Once the travelers descended down the hill and entered the goblin settlement below, Ferrar didn’t waste any time. He immediately dragged the craftsman toward his workshop, and soon they were both out of sight. Blacknail had his own business to get down to, so he headed off in a different direction.
As was usual, it didn’t take him long to track down his target, Gob. As Blacknail’s second in command, he had been left in charge during Blacknail’s absence and would be able to update his boss about what had happened while he was gone.
Gob was standing in the empty patch of land in the middle of the settlement, and he wasn’t alone. He was surrounded by over two dozen other hobgoblins. It looked like they were doing training. Some of them were just watching, but most of the hobgoblins were sparring with wooden blades made from carved branches. Rather than hard combat, the training seemed to be more about self-control and form. None of the hobgoblins were going all out, and Gob was watching them carefully just in case. He wandered among the sparring hobgoblins while occasionally giving out advice and orders.
Blacknail nodded in approval. Discipline was more important than skill. Without the ability to control and suppress their emotions a hobgoblin was more of a liability than a useful tool.
Seeing Blacknail walking his way, Gob stopped what he was doing and hurried over to meet his boss. Their chief’s presence also drew the attention of many of the other hobgoblins. They glanced his way and more than a few of them began to pretend to work harder. Once he reached Blacknail’s side, Gob immediately gave him a quick salute.
“Welcome back, bossiest one! As always, I’m ready to obey your every command.”
Blacknail grimaced. “That’s not a compliment. Being bossy is a bad thing.”
Gob flinched. “Sorry, greatest of hobgoblins! I meant no offense.”
“Just don’t do it again,” Blacknail replied. He knew Gob had misspoken. Gob wouldn’t dare insult him, especially to his face.