Kalarel wipes a long curved knife on his black robe, cleaning the blood from it. He smiles as the dark crimson liquid pours from the kobold chieftain’s twitching body, draining down into the pool below. With a slight nod, he motions for another creature to be brought forward, a large lamb this time. The animal struggles, but the heavily muscled berzerker carrying it easily holds it in place on the altar.
“Lord Kalarel,” an underpriest says as he enters the room. “Urgent news from our spy in Winterhaven. The relic from the burial site has been captured, Agrid has been killed, and the mighty Irontooth has been defeated.”
“Who has done this?” Kalarel sputters, the knife wavering over the bleating animal’s throat. “That coward Padraig can’t be behind it! That artifact would have shortened the length of this ritual by days!”
“The adventurer’s, my lord. They arrived from Fallcrest a few days ago and have been wreaking havoc on our forces ever since!”
“Well, this will end now. Send Mauw and his minions to take care of these intruders. He will show them what happens when you cross Lord Orcus. Tell the hobgoblins upstairs that they need to capture as many villagers and farmers as they can. Without that artifact we’ll need better sacrifices for the ritual and some fresh meat from Winterhaven will do nicely.”
With a swift motion, Kalarel slits the throat of the sheep, silencing it once and for all. As the underpriest turns to leave, the dark mage motions to him, blood drops flicking off the knife.
“Tell the torturer to get whatever information he can from Douvan. I want him to be one of the first of the new sacrifices to Lord Orcus! And tell that fat coward, Balgron, to send some goblins to fetch Agrid’s corpse. I have a special plan for it. You better check on the progress those goblins are making in their excavation. Without that additional artifact, I’ll be slowed even further. They had better not disappoint me!”
“As you wish, my lord. I will relay your orders and then prepare the other two artifacts for the next part of the ritual.”
“See that you do.”
With that, Kalarel turns back to his grizzly work, slightly shaking his head. He mutters to himself, “I’ll miss Irontooth. That scrawny little hobgoblin turned into some of my best work…”