The bodies of Lizard-folk and, by the looks of it, a couple of humans, hung from the ceiling like the carcasses of cows and pigs one sees in a butcher shop. The bodies were skinned and in various states of decomposition. Goblins love their meat a little rancid.
I turned back to Sleestak, "I think you better get out of here and alert the city guard."
"No!" he shouted with fear. "It was Captain Morgan who brought us here. He works for Brunis. They are building an army of goblins."
I began to search the room as I lost myself in thought. So, Brunis is looking for more than extortion and maybe running the Empire from behind the scenes. It looks like he wants to establish his own empire and Giland was as good a place as any other city.
I did not know how many of the city guards were involved with this. I had to proceed with even more care than usual. Even if I defeat Brunis and retrieve the letters Captain Morgan and some of the local guardsmen, may try to settle accounts with me.
I found some dirty clothes that I tossed over to Sleestak. "Here wear these."
"Why are you here?" the Lizard-man asked as he dressed.
"I'm on a top secret mission. I cannot say more. But, I need you to get out of here and tell no one about my presence here."
Sleestak found a rather long and nasty blade (obviously some torture implement) that he tucked into his belt. "How do I explain my escape?"
"Just tell them you broke free and overpowered the goblin," I offered. I was about to leave the room when a thought struck me.
"Are there others I should free?"
"No, I was the last. Morgan and his men rounded up many people from my village and they sent us here. I watched my people be tortured before they were butchered. Their blood collected in buckets for goblin stew," Sleestak spat.
"Do you know where Morgan and Brunis are?" I enquired.
"Yes, this tunnel leads to an old ruined fort. Fort Abysmal, there you will find them. But, I caution you. There are more than goblins in this tunnel. I have heard...strange noises. I am sorry that is the best I can do. If you want, Sleestak will fight with you."
I shook my head, "No, you must escape, go down the stairs and the tunnel there is a lever that'll lead you to the basement of the castle. You will be able to find help from Kreel the cook. I am sure she'll find a way to get you out of the castle without the guards knowing."
I resumed my travel up the tunnel after Sleestak descended the stairs. I grasped my sword even harder now. No sound escaped my acute hearing -- not the skittering of rats scurrying out of my way, nor the plunk of water dripping into a shallow pool somewhere into the distant.
Thankfully, I wore gauntlets for my sweaty palms would have lost their grip on my blade. I did not relish the idea of taking on an army of goblins in addition to whatever else there may be down here, plus the original task of Brunis and now Captain Morgan thrown in. All I know is that there had better be a rather hefty reward after I was done.
The passage began to slope upwards. There were no stairs just a ramping floor that continued to climb steadily upwards. After awhile it finally ended at another wooden door.
I pressed my ear against it. There were not any sounds. There were also no traps of either mechanical or magical nature. However, there was a lock, which proved easy to pick.
I slowly opened the door and peered around it. All I saw was just more tunnel and more torches. However, the passage was now level.
I continued to creep down the tunnel when I suddenly came upon two goblins on sentry. I did not hear either of them for they had been sleeping in the passage and they did not hear me as I stole upon them. I left them to their dreams...permanently. I slit their throats so silently and efficiently that neither one awoke. I placed their bodies back in their sleeping repose and continued on. I am sure if anyone came upon them that at a distance they would look like they were asleep. However, closer examination would reveal a large puddle of blood on the ground.
The worse part of this was apparently Brunis did not pay his goblins very well. I only found three Silver Crowns between them. Their rusty blades were not even worth the effort to cart out and try to sell to some vendor.
Onward and forward, the tunnel wound. I did not happen upon any more goblins when I came upon another door in the right hand tunnel wall. Again, I listened and searched for traps -- again nothing on all counts. This time the lock was of good construction. It took me about thirty seconds for me to pick it.
The door swung open on its own and revealed a dark room. The little light that shone in the room revealed little except a stone floor. I stepped in and the door slammed shut behind me. I instantly felt my hackles rise as they did when I heard Sleestak's screams.
I silently uttered my dark sight spell and there at the end of the long room sneaking towards me as silent as a cat was a demon.Posted by deg at April 25, 2007 8:00 PM