Yretek

Tinytusks ~ Story 6
Dancing orcs

A plan to sow panic

After sitting down thinking for a whole long hour —an eternity of pain for any goblin— our Chieftain and my Master, Tinytusks called his most trusted warrior, Zicky.

“Go uphill,” he told him, “to that huge broken tree and set it ablaze. So the orcs can see it. We will be laying in wait for the orcs right in the middle, a perfect goblin ambush!”

“Yes, chieftain, running!“

The very impetuous sergeant, took his sack and darted himself deep into the wooded hills. That very second a battle sprang between Tinytusks the rest of the retinue. “Chieftain, there are too few of us”, “Chieftain, there are too many of them”, “Chieftain, they are way too big”, “Chieftain, we are too smalln” But Tinytusks did not concede a centi, sticking firmly to his plan, swearing, “I've said what we will do and we will do what I've said, and may the gods punish you if I change my mind”. That, and the promise of getting each one to boss me for one full day, did the trick. Though the part about getting to boss me around, I only got from some of my witnesses and heroes.

A joyful mess resulting in a bloody outcome

Not too much later, Tinytusks had made a wee little adjustment to his plan. Nothing major, but his retinue will split up into two groups: one to lay the ambush uphill of the other. The idea was that those downhill would attack as the orcs overtook them closing their escape, while those uphill would attack the head of the column, killing them all.

A for what it became of that, well… let's start with Zicky's role, shall we?

If my reader is, as it could be expected, a deninzen of a human city, it might come to some surprise to discover how damned hard it is to start a fire in the Goblin Hills. First of all, of course it did rain that day. As a matter of consideration, it was raining as Zicky was under that broken tree. Zicky had brought his kit: a chain link of dwarven steel, a piece of flint — which goblins call the human rock for some reason— and a bit of horseshoe mushroom. With that Zicky's skilled hands could produce a thousand sparks and a bit of flame in no time. But then the baby flame needs a nest so it can grow up large enough to eat a full tree, even an old sick one. For that you need to feed it with plenty of dry wood, thin as a hair, then thin as finger and, finally, thick as an arm. And that takes a bit of time and some cursing.

Well, Tinytusks had went with the downhill group, judging rightly it was the most important and dangerous position to be. The whole plan depended on it. He knew the fire would take some time to build but that Zicky would do it in the end. However, the braves at the uphill group were, let's say, not up to his wisdom, grew impatient and, abandoning their posts went further uphill to see what the fat orc was happening with Zicky. As they reached him, the tree was finally getting ablaze.

The orcs, smelling the smoke first, then discovered the flames kissing the tree. And as even the orcs can sense something funny on a tree burning out of its volition under the rain, the Lord of Gù sent four of his warriors to discover what was all the fuss about.

These Tinytusks let pass, but the uphill group was only now descending back to their positions, and so the orcs scouts discovered them. It was only that Sergeant Zicky was now leading them that they could escape getting deeper into the forest, hiding and becoming a bit lost.

The leaders of the two groups could not see any of that, of course, but knew nothing was going according to their respective plans. The Lord of the Lash, the evil orc, commanded his warriors to run uphill and “rooaghr brwhaargh krunchgwaarr” or something of that sort. Our chieftain told our hero to stay well hidden, as good goblins should be.

A most noble death

The “rooaghr brwhaargh krunchgwaarr” ended, for some reason, with the orcs dispersing even before they reached Tinytusks position. Then the chaos of six goblins descended upon, one of them, who fell to a mace on the back of his leg, a spear through the back of his neck and a sword thrust into his kidney; also through the back. And this one happened to be the Lord of Qù, whos last words were something of a “a most noble death”, if you believe our most honorable goblin warriors.

Then, the whole thing became a little bit messier, if that could be. Our heroes “danced” the orcs. This means, in goblin parlance, feint attacks and slip into the woods, once an again until you disorient your enemy. Now, goblins have his forte in chaos, or maybe it is just our luck, but the thing is Tinytusks retinue eventually bundled together while the orcs dispersed more and more without their leader. And so, one by one, began to fall to our weapons and wits, and only fatigue saved half of them who flew as fast as they get.

Epilogue

At Firstroot we have had heard nothing of it. Our good orcs and the hostages had departed at their appointed time and then life became boring for a week. “Zary, I've got a tick in me buttocks”, “Zary, go fetch water”, “Zary, see that damn mule”, “Zary, you can have meat today”. Oh yes, that last bit too. But I shall tell you about the ordinary life of a goblin slave in another story.

What matters is that when the retinue arrived back home, he immediately made me go with him, the mule, and two other goblins to recover the loot of the orcs. Of course, they had already got the gold and the small things, but the armor and clothes would have been a burden to carry. So I got to be there, and see the smelly remains of the Lord of Qú while, downhill, next to the river, Osa, Conda, Erico and Odrián run to meet their parents under the guard of a squadron of human soldiers. Trust me, I had not been happier since my mom's passing.

“Zary, hurry up with stripping the corpses, it's smelly here, chop! chop! chop!”