New Goblin Stories 22

Reads: 92  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Goblins stealing things is expected. Goblins foiling a theft? Unheard of until now.

Submitted: September 01, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 01, 2019

A A A

A A A



“I’m just going to come out and say it, this feels weird,” Brody told the others. “I love swimming, so I didn’t mind taking a bath this morning.”

“I did,” Habbly said miserably.

“And hiding in the rafters of a hotel isn’t too unnatural,” Brody continued. “Other goblins have done it way more than me, but I can deal with it.It’s putting on perfume that crossed the line.”

Ibwibble shifted his weight as he balanced on a rafter.“We need to blend in perfectly, looking, sounding, even smelling like we belong.”

The three goblins were perched in the rafters of a large and spacious hotel in the rich quarter of Nolod.Nolod’s air was so foul that given time it could corrode steel, but there were ways to hold off the stench among those rich and influential enough to afford it. The hotel was furnished and decorated with the best of the best, and the owners had gone to great lengths to make it smell like paradise.Incense burners hung from the ceiling, potted plants with gorgeous flowers filled the air with their heady aroma, and every room included bowls of perfume.

Goblins were known for many things, including stupidity, craziness, no interest in wealth, and lastly foul odors.Living in caves, slums, wastelands and ruins was part of the reason for their stench.A diet heavy in refuse and what other races consider inedible didn’t help.And goblins seldom see a reason for proper hygiene, a trifecta of foulness that made them smell terrible.Tonight would be a rare exception, as the three goblins smelled of lavender instead of body odor and dung.

It had been easy enough to break into the hotel, evading guards, bloodhounds, locked doors and magic wards, but getting in was only half the battle. They had to stay here until midnight when Quaid the blind fortuneteller had foreseen their mysterious enemy would appear.That meant hours and hours of waiting, and in a ritzy place like this a smelly goblin would be noticed.

“I’ll never live it down if other goblins learn about this,” Habbly said.

“Don’t worry,” Ibwibble assured him.“We’ll be back to normal soon enough.”

Brody pulled at the strange brown uniform Ibwibble had insisted they all wear. It itched, but Brody had to admit it was the exact same shade of brown as the wood in the room.They blended in like black cats at night.“How did you afford this stuff?”

Ibwibble chuckled.“I bagged lots of tax collectors before this gig, and not one of them was poor.I beat up the first few and painted them blue, but I learned they only get really mad when you swipe their stuff.”

“You were stupid enough to keep their money?” Habbly asked.

“Some of it.Quiet, somebody’s coming.”

They heard footsteps approach the room and a click as someone unlocked the door. A serving girl came inside and swept the hardwood floor clean before unrolling a red carpet.She replaced the linens on the bed, dusted the desk, chair and dresser, and watered two pots of purple flowers.The girl left, never suspecting that she’d had company.

“How soon until the nymph shows up?” Brody asked.

“Any time between now and midnight,” Ibwibble told him.“She’s supposed to be older than she looks and way tougher.”

Habbly fingered a mop he’d brought for this mission.It was an odd choice for a weapon, but a survivor of Battle Island was dangerous armed with anything.“How much do we know about her?”

“I hear she spends all night looking at the stars,” Brody told him.

“Please tell me there won’t be poetry and singing involved,” Habbly begged. 

Ibwibble shook is head.“The way I hear it there’s no singing and lots of math.Once she’s here, no talking, no moving.If one bad guy shows up we mob him.If there’s more than one we figure out who’s giving orders and go for him.We’ve got the advantage of surprise and traps set up in advance.This jerk won’t know what hit him.”

Brody grumbled.“We should have brought Julius with us.”

Ibwibble grabbed him by the arm.“People notice Julius wherever he goes, including bounty hunters trying to collect the price on his head.And there’s going to be a lot of those when Nolod has a kill on sight order for anyone with the Guild of Heroes.If the guy we’re after learns Julius is around then he won’t come near this place. If the jerk does show up, stabby will carve him up before we can turn him in for the kudos.”

“He would not,” Brody said hotly.“Julius gives his enemies a chance to surrender.”

Ibwibble wasn’t impressed.“Which this jerk won’t take, because he thinks Julius is the enemy, and he’s dumb enough to be a martyr for his idiot cause.”

“Incoming,” Habbly said.The argument ended, and moments later the door opened.A middle aged man in simple clothes walked in and set a bundle of papers and books on the desk.For a moment it looked like the nymph wasn’t coming, but then she made her appearance.

And what an appearance she made!Goblins seldom noticed beauty, but the nymph was in a category all her own.She was gorgeous and moved with superhuman grace. Tall, slender, perfectly proportioned, she looked to be in her twenties yet had silver hair braided and curled.Callista was a site to make men’s hearts race. Even the goblins felt drawn to her and relaxed in her presence.

Callista’s garments, though, downplayed her astounding beauty.She wore a cotton dress, jacket, boots and leggings dyed red, fashionable without being cutting edge.Stranger still was how her clothes left nearly no exposed skin besides her face.Even her fingers were covered with red gloves that reached up to her elbows.She also carried a suitcase in each hand and wore a large backpack.

“You couldn’t find anything cheaper, Mr. Rolomer?” she asked in a melodious voice.

“Any room less expensive would require the owner to pay you, madam,” the man said formally.She gave him a questioning look, and he explained, “The owner isn’t charging you for the room.He claims your presence will attract sufficient customers to cover the expense.”

“I think he is being exceedingly optimistic.”

“A bellboy told me there isn’t a room to spare tonight, an event as rare as it is profitable.The class of the clientele may make them more adventurous in seeking an audience with you, as they are of considerable wealth, but ideally they will be more polite in accepting your refusals.”

Callista set her suitcases down and unpacked them.“I’ve found men to be adventurous regardless of their social class, and the rich no less boorish.If other guests tender invitations to visit with me, accept only those made by dwarfs, gnomes, minotaurs or trolls.I’ve found them to be less inclined to make inappropriate advances.”

The man sorted through the papers he brought until he found a stack of letters. “There was that one time—”

“Which we are not going to discuss, Mr. Rolomer.”Callista took off her backpack but didn’t unpack it.

“A number of letters were forwarded here that you might wish to see.The artist Roska Lavolt is asking if you would pose for a painting.He says it would only take a few days, and is offering fifty guilders.”

That made the nymph pause.“I could use the money.Write back and ask what the nature of the painting is.Make it quite clear I will only accept if it’s tasteful.I want no repeats of what happened with that dreadful sculptor.Why, I’d barely walking into his studio and he told me to undress!”

“And you kicked him in his unmentionables,” Rolomor added.

“It was an understandable reaction.”

The man selected another letter.“The widow Kivas Gess expresses her gratitude for your generosity.She seems to be doing well given the circumstances.”

Callista took a nightgown from her suitcase.The goblins had little experience with eveningwear except that it generally covered less than daytime clothes.This was not the case, as her nightgown was nearly as concealing what she wore now.“The poor woman and her daughters have been through too much.Hmm.Mr. Rolomer, perhaps her children and your own could spend time together.It would do them good to play with someone their own age.”

“That might not be socially acceptable when she is a baroness and I am a manservant.”

“Etiquette can take a flying leap off a cliff.They’re small children, alone and frightened, who wouldn’t care what social class their friends are.And your children are exemplary in every respect.Why, take your son Roger.”

Rolomer suddenly tensed.“Madam?”

“He’s tall for his age, well-mannered and very friendly.I haven’t seen him in some time.How is he?”

“I, ah, Roger has begun school again, madam.”

Callista smiled.“Good. He shows a remarkable talent with paints and drawing.”

“My wife and I are trying to redirect his attention to more practical matters.”

She turned away and missed Rolomer’s face turning red when she added, “You should encourage his creativity, Mr. Rolomer.He’s very good with his hands.”

Brody, Habbly and Ibwibble looked to one another and shrugged.They wondered what the boy had drawn or painted that embarrassed his father so much.It seemed related to the nymph.

Rolomer quickly held up another letter.“The ship captains you came here to meet wrote to say they will be late. It appears there has been considerable disruption in Nolod due to one William Bradshaw.He and his goblins did lasting damage when they removed the merchant Quentin Peck.”

“Good riddance to bad rubbish.I met Peck ten years ago, and he was an absolute boor.The man asked how much it would cost to retain my services, and he made it quite clear he wasn’t referring to purchasing my navigational star charts.I’d never been so embarrassed in my life.”

“And you kicked him in—”

“Must you bring that up, Mr. Rolomer?Peck was bad luck as well as bad company.My house burned down two weeks after I’d met the cretin.How late will the captains be in arriving and paying for the star charts they commissioned?”

Rolomer consulted the letter.“They are making arrangements with city officials that could take two days.They offer their apologies and to compensate you for any housing costs that arise up due to this delay, a moot point.”

This was so boring that Brody was falling asleep.He’d nearly nodded off when the manservant’s face turned pale. “The last letter is from your solicitor at the law firm of Goforda Throat.It, ah, it seems Lord Bryce made lengthy lewd remarks regarding your history and character while he was attending a wedding held by Count Durthan. The number of witnesses involved is high, as is their social standing.”

Callista fell silent.Her hands clenched tightly at her nightgown.When she said nothing, Rolomer continued.

“Your solicitor feels given the vulgar and very public nature of these statements, and the fact there is considerable evidence to refute them, that he is able to pursue legal action against Lord Bryce if you so choose.He says, and this is a quote, ‘Say the word and I’ll go after him like a rabid dragon’, unquote.”

“I’m tired, Mr. Rolomer,” she said softly.“Over the centuries I’ve buried two husbands and more friends than I care to count. That should be enough suffering for a lifetime.I’ve been professor of astronomy at Imperial University for eighty years.I’ve written three books on Astronomy and more papers than I can recall, yet I keep having to defending my good name.I’ve lived three hundred years and may live another thousand.Must every day of it be a battle?”

Rolomer set the letter down.“You do not fight alone.Many people recognize you for the amazing person you are.They will stand by your side against Lord Bryce and those like him.”

She smiled at him.“Thank you. Please write a letter to my solicitor. It is to include the message, ‘The Word’, nothing more.”

“The letter will go out tonight, madam.I’ll place the rest of your baggage in my room.Do you wish me to leave you with your weapons?”

“No, Mr. Rolomer.In my current mood I’d be too tempted to use them on someone.”

The rest of the night was dull.Rolomer brought a number of invitations to drinks, games and discussions, but Callista declined them all.She seemed exhausted after dealing with the insult against her and went to sleep early.Rolomer went to sleep in a room next to his employer.Rooms in the hotel weren’t entirely dark, for the wealthy portions of Nolod lit up lanterns and magic lights when night fell.Hours went by in silence.The goblins kept close watch on the doors and windows, waiting so long they wondered if the tip was bad.

Click.

The goblins tensed at the tiny sound coming from the door.It was different from when the serving girl had unlocked the door earlier that day.Another click followed.It took them a moment to realize someone was trying to pick the lock and doing a remarkably poor job.Brody, Habbly or Ibwibble could have done it in seconds.

Clumsy as the attempt was, it succeeded after three minutes.The door opened slowly, and four men dressed in black entered the room.Brody studied them and saw a faint red light around their eyes.He looked at the others, and Ibwibble’s lips formed the word ‘magic’.

The intruders spread out across the room and went through the desk and Callista’s suitcases.At first Brody worried that they had vile intentions toward the nymph, but they stayed clear of the bed.One of the intruders grabbed a handful of letters and stuffed them inside his shirt. They continued their silent search for several minutes, ignoring cash in favor of papers.

Ibwibble took a small rock from his rucksack and threw it at one of the potted plants.His aim was good, and the rock knocked the pot to the floor.Crash!Callista leapt from bed and faced the intruders.For two seconds nothing happened.Brody wondered if this was due to the invaders being shocked or if they were awed by the nymph’s legendary beauty.

“Wow,” an intruder said, answering Brody’s question.

“You’re not the first to break into my chambers at night,” Callista said in a surprisingly business-like tone of voice.“After I’m done with you, you might be the last.”

Lighting fast, Callista drove her hand into her backpack and pulled out a brass tube.Her enemies drew daggers from concealed sheaths.Callista swung her arm and the brass tube snapped out to triple its length. Now open, they could see lenses on both ends.

“That’s just a telescope,” an intruder said.“What are you going to—”

Callista lunged at the nearest intruder and struck him across the face with her telescope.He screamed in pain, a cry silenced when Callista drove the palm of her left hand into the base of his ribcage.The blow forced the air out of his lungs and dropped him to his knees.Two intruders tried to tackle her.The nymph kicked one below the belt and sent him down, then broke her telescope against the knee of the second.

The last intruder standing wove his hands in the air and spoke incomprehensible words.The room grew cold as a knife made of ice formed in his right hand.He threw it at Callista’s feet, but she jumped over the knife. It hit the floor and formed a thick layer of ice beneath the nymph.Most people would have slipped if they landed on an icy patch, but most people lacked the superhuman grace of nymphs.Callista not only kept her footing when she came down, but also grabbed a chair and threw it at the man, hitting him in the chest hard enough to force him out of the room.

Ibwibble pointed at the spell caster.“That one.”

The three goblins leaped from the rafters, landing on the intruders still in the room.The men had been struggling to their feet when the goblins knocked them down again. Callista went for her large backpack and hurled it into the chaotic melee, missing Habbly by inches and hitting the man he was standing on.The goblins fled the room and piled onto the lone intruder who’d cast a spell, kicking him in the shins and pushing him over.

“Run!” the spell caster shouted.The other three enemies scrambled out of the room seconds ahead of an enraged nymph.Callista saw the goblins hit her attackers again and again.After that she reserved her attacks for the men and left the goblins alone.The battle was complicated when doors across the hotel opened and confused guests came out. Bystanders got in everyone’s way.

The spell caster created another icy knife and threw at the floor, icing over the hallway.Men and women slipped and cried out in panic.Only the four intruders, three goblins and nymph were able to keep their footing, often by stepping on fallen guests.

“Keep going!” the spell caster urged the others.The four men in black ran out of the hallway into the hotel’s common room and then out the door onto the street.Nolod’s streets were packed even at night as the rich and powerful continued doing business, and the men might escape into the crowds.

Ibwibble reached the street and grabbed a lasso hidden near the edge of the hotel.He threw it over the spell caster’s chest and then pulled a wood peg he’d set in the wall. The rope went taunt and yanked the man off his feet, dragging him back to the goblins.

“I can’t get free!” the spell caster yelled.His friends grabbed him and pulled him to a stop before cutting the lasso with a dagger.The four tried to escape again when Ibwibble threw another lasso.He missed the spell caster and caught one of his accomplices. Brody pulled another peg loose, and the man was dragged screaming across the cobblestone street.The other three men tried to rescue him, a move that ended when Callista caught up with them.

“Madam, your blade!”It was Rolomer.He’d caught up with his employer and threw her a sheathed sword.Callista snatched it out of the air and drew a sword that was as much a work of art as it was a weapon.

“Thank you, Mr. Rolomer,” she said politely.Turning her attention back to the men, she said, “Gentlemen, die.”

“Help!” the lassoed man cried out as he was dragged away.The goblins piled on him and bound him tightly with more ropes.Callista kept after the other three men and missed the spell caster’s head by the barest of margins.The spell caster pulled a vial from inside his black clothes and threw it at the ground. A dense cloud poured out and Callista coughed and staggered out of it while the men escaped.

Callista gasped for fresh air, a rare commodity in Nolod, and looked around. The three men had made their escape in the crowded streets.She looked behind her and saw bales of cotton next to the apartment building.There were ropes around the bales that led to pulleys attached to the building’s roof.It didn’t take her long to figure out that those bales were the counterweight that had dragged the lassoed attackers.She didn’t see the three goblins or the man they’d seized.

* * * * *

“I’ll tell you nothing!” the man yelled as Brody, Habbly and Ibwibble dragged him through the back alleys of Nolod.He struggled uselessly against the ropes holding him.He tried to kick the goblins and couldn’t with his feet tied to his hands.

“That’s just grand, because I don’t want to ask you anything,” Ibwibble said. “Frankly, you guys are boring.If you were a tax collector, that would be entertaining.Fanatics don’t do anything for me.”

“I’m not a fanatic!” their prisoner screamed.“I’m part of a movement to lift the veil of ignorance from the eyes of the people!”

“I thought you weren’t going to tell us anything,” Brody said.

The prisoner struggled again.“I’m allowed to say that much.”

“Do me a favor, and for the time being say less,” Ibwibble said.“Man is this guy heavy.What do they feed you idiots?”

“What did you mean when you said for the time being?” the prisoner asked.

“The nymph is quite a fighter,” Habbly said.“Gamblers at Battle Island would have paid good money to see her, well, for several reasons.”

Ibwibble shrugged.“The dame has been around for three hundred years.You don’t last that long by being a damsel in distress.”

“You may have caught me, but you missed the others,” the prisoner said. “There are more like me, and more will join the cause when they see the truth.”

Ibwibble laughed.“Your friends aren’t going to get as far as you think.We planned for guys getting away.”

The goblins pulled their prisoner past an adolescent troll walking down the street.Brody nodded to the troll and said, “Evening.”

“Do something!” their prisoner shouted at the scaly troll.

The troll shrugged.“I don’t want to know what this is about.”

The goblins walked for hours, stopping only when they reached Nolod’s city limits.Once they were out of the grimy city they let go of the ropes.A lone man stepped out of the darkness in front of them.“You should have brought me with you.”

“If you’d been there we’d have four bodies, more if bounty hunters came after you,” Ibwibble countered.“I’ll admit this isn’t the guy I wanted to bring, but one prisoner to interrogate beats identifying dead guys.I’ll get you better ones next time.”

Their prisoner struggled to sit up.“Who is that?”

The lone man knelled down until he was looking the prisoner in the eyes. “Hello, my name is Julius Craton. I was almost killed because of you and your friends.”

Ibwibble grinned like a maniac.“Now you want to start talking.”



© Copyright 2019 ArthurD7000. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply