A Chance Meeting

The Orcs had lied to me my entire life. While I believed that I was helping them regain their ancestral lands, I had actually been helping them pillage and conquer. When I learned this, I abandoned them.

I couldn’t come to terms with my past and couldn’t face the world until I found a way to deal with it, so I segregated myself and lived in the woods. I had been out there for several weeks when something began to talk to me.

I thought I was losing my mind, but it was a calm, peaceful voice that called me deeper into the woods. I had nothing to lose, so I followed it.

The voice led me to a narrow cave entrance hidden by shrubs and tall grass. I entered and found a place of serenity. It was quiet, except for the sound of a waterfall cascading from the center of the cavern into a calm pool of water. 

The pool seemed unnaturally calm, considering the falls.

The voice suggested I rest and find myself here, and so I did. My eyes were opened to the ways of the druids, as it was nature itself speaking to me and leading me. It offered me a new purpose, a means of redeeming myself; become a healer, of nature and man. I could correct my past by spending just as much time helping the land and the people who dwell upon it.

I accepted this new purpose.

Three Days Later

Sudden sounds of crashes and clanking disturbed my meditations and I left to investigate. When I peeked out the cave entrance, I saw a small band of goblins ransacking the camp I had set up the first night I was there. I could have left them alone to do as they pleased, but… I had left the pendant, the only item I had to remember my parents, in the tent they were tearing down.

There was no way I could take them all on my own, but I wasn’t trained to fight; I was trained to blend to in. Normally, I couldn’t take the shape of a goblin; they were too small, but my new druidic knowledge gave me an idea. I used the powers of the druid to shift into a chimpanzee, which gave me a similar height, then my inherent changeling gifts to alter that form to become a goblin.

The disguise was perfect… except, I couldn’t get rid of the tail. I tucked it away and hoped they wouldn’t notice, then left the cave.

I wove through them, practically invisible to their distracted eyes, and entered the tent without even a glance. The pendant was in a small pouch with several other trinkets. I took the whole pouch to avoid wasting time digging it out.

When I left the tent, I bumped into one of the wild goblins. He was a bit larger than the others, possibly their leader. He turned on me with an irritated growl. I shrugged at him and turned to leave, but he grabbed my shoulder, turning me to face him. His dirty hands reached for the pouch and I pulled it away. He hissed, barring his teeth at me.

A crowd gathered around us. I guess no one ever refused to give this one what he wanted and it was causing some confusion. I opened the pouch and produced a coin, holding it to the goblin in hopes it would satiate his aggression. He took it, then reached for the pouch again, and again I refused it to him.

The Goblin reached to his back and drew his club. The prospect of violence and blood excited the others. I turned to flee but two others pushed me back and took my arms. Then… every goblin head turned west to the sound of wagon wheels.

A carriage was passing on the road barely a hundred feet away. The big goblin raised his club, swung it over his head once, and pointed towards the distraction. The whole swarm ran toward them. The big one grabbed my arm and drug me along.

The Goblin horde set upon the carriage, climbing the sides, biting the horse, and attacking the driver. The doors flung open and two elegantly dressed High Elves climbed out. The larger of the two set upon the Goblins, bashing them with a shield and tearing them down with a sword, while the slender one blasted them with magic missiles.

The big goblin used me as a missile, throwing me at the slender elf. The larger elf moved between us and I bounced off his shield, crashing to the ground. I did the first thing I could think of; I hid. I crawled under the carriage and stuck close behind the wheel.

The skirmish lasted barely a minute before the surviving goblins turned and fled.

I forgot my form as I stepped out from under the cart, dusting myself off. The bigger elf turned on me, raising his sword and bringing it down upon me. I raised my arms, cowered back, and yelled.

“Wait, stop!”

The elf hesitated, and managed to adjust his swing to strike the ground beside me.

“The Wild Goblins of this area do not speak Common,” he said, confused.

“I am,” I tried to speak, but my voice was raspy and uncomfortable. Trying to force human words out of this chimp voice box caused some discomfort. I kept my words to a minimum. “I am not wild.”

“Hmm,” the elf considered, turning to his companion. “This one’s not normal.”

“If you are not wild, why are you with a wild mob?” The slender elf asked.

“Cap…tured,” I replied, then coughed and cleared my throat.

The two deliberated among themselves briefly before turning back to me.

“You seem intelligent… for a Goblin,” the larger elf said. “I see an opportunity here to test a theory of mine. I would like to offer you safe travels with us… with some stipulations. Can you be civil?”

I nodded.

He nodded.

The other elf nodded.

“I am Eredere,” the elf said, sheathing his blade. “This is my travel companion, Eiliander.”

“Hello,” I rasped. I pointed a clawed finger at myself, intending to give them my proper name, Killian Williams, but with the discomfort in my throat I barely managed the first syllables. “Ki…wi.”

“A pleasure to meet you, Kiwi,” Eredere said, then offered to help me into the carriage.

Author: CJ Stark

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