The Goblin Chief

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series War of the Soulhers: Herman's Story

Randyst signaled Herminicle to get ready.  The paladin drew out his blade while the wizard prepared to cast a spell.

They would surprise the foul creature.

With a war shout to his god Pelor, Randyst leap to the monster, his longsword gleaming with energy. The goblin noticed the intruder and managed to side step out of the way, just in time to avoid a cleaving strike.

“Grr, you human no take Thork dinner! Me kill you, make cake with your eyeballs!” It growled in broken common, pointing towards the armour clad human.

Randyst turned and faced the goblin chieftan, pointing his sword towards it.

“Foul beast! I will not allow you devour this young one. Prepare to face the gates of oblivion evil one!”

The goblin let out a guttural threat but before completing it, was met by a mystic bolt that struck it square in the chest. The goblin staggered a bit, but did not fall. It looked around and spotted Herminicle.

“Rawr! you bring magic here? Thork have magic too!”

The goblin shot a dark bolt towards the paladin but missed. Randyst charged the creature, swinging his longsword, striking the chieftain who still held on.

This one is definitely a tough opponent, thought Herminicle.

Thork grabbed his mace – a weapon with its head shaped like the skull of a ram - and took a wild swing at Randyst. The paladin parried the strike, pushing back and making an overhead counter attack that missed the goblin. Another magic missile was launched but the goblin evaded the attack and shifted away from his melee opponent.

He turned to the hanging cage, where the young boy was watching the battle with intrigue. The goblin smirked and pointed his finger towards the rusty old chain holding the cage aloft. Randyst knew what the creature planned: he was going to drop the boy to those spiky stalagmites!

“Nooooooo!” Exclaimed Randyst.  ”Wizard! Save the boy! I will deal with the creature!”

Herminicle nodded and rushed towards the stalagmite pit while Randyst reengaged with the goblin.  Before the wizard could do anything, however, Thork shot a dark missile towards the chain.  The chain strained under the stress, the cage swinging wildly from side to side.  The goblin cursed, quickly turning its weapon up as the paladin came upon him with fierce resolve.

“Hold tight boy, we will get you out of this”, said Herminicle.

The paladin made a horizontal strike and shifted behind the monster. Turning, he saw the wizard in the midst of casting a spell, no doubt to free the boy. Something bothered him, however, and as he brought up his sword to strike at the goblin, he realized what the wizard was doing: he was going to blast the cage!

“Herminicle! what are you doing? Don’t hit the cage, the boy will surely plummet to his death!”

The wizard ignored him, blasting loose the chain.  The cage, with the boy inside, dropped.

“By Pelor’s light! No!” shouted Randyst.

The goblin took advantage of the paladin’s distraction, sneaking an attack with a dagger he switched to.  Randyst saw the switch, however, slashing his weapon down, cleaving the arm of the goblin right off.

Thork looked in horror as he saw his arm fall to the floor, blood splattering everywhere. He cried in pain and tried to cast another spell at the paladin with his one good arm.  The paladin screamed in rage and despair at the death of the boy and ran his longsword right into the monster’s mouth.  The sword easily slid through the head, sticking out the other side.  The sword was soon retracted, the goblin corpse making a wet thud on the floor.

Randyst looked around and found Herminicle, walked up to him and grabbed his collar, pulling him up to his face.

“Damn it wizard! What have you done!”

Something from behind the wizard caught his eye.  It was the boy.  The boy was alive and, floating? Randyst let go of the wizard and saw that the boy was still in the cage, which floated atop a glowing disc.

“See what I meant when I told you about the usefulness of magic,” said Herminicle, crossing his arms and grinning.

Randyst let out a sigh of relief: “That was reckless, but you saved his life.”

The wizard brought the disc with the cage away from the pit and set it down slowly. Randyst then struck the lock with his sword, cleaving it easily. He opened the cage and helped the boy out.  Meanwhile, the wizard looted the corpse of anything valuable, noticing a talisman of sorts. Unable to identify it, he pocketed the item while the paladin was busy overseeing the boy’s health.

This item could be useful, no point in telling him about it, he’d just make me get rid of it thinking its some evil demonic artifact, Herminicle thought.

He walked towards the paladin, who was crouching down and talking to the boy.

“You are very brave lad, you did not seem frightened there. what is your name?” The child looked at the paladin with admiration “My name is Losien sir, Losien Minso.”

“Well young Losien,” said Randyst, “your mother is very worried about you and sent us to find you. I am Randyst Firestrong, a paladin in the service of Pelor. This wizard who saved you is Herminicle Vortexus.”

Little Minso walked up to the wizard and said: “Thank you sir.” Herminicle returned his thanks with a simple smile and a slight nod.

***

Later that day the duo arrived back in Fort Caspien with the boy in tow, his tearful mother very grateful for his safe return.  They also informed the Fort Guard of the location of the missing supplies and dead goblins.

The mother invited both heroes to a home cooked meal and an overnight stay in her house. Randyst accepted gracefully, while Herminicle politely refused, saying he had an important task ahead of him.

“Herminicle, why do you refuse the offer of this woman’s hospitality? Do you not care for anything other than yourself?” Randyst had asked.

“I have my own quest to undertake, pious one, I need not you to tell me how to operate my life, thank you very much,” he answered, frustrated.

“Tell me then wizard, why did you put that boy’s life at risk by pulling a stunt like that back there? What if the disc disappeared before he landed on it?” asked Randyst.

“Sometimes in life, one must take risks to achieve ones goal,” said the wizard.  He walked up to the paladin, giving him a small stuffed dog he had found in the cave.  He assumed that it must have belonged to little Losien.

“Remember, Paladin, just because I do not follow the same path as you, does not mean I am an evil, uncaring creature,” Herminicle finally said, turning around and walking away.

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