Select Page
Goblin King 1600-2400


by R. Michael Card

Epic Fantasy
January 2014

No Goblin has been able to unite the warring tribes in more than one hundred years. Yet more and more evidence suggests a new Goblin King is gathering the tribes in the east for a war on the Seven Kingdoms of Man.

Eight heroes gather to face this new threat, one champion from each of the Seven Kingdoms and their guide through the wilds of the east. Farion Quin, Knight Captain of Lorest, is far from being the strongest, or fastest, or most experienced of the group, and he fears he may be the loose thread that unravels this secret quest.

But soon enough the hordes of Goblins are upon them, and there is no more room for fear, for to fail means death and the fall of the Seven Kingdoms.




Farion kicked his warhorse, Storm, into a full gallop and lowered his lance.

At a quick count, there were twelve goblins in the raiding party. Patchwork armor covered their gray, uneven skin. They wielded a variety of rusted weapons. He smiled under the cold metal of his helm.

This should be fun.

The creatures shrieked and ran at him. Their small, sunken black eyes gazed fury from blunt, gnarled faces.

His lance took a goblin full in the chest, but the angle was wrong, too low. With the force of his charge and the dying foe, he released the weapon as it drove into the ground.

Not a problem; he didn’t need his lance to kill these abominations. Reaching over his shoulder, he drew his broadsword from his back. In one smooth motion he lopped the head from another of the creatures as he completed his first pass. The blows of the others glanced off his armor and Storm’s barding.

He swung Storm around, aiming to catch the milling goblins unawares with a quick second pass. They formed up quickly though, one of them clearly giving orders in their guttural language.

Farion paused. This was new. In all his past run-ins with goblins, if there had been a leader or any sense of discipline or organization, he hadn’t seen it.

He hesitated a moment longer. Something else was wrong. It came to him in a rush: armor. He’d fought a few raiding parties of goblins before and never had they worn armor. He didn’t think they needed it since their skin was unnaturally tough, their bones like iron. Not that this group had particularly good armor. It looked like it was ill-fitting, scrounged or plundered from others. Only two of them had any sort of helm. The rest were uniformly bald, their ashen, lumpy scalps showing.

Armor or no, he had an obligation to take care of such invaders. He kicked Storm and swept in, sword flashing in the sun. The goblins parted, forgoing any attack. He nicked one, only from the length of his blade, but did little harm.

Storm cried out, bucking suddenly.

Farion turned in the saddle to see two goblins trying desperately to keep the hold they’d acquired on Storm’s saddle and barding. Reversing his blade, he struck at each of them, wounding both enough that they let go. He rode a short distance away before turning back to the raiders.

The group was approaching slowly, warily.

The fact that they had any sort of strategy concerned him. This was not typical goblin behavior. Perhaps the news of a new goblin king was true.

He stopped to consider his situation. They wouldn’t be letting him charge through them again and again; they’d get out of the way as they had this time. He couldn’t leave them be. As a knight of Lorest he had a duty to the people of the realm and there was a small village not far from here that wouldn’t fare so well against even just a few of these creatures. There were two goblins down and three more wounded.

He could just wade into them and have at it…

Since no better plan came to him, he decided to do just that.

First, he made sure to lure them just a bit further away from the wounded ones, ensuring those few wouldn’t be a part of the fight. Then he kicked Storm and rode right into them. They were expecting him to do another pass and separated at the command from their leader. He turned Storm to the side and reined him in as he got to the group, slashing at the same time. His blade shuddered from the force of the blow against the creature’s tough bones and hide, but the creature went down, unmoving.

Only six to go.

Once he’d stopped in their midst, though, they swarmed over him. Battle-fury filled their beady eyes as they screeched in glee, their sharpened, yellowed fangs flashing.

Another blow of his broadsword felled one more, bouncing off the thing’s hard skull.

So enraged were they, that some forgot their weapons in favor of their naturally long, razor-like claws, which raked over his armor and Storm’s barding. Yet others had kept their weapons. He blocked two blows from rusted swords, but felt another hack through his greave, marking his calf beneath. He cut another down before spurring Storm to get him out of there.

This time, none had managed to clamber onto the horse, and he spun around for another pass.

Time for a little trickery.

With only four left, this should work.

He charged then loosened his boots in the stirrups and, as he got to the goblins, gave a command for Storm to rear.

The well-trained warhorse stopped instantly and kicked out with his weapon-like front hooves. As Storm rose, Farion pushed himself backward out of the saddle and landed behind the horse easily.

“Attack,” he said, and Storm continued to flail at the enemy as Farion came out from behind the warhorse, blade ready.

One more of the gray-skinned creatures fell before they realized Farion was on foot. They charged in, but with only three remaining the battle was soon decided. Goblins might have been tough as hardened steel but they lacked training, which Farion had an abundance. He backed off, blocking their flurry of attacks, waiting for his opening.

There it was. Stepping in with two quick strokes, only one remained.

The last, the leader — who’d been calling out the orders until now — fled. Farion remounted Storm and ran the goblin down with ease.

He was breathing hard as he went about cleaning up this mess, ensuring each of the abominations was truly dead.

He shook his head as he looked at the scattered gray bodies marring the long green grasses of the Lorestin Plains. Goblins were trouble enough, so damned tough and furious. If they managed to get any sort of discipline, any decent training…

If the histories were to be believed, with a goblin king that’s exactly what would happen. There would be a well-trained and organized force of these nasty creatures. Heaven help the Seven Kingdoms if so.

He sighed out a long breath, hoping it wouldn’t come to that, and went to retrieve his lance.

The weapon had cracked from the force of that one strike and was useless.

Another sigh escaped as Farion grimaced. He hated making new lances; that was what squires were for. He mounted and continued on his way, keeping an eye out for suitable trees from which to make a new lance. He’d have lots of time to find one. He was nearing the edge of the Lorestin Plains and was still a good two days from his destination, which was well within the Everrun Forest. There’d be lots of trees to select from there.

As he rode that day, he prayed to any god that would listen that this rumor of a goblin king was only that. The foul creatures hadn’t had a king in over a hundred years. Yet with the increased raids over the last few months and how organized they were becoming, Farion was starting to have a really bad feeling about what lay ahead.