Chapter 1 Part 7
Tarsakh 08, Year of The Solitary Cloister
Having no confidence that the goblins were completely dealt with, the siblings immediately started formulating the next phase of their plan.
First, there was the issue that with the poison the goblins were using they had a distinct advantage in any direct conflict. Myrlear informed them that he had taken a look at the poison from a couple of the arrows left over from the battle and was confident that he could create an antidote, something they could imbide prior to a battle that would give them a hightened resistance. All he needed was a good clump of Monk’s Hood, a local flower that was abundant in the area. The siblings found out from the brothers where the most likely location to find some of the flowers and set out to retrieve some.
Several hours and many miles later, still without success, the two were distracted by the sight of smoke rising up in the distance. They quietly approached, making sure to stay as silent and hidden as possible and when they were close enough, they could hear several parties talking in goblin. They just happened to stumble across a solution for the second part of their planning: learning more about their adversaries. For a long time they hid and quietly listened. Most of what they learned was that this was a fairly large group of goblins that were…goblins. Their entire interest was in getting a hot enough fire ready for their noon time meal. Almost out of boredom, the two decided to get closer. Ardinia sent Lei to circle the area and make sure it was safe to get closer.
A few minutes later, Ardinia was struck with the realization that Lei was simply gone. Always was she concious of her familiar and suddenly, he was simply no more. Panic was just about to take her when as suddenly as he had left her awareness, he was back. Immediately she called her familiar to her. He took a perch on a branch very close to her and when she looked over at him to investigate and make sure he was alright, she was immediately enchanted. Her entire vision hazed out and she was only aware of the bird’s eyes.
Meet me in the clearing.
The voice came from nowhere but her own conciousness. Arthon was just about to ask what was wrong when he noted a large commotion in the goblin camp. One of the little rodents was screaming, “Greer! Greer is coming! Run! Hide! Greer is coming!” and they were all essentially running around in terror.
Not knowing what else to do, Ardinia readied a spell and began walking toward the clearing. Arthon barely had time to close his gaping jaw and catch up to her,
“What in the name of the good gods do you think you are doing?!” he hissed as he readied his weapons.
Whatever she planned to reply, it did not matter for they both were soon distacted. Now being able to see the clearing, it was completely empty of goblins. From the north however, a large brown bear was lumbering over to the now unattended fire. It carried, of all things, a backpack in its jaw and seemed completely at ease. Not sure what to make of this development, the elves kept their position and watched.
Sitting down next to the fire and dropping the backpack, the animal looked around, as if trying to find something. Holding his gaze in the direction of the ‘hidden’ elves, he paused before closing its eyes. Being tied to the forest, the brother and sister were alarmed as the animal seemed to fall into a seizure. Its entire body shuddered violently and the animal let out a painful moan. As they watched, they witnessed the bear actually shrink before their eyes. Before they could even register what this meant, they were no longer looking at a bear. In his place sat a naked human, who began looking around in the same manner as his bear form just had. Again, his gaze falling on the forest where they hid, he finally spoke,
“Well then you two, I am rather pressed for time. So, if you wouldn’t mind getting out here so that we can get this taken care of, I can be on my way.”
Not quite knowing what else to do, the duo slowly ventured out into the clearing, weapons and spells still at the ready. The strange human was rumaging around in his pack when they finally came up to the fire pit the goblins had been using. He grabbed a couple of the goblin’s pots and gave them a sniff before wrinkling his nose and tossing them back down.
“Lunch can wait.” He decided.
“Who are you?” Arthon finally asked the stanger. He thought for a couple moments before answering,
“You may call me Greer.” Nodding toward Ardinia, “I’s a druid and I know your husband and am pretty darn sure that he would vouch for me.” Giving them all but two seconds to digest this, he continued, “Now that we have that shit out of the way, let’s get on with this. You want to kill all the goblins, right?”
The siblings looked at each other with confused expressions before answering,
“Well…there is a monestary to the north of here-” but they were cut off.
“Ain’t lettin’ it happen. Not on my watch. Goblins being goblins ain’t no goblin’s fault.” The elves were trying to parse this declaration as he coninued, “but if you don’t wanna tangle with a 600 pound brown bear but still get rid of these little varmits,” he motioned with his thumb over his shoulder to the small rocky overhang that they goblins had taken up refuge in. The opening was covered with branches and leaves, but these wiggled and shook as the goblins peeked out at the group who had taken control of their cooking clearing, “you do me a favor and then I will tell yah what you need to do to get rid of ‘em.”
Finally finding some dried meat in his pack, Greer retrieved it and began pulling on it with his teeth. Rather confused at this point, Ardinia asked,
“What is the favor you would ask of us?” With a mouthful of jerky, some dribbling out and turning the elve’s stomachs, he answered.
“Wait for the little shits to go back to the monestary and do what you did last time.” He thought for a moment, “Cept, maybe kill say 5 or so of them, and make sure you put an arrow right through the chief’s son.”
Now utterly dumbfounded the elves all but demanded further explanation. Greer explained that the whole reason the goblins were raiding the monestary was at the suggestion of the goblin cheif’s son. An intelligent and charismatic goblin, he was attempting to replace his father as the leader of his tribe. Also arrogant and egotistical, he had convinced the warriors and hunters that raiding the monestary was their best option.
“I still don’t get why you don’t want us to kill them here, but want us to kill them at the monestary.” Ardinia explained.
“I said ‘kill em all’ first of all. Second, I want em to be a little more mindful of getting too close to civilization and settlements.” he looked up and made sure they were paying attention, “Then, they’ll be a lot more inclined to go back south. And, the whole reason they are here and not somewhere else is NAME.”
An hour later, Greer had made some antecdote for Ardinia as well as told them where they could find more Monk’s Hood. In addition, they had a simple enough plan. The elves would return to the monestary and prepare. Then, they would simply wait for the goblins to muster up enough courage to come back. And then, they would teach them a lesson.