“This is it,” Am’uel called out in his rough cut voice. “See, you can still see the corpse there before they overpowered me.”
The cave was in the corner of the fort against the strongest wall; the mountain. The mouth of the cave was bordered by splintered wood and crushed stone. The light from the day did not pierce far into the cave. Even Gali could not see the end of it when he stood at the yawning mouth. The orc lay, unseeing, just outside the cave leaning up against the stone. A large polearm protruded from his middle.
Arily bent down and examined the orc. “A spear through his black heart,” she said, pulling the weapon from the decaying body. It came free easily, bits of flesh and meat eager to part as well.
“Odd,” Elkas observed.“There’s nothing eating this poor sod.” Indeed, there was no sign of flies, maggots, worms, or other creatures having feasted on the orc.
“Elkas, get Emerick and Vlad,” Derek commanded. “They will want to see this.” Elkas nodded and hurried off. Derek turned to Ike and Am’uel. “What is the importance of this cave?”
Am’uel started. “We have never used the cave. History has it that a mighty castle once stood here. This cave used to connect to the castle’s cellars, perhaps as part of an escape plan. The story goes that demons entered through the cave- or the cellars, I know not which- and destroyed the humans living within. Now all that’s left of the castle is the keep, albeit in disrepair. We boarded off the cave and the entrance to the cellars until we have the keep and walls in working order. As you can see with our friend here,” he gestured to the orc, “some of the orcs entered through this cave.”
“Orcs aren’t that smart,” Emerick replied as he approached the group. “They don’t know how to sneak and feign and counter. They know how to smash and kill.”
“What are you saying?” Ike said anxiously.
“That your orc problem isn’t just an orc problem,” Emerick smirked. “There’s something just as viscous, but a whole lot smarter out there pulling the strings.”