On Merlin’s advice we rapidly visited the lower offshoots. All of them showed signs of goblin habitation – but not recently.
In the last and deepest branch we found what we sought. The goblin king. He was much larger than the others (and Dunfallon said much uglier). Unlike them he was not shackled. All that secured him was a rope similar to the one that Hawk carried and had been used to tie down the ship’s rudder.
The goblin king was unconscious. A fact that I attributed to the power in the rope. This left us with a dilemma. Release him first and chance being eaten. Or somehow waken him, declare our intentions to help and exact a promise from him to aid us in payment for his release.
Noralei applied some of the red ashes to his nostrils and that brought him out of his trance.
He was very grateful that we were willing to rescue him and his people.
With a bit of apprehension Rumble released him from his bonds.
Then we set about freeing his people from their shackles.