"Closure" by CrazyBernie
We reached Vela too late. It was quite the gruesome scene... there were bodies everywhere... well, body parts. As usual, heads were on pikes all over the village. Unlike what they told us in training, the goblins don't appear to eat their victims. They just seem to enjoy tearing them apart. Despite their randomly violent, crazed appearances, they're brutally efficient at killing.
We ran across some survivors in the woods today. Well, a survivor. There was a woman huddled at the base of a large tree, clutching a lifeless child. When we finally got the corpse away from her she went crazy, and stabbed Randall in the eye with a branch. That's going to leave a mark.
Today I was promoted to Corporal. I suspect the promotion had less to do with my performance and more to do with the fact that the previous Corporal's head is mounted on a pike in the goblin camp we left behind. We're running low on health draughts, here's to hoping we can resupply once we reach Aridell.
We had a run-in with a squad of bombthugs, or 'Bomblins', as I like to call them. It was pure carnage. One of the Lieutenants, Daniel, had his legs blown clear off. They don't make a healing draught to fix that. The healers were able to stabilize him, but it may be for naught. He was having delusions, spouting some garbage about getting himself some "magic legs" and getting some "enchanted ship" that would fly him to the moon so he could marry the Goddess Luna herself. He'll be lucky to get captain of a fishing boat, if they can get him a couple of peg-legs!
Damn gobbies got some more of our horses. We're down to a single cavalry squadron. Goblins DO appear to enjoy horse flesh.
There's talk of planning a big attack. Not sure where it’s going to be yet, it might just be a rumor at this point. Anything would be better than sitting around waiting to be ambushed again.
The higher-ups want to try taking back Grimmhold. Supposedly there's been little to no activity there as of late. This might be our chance of actually winning a battle for a change. Even if that win involves strolling in when nobody's home and shouting, "I win!"
Nobody's home, my ass! We lost half a regiment today... damn goblins came out of the wood-work like termites on wet pine! We're sending our last four horses out to either request reinforcements or get the order to retreat. I don't reckon they'll get very far, with the gobbies being as thick as cold syrup.
This will probably be my last entry. I've holed up in some barracks with six other men. I think we're the only survivors. Tomorrow we're going to try to bust out and make a run for it, but I don't really see that happening. We might as well just go out there and start hacking away, since pretty much any way you turn there's a goblin. I had this crazy dream last night:
A figure walked into the Grimmhold compound, I couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman. Goblins where everywhere, even hanging from the ceiling. As soon as they saw the figure, they all howled and attacked at once. It was a crazy sea of green limbs flailing. Well bust my buckle if this lone figure didn't even try to run! He/She just pulled forth a sword just as calm as could be and took up some sort of combat stance. Right as the Goblins where about to reach striking distance, the figure suddenly seemed to blur and start moving faster than I could keep up. All those flailing limbs started flying all over the place. Before long the howls turned to shrieks and the goblins where suddenly scrambling over each other to try to get away from the mysterious person. Not one of them was able to escape though. That figure started throwing balls of fire that burned them right where they stood. Or ran. Something like that. Point is, they were all killed, and the lone figure had not a scratch on him. Or her. I never was able to make out which. I heard a voice say "You will be avenged," and then I woke up.
So the way I see it, if I'm going to be avenged anyway, there isn't much reason in trying to run away, is there? Might as well stick around and take some more of those damned gobbies out with me. It's better than trying to run and get stabbed in the back. Who knows, maybe we can make it to the gates and open them up. If we're really lucky, the reinforcements will show up, but I'm not going to hold my breath for that. If anyone finds this journal, please tell my mother and sisters that I love them. Corporal Oswell Linbard, signing off.
The Garrison Commander closed the journal and placed it on his desk. "Corporal Oswell, was it?" He stood and strode to the window that overlooked the city, hands clasped behind his back. "Kept a damn level head throughout the entire campaign. He would have made a damn fine general someday." He turned to the figure that stood smartly at attention. "You discovered this journal yourself... Lieutenant?"
"Sir, yes sir!" Came the well rehearsed reply.
"At ease Lieutenant. Did we ever receive word from one of those four horsemen they had sent out?"
The lieutenant relaxed a bit. "No Sir, they never arrived. Permission to speak freely, Sir?"
"Let's hear it."
"Well Sir, don't you find it odd how his dream came true?"
"Excuse me Lieutenant?"
"Sir, there were reports of a lone figure leaving the Grimmhold compound shortly before our arrival. When our regiment did arrive, all of the goblins were slain and the gates were wide open. Not a single one of our troops had made it past the first gate, yet the majority of the goblins found dead were on the western side, and in the level below."
"Listen here, Lieutenant. What you just told me is not to leave this garrison. I will not have some baseless rumor circulate about, making our troops look incompetent. The fact of the matter is, whatever goblins where left fled when your regiment arrived. Is that clear?"
The Garrison Commander's eyes narrowed. The skin on this Lieutenant’s face was too smooth, even for an officer. "Lieutenant, I haven't seen your face around here before."
"With all due respect, there have been quite a few promotions in light of recent conditions."
At the lack of an honorific, the steel gaze moved north toward the yellow locks. "Lieutenant, is that mop on your head regulation length?"
The lieutenant snapped back to full attention. "Sir, to the millimeter Sir!"
The Garrison Commander relaxed a bit. "That will be all, Lieutenant. See to it that Oswell gets the full burial due to his rank of Lieutenant. His family will receive his remaining salary plus an additional year’s worth. And find someone to give that journal of his to his mother."
"It will be an honor, Sir." The officer's blue eyes sparkled.