Of Goblins and Bugbears
I woke up surrounded by goblins. They were circling me, poking me, cackling.
They started whispering and gesturing at me, they had seen that I was awake. I checked myself. I seemed okay, had my stuff, even my sword. My head did hurt a little. The little guys were quite sneaky and powerful.
They were speaking goblin. I do not know goblin. I whispered to Kord to give me the ability to speak in tongues.
"He will do, yes, he will teach us the ways of his god. We will be free, free! Yes, yes, he will take Him on."
They were saying things like that over and over again, as they hopped around and circled.
I interrupted. "I am Mord. Do you want to learn about Kord?"
"He speaks! None of the others spoke. Yes, he will do. Morth, why would we want to learn about rope?"
"Mord, my name is Mord. Rope? Who said anything about rope?"
"Nord, you said chord, a chord of rope, no? We want to learn about Gruumsh!"
"Gruumsh? You are goblins. Your god hates Gruumsh."
"Well, we hate our god. He curses us with foul bugbear. We want Gruumsh. We have seen the orcs and they live free and strong, doing what they will, hurting whomever. No discipline. Very nice."
"Ah, I see. Look, you have the wrong half-orc. I do not serve Gruumsh. I serve Kord, a mighty and good god. May his strength be with us all that serve and glory in him."
"Good? Yuck. This is not good. We made mistake."
"So maybe I can just go then. No hard feelings, right?"
"No, no hard feelings. Easy make mistake. But you not go. You become food."
I took out my sword and backed up. They came forward. They pressed in, viciousness in their eyes.
I looked around. Now was the time, surely, to use It. I cried out the secret holy name of Kord, a name that I shall not repeat here. The force of that name went out, knocking the goblins down, killing as it flew out.
I looked at the devastation about me, nodding.
Some goblins survived. I looked at them. I could tell that they were not evil. It seemed to be a couple of families.
"Hail, good goblins."
"Mord, you, you are powerful. Will you lead us?"
"I do not need to lead you. Kord can you lead you. Let me tell you about Kord."
And so I sat down and told them about Kord, our tales, our values. They look pleased and in awe.
"I must be going now, but if you follow the ways of Kord, you will grow strong and powerful."
"Oh Mord. Please. Before you go, will you take on bugbear?"
"Bugbear, huh? Never fought a bugbear. What is that some sort of cuddly insect? Or a creepy bear?"
"Go that way and find out."
So I obliged them, soaking in Kord's favor in preparation. As I went down the tunnel, I could hear crunching. Turning the corner, I saw it. It was big, it was ugly, it was furry, and it was eating an orc. I looked around and saw there were a lot of bones around, orc bones. And in the back in cages were some orcs that were still alive.
Blood dribbled down the bugbear's chin as it looked at me. It cocked its head, beared its teeth. It grabbed a net while I motioned to be invisible with my image moving away from me. I circled around while my image went towards the bugbear. It threw the net over my image and my image pretended to be trapped. The bugbear laughed saying in its guttural tongue, "All too easy. Half-orcs. Probably tastes bad." It stated to bend over to finish the job.
I went up to the bugbear from behind and let out a full series of blows. That annoyed it. But it seemed it could tell where I was and it unleashed a series of attacks on me with its great double axe. I dodged and parried, but it still got a good blow in and I staggered.
I again let loose a series of blows. I connected well, with my sharp sword, doing some massive damage. One hit was particularly brutal and the bugbear looked shocked, stunned, and then fell to the floor dead. My blow was just too much for it to take, me thinks.
I looked around at the orcs. They were not evil. I turned visible and let them out.
"Hi. I am Mord. I serve my lord Kord with my greatsword."
"Oh, thank Kord! We are all that are left of the faithful in our tribe, we are afraid. The others went back to Gruumsh! How could they? They tormented us about our beliefs. We were to be sacrificed on the feast day of Gruumsh when, all of a sudden, the tribe was attacked. We broke out and fled. We thought we were safe when one by one, we were captured by these foul goblins and this bugbear. We had been twenty strong, but now we are ten weak. Thank you Mord."
"Glad to be of service. Actually, it was me and my mate Fiola that took out the tribe. We have come back to finish the job. Do you have any idea where the survivors might have gone?"
"Fiola, my Fiola?" said a good-looking female orc.
"Maybe. She had told me that her mother had left with the other orcs. Maybe Fiola thought her mother was dead. That would explain her fury. Is your name Matola?"
"Yes, oh, oh, where is she? It has been so long."
"We got separated, looking for the other orcs. But when we are done, I can bring her back here. She will be delighted. But please, help me. Where might the other orcs be?"
"There was one place in the forest that was very defensible. They might have gone there. Just go north and follow the stream to about halfway to the mountains. You should see a very big tree. Go west from there and keep a sharp eye out. There is a narrow path winding down into a valley. And there at the base is a series of caves. They may be there. But be careful."
"Thank you. I will check them out. Now, about you lot. There are some nice goblins in the other cave over there. They may want to worship Kord too. They are good. I have verified it."
And so I took them and introduced them to the other goblins. I think they will get along well.
Now I must find Fiola and Starg and the other orcs.
Mords of Wisdom: Good fills in for a lack of evil.