Rated G. Contains not necessarily overlapping groups of heroes and good guys.
by Jim C. Hines
“I’ve never seen a goblin infant,” said the elf, stepping closer.
“You thought goblins sprang fully formed from the rocks for you to slaughter?” She jammed a knuckle into Jig’s mouth for him to suck. His baby fangs were just beginning to pierce the gums, but the pain in her finger was better than listening to him cry.
“We slaughtered nobody.” The voice came from below the outcropping. The elf relaxed his bow and knelt, hauling his companion up onto the ledge. “You goblins attacked us. We defended ourselves.”
Grell stepped to the edge and studied the woods below. Goblin blood turned the earth a gruesome shade of blue. Elves wove through the trees, making no noise save the twang of bowstrings and the ripping sound of blades tearing through goblin armor and flesh. “Defended yourselves? Next time, why don’t you defend yourselves over in the hobgoblin tunnels rather than sneaking onto our land to do it?”
The archer caught his companion by the arm. “She’s an old woman, Jonathan. With a child.”
“She’s a goblin, Rindar.” But he relaxed slightly. He was bulkier than his companion, and the mane of red hair meant he was no elf. Red stubble dotted his chin, though he was too young to grow a proper beard. He wore a heavy mail shirt, with a green tabard depicting a white dragon coiled around a tree. “If we let her live, she’ll lead another attack against us.”
Grell kicked the corpse of the goblin drummer. “If you let me live, I’ll go back to the nursery and get some sleep.”
“I won’t risk letting you go free,” said Jonathan. “Not until my quest is complete.”