Min, Mok, and Kop lay in an obsequious fashion before Rigor Mortis’ throne. The Overlord had not entered the chamber as of yet. But, his appearance was inevitable.
A swash of cloth on the flagstones heralded their master’s arrival. A slight grunt issued as he sat down. There was a long moment before he spoke, but when he did, it sounded like a voice from a sepulcher. “Face me.”
All three goblins sat up with fearful eyes as they regarded their master. They all noted that he was in one of his moods, and more than likely, one of them would not be leaving this room alive. Or, at least, with the same amount of body parts.
“My map for an eldritch sword, which I was planning to use to cement my supremacy, was carried off by the wind. I sent you three: Min, Mok, and Kop to find it. Seeing that you do not have it in your possession, I want to know why!” Rigor Mortis’s head barely moved as he scanned the trio of horrified faces. He pointed at a goblin. “You, Mok, where is my scroll!?”
Mok gulped and began, “My lord, we were on our way to get the map you earnestly desired but we were attacked by a DRAGON on the way!”
Min scoffed, “NO, WE WEREN’T! We were attacked by Mucilage, O embroiderer of tall tales!”
Kop huffed, “Actually, it was –“
“SILENCE!!!!” Mortis’ voice echoed of the stone walls, magnifying the sound to a horrible pitch. All three goblins prostrated themselves. Another long moment passed before their lord spoke again. “Face me.”
They did so.
“Now then,” Rigor Mortis queried. “Min, how were you going to deal with the Mucilage?”
Min brightened. “Well, I just so happened to have the Howling Book!” he said, proudly.
“WHAT!? MY BOOK?” Rigor Mortis roared. “You don’t know how to read, much less cast, chucklehead!”
Min’s pride evaporated just as quickly as it came. “I, - I- I realized that when I opened it, Illustrious Lord of Doom. So, I thought to lure it out into the sun, thereby destroying it.”
Kop cackled at the reply. “That totally didn’t work! You’re just lucky a tornado scooped up the monster and turned it into puree!” The goblin laughed conspiratorially to Rigor Mortis, but when he noticed his master’s taciturn stare remain unchanged, Kop lapsed into an uncomfortable silence.
Rigor Mortis regarded his minions with disdain. “So, Kop…”
“What happened after the ‘monster’ was dealt with?”
Gulping loudly, Kop replied, “We – we kept the map in sight as it fluttered away from us and we came to a bridge straddling a deep river. I was ready to go across, my lord, but the others,” Kop pointed at the shocked duo, “refused to follow me over.”
Rigor Mortis leaned closer to Kop, eyes locked on his. “So? Why didn’t you cross??”
Rigor Mortis’ eye brow arched with a hard stare.
Kop knew that look. “MERCY, MY LORD!! I was afraid of heights and if I were to die, who would lead those nincompoops?”
Mortis leaned back and chuckled darkly. “True, Kop.” He glanced at Mok and asked, “Why didn’t you cross?”
Mok bowed his head. “There was a huge flesh golem in the way!”
“So?” Mortis returned, standing up from his throne, “You’ve fought those mindless automatons before! They are intrinsically stupid!! Is there something you are not telling me?”
Mok licked his cracked lips slowly before replying. “Does it matter if the thing was holding a tree the size of a house and seemed intent on destroying the bridge should anyone tried to cross it??”
Rigor Mortis frowned, but sat down, mollified.
Mok continued, “I thought it best that we leave the area and asked our fearless ‘leader’ where we should go to get to the other side.”
The necromancer turned an expectant gaze to Kop, who shrank under it.
“I- , I- I knew there was a calmer place down river so we could cross!”
“Really?” Mortis spat. “You would waste time trying to go a roundabout route to get to my precious map?!”
Rigor Mortis’ face glowered further. “Give me one good reason why I don’t caramelize you right now.”
“I- I’m sorry, Lord of the Deadliest Dead! I thought-“
His hand wreathed in a crackling nimbus of energy, Rigor Mortis casually flicked it at Kop, flambéing him. As the body flailed and yipped, the necromancer bellowed, “You are a GOBLIN!!! You are NOT SUPPOSED to think! You are supposed to FOLLOW ORDERS!!!” His eyes fell upon the remaining goblins who cowered together in terror.
The only response that the Overlord received was a rush of wind from the goblins’ expeditious retreat.