Hi guys. I tried to get this part out a little earlier before the new patch. Hard to know how much the 0.50 is going to change things in this series. I hope you like it. Towns – The Goblin War
Part Six – Moonlight
Terryn took one look at Leofrick and called in his guards. Isabel stepped in front of the boy in shock before they could take him away. Terryn pushed her aside, and the guards dragged him off to the holding cell at the far end of the town. He cried out to her as he left her sight.
“What are you doing!” she cried at the Crimson Knight in disbelief.
“He’s a spy Isabel.”
“Goblins don’t take prisoners,” he told her sternly, “do you really think they’d just leave him unguarded and let him go? He’s been sent to spy on us.”
“That’s insane, they tortured him horribly. He would never help them.”
“Goblin’s are shifty creatures Isabel. I thought you of all people would know this. They have bought his loyalty by freeing him from the torture they administered.”
“You’re wrong, he’s just a kid.”
“We’ll see. If he’s innocent, he won’t mind a bit of confinement until we see where his loyalties really lie.”
Isabel watched the guards as they disappeared down the end of the main street by the temple. She felt a sense of helplessness and guilt for bringing the boy to Aranaea.
Alice looked back as they sprinted by the first corner in the tunnel. The Goblins had moved straight up the ladder for the caves above, but some had seen the pair and continued after them. They went around another few corners and found themselves at a dead end.
“Ger ready,” Oliver instructed her, “try and keep them at a distance from you.”
The Goblins almost passed by the tunnel and kept going. Alice felt relief, but then the last one stuck its head back around and called out in the harsh Goblin language toward the others. Oliver didn’t give them a chance to corner them and moved swiftly against the Goblin leader.
It parried a blow with its skull staff and scratched his leg. It was a superficial wound, and it allowed Oliver to swing his blade around and drive it through the back of the creature’s neck. The other two Goblins pounced on him, but he had learnt from his previously encounter and jumped back. Alice timidly moved ahead and thrust her Iron Sword at the Goblins. The thing hissed and spat at her as it tried to scratch her with its long finger nails.
Oliver slashed the torso of the Goblin attacking him and rammed the blade through it. He then called out to the one Alice was fighting. It snapped its head around towards him and growled, before turning back in time to see Alice’s sword smash through its skull.
“Are you alright?” Alice asked Oliver and he clutched the wound on his leg.
“Fine,” he told her, “quick we need to find our way back to the town or we’ll get stuck down here with these things.”
The two moved along the tunnels cautiously, looking out for more of the Goblins. They saw the shadows of the gangly creatures as they moved along the end of the tunnels on patrol. Oliver pulled Alice into one of the empty room of the tunnel and waited until the horrid beasts had passed. Once silence resumed, they stepped out into a fork in the tunnel.
“I don’t remember this…” Oliver remarked.
Alice looked back the way they came and then back to the two directions ahead. She felt a cold shiver run down her spine.
“I think we’re lost down here, Oliver.”
Isabel could barely look at the boy as she approached his cell. The two guards at the jailhouse watched her cautiously. She gave them a severe look, which made them back up and let her get to the barred window.
“I’m so sorry Leofrick,” she uttered, a little choked up, “I would never have brought you here had I known they would do this.”
Leofrick put his hand through the window and grabbed hold of her dark red Spiderite plated gauntlet. “It’s okay, I don’t blame you.”
“Terryn thinks you’re a spy.”
“I guess he’s only being careful,” he said unsurely, “what is he going to do with me, Isabel?”
“He wants to keep you confined until he knows for sure.”
“You wouldn’t let them hurt me would you, Isabel?” he said with tears appearing in his eyes.
“You have my word on that,” she told him honestly and decided to change the subject, “hey, how about I head by the kitchen and get you something to eat?”
She walked away from the cells and made for the kitchens. She found one of the guards, an old guy with a white beard named Sadon, standing on the street corner ahead. He was staring in her direction, chuckling in a way that disturbed her.
“What are you laughing at?”
“Big tough Isabel Demour of Hurroden has the hots for farm boys…”
“Shut up,” she told him bluntly and continued on.
“You know how Aranaea deals with spies don’t you?” he continued to taunt her, “especially the ones who work against their own. We hangs them off the gates. And we don’t needs the Crimson Knight’s says so either…”
He started to laugh at her meanly. Isabel humoured him for a second, laughing along with him. Her grin then disappeared, and she slammed her Spiderite gauntlet into his face. The old man fell back onto a red flower garden and lay there motionless. A few townies that were passing by looked upon her in shock, but she didn’t care. She went off to the kitchen to get Leofrick a roast.
Oliver grabbed Alice by the hand and dragged her off the main tunnel. As soon as he did there came a low growl and a large beast came stomping by. The two watched cautiously from the end of the tunnel so they weren’t seen. It was being followed by two goblins. Judging by the features the large creature was a goblin of some sort, but much much bigger. Alice waited until they were gone before speaking.
“We are so lost,” Alice said with frightened tears forming.
Oliver placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder
“Yes we are,” he finally admitted. “But we’ll be alright. If we can’t go back up, we may as well go down. We’ll try and find a way around. No matter what happens, we have to let the others know what’s coming.”
Alice wiped her tears away and took a deep breath. She nodded and they began moving off deeper into the catacombs once more.
Night fell on Aranaea. There was a full moon obscured by a heavy overcast concealing its light. It couldn’t have been better for Isabel, as she snuck between the buildings towards the jail cells. There were very few townies around; most were in bed or at the tavern. She passed over the red flower bed where she had planted Sadon. She couldn’t see any guards around and began to worry she may be caught by the one who was hidden. But then she heard Sadon’s drunken voice and saw him and the other guard chatting to the heroes over by the tavern.
“What are you doing?” Leofrick whispered as she arrived at the bars.
“Getting you out of here,” she told him and struck the lock with her Spiderite sword.
“Why, what’s happened? I thought you said I was safe.”
“From Terryn and I you are,” she said striking it once more and finally broke it apart, “the others I’m not so sure. So you’re leaving.”
Leofrick immediately jumped out of his cell and threw his arms around her. Isabel was shocked for a moment before finally hugging him back.
“Thank you, Isabel.”
“You’re welcome,” she told him while looking about with caution, “but we have to move now.”
Isabel took the boy’s hand and led him through the town. They made it right to the gates without being spotted by a single person. Isabel had made a point earlier of watching the patrols and knew the shift changes, and when there would be a gap by the west gate. She crouched down beside Leofrick.
“The guards will change soon,” she told him, “head west to the Audience mountain range, then south all the way to Vierdale.”
“I’m sorry I caused you so much trouble,” he said sadly, “I would have liked to have met your sister and learn more about this amazing place. I would have never done anything to harm you or anyone in Aranaea.”
“I know that Leofrick,” Isabel smiled and suddenly snapped her head around toward the gate.
There stood someone she hadn’t expected. Sybbyl the Elf had been missing for days hunting down the things that butchered the livestock. Isabel had forgotten all about her. Sybbyl spoke briefly with the guards before they headed off to change over with the next ones. She remained, spoiling Isabel’s plans.
“I know her,” Isabel reassured him, “I’ll try and reason with her.”
Isabel left Leofrick hiding in the flower bed of the forge building and went out towards the gate. Even before she’d come into the poor light, Sybbyl’s Elven eyes had caught her.
“She’s coming out from the shadows, with a sense of purpose in step, approaching Sybbyl with a need, this hero of Aranaea.”
Sybbyl had theatrical way of speaking, but it was to the point. Isabel didn’t even try to lie. She told her the whole story about Leofrick and what injustice they had planned for him. She didn’t ask Sybbyl to step aside and let him out the gate, but it was implied. Sybbyl listened with her head tilted slightly to the side the way a dog or a cat eyes a curiosity.
“The weight of a threat from Sadon, amounts to as much as feathers,” Sybbyl told her, “trust not in Terryn?
“I don’t want anything to happen to Leofrick,” Isabel explained sincerely, “he doesn’t deserve this after all he went through. He’s not a spy, if you had been here you would have sniffed it out and none of this would have happened.”
“A strange place you put Sybbyl,” she remarked, “in between loyalty and compassion. I guess I must lean to you, as it is also justice which sways my hand.”
“Thank you Sybbyl,” Isabel said with a sign of relief and beckoned Leofrick over.
Leofrick stepped out from the side of the building and made for the gate. He gave Isabel a final wave and a little smile. Sybbyl spoke to him just as the cloud overcast broke.
“Fare journey, Leofrick of Vierdale…”
He gave her a nod as the moonlight lit him up. Sybbyl suddenly backed up. Her perfect Elven face suddenly contorted, her nose wrinkling up, her ears pulling back, she released a ferocious feline hiss.
“What’s wrong?” Leofrick panicked, turning back to Isabel.
Isabel’s eyes widened and she began to back away also.
Leofrick’s eyes were glowing bright red.