Creaking beneath the sturdy foundations of the mountain, a table swayed with the rocking wind. Three goblin kings sat around it, hands preparing to grasp their cleavers.
"My friends," said Brashnakh, the wisest of the three. "We are here because we cannot delay this any longer. It is a great time in our kingdoms' histories, this meeting."
"You lack the warranted haste I am seeking. Speak straight and quick." This was Normakh-Lorsha, once a high lord in Brashnakh's kingdom, now the king of Pontier, the river kingdom. His city was built around the underground river of Tarlon, feeding off the riches that flowed by their shores.
"I apologise, my esteemed Normakh. I did not mean disrespect." There was a lisp in his voice, a tagging of sentences like a snake. "Home, for all of us, is a treasured place. Normakh, your waters are clear; Jeshtolash, your tunnels run deep; and my mountains are mighty. But it can all be taken away if we let this ravager come into our lands with his filthy followers in their stinking shining armour."
Jeshtolash, the strongest of the three goblin kings, slammed the table with his right fist. "I say we storm his very castle. My tunnelers have already begun digging beneath his home. Let us not linger in discussion. Let us collapse what safety they think they have. Bring down the walls, break the stone they hold their faith in."
"You think you are smart but you are foolish at heart," said Normakh.
"Jeshtolash, we cannot be hasty about this. The future of our kingdoms lies in this decision." Brashnakh was worried he wouldn't be able to unite Normakh and Jeshtolash. Their feud ran deeper than the tunnel they were meeting in. "We must think about this."
"If you two squander your livings on your fallen soldiers, let it be so. I will bring the fight to them." Jeshtolash knew he was the most equipped of the three. He had the largest army, the best weaponry, the smartest engineers. There was little, military-wise, that Brashnakh and Normakh suprassed him on.
Normakh, despising the thought of Jeshtolash taking the glory from him, too struck the table. "I will die before I let a goblin of Burrowtown find victory and a goblin of Pontier find naught."
The two kings, Jeshtolash and Normakh, stared into each other's eyes, their snarls piercing each other's hearts. It was a menacing look, the one they both wore.
"My friends, please calm down." Brashnakh tried but he could not seem to penetrate the hard rock walls of their egos. That is when something unexpected occurred.
Turning to Brashnakh, Normakh began speaking. With a huff and a sigh, the following words came out of his mouth, "if we are to win, I shall be there."
Brashnakh was astounded, not having expected anything of the sort. "So you shall fight with us? With Jeshtolash?"
"As I said, if we shall win, then yes."
Jeshtolash cackled for he knew how afraid Normakh was. He knew the petty river city would not stand firm against the enemy, for their armour was thin and their shields few. The enemy wielded plating, steel, impenetrable iron-infused shields. But it was not enough to scare Normakh back into his hiding hole.
The three goblin kings stood around the table. Brashnakh took out his sword and placed it on the table. Normakh, hesitating, placed his two cleavers on top of it. Finally, Jeshtolash, filled with pride and bloodlust, threw his falchion and whip onto the pile. This was the sign of them uniting, a great host of goblins forming in front of their very eyes. How they would stop the infighting, they did not know, but what they understood was the need to take down the enemy at hand. Jeshtolash's tunnels would be their point of entry, for there was worth beneath the ground, a great necessity in the deep.
"Fear not, my fellow kindred, for victory is ripe in our future."