The 5th Beatle (Gobbo) by Mark Simon

The 5th Beatle (or Gobbo) by Mark Simon

“Find and steal the dwarven boon Whelm, and he will come after you.” Blissa’s instructions had been very clear. “Use the boon to defeat him, put this gem in his mouth, sow it shut and bring his corpse back to me.”

She hadn’t had to say who. They all knew. It had been a simple plan and they had almost succeeded. Find it, they had. Get to it, they had. Steal it, they had, but not gotten away. Gujk had seen the lightning strike from the limb he was hiding on. The giant tree gave him cover, access to the rooftops and a dangerous escape route involving a very long fall.

The screams told him enough to know the rest of the squad was dead. The quickly assembled search parties that went out, told him not to go back to camp and so he stayed in the tree, dozens of feet above the ground, green skin blending in with green leaves.

Not long after the search parties left some movement at the edge of their camp, just inside the town walls, caught Gujk’s eye. A small human, about his size, poked it’s head out of a hole in the ground…a hole with a lid or cover of some type, that the human was holding with one hand. The small filthy human looked around cautiously before exiting the hole and sneaking over to the kettle by the fire…helping herself to some of the stew within. She slurped down what looked like two full bowls before sneaking back into the hole in the ground, replacing the lid, which Gujk could now see had what looked like a tumbleweed attached to the top somehow.

Home is where the sewage is

It hadn’t been difficult to climb down the tree, onto the roof of the closest building, into the empty camp and over to the lid. It blended in really well and if he hadn’t seen it being used, he doubted he would have noticed it. Carefully testing it, he could tell it wasn’t locked or affixed and so, slowly lifted it and descended into the tunnels under Eldermont.

The small human was long gone…he couldn’t even smell her scent. Tunnels, one natural and one definitely carved, traveled in both directions. Most of the passages looked like they saw infrequent, but occasional use. In a few places, he found purposely blocked passages, in others tunnel collapses. Over the course of several days, Gujk explored the tunnels under Eldermont, coming to the conclusion that this would be his new home. He couldn’t go back, Blissa would kill him and feed his body to her brood. She would expect him to find a way to capture Ekz on his own. What was the point? If five of them couldn’t even get to him, how would he on his own?!

He was lost in his own thoughts when a clinking sound from around the corner drew his attention. Peaking his head around the bend, he could see a small shaft of light coming into the tunnel. He had found several of these underneath the town. When it rained, water and mud came down through them…this time, it looked like…was that a coin!?

Gujk reached down and pulled a grimy silver piece from the stinky mud slowly flowing along the tunnel floor. How often did this occur he wondered as he moved forward into the tunnels, keeping an eye out for coins on the ground, and ears open for clinking sounds…or more ominous ones.

NOTEWhen I read about the Goblins trying Whelm, not only did I laugh, but it gave me an idea. Just a lone goblin living in the sewers of Eldermont, that he doesn't know are sewers, and how/why he got there.