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"There is no need to be worried from what the elves were telling us about the caves," Ford said as he looked towards Sherene who was still super engrossed with the computer. "Apparently, those caves are all abandoned by the dragons from what they could see."

"Are they sure of it?" Balke asked. "If more of those things come back to the caves and seeing us messing around their homes, things can get real bad."

"Well, the elves sent a few of their experienced hunters to check it out and found the caves abandoned without any recent traces of dragons," Ford clarified, "But the more worrying thing is those green skins."

"Goblins?" Blake rubbed his chin, "Why?"

"They found old tracks of goblins around the caves and reminds of cookfires in the deeper parts. The hunters said that it could be the goblins use the caves as a winter retreat." Ford explained. "I have taken the liberty to increase the number of Goldie guards to cover the mining station."

"Good." Blake nods, "How about the Bluecoats? No sign of them yet?"

"Nope, the scouts follow them as far as they could before they pulled back due to the number of goblins in the forest." Ford scrolls through his tablet, "Well, recent UAV recon flights are also not picking up any unusual activity."

"And our friend?" Blake crossed his fingers and rested his chin on it. "How is he recovering?"

"Well, Doc says he going to get better," Ford rubbed his face. "The Goldies placed some kind of restraint on him that prevents him from using magic. He is still unconscious, so we couldn't question him yet. As for the corpsman, she's doing fine, back to work already."

"I see, make sure our guest doesn't run away, he's too dangerous," Blake ordered, "If he resists, use deadly force."

Ford nods, "Anything else?"

"Yeah, I plan to expand out along the grass plains for farming and rearing of animals, using the current road to the Pass as an anchor point." Blake brought out the map of the area on the display monitor in his office. "I plan to build a few fortified communities along the road for the workers and farmers to take shelter and holdout in an event of an attack."

"Good idea, with the increase of people inside the walls, there isn't much space for farming and animals. Planning division is going nuts," Ford chuckled, "Well, the labor force from the elves are helping out once nicely, especially the hunters and foragers, we shouldn't worry about food for the upcoming winter months."

"Great, now all we need is new weapons and training for the elves and we will be all set."

-----

The spray of salt water drenched the men as they hoist the sails of the two-masted squared rig. "Faster with the sails! Tack into the wind!" A dark complexioned middle-aged elf, with a faded red bandana and his ears, hung several gold rings yelled over the crash of the waves against the ship. "Helmsman! Bring the ship towards the wind!"

"Aye Captain!" The helmsman spun the ship's wheel, causing the ship to shudder as the wind blew into the sails.

Omaj Tinka, the captain, and owner of the trade ship, Wave Dancer, looked to the rear of his ship, seeing three dark dots at the horizon. He frowns and called for his slave mage. "Come here, boy! Make me a far-seeing eye!"

A skinny elven boy, no older than 15, dressed in a pair of undersized sailor's slops and an oil skin coat. His bright brown eyes narrowed in concentration as he held his hands up, forming a circle and started chanting. A small bright blue magic circle appeared, forming over his hands before the air shimmered and appeared to thicken.

Trader Omaj stood behind the boy, adjusting the direction by turning his shoulders, and peers through the boy's hands. The magically thicken air, bends the light and allow Omaj to see objects far away. The image between the boy's hands looked like a magnifying glass, displaying the three ships chasing them.

"Damn! Those are raiders! Goblin pirates!" Omaj saw the green skins working the oars at the side of the makeshift contraption they called a galley. The crudely stitched patchwork sails made out of animal hides or people skin billowed with an unnatural wind.

He looked at his map, his ship currently traveling in a channel, between an uncharted land and a large island, dominated by a series of volcanos that appeared dormant. He cursed, thinking that if it wasn't for the storm earlier, he had to make landfall to repair his ship, or he won't be stuck here.

They call this area the Goblin Sea, as there are thousands and thousands of those vile creatures that preyed on both sea and land. Hundreds of years ago, many nations attempted to colonize the land here but were set on by the savage goblins and their larger cousins.

The nations formed an alliance and marched into battle only to be defeated in the unknown lands. The goblins had stolen skills and technology from the defeated settlers and surprised the Allied armies, who thought of them as beasts.

Goblins armed with crude weapons like spears and knives, attacked from the forest en masse, overwhelming the Allied forces. The nations retreated and instead fought a defensive battle until the goblins exhausted themselves. Since then, they called the goblin's army as the Green Tide, as they appeared like an ocean of green, as thousands and thousands of the creatures attacked the city walls.

As for the ships, some unlucky trader or settler must have their ships raided and captured while they were beached or landed, many many years back. The goblin's pirate ships are considered outdated compared to his Wave Dancer while several at times a captured ship could be seen crewed by the vile creatures.

"Boy! Cast your wind magic on the sails!" He cuffed the boy's head. "Hurry! Or I feed you to the pirates!"

The boy took a deep breath and started chanting a spell to create wind, but due to his low magic power, instead of a strong wind, a breeze was formed instead. "What are you trying to pull!" Omaj kicked the boy away. "Useless piece of shit! An egg wyvern has more value than you!" He aimed another kick at the cowling boy.

Omaj ignored the crying boy and yelled, "Ready the stern bolt throwers!" The three goblin ships were slowly but surely catching up to them. His men, hearing his order rushed to the poop deck where two man-sized bolt throwers covered in oil canvas stood.

Removing the canvas, the men locked the arms of the ballista into position, while others carried meter long wooden shafts topped with bronze bolt heads. Another crew attached a bowstring made out of animal sinew to the arms and hooked it up to a claw.

Two crew members started to clank the winch, pulling the bowstring into its armed position, and another crew loaded the bolt into the flight groove, sitting the bolt against the claw.

"Ready!" The bolt thrower team leader shouted out when his bolt thrower is loaded, followed by another "Ready!" from the second team.

"Get here, boy!" Omaj yelled at the boy again, making him scrambled over to the bolt throwers, the crew members casting looks of disdain at the boy. "Set up your far-seeing eye again! Don't fail me or I whip you till the skin of your back is gone!"

The boy repeated his spell and luckily it held, enabling the bolt thrower team leaders to adjust their aims.

"The goblin ships are in range!" The first mate of Wave Dancer yelled. "Do we fire, Captain?"

"Yes! We need to delay them enough until we can escape!" Omaj glances up at the sun, which was hanging at almost 40 degrees angle in the sky. "At least another five hours to sundown! Once the night comes, we can escape from them!"

"Ready as you are and fire!" The first mate yelled to the team leaders.

The bolt thrower leaders made a few more minor adjustments and waited for the down roll of the waves before pulling the firing lever, and with a snap and crack, the bolts flew off towards the lead goblin ship. Using the far-seeing eye spell, the team leaders observed their shots, while the rest of the crews worked the wench to reload the bolt throwers.

"Down two notches and left three notches!" The leaders ordered their crew to adjust the throwers. "Ready!"
"Fire!"

A lucky bolt, flying out of one of the throwers with a speed of 158 meters per second, arced through the sky, traveling over 300 meters before slamming down at a perfect angle amidship, nailing several rower goblins together, sending them crashing to the back with the rest of the rowers.

The port side crude rowing oars snapped, forcing the ship to turn suddenly to the starboard side, causing confusion to the goblin crew.

The Wave Dancer crew yelled in triumph when they saw the lead goblin ship spin out of control. "Aim for the other ship!" Omaj yelled, smiling in joy. He ruffled the boy's hair and cheered along with his crew.

"Sail ho!" The lookout in the crow's nest suddenly yelled down. "Sails ho!"

"Ca-Captain!" The helmsman called out in sudden panic. "Two more goblins raiders has appeared!"

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A note from neo Koh

PotC time!

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