“We are members of the Brotherhood of Magical Workers,” said Tinuviel the halfling, flashing her best smile. “We’ve come to help you in your struggle against injustice.”

“You will forgive Rosa if she doubt your story,” said the goblin leader, resplendent in her heirloom helmet–the very one Derex Freehold had required as proof of her demise. “Rosa does not think any of you are more magical or workers than a turnip.”

“Why’s that?” cried Tinuviel, aghast that her charm had failed to have the desired effect.

“BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO MAGE!” Rosa cried.

Tinuviel looked at her companions, Adenan the halfling and Chanel the elf. “Fair enough.


“If the other heroes are as you say, then prove yourself to the goblins,” said Rosa. “Then, only then, will be trust between us.”

“What do you want us to do? Kill them? Because Aiden Jenison is going to die one way or another for stealing my reward,” said Adenan the halfling darkly.

“Kill them? Without weapons? What would prove? Only that you have thirst for blood,” spat Rosa. “No, get them to admit treachery and will be enough. Or make them break oath to protect us. Either is good. But no killing!”

Adenan’s face fell. “All right.”

“How, exactly, are we supposed to get them to admit they are working for Derex?” cried Chanel. “They’re not the smartest bunch but I don’t think they’re THAT dumb.”

“Here,” said Rosa. “You may take my son, Splix. Is small. Will fit in rucksack and tell Mommy all hears.”

The goblin handed a small green tadpole to Adenan, the party’s designated pack mule. The hobbit recoiled. “What is that?”

“Is my son!” cried Rosa. “Is not yet metamorphosed. Do know nothing of goblins? Keep him wet and safe!”


“Look,” growled Adenan in a fierce tone that belied her tiny, tiny stature. “We made it through Minaka the Conqueror’s whole army without a scratch. Either you give us what we’re owed, and you do it now, or we will beat your sorry asses to a bloody pulp and chuck you all in the river.”

Taken aback, Red the Huntress threw a coin purse at the hobbit’s feet. “All right everyone, let’s roll out!” she cried. “Back to town!”

The other adventurers followed her lead, including the newest member, Skeletonio the skeleton mage late of Minaka’s undead army, who sighed deeply before following.

Aiden Jenison, the group’s leader who had been banished to a corner by Red, clanked after them in his ridiculous armor. “Hey! What did you tell them? Guys! GUYS! Come back! We have them outnumbered! Come on!”

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