19th of Coldeven 383ONT, 10:45pm Tributary off the River Raitlien, 2 days journey from Caliber Keep AKA Hellrick
The wolfship wound its way down the tributary back towards the Raitlien. Thalion had little trouble guiding it with Flitt acting as bow watch. Tiril huddled with her daughter mid ship speaking in hushed words her in their strange language. Maddax approached the tiller and looked out at the winding river the left in their wake.
“I wanted to again offer my sincerest of thanks,” he said in remarkable elvish his accent was old, that perhaps of Northern Elves, like those who had lived in Morning Glory before the war. “We had plans of escape, but many more of my people would have died in a direct assault… thank you Sir Thalion, to you both…” he added nodded over to Flitt who manned the bow
“I merely did what any would do Sir Maddax” Thalion replied, recalling that many of the northern goblins thought of themselves as knights… he was surprised by the response.
“Just Maddax, I am afraid. I suppose it is right that you should know… I am a fallen knight, my title and rights have been stripped, until such a time as my worthiness can be proven once more”
“If I might ask… what happened? I’ll admit we have not known each other long, but your actions have been more knightly then many humans who have claimed such a title” Maddax looked back at the river and sighed forlornly
“It was about a year ago now, I had only had my title for a few moons, and was rising to prominence within Eltara… my family is an older one, and my skills were in full bloom, I am ashamed to say that my ego had been well and truly enlarged… My father had sent me out, a day’s ride or so east with eight riders, scouts had told us of orcish raiders in the area, and we were to protect a small farm village there and see that the people we safe. I rode in like I was a King from on high, set about designing a watch and preparing defenses, my men would see this town safe or would die trying. Two days passed, but on the third night the orcs attacked, they approached the village, perhaps eight or so of them, mounted on worgs and tried to sack it. My men and I were ready and easily repelled them, killing four and driving off the other four. But as they fled I got to thinking… if I killed them all, they would be unable to hurt anymore farmers… those who are willing to till soil in our country are rare, and must be protected at all costs… so I summoned my men and we gave chase after the worgs, it did not take us long, maybe fifteen twenty minutes to catch them… less than a minute to dispatch of them… but then I saw my folly. These orcs were a distraction, a sacrifice… and while my men and I were gone, the rest of their force descended on the unprotected village… they slaughtered the people, gathered what they wished and set fire to the homes and barns there. We rode back with all haste, but could not catch the orcs, nor bring the fire under control… we lost almost everyone. I spent three days looking for survivors, and burying the dead. I spent another twelve days hunting the orcs down and bringing them to Gabriel’s Justice. Then I returned and reported what had happened to my father and the elders; I was stripped of my knighthood and rank… After nine months of service as a foot soldier I was given a promotion to squad leader and permitted to range on a scouting mission to the south. I had thought a new trade partner and peace might forgive my transgressions… unfortunately I was duped again, this time by Vikar the Black, I have lost several men, our weapons, armor and mounts, and still need to find a way to get them home… I am no knight Sir Thalion… just a goblin in disgrace” the Goblin looked back over the ship where his men rested wrapped in thin blankets, awaiting a call to oars or battle. Thalion followed his gaze for a long time
“Knight or not Maddax, you are an honorable warrior, and can count me among your friends”