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by Del S

Chapter 1 (2007)
Chapter 2 (2007)
Chapter 3 (2007)
Chapter 4 (2007)
Chapter 5 (2007)
Chapter 6 (2007)
Chapter 7 (2007)
Chapter 8 (2007)

Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hero Shield.

The Black Mage surveyed the lines of defences. Bags of grain forming one outer wall, biscuit tins, overturned carts and more sacks forming an inner redoubt surrounding the church, and bundles of arrows positioned along the lines. A red line held the outer walls, and the officers moved around, ensuring each point was covered. The ultimate plan for the last stand was that the men would hold the church.

'Do you think they'll hold?' The Warrior asked.

'It is not a question of them holding, but of the Goblins failing to breach the defences. This will require luck as well as the skills of Chard and Bromhead in defence,' The Black Mage replied.

'And with our aid?' The Black Belt asked.

The Black Mage did not respond.


'Sheesh, those heroes are boring,' said Private Hook, looking out the hospital window. He and Private Hitch were in this room, and another 8 wounded or ill men lay in beds or sitting at tables cleaning their arrows.

Hook was assigned to the hospital specifically to defend it and lead the three other fit soldiers there, because the spare NCO's were all incompetent berks like Corporal Allens or Sergeant 'Megafone' Kelly. Hitch himself was only not an NCO because of poor luck on his part, every CO he was under was killed or otherwise removed by ill luck and replaced with an underling who without fail promoted his mates.

'And the people in here aren't?' asked Private Hitch.

'Oh, they have character, at least...'

'And names with more than six characters!' a man in a bed interrupted.

'...Such as Sergeant Fourthwall there. He babbles on and on to a script no one knows but him and god.'

'We're in the third chapter and the lazy bugger's only just introducing the secondary characters!' Fourthwall babbled.

'And there's Billy Boils. Got pus today, Billy?'

'Yep, three boils on me backside, but don't tell the surgeon...'

The White Mage entered.

'I heard someone say boils. Who was it?'

Billy tried to lie but within seconds he was screaming as she lanced the boils. With a hammer.

'...Well, Hooky, SHE'S not boring,' Hitch said.

'No, Hitch, she's terrifying.'


In the outhouse, the priest was raving.

'Death approaches! A torrent of aaargh aaargh aaargh pain approaches to stab you in the eyes and steal your teeth! From your wallets they will recover pictures of your wives and sweethearts and head round their houses and steal their panties!'

'They'd have trouble stealing Corporal Bass's sweetheart's panties. He's that way,' Sergeant Bourne said.

'That is a sin before god! Man shall not lie with - '

'Any more than six women at once, I know, sah.'

'...Wait, what?'

'Never mind that and be quiet, sir, you're tempting the lads.'

'Tempting them to what?'

'Stab you. As usual, reverend.'


Meanwhile, on the hill, the sentries saw something.

'Horde of zombies, horde of African tribesmen, horde of tyranids, horde of thingies... No Goblins.'

Suddenly, the distant sound of whooping and clanging metal.

'That sounds like them. We should warn the camp. We'll wave!'


'Sentries on the hill waving, sah!' Bourne yelled.

'Good, have they indicated how close the Goblins are?' Bromhead asked.

'Not yet sah... Oh, wait, there we go, they're running down the hill, sah... Followed by a tide of goblins... I think the Goblins might be here, sah...'

'Well, really?' Chard mused.


The two privates ran, and the Black Belt ran forth, leapt the redoubt, and was followed by a few soldiers. The small band ran towards the tide of Goblins, as the two sentries ran away.

The Black Belt punched a Goblin, and kicked at another, as the five solders plus sentries began to fire at the goblins with some help from the north wall. The Black Belt kicked and punched, hurling Goblins through the air, before he had the five others flee back to the redoubt. For some reason. Every other Goblin had stopped to watch this, as the Black Belt leapt back behind his lines

'North wall, form ranks of archers, fire on my mark!' Chard yelled as the horde moved again.

The troops did so. The Goblins halted, and also formed ranks.

'...What are they doing?' Bromhead asked.

The Black Mage walked over.

'They're copying you,' he replied.


'Because they're incredibly stupid. Have your rear rank fire first but have the first rank duck then stand up once they fire.

Bromhead issued those orders. A dozen goblins fell. They reformed rank, and their rear rank fired...

...the entire Goblin front rank all seemed to give a small squeak and shudder for a moment, before falling forward with arrows sticking from the back of their heads.

The Warrior cursed as the Orcoids* retreated after this Britishesque cockup.

'What's wrong?' Chard enquired.

'This was a feint. The Goblin leader was merely testing our bows!'

'I think he's found they work quite well so long as your men aren't in the way,' Bromhead pointed out.

'I mean numbers. Now he knows he outnumbers us.'

'He knew this before, surely?' Chard enquired.

'He's a goblin,' The Black Mage interjected. 'He can't count and needs some sort of physical sign to determine things like this.'

'Oh right. Not like Elves, who can count how many arrows you have, or Dwarves, who don't care because inevitably it won't stop them biting your legs orf,' Bromhead realised.

'You can't compare them to anything. A goblin is a small, smelly, vicious creature with no brains and a ruthless streak a mile long, and occasional bursts of cunning,' The White Mage reminded them.

'Really? Have you ever met a peasant, ma'am?'

'Game bird, big feathers, a bit posh?'

'That's a pheasant. '

'...Whatever,' she responded.

'Hang on, Squall didn't have tits... Unless you count Zell and Irvine.'


*Probably not a real word.
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy I
Version 6
©1997–2019 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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