The goblin shaman stepped into the den where the boys rested and stood before them quickly studying the pair. Nyx did not hesitate but instead leapt to his feet, blocked the shaman from his brother dagger in hand and waved it around in warning.
“Stay back!” Nyx growled, “I kill you!”
The shaman did not speak but instead focused on the young welp’s aura. It glowed bright and red, full of rage and hate, typical for a goblin born into the conflict and violence of their world. It was strong for one so young however. His physique matched his aura. The shaman was not impressed with such things, but he suspected that Nyx would make a fine warrior for their ever-rotating ranks.
“Clam, I no hurt you,” the shaman whispered to Nyx with no words, but instead with thoughts. It confused him, but rather than enrage him further, Nyx’s heart and breath slowed as he lowered his hand.” Nyx sat down with a plop on his rear.
To Zyx he thought “I feel you welp. You have power.” It confused Zyx but he recognized the words in his head and although Goblins are not known for their problem-solving skills, he put together that the older goblin was speaking to him as he somehow spoke to his brother; with his spirit. Zyx tilted his head.
“You come with me,” the goblin shaman ordered as he pointed a gnarled and curved finger at the young wlep. Zyx stepped back half a step and thought, “I stay with brother.”
The shaman cackled and snorted then with a half smile thought, “Why you think you matter? You nothing. Lowly goblins. Your mother cleaned rat cages. You eat scraps. You worthless.”
“No!” Zyx shouted.
“Yes! You come with me or die.”
“No!” Zyx growled and from his spirit a growl burst forth and pushed the goblin shaman back like a wave of anger cast outward. Dust from the cave walls fell like a fog around the boys and the shaman. Their own mother cowered in the hall before rushing off in search of braver beings than herself. Zyx seemed so much larger for a moment and hardly resembled a goblin. For a brief instant both Nyx and the shaman thought they saw something that appeared more like a bear than a goblin, large and ferocious.
Zyx stood tall as his brother sat beside him clutching his knees to his chest. The shaman hesitated for a moment before he squinted his eyes and gripped his staff, shaft smeared with blood and decorated with strips of leather tied to bones, knuckles of many victims and sacrifices. In both hands the shaman raised his staff high above his head then swung it hard to the floor. Too far from the boys to strike them they did not flinch or brace themselves against an attack but watched listlessly.
The staff cracked the floor of the cave sending a blast of energy in all directions. Dirt and dust whipped up from the floor in a rush and the meager possessions of the lowly goblin family were tossed about is garbage in a storm. The blast struck the boys harder than any blow from a fist or foot they had ever felt. The blast stole the breath from their lungs and cast them against the cold walls of the cave. The shaman began to howl in a pitch that deafened the boys but that was the least of their pain. Huddled on the ground the boys lay next to one another, gasping for air in a room filled with dust and debris, unable to hear a sound beyond the piercing squeal of the shaman. Worse, they felt as though their very will to live were being sucked from them. They felt suddenly weaker like their muscles had been drained after intense and prolonged labor.
Neither welp knew what was happening but Zyx felt compelled to reach out to Nyx in his mind and urge him to hold on. Zyx felt the fear and the pain in his brother, and he felt it too in his own body. He knew they could not endure whatever was happening for long. Nyx felt the pain in his brother as well and as one mind they thought of something. Nyx and Zyx locked eyes momentarily and an understanding flowed between them both. Nyx gripped the dagger and hurled it without raising his eyes in the tornado of dust. The dagger traveled true and struck the shaman in the leg. The goblin spiritualist yelped and the drain on the boys’ spirits halted as their life force returned.
The boys stood shoulder to shoulder eyes fixed on their unwelcome visitor. Zyx searched for the strength to growl again and from deep within, an animalistic growl built and burst from his spirit, once more stunning the shaman and causing him to stumble. This was the opening Nyx was looking for, he lunged forward striking the shaman directly in the nose, breaking it and causing blood to gush forth and spill on his fist and the shaman’s face. Their opponent fell to the ground. Nyx grabbed his dagger, the shaman’s staff and the bags he carried with food and drink and motioned for his brother to follow as he dashed out of the den.
Zyx paused for a moment wide eyed and scanning the scene before him, but quickly gathered his wits and followed his brother’s lead. The boys scampered off into the direction of their earlier adventure into the caves deep in the mountain, away from the goblin town. From behind them they heard screams, yelps, barks and howls. Even though the noise faded behind them they had an unnerving feeling that there was someone in pursuit.
It was nearly an hour before they stopped. The boys did poor to track in which direction they were heading and in all honesty were not concerned about it. Their sole aim was to get as far away from the goblin town as they could. In a very short amount of time the boys learned a very clear lesson about life as a goblin; their lives were in constant danger and they could not count on any to protect them except the pair of them. All who they encountered seemed to be a threat. Such was life as a goblin.