Heather's arms hurt from hours of throwing stones, but they finally had enough apples to trade for the panel. They struggled down a forest path heading for the goblin village with huge piles in their arms. She was sore, she was tired, and she was now sweaty. The only thing that kept her going was the fact that her stomach was happily full.
“How far away is this village?” she groaned as she struggled to hold the pile of apples in her arms.
“Another mile,” Frank sighed as he struggled with his own pile of apples that he could barely see over.
They rounded a bend in the trail and discovered a dozen apple trees. They were half the size of the other trees with branches easily reached from the ground.
Heather glared at Frank with burning eyes as he hid behind his wall of apples.
“Why didn’t you know these were here?” she yelled as she dropped her apples to point at the trees.
“I don't come here very often, and I don't eat apples,” he pleaded.
She stomped an apple and went to scold him some more when she heard shouting.
They looked down the trail as they heard more shouts and strange noises.
“What is that?” Heather asked.
“It sounds like fighting,” Frank said as he struggled to look over his apples.
They crept down the trail until it opened into a wooden palisade wall. Inside was a clearing that had a dozen crude huts of sticks and grass. Animal skins hung in doorways like curtains and the windows were little more than holes.
They crouched in the trees just outside the wall and watched as goblins ran in every direction.
“Why are they running around like that?” Heather whispered.
“I think somebody is attacking the village,” Frank whispered back.
As they watched three burly goblins in fur armor, and wielding clubs, charged across the open yard. They vanished from view behind some of the huts, but Heather could clearly hear the sounds of battle.
“We need to find your panel,” Frank said. “We might be able to steal it back in the confusion.”
Heather glanced at him to agree, and shook her head. “Will you put down the apples,” she snapped.
Frank let the fruit fall and led the way to the opening in the wall nearest to them. They peaked around the corner for a better view and saw a burly goblin fighting with a man wrapped tightly in black cloth who danced around rapidly with two short narrow knives.
“That's a ninja,” Frank said. Even as he spoke a line of blue flames raced passed the man in black and struck another goblin throwing it back. A tall man with white hair and pointed ears appeared from behind a hut. He wore robes of blues and silvers and walked with a staff of white wood topped by a red crystal. “That’s an elf wizard of some kind.”
Heather watched as the man began to chant and sway his hands. With a strange word he spread his fingers out, producing a second blast of blue flames.
“So how do we find my panel?” Heather whispered.
Frank dared to lean out and take a better look around.
“There!” he said, pointing to a larger building in the back. It was built on a little hill with a wooden walkway around it. Unlike the other huts, this one had a crude door made of stout branches lashed together. “That has to be the chieftain's hut,” Frank said. “The goblins that took your panel were runts. They probably brought your panel straight to the chief.”
Heather nodded and looked around. The goblins were fighting back, but the attackers were clearly better equipped for the fight. The little goblins hurled stones and spears from the side while the larger brutes took them head-on.
“We need to sneak over there while they are distracted,” Frank said.
There was a crashing sound, and part of a hut caved in as a goblin brute was hurled through it. A tall human with a blue painted face and shaved head laughed mockingly. He had a single rope of hair that grew on the back of his head that was decorated with a golden ring. He wore only a thick belt and pants, leaving his muscular chest bare.
“That’s a barbarian,” Frank sighed. “We better hurry before they kill the whole village.”
Heather nodded and followed Frank as he led the way into the village following the wall. They darted from building to building as the battle raged on making their way for the large hut at the back. Unfortunately, the band of adventurers were doing the same.
Heather watched as the barbarian tackled one of the goblin brutes and threw him to the ground with another laugh.
“Why are they attacking the goblins?” she asked.
“For the experience and treasure,” Frank replied.
“So they are killing them for fun?”
“It’s part of the world,” Frank said with a shrug as he looked around the corner of the last house.
Heather crept up behind him and looked across the gap. There was no more cover from here. They would have to run across an empty stretch of the camp to the chief's hut. With any luck, the adventurers wouldn't see them, and they could find the panel and slip away.
“I will go first,” Frank said as he leaned out. “You follow me three seconds behind.”
“Why three seconds?”
“So we don’t get separated.”
“Then why don’t I follow you immediately?” she asked.
“Because I didn't want us to be a single target,” Frank said. “I am going to run to the wall and climb through that window.” He motioned with a hand to a large window on the side. “They shouldn't see us from that side.
Heather nodded and took a deep breath.
“Here we go,” Frank said and dashed across the yard his arms flailing awkwardly.
Heather counted to three and ran after him as fast as she could. She heard the sounds of goblin roars and the mocking laugh of the barbarian to her right. She didn't dare a glance and instead focused on the wall breathing a sigh of relief as they arrived.
Frank climbed up first and pressed himself to the wall before going to the window. He put his arms through and began to kick and claw his way in. Heather quickly followed him, finding it much easier to get inside.
They arrived in a room that was a mismatch of items from a dozen styles and themes. There was a bearskin rug on the floor next to an ornate carpet. A fine oak table rested against one wall with three tree stumps for chairs. A thick pile of straw for a bed dressed down with silk blankets and fine pillows sat in the room's center. A painting of a man with a devilish smile hung crooked on one wall. All around the outer walls of the room were jars, pots, baskets, boxes, and chests. A pile of old brooms stood in one corner, and five barrels full of apples stood in the other.
“Let’s trade apples for it!” Heather snapped as she pointed at the barrels. “Like they need any more apples!”
“How was I supposed to know they had all those?”
She huffed and began to look around the room. “It’s like a flea market in here.”
“They probably stole this stuff from the surrounding areas,” Frank said.
“So where is my panel?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied as he started to shuffle about tossing items aside. “It has to be in here someplace.”
Heather joined him in searching the room as the sounds of battle grew closer.
“It must be hidden under something,” Frank said as she turned over a stack of pillows.
“Oh, this is pretty,” Heather said as she found a small hand mirror.
“We can worry about getting you things after you have your panel,” Frank reminded her.
She frowned and tucked the mirror into her back pocket as she went back to searching. The table was covered with forks and spoons. Next to it was a collection of tall wicker baskets. Inside she found feathers, a pile of shiny rocks, and a bunch of mismatched shoes. Further down the wall were some wooden crates that contained old bottles, broken glass, and what looked like seashells.
There was a thud, and the building shook as something hit the outer wall.
“They are almost here,” Frank cried.
Heather became frantic in her search as she tossed boxes and crates aside until she stood at the barrels. She sighed as she looked at all the apples and then noticed the blue light. She stood up on her toes to see there was a dark space behind the barrels and a faint blue glow.
“I think I found it!” Heather exclaimed as she climbed up onto the barrels to look into the space. She leaned over the opening and looked down into the eyes of a goblin hiding behind the barrels clutching the panel to its chest.
The goblin screamed, and Heather fell back in an avalanche of apples as the creature tried to climb out and escape.
Frank was to the barrels in a moment, and the goblin took one look at him and tried to hide under the panel.
Heather scrambled to her feet and grabbed hold of the panel and wrestled with the creature.
“Give me my panel!” she yelled as the monster clung to it for dear life.
Frank went to help her pull the panel away from the goblin. Together they yanked it away, and Heather stumbled back as the crude wooden door burst open.
The tall elven man stood in the doorway with a pleased smirk on his face. The man in black appeared out of nowhere at his side, and the muscular barbarian loomed behind him.
“What have we here?” the elf said.
Heather stood before them holding the panel with Frank to her right and the goblin cowering behind them both.
“A woman with a ghoul servant?” the barbarian questioned.
“It has to be a necromancer!” the ninja said as he pointed the thin weapon at her.
“My my,” the elf said as he took a step into the room. “A foolish choice for your class. Necromancy is outlawed.”
“I was just getting my panel,” Heather said as the barbarian stepped into the room. He towered over the rest and held a massive ax with both hands.
“She must be worth a fortune if she’s strong enough to summon ghouls,” the barbarian said.
“And subjugate the goblins,” the ninja added.
The elf smiled broadly. “And killing her will earn a reward.”
Heather looked at Frank with wide eyes but only had a moment before the elf began to chant. His hands came up glowing with a blue light as the barbarian raised his ax and came running in.
Heather screamed and mimicked the goblin by holding the panel up to hide behind it. A blue bolt of fire flew through the air with a snapping noise. It reflected off the panel at an odd angle striking the barbarian and knocking him back.
The ninja vanished in a puff of smoke as the elf cursed and raised his staff.
“You are outmatched!” he cried and then spoke a word of power. The staff glowed brilliant white, and a bolt of electricity shot out. Heather ducked behind her panel again, but the wizard aimed lower this time. It struck her flat in the stomach and passed right through her. The bolt struck the ninja hiding behind her. The impact picked him off his feet and hurled him out the window in the back.
“She must be ethereal,” the barbarian said as he struggled to get up.
“Impossible!” the elf wizard yelled. “There hasn’t been a necromancer that high in years!”
The barbarian reached for his ax, but Frank leaped at him. The two collided and toppled into the wall as Frank flailed at him with claws and teeth.
“Get it off me!” the barbarian cried as Frank bit the man's shoulder.
“It will die if it's master dies,” the elf proclaimed. He went into another chant as glowing runes formed around him. His feet lifted off the floor as the power of his spell collected.
Heather turned around and hid her face as he cast greater dispel magic.
A bolt of blue light raced out at Heather as the wizard laughed. It struck the mirror in her back pocket and bounced right back at him. He howled as the magic surged over him, stripping him of his power and causing him to fall to the floor.
“How!” he roared as he struggled to use his staff to get up.
Frank crashed into the far wall as the barbarian finally threw him off.
“She's too strong for us!” the bald man roared as he grabbed his ax. He ran for the door scooping up the elf with one arm and hurried out.
Heather looked up from her cowering to see the door hanging from one rope hinge.
“What happened?” she asked as she looked around.
“I think I broke my liver,” Frank groaned from the far wall.
Heather whirled around and saw him lying in a pile of apples. “Are you alright?” she asked in a panic.
“I’m fine,” he groaned. “Undead heal fast. I should be able to stand in an hour.”
She came to his side and knelt beside him. “Did you fight that man to protect me?”
“Ghouls are actually very dangerous fighters,” Frank said. “Our touch makes people weaker. If I can get hold of somebody long enough, it paralyzes them.”
“It never hurt me,” Heather said.
“You're still level zero, and besides, I can choose not to drain people.”
Heather nodded and held a hand out to him.
He looked at her hand and then up to her eyes.
“Come on, let me help you up,” she said when he hesitated.
He reached up slowly and put his hand in hers.
His skin was cold to the touch and felt like holding wet rubber, but she grinned and helped him up. There was an awkward moment when he finally got to his feet, and they had to let go of each other.
“At least we have your panel,” he said.
“Yeah,” Heather replied as she turned the strange object over. It was the size of a lunch tray and metallic silver on one side. The other side was dominated by what looked like a glass computer screen. There was a row of blue lights down one side, all of which were lit. As she inspected it, she looked up and saw the goblin standing before her.
The creature was four feet tall and had the familiar pointed ears and nose of the goblins. This one, however, had long dark hair that was crudely braided. It wore a little dress of yellow with painted flowers, belted at the waist by a piece of rope.
“it’s a girl,” Frank said.
“I am queen Umtha,” the little creature said. “You save Umtha life.”
Heather looked at Frank with a raised brow. “Queen?” Heather repeated. “I thought you said there was a chief?”
Frank shrugged. “The last time I saw the goblins, there was a chief.”
Heather looked back to the little creature who fell into a clumsy curtsy.
“Goblins will remember the necromancer who save them.”
“I’m not a necromancer,” Heather said. “I don’t even know what a necromancer is.”
“I told you it’s a wizard that can summon and control the undead,” Frank reminded her.
“That doesn't help,” Heather replied with a shake of her head.
“You is powerful necromancer,” Queen Umtha said. “You beat the wizard Tyragar.”
Heather wasn’t sure what to say or do so she decided to play along.
“That's right, I did!” she declared boldly. “Because I am the greatest necromancer that ever lived! My army is poised to sweep the lands and make all the people my slaves!”
“What are you doing?” Frank whispered.
“I don’t know,” Heather admitted. “It just sounded good.”
“Goblins will help you!” Queen Umtha said eagerly. “All goblins will serve the necromancer!”
Heather smiled smugly at the proclamation as Frank covered his face with his hands.
“What is necromancers name?” the queen asked.
She smiled broadly and let out a pleased sigh. “I am Heather. Heather, the necromancer, and this land will tremble at my passing!”
The goblin queen clapped eagerly, and Heather smiled. Today was a triumph, and she felt pleased with herself. While she boasted of her soon to be great deeds, a silent and slightly singed figure listened in earnest. When her boasting was done the shadowy form outside the window slipped away.
Support "Heather the Necromancer"
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- newbie writer, wise old story teller.
I am a fan of fantasy and romance stories. I have been writing from a very early age and love to tell stories. I lack a good education in grammar however and I have been struggling to teach myself.
I love dragons and have for years been working on a story where they featured heavily. This is the culmination of that work. I hope it measures up to some kind of standard and that you the reader deeply enjoy it.
I have no awards to brag about. I have no education to brag about. I haven’t written any award-winning books or articles in major publications. I am just an obscure storyteller shouting his story from the void in the hopes that somebody will hear it.
Thank you so much for reading my story. Sharing what I have and finding a way to focus on it for the future is all I ever wanted to do.