16: Alliance vs Dominion
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While you wait for Gilk to return with Petunia and some food, you decide to kill some time by finding out more about the place you’re stuck in.

/So, this war that is apparently going on. Who are you fighting?/ you ask telepathically both Fig and Dokloram.

“The vile and deplorable Alliance,” the dark-green-skinned goblin answers. “Long ago they’ve sunk most of the world into darkness and took over the remaining lands that were spared their misdeeds.”

“I heard they never take prisoners and have contests of who can score the highest kill count in a battle,” your young wielder, Fig adds.

“I’ve heard they put heads on spikes of the strongest warriors they kill and make sure to leave no survivors.”

/That’s horrible. When did this war start?/

“Start?” Dokloram asks and raises an eyebrow. “What do you mean? The war never stops. It has been going on for as long as anyone remembers. And it will not end until the evil of the Alliance is vanquished!”

/But that’s unsustainable! The manpower, the resources... No wonder you’re reduced to this state!/

“We’ve held out for this long,” Doklorim says. “And we will continue doing out part—supporting the armies to defeat the Alliance!”

/What scale are we talking about here? Do you have a goblin king or something?/

“Goblin... king?” Fig asks. Both he and Dokloram look at you like you’re speaking utter nonsense.

“We have only one Lord,” Dokloram says. “Goblins, orcs, dark elves, and everyone else—All are subjects to Lord Serion. No one else could unite all the races as he has done.”

/Wait... is there any race or kingdom that is not entangled in this war?/

“Other kingdoms? I only know of the Alliance that is hellbent to conquer this world. And Lord Serion’s Dominion is the only force opposing their evil.”

/It looks to me like this Lord Serion’s dominion is not devoid of evil either./

“Life is hard in these lands,” Dokloram says. “Those without the power to fight the Alliance directly... It is hardly a surprise that some end up letting out their frustrations in horrible ways. But it’s the Alliance to blame for nearly destroying half the continent!”

/So, this Lord Serion is the leader. Who’s in charge of this place? The farmlands, your village?/

“Rogzor,” Fig says.

“And you killed his son!” Dokloram scowls.

/DON’T start that again. Do you know who does this Rogzor answer to? What’s the chain of command?/

“No idea,” Fig says.

“We had no reason to even think about that before,” Dokloram says. “Though now I suppose I have to wonder who’ll they send to kill us if you do somehow manage to beat Rogzor.”

/Would anyone even notice? If the entire world is at war, does anyone have time to care about a couple of goblins?/

“Rogzor is in charge of supply routes in this area,” Dokloram explains. “Without him, these routes will collapse. He’ll need to be replaced. And then there will be questions about who’s trying to sabotage the war effort!”

/Oh. Hm... Then we’ll replace him with Fig./

“Wh-what?” Dokloram and Fig both ask at the same time.

/It’s rather obvious. Strength is obviously valued highly in this world. If Fig turns out to be both stronger and more effective at Rogzor’s job, nobody will have any reason to object.”

“Fig wouldn’t have a clue how to do any of that!”

/If Rogzor is just another overseer, there’s hardly a problem. The farmers such as yourselves are the ones doing the real work of gathering food. Rogzor seems to me to be simply in charge of overseeing that the whole process goes without interruptions while letting his underlings terrorize the very farmers he’s supposed to be overseeing and protecting. And what details we don’t know, we will just have Rogzor tell us./

“Why would he?” Dokloram asks.

/Promise to spare his life. Or a promise of a quick death. Whichever is more effective./

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