Living Weapons Part 1&2

"I think we should cut them up into tiny little bits, and feed their flesh to their offspring! Buahahahaha!"

"I don't know why you would lower yourself to using that psychopath of a sword when magik is obviously the more elegant solution."

"I'm not saying we can't fight, but avoiding a problem can be the same as winning one..."

"I'm with the shoes on this one. I don't have to protect you if you never put yourself in harm's way."

I sighed, rubbing my hand over my face in exasperation. "They're just measly little goblins. As much as I hate to say it, I don't think this is nearly important enough to use magic. I'm with the sword this time...er...except for the bit about cannibalism. That's pretty messed up."

"Fine, fine," hissed the sword, "I didn't want to have fun today anyway. But I do get to cut them up, right? I get to drink their blood?"

"Sociopath," whispered the boots.

"Coward," hissed the sword.

"I suppose you're right, Henry. These low-level creatures aren't worthy of my mighty magiks," the spell book's voice was deep and pleasing as always.

"Right, so we're all in agreement then?" I asked.

"I still think running away is the better option, not that anyone cares what I think..."

"You're right, nobody cares what you think," the sword interjected.

In rough agreement, I stalked into the mouth of the cave. Lichen coated the walls in thick layers; claw marks could be seen carved into the stone.

"Not that I expect you lot would understand this, but goblins carve primitive symbols in the walls of their caves to warn away other goblin clans. The marks we just passed weren't just claw marks, they announced that a goblin clan is in residence here," the book somehow managed to sound like its non-existent nose was held high in the air.

"Blood, blood, blood," chanted the sword.

"If that's true, then they might be dangerous. We should leave. If we turn back now, we can use my enchantment to get us back to town in twenty minutes!" the boots attempted and failed to sound cheerful.

"We are committed now, and I intend to protect our master from all harm! They will break their claws upon my face."

As we walked, the smell of urine, feces, and worse assailed my nose. A small symbol appeared in the corner of my vision—a flashing nose which read: 'Horrid smell debuff -2 to perception'

"Blood, blood, blood," chanted the sword.

The shield wailed in fury, activating its ability to dismiss all status debuffs. In a flash of light, the debuff vanished. I swore loudly and unimaginatively, "What the hell did you do that for? I don't need perception, I'm not an archer!"

The shield whimpered, "I'm sorry...I just didn't want you to suffer. I couldn't imagine if anything happened to you."

I sighed, "It's fine, but now I'm vulnerable to poison attacks. I'll need to use magic to cure any status I get in the future."

To add insult to injury, the bad smell debuff came back less than a minute later.

"Blood, blood, blood," chanted the sword.

We stepped out into a large, open cavern; I could see dozens of goblins milling about in loose formations, patrolling the caves. Beyond them, I could see what looked to be hundreds of sleeping figures around multiple campfires. My blood went cold.

"I...I think we should run," said the boots.

"Blood, blood, blood," chanted the sword.

"I tend to agree with the boots on this one guys, and shut up with the blood thing. You're creeping me out."

I turned to retreat from the cave—this would need a subjugation squad from the Empire. There was no way we'd be able to take them all down by-

"Use my magiks boy! We can slay the entire host of goblins by ourselves—we will be legendary!"

All at once, every non-sleeping eye in the cavern turned to look at me, standing at the entrance to their cave.

"Shit," I said.

"Blood, blood, blood!" chanted the sword.

I turned away from the mass of goblins, activating the boots' ability to increase my speed by one-hundred percent. I launched from where I'd been standing in a flash, speeding through the cave as quickly as I could manage. I swore again as I saw a massive group of goblins emerge from a fork in the cave.

"Oh, fuck me," I said, hearing the loud cacophony of goblin speak and hundreds of tiny feet slapping against the rocky floor of the cave.

"Looks like we're doing this!" I yelled, pulling the spell book up from the chain which dangled at my side.

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" the book practically screamed in pleasure as I flicked to the spell labeled 'Fireball'. I raised my hand to the group in front of me, chanting the arcane words which would incinerate the mass of goblin flesh. "Inferni, volcana, erupti!" A blazing ball of brilliant flame exploded from my hand into the wall of green skin. Flesh melted from bones, a thunderclap of power resounded throughout the cave. To my dismay, I felt the earth tremble and watched in horror as the mouth of the cave crumbled and shattered.

I was sealed in.

Wiping dust from my eyes, I turned to face the threat behind me. "Quickly boy, use flash of light!" the book broke through the grinding noise of the collapse.

I did as it asked, closing my eyes and using the cantrip, "Illuminae!" A stunning flash of light lit the cave as dozens of screeching voices split the air. I drew the sword and charged into the group of stunned goblins, my eyes still held tightly shut against the light. I counted down from three as I ran, opening my eyes as I hit one. The light vanished as suddenly as it came, the goblins were in various states of pain, holding their eyes and screaming.

I cleaved into the group of goblins, the sword singing a song of ecstasy with every cleaving swing. Blood, thick and red, clung to the blade spraying out in great showers.

"Bahahahaha! Die, die, die, die!" the sword screamed.

I felt my shield jerk forward of its own accord, blocking a rusty blade which had been destined for my side. The blade bounced harmlessly off its golden face. I reacted by slamming the shield into the nose of the tiny monster, breaking it in another spray of blood.

I felt a sharp pain explode in my left leg—a goblin I had nearly cut in two smiled in a rictus, stabbing savagely into my flesh as it died. I swore, the shield cried out in rage and impotent fury. I staggered back, parrying strikes with my sword, and batting away cautious swings from the now nervous goblins.

I pulled a scroll from my rucksack, keeping my shield leveled forward against the tide of goblins.

The book sneered as I handled the scroll, "You turn to that whore of arcana?! You degrade my name!"

"Shut up! Your spells are just too powerful for this narrow-" I was cut off as I was forced to deflect a stone which had been hurled by a particularly clever goblin. I unfurled the scroll and hastily wiped a line of blood from my leg into the activator rune. Tossing the scroll into the air, I ducked behind the shield and activated its barrier effect. A dome of light surrounded me as a wave of flame flooded the chamber; I was rewarded by the piercing screams of seared goblins.

I took advantage of the momentary reprieve to unstopper a purple phial, draining down its contents in one hearty gulp. I could feel my flesh knitting together, and my vitality returning in steady bursts. I dropped the barrier and charged forward, my speed still enhanced by my boots.

After a grueling five minutes, I managed to dispatch the last of the goblin party, their screams apparently stemming the tide of reinforcements.

"That. Was. Delicious." The sword practically purred in contentment.

"That was terrifying, please don't do that again. We can use my stealth enchantment to try and sneak out of here..."

The book scoffed, "Sneak away from goblins? We are powerful enough to win out against this horde. In times past, I belonged to great and powerful arch-mages, to those who could wield the powers of aetheria, weaving their powers into grand tapestries of magik."

"And our lad here isn't an arch-mage, you trumped-up dictionary. Listen, we can't be taking unnecessary risks. You agree with me right, Henry?" the shield's voice reverberated ominously throughout the tunnel.

I sat down against the wall of the cave, breathing heavily. "We should at least try stealth. We may be able to find a way out of here which doesn't require me fighting my way through the entire mountain of goblins," I paused, listening to a distant drumming. I knew what that sound was; a magical recording of it had been played for every guild class.

A goblin King.

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