After the feast with the humans from Shelter was over, Blacknail invited Herah up to see his new bed. They then had a lot of sex on it before falling asleep. It was a great way to end an enjoyable day, because Blacknail had finally managed to show off his new home. It was bigger than everyone else’s, except for Ilisiti’s mansion in Herstcrest, which didn’t count, for reasons.
The next morning, Blacknail got up early and shoved Herah aside. He had to go do leadership stuff. There were a bunch of stupid minions that needed him to make decisions for them. Thus, after a hearty breakfast at his new table, Blacknail spent the morning talking to scouts and work crew leaders that were looking for direction. Most of the answers he gave them were simply encouragement to do what they already knew was the right response, but a lot of hobgoblins felt the need to ask Blacknail for permission and advice every time the slightest problem came up. Blacknail supposed it was because he was so smart and such a great leader. Most the news he got was about supplies that had been bought down south from passing merchants being brought north. The preparations for winter continued.
Not all the reports Blacknail got were pointless though. Scouts brought him word of several more boggart sightings. The creatures seemed to be growing more active, which was a rather unwelcome development. Blacknail had been hoping the creatures would disappear back underground, but that didn’t seem to be happening. Even if they didn’t start attacking his minions, they were competing with them for prey and food, and that could lead to serious problems over the winter. Blacknail was going to have to do something about them eventually, but he had no idea what.
A messenger also brought him interesting news from one of the parties that had been sent out to form a hunting lodge. Apparently, after making their way through the Green and reaching the edge of Blacknail’s territory they’d stumbled upon a small goblin village. The settlement was made up of three huts that had been built next to a river. It had been led by a single hobgoblin, so it had been easy for Blacknail’s minions to rush in and conquer the place. After the brutal killing of the feral hobgoblin, all the goblins had immediately submitted to their new rulers. The settlement wasn’t much and needed a lot of work, but it was far better than any lodge the party could have built before the first snowfall. It not only came with a bunch of goblins that could be put to work, but it also had a plentiful food source. The local goblins frequently fished the river using sharpened branches to spear the fish. Just off the top of his head, Blacknail could think of several ways to improve their catch.
Avorlus also finally returned from his visit to Herstcrest. The mage had gone there to study the crystals Blacknail had found in one of the mines behind the city. Herstcrest was much larger than Shelter and probably would have been a more comfortable place for Avorlus to spend the winter, except that Hercrest was ruled by Ilisti. The vympir lord was very vocal about his distrust of mages, so staying in Herstcrest hadn’t really been an option for the mage. Out west, in the isolated lands where Ilisti and the other vympirs came from, there didn’t seem to be many mages. Putting two and two together, Blacknail thought this was because the vympirs had killed them all, which was understandable. Even ignoring all the random explosions mages caused, it was obvious why vympirs would have a problem with mages. Vympirs ruled through fear and power, but even though they were very dangerous and incredibly tough, a big enough magical blast could kill anything. It was a good thing Blacknail didn’t have worry about that. He was in charge because he was better than everyone at pretty much everything.