Goblin Brothers Part 23

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Twenty-Three

Zyx was meditating and trying to commune with the spirits around him when he was dragged from his state by his brother’s screams.

“Zyx!” the call echoed through the hall. The young shaman heard his name but could not at first decide whether it was from the spiritual world or the physical.

Again Nyx screamed, “Zyx!” and this time, the small goblin knew it was his brother calling him and his eyes opened sharply, straining to adjust to the dancing light of the fire in the room.

“Zyx!” his brother’s screams roused him to his feet and he began to run towards the direction of the cries.

In only a few strides, Zyx caught sight of his brother. Nyx was dragging Kevnos with him and his eyes were filled with tears and mouth drooling as though he himself were poisoned by the centipede. Zyx saw immediately that there was something dramatically wrong.

Kevnos’ eyes were still wide open but red with blood and his mouth was sputtering saliva and foam as he coughed, choked and vomited, hanging to life with the last ounce of his constitution.

“Save him!” Nyx shouted at his brother who stood frozen in his steps by alarm. “He bit!”

“What bite him?” Zyx asked.

“Don’t know! Huge monster! Many legs! Fangs!” Nyx spat as he continued to drag his new friend to the throne room. Zyx brushed aside the fear that gripped him and grabbed one of Kevnos’ arms and together the brothers got their clan leader next to the large fire pit in the Sharpspear throne room.

Nyx crumpled to the ground next to the poisoned goblin and panted in raspy breaths; chest heaving.

Zyx stared at the dying goblin eyes wide. He turned left and right and as if hoping to find the answer as to what to do but there was no help around him. His heart began to beat faster and he breathed too quickly.

Nyx shouted, “Help him! Save like you do me!”

Zyx recalled the time his brother was badly hurt and he somehow reached out to him spiritually and healed him. The thought strengthened him and filled him with confidence. First he had to settle his self so he closed his eyes. It took all his effort, but Zyx managed to focus on his breathing and begin to slow it. Once he was in tune with his breath his heart followed and the physical world around him began to fade as he was increasingly sensitive to the spiritual one.

Immediately, Zyx could feel the pain Kevnos suffered as though it were his own and his screams shook him to the core. He tried to maintain his concentration through the agony and terror and reach out to the dying goblin. With intense effort Zyx managed to block out the distractions and find Kevnos’ spirit.

Kevnos was writhing on the ground, arms flailing about and screaming so loudly that it was difficult for Zyx to tolerate. Face contorted and muscles tense, the shaman clung to the spirit and tried to reach out.

“Calm! I here! I help you!” Nyx tried to say through his spirit. He had never actually spoken in this manner before, not to a spirit that was still connected to its physical form. He didn’t actually know if it was working or not. The words were thoughts in his mind and not actually verbal so it was a strange sensation.

Kevnos rolled into a ball and held his body with his own arms and sobbed, “I no want death! I feel slipping, falling.” He moaned and wailed some more while he rolled from side to side on the ground.

“How I help you? What make poison stop?” Zyx asked. The shaman could sense the poison but had no idea how to neutralize it. He was very aware of the pain and agony the goblin ranger was in. He tried to focus on that.

The pain rolled through Kevnos like waves of thunder coursing through his veins. Zyx could almost see it in his body. It rushed through him and was attacking his nervous system causing his nerves to fire uncontrollably and attempting to shut down his lungs and heart. The venom was moving quickly, that much Zyx knew. Time was short.

With Kevnos in so much pain, he was not much help to the shaman. Zyx decided to try to ease it. He concentrated on the agony. It in spirit it appeared as flashing light like the twinkling of stars but red and hot. He reached out and began to smother the lights with his hands as he stood over the huddled lump of goblin still screeching in misery.

The lights burned Zyx and he now felt their affliction but he continued to try to take them from Kevnos. Each one he touched burned him and seared his own spirit but after taking a number of them from Kevnos, the goblin ranger stopped writhing and merely laid still, sobbing, yet somewhat calmer.

“What you do?” Kevnos asked, eyes open wide, filled with tears, but looking through Zyx unable to process the spiritual world.

“I take your pain,” Zyx explained.

“Why?”

“I help you.”

“Why?”

“You our clan. How I stop poison? What I need do?”

“I have potion. I cure me.”

“Where?”

“Weapon room. It in gourd.”

Nyx sat up after recovering his breath and watched his brother in trance. He had no way of knowing what the mystical goblin was doing but he hoped it was somehow helping their new friend. As he sat and waited he saw that Kevnos’ body was growing pale and his breath was so shallow he could hardly see his chest rise or fall. He didn’t know a lot about venoms but he could tell that the goblin was near death. All he could do was wait.

When Zyx opened his eyes his vision was blurred and it took a second to get a sense of his environment once more.

“What happen?” shouted Nyx as he leapt to his feet. “He live?”

Zyx shook his head and snapped back into the physical world. “He dying. Need potion.”

“What that?”

“It in gourd.”

“What that?”

“Don’t know! Look in weapons! He dying,” Zyx finally shouted. Nyx didn’t hesitate and rushed to the weapons room and began tossing weapons and armor about looking for anything that might even appear like it would help cure a poison.

Zyx focused on his breathing as his head spun and he battled to stay upright. His body still burned and he squinted his eyes and tried to endure the wave of searing pain he absorbed from the dying goblin. Kevnos’ body was still. His eyes were cloudy and lifeless. His mouth and face covered in foam. A faint raspy breath struggled from and back into his lungs.

Nyx found a collection of gourds in a corner. He froze and considered them for a moment then peered in. Each contained a fluid. Nyx tried to figure out whether this was what he needed. He decided that since the venom was a liquid then the cure would also be a liquid. It was reasonable enough. Since he had no idea which was the one he needed, he grabbed half a dozen of them in his arms and then rushed back to his dying friend.

“Which one?” Nyx blurted as he looked at the various colored liquids in random colored gourds.

“No know.”

Nyx considered them for a moment and then picked one up and dumped it into Kevnos’ open mouth. Much of it spilled all over and soaked the ground. He paused a moment and then when nothing changed he began pouring another, then another and another. With the fifth one Kevnos groaned.

The boys stood over their sick friend and waited. Kevnos blinked his eyes and milky tears ran down his face. He began to choke and foul fluid spat out with each cough. The brothers stepped back mostly out of fear and confusion.

Kevnos rolled to his side and vomited. He gripped at the ground and cried out. His eyes focused enough to sense that he was still alive and upon looking at the mess of empty gourds around him, pointed at a greenish one and whispered, “This. Bring me more.”

Nyx understood the request and dashed back into the weapons room, found another two gourds that looked similar and ran back to their goblin king. He held one out to Kevnos. The sick goblin crawled to sit half upright, gripping his abdomen as he winced with every motion. He held out a hand once he was seated and Nyx placed a gourd in it. Kevnos strained to lift it to his mouth but once there, began to sip some of the fluid contained within.

“You save me. I live,” the Sharpspear king whispered. The brothers cheered and hopped about to celebrate.

TBT: Epic of Cruhand the Rat Killer

So as a guy interested in fantasy and historical epic I decided to try and write some. It is not really that difficult because epics don’t necessarily rhyme and so I put together a form and tried it out. I decided that my epic form would have 10 syllables per line, 10 lines per stanza and 10 stanzas. Easy enough right? Well, here was my first attempt at it for a friend I game with.

The Epic of Cruhand the Rat King Killer

This is the story of a brave fighter.

He was a warrior from a land afar.

From the dark mysterious mountains.

In a land bathed in ever burning flame.

Where the dragons once ruled for an ion.

A place where only the strongest may live.

Where the weak are devoured by evil.

He was born with the blood of the dragon.

He grew up with a thirst for adventure.

His foes shook when they heard his name; Cruhand.

I, Rick James the Silver Tongue, first knew him,

Escaping from Rheek the Rat King’s sewer.

He and his brave band of adventurers

Were hacking and slashing their way inside.

I thought I was doomed with rats and ogres

Blocking my exit from the wretched place.

But ignoring the danger they attacked.

With much ferocity the foes were felled.

Shortly, before me lay our enemies.

With introductions I joined the party.

Their goal and now mine was to kill the Rat

So returning from whence I came we went.

And pushed through a space made for stinky rats.

Before we emerged on the other side

We were waylaid by a group of green slimes.

Cruhand and the rest went on the attack,

And our draconic hero was swallowed.

The slime began to digest his hard hide.

But succumbed to his fiery breath.

Slimes melted like jello we continued.

We journeyed into a pit for Rheek’s pet.

And nearly snuck by it undetected.

But the beast awoke and quickly attacked.

And Cru just laughed at the challenge at hand.

And pounded the beast with fist, breath and tail.

Bravely we fought the hideous creature.

Its tentacles whipped and smacked us around.

All the while Cru had his mark on the fiend.

Taunting it and teasing it to attack.

In bloody cries fell both hero and beast.

We gathered round to examine the mess

Fearing Cruhand had succumbed to his wounds,

The beast laying slaughtered covered in blood,

Cru faintly mumbled to hand him his hat.

Alive but injured there was one option.

We would bring our friend and cure his wounds.

I used my cunning to bluff by the guards.

Leading the team until Cru could be healed.

We disposed of more guards and fought gargoyles.

Finally resting in the Rat’s own nest.

With aid from me and a grumpy cleric

Cru was recovered and ready to kill.

Down hallways and into a room with ogres,

Cru yelled “plan A” and charged in with no fear.

Surrounded he fought in front and in back.

While I bluffed an ogre so cleverly.

The dragon man roared and spit holding tight.

Swinging and charging no thought for safety.

Cru and the group slaughtered all that challenged.

Countless guards and ogres met their demise.

I intercepted a guard getting help.

Enduring bolts from his deadly crossbow.

Evading him by crawling like a rat,

I quickly made my way to the prison.

With my grand silver tongue I bluffed the guards

Into releasing an ally they held.

But before I could escape with the man,

The archer fired a bolt in my back.

With battle raging, me nearly beaten,

Cruhand and group arrived and crushed them all.

Nearly to our goal I tricked all the guards

To think that Cruhand was heading away.

With madness they chased up to the surface.

Leaving us to find Rheek in his throne room.

But “Plan A” failed us as turning the door,

Dropped us into a pit with rot grub beasts.

The worms tried to eat their way through our skin,

But they could not overcome the dragon!

Cruhand burned the worms with his fire breath.

He crawled from the pit even angrier.

He burst through the door finally at his goal.

Guards and ogres would not stop him this time.

Too many times had Rheek escaped his fate.

The party made quick work of others there.

And Cruhand charged the Rat King on his throne.

His foot in an iron boot he fought on.

His hat looking magnificent as always.

Missing time after time, not losing heart,

He kept fighting, not accepting defeat.

Finally the Rat King died at his feet.

But Cruhand’s rage was still unsatisfied.

Even gold and jewels were still not enough.

He crushed statues and even Rheek’s stone throne,

Showing the way to even more riches.

He collected those and searched the whole room.

But he look around for more things to take,

Crawled in a hole too small for our hero.

There a rat attacked him, gnawing his face.

There he died having come all that way,

Beat the king, but another rat’s dinner.

Grigor’s not-so Mirror Images

Far to the north, near the Spine of the World, a party of adventurers trudged through the frozen landscape in search of giants who attacked one of the Ten Towns. The group consisted of a mighty, yet simple, barbarian, a devoted dwarven cleric, a noble human and a very clever and studious mage named Grigor Marsk. Prior to leaving town to track the giants, Grigor spent hours upon hours by daylight and candle light pouring over scrolls and tomes ever searching for new spells and strategies for defeating the beasts who plagued that land. With a twinkle in his eye and a sly smile he anticipated the next encounter with the giants. He sorted out a plan that would make quick work of even those formidable foes.

With huge tracks left by the giants, the trail was not difficult to follow. A trio of the monsters camped against a short cliff and the heroes approached from above. Hearts filled with confidence, they did not hesitate to engage their enemies. Grigor cracked his knuckles arrogantly as he began his work. The mage spoke the words of an ancient spell and energy suddenly surged through their loin clothed barbarian who flexed his swollen muscles and gripped his massive maul before shouting an enraged battle chant and leaping into the giants’ camp. Grigor smiled. So far so good.

With the barbarian swinging his mighty maul in an absolute fury below the ledge, the noble among them took aim with a musket he crafted his self and fired off a shot at one of the giants but the shot sailed helplessly wide of any adversary. The dwarf called upon his god for favor in battle and his spiritual hammer appeared and began to smash the giants along with the barbarian. “Excellent, this is going well,” Grigor mused.

The giants roared, toxic breath from their hateful mouths, picked up their enormous clubs and searched for targets. Two decided to batter the barbarian to death while one elected to climb the cliff and look for the being that fired a shot at them from the mysterious mechanical weapon.

The barbarian took some savage hits but stood tall to the onslaught and howled back at the beasts defiantly. He swung his maul with extra speed and might curtesy of his mage companion. From his vantage, Grigor the mage could see the giant climbing the cliff and would have none of it. Mages do not survive blows from a giant’s club. That is for the duller and sturdier adventurers. Grigor did not fret however, clever as he was, he closed his eyes to concentrate and recited the words of a new spell that would protect him. Moments later mirror images of conjurer appeared around him; four images in total. This was intended to confuse his enemies and protect him from attacks. Grigor smiled.

The noble gun slinger fired at the giant climbing the cliff and missed yet again. Grigor shouted at him to shoot the others but the nobleman would have none of it. Who was a dirty mage peasant to tell a member of the aristocracy what to do after all?

The dwarf battle cleric was not about to allow his friend the barbarian take all the glory so he too leaped off the cliff and into the fray wielding his hammer, swinging it at his hated enemies. Together the pair smashed the giants, cracking bones and bruising bodies.

The giants pounded the enraged barbarian, badly beating his body as he pummeled them in return. The third, however, pulled a large bolder from a massive bag and took aim at the mage, Grigor. The mage just smiled knowing his mirror images would give the giant enough targets to consider that the chance of him choosing the actual Grigor was small. The giant reached back and hurled the boulder directly at the unarmored mage smashing him hard on one side. Dazed and wounded, Grigor shook his head and looked at his mirrors who seemed to look back blankly at their conjurer.

The battle raged on. The rifleman fired at the giant on the cliff hitting him, bullet penetrating the giant’s flesh deeply. Grigor shook his head, dismayed his party was not following his expert strategy. The dwarf prayed to his deity and channeled some healing energy into the savage barbarian who did nothing but smash the giants before him with speed and precision. Grigor shouted words of power and magical energy flew at a giant, pelting him with the magic missiles. Satisfied, the mage remained confident that the battle would be one.

With bellows of hate, the giants would not relent and again their heavy clubs pounded the brave barbarian who dared oppose them. The rock heaver took aim once more at the mage and his mirrors. As the dull monster considered his target he was momentarily confused by the number of identical mages that stood beyond, yet in the next moment it seemed as though four of them pointed to one. Not one for thinking, the giant hurled the bolder once more, at the actual Grigor, knocking the poor mage nearly from his feet and injuring him further.

Head spinning and body aching, Grigor fell to one knee and tried to reason out what was wrong. He looked around him and in fact his mirrors were still there, yet the giant had not been fooled by them in the least. They even seemed to shrug at him as if to suggest they also didn’t know what was wrong.

Below, the barbarian smashed one of the giant’s knees bringing him low while the cleric blasted his war hammer into his face, caving his skull and ending his miserable life. They turned to the other giant next to them and started hammering away at him. The noble marksman took aim and fired again at the foe on top of the plateau, once again hitting the beast, bullet burying deeply into the creature’s chest causing him to wail in agony.

Sensing that his life was nearly over, the badly wounded giant drew another boulder from his satchel and looked to take one of his enemies with him to the grave. The mage watched as once again the monster took aim at him, hoping his mirrors would finally confuse the beast. The giant glared at the group of copies and noted that four appeared to gesture towards one yet again. The giant, strength failing, launched the rock at the mage. Grigor’s eyes grew wide and he froze while he watched the rock hurl towards him. His mirrors watched as well, unconcerned. The mage held his breath and closed his eyes anticipating the end. A deafening crash rang in his ears and he was certain the boulder had smashed him. Another moment passed however and the sounds of battle below continued so he slowly opened his eyes. He was still living. The rock lay next to him and his mirrors smiled at their master and raised their thumbs simultaneously in approval. Grigor was not impressed.

The mage decided he could not remain on top of the cliff and was convinced his mirrors were in league with the giants. He slid down the cliff on his rear end so as to prevent the fall from killing him and remained prone while he cast yet another spell to injure the giant below.

Another blast from the rifle ended the giant on the plateau and with his friends dead and his body badly beaten the final enemy chose to flee from the heroes. He turned tail and ran away only to be chased down by the hasty barbarian and smashed once more with the heavy maul, splitting his spine and bringing him face down into the frozen ground.

Victorious yet bloodied, the heroes celebrated. All except Grigor, who glared at his innocent looking mirrors, wondering why his illusion was so unsuccessful in confusing his foe. There would be many more hours studying his scrolls and tomes to try to understand why his mirrors were so disloyal to their own conjuror. Perhaps some team building was necessary to bring them together?

Goblin Brothers Part 15

The boys rested for several long minutes, neither talking, each replaying the encounter with the spider. Each was impressed with the other. Zyx was again impressed with his brother’s strength and quickness. Nyx proved more than once that when he was angry and focused there wasn’t anything that could stop him, so far. He already killed other goblins, helped defeat and actual goblin shaman and now killed a cave spider. While most of these were with his brother’s aid, they were still impressive feats for a whelp. He had a bravery and fury that was beyond his age.Nyx continued to be shocked by the abilities of his brother. He didn’t understand how his brother could manipulate energy, project his thoughts and spirit and even cast spells through the totem. He was too young to understand the ways of shamans and spirits so the whelp was beyond impressed with the things his brother was capable of. They had no idea what they could do when they had fully developed their abilities. All they knew at that moment was that they couldn’t go back. They fled their home out of necessity and now were lost in the caves and caverns of a mountain they couldn’t name in a world they knew nothing about. Surprisingly, none of this worried them. They were goblins after all and they only worried about what was right in front of them.

Eventually Zyx remembered the corpses in the crevice behind the spider’s trap. Together the brothers clawed and cut their way through the webs and found two corpses. They dragged them out and cut away their webbed cocoon. Inside they found two dehydrated corpses mummified after the cave spider drained them of all blood and fluids. Their faces were drawn and distorted in an eternal cry of agony. The brothers would have been the next pair of mummies stashed forever in a crevice of a cave had they not known existed. These two perished long ago yet provided the brothers with a gift they never expected.

Inside the cocoons, each goblin was equipped like soldiers but neither with equipment they recognized. These two had hide tunics with thin plates of iron woven through on the chest and back. They also had goblin sized bows made from a wood they had never seen before and quivers with bone arrows tipped with stone heads. The dead goblins also had daggers made with obsidian and wood spears. This was equipment far superior to any they came across in their short lives. In truth, the more elite goblins of Trickyfoot were equipped as well if not better, but the whelps had no opportunity to wield such equipment.

Each brother donned a tunic and took a bow, dagger and spear. They laughed and cheered as they admired their equipment. Needing more room for practice, they traveled down a widening corridor, but not before Zyx grabbed the powerful totem. The cave changed from rough natural walls to carved and sculpted walls heading slightly up. After several minutes they came to a larger opening with a tall ceiling and wide walls. They were too excited to notice that the area looked like it had recently been occupied with a burnt area with some ashes in one corner.

The first thing Nyx wanted to try out was his new bow. He notched an arrow after some thought and then loosed it directly as his brother. Fortunately he did not draw it back much and the arrow fell harmlessly at Zyx’s feet. Zyx squealed and drew his bow in an effort to retaliate. He struggled and fumbled with the string and the arrow and at last had in lined up well enough. When he released the string however his finger slipped from the bow and his arrow dropped causing it to fire directly downward and shattered against the stone floor. Nyx had another prepared and fired it with accuracy and more strength at his brother. Zyx fortunately ducked in time to avoid being struck in the head. The arrow sailed high and smashed against the wall. For the next few minutes the boys attempted to shoot each other with arrows. Nyx was fairly skilled with the bow but Zyx struggled with it finding it cumbersome to aim and draw at the same time.

It was all fun and games until Nyx fired an arrow and Zyx could not dive out of the way fast enough. It struck the smaller brother in the shin. Zyx screamed in pain as he dropped the bow and fell to the ground holding his leg as blood rushed from the wound, arrow protruding from the hole. Nyx dropped his bow as well and rushed to his brother.

“It hurt! It Hurt!” Zyx screamed.

Nyx examined the wound briefly then gripped the arrow and yanked it out in one swift movement. Zyx rolled around howling “It hurt! It hurt! Why you do that?” Nyx dropped his head. Uncharacteristically for goblins, he felt bad about hurting his brother. He looked around for some way to help. He grabbed Zyx’s leg and tried to hold the wound. It only made it hurt more and the small goblin wiggled free of his brother’s grip and continued to wail around. Nyx didn’t know what to do.

Suddenly an idea came to him. He grabbed the totem up off the ground and thrust it into Zyx’s chest. Zyx was still screaming in agony as blood splashed all over the stone around the room. The young goblin gripped the totem as he continued to flop about like a fish out of water.

“Heal!” Nyx encouraged, “Use this heal.” He smiled and nodded his head vigorously hoping his brother could fix what he did.

Zyx still cried but paused to consider what his brother suggested. The wound in his leg throbbed and blood continued to pour from the hole. Neither whelp had any idea how to stop the bleeding with traditional healing. Zyx wondered if he could heal himself. So far he only healed his brother.

He tried to calm his mind and ceased crying. The wound beat like a drum through his body but Zyx was able to focus on the pain. In his mind he pictured dark blood and torn flesh. He saw the bone in his leg and the damage that was caused by the arrow. His hands tingled around the totem and a warmth flowed through the mystical totem into his body and towards his leg.

The pounding of the wound began to subside. Though neither could see it, the flesh was repairing. Nyx noticed the flow of blood stopping and the wound closing. Zyx felt the warm healing magic surround the hole in his leg and fill it. Warm turned to hot and his cells repaired and duplicated to reach one another and rebuild his leg. He focused his mind and could almost see his body putting itself back together. Finally it felt as though everything was repaired.

Zyx opened his eyes and looked at his leg. The blood no longer flowed and the pain had passed. He flexed his toes and nothing hurt. He sat up then stood without pain. He smiled and looked up at his brother. Nyx smiled even wider than his brother. 

Goblin Brothers Part 8

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.

Fall of Gloryfate

Generations ago a clan of dwarves stood out among the other clans and shone brighter than any other. Gloryfate Clan was chief in the old world and was renown throughout the land. Master craftsmen of both weapons and jewelry, trade caravans traveled far to gain access to the Gloryfate riches. Days were good and the halls of Gloryfate glimmered in the mountain depths. All good things come to an end however.

Goblin hoards crawled from cracks in the stone and clawed at the luxury of the clan with lust. As a sand storm they assaulted the hall and wrecked havoc where ever their filthy feet carried them.

Gloryfate would not be undone by some dirty goblins however and their stout warriors fought back with strength and fury, pushing back the unholy creatures. When it appeared that the vermin would be exterminated the giants arrived. 

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Huge creatures cold and angry plunged into the battle and left a path of death and destruction in their wake. Their hatred of the dwarves was unmatched by anything the dwarves had seen before and in spite of their bravery, fear crept in among their ranks. The giants could end Gloryfate, 

A weapon was commissioned. CLan King Oloben Gloryfate ordered his best smiths to forge a weapon for their king to weild and break the strength of the giants. Furiously the smiths worked without rest until, at last, they completed their task.They presented to their king a battle hammer unmatched in the world. They called it Gloryfate Giantbane. 

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As Oloben Gloryfate lifted the weapon for the first time his hands were filled with courage that rushed like lifeblood throughout his body. His eyes blazed with vengeance and his clan rallied behind their king as they thrust in to the giants as a dagger into flesh. 

Giantbane crushed the beasts under its massive strength; breaking bones and caving skulls. Its song was the howls of giants under its weight and the song was sung loud. The notes echoed in the stone halls of Gloryfate clan. 

Giants could not resit Oloben’s vengeance and fell at his feet; bashed and crushed by his hammer fueled by his anger. But one still stood. 

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A fabled foe stood tall against the king. He was Zanros Titan fist, Death Dealer; an ancient giant who led the war against the dwarves. He craved blood and death and hated dwarves beyond all other creatures for their constant tunneling and mining. Olobin found him surrounded by dwarf bodies, blood dripping from his lips. The two kings rushed each other and collided like mountains crashing together.

Their battle raged on, rumbling ever deeper into the earth. The mountains shook as they smashed and hit and kicked and pummeled each other. Dwarves and giants alike watched the champions dual to the death, pausing for a moment their savage conflict to witness a struggle more epic than any in multiple lifetimes. 

The battle was an earthquake, felt throughout the relm. Oloben swung his warhammer smashing the giant and Zanros countered, spitting hateful spells and swinging a wicked flail, each crushing against cave walls, shattering stone and bone alike. The struggle threatened to split the earth in their fury and rage. At last they drew close to death, their bodies and will wavered. 

With a final mighty blow, Oloben Giant Slayer, Champion of Prohpecy, Dwarf Avenger, crushed Zanros’ chest toppling the mighty foe. The wicked creature did not die quietly however and whispered one final, hateful curse that gripped the dwarf king’s heart and turned it black as if a dark cloud covered the sun and cast a long shadow over once beautiful land. The dwarf king collapsed. 

Dwarves ran to their king and giants rushed to theirs. No longer fighting, each breed tended to their champion. The giants carried their fallen king back to the depths from which they crept, and dwarves gathered their king to carry him to his throne room. The warhammer, Gloryfate Giantbane, had cracked and broken into two halves with the shaft separated from each. 

The dwarves laid Olobin down with the shaft of his hammer in his cold hands. The darkness gripped him and squeezed the life from his body. Mourning began and priests rushed to try to lift the curse from him. They prayed desperately that Moradin spare their king. To no avail. 

Within days the curse stole his life away. The moment the king exhaled for the last time a furious earthquake shook the mountain. Zanros had cursed not only they king, but the entire clan. Rock collapsed from the ceiling and walls crumbled and caved. The quake seemed endless as dirt and dust filled the air choking those were not crushed by the rubble. Darkness fell in Gloryfate Hall. 

When the rumbling was through and tourches were lit, Gloryfate clan was destroyed. Like the hammer, the hall had cracked in two. Rubble and rock separated the halves of the great clan. Weeks of digging could not reunify the clan. Families were lost or split up. Entire sections of the hall were gone. The king and his throne room were buried along with the shaft of Gloryfate Giantbane. The two halves of the hammer were also separated. One on each side of the hall. 

In time the dwarves found their way out of the mountain though they were now divided. Gloyfate was no more. Eventually two new clans rose from the ruin of the one from the refugees that survived the tremendous battle. They were Battlefate and Gloryborn. Each thrived on opposite sides of the insurmountable range. Each believed they had kin on the opposing side. Neither knew for certain. Glory and Fate remained separate.