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Chase the Goblin
Intrigued by the shiny item held in the goblin’s hand, you make sure that your backpack is safely tied closed and give chase. The little creature is surprisingly fast, and you lose sight of it at times, but its squeaks and gasps make it easy to track. Just as you think you are falling behind, the frightened goblin trips over a root or snags itself on the undergrowth, and you gain some ground.
There is a break in the trees ahead, you hear the goblin splashing through water, and seconds later you are also hopping through a shallow river. As you reach the other side, your foot sinks in as something shifts beneath the mud. You continue charging forwards, but you risk a look back. Whatever it is, it’s alive. A large swath of mud churns this way and that, but you are a distance away before it rises to the surface.
The goblins’ breathing is pained and heavy at this point, but you can feel your chest burning too. Just as you are reaching your limit, your legs growing heavy, you almost crash into the back of the goblin. You slide to a halt, not sure if the goblin is about to attack or plead for their life. Instead, you realise the goblin is still trying to move forward, but they have reached their limit. They don’t even seem to notice you. Still clutching their treasure tightly, their other arm hangs limp to one side, their heads sags forwards.
They fall into a knot of roots, rolling onto their side. It’s then that you see the blood soaking the front of their leather clothing. It seems the goblin was wounded before you encountered them, and in the panic and frantic sprinting through the forest, the wound has bled heavily. Now, the small creatures’ breaths grow thin, and their wide-eyed stare grows more distant. Before you have a chance to react, the goblin sags into the roots, and does not move again.
The closed hand at their chest falls away, and a dark stone falls to the earth. You scoop up the stone and inspect what the goblin was protecting. You see a flat disk of dark grey stone. It is octagonal in shape. One face is polished and gleaming, even through the blood smeared across it. The edges of the stone are chipped in places, and the opposite face is heavily scratched. This object has been prized from something larger, but there are no markings to give clues as to its purpose.
There is also a strange sensation to the stone. A vibration, a thrum of energy perhaps. This might be worth something to a collector, or a source of power. Either way, this is the closest you have come to finding ‘loot’ on your adventures.
You are alone in a forest, with a strange artefact, and a dead goblin. What you do with your trophy, and where you go next, is up to you.
So tell me, adventurer:
What do you do now?
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