Advertisement
Remove
Settings

Blacknail’s left arm tingled numbly as it resisted his attempt to move it properly. He could only get it to shiver and twitch, which wasn’t nearly enough. He was in the middle of a sword fight and would have really liked to have both his arms working properly. Being hit by lightning sucked.

Grunting, Blacknail eyed his two foes. The sword-wielding Vessel was grinning triumphantly as he brandished his weapon, while Zelena had a more serious look on her face. She was eyeing him carefully as she kept the magic jewelry in her hand pointed his way. Undoubtedly, she was already preparing to hit him with another blast of lightning. Blacknail was going to have to do something about that, but what? Hmm, magic would have to counter magic.

Reaching down into himself, Blacknail grabbed control of the mana within his core and began circulating it through his body with increased intensity. Instantly, the tingling in his arm abated somewhat, but that hadn’t been Blacknail’s goal. Gathering some of the power up, Blacknail turned to growl at Zelena while he threw the invisible power straight at her.

Unprepared, Zelena gasped and stumbled back as the magical terror washed over her. Her raised hand fell as she shivered uncontrollably for a moment. Her fearful reaction enflamed Blacknail’s predatory instincts. He wished he could have lunged forward and torn the woman apart, but he wasn’t given a chance. Seeing his ally falter, the human Vessel charged in to attack the hobgoblin.

Steeling himself, Blacknail was forced to defend himself using a one-handed grip on his sword. It was less than ideal, and his lack of leverage quickly allowed the human to push him back. There was one upside though. Now that he was in close-quarters combat, Zelena couldn’t get a clear shot on him anymore. Yep, all he had to worry about was getting a sword shoved down his throat. Yeah!

Stumbling back over a loose brick, Blacknail hurriedly ducked under a vicious slash that had been aimed at his face. He then had to sidestep and dodge several more attacks from his enemy’s blade. He desperately tried to counterattack, but with only one hand, his attacks were easily blocked or dodged.

Growling in frustration, Blacknail was pushed back toward a solid wall. The stone was crumbling, but that wouldn’t stop it from getting in his way. Desperately, Blacknail tried to step sideways, but Zelena cut him off and raised her hand menacingly.

“Don’t even think about it. There is no escape for the likes of you,” she told him in a venomous tone.

Stuck in place, Blacknail could only jerk his head backwards as the human Vessel stepped forward and attacked again. His blade was a blur of speed as it sliced toward the hobgoblin’s face.

Blacknail’s dodge wasn’t quite fast enough. The sword bit into flesh and tasted blood as it sliced into Blacknail’s cheek. Yelping as he jumped back against the wall, Blacknail raised his weakened hand and clumsily felt up his face. Both his eyes were still working, good. The cut on his cheek wasn’t too deep, good. His nose… There was a chunk missing from the tip of his nose! Blacknail gagged and felt sick. No, this couldn’t be happening! His nose was his best feature, and now it was ruined forever. Would Herah even want to sleep with him anymore if he didn’t have a perfect long pointy nose?

“My nose! Your deaths will be beyond pain!” Blacknail hissed furiously as he glared at his petty human attackers. How dare they cripple him so. He would tear them apart with his bare hands and then suck the marrow from their bones!

The hobgoblin’s rage allowed him to pull up even more mana, which was helping his arm heal, but it was still very weak after being hit by Zelena’s lightning. More fear-based attacks probably wouldn’t be effective since he’d already used them on both his attackers and couldn’t rely on the element of surprise anymore.

“You’re finished now. A wounded animal that doesn’t know its already dead,” the Vessel announced as he approached Blacknail with his blade raised.

There was nothing the hobgoblin could do but ready his defenses. He was very aware of the cold stone wall behind him. There was nowhere to run and he was outmatched. His odds of surviving this weren’t great… No, he refused to die here without avenging his nose! Also, there was Saeter and Herad. He couldn’t forget about them. They needed to be avenged too, and he was so close.

The enemy vessel stepped forward and launched a flurry of attacks that immediately put Blacknail on the defensive. As he desperately defended himself, the hobgoblin took two shallow cuts on his arms that began leaking blood. Any moment now, he was going to falter and take a fatal blow. Blacknail glanced hopefully over toward Ilisti’s fallen form, but the vympir was still completely out of it. What a lazy useless bastard.

Suddenly, the combatants’ blades crashed together. The impact caused the steel to ring and sent a shiver down Blacknail’s arm. Then, the weapon slipped from his grasp. He could only stare in horror at his fumble.

“Now you’re mine!” the vessel laughed triumphantly as he raised his blade to deliver the finishing blow.

That was when a red-topped blur shot out from behind a pile of rubble and straight toward Zelena. The female mage spun around, but was too slow to prevent her attacker from stabbing her in the side.

“Die, you stuck up bitch!” Khita laughed as she pulled her weapon back. “This will teach you to mess with the Red Cat!”

The who? No, Khita’s nonsense wasn’t important. Blacknail concentrated on his enemies.

Zelena gasped in pain and shock, although her wound didn’t look fatal. Meanwhile, her ally glanced over to see what was going on and hesitated upon noticing the new arrival. That moment was all Blacknail needed. He might have been disarmed, but he didn’t need a weapon to kill humans. He was a hobgoblin, a natural killer. Lunging forward, he dove in under the man’s raised sword and tackled his opponent to the ground.

Gasping, the man tried to defend himself, but Blacknail was in close now. Driven by rage and cruel instinct, the mutant hobgoblin pulled himself up and chomped down on the vessel’s exposed neck. His long sharp teeth parted flesh with ease and a flick of his neck tore open a huge gaping wound. A half-gurgle scream filled the air, before Blacknail silenced it by taking another big bite. Now the man was reduced to a shivering pile of meat whose life was quickly draining away.

The taste of blood and the feel of flesh in Blacknail’s mouth was deeply satisfying, even if humans didn’t taste great. Still, he let himself swallow the meat and then purr happily as he got to his feet, leaving his defeated foe beneath him. Normally, he wouldn’t eat humans, but he deserved to take something back from the stupid human that had crippled his nose. Really, the man had gotten off too easy.

Up ahead, Zelena was still dealing with Khita. As Blacknail watched, she threw the redhead back with a blast of force. Holding her bleeding side, she then glanced toward Blacknail. A look of pure horror appeared on her face as she saw the blood-soaked and manically grinning hobgoblin stalking toward her. Stumbling back, she grabbed an amulet that hung around her neck. Blacknail prepared to dodge an attack, but none came. Instead, Zelena’s image became hazy and then disappeared a moment later, leaving Blacknail blinking in surprise.

“Um, where did that blonde whore go?” Khita asked in surprise.

“I don’t know,” Blacknail replied as he looked around. “How are you even here? I thought you ran from the cold.”

The redhead chuckled and stuck her chest out proudly. “As if that could keep me away from a good fight. Once I got warmed up, I ran back into the cold and took one of those fancy amulets off a fallen knight.”

There was still no sign of Zelena, but Blacknail had bigger concerns. Climbing up onto a small pile of rubble, Blacknail looked over toward the fight with Myagnoir.

Things there weren’t going particular well. Lacking Sir Masnin’s leadership and shinning example, the remaining fighters from the first group had scattered before the Doom of Coroulis’ rage. No longer encircled, the great mutant drake was now retreating off the road and into an alley between two tall buildings. Werrick’s riders were already abandoning their next charge, as they realized they wouldn’t make it in time. Myagnoir had been gravelly wounded, but it was far from finished and was getting away.

Blacknail growled furiously and his fingers curled up into claws. This was all Werrick’s fault! He’d set Sir Masnin up to die by not supporting him properly and he’d sent valuable fighters after Ilisti instead of using them to fight Myagnoir. The selfish bastard was ruining everything.

Khita climbed up beside Blacknail and observed the fight too. “Well, that sucks donkey balls.”

As Blacknail watched, Werrick’s riders came to stop alongside the scattered remains of Sir Masnin’s force. The Wolf began yelling orders, but it was obvious that Myagnoir had escaped. Then, the air shimmered next to Werrick’s horse and Zelena appeared. The two quickly began talking and then the male femage pointed straight toward Blacknail and Khita’s location.

“Huh, that’s even worse,” the redhead observed as the hobgoblin groaned.

At least Blacknail’s arm was feeling better now. He flexed his fingers and they responded almost normally, although they were still weak.

Blacknail took a moment to watch what Werrick was doing, and he really didn’t like it. His archenemy seemed to be giving a rousing speech to the other humans, who were responding and getting worked up. It also didn’t appear that he was pointing them in Myagnoir’s direction. No, he punctuated one particularly loud bout of yelling by gesturing toward Blacknail’s location.

This was not good. It was obvious that most the humans in the expedition had barely tolerated the hobgoblins’ presence, and Blacknail had known that Sir Masnin was the only one keeping everyone else in line. However, the paladin was gone now, and it seemed like Werrick was having no problem taking over and turning everyone against Blacknail. In fact, he seemed to consider getting rid of Blacknail more of a priority than finishing off Myagnoir. Werrick’s riders reformed and began moving toward Blacknail.

“Ugh, what do we do now, boss?” Khita asked him. Blacknail snorted. So, he was her boss now?

“We run away,” he replied as he hopped down from the pile of rubble and ran over to Ilisti’s side.

Thankfully, the vympir was awake. He groaned and gave Blacknail a questioning look. “What happened?”

“A big lizard smacked you with its tail before eating Sir Masnin. Now everyone is trying to kill us. You need to get up,” Blacknail told him.

This earned them a confused stare, but the hobgoblin and the redhead simply grabbed his armor and pulled him up into something resembling a standing position. He wobbled a bit but didn’t fall over.

Staring into the vympir’s eyes, Blacknail gave him some stern advice. “You need to run and hide for a while. Don’t let the humans find you.”

Ilisti nodded and straightened up, so they let him stand on his own.

“We’ll buy you some time. It’s us they want,” Khita added proudly.

Blacknail stared at her. That was not part of his plan, and why was she including herself? Werrick couldn’t care less about her. Did she want to be hunted? Stupid human.

Werrick was on his way, so they didn’t hang around. The allies split up and ran into the ruins, with Khita and Blacknail going one way, while Ilisti went to find somewhere to hide. As he ran, Blacknail could hear the pounding of hooves as Werrick closed in. At least all the rubble and tight turns would slow the horses down a lot, and Blacknail had a plan. He needed to make it out of the lost city and rendezvous with his hobs.

Glancing over his shoulder as he ran, Blacknail saw a horseman ride out from behind a building.

“This way. I found the treacherous creature!” the rider yelled to signal to all his companions.

Blacknail bristled as he grabbed Khita and pulled her around a corner so they couldn’t be seen so easily. Treacherous creature? He’d never betrayed the expedition! He’d never had a chance. It had been Werrick that had done that. All these stupid humans were going to pay for being so dumb.

There was shouting from behind Blacknail and Khita as they ran toward the gate they’d come in through. This was quickly followed by some yelling over to Blacknail’s left. It seemed like the horsemen were spreading out to flank them. All the nearby ruined homes and bushes made it difficult for Werrick’s men to find them, but it also made it almost impossible for Blacknail to see what Werrick was planning as well.

“This way!” the hobgoblin told Khita as he veered right away from the noise.

Running down a narrow side street, the pair passed several small buildings that had mostly fallen apart. Empty windows and shadowy doors surrounded them, but they saw no signs of movement.

“We’re not going to run into Myagnoir, are we?” Khita asked nervously. “That thing's still out here.”

“No, it went in the other direction,” Blacknail replied. Or, at least he’d thought it had. All these bleached stone buildings looked the same and he’d gotten a little turned around.

Suddenly, there was a clatter of hooves, and a knight on horseback rode out onto the street ahead of them. Blacknail and Khita immediately scrambled to a stop as the armored warrior turned his mount around to face them and yelled to get his allies’ attention.

“Boar crap,” Blacknail cursed as the knight began charging toward them. They wouldn’t be able to outrun the rider in the open.

“Through here,” the hobgoblin yelled as he ran over to one of the nearby homes and jumped through a window.

Landing on his feet, Blacknail kept running through the empty building. The only thing in his way was some wooden debris on the floor and a lot of dust. All the home’s furniture had long since fallen apart. Behind him, Khita jumped inside the building just as Blacknail vaulted through another window on the far side of the room. Once outside, the hobgoblin found himself on another side street. The old crumbling buildings were tightly packed together here, so there was no way the knight could come over here. Good, that meant they were safe for a moment.

Khita landed next to Blacknail, and they both began running again. Blacknail was fairly certain they were headed for the gate. He would have asked Khita, but she was useless.

Using his long pointy ears, Blacknail listened carefully for any sign of pursuit. He could hear at least two group of riders off in the distance, but neither was ahead of them. The riders kept yelling at each other, so locating them wasn’t hard. Hmm, was heading for the gate the best idea? They might be able to climb over the city wall if they could find a spot where some of those thick vines had grown up over the outside. Well, the way to the gate seemed open for now, so they’d try that first.

The narrow residential street the pair were on led to the city wall, so Blacknail and Khita took it all the way there before turning left toward the gate. They could see the top of it above some rows of ruined buildings, but there was no straight road leading to there. Still, with no other real choice, they sprinted in the direction of the gate.

Unfortunately, that was when Werrick finally caught up to them. As Blacknail glanced down another side street as he ran past it, he saw the bandit lord and a dozen riders charging right for him. Not good! There was a vicious snarl on the Wolf’s face, and none his followers seemed willing to talk over their differences either.

As the stampede of horsemen turned the corner and began chasing the pair down, Balcknail considered his options. They were all bad. Khita and him were already running with everything they had, but the riders were still closing in. Stupid vile horses! Blacknail hated all of those hateful beasts. How was riding a big animal like that fair? It wasn’t!

The huffing and wheezing of the knights’ mounts reached Blacknail’s ears as they drew in closer.

“Run the filth down! Avenge our fallen,” Werrick yelled to the cheers of the other riders. They sounded as if they were only a few feet away, but were actually at least twenty seconds behind.

Blacknail grimaced as he tried to circulate mana through his body to increase his speed. It didn’t work very well. He was running out of mana. It had been a while since he’d had a chance to recharge, and he’d been using his powers an awful lot today. Meanwhile, Werrick’s group drew ever closer.

The hobgoblin knew that he could speed up a little, but then he’d leave Khita behind, and he wouldn’t actually be able to escape anyway. It was the later part that mattered there. Maybe he could pick Khita up and throw her at Werrick? Ugh, knowing the redhead, she’d somehow survive that, and then he’d be run down. Damn them to every hell! He was so close to getting what he wanted. If only Werrick hadn’t started his terrible plan before Blacknail could start his own amazing one. Well, that was probably the entire point. Werrick was smart enough to know that Blacknail held all the advantages when they claimed the silver.

That was when things got much worse. Dashing around a turn, Blacknail and Khita found themselves facing a dead end. A huge pile of stone blocked their way toward the gate. It looked like a watchtower had fallen off the city wall, and now its bulk was completely blocking the road.

As the hobgoblin and the redhead slowed, one of the riders next to Werrick dashed ahead and closed in on them from behind. Sword raised high, he prepared to strike at Blacknail.

Advertisement

Support "The Iron Teeth: A Goblin's Tale"

About the author

ClearMadness

Bio: Not actually a goblin.

Achievements
Comments(42)
Log in to comment
Log In

dephyn @dephyn ago

Thanks for the chapter.

MaliMi @MaliMi ago

The goat is gonna save the day, right? Please let it be the goat.

 

Also, thanks a bunch for the chapter.

claws8367 @claws8367 ago

I get the point is to get us reiled up, because of the betrayel and plotting. And trust me its working, but i find this an oversight: why trust a bandit over a hobgoblin when your former leader only spoke good about the goblin.

    Chevalier_92 @Chevalier_92 ago

    They were temporarly under his command not his actual troops and most of the time peer preasure works, that and the the choice between fighting the drake or running down 1 hobgoblin not to mention he fact that its easier to blame someone else for your failuare

    nf_zeta @nf_zeta ago

    Its been heavily noted that while Manin trusted and even respected Blacknail the other nobles and knights were only enduring his presence. To them a bandit is MUCH more trustworthy than a Hobgoblin.

    They're not exactly wrong either, if it wasn't for Manin Blacknail could have easily been their enemy.

    Lord Vitor2510 @Lord Vitor2510 ago

    Simple. Because one is a human bandit, and the other is a goblin.

    The ones that werent bought might not really trust the bandit, but they are even less willing to trust a non-human.

    They actually even might trust Werrick more because he is a bandit. What is a bandit if not someone with lands and subordinates that wasnt formally recognized by a king? Nobles and bandits are close kin.

    no168_92 @no168_92 ago

    I'm actually more pissed that sir masnin died a dog's death... his subordinate should've jumped in to save him... it's seriously stupid and baffling....

    is there no second in command under sir masnin? there should be a clear chain of command if the leader was kia... so they shouldn't neccesarily listened to werrick in all honesty... this is too convenient for the author...

      Willfultrooper @Willfultrooper ago

      I don't mind Masnin dying, this is after all what could be considered a boss fight and ClearMadness is more than justified about killing named characters at this point, but Masnin should have a second in command and it should have been obvious that Warrick slowed the charge when Sir Masnin was in danger.

      no168_92 @no168_92 ago

      i don't mind if he died more valiantly, the way his death was set up was way too sloppy imho, poorly executed... that's my gripe about it....

      he was lauded as an experienced vessel with plenty of experience facing mutants and the likes, but his death was too poorly written... what was all that preparation for facing the so called doom of caroulis?

      lacking subordinates, tactics, judgement of personality? kinda contradicting his character background?

      Havoc the Younger @Havoc the Younger ago

      Think you guys are forgetting that before they even left, almost everyone was positioning against him. Masnin was alone from the jump. No matter how he died though, he was doomed to die before returning with the silver.

      Willfultrooper @Willfultrooper ago

      So you're telling me that the other knights that were beside Warrick were blind? in fact why would knights allow Warrick to take charge? I get that maybe half of the nobles are bought and paid for by Warrick, but it's still ridiculous that every other mounted knight seemed to be warricks or that they would slow their charge. In fact, one of the reasons why the raid worked was because Masnin, a Holy Paladin and thus carried weight to lead the expedition, was leading it. Warricks nobles were despised by the other nobles and if Masnin, a knight sent by the kingdom, wasn't leading the expedition then chances were that they wouldn't have even participated.

      Havoc the Younger @Havoc the Younger ago

      Am I to believe that you'd live up to your username and charge in to save the day while everyone else clearly aren't budging...Also don't forget the little comments made by Werrick before the fight started. Fear, paranoia, and human greed is an unholy but common combo.

      Willfultrooper @Willfultrooper ago

      I am not questioning the fact that everyone was scared and thus didn't charge in, I'm questioning the fact that the knights are so blind as to see that Warrick disrupted the charge and is one of the contributing factors to Sir Masnin's death. There's also something called adrenaline, there's been many instances where people saw death all around and yet still charged on. I'll give you historical examples: The beaches of Normandy in WW2, The battle of The Somme WW1, The battle of Balaclava in the Crimean war - I refer to the charge of the light brigade in mentioning this battle. I can bet you in every listed battle everyone was afraid yet the Allies still stormed Normandy, both the Allies and the Central powers sent countless waves of infantry into what most knew was their death but they still charged. The British light brigade were given orders to charge the enemy lines and despite seeing their friends and comrades die they charged.

      I never questioned the fact that knights might rout after suffering casualties like that, in fact they probably should have the moment they saw the drake, what I'm questioning is the fact that everyone seems to have been blind when Warrick slowed the charge when they could have struck when the drake was vulnerable. I'm questioning why knights are letting a bandit lead the charge at all when any one of them could have done so. I suppose since Warrick is a named character he thus must have a role in the expedition, of course not forgetting that he is a vessel, that still doesn't mean he has to lead the charge.

      Lastly a quote from @Havoc the Younger "Am I to believe that you'd live up to your username and charge in to save the day..."

      I appreciate discussion and debate I appreciate opposing ideas and witty retort, I do not appreciate you questioning my character when the only instance you could judge me is from a few comments on the internet which I believe are a critical analysis on this chapter.

      no168_92 @no168_92 ago

      you're not replying to me right? but fair points though...

      Havoc the Younger @Havoc the Younger ago

      Lol, I'm trying to say I see the points you are making and I was not attacking your character, simply putting you in that situation. If you're offended, I'm sorry you took it that way. And I see you're adamant on holding to logic on a screwed up situation, one where a bandit Lord has more troops AND is a vessel known for being ruthless to all enemies. What we have here is cold blooded thuggery. That is all.

disagreement @disagreement ago

Sad that Zelena is still alive but kind of happy that it does not end her. Wish her a fate worse than death.

Honestly, this is bad for Blacknail. If anyone of the traitors make it back they are going to paint a very bad picture of our hero. Right now they should escape to the green, regroup and kill everyone else. If possible find someone that can vouch for them or everything is going to shit.

We do not want Werrick to have support from the other kingdoms

    Dragrath @Dragrath ago

    It could be that bad but I wouldn't rule out the possibility that some of the smarter nobles having seen through what Werrick is up to, since it is fairly obvious, particuarly those closer to or in favor of Sir Masnin. They would be just as inclined toollowed along with Werrick right now because its their best odds at survival with Sir Masnin's death after all. They will still be a threat to blacknail but once back in safely human lands they would be no friend of Werrick as they ought to find it suspicious the self preclaimed bandit king returned at all.

    So long term support might not necassarily be gaurenteed but yeah Blacknail is in a very shitty position....

Skaaly @Skaaly ago

That cliff ... cry

Thanks for the chapter Wink

Volcrum @Volcrum ago

Hoping Blacknail dies cause he is sooooooooo stupid. OMG im gonna watch as the ONE person who was on my side dies from lack of reinforcements then im shocked they try to kill me???? Borderline brain damaged.

    nf_zeta @nf_zeta ago

    ?? The point was for Blacknail to not fight the dragon, going in to help with just him wouldn't have changed anything, he wasn't on a horse and didn't have range. His hobs also didn't have the amulets to prevent cold because they weren't mounted.

    This isn't a case of Blacknail being stupid so much as the situation was bad for him and Werrick moved first.

random nobody @random nobody ago

The Wolf is actually retarded. Hes killing the only way out of couralis. if werrick kills blacknail how the hell is he going to get back to his territory

    nf_zeta @nf_zeta ago

    He probably underestimates the dangers of the green because Blacknail got them through fairly easily before and there are other hobgoblins to threaten into being guides.

    Frankson @Frankson ago

     

     I mean, if I was The Wolf and my arch nemesis hobgoblin who has been known for killing people suddenly started pressuring me to go on a venture into The Green without my forces along with their highly deadly band of hobgoblins I would not be of the thinking that them being alive is what's going to let me go home safely.