Wednesday 19 June 2013

Goblin Mire - a quote

This is a section from near the beginning of my novel where we are first introduced to its unlikely hero, Mickle Gorsestab:

Muddy brown eyes watched the Elves as they rode into the mire, muddy brown eyes that blinked with an unnatural slowness as the old but cunning brain behind them took in what they saw.
     Elves meant danger. And Mickle Gorsestab, ancient even for a Goblin, had not survived for as long as he had in this cold, hard world without learning this. His maternal grandfather, Ogbad Scarbladder, a shield-bearer for the Goblin-king, Ludblat the Second, was killed by Elves; his head hacked off and rammed on the end of a pole as a trophy of war, to be carried in triumph to their capital, Cyramon. Mickle lowered his head amongst the reeds, his warty skin so dark he had no fear of being seen by the distant Elves, though the sunlight flashing from their silvered armour hurt his eyes.
     For a moment more the old Hobgoblin watched the Elves as their horses splashed through the reeds, then turned his head away from them. Elves could be crossing the mire for many reasons. They could be heading for the Jagged Mountains to the north. Or west towards the Misty Sea. Or east to the Grasslands. Or, Mickle thought, his thick lips drooped in a ferocious scowl, they could be hunting Goblins. His snag teeth ground like old millstones as he thought of this; without hesitation he reached for the snakeskin hilt of his sword. If Elves were here to kill his kin they would find their sport more dangerous than they expected. Many years had passed since they defeated his race at the Battle of Sundered Hill, when the last Goblin king was killed. Since those dark days the Goblin folk had grown numerous again - and all but lost their fear for the proud, all-conquering Elves. One thing they had never lost - nor ever would, he knew - was their hatred. Oh, no! Mickle ground his teeth harder till they threatened to break. They had never lost their hatred.
     Lurching, with an oath growling like a threat between his lips, the Goblin forced his way through the reeds as fast as his bowlegged gait would allow.

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