Goblin Brothers Part 20

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.

Goblin Brothers Part 6

When Nix was finished looting the corpses of his dead goblin kin he could not resist his goblin blood. He drew his bone dagger and severed two fingers from each of the two goblins he slayed. He did so without hesitation and without the least bit of disgust. Goblins are used to many things that make others squeamish or nauseous. Severed fingers were nothing compared with the gruesome things they witness on a daily basis. Death, dismemberment, blood, guts and violence were are commonplace in the goblin caves. They were as normal as drinking tea was amongst elves. Suffice to say, the four fingers were simple trophies for the goblin assassin. The first of many.

Nix, satisfied that there was nothing remaining in the spur of the goblin caves of value for him, scurried back to den from whence he was born. There Zyx awaited. Nix felt his brother’s essence as though he were there somehow. It was faint and yet profound enough to be noticed. It called Nix and guided him back to the den though he knew the way. Like a beacon Zyx guided his brother to him.

As Nix entered his birth den he found none except his brother, legs crossed hands folded and eyes closed; deep in thought. Zyx felt his brother enter and opened his eyes, red with blood and a smile crept over his face, thin lips curled in a crooked grin.

Nix paused and studied his brother. He sensed something he never noticed before. Zyx sat cross-legged, grinning at him seeming like the brother he’s always known but there was much more to him than he ever knew. Nix noticed a strange glow about him that wasn’t quite light. It wasn’t a visible glow like a torch or fire, it was something more subtle than that. It was more like the soft glow of the moon; a reflection of some other light. It was as if his image rippled like a reflection in a pool of deep water; difficult to see clearly yet visible nonetheless.

Zyx didn’t wait for his brother to ponder long and instead he stood and embraced him, toppling him over. They rolled on the ground giggling in a throaty laugh paying no mind to the rocks and stones on the ground as their greyish bodies were one.

Each felt connected to the other as they once were in the same womb. Each felt the other’s heart beating and blood flowing and the shared in the elation that only life can give on a day they nearly lost theirs. They rolled until they lay on their backs and their giggling slowed to a chuckle then stopped at a warm smile. They had never known the feelings they felt flow through their bodies; few goblins had. It was yet another of many more deviations from the curse of their heritage.

At last they could conceive no more reason to lay there so Nix rose only to fetch the dismembered fingers from his pouch and hand two of them to Zyx.

“What are these,” Zyx asked gleefully?

“Fingers from two that tried to kill us,” Nix answered. Zyx held the fingers in his boney hands and rolled them around, still warm and still wet with blood of their deceased owner. His eyes half closed and in his mind the fingers grew into the embodiment of the goblins they belonged to. He saw each of the slain goblins before him as though they were yet alive. Each looked cross, scowling at Zyx, as though bothered at his summoning them from some important work that only the dead know of. He quickly opened his eyes and looked, wide eyed, at the pale fingers in his hand.

Zyx’s smile was wider than ever. He accepted the fingers and immediately began to imagine what to do with them. He conceived some sort of lanyard to hold these and any other trinket he may encounter.

Nix had no such plans for the fingers and instead placed them in his pouch. Then the boys reclined against the wall of their den and leaned their heads against one another before dozing off for a much needed rest. Each felt entirely safe next to the other.

In the tunnels of the goblin clan Trickfoot, word quickly spread like a dank breeze in the dark corridors of their underworld. Rumors of a young goblin who somehow healed another with his spirit electrified the otherwise dead caves and dens while word of a whelp who murdered two other goblins out of vengeance excited the clan which was always pleased to add another warrior to its ranks to stave off orcs and other goblin clans from claiming their home, and also one as deadly as Nix was always useful on a food raid or treasure raid, or any raid for that matter. Violence was a way of life for goblins and the more the better. That aspect of the goblin world was simple. Kill for survival.

More complex was the goblin religious system. They were primitive in their worship compared to the civilizations above ground and the dwarves of the mountains and even the dark elves of the deep. They did not have a highly structured system which included holy texts but instead relied more on spiritualism and ritual. Rather than training priests and clerics they recognized shamans and primitive monks. Their racial diety was Sagobr Dreaddeath. He was pictured as a massive goblin wielding a whip to punish enemies. He strove for the perpetuation of the goblin clans and encouraged violence and enslavement of the other races of the world, especially those on the surface: humans, elves, halflings.

The goblins participated in a very violent religion. Failure to gain the approval of the deity and his representatives often resulted in public whippings or other torture to encourage learning and adherence to the tenets of their faith. Sacrifice to their god was also common, especially the sacrifice of lives captured in raids or other violent acts. Therefor the temple caves were most often painted with blood and decorated with bones and the rotting flesh of those they offered to their cruel and evil deity.

The only holy day they recognized was raid day. Every new moon the goblins went out and raided. Sometimes it was as simple as attacking some helpless travelers, other times it was more coordinated and included raiding a village or town. They took great joy in these raids and their reputation for the month was dependent on how they performed in the raid. They kept stolen property as trophies and kills as scores for those are the things they worshipped.

Such was the world of the goblin. Both Nix and Zyx showed promise in such a world.