Turstin hurried as he dressed under the close watch of the goblins, worried one may lose patience and let go an arrow. The wizard was obviously the grand prize, he thought, and the goblins were known for their lack of compassion; they could easily justify leaving a useless apprentice behind if it meant accomplishing their mission with less obstacles and more efficiency.
The wizard was annoyed, watching the Greust quickly gather all of his and Turstin’s belongings into a grimy burlap bag. One of the goblins reached toward the wizard and grabbed the bulk of his shoulder bag, pulling it away as though trying to tear it free. As soon as the wizard grabbed the strap and pulled it away from the little monster, two of the creatures’ horrid companions joined in on the struggle and nearly yanked the wizard off balance. In an instant, a long handled blade cut through an opening below the wizards’ elbow and separated the bag from his hold, sending him backward over a goblin that had been hunched down on all fours, waiting behind its victim’s wobbly legs. Turstin gasped, lunged toward his master and helped him to sit up. The wizard was livid, staring with burning embers at the goblin gloating over the shoulder pack.
“Take me to your king Hiulir. He will not tolerate this sort of treatment toward a member of the Andolian Draugh. I only spare you now because I respect his hierarchy in goblin matters,” the wizard stated quite frankly while he stood, slowly regaining his balance and composure in the midst of his captors.
“A member of the Andolian Draugh? Ha, ha, ha…. What luck,” said the goblin leader. Turstin looked to the wizard and received a silent warning: the look on the master’s face told him to keep quiet for fear of the goblin’s discovering their true purpose. The goblin leader pointed toward the Greust with the wizards’ shoulder bag and instructed them to search it. One of the goblins reached inside and pulled out the only object in the bag, a large metal disk. He discarded the empty bag on the ground and handed the disk to his commander.
“A Draugh token? I should have expected this,” the leader chuckled. He walked to the other side of the fire and picked up the empty shoulder bag. “This token hides the contents of the bag… there could be anything in here. Better hold on to it…. Khreuch has ways of finding things protected by these spells…”
The wizard stumbled forward and spoke loudly; Turstin could sense the desperation in his voice. “Krueuch? Why would you have anything to do with that old bastard of a Greust?”
“Watch it," the goblin mumbled. "Kreuch doesn’t take to insults very kindly, and I’m sworn to an oath. I mean, I understand that he can be hard sometimes,… but he’s in charge, see? Not much choice in the matter.”
“Take me to Hiulir. He holds command over the regions,” the wizard insisted.
“Dead,” said the goblin matter-of-factly. “Overthrown. Kreuch is in charge now.”
The wizard smiled and held his arms forward, wrists upward, made available to bind if the goblins so wished. “I will go with you to see Kreuch," the wizard offered. Turstin was surprised, terrified, wondering what could have possessed the Great Wizard of the Draugh to submit to the goblins so readily. “I look forward to it, actually. I’m not so sure he fully understands the importance of such matters, and it would be good for us all if I were to educate him on a thing or two.”
Several members of the Greust mumbled incoherently and moved forward with pointed spears. The leader grinned and motioned for the wizard and his apprentice to be bound.
Within moments Turstin and his master were tied up around the torso, slowly shuffling forward as the goblins pushed them away from the dying campfire. The wizard continued to smile as though pleased with himself. He cleared his throat and announced, “I’m sure Eliades will be less than pleased with Kreuch when she hears about this, but you’ve given her no choice.”
Silence fell over the group. Every goblin stopped and spun where he stood, grimacing at the wizard, salivating as though eager to dismember him on the spot. “What do you know of Eliades?” the goblin leader grunted. “You’re just digging yourself in deeper and deeper, you old damn fool. The Greatest of Fires belongs to us, and no one but the Greust controls it.”
“We’ll see about that,” the wizard chortled. The goblin leader glared angrily at the wizard, but was ignored. “You know what time it is, my little friend. The Rekindling is upon us.”