Kevnos was very ill for a number of days but he slowly recovered with the help of the brothers. They looked after him with Zyx tending to his medical needs and even learning how to create the elixir that reduced the pain and effects of the venom. Meanwhile Nyx continued to check the traps and capture food for the tiny clan to eat. All in all they were doing well as a unit and Kevnos was somewhat proud of his whelps.
Within a week the goblin ranger was much recovered and back to his old duties. Nyx and he continued to sharpen the skills needed for hunting and trapping. The young goblin was glad to have his teacher back. Zyx sat about trying to improve his ability to commune with spirits. It was amazing that he was able to communicate with Kevnos’ dying spirit and seek it for assistance. He even had a few conversations with his clan king about it. Kevnos for his part could hardly remember the experience. He described how much pain he was in but had difficulty sorting which experiences were spiritual and which were physical. In his mind they were all real and all physical. It was even a surprise to him that he was unresponsive and seemed near death in the first place. His memory recalled Zyx talking to him as they would any other day and the idea that it was all in his mind was a bit much for the older goblin. Only Nyx knew that his brother had much more to him than that and could understand that the shaman had somehow communicated with him spiritually. After all, Zyx had saved him once before from death’s call.
Over the course of that week something strange occurred that none of them noticed but had never known. They forged a strange goblin family. It was strange because they were goblins, not the family part. Most creatures form families. Elves, humans dwarves, even animals seem to have a bit of a family and form things like herds or prides or colonies. Goblins however were more primal and savage than most. They indeed became clans but they were not like a family might be. They were constantly in a power struggle along with a struggle to survive. Everything was scarce all the time so they fought each other for food and shelter besides mates and slaves. They were always fighting and betraying one another.
The sharpspears however were more of a family. Kevnos was the father or head with his two whelps learning from him and relying on him for guidance. It was only removed from the clan that this alternative to goblin life emerged. It could never survive the savagery of clan life, but left to their own devices, these three formed a family.
They enjoyed their family life very much. Each had a role and looked out for one another which also was not true of typical goblin clans. They shared what they had which was also strange but perhaps was a result of their abundance. They had plenty of food for just three goblins and so their bellies were full every night and they no longer had to fight a scratch for mere scraps of food.
They felt safe around one another. Goblins always moved in groups but that was to create security from other threats the threat of another goblin stabbing you or hurting you was always there. In fact, it was almost worse than any other threat. If it were not for constant attacks from beasts or orcs or elves or dwarves, the goblins would probably all kill one another. They only spared their fellow goblins out of a vague sense that if they murdered them all, they would be far too weak to resist stronger foes. Such was goblin life.
The Sharpspears, however, were a family, and a happy one. Nyx continued to assist Kevnos in their search for food. Zyx maintained the clan hall and cooked the food while also learning small bits about alchemy and the qualities contained within the flora of the deep. He still spent time every day trying to strengthen his ability to commune with spirits as well and was making small progress.
At the end of the week, after Kevnos was all healed up, the clan leader declared that they would take another trip to the pool. The boys hopped about in excitement when they heard this and then gathered a couple of things for the moderately long excursion.
Nyx of course grabbed a spear and his bow with arrows along with a satchel for fish he might catch and some water skins. Zyx only cared to bring his totem with him in case there was some threat or need for it. Kevnos equipped himself same as Nyx and off they went.
The journey to the pool was uneventful until they were nearly there. Nyx noticed something and halted, then lunged to his hands and knees to study the cave floor.
“Whats it is?” Zyx wondered barely above a whisper, gripping his totem and spinning about.
“Tracks,” Nyx hissed.
“Beasts?” Zyx breathed.
“No, it’s goblins tracks.”
“No worry those tracks,” Kevnos comforted. “You good tracker now,” he smiled at his whelp.
“King,” Nyx began, “They may attack us.”
“No!” laughed Kevnos, “Those tracks no attack. Those tracks us!”
Nyx looked up at his mentor and seeing him calm and laughing began to laugh as well. Finally when the other two goblins were clearly not alarmed, Zyx too began to laugh. Together the clan chuckled and then made their way to the pool.
Once there they stopped and Kevnos turned to them. “You good whelps,” he encouraged, “So swim in pool.”
The boys looked to each other for confidence but then stripped and dove into the pool. They had no idea what to do once in the water and began to sink immediately.
Nyx kicked and swung his arms and eventually stayed afloat a bit, but Zyx was not doing well at all and struggled to keep his head above the water. His eyes were wide and he breathed quickly and spit water out as he did, splashing all over the cave. Zyx cried out for help and his cry echoed all across the high cavern walls.
Laughing, Kevnos reached out his spear for the young goblin to grab and Zyx did so as if clinging to his own life. The older goblin chuckled but pulled Zyx to the side and he promptly pulled his body from the water sucking in air in huge gulps.
“That horrible!” Zyx panted.
“No! I likes it,” Kevnos countered and dove in himself and began to swim expertly as though he were made for the water.
Nyx tried to copy his mentor’s movements and before long the pair were both swimming well.
“Come!” Kevnos called to Zyx who sat at the edge of the pool clutching his knees to his chest. “I show you.”
Zyx did not like the idea but he slowly slipped into the water, not wanting to disappoint his clan leader. He tried his motions carefully and also trying to mimic the better swimmers found some success and finally let go of the wall, wading out and floating with awkward skill.
Kevnos waved for them to follow then began to make his way toward a water fall. The clan leader swam with confidence but the whelps were looking around them constantly expecting some sort of attack.
When he reached the falls, Kevnos disappeared into the water. The boys both shot up and stared at the wall of water. Looking to each other again for reassurance, finally Nyx swam forward and disappeared into the falls. Zyx, with a dark feeling creeping up in his spine, swam after them and also through the falls.
On the other side there was a soft glow and a cavern, hidden by the falls, opened up and the boys saw Kevnos already sitting there, smiling.
The whelps swam up and then pulled themselves out of the water and into the alcove where their leader was. He beamed a wide smile and waited for the boys to enjoy the scene.
There were glowing funguses lining the walls in that same bluish light that adorned the larger cavern but in the smaller space they seemed much brighter.
“Here you safe,” Kevnos explained. “Nothing get you here. You ever afraid, or lost, come here. We find you here.”
The boys sat and enjoyed the glow of the cavern like a surface dweller might enjoy the warm rays of the sun. Worn out from the swim and the walk, they laid down and rested, the cavern comforting them like a blanket on a winter’s night. There they were insulated from any threats and slept in peace, as a family. A rare goblin family.