Hathcyn sucked air through his teeth as he pulled the crate from the stack. He watched nervously as the other crates behind it slowly rocked back and forth, only to settle. Inside the crate he held, the wine bottles tinkled together.
As Hathcyn lifted crates in search for the items he needed, Grimbeorn led down the passage to where the intersection saw a passage go off to the left and right. With a nod, the Beorning signaled the Fire-watcher and their new Elf ally to follow the right passage, as he watched.
The forge was silent and only the coal embers provided any light. There were tools there, too, which were of orcish make - but also those of Men. Surely these were more spoils of the raiding parties. Laeral saw that the goblin-smith had finished a large batch of arrowheads that needed only to be attached to shaft and feathered. Cruel bards, they were, with wicked edging that would pierce deep. Arbogast saw a batch of unfinished blades - their tangs yet to be cross-guarded and wrapped, though orcs oft times did not labor much on guards.
There was a large box of charcoal with a spade, a workbench with tools, and a shelf that contained small cups filled with different minerals of various metallurgic use. The room was also filled with multiple picks, axes, and shovels.
After reviewing all the content, Laeral went south to where a passage led into darkness. Arbogast moved to the other passage where bright light flickered. A series of small stairs led down to a large chamber and many voices could be heard.
"You come here with news, you say?" came a gruff voice.
Another voice, "We have marched long from the south of Mirkwood by order of the Master of Dol Guldur. He has sent us to give word of the Great Eye and the return of the Dark Lord to his throne in Mordor. All must rally to his banner."
"Must I?" inquired the first voice.
"Your warren of goblins might be unrevealed to our enemies - east, north, and west - but your labors are always for Him. Never can we ignore the Master when he calls." The reply came with an edge of anger. It was becoming apparent to Arbogast that the deeper voiced Uruks were here to demand tribute to their master in the south.
But whom? The threat that they saw in Dol Guldur? Or was this new threat to the west, on the Dwimmerhorn - this Gibbet King? Or perhaps worse - the rumors of Mordor rising?
"Our master will come next, or certainly another of his kind, and then will you be made to kneel once more before the powers. Otherwise, this cozy warren that you pride yourself on will be wiped clean of all of you." The deeper voice was becoming more agitated. "The dragon is dead. Men, Elves, and Dwarves now grow in strength in the North. The Master does not wish to see such a union of folk and ever shall we worm into their councils to spread fear, disunity, and isolation.
"So, while your little raids are important in keeping these men of the lake on the water, it is time that you become more ruthless. You will aid the Master of Dol Guldur by housing his servants, along with us Uruks. From these holes we will sow the seeds of distrust."
"And should I have my folk become more ruthless by killing these men, surely they will seek us out! No longer will we be just a nuisance, but now a real threat."
The Uruk voice responded coldly, "Then be the threat. Let them raid this hole. We shall dig more and undermine their world!"
A sudden gleeful cry went up from the many goblins that must have been present in the chamber - the aura of strength had left their chieftain and was now surely in the hands of the greater orc.
Back in the first chamber, Hathcyn pulled at a crate to free it from the stack - inside were four bottles of Rhovanion red wine. I will be making a purely random event here by rolling a d12. A result of 4-10, or a rune will mean the crate is freed from the stack. A roll of an -or- a 1-3 will cause the stack to collapse creating a great noise.
Yea I am here and all is well. I have been reading everyone's contributions and I have just not been able to get to a post. I hate to always have a litany of excuses, but things are busy here - my mother has apparent signs of memory loss beginning and so I spent the better part of the last two weekends making their home 'smart' so my Dad has resources to help her out with stuff. Then this week has been about my daughter's 9th birthday, prepping that, and finally I have been designing the layout and shopping the hardware to demo and rebuild our master bath, which I start this Saturday.
So yes, I am here and negligent, but it is because I am mentally drained. I keep visiting our page and think about what to do with your current actions and then I say I will get back to it, and 8 days pass.