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Heroes and a Halfling



J L Rees

Chapter Eleven - The swamps of Thorngarum

Fred tramped through the undergrowth for another hour. Fayrun forest had dropped away behind him, and he found himself in a swampy bog. Each footstep plopped into the murky water. In the distance there seemed to be a building.

"Head towards that," Aquium suggested.

"Well, that's easier said than done," the halfling said, "This swamp would be easier to traverse with path."

Eventually Fred got to the building. Pillars jutted out of the ground and Fred heard shallow, gurgling noises. The swamp water was trickling down some stairs into a pool of green, slimy water. Between the jutting pillars and stairs, stood a proud, monolith type building. Steps lead up to its massive doors.

Fred cautiously climbed the steps and pushed the doors. The doors opened but nothing out of the ordinary happened, they swung open.

Inside the building it was warm and stuffy. In the centre of the room was a spiral staircase leading up to the next floor.

On the next floor there was a stone doorway, but no door.

"Magic door, I would assume," said Aquium.

"How do we get through?" asked Fred.

"What's that next to the doorway?" asked Aquium.

Fred went to the doorway. Next to the doorway was a tiny button. Naturally, Fred pressed it.

The doorway hummed. The brickwork glowed. Eventually the magic door appeared. The halfling took a deep breath and stepped through the door.

Fredgar found himself in a room. It was narrow, about 3 meters wide and 6 meters long. In the middle of the room stood a statue. It was a statue of a human woman, dressed in robes. Underneath the robes it looked like she wore plate armour and, in her hand, held above her head, she held a mace.

"This could be one of the heroes, the champions," said Fred.

He put his hand in his pocket to get the amulet, as he did there was a shout, and he was knocked in his back. Fred fell forward on to his stomach. The amulet skidded across the floor. He rolled to the side and got up.

Coming through the doorway was the goblin with dagger from earlier.

Fred looked around the room, the amulet had rested against the statue and glowed. Three more smaller goblins entered the room and stood in front of the doorway.

The goblins drew their weapons. The leader pulled out his dagger, this time he also had a short sword. The other goblins pulled out daggers too.

Fred lunged at the leader but missed his target. The goblin leader must have thought to attack at the same time, they both danced around each other. All three of the goblin lackeys tried attacking the halfling, but instead ended up falling over each other. While they were piled on the floor. Fred took the opportunity to do some damage, he stabbed one of the goblins in the chest. The goblin died instantly.

A pain shot through Fred's leg the leader had stabbed him. Blood trickled down his leg. Fred stumbled back and kicked the amulet closer to the statue. One of the other goblins pushed the others off him. With a raged look, he ran at Fred. His attack was on target. Fred felt the blade of the dagger penetrate his stomach. Fred pushed the goblin away, looking down Fredgar's hands were covered in blood.

"Holy crap!" Aquium said.

The halfling fell to his knees.

"I don't feel so good," he said, dropping the daggers the ground.

The goblin leader walked over to Fred. He let out an evil, croaky laugh. He pushed the goblin henchman out of the way.

"This is the end for you halfling," the goblin sneered.

The room faded to black for the halfling. He fell forward, a pool of blood slowly seeped from beneath him.

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