The Tale of the Goblin King

The goblin king didn’t always thirst for the slime of eyeballs, sliding down his throat, pierced by his long claws.

Once, the goblin king was no king. He lurked in the ranks of the goblin plebeians, toiling under the cruel rule of King Ragnor. Each day brought smoke and toil for hours upon hours; he worked creating gold statues of his royal majesty. The gold was stolen from humans, whose blood was often shed to obtain it.

But one day, the goblin who would become king began his day by traveling to the mountain’s surface. He sought to retrieve the gold for his day’s work. A new statue had been ordered; one of Ragnor triumphant in battle over his most recent rival, Zomedea. Zomedea’s allies had been few, and the uprising barely reached the king before she and her fighters were slaughtered.

This day, as our goblin went to work, his mind was on Zomedea’s failures. But when he came to the surface of the mountain, waiting for the delivery trolls, they did not come. Instead, a copper head emerged from the rocks. A human woman clothed in a dark dress brandished the sack holding the goblin’s gold.

“It is mine,” she said hoarsely, and as she spoke blood shook from her body and her weapons. “But I come to make an offer.”

The goblin drew his knife and bared his teeth, but as he did she brought forth a smoking, circular device.

“I hold the power of the gods,” she hissed. “For I have split the atom, and if you kill me now your mountain will fall.

“I seek to destroy King Ragnor… he has killed my brothers,” and the words oozed from her throat. “If you will help me, take me to one who is a worthy rival, to lead your brothers to victory against Ragnor.”

The goblin’s mouth stretched in a cruel imitation of a smile, and he responded, “That one is me.”

The princess was loath to believe him, and to test him she threw the troll who should have brought the bag of gold: it was sliced up and barely stirring. She commanded the goblin, “Destroy it.”

The goblin had no qualms about killing the troll; he found other beings repulsive and thirsted blood’s taste. But he hardly trusted this human, and he lunged for her. She was caught off-guard and fell, but as he sliced at her ankles she threw her strange ball, and it smashed into the side of the rock.

The ensuing explosion would have killed him had he not shielded himself behind the troll’s barely living body. Though the princess watched gleefully, unharmed, pieces of the mountain crashed past the goblin, lurking behind the troll carcass.

When the dust had settled, the two stood and faced each other.

“What you saw was the least of my power,” she revealed. “That was gunpowder. I had no wish to die today.”

That day cemented the alliance between the goblin and the princess. There was much animosity towards Ragnor in the mountain kingdom, and the two grew an army through trickery and coercion until the day came for Ragnor to die.

The goblin knew the human could easily win the battle. Nonetheless, the two had decided goblins would begin the uprising, making Ragnor and his peons suspect nothing more than something like Zomedea’s pitiful attempt.

And so the fight began. Goblins roared, blades crashed and the mountain echoed with the sounds of vicious death. The goblin sighted Ragnor high at the mountain’s peak, hissing as he slashed away attackers. The goblin fought his way to Ragnor, who he sought to kill before the princess landed her “nuclear power,” which he only understood would kill Ragnor’s allies.

The goblin reached Ragnor as he was turning away from a conquered foe, and both sounded their battle cries. Neither could draw blood from the other until the goblin lunged too far in a slice for Ragnor’s leg. He slipped, and found himself clinging to only the edge of the mountain. Below his dangling feet, the battle raged.

Ragnor leered over him, grinning. “Goodbye, my servant,” he hissed, leaning in close. His face was inches from the goblin’s.

And that was as far as it needed to be for this goblin to open his jaw and sink his jagged teeth deeply into Ragnor’s eyes, a stronghold to pull himself up by. Ragnor’s eyes were ripped apart as the goblin did so, and the sudden flesh slid down his throat, renewing the goblin’s strength.

The tyrant cried out – his pitiful last act – before the goblin who was now king threw Ragnor off the cliff, all the way down the mountain.

“Your king is dead!” he bellowed, standing atop the mountain, looking down into it. The battle dimmed as Ragnor was seen falling, ripped and ruined, past all who fought. “Long live the king!”

The clamoring yells of those below had just begun when the goblin king heard something much heavier than Ragnor falling, and the world ended in a flash of light and the sound of death. Screams and bodies ripped into pieces flew past him as the goblin king was knocked away from the mountain.
The goblin king awoke on shards of rock and gold. When he looked up, the sky was empty.

The mountain was destroyed, but the princess stood above him, covered now in streaks of blood and grinning as mercilessly as a goblin.
“It is done,” she said, “I have destroyed your king and your people… now only you remain.”

The goblin king struggled to rise, to enact revenge, but he was pinned beneath the fallen pieces of the mountain.

The princess leaned in, and blood dripped from her hair as she whispered, “Live. Tell others of how I have destroyed the goblin race.”

But she, like Ragnor, drew too close… the goblin king ripped her eye from its socket and she screamed, pulling away. While the goblin king still could not move, he watched vindictively as the princess stumbled, still shrieking and clutching her face.

A residual avalanche tumbled down at that moment, separating the princess and the goblin. But her face was forever frozen into his mind. To this day, he lives vengefully, taking eyes from those he encounters and eating them, savoring the taste. Someday, he has vowed, the goblins will rise again. Until then and forevermore, he remains king of the goblins.

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