Gabbing with Goblins

By: Twiggy

(A crowded chamber in Moria. One Orc runs up to another excitedly.)

Gack: Hey, we have us a bunch of intruders!

Kal: Oh, no.

Gack: Yup, one of the short ones threw a stone down the well in the Lighter Chamber. Stupid furry wossname. There’s four of them.

Kal: What, four intruders?

Gack: Nah, four furry things. There’re nine intruders. Two tall guys with swords –

Kal: Two? Isn’t one enough for anyone?

Gack: Won’t do them any good. When was the last time you saw swords working against a Troll or a Balrog?

Kal: It’s not even as if they’re immortal or anything.

Gack: (worried) Although they do have an Elf.

Kal: Yeah, but can’t you kill Elves?

Gack: I guess so, but they’re tough to beat. And they taste terrible.

Kal: Oh, I don’t know… they make a lovely stew…

Gack: (laughing) And… you won’t believe this… they brought a Dwarf!

Kal: A Dwarf? Hope he’s more lively than the last lot.

Gack: Unless he’s a she.

Kal: Hard to tell with Dwarves.

Gack: How come all the good guys get separate genders? I mean, when was the last time you met a female Orc?

Kal: Gets terrible lonely sometimes.

Gack: I mean, aren’t there male and female Elves? I swear that Elf-witch in the wood out back is a woman.

Kal: Maybe the Boss only corrupted the guys.

Gack: You think? Flipping inconsiderate of him. What’re we meant to do on Saturday nights, eh? Where’s the point in it all?

Kal: Wizards don’t have females, either.

Gack: Is that right?

Kal: I only bring it up because they’ve got a Wizard with them. That Grey one, you know, the one that came through a while back?

Gack: Him! He fried Snaga! Filthy card-trick magician.

Kal: I thought only Dwarves could read the old Dwarven language.

Gack: Who cares what language he can read? Come on, we have orders to attack.

Kal: Do we have to? Looks like they’re just passing through…

(They start to march with the other Orcs.)

Gack: If we let them pass unchallenged, news’ll spread. D’you really want every Tom, Dick and Harry thinking he can just have a little saunter through Moria, no trouble, the Orcs won’t mind, probably have a good long rest halfway through? We’d be ruined! We have a reputation to keep up!

Kal: Okay, okay. But can you tell Cranner to give the drum a rest? I’m sure they get the message.

Gack: Relax, it’s just for atmosphere.

Kal: Oh, great. They’re shooting arrows through the door. Don’t they know they could hurt someone shooting at us like that?

Gack: I think that’s the idea.

Kal: Is there really any point in us being here? I mean, the troll is wiping the floor with him.

Gack: One furry person down…

Kal: Two to go.

Gack: Have I ever told you that you can’t count worth a bean?

Kal: No, I just got one in the head.

Gack: It was a glancing blow! Here, I’ll show you how to –

(He falls silent.)

Kal: Show me how to what?

(No answer.)

Kal: Gack? Ol’ buddy ol’ pal?

(He turns around. Gack is stuck on the end of a sword, which is being swung in Kal’s direction.)

Kal: Oh, bu –