Click here to start the adventure from the beginning.
Sneak around the back
You give a reassuring nod to the terrified Goblin, and begin to move as quietly as possible through the trees. Rather than heading to the main door of the Goblin meeting hall, you decide to sneak around to the back.
You move with care. The trees give you plenty of cover, but the settlement is broad, and moving slowly only emphasises the danger the Goblins are in. As you slink across the damp, spongy moss and wet leaves, you here the heavy breathing of the boar. Every so often, there is a splintering of wood as the beast attempts another breach of the wooden wall. Goblin screeches and rumbling pig-squeals of pain follow.
Occasionally, you catch sight of the ‘boar’ as it angrily patrols the meeting hall. Just glimpses through the low branches, but you see enough to gauge the immense size of the monster. Even on all fours, the boar is taller than you, and twice that length. It has two, no, three pairs of curved, misshapen tusks jutting up from its lower jaw. Several spears protrude from its thick hide and matted fur. Worse still, a ridge of jagged bone traces down the giant boars back, as if its spine has overgrown and ripped free.
The monsters breathing is heavy and the trails of blood from its wounds glisten in the midday sun, yet there’s no doubt that the ‘boar’ is still dangerous. So, you press on, minutes stretching into days, until you find yourself behind the meeting hall. With a few well-timed steps, you leave the tree line, taking cover behind the nearest goblin hut.
All that’s left is a short sprint to the back wall of the central building. There are boards broken and wrenched free; you can see a way in, not big enough for the boar but wide enough for the goblins to escape.
You wait for your moment. You watch the boar circling round, passing close enough that its grunts and the smell of its hide fill your senses. You finally see the full scale, the mass, the muscle and bone of the thing in its entirety. Curiously, you see that it has a collar; a thick steel band is clamped around its neck, tight enough to constrict and bruise the skin.
It does not see you. It’s entire violent purpose is set on the goblins inside. You can see them moving around. You catch the occasionally word as they urge each other forward, tracking the boar as it circles them. You see the flash of blooded spear tips.
Once you are sure that the beast is on the other side of the hall, you dash forwards. You crouch, pull a plank of wood aside and roll into the dim, smoky interior.
The hall is a mess. Small, wooden furniture and furs are dashed across the room, the central fire pit is extinguished and smoking. Four goblins lie dead or unconscious in the centre of the round chamber. The remaining goblins, perhaps two dozen have their backs to you at the far end, jabbing spears and daggers through fresh holes in the splintered door.
With all the noise and chaos, you are not noticed at first. Then, one goblin, a youth at the back of the group holding a bundle of javelins for an adult, catches sight of you.
You see the fear in their eyes, the panic at this new presence begins to rise. You are not sure if they are going to scream, faint, or attack, but it’s clear that their reaction to this new possible danger will not be pleasant. Two dozen spears, javelins and daggers could be about change direction.
So tell me, adventurer:
What do you do now?
Comments lead to new paths!