“Tell me again why he’s stuffing his face full of our provisions,” moaned Tumbor.
“Look at the waif,” explained Fraevon. “There was more meat on those rabbit I caught.”
“The poor thing obviously hasn’t eaten properly for quite some time,” added Yulien.
The boy looked up, his mouth full bread.
“He fed me,” he paused whilst swallowing so as to speak more freely. “He fed me a meal a day for work in the stable, and I tried to save bits for through the day, but the rats would steal it. I went to buy some more with the coin you gave me, but he accused me of stealing from the customers and took it from me, and so I left and….”
“You followed, saw an opportunity and instinctively acted upon it,” finished Jax. “You may accompany us to Greshfell. You should have no trouble finding employ there.”
The boy’s eyes became full of terror, and he stopped eating as if something in Jax’s words had awoken a past nightmare. He scurried backwards dropping what was left of his gifted food in the sodden mud.
“What is it boy?” asked Fraevon as the frightened lad backed into his legs almost knocking him to the ground.
“No one goes to Greshfell freely.”
“Why not?” asked Jax standing and following the boy’s clamour to get away.
“Goblins! Survivors say they were fleeing a terror of their own, and Gresfell was in their path. It fell easily and is now a goblin refuge.”
“Goblins!” exclaimed Tumbor excitedly, momentarily stopping from wiping the mud from the discarded food. “Then we shall most definitely be headed onward.”
“Do the survivors speak of how many?” asked Fraevon.
“I’d be more inclined to know as to what makes an entire goblin settlement abandon their home and flee,” said Jax still stalking the boy.
“Hundreds,” replied the boy. “Maybe close to a thousand. But I know not of what they flee.”
Rohlen interjected the conversation for the first time, having been sat silently watching proceedings.
“The goblin have many enemy, but I know of only one that causes them to flee in terror, rather than courageously, or foolishly, fight to the death.” He paused for dramatic effect, or to see if anyone else know that of which he spoke. Everyone except his sister remained silent, waiting. She broke the silence,