Tale of the Imperium: The Night Wyrth Crannog Burned

The Holstavo’s Runner neared the docks at Wyrth Crannog. It was one of the ships that had left Dhaman shortly before the city fell to the forces of the Kovar Tellris. The all goblin crew had cast off with a minimal amount of supplies. Captain Moretto had stopped before at the crannog and knew he could stock there with supplies to get him down the river and into Solvestra.

The sailor in the crow’s nest called down when he sighted the first of the buildings of the crannog. The pilot began to steer the ship in towards one of the new docks. The deckhands prepared to toss lines to the dock workers, but as the ship neared they noticed there were no dock workers to be seen. The first arrow struck the goblin in the crow’s nest, driving him from his precarious position at the top of one of the masts, the body hitting the deck with a sick wet thud.

Before the crew could recover from the sight of their crewmate’s death, a rain of arrows came down upon the deck. The arrows found their marks and deckhands dropped; the deck of the Runner became littered with the dead bodies of the goblin crew. The pilot called down to the crew below deck before an arrow silenced him. The quartermaster of the ship knew that going on deck was a sure death, but with the ship not moving and quite close to the dock, the remaining sailors were just dead men waiting for their end.

A few tense seconds past before the quartermaster heard sounds that chilled him to the bone. Jars were smashing against the deck and the sides of the ship. He knew in his heart that those were jars of oil or pitch and with a flaming arrow or bolt; the ship would before a flaming trap. He would be damned if he was going to die cowering below deck. He roused the crew to die like heroes and with short swords and crossbows in hand, the crew popped up on the deck.

Arrows rained down on the crew as they ran for the deck rail, some made it to the rail only to be shot through as they made to leap to the dock. The quartermaster kept calling to the crew until he saw the angry red of the flaming arrow coming towards the deck. He gritted his teeth as he knew his life was going to end, but made his way to the pilot’s position. Taking the tiller, he pulled the lever and set the ship to move towards the docks. He’d take some of them with him.

From the docks, the humans and their allies saw quickly that the goblin ship was going to ram the docks. They’d done their job and there was no point in dying. They slipped back from the docks and into the other buildings of the crannog. The burning ship careened into the docks and the fire began to spread.

As the evening fell, the fire began to spread from the docks to the other buildings. Mael and Issa were soaked in sweat as they help with bucket brigades. From the darkness, Kovan Myst came walking. He was drenched in blood. He reached up to wipe gore from his face. Mael and Issa stopped and gave a questioning glance.

“Kovetto and his goblins…they’re the arsonists. I found a fire ship at the docks. That looks like the start of the fire. I’ve told you they were going to turn on us. First the murders and now these fires…give me permission to run the goblins off.” The head of the defense force said.

Mael looked to Issa and just couldn’t believe that Kovetto would be behind this. Issa, tears welling in her eyes, “Kovan, do you have proof?” The lady was hoping for either full proof or for him to admit it was just a hunch. “Kovetto is missing as are most of his people. Isn’t that proof enough? If this wasn’t them, why aren’t they here helping us?”

In the goblin quarter, squads of humans in service to Kovan were finishing up what could only be called slaughter. While the fire was burning near the river, Kovan’s forces had snuck into the quarter and began the slaughter. The bodies were being dumped off the platforms, with Kovan making sure to track down Kovetto himself, killing him. One of his men came up to him before Kovan departed to go help with the fire by the river, holding a young goblin by the scruff of the neck. “You said to bring you one of the gobos.” The soldier said. “Yes, good…little goblin, you are going to live. And you are going to live to go to your mongrel kingdom and tell them that the humans will not accept their rule. Tell your clan council that Wyrth Crannog is not theirs and never will be.”

The fire was nearly out when Kovan returned to his quarters. He locked his door and went to a locked chest. Opening it he pulls out a stone, he says a word and the stone crackles with sounds. “My duke, it is done. Wyrth Crannog is cleansed. The goblins are blamed. We will welcome Elmsfjord.” The stone crackled and a voice comes back. “Your duke is pleased. Do you think Mael and Issa will go along with you? If not, execute them as well.” He smiled, as he was already planning that regardless. “As you wish Your Grace.”

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