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Flash Fiction Friday ~ By the Blade of a Barbarian, Pt. 3


If you aren’t caught up on Gortha’s tale, you can find previous work here:

Part 1
Part 2

For the first time since anyone present could remember, the Griffons and Black Ravens fought together, side by side.

The swarm of goblins boiled out from amidst the trees of Lurkwood, howling and waving their rusty weapons before them. Gortha’s experience fighting them had given her the ability to understand most of their tongue. She was determined to put her knowledge to the test before the day was done. The loyal Raven would find out the truth of the sudden resurgence of goblin raids.

Her greatsword cleaved through into one creature in front of her, and Gortha used the same movement to slice into another within range. Goblin warriors fell all around her, cut down by both her tribe and the Griffons. She paused for a moment, struck by a sudden realization.

Her kin fought ferociously and without remorse, but they killed cleanly, giving the creatures a quick death. In stark contrast, their “friends” murdered the goblins eagerly and often cruelly, cutting off limbs or dealing nonlethal but extremely painful damage before ending their lives with a thrust to the lungs so they would drown in their own blood or with a long-lasting gut wound.

Her disgust for the actions of the other tribe grew every second she watched. Then, she noticed a pair of shadows just within the treeline. By their small and squat shapes, she assumed they were a cowardly couple of goblins. While she watched, however, one lifted a hand toward a trio of Ravens fighting alongside each other and making quick work of their opponents. Flames erupted from the ground beneath them, setting the yellow grass alight as well as their clothing.

A shaman! Gortha thought, fear making her heart race. Her burning kinsmen screamed and leapt out of the area of effect, rolling in the dirt. Before they could rise again, half a dozen goblins got to them and silenced their cries forever.

Anger drowned out the fear. Lifting her sword, Gortha charged toward the spellcaster, screaming for strength:

“TEMPUS!”

Unfortunately for them, the pair of goblins didn’t see her coming until her sword sliced the head off of the scraggly shaman.

The other goblin shrieked and tried to run, but Gortha’s iron-toed boot cut his legs from under him. He screamed as she loomed over him. Speaking in his tongue, she snarled, “You friend with Griffons?”

He looked confused. She lifted him by the scruff of his neck and pointed at the battling Griffon chief.

“You friend with Griffon chief?”

The goblin shook his head. “He not friend. No way no how.”

Gortha’s disappointment almost overwhelmed her, but the creature continued.

“He chase us and kill us and torture us until we run. We run, and he follow, make us run to your tribe. Then you tribe kill us and chase us.”

A sharp pain at the back of her skull drowned out her sudden excitement with unconsciousness.

Flash Fiction Friday –By the Blade of a Barbarian Pt. 2


(If you haven’t read Part 1 in the Fiction Series, please take a look and get caught up on Gortha’s adventure! By the Blade of a Barbarian, Part 1

“You had something to do with this attack!” her chief was shouting when she jogged up, Jorgran following close behind. Gortha could see that things were getting heated. Her people were restless, responding to the anger in their chief.

The chief of the Griffons stood just across the way with his own people, his arms folded over his bare chest and his expression smug.

“We did not attack you, Raven. We came from our nest to be sure you were well.” The Griffon chief spread his beefy arms wide, grinning.

“Do not pretend. Your tricks are well-known to the Black Ravens,” Gortha’s chief snarled. His followers echoed the sound, slapping blades and blunt weapons against their palms or shields. “Why did you come if not to attempt our destruction while we fight off our foes?”

“Nay, we have come to offer our aid.” Gortha’s mouth fell open, and the rest of her tribe fell silent.

“Your… aid.” Her chief’s voice was flat and disbelieving.

“Indeed.”

“What would you get out of your offer of aid?” Gortha spoke up. Her chief looked sideways at her, promising a lecture on speaking out of turn later, but she had given a valid point, so he let it pass without protest.

“I am sure we can come up with an agreement should you accept.”

Gortha could see her chief considering the proposal, but she had a forboding feeling that their alliance would last only until the ruthless Griffons saw an opening. The hilt of her sword was slick in her palm while she worried for the safety of her people. Something had to be done to mitigate the inevitable clash of clans.

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