Selfish Platter-Da Great Goblin Rebellion-Part 35

Author’s note:

This is a bit embarrassing. Here is a missing chapter of Da Great Goblin Rebellion. I wrote it and failed to post it. Why you might ask. I’m going to say it was a spell a Fell Sorcerer cast on me. Let’s go with that. I know that anyone who followed this epic tale knows the end, but consider it a deleted scene that should not have been cut. Or a midweek bonus in the cold and dreary time. That’s the vibe where I am anyway.

Enjoy!

-Leo Byrne Jenicek

Darvinia sat in the meeting chamber of the Society of the Night. It was carved out of crimson marble and imported to the Pernicious Donjon at great expense. Well, a lot of people died getting it here and the builders were all killed afterward. The lesson is, don’t do business with evil organizations.

All those dead contractors might take some small comfort in knowing that the fell sorceress that ordered their deaths was almost always unhappy. Probably not as much as still being alive, but finding joy in death is a challenge.

Tapping her dark green, lacquered fingernails on the obsidian table (Stolen from a Dwarven artisan) in the center of the room, she asked, “What are you calling her?”

She has the title of Midnight Warden,” replied Renomite, Boss of the Blasted Prairie.

What the F— is that?!”

Just a title, meaningless really,” added Marmek, Marquise of Moon.

And why does she have a title-”

A meaninglesssssssss title,” Sisssmorrr of the Snake-Folk hissed.

Not the point! Why did you do this while I was away?”

Frankly, it was easier that way,” admitted Marmek.

Glaring at them, she knew in her heart of hearts that it was a solidly deceitful move. She would’ve done the same.

Fine, as long as it’s a wholly ceremonial title with no actual power-”

Greeting sister!” cried Exhaultia as she entered the room, dressed in a suit of elaborate bone armor.

They air-kissed each other, in their customary passive-aggressive style.

I love your outfit, it really accentuates your… best attributes,” said Darvinia with a smirk.

Dress for the job you want,” the Necromancer replied.

Let us get to business,” suggested Punmurr, Warlady of the Blood Keep.

Let’s.”

Wine and snacks were served, it was not a conclave of evil without refreshments. After small talk and mean-spirited gossip, they finally got down to work.

Have we found the riffffft yet?” asked Sisssmorrr.

The ‘heroes’,” sneered Darvinia, “keep sending out their Griffin-Riders, though only about half have come back.”

This elicited a round of sniggering from around the table.

How have our Bat-Raiders fared?” asked Darvinia, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes.

Not well. Their motto is ‘Surrender is for cowards, and are we cowards? No! We are not! So keep fighting!’ so none have returned,” Marmek reported.

Shouldn’t a motto be pithier? Something like, ‘Never Give Up!’,” asked XoXor of the Abyss.

She’ssssss right,” agreed Sisssmorrr, “Brevvvvvity is at the heart of a motto.”

While no one disagreed with that idea, it was pointed out that their lack of results was the real issue. And perhaps a more flexible mindset for the Bat-Raiders was in order.

Let those fools in the Citadel or the Light do all the hard work,” said Marmek as he sipped his pepper-infused mead.

I’d rather a legion of Bat-Raiders die before we help the Grand Concordance of the Wise!” declared Exhaultia.

Her sister held her tongue. Clearly working with the disposable dead had dulled her social skills. As much as Darvinia wanted to point out the undeniable downside to that strategy, it was best to ignore it and move on.

I have a lot of thoughts about how to get the most out of this war,” said Darvinia as she produced a scroll, “Here’ s a list of territory we can seize with minimal effort once the Abominations are dealt with.

We have more pressing concerns.”

Everyone in the chamber jumped in their seats, and one shrieked. It was Master Hugh. Based on his name, you might think he was a professor at an all-boys boarding school who was beloved for his kindly nature and occasionally cheeky jokes. He also coached the Orc-Ball team.

That was not who he is. Master Hugh was also known as The Dreaded Comptroller. In the Society of the Night, there are few figures more feared. I’m including Bamvak, Lady of Terror, whose cursed nature fills all who behold her with dread. This makes dating impossible but that’s a story for another time.

Mater Hugh appeared from the shadows, as was his wont, clutching his Ledger of Doom. He was an Economancer, versed in the deep and dangerous lore and mysteries of coin and commerce. He was responsible for the financial well-being of the Society of the Night, making him a figure of great power. Despite being filled with the evilest beings in the land, the Society still needed to balance the books.

Master Hugh, welcome!” replied Darvinia, who put on her game face, “Can we offer you some refreshments?”

No,” he replied in his sepulchral baritone.

Would you care to sit?” asked XoXor.

I prefer to remain on my feet.”

No one was sure he even had ‘feet’ as he glided around the meeting table, a cloud of mist spilling from his floor-length robes. Some said, though not to his face, that it was just an intimation tactic. The same people agreed that it worked.

I am sssssssssure we are all paid up on our duessssssssss,” added Sisssmorrr.

That is not why I am here.”

May I say I love your new robes?” asked Exhaultia.

The small talk portion of my visit is now concluded,” intoned Master Hugh, “I will now impart the purpose of my presence. All guards, goons, thugs, minions, scribes, and other low-level servants of the Society have formed a union.”

This went over as well as you might expect. After the shouting, railing against Garthort, Goblins, and the breaking of things settled down, suggestions were shouted.

Kill them all!”

Only after we torture them!”

We should curse them first!”

And sssssssspank them except for thossssse who enjoy that sssssssort of thing!”

Master Hugh cleared his throat. Everyone went silent.

I present to you three options. One, you go on a vengeful rampage, leaving you with no troops or support staff.”

I could just reanimate them once they are dead,” suggested Exhaultia rather smugly.

There would be a severe downgrade in services. Especially in housekeeping and food preparation areas.”

Exhaultia insisted that it wasn’t that bad but no one was interested in putting that to the test.

Second, we ignore this strike and continue to aid the Citadel of the Light with just high-ranking Society members. The odds of success are assured but the death toll is would be extremely high.”

How high?” asked Marmek whilst pulling at his collar.

Extremely.”

But everyone in this chamber would be fine, right?” said Renomite with more confidence than he felt.

I cannot say,’ replied Master Hugh in a tone that suggested that he knew who would live and who would die but would not be sharing that with the class.

What is the third option?” asked Darvinia.

You agree to their terms.”

This was poorly received. Darvinia wished that Punmurr was here, instead of liaising with the ‘heroes.’ She trusted her more than the rest of the others put together. A low bar to be sure, but she was often the calmest one in the room. Now that role fell to her and it was a pain in the ass.

Pulling some seeds from her pockets, they grew till she was surrounded by a bright wreath of orange vines with spikes and razor-sharp blossoms that whistled in a high-pitched, discordant tone. Everyone settled down.

If we were to agree to this, how much will it cost?”

It would be negligible. Less than one percent of each of your treasuries,” Master Hugh informed them.

That seems… Reasonable,” said Darvinia.

What if they want more, later?” pointed out XoXor.

If we agree, what’s to prevent them from demanding more as time goes on?” asked Marmek.

I just don’t like the thought they are doing better,” added Renomite.

It’ssssss exxxxxxxxtortion!” sibilated shouted Sisssmorrr.

With a gesture, Master Hugh conjured folios before them.

I suggest you read their terms before you come to any decision. Inform me when you have made your choice,” said The Dreaded Comptroller, who then vanished into the shadows.

Let’s all take a look at what they’re asking for,” declared Darvinia who wanted to skip the initial outrage and jump right to the final whingeing. The chamber was silent, save for the turning of pages. Until Renomite asked this.

What in all the Hells is a ‘Mental Health Day’?”

And the whingeing commenced.

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