Rain carefully parted the large leaves of a plant he was hiding behind and peered out at the camp. The word monstrous seemed particularly apt for what he saw sitting around the campfire.
Half-goblins. But the term didn’t quite represent the abomination of it.
Nearest were a pair of Lamia-goblins, large Goblins with the lower bodies of giant snakes, their flesh transitioning into green and black scale at the hip. Their broad lower bodies knotted and curled around each other in a heap.
Next to them was a male Human-goblin, taller, bearded, and with long hair, which of course was an unusual sight for a male Goblin as normally only female Goblins had hair. His hand rested on the back of a Diredog-Goblin, a creature that was singularly disturbing to look at. A large quadrupedal furless dog with two heads, except where there would normally be dog heads there was a pair of Goblin heads and where its skin would normally be black it was instead a dirty green with black markings. One of the heads gnawed on a bone while the other talked with the Human-Goblin.
Opposite from Rain and Opal and across the fire was an absolutely massive bear-like creature, a Cavebear if Rain had to guess, nine foot tall and incredibly broad. Its fur was dark green with slashes of black and its claws yellowed. Its head, framed by a large mane of fur, was goblinoid but more feral looking and elongated than any Goblin Rain knew, with oversized triangular teeth that didn't fit in its mouth and faintly glowing red eyes. Long lank black hair hung over its eyes and head in strands giving it an unsettling appearance.
A number of regular Goblins were huddled around the fire as well. They did not look particularly happy to be there.
One of the Lamia-goblins spat in the fire causing it to sputter.
“Hey,” grumbled the Human-goblin. “I’m cooking on that fire.”
The Lamia-goblin hiss-laughed. “Maybe it’ll add flavour, gods know it needs it with your cooking.”
“Looking to start something, you slippery bitch? It won’t end well for you. It’s not like your mother will notice another dead Lamia with the number of eggs she shits out. There’s always a spare to replace you.”
The Lamia-goblin flicked her forked tongue out. “You’re right, mother doesn't care. But she doesn't care about most things these days, apart from where the next dozen dicks are coming from, which, by the way, is still better than your mother who can't even string two words together.”
The Human-goblin held up a rusty knife. “Watch your forked tongue snake. I won’t hear a word against her.”
“Oh do shut up,” said one of the heads of the Diredog-goblin. “At least your mother can speak and has some basic reasoning ability. When I met my father he tried to eat me.”
“Yeah, that's pretty rough. Not to mention the two heads thing.”
The Diredog sniffed. “Ah, well, at least Clarence understands not to bite me... most of the time.”
The second Goblin head on the Diredog looked up at the first with the bone still in its mouth. The Diredog-goblin’s tail wagged.
“Ohh, I can't stay mad at you,” said the first head affectionately.
“I miss my mother,” gravelled the Cavebear-goblin, its sad eyes peeking between its lank hair.
“Your mother was a disaster. I told those idiots we needed to make stronger chains. Did they listen? Of course not. And then the damn thing escaped and killed a dozen Gobbos before running off into the dungeon.”
“Yeah, well, probably for the best. You would not believe the number of Gobbos that died trying to do the deed with her.”
“It’s a fuckin bear, what did they expect!”
“I don’t know, to not get turned into a bear snack?”
“Ah, it’s just basic Gobbos who gives a shit. Look.”
The second Lamia-goblin leaned over and grabbed a regular Goblin. The Goblin screamed as it was dragged up into the air but was unable to do a thing as the Lamia-goblin’s jaw unhinged and then yawned unexpectedly horrifyingly wide. The Goblin was pushed inside and then disappeared from view as the Lamia noisily swallowed it down. The goblin sank downward as a large bump in the Lamia’s throat then body and then tail where it came to a stop.
The Lamia burped and then glared at the regular Goblins. “Want to make a fuss?”
The regular Goblins shook their heads in fear and huddled closer to each other.
“Good. Know your betters.”
“Don’t bully them,” gravelled the Cavebear-goblin its sad eyes turning on the Goblin eating Lamia.
“Oh not this again,” said the first Lamia who had not partook of Goblin. “Look, you guys can hammer out whether it’s bad to eat them or whatever, I’m going to the toilet.”
The Lamia-goblin uncoiled herself from her brother and slipped over to the jungle right where Rain and Opal were hiding. The pair shuffled backwards in alarm. Luckily the Lamia missed them and glided by. Opal raised her eyebrows at Rain and he got the message. They slunk after her.
The Lamia muttered to herself and seemed to be examining trees. This went on until she came to a tree that she seemed to approve of. She looked up at it and sighed.
“Fucking leggy bastards have it so good. If only they knew how much of a pain in the tail it is to pass water with a body like this and not get any on you.”
She shook her head then pulled herself up and over a low hanging branch so that her front was facing the ground and her ‘hips’ rested on it.
“Ah, that should be good. Oh gods, who is that, hey, I can hear you you know! Do you mind! I’m trying to go here!”
Rain walked around from behind her and looked at the awkwardly compromised Lamia-goblin hanging over the branch, her head at a height with Rains.
“Uhm. Hi. Can I, uh, help you?”
Rain pulled back his lips showing his teeth.
His jaws flashed through the air and he tore out her throat. The Lamia-goblin gurgled blood and her eyes rolled back as she slumped over the branch like a wet rope.
Opal rested a hand on the snake part of the Lamia’s body and chewed her lip, thinking.
“I’m wondering if we didn't so much trap them in here with us but trap ourselves in here with them. That Cavebear-or whatever-goblin is huge and very strong looking. It’s not too late, we could still escape.”
Rain snorted. “Hell no. I came to eat and grow strong or die trying. I want the strength to punish those who wronged me. I want to frighten the arrogant and slaughter those who would try to stop me. I want the size to terrify those who I injure so that they never come back... I want to eat this entire tribe.”
Opal smiled then laughed. “Well alright, you’ve convinced me.”
They crept back to the camp where the other Half-goblin monsters rested. The remaining Lamia-goblin was busy arguing with the Cavebear-goblin and getting increasingly angry as the Cavebear-goblin was implacable.
“I’ve already told you, get it into your thick skull, basic Gobbos are our lessers! If they weren't then we wouldn't have been able to take over the tribe with such ease. They basically worship us for gods sake!”
“Not better. Same.”
“Look at you, you’re like ten times their size at least! You could roll over and kill one in your sleep! Hell, I’ve seen what you do when we raid Gobbo tribes. They’re basically insects to you!”
“Not insects. Same. Be good.”
“I am good, I-”
The Cavebear suddenly held up one claw filled paw. The group stared at her.
The Lamia-goblin was completely thrown off and could only look at her with his mouth hanging open.
“H-hey, didn’t she say something like that just before her mother escaped?” said the Diredog-goblin
“What?” The Lamia looked down and blinked.
“It’s just something she said. Hey, Where did your sister go? She’s taking kind of a while.”
“Hmpph. Not long for a Lamia, you wouldn't believe how much a pain in the tail it is to-”
The Cavebear-goblin suddenly stood up to the surprise of the group.
“Uh, what’s she doing?”
“I don’t know do I! Maybe she’s going to check on sis.”
“Would you lot calm down, I’m trying to cook here. Let the damned bear have her way.” grumbled the Human-goblin.
The group watched in silence as the Cavebear-goblin strode around the fire and toward where Rain and Opal were secreted.
She delicately pushed apart the foliage and peered down.
Rain dropped on her head from the tree he had climbed and tried to bite down on her neck.
Unfortunately, he’d underestimated her. The bear whipped her head back before Rain could get a real bite on her broad neck and she flung herself down rolling onto her back. Rain looked to his side in surprise as a pair of Cavebear feet hurtled toward him and belted into his stomach with a thump. With a whoosh of released breath he was launched into the air toward the camp. He came down rolling but not stunned. He turned the roll into a half leap half flail and landed on top of the Human-goblin. The Human-goblin yelped and they both went sprawling, rolling over each other and throwing wild blind punches. Blood flew through the air, but not Rains, the Human-goblin was having difficulty harming Rain’s tough body and Rain swiftly pushed home his advantages. He grabbed the Human-goblin’s arms and shoved them aside, stopping him from defending himself as he ripped his face off spraying gore across the ground. The regular Goblins took one look at this and ran screaming into the jungle.
“What is that thing?! Fucking kill it you useless bear! Save him!” cried the Lamia.
The Cavebear-goblin roared and charged across the camp at Rain as the Diredog-goblin barked at him, seemingly scared of coming closer. Rain snapped at it and it whined and backed away.
“No! stop running away! Dammit Claaarence!” yelled the head of the Diredog that could speak Common to the head that could not.
Rain didn't stop to hear more but flung himself at the Cavebear and then as its massive arms capped with ten-inch claws came at him he dropped down and skidded between her legs rolling back to his feet on the other side. The Cavebear stumbled and nearly fell over herself.
Rain set his feet to launch himself at her back but suddenly coils of glossy black and green scale swept around him and looped up his body until he was entirely encased in snake body.
The Cavebear at last turned around and found the Lamia looking smug.
“Got it. See wasn't that hard, why am I always the only competent one, sigh. No idea what the fuck It is we caught but I bet it’s good breeding stock. I think I should get some pretty nice privileges from the chief from this you kno-”
The Lamia suddenly froze and looked down. His mouth opened wordlessly and his eyes went round.
“Oh, Oh gods! It- It’s eating me! H-help! Help!! Get it off!! Get it off me!”
The Lamia tried to uncoil itself but black furred arms and legs shot out from between the coils and held him in place as blood began to waterfall down from the gaps in his coils.
The Cavebear rushed up as the Lamia started to thrash and she tried to pull apart his tail from the black bloody shadow that was tearing the Lamia apart from the inside. The Lamia-goblin, now wild eyed and with blood pouring from his lips began to shake and desperately clutch at the bear.
“G-get it out, k-kill it!…”
The bear roared in frustration and panic as the Lamia died and she forced apart the coils only to find... nothing. Then pain hit her, and she looked down to see black fur shifting against her own dark geen and black fur, the creature had eaten its way through her stomach wall and was digging up into her body. The Cavebear staggered backward, her lank hair flying as she shook her head. Large clumsy paws came down and tried to grab the monster eating her from the insides but its body was so slippery with blood that her paws simply slicked off. She sat down with a whuff as the agony started to overwhelm her mind and she went into shock. She put a paw on her chest as she felt the grinding chewing jaws of the beast move toward her heart.
She slowly lowered herself to the ground as her sight started to go dark.
A few seconds later a blood drenched mass pulled itself from her stomach with a grizzly sucking sound as gore and Cavebear skin sloughed off.
Rain shook himself, cleaning off the worst of it.
Rain looked up to see the Diredog-goblin race past with a wild eyed Opal riding on its back. She gripped its barrel with her legs and then with her cutlass held in both hands she recklessly swung at the monster’s heads. Missed. Swung again, and by some fluke managed to chop into the neck of one of them.
The Diredog crashed to the ground as half its legs gave out. Opal rode it down as it slid to a stop.
The remaining head whined in confusion and pain and licked the now still and dead head that once could speak.
“Be with your sibling,” said Opal as she swiftly ended its life. She sighed. “This whole tribe is just one big self-inflicted pile of nasty. The fools should have taken our ancestors' warnings about making Half-Gobbo tribes seriously.”
“They seem worse than your old tribe, but you pity them?”
“Pshh. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still gonna kill ‘em, they're bloodthirsty and aggressive and have butchered Gobbo tribes, I’ve seen what's left of tribes they conquered.” She shivered despite herself.
Rain grunted but said nothing more. Instead he turned and grabbed the Cavebear-goblin by the upper jaw and dragged her, with difficulty, across the grass until he came upon a hole in the ground, the third exit from the cavern. He pushed the massive corpse down into it, filling it and sealing it off.
“That’s the last one. There’s no passage out of this cavern now, except for passage to the afterlife.”