begins calling to his warband.

"Come join the fight, the cloud stinks less than Scrag's feet."

Scrag and Tyco begin to move down the 2 shin wide hallway, with Hobna, Shglsnor, and Gilnak bringing up the rear. Sharraxtharkul moves off to the side, to allow them to pass. Just as the Orcs are about to enter the cloud, one of the demonic creatures activates a magic ability, and puts fear into the mind of the warband leader, while Iirkh manages to resist the effect. Stumbling through the obscuring cloud of noxious fog, the Half-Ogre nearly steps on the whimpering Goblin, a creature reaches into the stinking cloud and rakes a claw across Iirkh's arm. He reaches down, grabs the Goblin, and tosses him out of the way of combat. He feels Gorga brush past him as he heads through the cloud back towards the warband.

"Retreat, Retreat." Calls Gorga, as he comes running back out of the cloud.

Sharraxtharkul has had enough, he moves into the cloud to see what is causing so much trouble, as the cloud begins to dissipate. The goblin has heard of these wretched creatures, Dretches. They have some magical powers and resist damage, but they can be killed. Hobna moves up behind the Goblin and lets an arrow fly at one of the creatures.

It simply sticks and falls to the ground offering no real damage to the outsider. Iirkh begins pounding one with his Great club, and the other sees this as an opportunity to retreat.

Stay Away, Stay Away. Iirkh can hear in his head, as the Dretch runs leaving the other to the tender mercies of his club.

The Orcs look at each other and begin to wonder at the conflicting commands by the warband leader and his retreat past them. The look of fear was evident on his face, and the Orcs looked about with trepidation. Within two ***spits Gorga comes right back past them, the look of fear gone from his face.

"Come help me kill them. Two small creatures will die at our blades."

A door slams around the corner North.
Sharraxtharkul tells Gorga. "We must follow quickly, before it can summon allies."

Little does he know that it is too late. Upon entering the room, he begins summoning a demonic replacement for the Dretch killed by the Orcs. The Dretch has already warned its' master of the approaching Orc warband, and Buimbu begins casting spells.

"Let's see, Fly, Seeming of the Dragon's Blood, Mage Armour."

Buimbu looks over at the Dretch and its' newly summoned companion.

"Two of you should be able to handle a few Orcs." He thinks at them, with disdain laced through his thoughts. "Now pour that Oil on the floor by the door. I will make it hot for them."


The warband finishes off the Dretch, and moves up to the door. Scrag is ahead, with Shglsnor, Iirkh, and Gorga right behind. He braces himself and heaves against a door that will not budge. The warband looks at him, with a few smiles cracking, and Iirkh steps forward.

"I will open door."

With a push of one mighty hand, the door is flung open. Iirkh sees two Dretches about 4 shins away, across a pool of something on the floor. Flying in the air some 8 shins away to the right, is a kobold, tinged red, with horns beginning to form on its' head, and down its' back and tail. He draws up with arms spread out wide, with a cape draped across its' arms.

"Hello Orcs, You are becoming quite the problem for me now. Keep back, the floor is covered with Oil, and I'll set it afire with my flaming breath."

Gorga is anxious in the hallway. "What do you see?"

Iirkh snickers a little and says back over his shoulder. "Tiny kobold that flies. More Demons." As Iirkh begins to step into the room, the kobold intones a spell. Iirkh stops cold in his tracks while the spell seeps into his mind convincing him that this kobold is one of his best buddies.

"Please my good friend, keep them from harming me, they want to see me dead."

Iirkh nods. "Ok." Turning around he speaks again. "No hurting the kobold. You go back now." Iirkh does not need to move to block the hallway, which is a dead end off of the nearest hallway 4 knucks back south.

No one else enters the section of hallway, and Scrag and Shiglsnor try to force their way past the Half-Ogre.

Not wanting to hurt the warband much, Iirkh braces himself, and keeps the two Orcs from pushing past him. For a short time, there is a standoff where the Half-Ogre refuses to move, or let anyone past.

Tyco takes it upon himself to begin taunting Iirkh. "Come on you big dummy, get out of the way."

With the calming words of Buimbu in his ear, Iirkh doesn't rise to the challenge, and stays put, to the consternation of the warband. If they anger him enough, some Orcs will die trying to fight past him. After some time of futilely trying to push past Iirkh, and Tyco trying to taunt the Half-Ogre, Scrag decides to play dead, and falls to the ground peaking through half-closed eyes.

Even Iirkh can see that he is faking it, and reaches down, picks up the prone Orc, and tosses him down the hallway to land in a heap.

Buimbu begins coaching the Half-Ogre to get the Orcs to move back the way they came. Having heard many of their names now, the Sorcerer puts them to good use.

"Iirkh, convince the Orcs to move away, and keep them away down the hallway you just came through. This will make me feel safer. That Gorga is very dangerous, and Tyco wants to hurt me."

"You move away. You gonna hurt the kobold. He is my friend." Iirkh continues to block the doorway, and pushes Shglsnor back two shins.

Buimbu casts a spell on himself and can no longer be seen. He communicates with the Dretches to await his command. He doesn't want them to get too close to Iirkh.

With the argument continuing, and Tyco trying to anger Iirkh, Gorga steps up to try taking control of the situation. With that move, Buimbu knows who the leader is. Chanting is heard in the air behind Iirkh, and a dog with flame for breath appears next to Gorga and Scrag. Buimbu meanwhile entreats Iirkh to remain and keep defending him.

"Iirkh, please stay here and defend me. If you go to fight that Hound from Hell, Tyco will run past you and hurt me."

Convinced, Iirkh holds his ground, blocking the way for anyone to get past him.

Tyco just won't leave him alone however. "Iirkh, that little kobold is controlling you. Come fight me now, I think I am stronger. Step away from the little runt, and prove you are Ogre and Orc enough to fight me."

With some convincing from the kobold, Iirkh does not take the Orc up on his challenge.

The Hellhound breathes fire injuring Gorga, Scrag and Gilnak, but at a final cost as all three carve it up in retaliation, sending it back to where it was summoned. Buimbu, seeing Tyco as a threat for taunting his new bodyguard, invokes a Dragon Bolt, blasting the Orc with four streaking Red Dragon shaped bolts of energy.

Gorga begins arguing with Iirkh.

"Move Iirkh, I order it. This is the slime we have been ordered to kill." He spits to the side in disgust. "Kobolds, vermin, we must destroy this nest of them."

"No hurting the kobold, he Iirkh's friend."

With more argument going this way, little is accomplished, and Gorga decided to try a new tactic.

"Iirkh, we will go back then, and rest from our battle here. You come along, when it is safe for your friend."

Scrag starts inching over to the hallway to the left, as the rest of the warband is gathered to head back the direction they came. Buimbu is flying behind the Half-Ogre, pointing out those that do not leave.

Gorga calls out. "Get over here Scrag." But the Orc will not listen, and has his own plans.

Rhgl and Tyco pass by Iirkh and move along with the rest of the warband. Scrag runs off into the darkness, and Iirkh is satisfied. Making sure that none can sneak around him, Iirkh heads off after the warband. As soon as Iirkh moves off to the south, Buimbu directs the Dretches who are able to communicate in his mind, "Chase down that Orc, the one they call Scrag, and kill him."

Realising that he is being chased by the demons, Scrag begins running, and soon finds himself at the entrance to the stronghold. He runs outside into the sun, hoping that they will not follow him.

Next Up: Return to In Search of the Unknown part 7 "A Kobold can Breathe Fire?"

* Shins are equivalent to 5 Knucks, or about the length of an Ogre's Shinbone
** Knucks are equivalent to feet, Ogre Knuckles as a unit of measure
*** Boar - Measure of time it takes to skin a boar, about one hour. Spits are also used as a measure of time. A boar on a spit is turned over a fire 6 times in about a minute. So a spit is ten seconds.