They hadn’t gotten very far before the goblin hunting party that they had passed a few minutes earlier overtook them once more. The supernatural pursuit, it seemed, had turned back, for the goblins were running no longer, and upon reaching Seymour, Simon and Seoc, they surrounded them, cackling and pointing at the Aechyed.
“Esa merghat—¡fromlan!” one of them jeered, miming the act of sprinting. The others shrieked with laughter.
“¡Fromlak, merghat!” shouted the rest of the goblins. “¡Fromlak!”
Seymour glared at them defiantly. “This 'merghat' has 'fromlakked' quite enough today, thank you.”
“Taregla, Zvusi ye Porak,” the largest goblin, clearly the leader, ordered, and two of them, presumably Zvusi and Porak, seized Seymour by the arms. “Manugui ye Zvulika, tareg la humanet zvunotísima,” he went on, and Manugui and Zvulika grabbed hold of Seoc. “Ye Sebastek ye Gopa, tareg la otra humanet. Traegaguedlad a la Uarla. Éla estalá zvui feligada par esa.”
This was Seymour’s first encounter with the goblin language, but he could guess well enough from context that they were going to be taken to the mountains, to whatever foul cave the goblins called home. Had he any energy left, he would have resisted, but there was no point in it. They were out-armed and outnumbered.
Ah well. At least they might be reunited with their horses and supplies, and as long as the road kept its current trajectory, they would still be bound for the Carvil Valley, with goblins or without.
* * *
The raven soared over the forest, croaking victoriously. The Dead Ones had fled at the mere sight of the great black bird, back to the patchwork castle, whence they had come. No longer would they haunt any of the Six—not until the storm finally arrived, at least.
When the storm came, matters would cease to be in the raven’s direct control.