In the boys’ birth home a huge stirring had settled across the village. Whispers passed from one goblin to the next and before long the boys had become legend. Their acts had been exaggerated to the point where they were said to have slaughtered a dozen soldiers with spells and great feats of physical strength. This all sounds preposterous and glorious to any who doesn’t comprehend the goblin ways but to those who do, they understand that rumor is fact amongst goblins and facts are fleeting. The whole affair had already begun to fade shortly after the party put together to find and destroy them had departed.
The rumors reached the court or the Trickyfoot king, Gnobum. Some of his servant goblins were whispering to each other and it annoyed the king.
“What you whisper about?” The king shouted, pointing his twisted obsidian mace at the pair of gossipers.
“Nothing, my king, forgive stupid goblin, no hurt me,” one stammered in response cowering low and even covering his head as though the mace were already crashing down on him though the king was many feet away atop his throne constructed of bone.
“Tell me!” the king demanded, “Or I crush you skull!”
“Just whelps, king. Some Trickyfoot whelps.”
“What about whelps? What interesting about whelps? Tell me!” The king screeched.
The servant goblin took a few steps backward as if the king’s voice blew him back and continued to cower with the other gossiper hiding behind him trying best not to be seen. “They killed goblins, many goblins, and beat shaman of Sagobr. I hear they strong, one powers has, other mighty, deadly. They run away. Shaman to hunt them now. Call for soldiers.”
“Shaman called for king’s soldiers and no tell king?” Gnobum rose to his feet, much larger and many goblins and an actual imposing figure. The servants cowered and backed away until they thudded against the stone wall behind them. “That make me angry!” The king raised his mace high and swung it around his head as though he battled a group of enemies before leaping from his throne and smashing the mace to the floor in one mighty motion creating a massive blast of stone flying in all directions. All servants in the room ducked to the ground and covered their heads.
He shouted, “Bring me Thux! I need my chief slaver!” Servants scattered in all directions some to try to fulfill the king’s wishes, others to hide but word did reach the Chief Trickyfoot slaver that his king demanded his consol.
Thux was also a larger goblin and strong. He carried a wicked barbed whip, with three separate lashes, that was feared by all in the clan except the mightiest among them and well known to the Trickyfoot slaves. It was a weapon that brought even the strongest and proudest creatures low and forced them to submit. None wished to feel its lashes especially in the hands of its cruel wielder. With confidence, Thux entered the court of his king and upon reaching the throne, he bowed, “You call my king?” he began.
By this time Gnobum had time to calm somewhat and was once again seated on his throne contemplating what to do next. In his meditation, he got the sense that somehow he knew these whelps. He could not understand how but he imagined them reaching out to him for help. More than that though, he sensed their ability and therefor their value to the tribe and as king of the Trickyfoots, he was always looking for ways to strengthen and expand his tribe. Goblins typically dwelled in the dark cold crevices of mountains, but the most successful kings and tribes managed to live and thrive in the open hills or sometimes valleys of the world. A goblin king could dream of such things at least and two powerful whelps could be useful in achieving it.
“Thux! You hear of whelps attacking shaman?” The king asked.
“Yes king. I hear of them.”
“I want them. They seem strong. Trickyfoot need strong goblins. I want raid soon. Orcs threaten us. Strong goblins we need.”
“Where they now?” the slaver asked.
“Not sure. I hear shaman want to find them. This shaman not respect king. I king, not he. He not command my goblins.”
“Of course king.”
“But!” the goblin king paused and twisted his mace in his hands. “Shaman speak to Sagobr Dreaddeath. We not make Dreaddeath angry. Bring shaman too. I judge who live and who die.”
“Yes king. I capture them.”
“Good! No fail me Thux!” the king smiled pleased with his decision and perceived cunning. “Go! Send slavers! Bring them here.”
With a wave of the king’s hand, Thux bowed once again then trotted off to organize a party of slavers.
Thux returned to the slave dungeon where they held their unfortunate prey captive. It was the worst place imaginable. Constant pain, torture, screams and agony were the hallmarks of the goblin dungeons. Most prefer death but goblins were talented at inflicting pain and preventing death. Once there, Thux organized some of his slavers. Five in all. He ordered them to get wolf mounts from their pens, nets bolas whips and barbed ropes to capture their targets. And instructed them on the specifics of the mission. Capture the boys. Do not kill them. Do not let the shaman kill them. Capture the shaman. It was a complicated mission for goblin slavers who were used to raiding and capturing anything they did not kill and there was a significant chance that they would not complete the mission as designed but such was life in the goblin world. With equipment, supplies and weapons prepared, they set off to find the shaman who ordered this mission in the first place and could track the boys.
Before they could set off they had to find the shaman who so strongly desired holding them accountable for their rebellion and violence against him. Nakbor grew angrier and more focused in waiting for an escort and in the meantime, had begun construction on a makeshift totem specific to the mission at hand, capturing and torturing the boys. In typical goblin fashion, it was a macabre collection of body parts, blood and bone mostly from the mother of the boys. Her ears, her tongue, her teeth and her hair were used to decorate her thigh bone all covered in her blood. Already it reeked of death and hate and would not even have appeared as a totem to any but those familiar with the shaman arts. Nakbor even had enough time to enchant the totem quickly with one enchantment.
Once the totem was constructed, the goblin shaman held it in his hands and focused his thoughts on the boys. He pictured them in his mind and chanted hateful words of curse. Specifically, he chanted goblin for “flesh to dust” over and over. The image of the whelps turned blood red then black in his mind as they shrank and wilted away like flowers in bitter sun until they were nothing but dust. The process took more than an hour but once finished Nakbor smiled, anticipating the pain he would inflict with the spell. It was a spell that, as an experienced shaman, he could inflict, but it was easier and faster to cast the spell using the prepared totem.
At last the slaver party reached the shaman. Nakbor didn’t hesitate with more words than he needed and didn’t bother explaining anything to the simple slavers. He merely uttered, “follow me,” and turned to head off after the boys, their spirits still very strong in his mind.