Here’s today’s part of “Dr Gnome” sorry for another short part, but it is the last part of chapter 4. Tomorrows piece will be longer.
After covertly making sure that Alchemy reached The Lady’s Pleasure safely, Gavin Whitehawk returned to the narrow road where the trolls attacked his friend. He’d arrived too late to aid in the fight, but it looked like Alchemy handled himself well enough. Gavin felt a moment of pride, peering through the bushes as his friend finished off the last Troll. He’d spent years teaching the young wizard the arts of fighting, having explained to him time and time again that magic wasn’t always the answer. It took several of their friends spending time tormenting, the then apprentice mage, before he finally agreed to let them teach him how to fight with his body as well as his magic. Gavin had been his main instructor up until a couple of months ago when the warrior was recruited by K for the Fragrance Guild. Working as a field agent for the guild was a lot more fun than the occasional city guard duty that he was used to, a lot more dangerous too. The gnomes were determined to undermine the idea of free commerce, a natural environment and good craftsmanship with their mechanized mass production plans.
Gavin found the exploding rod the goblin had tried to use on Alchemy. The steel tube with its sighting scope on top and wooden handle was definitely gnome-made. He was surprised that Alchemy had left the device laying there next to where the carriage fell. Searching the area of the fight, paying close attention to the spot where the carriage had crashed, Gavin tried to find any clues that might have been dropped. The ground was thoroughly trampled, but noting caught his attention.
Hoof beats, coming his way, made him pause. He ducked back into the bushes along the roadside. Two goblins on short shaggy ponies trotted up from the other end of the road.
“Looks like they had an accident here,” one of the goblins dressed in a brown jacket and tattered pants said.
“But where is Razi, or the trolls we hired?” the other one asked, getting off his mount to inspect the ground.
“Over here!” the first one hollered. He knelt down on the ground where Gavin had seen the previous goblin die.
“What’d you find?” the second goblin asked coming over.
“Does that look like a bit of goblin flesh to you?” the first one asked, lifting a small green chunk.
“Maybe burned by Manticore venom,” the second one yanked it away.
“Well Kojo, it looks like the three assassins are now only two. We will find this elf, and avenge our fallen brother. The boss wants him dead, he just made it personal.” The first goblin sneered.
“Alake, we still have to tell the boss.” Kojo slid the piece of flesh into a pocket of his battered blue pants.
“Then let’s go tell the boss. I wonder what became of those trolls we hired?” Alake asked.
“If the elf got to Razi, then those trolls better have been dead first, if not, they failed our brother, and they will die by our hands.” Kojo growled as he snatched up the reins of his pony.
Gavin slid out of the bushes as he watched the goblins ride off. He whistled for his mount, that he’d left ground tied on the main avenue. Martin, the griffon, with head of a golden eagle and the rear of a lion ran to him. “Where to boss?”
“We need to follow those goblins, but keep back so they don’t spot us,” Gavin replied swinging into the saddle that straddled the beast’s shoulders.
“No problem.” The griffon launched himself into the air, climbing almost vertically to get far enough into the sky that the goblins wouldn’t be able to see him.
“So what’s up with these guys?” Martin asked as they flew slowly across the sky.
“Not sure yet, other than I think they work for someone. They did hire the trolls that attacked Alchemy. We’ll just follow for a bit and see where they end up.”