Goblin Brothers Part 27

There was no further punishment for the murder of Kevnos. The Trickyfoot goblins didn’t care about him whatsoever and in fact he was not likely to last long once he got to the clan anyways. He was doomed the moment he found tracked the slavers in search of the escaped whelps that were so intriguing to their king. So, his body was cut loose and left for the vermin of the deep to consume and erase the evidence of his short, miserable existence. He now only survived in the hearts and minds of Nyx and Zyx and they held him in contempt.

Days before their capture the ranger decided to finally follow the tracks and discovered the slavers and with their shaman. He cautiously approached them and when the slavers sought to kill the stranger, the shaman halted them and inquired about their whelps. Kevnos initially hid the fact that he was caring for them and that the trio was living very comfortably. He was their king after all and their leader and together they were creating a new and loving goblin social dynamic. But a goblin is a goblin and his greed and treachery are not so easily abandoned.

The shaman promised Kevnos that he could join Trickyfoot clan and be a member of their scouting soldiers and that he would also be rewarded with an assortment of treasure from the king’s own vault. At this Kevnos could not resist though part of him ached as he explained to the slavers and shaman that he had found the whelps and had been caring for them. A barely budding love was killed in that moment and it pained his heart.

It was Kevnos who explained where the pool was and that he would take the whelps there to be captured and how he would even get them to abandon their gear so they would be an easier target. The slavers scoffed at the idea of having to disarm a pair of whelps but Kevnos convinced them that they were indeed formidable; that one had killed a cave centipede and the other had powers he didn’t understand. The Nakbor, the shaman, understood and he ordered the slavers to follow the plan.

Kevnos did not let them down and lead the boys to the pool where the slavers and vengeful shaman were waiting for them ready to drag them back to the home the narrowly escaped. Of course, the Trickyfoots were never going to uphold the deal they offered Kevnos. Such was the goblin way. The more treacherous were always praised most. There was no honor in loyalty and no reward for honesty.

So they were all at the mercy of the Trickyfoot slavers, betrayer, betrayed and even their own shaman who tried to betray the wishes of his own king and murder the whelps instead of bringing them back to the clan. Treachery upon treachery upon treachery, but as is often the case in the goblin world, the slavers won the day and were laughing with their new captures chained and in tow.

The remainder of the journey back to the Trickyfoot clan went mostly uneventful as long as you consider beating lashings and taunting uneventful. The boys began to vaguely recognize their surroundings as they neared. The caves they were born in were very much the same since their escape. It had not been that long after all. As the slavers paraded them through the halls they were subjected to many observers and more taunts from the various citizens of Trickfoot clan.

In their early days as Trickyfoots, they never went anywhere near the center of the village. They were outsiders really and scrounged for food by searching the caverns leading away from their clan. This is how they were able to escape so easily. It also meant that as they were dragged to the center of the clan, they were experiencing it for the first time.

It was actually a pretty impressive goblin town as for as the creatures go. It had decent construction and various large areas with a somewhat sophisticated design. In reality, there was never any actual planning, but with enough time, goblins sometimes stumbled upon something that made sense. The brother’s may have even enjoyed seeing their clan village had it been under different circumstances, but as it was, they wished they were back at the Sharpspear clan free from the trappings of goblin society.

The slavers did exactly what they were trained, and they lead their slaves to the dungeon. They boys and Nakbor knew they were getting close when they heard the screams and moans of constant pain and somehow smelled the blood that stained the floors there. It was a place many other creature imaged hell to be like, only, it was real and was central to most goblin clans.

With whips, kicks and taunts increasing as they neared the hearts of the boys raced and their eyes darted about taking in the sites and sounds of the torture chambers of Trickyfoot clan.

There was a gateway guarded by a pair of goblins armed with iron swords crudely crafted with curved blades. The guards didn’t hesitate to allow their kin to pass with the new slaves and even spat and kicked at the three as they were dragged through the gateway in hell.

Once inside, the boys were shocked to see the cages that contained various creatures, none of which looked up to see the new tenates. Inside there were many goblins, a few dwarves, a single elf and then various beasts that were unfamiliar to the boys. These creatures were all huddled in a heap on the ground and didn’t dare move. Wounds all over their bodies were the history of their pain and torment. There lives consisted of nothing but constant labor, punishment, emptiness and want. Their spirits were broken and their lives drained from them one lash at a time. They were hollowed out shells and not really even living beings any longer. They had been reduced to tools used by goblins. A fate worse than death.

Through the halls lined with cages and torture room filled with clever machines that were very efficient at delivering pain and anguish to selves and prisoners. The sites were alarming but nothing was worse than the stench. It rose up front the ground and hung in the air. It assaulted the senses of the three newcomers and tried to choke them. It was something that was difficult to describe. It was part blood, past excremental, part vomit. It didn’t smell like death. Somehow it was worse. It smelt like living doom. It was as if anguish had a scent that smelt like a warning to all who neared it.

Through the fog of this anguish, the boys and the shaman, Nakbor, finally reached the chief slaver Thux. He was deep into the goblin dungeon and when they found him, he was busy beating another goblin who cowered and screamed in a corner and tried to endure.

“You stupid!” Thux bellowed, “You worthless. We no kill slaves. We hurt slaves. We punish slaves. We steal life from slaves. We no kill them. Now I kill you.”

Thux was such a strangely large goblin that he towered over the object of his anger. When he kicked his subject the poor goblin’s body lifted from the ground, then he followed that with a crack from his barbed whip that spilt the poor creature’s flesh and slashed deep into his muscles. The victim’s cries were child like and pierced the air.

When the slavers with Nyx, Zyx and Nakbor in tow reached the room Thux turned and snarled, “What you want? You need beating too?”

“No master slaver. We here with whelps,” the head one answered.

“Whelps? What whelps?” Thux’s chest heaved with deep breaths and his huge muscles swelled with his tight grip on his whip and other fist clenched. Blood spatteres stained his face and drool dripped from his teeth and down his chin.

“You send us capture whelps master. We got them. And shaman.”

Thux considered the information for a minute. The blood in his eyes and the rage in his heart receded enough for him to think about what they meant. Through all the hate, he recalled that his king ordered some whelps to be captured. The thought of his king cooled the fire and he took a step back. He turned to the half-dead goblin on the floor near his feet and ordered, “Leave. Do not fail again.”

The words of his master slaver were a breath of life and with new hope that he would not die that day, the goblin suddenly found strength and leapt to his feet then sprinted away from Thux’s chambers to lick his own wounds.

The massive slaver fell back into a chair sewn with the flesh of victims. He exhaled then took a long drink from a massive stein filled with goblin liquor. “They give you trouble?” Thux smiled.

“Yes master,” one explained. “Shaman try kill them.”

“That why you chain him?”

“Yes master.”

“He try to curse us after.”

“You stop him?”

“Yes master.”

“You punish?”

“Yes master.”

“Good. Anything more?”

“Yes master, we find strange goblin. He had whelps.”

“He slave them?”

“No master. They work together.”

“That strange.”

“Yes, but he give them us. We slave them all.”

Thux bellowed a deep roar of a laugh. “Good. Where he?”

“This one kill him,” the slaver explained and he pointed to Nyx.

Thux laughed even louder, throwing his head back as his roars filled the halls. When he finally calmed down he responded, “No wonder king want him. He good goblin.”

Thux leapt to his feet then swung his long whip through the air and smacked it against the ground by the prisoners’ feet. Zyx fell back in the wake of the piercing sound sbut Nyx stood tall and Nakbor was in a place far away from that room, mending his wounds and plotting revenge.

“You lucky goblins,” Thux snarled. “I want to pain you. King want to meet you. Then we know your pain. Maybe live. Maybe die. We know soon.”

Thux smiled, “Bring them. King want to judge them.”

With that order, Thux, smasher slaver lead the way to the Trickyfoot throne room and the boys’ judgement.

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TBT: Goblin Bros Part 1

Started the story nearly 3 years ago. Hoping to finish it this year. If you like it, check it out on its own page on this blog!

In a deep dark cave far away from the eyes of civilization live creatures that no one cares to acknowledge let alone meet. They are monsters, they are nightmares, they are goblins. Hideous and cruel the lurk in shadows, steal and maim and murder all they can. They abide by a different set of rules than the civilizations of the realms. Even evil creatures such as dark elves have order; no, goblins are ruled by chaos. They survive only if they are strong enough and if they are not they are devoured by the very clan that birthed them; stripped of all they possess and forgotten as quickly as the sun sets beyond the mountains. Goblins are despised a reviled creatures; unloved and unwanted. Theirs is a frightening world.

As the flicker of flame from torches danced a hypnotizing dace two goblin whelps crawled along the cave searching for food. Their tummies growled as they often did and already they learned the first lesson of goblin life. Food is always difficult to come by and you will never cease searching for it. While the stomach may rule many creatures and all beings must eat to survive, the goblin is driven by it in a way that is difficult to understand. These two whelps, brothers they were, crept together in search of it as they had a hundred times before and would thousands of times after.

The deep caves of the world were not abundant in food. In pools of water there were sometimes slimy creatures that one could consume, mushrooms were common as well as some insects and bats, but none of these would be considered food by sophisticated beings. Only the creepy crawlers of the dark would consider them edible. That was the life of a goblin.

The boys stuck their hands in cracks in the rocks trying to discover a grub or a beetle of some sort, or if there were very lucky they could find a rodent. For quite some time they explored and searched unsuccessfully; pushing and shoving each other as they did. Yet, their stomachs continued to growl and their temperaments worsened.

At last a glow beckoned from ahead. They ducked down behind some stone when they first noticed it and clung to one another, but the glow did not harm them and so their ears perked up and they chose to follow it.

The light shone from some place much further than they anticipated and their keen eyes noticed it far before their other senses caught up. As they neared a tapping sound was added to the mystery. The goblin boys looked at each other blankly for help or reassurance but found none. There was no other option but to follow the light and the tapping and learn their origin.

With soft, light feet the boys slinked towards the light and the tapping, which they had never quite heard before, when an even stranger sound joined the tapping. It sounded like a creature but they never heard such a sound. It vaguely resembled the sound some of the goblins made when they were very much drunk from cave wine but those were typically unpleasant sounds while these were something harmonious, something happy. Harmonious and happy were entirely foreign concepts to the goblin brothers and they could not make sense of it whatsoever.

The sounds of the tapping turned to clanging and yet it was the humming that pierced their ears and their hearts. The boys crawled, knowing they were very close, and as they slipped into the shadows of a hallway they nearly tripped over themselves as they found a lone dwarf mining away in this section of the cave.

The boys dove behind more stone and huddled together limbs shaking and lips quivering. For several long minutes they remained, clinging to each other awaiting certain death. Yet death did not seem interested in the boys. As the fog of fear lifted slightly the sound of the dwarf humming eased their spirits. Their hearts slowed and they loosened their grip on each other enough to peer over the stone and study the dwarf.

Their eyes widened as they watched a grey haired sturdy dwarf dressed in leather and swinging and iron pickax and humming. He didn’t notice the boys as far as they could tell. The dwarf swung his ax heavily against the stone then inspected the result of his blow then struck again, all the while humming a steady tune. Behind him a few feet away there was a leather pack large enough for both the boys to fit inside if they wanted to stow away to where ever this dwarf lived, though the thought never occurred to them as the grumbling of their tummies interrupted their enjoyment of the hypnotic tune and their keen noses alerted them that there was some dried meat in the pack along with ale. This was the prize they sought.

The boys looked to each other and knew they would try to steal the dwarf’s pack, or at least what was inside. Without the benefit of a plan they pressed themselves to the cold stone floor of the cave, their loose loin cloths leaving them exposed to the coldness of the stone and its jagged edges but they learned long before to ignore both. They were life.

Like snakes along the floor they slithered to the pack, the dwarf intently mining for a gem which caught the boys’ eyes. It glimmered from the dark stone surrounding it and the light from the dwarf’s torch reflected from one of its finer edges. Distracted for only a moment the scent of food kept them focused enough and soon they found themselves upon the pack.

A drawstring was tied round it securing it from the boys, but one of the brothers pulled a bone dagger from his waistband and began sawing the string. The dwarf still did not notice the boys as he hammered away at the stone and hummed his song. At last the string was cut and the boys reached in and quickly found the food they longed for. As they did so however at last the old dwarf turned and saw the boys.

“You filthy buggers!” he roared and kicked at the two whelps catching one on the back side and sending him toppling end over end before crashing against the stone wall. The
The other raised his bone dagger to threaten the dwarf but with pickax in hand a mighty swing sent the puny goblin ducking and scampering away for cover. Both goblins quickly fled running on all fours like monkeys they never looked back but shrieked and tripped and crashed their way from the dwarf.

The old dwarf cursed at them but was in no mood and no shape to chase a pair of goblin whelps so he gave up pursuit before it even began.

Goblin Brothers Part 16

The goblin brothers’ short memories served them well in forgiving and not long after Nyx shot his brother in the leg, they were back to playing together. Zyx soon gave up the bow and gave it to his brother along with the arrows. Nyx practiced a few more times, firing arrows at imagined targets rather than his brother and found he liked it quite a bit. He quickly became proficient enough to fire the weapon and slung it behind his back. Next, they played with the daggers and spears. Nyx had some experience with daggers already in his quest to survive childhood in the goblin clan. In fact, he had already killed with a dagger. He gripped the dagger he found on the body of the mummified goblin in his hand and swung it left and right as if slicing an imagined foe. So swift and deadly with the weapon he was, that his brother Zyx backed away from him not interested in being his brother’s victim again. For his part, Zyx didn’t like the feel of the blade in his hand and neither did he swing it with much strength or quickness. He gave up before long and ultimately gave the blade to his brother who gladly took it and practiced attacking with the pair of daggers. With two blades, Nyx was even more dangerous swinging one then another in arcs that would prevent any from drawing too close to the lithe goblin. He spun and twisted and twirled with the deadly weapons in his hands as if he had used them for years. He was very happy with himself and his new weapons.

Lastly, the brothers tried out the spears. This was simple enough to Zyx and though he did little but poke forward with the basic weapon, he felt better with it in his hands. None of the weapons they found however, made him feel more powerful than the totem they stole from Nakbor. That already proved more valuable to the spiritual goblin than any of the blades his brother was fond of. Still, while they perhaps had different skills, they complimented each other in a way that was useful. Nyx was swift, strong, ferocious and deadly. Zyx was able to sense things beyond the physical and draw on spirits he had only begun to understand. He could heal wounds and draw poison from the body. These were impressive feats, especially for a goblin. Not to mention his ability to cast a frost spell from the shaman’s totem. Though still very young, they were already an effective pair.

After some time playing with and practicing with their weapons, their stomachs reminded them that they had not eaten for many hours. Rather than head back towards the more familiar caves and caverns of their clan, they explored further from their home.

The cavern lead upwards slightly and wound around somewhat. It forked at one point and the boys paused to decide which way to go. Nyx, not with any experience in tracking or navigating studied the ground for clues as to which way to go, but though he noticed that one path seemed to be more worn than the other. One lead upwards and the other, the one which was more worn, headed slightly downward. It seemed to him that the one that went downward made more sense to follow though he couldn’t articulate why.

Zyx on the other hand, tried to clear his mind and project his spirit. He sat and focused his thoughts but he could not sense anything at all. After nothing spiritual happened in the first few moments he grew frustrated. He could not understand how he was able to float around spiritually before and yet when he wanted to do so to explore the two paths, he was unable. He shook his head and said “I no know. Go way you go.”

Nyx pointed toward the path that lead downward. Neither was perceptive enough to notice that there was scent of freshness, ever so slight, coming from the path that lead upward. The other had a sour scent, a scent of decay and death.

As the boys traveled further down the path it altered from a clearly rough and mostly unworked, natural cavern to one that was smoother and worked by creatures at some point. It widened and rose as they skipped ever downward towards what they hoped would be something to eat.

The boys’ skipping turned to trudging. Their trudging turned to dragging. They began to complain.

Zyx whined, “Where we go?”

“We find food,” Nyx snorted.

“What food? I hungry,” Zyx complained.

“Any food. You hungry, you find food.”

“You leading. Not Zyx.”

“You want lead? Do it!”

“I want to eat!”

The boys were virtually snarling at each other and Nyx had not done it consciously but he gripped one of the daggers on the belt around his tunic. Zyx too was gripping the totem tightly and without thinking about it was waving it in front of him.

In each boy blood boiled, driven by hunger pains in their bellies which had surprisingly grown accustomed to food already. It was then that Zyx remembered the moment they first connected. With Nyx about to feast on the stolen food from the dwarf they pilfered, Zyx reached out to him spiritually for the first time. Lost in the deep caverns of the mountain it seemed like ages earlier but in reality, it was mere days. The memory cooled Zyx’s blood and he relaxed his grip, closed his eyes and focused on the memory of their shared meal. The memory helped him focus his spirit and remember the feeling of his brother’s spirit. He was able to project the feeling and Nyx felt it also. It cooled his head as well and they each sat back and rested.

Resting against opposite cave walls they thought about what they were going to do.

“We lost brother,” Zyx admitted.

“Yes brother. We cannot go back. We lost now.”

“We live though. Together we live.”

“How you know?”

“I know.”
“Your powers tell you?”

“Not sure. I know.”

“Ok brother. We live. We find food now,” Nyx said confidently.

“Where?” Zyx asked.

“Keep follow path. Food somewhere.”

“Ok brother, I follow.”

The brothers stood up and clasped hands in a pseudo hand shake. Each standing tall, shoulders back. Zyx slumped a little though. “Armor too heavy. I leave it.”

Nyx pleaded, “No, it protect.”

Zyx squirmed from the tunic and dropped it to the ground. He held up the totem, “This protect.”

“Good,” Nyx accepted and they continued on their way, Zyx a bit lighter, wearing nothing but his loin cloth again, the totem in one hand and a spear in the other. Nyx carried much more equipment including two bows and quivers, two iron daggers and the bone dagger he brought from their home clan. He also had the protective tunic on, feeling very much like a royal goblin though they were only kings of lost caverns.

They were once again brimming with confidence even though their bellies were empty and grumbling. They had endured much in the few days since they were grown enough to wander from their birth den. Each obstacle they encountered they had overcome. But life in the deep caves of the mountain was difficult and while their spirits were high, their eyes missed the hole in front of them covered with leather and disguised with dirt and dust. The brothers stepped on the trap and immediately fell together directly into the pit.

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 14

Deep in the depths of the mountain, Nyx convulsed with spider venom coursing through his veins. Zyx scrambled and shook his brother to no avail. As Zyx screeched and screamed, holding his brother, he could feel the venom. It turned Zyx’s stomach and caused his muscles to ache. Nyx’s eyes closed and his mouth foamed when he coughed, a putrid stench spewing from his belly. Zyx began to sob, “No! Brother! Brother! Brother! No die!” He drew his brother into his lap and wrapped his arms around him as he rocked back and forth. Tears fell from his face and with his arms clasped across his brother’s chest he felt his heart slowing. Zyx closed his own eyes in absolute despair.

Zyx could feel the venom moving deeper into his brother’s body. He knew it would not be much longer before it had over taken his small form. He focused on the venom and felt as if he could differentiate it from the blood in his brother’s body. Zyx imagined it leaving Nyx’s blood. In his mind, he pictured the venom flowing against the blood stream towards its origin, the puncture holes in his brother’s chest. The mystical whelp felt the poison moving away from Nyx’s organs and out of his tissues, but it turned his stomach and his head began to heat.

The venom was sucked from Nyx’s body and spiritually into his brother’s causing Zyx to flush and feel hot as his vision blurred and he struggled to maintain his focus. Zyx continued to rock back and forth with his brother in his arms but his head was foggy and eyes could not focus. The physical effects only strengthen his spiritual resolve however and he clung tighter with his mind to his brother’s spirit ever willing the poison from him.

Nyx’s color improved from a very pale green to his darker normal shade and his heart rate improved from nearly nothing to its normal rate. Soon his limbs too no longer shook and instead his hands clinched as if ready for a fight. At last he coughed and his eyes flung open. He struggled free from his brother and flailed about wildly for a moment fending off imagined attackers. Nyx soon realized none were there and he looked first to the cave spider, frozen in layers of frost, then to his brother who lay on his back, shaking.

Nyx dashed to him and shook him, not unlike Zyx did to him minutes earlier. He too shouted to his brother and Zyx heard his call and it settled his spirit though he could not respond. Nyx searched the room for anything useful and could not find anything to help the situation except the totem Zyx used to subdue their attacker. He grabbed it and placed it in his brother’s hands. Zyx gripped it and clung to it as though he were clinging to life. It helped Zyx to focus his spirit and a clarity of thought emerged from the fog of venom.

In reality, Zyx was merely in a trance though his body seemed in dire condition. This state was still very unfamiliar to him however and continued to perplex the young whelp. Zyx saw his body and his brothers from outside himself. He watched as his brother tried to lay his body in a more comfortable position and sat over him looking for signs of worsening or improving condition. Zyx saw the concern on his brother’s face and wanted to soothe him.

“I ok brother,” Zyx whispered in his mind. Nyx looked about and then back to his brother, sensing that he heard something but could not make it out. Nor did he see his brother’s mouth move.

“I ok. No worry,” Zyx whispered again. This time Nyx was sure he heard something and equally sure his brother had not spoken. He had enough experience with his brother’s ability to trust that it was real though, so he exhaled and say back.

Zyx, still very unsure about what he could do and how, spent a moment to consider what happened. Already he learned that he could heal others, though he wasn’t sure if it was the founder of the Trickyfoots, Rozukg, who gave him the power or himself. He was casting a frost spell with the help of Nakbor’s totem. Now, he drew poison from his brother. When he performed these things with his spirit it did seem to drain him spiritually and physically, however. He even felt the effects of the poison as he drew it from his brother’s veins. Zyx understood then, that the spiritual connection he could make, also connected them in a deeper way. He could share in the effects of their pain or fear, but he felt it. He wondered what else he could do.

Zyx understood too, for the first time, the nature of his trance. In such a state, he could move around as though he were in physical form, but without physical limitations. He could fly, in a sense, in him mind. He moved from over his own body and that of his brother to the spider he froze with the totem. He felt the creature’s life force still strong beneath the ice and knew it was still alive. He wanted to delve deeper into the spirit of the spider but he could not figure out how. Part of his suspected that he could speak to the beast, but he didn’t know the language. He called to the spider, “Spider! Hear me!” There was no reply. “Spider! I speak you!” Nothing. Zyx gave up and looked about the room further. There was little of interested except that the spider had the remains of former prey in the deep crevice from which he attacked. Goblin corpses. Three of them.

Zyx projected his spirit further and explored the paths around them. He did not get far however before he felt a tug on his spirit as though he were tied to his own body and could not venture further. Besides, he suddenly felt very sleepy. His spiritual walk drained him of his energy and he thought that he would surely fall into a deep sleep if he did not wake promptly. He crawled back to his body and then opened his eyes.

Nyx was still seated next to his brother and squeaked, “Zyx! You live!”

“Yes brother, you too,” Zyx whispered. “Spider live too,” he added. Nyx turned eyes squinted at the spider encased in frost. He looked very closely, not sure whether to believe his brother. Mere inches from the face and fangs of the spider, its eyes blinked. Nyx squawked and then, drawing his dagger high, began to thrust down onto the creature’s head, breaking first through the ice, then the beast’s face. In a moment, Nyx had plunged his dagger through the spider’s brain and slain it. Hardly stopping, Nyx continued in a fury and flurry of blows until covered in goop from the beast. Nyx at last sat back, plopping next to Zyx, breathing deeply and heavily. Each smiled. They were a dangerous team.

Goblin Brothers Part 12

The goblin boys were not worried whatsoever about the impending hunt for their hides, they figured no one would care they were gone since no one seemed to care they were there in the first place. Wrong though they may have been, they were very comfortable after their meal and mead. Zyx had a chance to study the totem staff that Nyx grabbed during their dash from their den. Shamans created totems to help them channel their spiritual energy and cast spells. This totem held tremendous power.

It was crafted from a leg bone of an ogre and so it was much longer than many. That fact alone made it powerful as it held within it some of the strength of the creature that died to provide it. The poor ogre slaved away for years in the goblin town before succumbing to neglect and abuse only to have his wretched corpse pillaged and recycled into satchels from his flesh, totems and daggers from his bones, and his teeth and knuckles made into dice or trinkets which goblins valued more than most cultures value gold coins.

Leather strips were wrapped around the staff. All were remnants of Nakbor’s victims, and all contributed energy to the totem. Blood too was smeared and soaked into the leather adding to its aura. Finally, on the top of the totem was the top part of a giant rat skull secured with the sinew of a poor elf who was tragically captured by the goblins some decades ago. Poor soul was tortured for weeks before succumbing to the abuse of his captors. All in all, the totem was very powerful and filled with strong auras and spirits from decades of victims.

Zyx could feel the power in the totem and even hear the sounds of the souls used to build it. Faint cries, screams and moans filled his mind as he held in out in front of him. They confused him for a moment as they seemed to cry for mercy but he knew they were not from the world of the living but rather the spirit world. The young goblin closed his eyes and focused on them. The image of a twisted and deformed ogre came to him along with a giant rat. In a moment, they vanished and a squeal from Nakbor pierced his ears and caused him to shake his head. When he shook enough to escape the screams of the totem’s creator, he focused again on its power. Nyx watched his brother ears up and eyes wide.

“What it do?” Nyx asked.

“Don’t know,” Zyx answered.

“It seem powerful.”

“Me thinks so.”

“Then do something.”

Zyx squinted his eyes and let the totems power flow into him. He felt a variety of sensations. Hot, cold, a suction from a vacuum, screams and howls and even a healing warmth. Zyx focused on one of the more obvious sensations, a flame. It was one that he recognized easily and he tried to separate it from the other auras held in the totem. He pictured a single flame. Suddenly a flame sparked from the top of the totem. It appeared so suddenly that Zyx hopped backwards and almost dropped it. Nyx also scampered away a couple of steps hugging the ground, then broke into a joyous laughter.

“Do more! Do more!” Nyx chanted.

Zyx swung he totem around and the flame remained ever burning from the top of the staff without charring it at all. The boys were very impressed. Zyx dismissed the flame in his mind and it vanished. Closing his eyes once more he searched for an element of the staff he could isolate like the flame. He sifted through the various sensations and came across a cold feeling multiple times. He focused his mind on the cold and it indeed seemed to be a frost sensation. It was cold and felt like it could choke out life itself. It grew stronger in his mind and he held it. Nothing happened though and Nyx grew impatient.

“Why nothing happen? Make it work!” Nyx blurted. When he did Zyx’s mind lost a little concentration and he jolted. In that instance a burst of frozen air flew from the totem and down the cave. Both brothers leaped back and stumbled, squawking as they did. When they fled the frost Zyx dropped the totem, tossing it away from him though it did not hurt him in the least.

The boys looked at each other, eyes wide and mouths open. Wide grins crept across their faces and the hopped up and down together before Zyx slowly inched towards the totem. He snatched it off the ground and held it far from his body. The goblin spiritualist searched again for the cold sensation and it was much easier to find this time. He again focused his energy of the feeling of frost. Zyx held the feeling and then projected it forward and as he did, another burst of cold air launched from the totem away from him.

The boys did not flee so far this time but only flinched a little, then celebrated with more hopping and cheering. Zyx practiced the spell a few more times, blasting frost forward and down the hall. They grew bored with the frost spell however and wanted to up the level of difficulty. Nyx began to toss rocks up and have Zyx blast them with frost. This delighted them for a moment too then they decided to go in search of something else to freeze. They wandered away from their resting place to find a new target.

The cave wound some and narrowed at places and widened at others. Zyx decided to produce the flame from his totem. While Goblins can see in the dark well enough, their vision does not illuminate colors but the flame gave them a better view of their surroundings. The cave walls sparkled in the lights with bits of quartz and crystal scattered about the stone it gave the appearance of stars that neither of them had ever seen but was mesmerizing nonetheless.

They found themselves gazing up at the high roof of the cave. What they failed to see was the cave spider in a nearby crevice. The flame deterred the spider from attacking but all his eyes watched the brothers standing not twenty feet from the webbed corner that he made home. The flame bothered him but cave spiders do not have too many opportunities to feast and two young goblins were perfect prey.

Unwilling to let the succulent meal escape, the spider shot a thick string of web towards Zyx and struck him directly in his torso, breaking his concentration and making the flame extinguish. Nyx jumped backwards away from his brother eyes darting around to try to make sense of what was happening. The spider leaped from his hole and on Nyx web spraying all over the young goblin. The cave spider’s fangs, dripping with venom, tried to pierce the goblin but with swift moves he evaded the attacks as he tried to escape but the webs entangled him and he couldn’t get far from the spider.

Zyx saw his brother under the spider and although he was somewhat restrained from the webbing he reached the totem and without standing he quickly focused his attention on the cold feeling within. Not quick enough however the spider’s fangs found Nyx’s chest and injected their venom deep into his body. Nyx cried out in a primal animalistic scream and could feel the venom slowing his limbs, lungs and heart. He suddenly felt very weary and sleepy.

Zyx shouted “No! Brother!” and as he did he cast frost from the totem and it flew in a great wave and struck the spider sending it toppling over. The spider screeched and tried to regain its footing but he found it difficult to move the legs struck by Zyx’s frost. Zyx pointed the totem at the spider again and sent another blast of frost at their attacker. Another and another blast flew from the young goblin until the spider no longer moved or made noise. Literal frost surrounded and entombed the spider.

Zyx wriggled from the webs that bound him and crawled to his brother. Nyx was a very pale green and his eyes were clouded. He looked dehydrated and he shook uncontrollably. Zyx shouted and gripped his brother and tried to shake and shout him awake but Nyx was non-responsive. The spider’s poison was deep in his blood.

Goblin Brothers Part 10

Ten

The boys collapsed after more than an hour of fleeing their retched homeland. They breathed hard but freely in the deep cave air. They ached all over but strangely a pain came from deeper within. It was if their spirits ached. It was a draining feeling that made their limbs heavy and heads sag. Their eyes were getting more difficult to keep open and at last their weariness overtook them and they drifted off to sleep.

In their sleep, strange images and dreams assaulted their minds. Death, bones, corpses, rats and blood circulated around in their heads, causing their bodies to twitch and writhe as they dreamed. The image of their mother arose suddenly. She looked sick and twisted, face ever changing in expression but never one of love or nurture, goblin mothers don’t love or nurture their young no, they were expressions of resentment and disdain. Her image was more disturbing than the others as it was recognizable and detestable. Her face suddenly exploded into flying bits of flesh and bone and through it snapped the face of Nakbor the shaman, teeth jagged and rotten biting at the boys. Both goblins jolted awake, hearts racing and breath coming fast. They looked at each other as if to confirm that they really did just dream what they dreamed. One look was all that was necessary, they knew it was true.
The boys sat up and inspected their surroundings. They were in a cave that had become very unfamiliar. The walls were high, rough with jagged dark stone rising above like death trying to swallow them whole. Though they were by no means experts on life under the earth and the civilizations that carve out the mountains as their homes, it was clear that the area they wandered into was not part of any underground town. It was far too unfinished for that.

Nyx decided to inspect the contents of the satchel he swiped from the shaman as they fled. In it he found meat and goblin mead. He squeaked in excitement and hurriedly unwrapped the meal from a leather wrapping, tore bits and offered them to his brother; very uncharacteristic for a greedy goblin but already the brothers had developed different habits than typical goblins, especially ones of such low class.
The boys gobbled up the meat, which was nothing more than giant rat meat, with glee. Goblin cuisine consisted mostly of the unappetizing foods they could find in the caves of the mountains. Goblins kept many rats and wolves but also collected and even cultivated a variety of mushrooms and other fungus which don’t need sunlight to grow. Then there are the fish that can be caught from the various deep lakes, ponds or streams. Nasty bottom dwellers with thick scales and bulging eyes they are not in the least tasty. Lastly, the goblin menu may contain any of the various insects or arachnids which live in the endless caves and crevices. Disgusting creatures and not appetizing but can be cooked over flame and eaten none the less.

As a result of the poor food choices available in the mountains and holes, goblins prefer to raid farms, villages and camps for tastier foods. It is a glorious feast indeed when goblins make off with beef or pork, chicken or lamb. The cheeses and wines of the world are intense delights for goblins who had nothing but spider legs for a week. When starvation stares a goblin clan in the face, a raid is usually planned if for no other reason than to steal food and simultaneously thin the ranks that need feeding. It isn’t a pleasant reality, but it is theirs.

After swallowing some of the rat meat, Nyx pulled the top off a chitin shell filled with goblin mead and sniffed it curiously. The scent was sour and it burned Nyx’s nostrils. He was completely unfamiliar with its’ scent. Zyx watched his brother ears up and eyes wide sniffing the air and catching only the faintest scent of mead. In spite of the warning from his senses, and because goblins almost entirely lack restraint, Nyx put the shell to his lips and tipped it back. The liquid burned his mouth and throat and Nyx howled in discomfort shaking his head from side to side. The mead warmed his belly as well however, in the most pleasant way. After taking a moment to stare into the shell trying to make sense of what he had just tasted, he tipped it back again and swallowed some more. This time he thrashed about a little less and after a solid mouthful he rolled back rubbing his belly in joy and cackled a little.

“It warms brother! It warms!” Nyx declared.

Zyx scrambled to his brother and grabbed the shell before pouring some of the mead down his own throat. He gripped his neck as the alcohol burned its way down, but he too discovered the warming sensation that began in his belly and crept outward. Nyx snatched the mead from his brother and the two began to drink swig after swig until the shell was empty. Before they had even finished drinking it all the warmth spread throughout their body like an internal sunshine, the likes of which they had no concept. They laughed and giggled as they finished the rat meat. The brothers rolled around on the cave floor wrestling each other and punching each other in a playful celebration.

After a time, the brothers dozed off for a peaceful nap, free from the horrors of their earlier dreams. It didn’t last long but the boys awoke more refreshed than even, what with full bellies and the gentle calming effect of the mead. They smiled, genuinely smiled, for the first time in their short lives and felt happy, though they had no words for the sensation. It was different from the joy goblins receive when they successfully raid a village, kill its citizens and take their provisions. That was more a primal satisfaction than anything else. And even the wealthiest among the goblins, if wealth were such a thing, were not happy as we might think of it, but instead they were ever paranoid that they would be robbed or attacked for their meager possessions and more importantly, their status in the clan. No, goblins were not happy creatures. They were only temporarily not starving or under threat of death. The brothers however, were, for a moment, content. That was much more than most goblins ever achieved.