Kevnos, King of the Sharpspears, hosted his new clansmen and fed them on rat, bats and lizards. They drank a strange brew that Kevnos made from some bits and pieces of rat tails, lizard tails and bat wings mixed with grains he gathered on his treks to the surface. The brothers tasted the odd mixture and nearly spat it out again as Kevnos laughed and rolled about on the floor. It was barely drinkable even for goblins, but it warmed their bellies in a way they never experienced and soon they were laughing and rolling about with their new friend. They built a large fire in the throne room and danced about it howling and singing (if you could call it that). The group celebrated their new union long into the night until the intoxicating mixture overcame them and they passed out.
In the morning they all woke with heads pounding, bodies aching like they had been in a huge brawl and stomachs rumbling like thunder.
“Water, where water?” was all Nyx could mumble as he writhed on the ground. Zyx’s head felt like a rope had been tightened around it until his eyes begged to pop from their sockets to escape the pain. He clutched his totem but could not think beyond the tremendous drumming.
Kevnos chuckled. “Follow,” he offered as he stood up and wandered over to a room off the side of the throne room. Nyx did indeed climb to his feet and follow the goblin ranger. Kevnos lead him to a room littered with what was once shelves and racks that held weapons. There were still dried smears of blood on the walls and floors; the only evidence remaining of Kevnos’ clan. In spite of the wreckage, there was a pile of weapons haphazardly thrown in the center. There were swords of all shapes and sizes, bows, spears, hammers, axes, shields and even some armor. Much of it was very rudimentary but some of it was more sophisticated and higher quality. Nyx suddenly felt a little better.
“I gather these from all over,” Kevnos said with a smile. He himself selected a spear, a short sword and a bow with a quiver of arrows. “Take some,” the ranger offered the young fighter. Nyx didn’t hesitate, he grabbed a sword, a bow and quiver like his new friend and the pair went back to the throne room where Zyx was still laying on the cold floor gripping his totem.
“You no want weapons?” Kevnos asked the young shaman. Zyx only groaned and the older goblin laughed then bounded off down a corridor as if the disgusting liquor didn’t try to kill them the night before. Nyx followed behind with only slight difficulty, Zyx however rolled to his belly then struggled to his feet as though with his last available strength. He limped after his brother and new friend.
Down corridors and turns deeper into the mountain they went with Kevnos speeding along and the brothers struggling to keep up. When the ranger thought they were left behind he halted and called back “Hurry up! Long way to go!”
Nyx and Zyx grumbled and then tried to hurry after the voice of their new clan leader. As soon as Kevnos heard them he rushed off again. The walls of the caves changed from hewn to rough once more and they were clearly away from the clan village and back into the wild of the deep mountain. The quick pace was helping the poison in their body to process and it dripped from them in their sweat. They panted like dogs as they jogged along to catch their friend. If they could not keep up with Kevnos, then they would once more be lost in the endless corridors and caves of the dark, so they limped along limbs heavy as they were.
When Kevnos reached his destination he halted and sat, enjoying the scene before him and his smile stretched from ear to ear. A few minutes later, Nyx and Zyx found Kevnos sitting with his legs crossed and staring up. They both slid to a halt and gasped for breath, Zyx even collapsing onto the ground.
“It safe,” Kevnos whispered, “but must quiet. Others come.”
Nyx straightened up and slowly walked forward. As he neared the ranger he saw that the corridor opened up into a massive expanse. The sounds of falling water filled his ears and the scent of growth filled his nose. Nyx’s eyes grew wide and he breathed deeply; an air he had never tasted before. There was a glow from the cavern ahead which was a blinding Nyx somewhat as it called him near. Mesmerized, the young goblin stepped forward, past the Sharpspear and into the open cavern.
As Nyx soaked in the sight before him he was washed over with awe like rain upon dry and cracked earth. The cavern contained a deep and wide pool of water that also fell from above from much higher than he could see. There were huge fungus growing all around the pool which were emitting the soft bluish glow that illuminated the entire area and reflected off the water. There were fungus like vines hanging from walls that reached down as though they could pull him from depths and bring him freedom. It appeared divine to the goblin who had known little but death, destruction and pain. It was heavenly.
“What place this?” Nyx asked.
“This place pool for water. Many things we eat,” Kevnos explained.
Nyx stood in awe as Zyx, slightly recovered, crawled to his feet and stumbled to his brother’s side. Next to one another, they took in the sight like none they’d ever imagined. For creatures born in darkness, raised in pain and living in fear, the pool was like a freedom they had never known.
“Drink water,” Kevnos suggested and with only a brief moment to consider the thought, they did indeed kneel down and sip water from the pool as animals might. It filled their stomachs, cool and refreshing, then flowed through them cleansing the poison from their veins and replacing it with an elixir of life. They closed their eyes and felt the water spreading throughout their bodies and they felt as though they were alive for the first time ever.
“Good yes?” Kevnos smiled? The boys didn’t answer but their silence was clear enough.
“I find this when I look for new home. When I return tell clan, they all dead. You only goblins see it.”
There was a long silence with Kevnos watching the brothers then Nyx thought to ask, “Why you no move here?”
“I not only one come here. Others come. Orcs, gnomes maybe elves. Not safe. I come but not stay.”
“Elves? Gnomes? What those?” asked Zyx.
“Not know? They others live in caves in mountain. Gnomes small like goblins but they smart. Some even magic. Elves tall and kill goblins. Makes us slaves too. Very mean. We no want see elves.”
“How you know them? Ever see them?” wondered Nyx.
“I see gnomes once. I find tracks and find gnomes but run. I never see elves.
Other Sharpspears tell me. No goblin see them and live.”
“We safe?” Nyx questioned suddenly looking about for danger.
“Me think so. No see tracks and no hear things.”
Zyx wasn’t convinced so he leaned against the wall hoping to find shelter from any who might be watching them. Kevnos hopped up and drank some water before calling for Nyx to follow him. The pair wandered off as Zyx rested.
Kevnos the ranger led his smaller friend around the pool. The floor around the pool was soft and covered with a thin layer of sand from the years of erosion by the water. Kevnos searched for tracks as they moved and saw none to worry about. The more experienced goblin was thrilled to show his new friend all the various things that were growing in the cavern and then began to teach Nyx how to spear fish for the strange fish that evolved and lived in the dark caves of the deep mountain. Nyx was nimble and picked up the skill quickly and they were spear fishing in earnest before long.
Zyx, much recovered from their night of drinking, calmed his mind and with his totem in hand began to become sensitive to the spiritual world around him. He did not project his spirit anywhere, but instead tried to listen to any that were around him. None were strong or loud, besides his brother and Kevnos, but he did sense that there was a presence around the pool. It was as though there was life flowing from it and out down the various caves and corridors. In fact, with this sense he could nearly see the passageways that led to and away from the pool. He did not know it at the time, but the spirits he felt were the traces of animals and creatures who had visited the pool in the past days. That place was indeed a spring of life that fed and sustained a great host of creatures in the mountain.
Zyx continued to meditate on the feeling and draw a refreshing sense from it until his brother and Kevnos returned with several huge eyed, though small, fish from the pool. Entirely recovered and reenergized, the trio made their way back towards the Sharpspear clan home to cook their fresh meal and enjoy each other’s company. The day’s journey and the discovery of the pool made for the best experience of the goblin whelps’ lives to that point. A sad but true reality for such miserable creatures such as goblins.