Goblin Fire

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Writers Rift

A teenage squire's second chance at peace is destroyed when a horde of goblins target his new home.

 

It was a peaceful time for the Kingdom of Narinfaard and peace had led to complacency.

Tim’s muscles burned as he swung his sword up and blocked another blow from a large, gruff man. Tim quickly kicked forward with his left leg and hit the man in the shin. The man let loose a bellowing roar from beneath his bushy, red beard. He was not happy that his attack had been blocked.

“You son of an orc lover!” the bearded man yelled.

Tim only smiled as he twirled his own sword in a counter-clockwise motion which caused the other man to drop his sword.

“Tsk, tsk Matteo,” he admonished. “Beaten by the son of an orc lover.”

Matteo’s frown was difficult to see under his thick beard, but Tim knew it was there nonetheless. The two had been sparring partners for the last several months, ever since Tim had been transferred to the small town as a guard. Tim had been apprenticing under a knight as a squire for years until his master was slain in battle. Unable to continue that career path, he left the large city that had been his home to try to cut out a peaceful life for himself in the small countryside town of Brandlebottom. After all, he was only nineteen and had plenty of time to find another suitable career.

“We’ll see how good those fancy moves work in a real fight one day, Timortheus,” said Matteo. “You find like an elf maiden.”

“And what, master Matteo is so bad about that?” A soft trilling voice called from the nearby well. It was Talia, one of the few elves that had chosen to make her home in the human city.

Matteo cheeks flushed a bright red as he turned around and looked at the elf woman. “Oh, Tali, didn’t see you there. My apologies, I didn’t mean anything by it,” he apologized.

“I should hope not,” she said. Then she upturned her nose and turned to leave.

Sheathing his sword, Tim ran after her and caught up to her with a few brisk strides.

“Good afternoon lady Talia. Might I walk with you back to the apothecary?” he asked her.

“Oh, I’m not heading there. Magister Koran is off to the capitol this week to buy supplies for the shop. He doesn’t yet trust me to run it by myself, so I’m just head home,” the elf replied.

“So, that’s a yes ‘please accompany me’?” Tim teased.

The corners of Talia’s lips curled up in a slight smile before she was able to hide any trace of emotion, as was custom for most elves to do, though years living with humans had taken its toll on her stoicism.

“Yes, I suppose you may. If you insist.”

“I do,” Tim replied.

“I thought you might,” she said, almost smiling again.

“Would you let me carry the water for you?” He asked.

“I’m quite capable of carrying a jug of water,” she said appearing slightly annoyed. Elf women, were not accustomed to being thought of as inferior to men, unlike their human counterparts.

“I meant no offense milady. Only that your soft, elegant hands are too lovely to be put to brutish labor. Lest you desire thick calluses like my own,” Tim said. He then upturned his palms to her showing calluses and scars, the result of years of abuse and martial training.

“Well, if you insist,” she said again. “I could make you a salve for that. It would help soften and heal the skin.”

“I’m not sure that would be practical for a swordsman. The blisters were painful enough to get the first time, if I softened my hands up again…” Then he paused and thought about the pleasant prospect of her hand rubbing against his as she gingerly applied the salve. “But, maybe I could give it a try.”

The two continued to walk and chat with each other across the small city that only housed about three hundred citizens, but their houses had been built apart and in an unorganized manner that caused the walk to be longer than it should have been to cross such a small town. When they finally reached her house, she told him to come back tomorrow for the poultice. Tim happily agreed to come back and left with a broad smile on his face. His thoughts were of her the rest of the day until he finally fell asleep back home in his own cot.

Hours later he awoke to the sounds of screaming and the roar of flames. Tim quickly jumped out of bed wearing nothing but a dirty pair of linen breeches. The smell of smoke burned the hairs deep within his nostrils as he took a long breath. Orange flashing lights pierced through the windows of his small wooden home. Then there was a pounding at his door. Quickly pulling on a pair of brown pants and his tall leather boots, Tim ran to the door. The young man threw it open expecting to see one of the townsfolk asking if he would join the bucket brigade and help put out the fire. What greeted him instead were two short goblins with crude spears.

Jumping backward into his house, Tim narrowly dodged the tip of the first goblin’s spear as it poked at him. Then his arm shot out as quick as a snake striking a mouse and grabbed on the shaft of the spear. Tim then jerked the weapon backward, trying to wrench it from the goblin’s disgusting, bulbous hands. Instead of just the spear, the whole goblin was pulled toward him. Reactively, he kicked forward and sent the small goblin flying into the second goblin. The spear was finally made free from the vicious creatures hand and Tim wasted no time in spinning it around and using it to impale the sprawled goblins that were lying on top of eachother. They made a bitter wailing shriek as they died. Time slammed his door shut and barred.

He ran to a large wooden chest and threw it open revealing his armor and weapons. Dark leather studded armor as well as steel forged armor, the blue tabard of the king’s army, an axe and a long sword filled the chest. He didn’t have time to put on all the armor, so he threw on as much of the leather armor as he could. The only pieces of the steel armor he wore was the thick gauntlets as well as his visored helm as they did not require much effort or time to equip. Soon more thumping at his door came as the goblins must have discovered their fallen brethren.  This time, he was ready.

Tim kicked open his door and before the goblins even had time to react his sword flashed and two more goblins lay dead at his feet. The rest of the goblins cried out with a fierce hatred and lunged at him with daggers and spears. Tim danced around their attacks with great agility and speed, blocking and parrying the attacks he could not dodge. After a moment of being on the defense, the young warrior felt confident that he had gauged the strength of the remaining four goblins and retaliated with his own series of deadly blows. Soon all but one of the goblins lay on the ground covered in thick blood that shimmered wildly in the fire-light from the burning buildings around town.

“Curse you human!” The goblin shrieked and then lunged at Tim.

The young guardsman smacked the dagger to the side with the back of his armored hand and then drove his own sword deep into the goblins chest. The attack produced a sickening, crunching noise as it shattered the diminutive creature’s ribs and spine. The creature was lifted off of the ground and then thrown down as Tim whipped his sword to the side. Just as he finished Matteo ran around the corner and called to Tim from down the alley.

“Get to the town hall! We’ll be safest there. I’ve already sent most of—” the other guard was cut off mid-sentence as a goblin jumped off the roof of a nearby building and landed on his back. The creature wasted no time as it drove a rugged dagger into the man’s throat sending out a crimson spray of blood. Tim watched helplessly as his friend crumpled to the ground.

“No! Matteo!” he cried out. Then he rushed over and beheaded the goblin who had begun cackling wildly.

Water flooded Tim’s eyes and tightness crept into his throat as he grabbed ahold of Matteo and watched the last bit of life leave the man’s eye. There was no time to waste on the dead though. Tim knew he had to make it to the town hall. If people were fleeing there, the goblins would be chasing. The town only had twelve fulltime guards and a few militia. If the goblins came in numbers as they usually did, the townspeople were going to need all the help they could get.

Thinking about the people of the town, the young warrior soon thought of Tali, the lone elf woman who lived on the outskirts of down. A feeling of dread crept into his chest as he thought about her. Those on the outskirts of town would have been the first hit and the least prepared for the goblin attack. He couldn’t only hope that they hadn’t come from the south where her home was. Tim let go of Matteo’s body and let it slump to the ground as he began running as fast as he could towards Tali’s house. He ran into several goblins which he either battled or fled from. He had to take several detours as the burning buildings collapsed around him and blocked the streets of the small city. It was only a matter of minutes before he closed in on her home.

“Durblakis seorna rithus!” He heard a woman’s voice call out. Then without warning several goblins ran screaming from within her home clasping hands over their now empty eye sockets.

Hope filled Tim as he heard the voice. She’s alive! His joy was short lived however as he burst into Tali’s home and saw the elf woman leaning over a table, badly wounded. She looked up at him with fierce eye like she was about to attack before recognition came over her.

“Tim,” she gasped.

“Yes. I’m here Tali. You’re gonna be okay,” he said.

Tali looked at him and smiled like she thought he might be lying.

“I’ll protect you, use whatever magic you have left to heal yourself. Or grab a potion from your supplies! I’ve seen you and the master heal worse wounds than that.”

Nodding, she closed her eyes and placed her hands over her wounded stomach which was spurting thick, hot, ropes of crimson blood on the wooden floorboards. Then she began uttering a string of words that were unintelligible to the human warrior.

Even as she chanted a goblin burst the door with his arms full of trinkets and treasures. He was apparently expecting this house to be empty and an easy target for his looting, for he looked at the two of them with wide, fearful eyes. Then the creature shouted “Live ones! Live ones!”

Tim cursed that he had hesitated to kill the creature before he lunged forward and shoved his sword into the goblin’s throat. It gasped and gurgled blood even as its slimy hands loosed and released the treasures from its hands which crashed with a great amounted of clanking on the floor. More would be coming soon, but Tim was determined that none should pass him and make it to Tali. Even with their greater numbers, he had faith that he could defend this single doorway no matter how many came.


Submitted: May 17, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Tim Quinn. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Ever A. Darling

Wow. Action-packed, and truly kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Your descriptions of the fights, and attacks were written with such imagery that I could imagine them happening inside of my own mind. That, right there, is even difficult for me to do; which is why I tend to stray from much action in my stories. This was an amazing story. I wonder if Tali and Tim made it out alive.

Tue, May 17th, 2016 10:46pm

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Thanks so much! I hope to add more to it soon :)

Thu, May 19th, 2016 9:41pm

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