Most people like to live together, but wherever you are, there are usually people that prefer their own company. Even obscure and cold land that links directly to the tunnels between worlds, Elcon, is no different.
In one of Elcon’s many random surface caves, there lived someone on their own. This wasn’t a unusual thing at all. Many of these random caves are hardly big enough for more than one adventurer devouring denizen.
Count Radulac while bigger than many bats, wasn’t that big and he wasn’t in the habit of eating unwary travellers. He was of the opinion that it was a bad habit that would lead to a fatal case of adventurer aggression. Then again, adventurers could be surprisingly indiscriminate if you lived on your own in a cave.
Count Radulac did indeed live alone. He lived a simple life of sleeping and flying out hunting. He had ruled a small town once, but it had ended badly. He felt the torches and pitchforks had been a bit excessive, after all, what had happened was hardly his fault. So, he had, not completely unwillingly left his old life behind. He didn’t really miss it, ruling people was a pain.
He still had his old hobby though.
He still had his tattered emerald waistcoat too. He was not looking forward to trying to find a settlement of some kind when he needed to replace it.
So, one day, Count Radulac was minding his own business, innocently sleeping the day away, when he heard a terrible commotion from the entrance of his cave. It was a terrible huffing and puffing, with moans that had the tenor of suffering spirits! Yet there was scuttling sounds.
What horror of the snows had found its way to his humble cave? Radulac tensed and bared his fangs, drawing back into the shadows of his cave’s many stalactites. Upon seeing what the intruders actually were, he almost slipped off the ceiling in relief.
It was merely a troop of gnargs.
Gnargs are a blue carapaced being, possessing six segmented limbs! Four being arms and two being legs that end in a sharp point! Two of the arms have four claws in a cross arrangement, and two end in pincers! Their mandibles aren’t particularly fierce, but they do have a kind of stinger tail. A tail that is unfortunately for them, fairly useless and tends not to have strong venom.
Now, gnargs might be a bit threatening if not for the fact that they tend to be rather small really. However, their tendency towards minion-like behaviours usually results in them forming servile hordes around bombastic individuals.
You pretty much need a horde of them for them to be any threat.
“Oh er, what are we even doing out here Sarge?” A smaller gnarg asked a bigger one.
This bigger gnarg glanced around nervously at the interior of the cave.
” Wese told to do the patrols, so we do the patrol, no flame other than his and all that” Bigge (as Radulac named him) said.
Smalls shifted nervously. He had doubts about there being any fires, epecially on the route they were travelling. Still gotta do what the boss says, even if the boss is kind of loopy, no especially if the boss is loopy. Nothing like having a boss that would chew the floor and scream and yell when giving orders.
“Hope we don’t see something nasty” Smalls muttered.
Count Radulac considered how he would remove the goons from his cave. Other that swooping down and screeching loudly he wasn’t seeing what he could do. He didn’t really want to do that though, for one thing his throat always hurt after doing unreasonably loud screeching.
As he was considering the gnargs were moving further in. A shriek of terror rang out.
“Ssss-sarge! Look here, look at this!”
Bigge trundled over worriedly.
“Firelord’s flame! Quick, let’s get out of here before whatever lives here returns!”
The gnarg soldiers tripped over each other in their haste to flee.
Count Radulac silently nodded. They had found his stash.
His old hobby had turned out quite useful. Who knew that bone collecting and assembly could drive out uninvited guests so well?