Dreamweaver Chapter 148
The tunnel caved in after a few hours of work in poor working conditions, bad light, and lots of slick gravel that keeps pouring down the sloped tunnel. Several times we have to stop and rebrace support posts that were put down sloppy. I’ve seen many times what happens if you let the support post work get neglected with nasty cave ins. Then we had to bring in the diggers again and hear their worthless complaints and answer them with our whips. Right now there’s an endless sea of green ugly backs going into and out of the tunnel carrying rocks at a frantic pace. They know today is the day.
There’s a new alertness to them today that wasn’t there last week or last month working these same tunnels.
We keep trying to pick our way forward. There are grunts and the smell and stink of green back sweat from our tribals all over the place. Tribes have come together from all over the lands to work on this project and it’s been gaining momentum for some time. I can see markings of different groups that normally war against each other and steal each other’s lands and women cooperating for the first time under the new great shamans’ leadership.
But damn these ugly asses stink and the tunnels feel all closed in with stale and dank air. Remarkably the tunnel is holding together, although it looks like it was built by the mentally retarded at least in terms of its cosmetic appearance. There needs to be shoring up of the roof timbers in many places, even after I thought I got all of them.
But it will work for our invasion. It happens today. This has been in the works for a couple three years now with a lot of preparations. The dwarves don’t even realize we’ve been digging right next to them all this time, being sleepy with gold fever as they forget to check their own area.
Stupid dwarves. Their greedy hearts have gotten complacent. They have won for too long and think they are invincible.
Well…there are some dark dwarves on the take under stolen identities at the gate too but that’s another story for another time.
They are easily asleep in their hearts and courage thinking they will always be safe because of how tall the walls on their fortress are.
We know better.
We will have our revenge!
We will eat their children in our soup!
Those dwarves won’t know what hit them. Even today, we will have our revenge and steal back the birthright they robbed from us as the people of the earth element. Back when the creator created us, they were created at the same time with both of us struggling to gain the creator’s favor. This was way back when the world was still new and only us, them, and the elves and dragons walked the world’s spines before elves and dragons split from one another as well. At that time not even the orcs and the beastkin had been created yet.
It was then that their first father robbed our father of the birthright blessing and right to rule the lands. Every goblin is trained to know this story and how we must have the blood of all the others to fulfill restoring this birthright blessing that was lost to us. That’s why our hearts cry out in blood lust.
Every goblin hears this story even before he can walk and is expected to be able recite it by heart to every youth many times in a week under the lash of the shamans’ taskmasters’ whips; and we’ve been taught it since birth how we deserve our revenge against them and the great treason they’ve had against us. We’ve nurtured this racial memory and the hatred in our hearts over coals of fire.
They are the true enemy not us. We are only taking what is rightfully ours.
We will take their young, women, and old ones and eat their hearts to become stronger and more skilled in battle. We don’t normally eat the old ones hearts but some of them are heroes that got old so we don’t want to waste any of their blood. We shall spoil them on the flames of our campfires while laughing at their tears. We shall be the cunning ones while they lick the dust of our boots begging for scraps off our tables.
It’s the dream in every goblins heart to have this sweet revenge. The shamans keep stirring our hearts continually towards this dream under their war gods.
A voice breaks me from my thoughts.
“Garash! What are you doing, you worthless sack of maggot ridden filth? The shamans have been calling for you,” another green goblin like myself is staring at me with eyes filled with malice. He’s dashed down the tunnel to find me I see and looks more piss poor than I am. He’s struggling to get his breath, while standing all dopey faced in front of me.
I resist the urge to smack him around, which was my first impression.
He also resisted the urge to smack me.
Goblins have to cooperate and are expected to shout profanity at each other, almost as a greeting.
“What? I’ve done my share. Nobody told me I was being summoned to be with the Great Ones amidst the stars,” I said.
“What? No, this isn’t for blood duties or giving the great last sacrifice. But fear not, we will be reincarnated if it comes to that, enjoying the blessing of the gods and even ten virgins for every death in the face of the enemy. But for now, they want us to check the perimeter again. If the dwarves find out we’ve been tunneling into their city our whole plan will be ruined. We need to make sure our plans aren’t compromised,” the other fellow said.
I’m jealous though.
He’s got a pickaxe so he can dig better than I can. It’s back breaking work that seems to never end. Most of us just have spears, and whatever sharp rocks we can find. I used to have one, but it’d broken when I used it to crush an orc’s skull last week in a duel. Even when you are a good worker, while dreaming of eating dwarven children to fuel your vigor, you can’t dig properly without a proper tool.
At least there’s the Juice, the shamans are passing out. Everything feels better after a little Juice, even though it smells like beetle dung. They say it’s a form of doping to make us stronger, but the rumors say that they also do it so we won’t question suicidal orders or run away. Plus it takes away the pain so who cares.
It doesn’t feel like it makes me stronger but somehow I feel less of a coward when I drink it.
“Fine. I’ll go see them,” I waved him off.
He spits on the ground as a farewell greeting so I return it.
He retreats not showing his back to me until he’s a good ten meters away and then runs down the tunnel. So he’s not a coward and idiot after all.
I start trudging all the way back over the long line of green busy bodies in loincloths of furs and plundered cloth.
While I’m going back to the main camp there’s two endless lines of goblin tunnelers and sappers going at it in two parallel tunnels from the main shaman’s camp and where we all are getting our meals.
“Report!” a shaman screams at me so bad his spittle is going everywhere. He’s got rotten teeth, but is a capable leader. He outranks me so I can’t say anything against his bull shit orders. He’s being fierce to project authority. I can’t blame him since a project like this requires good leadership. I’m just glad our leaders aren’t cowards since that’s how you lose battles. And if you lose battles you end up dead.
Damn he’s ugly even for a goblin.
In goblin society, shamans have a lot of power so you don’t piss them off.
“We’ll break through into their cavern within the next two hours if we keep our current pace at digging. They won’t know what hit them until it’s too late,” I confirmed.
The other shamans are laughing with glee. They are sure trying hard to be sneaky but you can see their lack of innocence all over their faces.
“See? I told you this was a good plan. All our hard work is going to pull through today,” the one goblin shaman said to the other.
The other nods briefly, but he’s actually looking at a few human girl sex slaves that the shamans are sharing amongst themselves. The girls are too drugged up to even tell right from left right now and there are huge puddles of goblin slime that they are almost drowning in, while staked out over a small pool next to the map table.
I accidentally stared too long at her and the shamans are anxious to get rid of me. They don’t like sharing the good girls. Well… some of them have seen too much horror to be considered pretty anymore. It’s not fair that the shamans get better girls than we do.
The vice head shaman is starting to walk back over for his third time with the girl this morning when the other shaman calls him back.
“Tell the General we’re ready and stop wearing out our women. We know you’ve had more than your share of her. As soon as the diggers break through I want every goblin pouring through those tunnels as fast as they can. Make sure they stay running all the way in. If they hesitate less goblins get inside. If less goblins get inside the ones behind will be cut off by the resistance,” the head shaman argued.
“Dismissed,” he said, waving for me to leave him.
I glanced at that tasty goo and thick slime covered female again licking my lips.
“That will be all!” he reminded me.
What a shame.
I’m just a lieutenant but I guess all the lieutenants are getting a good speech first. I’m no fool though; he was also looking me over to see if I was a coward and if I looked fearful. If I had then he would have gutted me right then and there. I saw how his hand was next to the knife in his belt. He’d also left that girl out to make my senses dull too.
I think he just didn’t want me to look at their women very long. Why do shamans always get better women? Life’s so not fair. Just because I’m not a shaman goblin doesn’t mean I don’t want a better life too! And they don’t have to share their women with everyone in the camp like the rest of us do. The line gets too long after several hundred goblins are together on the same girl. It’s bullshit. And the ones that the camp shares are already maggoty half in the grave and full of disease too. They are kept alive by drugs and shit while their mind is long gone.
An hour later I’m checking my weapons like the other goblins. There’s servant kobolds going up and down the lines giving us each another dose of that bloodwine stuff we make. The stuff is addictive and makes us stupid in battle but fearless. I don’t care anymore.
I just want my turn to capture women and loot, even if they are dwarven girls, that’s better than nothing. Still dwarven girls fight too much and it’s hard to break their spirit so we don’t go for them as much as others. It’s like getting kicked by a mule trying to bed one of them, in more ways than one. Dwarven girls aren’t like humans. They’ll kill themselves or you before they’ll let themselves get taken. They’ll even bite themselves open to bleed to death rather than end up like the goo puddles we have here. And they don’t even have sharp teeth.
I’m going over my duties and to do list when I’m broken out of my violence ridden thoughts.
There’s suddenly a harsh horn blowing down the tunnels.
Wow, so early? Can it be true?
The horn blast sounds again.
That’s the signal we were waiting for! But it means we have to act fast and quick now.
Both tunnels have finally broken into the dwarven tunnels! I can’t believe it! After five years straight of digging we went right under their main entrance tunnel without them catching sight of it after this long! All it took was bribing the guards enough money this whole time to not check certain abandoned mining tunnel sections that ran under the city, which we branched off.
Within seconds the whole line of tunnelers is surging forward with goblin soldiers behind us coming up being to reinforce. All together our battle lines are at least a mile long.
There’s a few of my brethren that just got trampled as we surge forward. We’re all back to back, with our weapons in hand trying not to fall over each other while the drummers in the back are beating the kill song we always use when it’s time to butcher a town of the soft skins.
Who cares. The scum were weak and pathetic runts anyway, I thought as I see a couple more goblins get trampled. Some of us are even laughing at the trampled goblins who die because they can’t get back up and other goblins are still coming over them from behind.
I go over the primary goals in my head.
The initial assault is going well and ahead of schedule. The Goblin King will be happy. And if the Goblin King ain’t happy, then ain’t nobody happy.
We overwhelmed the first gate guards easily, all rampaging at full run from the dark, just to the left and right of the gatehouse. They never believed we could assault a city this big and are now paying for it with their lives. They are still alive but being eaten and stabbed by at least five goblins per dwarf. Our reinforcements are all diving to protect the lever of the portcullis so no dwarves can get to it in time. Somehow they made it.
It’s a goblin insult to eat dwarven flash but we don’t always do it because it’s so dangerous to even try unless you outnumber them by five or six per dwarf.
I can hardly believe it myself while I’m trying to hurry and give this dying piece of shit dwarf a few more stabs to make sure he’s down. He hasn’t screamed in about ten seconds but we can’t take any risks, since dwarves are so freaking tricky. We have to verify all the gate guards are down.
Still we’d only gotten our tunnel to breach the outer gate and not the inner gate. I’ll learn from this next time. We can still win this.
I can hear his dwarven brethren, also guards, screaming as we try to ruthlessly stab every inch of flesh that’s sticking out of their armor. They are lively enough to really feel it when we’re grinding up their flesh with knives.
That’s kind of a con though. Normally we’d want to torture them but dwarves are tough. I don’t like fighting them much, but they give good loot, way better loot than humans or beastkin. I’d rather be sacking human towns though. Human towns are easier to sack, but less money. But their flesh tastes better, and their women have more meat on them.
We overran the guards before they could lower the portcullis.
Fools! This is their downfall! By the maker we will take their city and gold for ourselves! Infidels! Weak! Their women will become our cattle! How could they be so stupid to keep it open all the time! They have become fat and slothful in their position of safety, not believing we could steal it from right under their noses!
Classic goblin textbook strategy to take it down before they can release the lever control mechanisms. Within another minute there are over five hundred goblins in the gate tower alone and more surging past. The design of the gatehouse was flawed too, with not enough killing pits, or ramps before the entrance. Even a newbie would spot that a mile away. The other gatehouses are just as bad.
They’d become blind in their greed for gold and material wealth, neglecting necessary fortifications in their fortress’ structure that even a child would spot.
I can hear Grikh next to me with his whiny ass voice again. He’s bitching about the bounty again.
“What? I wouldn’t waste your time with those. The only time they are willing to put up a bounty is when the target is too strong to even think about attacking. Use your head Grikh,” I warned him.
“Ahh you’re right. My mistake,” he cursed.
He’s mad that I’m right and doesn’t want to admit it. But he also knows its not worth losing his neck over.
He’s a good mut. We grew up in the same brood together, but he’s a bit dense sometimes. I’ve been able to count on him so far, but I’m worried the sheer numbers on the bounty will cloud his judgment. He was never good at avoiding the hypnotism of dwarven gold. I’ll admit even I fall to it sometimes.
I could remember seeing the bounty posters easily enough. The amount of gold could buy a goblin fiefdom and easily give me at least five concubines on the side, and hire a personal goblin elite guard of ten. I’d be set for life…
Of course my own guards would probably be looking for the chance to steal it from me the whole time. After all that’s the goblin way.
Wait am I crazy? These are obviously dangerous targets. Thinking about the gold reward was clouding my head for awhile. What was I thinking?!
Must have Bounty list by official order of the Goblin King;
Cassius; mage. Fire caster specialization. Described as old with a blue pointed witch hat and very loyal guard retinue. Gray hair, with bald spot on head and long flowing white beard that doesn’t match his head hair color. Very perceptive and intelligent. Avoid confrontation without a full brigade.
Reward for Cassius; 500 gold and pick of 1 human concubine taken from the war booty. Guarantee from the goblin king of a human concubine free of leprosy and still having all four limbs if such are available.
Svinn; Dwarven hero; specializes in anti-goblin tactics. Ruthless and a degenerate that’s killed countless numbers of goblins even till our grandfather’s grandfathers. Cunning and ruthless, often in dwarven platoons. Kill on sight and avenge your father’s fathers. Known associate of Lord Striggon, but believed to have recently started a dwarven outpost of some kind nearby.
Reward for Svinn, 300 gold and pick of 1 human concubine. As above.
Lord Striggon; Dwarven Lord of the City; This target is considered a must and also a primary target as part of the city downfall. Invasion won’t be complete without taking him out and as many of his house as possible. Ruthless and cunning, known associate of Svinn the dwarven hero. Considered to be old beyond years and probably weak because of age.
Identifying marks; Silver mithril plate mail believed to be valued at probably at least half the dwarven kingdom. Known to also carry a gold mithril alloy crown on his head with a bright red center ruby, carrying some kind of dwarven witchcraft that helps him inspire fear in goblins and orcs.
Reward for slay or capture of Lord Striggon’s head; 600 gold
Reward for any member of Lord Striggon’s house; 30 gold per head, but only 15 gold each for children, identifiable by their house insignia on rings, cloaks, and clothes.
Unknown mage; identifiable as Eastern human appearance but barely as a stripling by human standards; believed to be responsible for wounding one of the four great shamans, and guilty of thwarting invasions in the Dwarves’ southern province. Must be executed on sight and his heart and mana core delivered to the Goblin King himself; Rumored to be in company of numerous high quality female human concubines, which the Goblin King wants personally for himself.
Reward for county; 200 gold and pick of 1 human concubine.
The Dwarven War Twins; guilty of sacriledge and murder of the worst kind including goblin baby killing from over fifty years of pillaging, even though we started it first. Must be executed on sight and heart and mana core delivered to the Goblin King himself. Must piss on their intestines as part of execution order.
Reward for slaying; 900 gold each and pick of 1 human concubine.
Reward for any caster’s slaying or capture defending the fortress; 10 gold each, but mage’s mana cores must be intact to be considered eligible for bounty.
Goblin King’s outstanding bounty for the best looking females; 20 gold each but must be alive and not mortally wounded for King’s Concubines Incentive bounties; special details may apply, see head shamans for details.
I can hardly believe our hard work has paid off. We’re finally looting, and pillaging one of the biggest dwarven cities in their whole kingdom! And our whole army has gotten past the wall without a fight!
But then we heard it. The city alarm.
Crap. That’s too early! Our plan needed to delay the alarm as long as possible which was why we’d had assassins and scouts in the first ranks of the assault to prevent that from going off.
“Dammit! Which one of you fuckers was supposed to be preventing them from reaching the alarm in time! Now we’ll have to work!” I screamed at the shit green ugly brothers around me.
Someone had dropped the ball. If our people had been in the upper gatehouse towers in time and covering all the halls like they should have, then nobody would have been able to raise the alarm.
But no, some dumbass probably got his team killed and one of the guards reached the alarm lever upstairs.
We can still take the dwarven city. It’s just a small minor detail to get worked out.