“These goblins, however, have well-crafted short, straight blades, all of the same type. They are not so dissimilar from the ones my infantry in Valia carried. The weapon is best used to stab or slash an opponent.”
Bander had listened carefully but was having trouble connecting the pieces. “So that means these goblins make better armor and weapons?” he asked in the hope that he had understood. Anvar dashed his hopes quickly.
“No, my nephew,” his uncle said. “I see what Linvin is saying. Those goblins were Cangons. They do not possess the manual dexterity needed to make that armor, nor do they possess the smelting ability or materials to make such a blade.”
“Perhaps they looted the items on some sort of raid?” Rander suggested.
Linvin rubbed his chin and paced. “Plausible, but unlikely,” he said. “They would have had to take them from other goblins with the same body types. Even if your theory were correct, Rander, how would the slain goblins have come into possession of these items?”
“Is it possible that they purchased the armaments?” Linvin suggested.
Anvar made a swift counterpoint. “No. The Cangons are by far the poorest of the Goblin Nations. They are overpopulated and cannot even afford to feed themselves. How would they ever afford weapons like these?”
When no more suggestions were forthcoming, Rander asked another question that took the discussion in another direction. “What were they doing here anyway?”
“Well,” Linvin answered. “From the looks of their water skins, I would say they were short on supplies.”
“You misunderstand,” Rander explained, “we are still quite far from the Goblin Nations. There is a nearly impassable mountain range and the Mandrean Empire between them and the Territory. What were they doing so far south in the first place?”
An eerie silence fell upon the group as they pondered the question. Then Bander spoke, “I wish one was still alive to question. I wouldn’t mind giving back some of what I got!”
“Whatever their reason for being here,” Linvin decided, “they were not in the territory by chance. Someone outfitted them and sent them here.”
“Who equipped them and to what end?” Rander questioned.
“That, cousin, is an answer they took with them to the afterlife, but I have a feeling that whoever sent them here is eventually going to notice that they are missing and not be pleased.”