G.G.S.3: The Gremlin’s Crime (Part 1)

Many gnomes, and members of other species agree that a morning is a fresh, new start and is a good beginning for a day.  Godrick thought these people were loonies.

What creature on earth would wrench themselves willingly from a place as comfortable as their own bed, in their own home?

A gnome with a job to attend to, he reminded himself.

As Godrick got up, his metallic colored hair fell to his shoulders, and his slightly pointed ears jutted out, much like an elf’s.  Sighing, he rose to dress in his usual garb: pocketed trousers, a bluish undershirt, and reached for his hat.

Finding his extended hand reaching empty space, Godrick looked around for his top hat before remembering it had fallen the night before.  Chastising himself for not having picked it up on his way back to his stand, Godrick finished dressing and continued out the door and headed for the log wall, hoping to find it where he last remembered.

Naturally, it wasn’t there.  He didn’t expect it to be.

Sighing, Godrick proceeded to the doors he had knocked on with no reply the night before.  He waited awhile, and eventually acorn-helm showed up bearing signs of ill humor.

“Really?  You really want to leave the town at,” he glanced towards the sun,” near 6 in the morning?  And what’s wrong with your hair?” the guard added on a side note.

Godrick heaved a weary sigh, pulled out his new wax tablet, and communicated that he was a half-pixie, and yes, he wanted to exit the town.

Grudgingly, the guard allowed him to pass through the doors, and then grumbled an inaudible last word before shutting Godrick out into the forest.

Setting off, Godrick admired the beauty of the forest while he traversed over the countless rocks and logs, puddles and mounds.

Among all the forests he had been to, this was definitely one of the least magical- and he appreciated it for that fact.  Godrick had spent one too many nights unsure of where he’d wake up in the morning, but that’s a story for another day.

The forest was relatively young; the oldest trees dated maybe a hundred years, with quite a few saplings littering the forest floor.  Godrick was passing over a particularly large pond by floating across on bark, when he heard a voice carried over the water.

“Surely this ain’t all of it?  There’s hardly any copper left; is this all that pest of a gremlin thinks we’re worth?” the voice asked, seemingly to another.

Godrick heard no reply, but it was a remarkable coincidence.  He had been searching for a path to follow, as no gnome in the town either wanted to talk to him or knew where other races spent their time in the forest.

Lord Fent would have made sure his wealth wasn’t concealed in his own town, so Godrick figured asking other residents of the forest would be the best way to start.

And here one was.  Godrick assumed from the mention of copper that this was related to the missing treasure of Fent’s; copper was a rare sight indeed in a forest.

Godrick leapt to shore to confront the creatures, bound and determined to catch them red-handed.  He made his way through the tall grasses and plants, and found himself entering a small clearing that was already filled with rather large occupants.

Godrick could tell from the smell they were Halflings.  A dwarf/human breed who generally chose company with races besides humans, because they saw them as unseemly.

There were two there; the one he had heard talking and a friend, or perhaps colleague.  One of them turned and faced him, eyeing Godrick stonily before asking in the same voice he had heard over the water, “Well, lookie here.  A pixie, from the looks of it.”

“Looks a bit thick for a pixie.  No wings, either.  He’s probably half n half.”

The other smiled.  “Like us,” he said.

Godrick remained where we was, unsure of how to handle the situation.  He could *speak* to them, simply empowering them to give him the copper.  A pixie’s words were a vicious weapon, even if he was only half-pixie.  This was why Godrick did not speak to anyone; he would never get a real answer, just what he wanted to hear.

He also didn’t want to seem like more of a freak than he already was.

Another option would be to fight them.  Godrick steadied himself on his cane while he thought it through.  Halflings were good for heavy lifting, but in a fight with a smaller creature he would surely land more hits.  How he could make those hits count, Godrick was not sure.

The last option would be to solve the problem how it began; gambling for ownership of the copper.

Godrick stepped forward at last, stenciling a message on his wax plate.  He handed it over to the closest Halfling, and then began to prepare for if they disagreed.  He would have to attack if this was the case; he refused to use his voice.

The Halfling was no great shakes at English, and he read it aloud for his compatriot to hear:  “The copper you have is not rightfully yours, and if you would, I should like to have it back.  We could gamble-” his eyes glinted at the word, and the other Halfling smiled,” for its ownership in any way you’d like.”

Godrick knew the old Halfling stereotype, which was more often true than not.  Halflings loved to bet and gamble.  They’d bet on anything; races, physical feats, games of chance.

The two Halflings discussed, and after a minute or two they pointed at a large stone, about as big as Godrick’s torso.  “We’ll throw this rock, and if you get it farther than the clearing than me, you get the copper.”

Godrick nodded affirmation, unsure of how to continue.  He was sure they’d choose a physical test, sure.  But he wanted it to be a race or a swimming contest.  Gnomes were not renowned for body strength.

The Halfling closest to him picked up the rock, while the other gathered up the copper coins, (they had been splitting it between themselves), and sat on a rock to watch the contest.

As the Halfling wound up to throw, Godrick threw something in the water, a vain attempt to distract him.  It didn’t work whatsoever, as the beastly creature didn’t even notice.  The rock went flying, and he and Godrick went looking for it to measure distance.

They found it embedded in some soft soil near the trunk of a tree.

“So I got it to this tree,” the Halfling said while jamming a stick into its trunk to mark it, “now let’s go back and you can..”

Godrick had already picked up the stone, and with enormous effort, lopped it about three gnomish feet from where he had picked it up.  Confused, the Halfling looked at the rock with a furrowed brow until Godrick scribbled something on his tablet that read “I got it farther from the clearing than you did.  You got it to the tree, and mine is clearly past the tree”.

Confusion turned to anger as the Halfling realized that not only had he been tricked on wordplay, it was an incredibly bad trick at that (what was that stupid writer thinking!).

He made a swipe at Godrick, but the gnome was too quick.  He jumped over the Halfling and onto the stick the creature had embedded into the trunk of the tree.  Godrick then shot out as the Halfling made another grab and landed far along the trail that they both had made getting to the rock.  He sprinted to the clearing and told the other Halfling that he had won the contest, and that his friend needed medical assistance immediately having slipped and hurt his head against the rock.

Displaying all the intelligence of a monkey, the Halfling rushed down the path leaving the copper behind, which Godrick loaded onto the bark-boat that had drifted ashore.  The bark couldn’t hold the weight of both the copper and Godrick, so he went behind the raft and pushed it, stripping down to his undergarb to do so.  As he swam away from shore, having executed this entire maneuver in less than two minutes, he heard two voices cursing him from the shore he had left a moment before.

Godrick swam away, not entirely sure whether the creatures could swim or not.  He heard no splashes however, so he assumed that they both could not swim, and were too stupid to throw rocks.  Either way, Godrick was pleased.  He enjoyed fighting stupid people.

He made it to the opposite side, re-dressed, and carried the copper back to LogHaven.


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