There was no further punishment for the murder of Kevnos. The Trickyfoot goblins didn’t care about him whatsoever and in fact he was not likely to last long once he got to the clan anyways. He was doomed the moment he found tracked the slavers in search of the escaped whelps that were so intriguing to their king. So, his body was cut loose and left for the vermin of the deep to consume and erase the evidence of his short, miserable existence. He now only survived in the hearts and minds of Nyx and Zyx and they held him in contempt.
Days before their capture the ranger decided to finally follow the tracks and discovered the slavers and with their shaman. He cautiously approached them and when the slavers sought to kill the stranger, the shaman halted them and inquired about their whelps. Kevnos initially hid the fact that he was caring for them and that the trio was living very comfortably. He was their king after all and their leader and together they were creating a new and loving goblin social dynamic. But a goblin is a goblin and his greed and treachery are not so easily abandoned.
The shaman promised Kevnos that he could join Trickyfoot clan and be a member of their scouting soldiers and that he would also be rewarded with an assortment of treasure from the king’s own vault. At this Kevnos could not resist though part of him ached as he explained to the slavers and shaman that he had found the whelps and had been caring for them. A barely budding love was killed in that moment and it pained his heart.
It was Kevnos who explained where the pool was and that he would take the whelps there to be captured and how he would even get them to abandon their gear so they would be an easier target. The slavers scoffed at the idea of having to disarm a pair of whelps but Kevnos convinced them that they were indeed formidable; that one had killed a cave centipede and the other had powers he didn’t understand. The Nakbor, the shaman, understood and he ordered the slavers to follow the plan.
Kevnos did not let them down and lead the boys to the pool where the slavers and vengeful shaman were waiting for them ready to drag them back to the home the narrowly escaped. Of course, the Trickyfoots were never going to uphold the deal they offered Kevnos. Such was the goblin way. The more treacherous were always praised most. There was no honor in loyalty and no reward for honesty.
So they were all at the mercy of the Trickyfoot slavers, betrayer, betrayed and even their own shaman who tried to betray the wishes of his own king and murder the whelps instead of bringing them back to the clan. Treachery upon treachery upon treachery, but as is often the case in the goblin world, the slavers won the day and were laughing with their new captures chained and in tow.
The remainder of the journey back to the Trickyfoot clan went mostly uneventful as long as you consider beating lashings and taunting uneventful. The boys began to vaguely recognize their surroundings as they neared. The caves they were born in were very much the same since their escape. It had not been that long after all. As the slavers paraded them through the halls they were subjected to many observers and more taunts from the various citizens of Trickfoot clan.
In their early days as Trickyfoots, they never went anywhere near the center of the village. They were outsiders really and scrounged for food by searching the caverns leading away from their clan. This is how they were able to escape so easily. It also meant that as they were dragged to the center of the clan, they were experiencing it for the first time.
It was actually a pretty impressive goblin town as for as the creatures go. It had decent construction and various large areas with a somewhat sophisticated design. In reality, there was never any actual planning, but with enough time, goblins sometimes stumbled upon something that made sense. The brother’s may have even enjoyed seeing their clan village had it been under different circumstances, but as it was, they wished they were back at the Sharpspear clan free from the trappings of goblin society.
The slavers did exactly what they were trained, and they lead their slaves to the dungeon. They boys and Nakbor knew they were getting close when they heard the screams and moans of constant pain and somehow smelled the blood that stained the floors there. It was a place many other creature imaged hell to be like, only, it was real and was central to most goblin clans.
With whips, kicks and taunts increasing as they neared the hearts of the boys raced and their eyes darted about taking in the sites and sounds of the torture chambers of Trickyfoot clan.
There was a gateway guarded by a pair of goblins armed with iron swords crudely crafted with curved blades. The guards didn’t hesitate to allow their kin to pass with the new slaves and even spat and kicked at the three as they were dragged through the gateway in hell.
Once inside, the boys were shocked to see the cages that contained various creatures, none of which looked up to see the new tenates. Inside there were many goblins, a few dwarves, a single elf and then various beasts that were unfamiliar to the boys. These creatures were all huddled in a heap on the ground and didn’t dare move. Wounds all over their bodies were the history of their pain and torment. There lives consisted of nothing but constant labor, punishment, emptiness and want. Their spirits were broken and their lives drained from them one lash at a time. They were hollowed out shells and not really even living beings any longer. They had been reduced to tools used by goblins. A fate worse than death.
Through the halls lined with cages and torture room filled with clever machines that were very efficient at delivering pain and anguish to selves and prisoners. The sites were alarming but nothing was worse than the stench. It rose up front the ground and hung in the air. It assaulted the senses of the three newcomers and tried to choke them. It was something that was difficult to describe. It was part blood, past excremental, part vomit. It didn’t smell like death. Somehow it was worse. It smelt like living doom. It was as if anguish had a scent that smelt like a warning to all who neared it.
Through the fog of this anguish, the boys and the shaman, Nakbor, finally reached the chief slaver Thux. He was deep into the goblin dungeon and when they found him, he was busy beating another goblin who cowered and screamed in a corner and tried to endure.
“You stupid!” Thux bellowed, “You worthless. We no kill slaves. We hurt slaves. We punish slaves. We steal life from slaves. We no kill them. Now I kill you.”
Thux was such a strangely large goblin that he towered over the object of his anger. When he kicked his subject the poor goblin’s body lifted from the ground, then he followed that with a crack from his barbed whip that spilt the poor creature’s flesh and slashed deep into his muscles. The victim’s cries were child like and pierced the air.
When the slavers with Nyx, Zyx and Nakbor in tow reached the room Thux turned and snarled, “What you want? You need beating too?”
“No master slaver. We here with whelps,” the head one answered.
“Whelps? What whelps?” Thux’s chest heaved with deep breaths and his huge muscles swelled with his tight grip on his whip and other fist clenched. Blood spatteres stained his face and drool dripped from his teeth and down his chin.
“You send us capture whelps master. We got them. And shaman.”
Thux considered the information for a minute. The blood in his eyes and the rage in his heart receded enough for him to think about what they meant. Through all the hate, he recalled that his king ordered some whelps to be captured. The thought of his king cooled the fire and he took a step back. He turned to the half-dead goblin on the floor near his feet and ordered, “Leave. Do not fail again.”
The words of his master slaver were a breath of life and with new hope that he would not die that day, the goblin suddenly found strength and leapt to his feet then sprinted away from Thux’s chambers to lick his own wounds.
The massive slaver fell back into a chair sewn with the flesh of victims. He exhaled then took a long drink from a massive stein filled with goblin liquor. “They give you trouble?” Thux smiled.
“Yes master,” one explained. “Shaman try kill them.”
“That why you chain him?”
“He try to curse us after.”
“You stop him?”
“Good. Anything more?”
“Yes master, we find strange goblin. He had whelps.”
“He slave them?”
“No master. They work together.”
“Yes, but he give them us. We slave them all.”
Thux bellowed a deep roar of a laugh. “Good. Where he?”
“This one kill him,” the slaver explained and he pointed to Nyx.
Thux laughed even louder, throwing his head back as his roars filled the halls. When he finally calmed down he responded, “No wonder king want him. He good goblin.”
Thux leapt to his feet then swung his long whip through the air and smacked it against the ground by the prisoners’ feet. Zyx fell back in the wake of the piercing sound sbut Nyx stood tall and Nakbor was in a place far away from that room, mending his wounds and plotting revenge.
“You lucky goblins,” Thux snarled. “I want to pain you. King want to meet you. Then we know your pain. Maybe live. Maybe die. We know soon.”
Thux smiled, “Bring them. King want to judge them.”
With that order, Thux, smasher slaver lead the way to the Trickyfoot throne room and the boys’ judgement.