The slaver group went to sleep eventually with their bellies filled and their sides tired from laughing at their slaves so much. Zyx merely laid there silently and wondered about his mother, about how they were captured and what would happen next. Nakbor passed out from the pain of his beatings and rested uneasily wincing in pain as he moved from several fractured bones and many bruises. Kevnos did not sleep well at all but did try to close his eyes and rest. He, like any older goblin, knew that he would need all his strength to endure the trek back to the goblin town and to survive the inevitable beatings that would come. Only Nyx did not try to sleep at all. He was busy glaring at Kevnos. In his heart and rage built. It was ever growing and he had one single thought. Retribution. They whelps had trusted Kevnos. They thought they were a family even though they had never heard the word. They were comfortable and safe, or at least that’s what they thought. Kevnos was good to them and they shared. Things goblins typically never do. Now it was all gone, and it was clear that Kevnos had betrayed them. Nyx didn’t know why as he was too young to understand that goblins are merely like that. It is how they society operates. If a goblin can benefit by betraying another, he will. Nyx only wanted one things from him now. Revenge.
Zyx was also struggling with the goblin world but in a different way. He barely had many memories of his mother but she was still his mother. And although he did not exactly know what role she played in the goblin shaman coming to them in the first place, causing them to flee for their lives, he still had a filial draw towards her. She was a despicable creature like most goblins, but Zyx didn’t really have any concept of that. She birthed him and so his spirit was connected to hers in a way that pained him to know she was lost. The very wicked, treacherous society that birthed him killed her and now he and his brother were slaves. Betrayed by the only one they thought they could trust.
Speaking of the treacherous Kevnos, Nyx barely ever took his eyes off him. Even the next morning, when the group roused and began to march back to Trickyfoot town, he maintained his deadly gaze. Kevnos could feel it but continued to ignore it. He mostly looked down trying to avoid the wrath of the gleeful slavers and also the disappointment he felt when he saw the rage in Nyx’s eyes.
They had much difficulty getting Nakbor up. His body was badly beaten but he as still able to walk. The shaman actually seemed to be in a bit of a trance. He mumbled unintelligibly and shuffled his feet, chains dragging along. The slavers were a little more kind to him this day knowing that if they beat him too much more, he would likely not be able to continue. Normally that would not stop them at all but in this case, they were under specific instructions not to kill the shaman of their wicked god. Even goblins knew better than that, their fear was one of their most developed senses and emotions.
So, the group trudged onward making their way through the caves. They had in fact marked their way so they would not get lost when they went in search of the boys in the first place. Nakbor guided them there, his totem made from their mother’s leg was a great tracking device, but the slavers had no idea in which direction the were going so they marked the walls of the caverns with a glowing powder so they could find their way back with their slaves. It was a good system and they were never lost.
The second night was similar to the first, they slavers watered their slaves one by one as before, taunting and whipping them as they pleased. This time Zyx was more prepared for the task and managed to drink more water, which was good, for he was dehydrated and was having difficulty focusing. He even stumbled many times while walking which only brought on more abuse from the slavers. He suffered several wounds from whips and kicks but only bore some small cuts and light bruises. Otherwise he was in decent condition. The water felt like life flowing through his body and refreshing him. He could even feel his mind sharpening as the fluid replenished his worn soul.
Nyx again had no problem and even though the slaver once more abused him, he did not cry out or beg, only took the punishment, drank the water all the while staring down his abuser.
Kevnos managed to drink plenty and was still in good shape though he worried what they Trickyfoots would do with him. He, knowing goblin society well, figured he was bound for the slave ranks, at least that’s what he hoped because if they did not find him suitable for slave work, it was more likely that he would be fed to some beast or tortured and killed just for fun. None of his future paths were bright.
Nakbor did not attempt anything tricky this time but calmly drank his much-needed water then returned to his trance state complete with mumbling. The others did not know it, but the shaman was indeed channeling spiritual energy to heal his physical body. Without an implement or any other focus for his efforts it was less effective, and goblins did not usually spend a lot of time perfecting the art of healing in favor of causing pain and anguish instead, but they still were able, and Nakbor was well on his way to mending his own wounds.
The evening went same as the previous with the slavers cooking a meal which smelled intensely desirable to the four slaves who had not eating in two days now. They could only watch and want however as the five cruel goblins ate and laughed as they did before.
Only Nyx had a different plan for the evening. As the goblin slavers finished their meal and their fun, four of them drifted off the sleep while the fifth was left to watch over the slaves. Nakbor was deep in his healing trance, Nyx was also in a trance-like state, though he was stuck between his desire to contact his mother’s spirit once more and his regret that she was dead. Kevnos was trying to get comfortable as he could on the hard, cold, stone, the onetime Sharpspear king reduced to just another slave. Nyx continued his stare, all thoughts in his mind were blocked. He had only one goal and one target, the goblin who took them in only to then sell them out.
The goblin guard who was supposed to be watching over the slaves naturally struggled to maintain his attention. Goblins are not typically known for their concentration and this one, like most, got bored quickly. To entertain himself he pulled a pair of dice made from bone from a pouch on his hip and began rolling them on the stone. This was all the opportunity Nyx needed.
With the flame in his eyes and his soul stoked into a roar, Nyx pounced on Kevnos who was chained next to him, he wrapped his hands around the goblin’s neck and squeezed with all his strength. Kevnos squealed only once before the air in his throat was severed and he thrashed about trying to free his breath.
Nyx growled and held on, legs wrapping around his waist from behind pinning his prey to the ground. Chained to the other three goblins, Kevnos’ movements were limited, and he could not get free from the young goblin’s grip though he did thrash about creating a clamor that echoed through the halls.
The slavers woke immediately, and the guard pulled his whip and began striking Nyx on the back leaving sharp slashes which were red with blood, but the blows did not slow the attack or the vengeance that drove Nyx.
Zyx and Nakbor were pulled, chained to the fighting pair, and were struggling to remain clear of the battle. Zyx screamed his brother’s name but nothing else. Nakbor merely smiled.
The other slavers grabbed Nyx and began beating him, trying to get him free from Kevnos, who was growing limp in Nyx’s hands. They shouted and rained down blows on the young goblin, but Nyx clung to Kevnos as the ranger clung to life, each trying to wrestle it from the other.
In just a few more moments, Kevnos dropped to the ground and moved no more, eyes bulged in his head and tongue hanging from his mouth. Nyx took a blow to the head and his own vision failed him as he fell to the ground next to his victim.
The slavers continued to beat Nyx for a few moments, but he no longer moved. Zyx gasped and tried to get to his brother but a slaver slapped him across the face.
With the fight over, the slavers looked to the combatants to assess the damage.
“This one dead!” one of them declared. “Should shaman help?”
“Nah, he no Trickyfoot. We no care,” another answered. “Other one dead?”
“No, he live. What we do with him? Kill him?” Zyx’s heart froze at the words and his mind raced trying to figure what he might do to prevent them from killing his brother.
“Nah, king say he want this one. We no kill him,” the slaver leader decided. Zyx exhaled slowly and sat down. They would live another day.