Missed Opportunity

High-Chief Arrogarerr, leader of the Orc Tribes stood at the head of her horde, resplendent in her blood-soaked armor, each spike bearing the rotted heads of one of her slain foes. By anyone’s standards, she looks very intimidating and fierce. She was the coolest of all the Orcs, her Sub-Chiefs told her that every day, mostly because if they didn’t, heads rolled.

More deep-fried Dwarf liver, oh might chief?” asked her Goblin cook.

Did ya put dat stuff on it I like?” asked Arrogarerr.

Salt?”

Dats it.”

Yes, despoiler of the Land.”

Piercing the canapes with the tiny spears she insisted on using as utensils, she popped one in his mouth. This new salt thing was a real game-changer. 

While she was considering if the use of salt made her a foodie, a horn was blown, indicating that the Goblin delegation was approaching. Arrogarerr was not a diplomat. Her idea of negotiations amounted to the torture of her enemies and she considered most non-Orcs to fall into that category, and if she was honest, some Orcs as well. 

The only reason she had agreed to this parley with the Goblins is his advisor, the Seerer Bunntha told her that great portents of doom surrounded this meeting, and avoiding it would be as the boot steps of fate. Arrogarerr didn’t really understand any of that but Seerer Bunntha gave her the heebie-jeebies. The shaman had an extra eye on her forehead, it was a milky red, and it always felt as though it was looking straight through you. Pushing down that image in her mind, the High-Chief cracked her neck and greeted the Goblin delegation.

Riding up from the edge of the woods on two goats were Vork and Bork, not accompanied by any guards or aid-de-camps. Once they were twenty paces away, they dismounted.

Greetins’ High-Chief Arrogarerr, Mistress o’ da Orc tribes, great an’ terrible and slayer o’-” began Vork.

I already know who I am! Who are you two?” she interrupted. 

Roight. I’m Vork an’ dis ere is Bork. We’re da co-shop stewards of DHGOFG.”

What is this DHGOFG?”

Da Honorable Guild o’ Free Goblins.”

Never heard of you, and I’ve heard of a lot of stuff. A LOT!” shouted Arrogarerr.

Vork and Bork exchanged a look.

We’re a bit on da new side. Recent developments, an whatnot,” said Bork patiently.

What do you want?” asked the Orc High-Chief, who was not fond of polite conversation.

Two tings. First, ya recognize da independence o’ Goblin lands,” said Vork taking out a map.

Arrogarerr kicked a nearby Goblin thrall who scurried out and took it back to her.

We of DHGOFG ain’t lookin’ fer no trouble,” stated Bork.

Orcs love trouble!” said the High-Chief with a bark of mirth that was immediately supported by her horde who knew to laugh at their boss’s jokes.

Dat’s common wisdom, dat is,” acknowledged Vork.

As she examined the map, Arrogarerr asked, “What’s the second thing?”

It seems dat ya have quite a number of Goblins workin’ fer ya all in a non-compensated state.”

What?”

Slaves. Ya got a lot o’ Goblin slaves,” said Bork as politely as he could.

That we do!”

“’Eres da ting. We’re proposing a truce betwixt our folks, stay out o Goblin lands and we’ll not get into yer business, and visa versa,” calmly stated Vork.

Also, we’re askin’ dat ya free dose Goblins ya enslaved an as a gesture o’ good faith, we will present ya with thirty chests of gold and precious gems.”

 Arrogarerr stared at the two Goblins, anticipating a ‘Just Kidding!’ or at least a ‘Gotcha.’ Neither came.

Here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to kill you two, burn your lands to the ground and take ALL of your treasure. How does that sound?”

I’d urge ya to reconsider yer position on dat,” said Bork sadly.

Hmmm…,” mused the High-Chief as she drew her blood-red broadsword, “I’m gonna pass.”

Can I ask ya something?” enquired Vork

The prospect of imminent violence had improved Arrogarerr’s mood so she said, “Why not?”

How many Goblins do ya have enslaved?” 

Ha, too many to count! Why even the least of my warriors has at least ten Goblin thralls!” boasted the Orc.

Well den, while you’ve not heard o’ DHGOFG, lemme speak true. Yer Goblins have. So, I’m gonna ask ya once more. Will ya accept our terms?”

ATTACK!” bellowed Arrogarerr.

The battle was bloody. Arms lopped off, decapitations, and so on. While many, many Goblins did die that day, their sheer numbers overwhelmed the Orcs, who did not know how to defend themselves from an internal attack. Additionally, reinforcements from DHGOFG irregulars made it a classic pincer maneuver.

Vork and Bork moved through the survivors and made sure they all got the healing they needed. 

Sir!” called one of the newly liberated thralls called to them.

First, don’t call me sir, I work fer a living,” said Vork.

Sorry,” she cringed.

Second, yer one of us now, no need to bow an scrape, we’re all equals here,” added Bork.

Takes a bit of getting’ used dat.”

No worries, we get it. Wot didja want?”

Roight! We have a prisoner!”

Noice work dar. Let’s have a palaver, shall we?”

They were led to a single Orc, who was under guard by twenty armed Goblins.

Oy! Orc, wots’s yer name?” asked Vork.

Umm Gurnuth,” replied the Orc.

Roight den Gurnunth-”

Actually, it’s Umm Gurnuth, I’m named for me mum.”

Well den Umm Gurnuth, dis is yer lucky day it tis. We’ve got a job fer ya,” said Bork with a smile.

Is it killing folk? ‘Cause that’s really the only thing I know how to do.”

It’s not, but I think ya can handle dis. Der are other Orc tribes, roight?”

Uh, yeah. Lots of them.”

Peachy! Wot we want ya da do, is go round to dem all and tell them wot happened today. Ya tink ya can do dat?”

Umm Gurnuth was not the canniest of Orcs, he was very good at swinging a battleaxe but that was about it. Nevertheless, he also could see an opportunity when it presented itself.

I can do that,” he said.

Dis is important Umm Gurnuth, spare no detail of the carnage. We need dem to understand dat dis is what happens when you decline a polite offer from the DHGOFG.”

I get it, really.”

O’ course, if dey need some sort o’ proof, all day need do it come an take a look at wot we’re puttin’ up here,” said Vork as he looked over his shoulder.

Goblins, both newly liberated and previously so, were piling the Orc bodies in what would be, once they finished, a small mountain or a large hill. It would dominate the landscape for miles.

Bit o’ an eye sore really,” observed Bork.

True. But, it makes a point den, duntit?” offered Vork.

Dat it does.”

So… Can I go now?” enquired the remaining Orc.

I tink so.”

Gurnuth raised his hands and walked slowly towards the edge of the battlefield. The Goblins guarding him eyed him with naked hatred but parted to let him leave. Once clear, he ran as fast as he could into the distance.

Well, I tink dat Orcs moight start taking us a bit more seriously, after today,” said Bork.

Yah, would hope so.”

Still, dey ain’t dat bright.”

No, not dey ain’t.”

Still, if dey further instruction.”

School will always be open.”

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