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Who are these guys and where did they come from?

by Greywolf-ELM

Garnash One-tusk is a skilled tactical leader. He leads by example, and has a mean streak wide enough for two Ogres to walk down, side by side. Garnash keeps an eye and ear out for any weakness shown by the nearby Fat Lip tribe to the East, and Kobold lands to the East of them across the Streel River. From sources at the Sacred Cavern, entryway to the Red Orcland underground horde lands, Garnash heard mutterings of Kobold expansion into Darokin. The Fat Lips did not seem to be doing much about it, so Garnash, always looking for an opportunity for advancement in the horde, had Gynk Lip-biter send a warband to investigate. The Owl's left Vile Runes land on the first day of spring, the month of Thaumont, as humans know it. There was much grumbling from the Owls, as they missed the seasonal revel back at the tribe home.

The Owls opted to travel across Fat Lips tribe lands, over the Streel River, and through Kol (Kobold held lands), along the Southern end. The Owls were well known for stealth and scouting prowess. Trouble began, when the warband veered too far south and tried to use the forests there for cover. Winged creatures were spotted overhead, very large winged creatures. Fearing dragons or worse, the forests looked safer than open hills. The forests were full of elves who resented this, and sent the Orc warband on its' way, minus two Goblin members. The forest came alive with arrows and magic, shortly after the warband posted a watch, and settled down to rest. Filker and Sleach went down in the first hail of arrows with at least 10 arrows deeply embedded in each. As if that weren't enough, vines and roots came alive to grasp, tear and rend the bodies as they fell to the ground. Three Orcs and five Goblins emerged from the trees with arrow wounds and hurt pride. Not only did the watch miss hearing the ambush being set, but also no Orc was able to raise a weapon in defence.

Limping and wounded, the Owls skirted the northern reaches of the Elven wood. After another couple days of travel, and a narrowly missed encounter with a patrol of Trolls, the Owls reached the area they were looking for. They scouted around until they found signs of kobold hunting parties. The kobolds look disorganised and with little direction, which is contrary to normal kobold operations.

The war leader, Grigler Red-Snout sent two of the best scouts back to the home tribe with maps of the area and notes on how to get to the new kobold lair. This left Grigler and the rest of the warband, 5 Goblins, Snig, Snucker, Knas, Goxr, Nazs, and 1 Orc, Drigka.

Boredom sets in for the warband with a week passing with little sign of kobold activity; until. During a sleep shift, the number of Orcs in the warband was brought down to two. The kobolds had not remained unknowing of the Owl's presence. While Snucker 9-toes was on guard and napping in the hot glare of the sun, 15 Kobolds snuck into the camp, and killed the sentry the warband leader, Knas, Goxr, and Nazs. Drigka and Snig were left alive, One Goblin and one Orc for experimentation as ordered by Buimbu. Buimbu is a sorcerer and an Ancestral kobold, with red dragon blood flowing in his veins. Recently he took control of the kobold tribe, eliminating the kobold leader, and dumping the body. No one has been able to gainsay his rule, and live to tell about it.

After being brutally mobbed in their sleep, the Drigka and Snig are brought to the vivisection room used by Buimbu for experimentation on subjects. When conscious the two notice the remains of some poor green-skinned creature that has been flayed, cut up, and the skeletal remains hung from the ceiling.

After a failed escape attempt by Drigka, he was gagged. Drigka is a well-known Orcish Bard. His marching chant is used throughout King Thar's Horde. It became popular nearly three cycles of the seasons ago. Drigka hums it through the gag as best he can, waiting for the release of death, or the respite of rescue.

Onward, dogs, to strife, to war
Whips at back drive feet that's sore
With gnash of tusk and fire that's red
No resting now unless you're dead.

Gralar! Gralay! With blood and clash of steel!
Yahoy! Yahay! We fight for our next meal!
No pause, no cease, no give or retreat
Fight on in cold or wretched heat!

They tell us fight for Hoth and Hai
I say be damned until you die
No light no water for another day
Who needs that garbage anyway?

Broken tusk and aching back
We battle now, cities to sack
Then we crawl back to the pit
Your doom now in blood is writ!

Onward, dogs, to strife, to war
Whips at back drive feet that's sore
With gnash of fang and fire that's red
Life is pain and then you're dead!

For his part, Snig continuously tries to escape from his bonds, leaving bloody streaks running down his wrists. Both pass the time thinking of ways to have revenge upon the kobolds, and Buimbu. They do not know, that Gynk has already dispatched the newly formed Eagles warband to kill the kobolds and bring glory to the tribe.

Next Up: Return to In Search of the Unknown part 4 "Don't open the trophy door."

<Marching chant borrowed from the Farland Campaign website>