Upon entering the building, Bloueds keen sense of smell was at once assailed by a plethora of smells. They ranged from unwashed bodies, tobacco, stale beer and wine to the heady stench of sex and blood. It seemed as if here was a place that catered for any vice one wished to partake in. As Bloued crossed the threshold, the music and frivolity seemed to falter for a moment, before picking up again. Almost every eye in the place seemed to be turned to the doorway gauging the group as they entered. One by one the goblins in the group drifted off to join in the festivities with others known to them, until Drey and Bloued stood alone. Drey motioned to a darkened corner of the room, and said. “This way my friend, there is one here I believe you should meet”. The pair headed in the direction of the corner weaving through drunken goblins, until they came upon a table in the corner that was seemingly empty, until a shadow moved and a challenge rang out.“What in the seven hells do you want now Drey?” came a raspy growl from a darkened figure. Bloued pushed alongside Drey, and as his eyes became accustomed to the gloom, he noticed the figure for what it was and gasped in shock. A low growl emanated from the figure as he edged out of the corner into the sickly light. A black wolf at least two hands taller than Bloued, but undernourished and gaunt came into view. His grizzled muzzle was slightly streaked with grey, and a fairly recent ugly red scar encompassed the left side of his face. A weeping puckered red hole signified where his eye had been lost. Bloued stood transfixed as Drey moved forward and gestured for calm, and gently said. “Settle down there, Einauga! This one is a friend. He has come from beyond the gate to learn of what has befallen us!” With these words, Einauga’s growl ceased and his stance became slightly less aggressive. However his voice rang out still edged with suspicion and heavily laden with sarcasm. “Come to fight the Shadow…Eh Lad? I am sure the ones in the darkness will probably head back to whence they came, when they hear you are here!” Einauga resumed his position in the corner and went back to noisily slurping his bowl of ale as if they were not there. Drey gestured to Bloued to take a seat, and they both sat opposite Einauga, who continued to ignore them. Drey looked hesitantly at Bloued and began to speak. “Einauga here, despite his exceedingly poor manners and habit of late of drowning his sorrows to excess is actually the last true remaining Wolf lord of our realm!” Bloued glanced in astonishment first at Drey and then at the Wolf lord, who looked up at him in bemusement and said. “So my kin from beyond the gate, am I not quite what you were expecting?” Bloued composed himself and ventured. ‘Well to be honest…I am not sure what I was expecting, least of all you! There are a million questions I wish to ask you, but where to begin…” Einauga took another drink from his bowl and said. “My full title and name are irrelevant now. The old ways of our kind have been swept away and with it our culture, there are but a few of us remaining now. I am now Einauga, or one-eye in our tongue, and that will suffice for the moment. I presume from the fact that Drey has brought you to me, that you wish to know how we came to be in this mess?” Bloued nodded, and spoke. “I have made the acquaintance of a young white wolf, who told me of what he had seen, but not in great detail, as he did not witness all that has occurred”. Einauga laughed and turned to Drey. “Old friend, I need to speak to this one alone. We have things to discuss of our kind that are not for your ears!” Drey scowled at the black wolf but nodded and rose from his seat. “The pack it seems is always closed to our kind! I shall leave you two and enjoy myself a little on this evening, as who knows what the morrow may bring?” The black wolf watched the back of the goblin as he headed in the throng of revelry before turning back to Bloued. “This corner, as quiet as it seems, is not safe from prying eyes and there are things we need to discuss that are not for their pointy ears”. Einauga gestured at the Goblins and continued. “Have you noticed the mindset of this citadel?” Without waiting for Bloued to answer he carried on. “There are several factions in here, all fighting for control of what remains of the Crown. While outside the walls, forces beyond your comprehension gradually day by day erode our strength, and still the fools jostle for position in the court of Grimmr.” Einauga shook his head, as if still unbelieving the stupidity of the noble born. He turned to the bar and motioned to the Innkeeper to come forth. The small grizzled Goblin in charge of the establishment scurried over with a gleam of greed in his eyes. “Yes milord, can I be of assistance? Some more to drink for you and your friend? Or perhaps you would like some company, Hmmm? I have some new girls in from...” Einauga cut short his squawk like voice with a growl. “Enough of your spiel Barkeep, and your poxed whores are not for the likes of us. I need to use the backroom for a while, with no disturbances!” The Inn keep eyes lit up and he unconsciously rubbed his hands together and said. “Oh milord, there is a high demand for it tonight, others have already expressed an interest. I would hate to disappoint them” “Enough” rasped Einauga, and he pushed over five gold marks. “Well I guess this should help your apologies to the other parties, then!” The Goblins beady little eyes gleamed and he swept the coins into his hands in a flash. “Oh most certainly milord, I shall let the others know that the room is in use for the evening. Would you be needing anything else milord’s?” Einaugua shook his head. “No, just see to it that we are not disturbed!” He dismissed the Inn keep and motioned for Bloued to follow him. The two wolves moved swiftly across the room to a doorway off to one side. As he entered the door, Bloued turned to gaze about the room. Most of the Goblins were too engrossed in their various conversations or other activities to take note of the wolves leaving. Bloued caught Drey’s eyes for a second and nodded at him, and was in return shot a look of distaste from the Goblin, who quickly turned back to the group he was drinking with. Out of the corner of his eye, Bloued spotted the group of nobles he had seen earlier in the Great Hall during the audience with the King. The Leader of the group grimaced as he felt Bloued’s gaze wash over him and stepped behind another and avoid eye contact. Bloued paid no more heed to the group and quickly followed Einauga down the passageway to the back room, but in his mind he grew worried of their true intent. The back room was slightly better lit than the front bar, but just as untidy. A generations worth of dust was layered on everything, and the furnishing were spare to say the least. They seemed to consist of a stack of wooden boxes in one corner and a bookcase in another. There was a mouldy looking lounge in the middle with a myriad of dubious looking stains on it, but Einauga leapt up onto it and made himself at home. Bloued choose to merely rest on his haunches in front of the black wolf and gave his full attention to Einauga. Suddenly without warning, Einauga sat up and began chanting in an unknown tongue to the air. “Kasku, Wurusemu! Shapu pinu! Gunni ma, u uuttaaus E’er uisuuriyaantati Ne za uliista!” Bloued felt an earthbound power fill the air with its presence, then as quickly as it came it dissipated, leaving a feeling of calm and safety in the room. Bloued glanced at Einauga in awe and stammered. “What was that?” Einauga grinned mischievously and spoke haughtily. “That my friend was the a few of the gods of wolves putting their seal of silence on this room! There are a great many who would wish to hear what I have to tell you, and I wish not for them to do so”. Einauga settled back down on the lounge and continued. “I am lad, not quite what I seem. Yes I am the last remaining true wolf lord of our kind in this realm, but it goes deeper than that! I am also a Shaman of our race. I was chosen at a young age for my sight and vision and schooled by the elders in the secrets of our forefathers. This I cannot allow any Goblin to know. They tend to have a different opinion, for lack of a better word, of our lore and religion. Before recent events effecting all in our realm, they tended to try to suppress our beliefs through various means, some passive and some not. There were some of our kind who forgot the old ways and embraced the social ideals, that the Goblins would have us believe are the correct ones. Tell me lad, does what you have seen so far of their society strike you as fair and just? They have but one true belief and it is one of greed and avarice! They live for gold and all its trappings. But don’t get me wrong, there are those amongst them who are otherwise, who put justice and kindness first. Few of this kind now exist, and it seems that everyday that passes sends more and more of them into the clutches of these vices and worse. Did you know lad, there wasn’t a murder or rape in this citadel for twenty-five years until the shadow was visible from the walls. There is much depth to the level of the darkness’s intent, and it bodes ill for all involved”. Einauga grimaced as if the mere thought of what lay beyond the walls opened his mind to its long reach. He shook his thoughts free of the gathering darkness and continued. “I truly do not know what this malevolent force is that seeks to take away our freedom. I only know that it is beyond time immemorial, and even the gods know little of its origin, save that it is somehow linked to the history of the ancient Golbinfolk. They have not always existed in this realm you know. However, their ancient folklore tells little of why they came to be here, and for some reason all tales of any Gods they may have worshipped before have been forgotten or expulsed from their history. I would love to meet one of their Soothsayers, but allegedly they all died out long ago, but rumour says otherwise. They have made a concerted effort over time to deny their folk any knowledge of this heritage, so it has been driven underground. However the uneasy alliance between wolf and Goblin has made it nigh impossible to dig too deep. Something tells me however that in order for them to survive, they will have to confront their history, no matter how undesirable it is. Forgive me lad, I am rambling on and getting away from that which you need to know”. Bloued looked thoughtfully at Einauga and replied. “I think not Wise one. You are providing a rare insight into their race, and as I know little of them, it is a gift, which shall definitely prove worthy when dealing with them. I am however, eager to hear more of the last great battle, and the circumstance beyond Grimmr’s brother going over to the shadow as I have been told”. Einauga grunted and his eyes clouded over in memories best forgotten. “I cannot, Nay will not relive that day! The bittersweet joy of halting the shadow is tainted with personal loss beyond measure, both physically and mentally. However, I can show you what happened on that day. I have a gift from the gods, which allows me to let you to see what I saw on that day. That much I can do, maybe in time I will talk of it but not now”. Bloued nodded. “Thank you, Wise one. Tell me what to do”. Einauga got down from the couch and stood directly in front of Bloued and said softly. “Close your eyes, little one. I will guide your minds eye into mine, and you shall see what I saw on the day that will forever be known to the Goblins as Dagr LjosSvikja, the Day of Lights Betrayal”. Bloued closed his eyes, and felt the probing thoughts of Einauga merge with his. There was an unfathomable sense of pain in the Shamans mind, and Bloued wondered how the wolf could bear the burden. A new sense of respect began to garner itself for the immeasurable strength of the Shamans resolve. Suddenly, Einauga’s disembodied voice cut through his thoughts. “Awake little one, open your eyes!” Bloued’s eyes snapped open and he found himself standing on the field on battle.